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Utah House committee approves illegal immigrant guest worker bill

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  • Bryan Syracuse, UT
    Feb. 16, 2011 12:31 a.m.

    This is unbelievable. The Legislature needs to be passing laws that get illegals out of our state, not laws that encourage them to come here! Every single one of those committee members that voted in favor of this bill need to be booted out!

  • wigglwagon Mariion, Va
    Feb. 16, 2011 1:11 a.m.

    "In today's society, you cannot find anyone to work on farms," said Ure, a Kamas dairy owner. "There's not two kids at South Summit High School who know which end of a pitchfork to lean on."

    "Wright, R-Holden, said the proposal is driven by Americans unwillingness to do menial jobs."

    In today's society, most employers, including farmers, suffer from insatiable greed. When demand for their products increase, they raise their prices. When demand for labor increases, they want to change the rules so they can keep the pool of labor artificially inflated with illegal aliens. The only reason kids will not do farm work is that farmers are too greedy to allow 'supply and demand' to determine wages!!!

    Americans alleged unwillingness to do menial jobs is a result of employers belief that the ruling class, such as themselves, should not be required to pay a living wage to the lowly serving class.

  • JBrady Murray, Ut
    Feb. 16, 2011 1:56 a.m.

    I don't think legislatures should be running down the very people they are suppose to represent. There already is a guest worker program in the US, the H-1a visa. But many employers are to lazy to fill out the forms and instead prefer to become criminals and hire people here illegally.

    Guest workers, or visa workers have to do jobs that the employer cannot fill locally. They also cannot depress the wages of others doing the same work in the area. Either one of the guest work bills violates both laws. American jobs belong to American citizens. You can move your country overseas, but in this country you hire Americans.

    This bill fails to admit that human beings are already here able to work those jobs that belong to American citizens. Don't blame your vote on compassion, it works both ways.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    Feb. 16, 2011 4:40 a.m.

    You don't give away jobs from your fellow citizens. Talk about lack of compassion. Maybe the kids at South Summit high are smart enough to find someone who pays better.

    Can't we just start enforcing the laws? Not showing compassion is physical violence and mob rule, like Mexico (human rights violations from amnesty international). Compassion comes from enforcement. It makes everyone play by the same rules.

  • My2Cents Kearns, UT
    Feb. 16, 2011 4:48 a.m.

    This is against the law big time. Only the Federal immigration can issue green cards, the states cannot issue them. These committees better get on the ball and use their powers of observations and witness the destruction of their city and state with all the illegal Mexicans being harbored by Utah law enforceable. We cannot sell our country to greed and profit, its not worth the cost of surrender.

  • jmfay denver, co
    Feb. 16, 2011 5:35 a.m.

    Is there something in the water in UT? Since when is a state allowed to decide who gets to be here and who doesnt? refering to the second permit allowing the illegal's immediate family to be here legally?

    If the feds are going to sue AZ with a law of theirs that supposed to be the same as federal law what do you suppose they will do with a law that flies into the face of federal law? and if its nothing; we can see a citizen filing suit which will get to the SCOTUS and UT loses this one.

    Please do not pass this out of your legislature.

  • Norm Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2011 6:08 a.m.

    To do this only opens the door for a increase of illegal imigrants coming to Utah. How can you condone a person committing a crime by giving them a free pass to break the law. States through out the United States trying to create or enforce laws that will not encourage illegal entrance to there states. Our nation has a major problem dont find ways to encourage people to come here illegal. Must be controlled just not a open door.
    Work permits if controlled can work as they do in Canada. The migrant workers allowed to be in Canada 180 days during the harvest season then must leave the country. They are not allowed to bring family members. Please don't pass a wide open program, take a look at the consequences.

  • staypuffinpc Provo, UT
    Feb. 16, 2011 6:41 a.m.

    Wow! Where to start...
    First, the claim that Americans won't work on farms is absurd. It's rather that the employers have gotten used to abusing illegal immigrants and paying inordinately low wages (and often delaying payments, or missing them completely).

    Second, this is vigilante lawmaking at its best. The state doesn't like the way the entity with authority (i.e., the Feds) is handling the situation, so they usurp that authority and take matters into their own hands. It's the prerogative of the federal government to handle immigration, not the states.

  • danaslc Kearns, UT
    Feb. 16, 2011 6:46 a.m.

    The ACLU stood up and told the committee that forming a Guest Worker Program is against the Constitution. Shocking for the ACLU. They also said that this program is going to send Illegal Immigrants running to Utah. This was not a conservative bunch. Those in the committee were all liberal fruitcakes. This bill will be dead when it hits the Senate Floor. The Federal Government are the only ones that can give out Visa's. This is exactly what they would be doing. Utah is not a little socialist kingdom to be played with. It is not a nation, it is a state. Conservative, well no. Tons of Progressives are running this state. Or lets say their little kingdom.

  • tiger1 New York, NY
    Feb. 16, 2011 7:12 a.m.

    I hope this bill is approved. It will bring people out of obscurity and solve the problem for many business owners.

  • Dixie Dan Saint George, UT
    Feb. 16, 2011 7:20 a.m.

    With high unemployment, why aren't our local citizens flocking to fill these jobs? Don't our local farmers pay a living wage?

  • ardmore Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2011 7:27 a.m.

    Finally, a step in the right direction. I am all for this as long as these workers are paid fairly with wages and benefits for their families. Plus, the criminal background check should ease the minds of those that embrace fear of immigrants.

    Hopefully this will lead to a more open policy for immigration, just like when my ancestors arrived here from Europe.

  • kemitc Nashville, TN
    Feb. 16, 2011 7:33 a.m.

    It figures! Utah is so WEAK. They apparently don't care about their citizens, badmouth Americans, and prefer illegals as opposed to US Citizens. Maybe Utah should consider giving the land back to the mexicans also. Good to know that if there is an uprising in this country we know where the Beehive state will be.

  • facts_r_stubborn Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 16, 2011 8:03 a.m.

    At least I am consistent. I don't support this Utah "Guest Worker" bill anymore than I support Utah enforcement bills like Sandstrom's.

    Tha answer to Federal immigration law and enforcement has to come from the U.S. Congress. I am for both comprehensive reform and improved enforcement at the national level.

    On the enforcement side state only enforcement bills will never be effective. No training, no resources for enforcement, no coordination with ICE agents, no facilities to hold illegals, and you can't build a fence around Utah.

    Ironically, very effective Federal programs such as Secure Communities and 287(g) that share immigration enforcement duties with local authorites are already available. No need to reinvent the wheel.

    On the comprehensive reform side, a Utah only guest worker program is a big mistake. It will only bring more undocumented workers to the state looking for employment. Furthermore, they will still be here illegally from a national jurisdiction perspective.

    Both enforcement and comprehenisive reforms like guest workder programs must be accomplised at the national not the state level.

    The Utah compact has it exactly right, for the right reasons, the illegal immigration problem calls for a national solution.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Feb. 16, 2011 8:09 a.m.

    "a guest worker permit and an immediate family permit. The latter would allow the undocumented worker's spouse and unmarried children under age 21 to be in the country lawfully"

    Notice it says "lawfully", not "legally". The family would only be here in accordance with this sham of a law.

    Since when does a State have the authority to tell the Federal government who is allowed into the Country?

  • Dan Walters La Quinta, CA
    Feb. 16, 2011 8:19 a.m.

    Isn't CHEAP LABOR what the whole
    illegal immigration issue is about?
    Business doesn't want to pay a decent wage.
    Consumers don't want expensive produce.
    Government will tell you Americans don't want the jobs.
    But the bottom line is cheap labor. The phrase "cheap labor" is a myth, a farce, and a lie!
    Take, for example, an illegal alien with a wife and five children. He takes a job for $8.00/hour. At that wage, with six dependents, he pays no income tax, yet at the end of the year, if he files an Income Tax Return,
    he gets an earned income credit of up to $3,200 free.
    He qualifies for food stamps.
    He qualifies for free (no co-pay) health care.
    His children get free breakfasts and lunches at school.
    He requires bilingual teachers and books.
    He qualifies for relief from high energy bills.
    If they are or become, aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for Social Security. And once they qualify for SSI they can qualify for Medicare. All of this is at (our) taxpayer's expense.

  • calou84523 Ferron, Utah
    Feb. 16, 2011 8:58 a.m.

    While I am, in general, pro guest worker programs I am totally against this bill which is in fact an attempt at amnesty in disguise and places the state and employers in the position of aiding and abetting the commission of a federal crime.

    A properly managed guest worker program would provide employers with an eager labour source, protect the "guest workers" from exploitation, help mitigate the illegal immigrant problem to some extent, and provide a legal path for "guest workers" to become legal residents but any "guest worker" program MUST begin with potential "guests" applying for a "guest worker" visa in their home country and being approved for entry into the U.S. and limit entry to the "guest worker" ONLY and only for a given amount of time. His sponsor (employer) would then be wholly responsible for the "guest worker" to include the worker returns to his country of origin at the end of his/her visa.

    Anything other than this is amnesty!

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2011 9:10 a.m.

    How do employers of illegal trespassers justify themselves?
    How do they look themselves in the mirror?
    What about ethics?
    Are their ethics determined by "as long as I don't get caught cheating, it MUST BE OK"?

    Or: "I'm ENTITLED to pay below minimum wage rates, because I'm a member of the right church!

    Employers either abide by the law, and/or a moral code of ethics - or- they don't!

    Please, employers don't try to justify breaking the law, just tell us you don't respect the laws so we know exactly where you stand.

    At least then you're being truthful!!

  • Celticwolf Syracuse, Utah
    Feb. 16, 2011 9:45 a.m.

    Why can't we round them up and ship them back to their own countries for being illegal immigrants? They don't deserve any kindness at all for breaking our law by coming here illegally.

    Let's let Al-Quide all come in illegally and take part in this while we are at it.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2011 9:48 a.m.

    "It provides a means for undocumented immigrants to legally work in the state."

    Then it is Amnesty, for nearly all intents and purposes. It makes no difference to the unemployed American that it is not an official pathway to "citizenship," per se.

    The bill would create two types of permits a guest worker permit and an immediate family permit. The latter would allow the undocumented worker's spouse and unmarried children under age 21 to be in the country lawfully."

    Any honest person will recognize that this is blatantly unfair to the millions of good people in many countries around the world who will never be able to emigrate to this country because a certain group of lawbreakers gets preferential treatment over everybody else.

  • Gigio New York, NY
    Feb. 16, 2011 9:52 a.m.

    I do not think this program is amnesty. Only the feds can provide that. It protects the patrons, while helping people from the shadows of our society. I am amazed at the resentment in this blog, particularly towards mexicans people. It reminds me of the Irish struggle when they arrived in the states. They thought they will enjoy the same blessings of those already here, but astonished they were seen as less than humans beings. Let's keep the hope for those hard working people already here.

  • Teafortwo salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 16, 2011 10:35 a.m.

    Why should anybody work for a living when our government is more than willing to pay them for not working? Work is passe. We have become a welfare state.....

  • Cowboy Joe Encampment, WY
    Feb. 16, 2011 10:45 a.m.

    Don Walters get the facts strait. Illegals CAN NOT get food stamps, Medi care, Earned Income Tax credit. They CAN get emergency room care only at a hospital.

    They DO pay social security and never draw on social security.

    They do pay Income tax when they buy things. This directly helps out the communities where they live.

    It is one thing to be against illegal immigration, but do it knowing the facts!

  • Teafortwo salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 16, 2011 10:45 a.m.

    Here is some much needed information for David Ure and others who claim they cannot get people to do the work they need done: Pay more money. If you cannot find enough labor at the wage you are offering, you need to sweeten the pot. This is economic reality. If you cannot afford to pay more, you are in the wrong business. This is also economic reality. Hiring illegal foreign criminals who are willing to work for less is not a solution. It just drives down wages to the point where even working people cannot support themselves.

  • CougarKeith Roy, UT
    Feb. 16, 2011 10:46 a.m.

    I see the farmers viewpoint! Kids don't want to work on the farms anymore! Frankly it's because THEY ARE LAZY and afraid of a HARD DAYS WORK! They don't want to get DIRTY! They are all in for a BIG HEATHY SURPRIZE in the next 5-10 years! We don't want to be OVER-Run by South Americans either! How do you think Texas became a U.S. State, the same in REVERSE! First I think that we need to clean out the state, THEN ENACT a Worker Permit for Migrant Workers, not the opposite! Put in "Check Stations", and for those caught who are illegal and haven't gotten "Entry Cards", they go to a Camp for 6 months before being deported! Those without any health care sign a "Waiver" and are issued a "Card" that they recieve NO Government Assistance, or Pay $750 per family of 4 per month for assistance which can be cancelled within 90 days if no proof of employment is shown. If it is a disabled person, then the spouse must be working, or the persons adult children to support him/her. Just like our immigrant families did LEGALLY!

  • carabaoU Moab, UT
    Feb. 16, 2011 11:18 a.m.

    Prior to the Supreme Court ruling in 1976 that said Congress's power to regulate naturalization included the power to regulate immigration, the states could regulate the immigration.

    The question we are now faced with is if "guest workers" can be regulated by the federal government. There are instances in history of guest worker programs.

    Since the Constitution does not mention who has authority over "guest workers" the rights then belong to the States, per the 10th Amendment. As seen with the immigration topic, the Federal Courts could rule it falls under the power of Congress as it is related to the naturalization arena.

    Constitutionally, the State has the right to regulate the guest worker program, although it could be changed by a ruling of Federal Court. This could be interesting if it passes and signed into law by Governor and then challenged in Court. State vs Federal regulation. I root for States in all cases.

    Please note, I am not yet decided on where I stand in regards to the bill.

  • tiger1 New York, NY
    Feb. 16, 2011 12:11 p.m.

    Tea for Two,
    Economic reality? You want to be paid more for less skilled labor, i.e. washing dishes, mopping the floors, working at the farms? Welcome to corporate America. LOL. Nothing happens without consequence. Somebody has to pay, less profits for owners, layoffs and of course costs will be passed to the consumers. Canada and USA are very dependent on low income earners.
    To Fitness Freak,
    The article does not say the ranchers do not want to pay decent wages.
    It says the job has to approved by DWS, and if unable to find a match the job will be given to a guest worker, who has to show he has bought health insurance.
    This initiative has a lot of good sides, but mostly is humane to the less fortunate. Every immigrant group, asian, african, european and so on, with or without legal entry, had to have fight oppression and acceptance in this country. Let's not throw rocks at those who mow our lawns and make possible to have food on the table.

  • tiger1 New York, NY
    Feb. 16, 2011 12:30 p.m.

    Tea for Two,
    Economic reality? You want to be paid more for less skilled labor, i.e. washing dishes, mopping the floors, working at the farms? Welcome to corporate America. LOL. Nothing happens without consequence. Somebody has to pay, less profits for owners, layoffs and of course costs will be passed to the consumers. Canada and USA are very dependent on low income earners.
    To Fitness Freak,
    The article does not say the ranchers do not want to pay decent wages.
    It says the job has to approved by DWS, and if unable to find a match the job will be given to a guest worker, who has to show he has bought health insurance.
    This initiative has a lot of good sides, but mostly is humane to the less fortunate. Every immigrant group, asian, african, european and so on, with or without legal entry, had to have fight oppression and acceptance in this country. Let's not throw rocks at those who mow our lawns and make possible to have food on the table.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2011 12:35 p.m.

    Let's see if I have this right.

    The US has an obesity problem among adults and youth in this country.

    Kids don't want to work hard jobs. Neither do adults. I don't blame them. It's much more appealing to sit in a air condition office and have vacation time and being your own boss, rather than sweating under the hot sun, being cussed at by a supervisor.

    If you work in the office you could go to the gym. If you work in the field, you're too tired to go to the gym, but, don't really need to since you worked all day.

    Let's just ask Barack what we should do! He is the smartest president in history, right?!

    Plus it wouldn't hurt for him to get on the latino vote bandwagon.

    Let's send the illegals home, and have our kids get off their butts and put some labor in. Then they'll understand why being your own boss is more worthwhile, and maybe it will teach US residents that we're not entitled to have everything handed to us.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2011 12:41 p.m.

    What amazes me with the left. They'll work soo hard to allow illegals to come here, to work for less than a living wage, work in conditions that aren't healthy, and at the same time claim they are champions for these people. Does the left not understand the abuse and exploitation these people go through? By the hands of the coyotes, drug cartels, brothels, employers etc?

    Maybe if that is considered a better life for them. Maybe the US should be in the business of nation building. Wouldn't it be more worthwhile to go into these nations and assist them, rather than exploit their poor?

    That's a reason legal immigration is soo important.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2011 1:05 p.m.

    "tiger1" What makes YOU think the possible employers of illegal trespassers will follow ANY rules?
    The employers HAVEN'T followed any rules up til now in employing illegal immigrants.

    The "initiative" in allowing guest workers by the State of Utah is simply a smokescreen to allow unethical employers to continue with their labor practices unabated.

    Nothing more, nothing less!

  • tenx Santa Clara, UT
    Feb. 16, 2011 1:27 p.m.

    The key word here is "immediate family permit". Once that foot is in the door there is no way that they are going home again. We do not enforce these bills going back to the Amnesty of 1986 which was the "Amnesty to end all Amnesties". Look where lack of enforcement of that Amnesty got us = 15,000,000 illegals. Pay a livable wage and hire citizens to do the job. Viva LEGAL immigration.

  • Teafortwo salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 16, 2011 1:31 p.m.

    tiger1@12:11

    Yes. Economic reality. Try doing a little research sometime. If wages are kept artificially low, people performing the tasks will have to be subsidized by taxpayers. Let wages rise (or fall) to their real, free market levels. Illegals are a corrupting influence on the free market system.

  • kemitc Nashville, TN
    Feb. 16, 2011 2:50 p.m.

    @Cowboy Joe Illegals CAN NOT get food stamps, Medi care, Earned Income Tax credit. They CAN get emergency room care only at a hospital.---I don't know what planet you live on, but yes they can and they do. TN see it all the time our clinic are always full giving them free medical care and we pay higher office visits to make it up. Check with your health department clinic, so maybe you need to get the facts straight. THy do not pay income tax they pay sales tax when they buy things a big difference. And yes they do apply and get social security benefits without paying in because our government determined if they don't speak English it's a disability.They also get more food stamps then any one I have ever known.

  • Tami Herriman, UT
    Feb. 16, 2011 3:31 p.m.

    Perhaps the supporters and sponsors of this bill can get a job working on these farms when they are no longer "representing" the citizens of Utah after this next election! Try listening to your constituents- you know, the legal ones who can vote.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 16, 2011 4:53 p.m.

    Sandstroms bill would cost $11million per year. This bill would generate $11million per year for our schools. Not to mention the fact this bill still would either jail or ask the feds deport the criminals.

    We keep those who contribute to our economy and community and get rid of any trouble makers. We eat our cake and have it too.

  • Janell Ventura, Ca
    Feb. 16, 2011 11:20 p.m.

    Four words: Who's in the committee????

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 16, 2011 11:28 p.m.

    This law is good in practice. In theory I am not sure it will stand up under constitutional challenge.

    On the other hand, there needs to be some pressure to create real reform of the immigration system. The allowed number of immigrants in the US has been too low for years, and has not focused on the real requirements of the economy.

    I also think that the immediate family provision of this act is the great leap forward. The Federal Guest workers programs that have existed have normally limited their effect to workers and not allowed for family. I am glad that a guest worker with family plan is now being proposed. If nothing else this will put pressure on politicians in Washington to stop grandstanding and start taking action.

  • Cedar guy Cedar City, UT
    Feb. 24, 2011 10:21 a.m.

    Here in cedar we have sheep and pig ranches that pay $600 per month for labor! that's why we have illegals. They don't want pay a livable wage. If they paid say $7.25 min wage they would have kids working. They even list it with DWS! We all must call our senator and tell them NO. They said the majority of Utahan want this bill and that is simply not true. Lets all of us make our voice heard CALL YOUR SENATORS NOW !!!!!