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Veto HB 116 Immigration Accountablity

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The Honorable Gary Herbert, Governor, State of Utah

Dear Governor Herbert:


To represent the majority of the citizens of Utah, we strongly encourage you to veto HB116.  

You have outlined six guiding principles that should be inherent in Utah’s efforts: respect for the law; the federal government must take responsibility; private sector accountability; respect for the humanity of all people; efforts must be fair, colorblind and race-neutral; law enforcement must have appropriate tools; and relieve the burden on taxpayers.  

We would submit that HB 116 does not fill most of your avowed principles: Rewarding illegal activity is not respect for the law; This law requires permission from the federal government; It provides no accountability for previous illegal hiring practices; It ignores humanity for those LEGALLY waiting to come to our country; Legalization does not eliminate costs. 

As a historic number of states finally rush to implement existing Federal laws regarding immigration enforcement, Utah’s legislature has angered all sides of the debate through its lack of clear communication and direction. Don’t let HB116 be the amnesty bill that destroys America’s borders.

For these and the following implicit reasons, we ask that you swiftly veto HB 116 Utah Immigration Accountability and Enforcement Amendments:  

1. According to the Legislative Review Note: “there is a high probability that a court would find that portions of HB116 unconstitutional because they are preempted by Federal law as applied through the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution of the United States”;  

2. Legalization of illegal immigrants currently in Utah as Guest Workers is in direct opposition to any sense of fairness to legal immigrants, Utah residents / U.S. citizens, or respect for the rule of law;  

3. The bill rewards illegal immigrants to the detriment of Utahns at an estimated cost of almost $500M annually, and at $50M to $85M annually for K-12 education (Sources: FAIR.org / Utah legislature);  

4. HB116 enables illegal aliens to come to Utah through May 10, 2011 to partake in pending work permit benefits; 

5. HB116 does not restrict previous illegal alien residents from returning to Utah to become guest workers;  

6. The bill delays effective immigration enforcement until 2013 (we need enforcement now); 

7. The bill’s fiscal note is internally inconsistent;  

8. The bill eliminates the current Public Employer Verification Requirements (SB 81);  

9. It enables more illegal immigrant students to qualify for in-state tuition in 2013 further violating the provision “If allowed under Federal law” predicated on the passage of the failed DREAM Act;  

10. The bill provides no accountability for employers who currently, or for the next two years, continue to employ illegal immigrants;  

11. HB116, by allowing status quo for two years, does nothing to reduce the Utah unemployment rate or put legal residents back into the workforce;  

12. While creating a seemingly consolatory Victims Recovery Fund, HB116 does virtually nothing to stem the increasing tide of identity theft in Utah; 

13. Lastly, HB116 violates 8 USC 1324 at the same time it adds those same provisions to Utah law; : “(2) It is unlawful for a person to: . . . (c) encourage or induce an alien to come to, enter, or reside in this state, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that the aliens coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law.”  

Thank you for taking the time to analyze and consider proper principles while reviewing this unconstitutional bill that simply encourages more illegal immigration and rewards illegal activity through provisions which blatantly disregard rule of law.  

Governor Herbert, it is with strong regard for your trustful leadership that we are hopeful you will make the right decision for Utah.  

Please right the wrong due to decades of malfeasance by the federal government in controlling illegal immigration, state and make Utah a shining example of commonsense government through equitable enforcement and rule of law. 

With sincere respect and faith on behalf of all citizens in Utah you will decide to veto HB116,



Utah Coalition on Illegal Immigration


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