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Michael O. Leavitt: Utah Compact provides starting point for Congress

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  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 9, 2011 12:12 p.m.

    The "Utah Compact" claims that Immigration is a Federal Power. The bills passed and signed by Governor Herbert are based on the concept that Immigration is a State Power. Based on this the "Utah Compact" is either flawed or the bills are. They don't mesh.

    The Constitution of the United States grants authority to the federal government to regulate foreign commerce and to adopt a uniform rule of naturalization. [Citizenship not Immigration]

    From the Constitutional Note for HB 116 3rd S:
    "The Constitution of the United States grants authority to the federal government to regulate foreign commerce and to adopt a uniform rule of naturalization. The United States Supreme Court has also found inherent federal authority to regulate immigration on the basis of federal sovereignty and the power to engage in foreign affairs: this is sometimes referred to as the "plenary power," which in more recent years has been made subject to certain constitutional limits.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    April 10, 2011 12:24 a.m.

    "...a respected group..."

    I have news for you, Mr. Leavitt: I have zero respect for the formulators of the Utah Compact. It is one of the most intellectually dishonest statements I have ever witnessed in my life.

    For example: it purports to be a guide for Utah's immigration discussion -- a discussion which by its very nature necessarily requires making a distinction between legal and illegal immigration. But not only does the Compact refuse to do this, it quite deliberately implies that there is no moral, social, legal, nor Constitutional difference between the two. The clear implication in turn is that illegal immigration should be embraced and honored.

    I could go on and on about the Utah Compact. In short, it is a pro-illegal immigration, anti-enforcement, pro cheap-labor propaganda piece, masterfully disguised as the opposite.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    April 10, 2011 5:47 a.m.

    Wow, a number of statements made in this are such baloney. I find this op-ed to be nothing but a "pat ourselves" on the back while severely distorting the situation in D.C. Oh, the stories of hypocrisy that could be told....

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    April 10, 2011 7:39 a.m.

    I agree immigration is federal issue. The root of the problem is economic, not criminal. What do you do when there is such economic disparity between two bordering countries and how do you control an 1100 mile border? To much heated political rhetoric that is not supported by facts.

    Listen to KSL's Doug Wright instead of Hannity, Beck and Limbaugh. The far right hates him because he is able to set aside the emotion and address the issue in a rational manner.

  • Emophiliac Vernal, UT
    April 10, 2011 7:59 a.m.

    Seems like the Utah Compact was formed by a bunch of special interests, none of which seemed to care about the average Utahn. I suppose that would be a perfect starting point for Congress. It can just widen the scope to ignore the average US citizen.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    April 10, 2011 8:02 a.m.

    The issues surrounds the age-old argument of "Does the end justify the means?" Because some families have a tough time making a living and this is the golden land of opportunity, some feel that bereaking the law in such fashion as forging documents, stealing identities and illegally crossing borders is absolutely and totally acceptable. Others want to benefit from the plight of such people and refuse to ammend a broken, failed system, thus just about requiring others to break the law to participate in the American Dream. Sorry to say, but depending upon the US Congress to fix anything is a long, discouraging disappointment and an exercise in futlity. Just look at funding the government as another example of how they conduct business. In my view the answer is "NO-the end DOES NOT justify the means if such means involves breaking the law." The answer is to fix the system and to fix it now! Then anyone cheating is booted out and/or jailed, depending on the severity of their lawlessness. Rewarding bad behavior just doesn't ever work with either children or adults. Congress, please finally address the issue!!

  • danaslc Kearns, UT
    April 10, 2011 8:44 a.m.

    This makes Utah look really bad to the rest of the nation. Unconstitutional Utah, living by its own rules and regulations. We are not a nation we are a State.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    April 10, 2011 8:49 a.m.

    Proof I think will be election day and for those who supported it in the Legislature how they will fare!

  • Utah Joe murray, utah
    April 10, 2011 8:54 a.m.

    Spot on Gov. Leavitt. Spot on. We need the United States Congress to act. They should do so in a way that reconciles many values that often are at odds with each other. We should spend less time fighting about this issue and more time finding common ground. I only wish that I could say I had more confidence in Congress.

    Lee, Hatch, Bishop, Matheson and Chaffetz ... we need you to lead on this.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    April 10, 2011 9:03 a.m.

    Leavitt....another in the long line of RINO govt representatives......there is no teeth in the Utah Compact...Compassion is not a solution, its a failure to act!

    Fines those who hire, fine and deport, and eliminate the driver priv card program......

    If the USA would just adopt the Mexican immigration law...the problem would be solved!

  • joelwisch Albuquerque, NM
    April 10, 2011 10:30 a.m.

    So long as we cannot add links to this agenda, the points made will be purely personal, and in far to many cases, not well informed at all.

    But it is very well informed to say the environment cannot possibly deal with the Utah Compact and would effectively sell the future of this country to those who today, put enormous amounts of money down to see their will be done. The Utah does not come close to dealing with the economic realities of the United States in the coming years, and again, sells the future of this country to people who do not wish our children well.

  • Dan Walters La Quinta, CA
    April 10, 2011 11:22 a.m.

    A Government of, by, and for Special Interests and Big Business! Did our Founding Fathers envision THIS madness?
    We the People are officially out of the equation! The American Dream is up for sale to the highest Political Action Committee contributor or Special Interest Lobby! Legality is in the eye of the beholder but I suppose that depends on what the meaning of the word is is! Lady Justice lies dead on the floor of the Utah state capitol while illegal immigrant criminal activity is REWARDED with jobs, benefits and amnesty and a large majority of American Citizens are branded Racists for rightfully wanting to make English the official language! Have we not had enough of this Foolish Political Correctness running amok? How long will we idly stand by and watch the freedoms earned by the red blood of our forefathers be either given away to lawbreakers or sold for the green dollars of corporate greed? Stand up and be heard. It is your right and your privilege. It is not wrong or nor is it immoral to protect our borders and our country.

  • cns St George, Utah
    April 10, 2011 11:39 a.m.

    Check today's Washington Post on-line -- "Liberal immigration advocates look to Utah ..."
    The pro-amnesty, pro-sanctuary advocates across the country recognize the Utah Compact for what it is and does -- encouraging illegal immigration and protecting and supporting illegal immigrants.

  • CJ Murray, UT
    April 10, 2011 1:26 p.m.

    Sorry Mike but the "values" of the Utah CON PACT aren't those of the majority of Utahns. The CON PACT is nothing less than a plea for the continuation of the exploitation of illegal aliens by a bunch of self serving business and church organizations who benefit from having them here and being able to pass the social costs on to the taxpayers of Utah. The CON PACT reflects the values of open borders advocates and "Chamber of Commerce Republicans" and no one else. It tries to re-define "compassion" to somehow make the continued exploitation of illegal aliens seem the "morally right" thing to do. In reality this is nothing but a "plantation philosophy" ( we need the slaves to harvest the cotton) that has little to do with compassion and everything to do with the desire by the signers of the Utah CON PAC to benefit from the presence of illegals. Everyone who supported this and HB116 is going to find out in the near future how the majority of Utahns feel about this issue and their little self deception that they are somehow reflecting the "will of the people" is going to come to an end.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    April 10, 2011 4:00 p.m.

    Starting point, starting point, starting point. What a wonderful euphemism. Something can be horribly illegal, immoral, anti-social, anti-American, unconstitutional, and contrary to the will of the people, but it's a "starting point," so that makes it okay.

    How fascinating that only the HB116 guest worker bill qualifies as a "starting point" -- but not the Arizona bill, nor Sandstrom's bill (in its original, unwatered-down form), though these affirm Federal law and accord with a state's right to defend itself.

  • MCFergy Salt Lake City, UT
    April 10, 2011 6:51 p.m.

    Originally the Utah Compact may have intended to be apolitical, but emerged very political, influencing the Utah Legislature and Gov. Herbert to cavalierly override the majority of Utahans, passing amnesty via H.R. 116 and partnering with a country of which 56+% of all illegal immigrants in the U.S. originate.

    Mr. Leavitt was with the Bush Administration to long; believing comprehensive is the solution, just as Huntsman Jr. and Herbert do. The model of Comprehensive Reform was adopted by a great U.S. President, Ronald Reagan. Hows that working out after 25-years?

    The scratched record will keep spinning, another guest-amnesty may pass, enforcement ignored and the very same unscrupulous, unethical businesspersons will bypass guest-worker programs, ignore legal hiring practices, and exploit a new generation of illegal workers for their ends.

    Mr. Leavitt, Gov. Herbert and Huntsman Jr. will never get it, very few in the U.S. Congress that will ever get it. Theyre ALL ABOUT POLITICS, and short on LOGIC. The UC is a political force and wouldnt have form if it were not an effort to pedal influence. The Utah Compact chose sides and the majority of Utahans lost.

  • JBrady Murray, Ut
    April 10, 2011 8:01 p.m.

    After Bishop Wester attacked the guest worker bills, they had to bring in a big gun. 105,000 Utahns out of work, 140,000 people here illegally, and a group of business leaders want to bring in more workers?

    We are seeing who really cares about this country, and who is self serving.

  • JBrady Murray, Ut
    April 10, 2011 8:27 p.m.

    It took 4 months to get that many signatures on the compact.

    It took three days to get more signatures on the petition asking Governor Herbert to veto HB116

    When people are willing to sell out their neighbors for profit, you need to question their compassion. It's beginning to feel like the great depression again.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    April 10, 2011 9:09 p.m.

    The compact is just a tool used by business to increase their labor pool. Look at the "Utah solution" and then intentions are obvious.

  • Considering Stockton, UT
    April 10, 2011 10:31 p.m.

    Those who resort to euphemism and distraction demonstrate their own lack of moral conviction as to the correctness of the course they espouse.

    If Leavitt or anyone else really believes that open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens is the proper course of action, he/they should must the courage of conviction to say so plainly; to defend that position clearly; and to do so without equivocation or euphemism.

    I was once stopped for speeding. The officer let me go with a warning rather than issuing a citation. But he did warn me, and tell me to obey the speed limit in the future. That was compassion. He did not tell me it was ok to keep speeding.

    In like manner, expecting illegal aliens to return home, to stop violating our laws, but without facing penalty for their conduct thus far is very compassionate. Anything beyond that is amnesty; it encourages future violations.

    In clear terms we must:

    Punish employers who hire illegal aliens;
    Cut off all welfare and social benefits for illegal aliens;
    ID, detain, and deport all illegal aliens who come to attention of law enforcement;
    and the feds need to secure the border.

    Honesty.

  • AT Prospect, KY
    April 11, 2011 6:18 a.m.

    Haven't read the compact 'till now. Just a few observations...

    First of all, immigration is not a federal policy issue. The Constitution (Article 1, Section 8) gives the federal govt. power to "est. an uniform Rule of Naturalization." (that's different than immigration). The 10th amendment then leaves immigration to the states (I know, we don't follow the 10th amendment anymore - so why expect the compact to do so).

    The second paragraph is, though, perhaps my favorite. In particular, this: "Local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code." Amen brother. But, please don't let this just hold true to immigration. Apply it to ALL the junk coming from Mordor on the Potomac.

    The Families paragraph... I suppose that to get the LDS people... Looks like it's working.

    Ah, then my favorite: "Utah is best served by a free-market philosophy that maximizes individual freedom and opportunity." Oh PLEEAAASSSEEEE. If only this applied to the rest of what the state government does.

    I think this compact is dishonest.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    April 11, 2011 7:56 a.m.

    Illegal immigration is not just a civil infraction, it can also be a crime if crossing the border. It's a dishonest document that tries to decriminalize stealing citizenship, identities, jobs, social services and residency in this country.

    It's welfare for the business community by depressing wages of the workforce. I have stopped buying locally, and started buying over the Internet. If I want to check out an item, I visit the store, then buy at home. If business will not support the workers, then we should not support our local business community.

  • Kathy. Provo, Ut
    April 11, 2011 9:20 a.m.

    I would really like to see a compact for victims of identity theft. It would be nice to fingerprint illegals and ban them from citizenship for identity theft along with seizure of assets to pay victims.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    April 11, 2011 9:35 a.m.

    Immigration is a diversion; a shiny ball. We have all taken our eyes off of the real issue and nobody is happier than Congress. Compared to the national debt that Congress has chained upon our necks, the financial loss invoked by illegal immigration is akin to someone drowning in the ocean and becoming overly concerned about having bad breath. C'mon people. Focus! Why are we so preoccupied with chasing nickels when Congress continues to spend our trillions? Is it easier to hate south of the border illegals more than than the illegals in D.C.?

  • Bomar Roberts, ID
    April 11, 2011 10:40 a.m.

    Hey Mike Baby, you are just another Big Government RINO. Why is it that you and your ilk can't just say, "Let's give the Illegals citizenship". Instead you propose "Commonsense Immigration Reform" as a code word for legalizing those that choose to break the law and come here illegally. You fail to mention the costs related to illegal immigration.

    In the last month two members of my family had auto accidents involving illegal immigrants. Neither illegal had insurance, and one had a "Driver Privilege Card", the other did not have a drivers license. Mike Baby, please check with the family of Deputy Josie Fox, ask them what they think of Utahs enforcement of illegal immigration. Mike Baby, you and Bobby Bennett should be ashamed of your shilling for not enforcing our borders.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2011 11:00 a.m.

    Some lobbyists for illegal trespassers would like you to believe that outside of Utah there is some kind of national appreciation for the "Utah Compact".

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Its not only Utahns that would like illegal trespassers arrested and the border secured even if it means putting our own troops on the border.

    The REALLY bizarre part of the illegal immigration issue is: politicians just don't seem to understand how important this issue is to the average American, and, the extent of lobbying from both the business community and the media to maintain the status quo.

    The lobbyists for the illegals, along with some politicians, and the media think illegal trespassers are much more important than the rule of law, not to mention being more important than ACTUAL Americans!

  • #1 Champ Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2011 3:20 p.m.

    Governor Leavitt is spot on.

  • RRB SLC, UT
    April 13, 2011 4:23 a.m.

    With less than .0015% of Utah's citizens signing it. It's not even a honest solution for Utah.