Friday, March 11, 2011

Opinion: Utah's new immigration outlook - Alfonso Aguilar - POLITICO.com

Opinion: Utah's new immigration outlook - Alfonso Aguilar - POLITICO.com

Utah just made history. While the federal government avoids tackling the immigration issue — and most states seem intent to deal with it through the limited prism of enforcement — Utah, one of the reddest of states, is providing a lesson to the nation by adopting a common-sense, market-based answer to the immigration question.

Utah Republicans, who control the state House and Senate by wide margins, just passed legislation that mandates tougher illegal immigration enforcement and employee verification provisions. But, most important, it gives undocumented immigrants a permit to work and live in the state without the fear of being detained and deported. Republican Gov. Gary Herbert had indicated that, if passed, he would sign this work permit bill into law.

“Utah is best served by a free-market philosophy that maximizes individual freedom and opportunity. We acknowledge the economic role immigrants play as workers and taxpayers. Utah’s immigration policies must reaffirm our global reputation as a welcoming and business-friendly state.”

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