Business, political and religious leaders sign compact on immigration issues

The Utah Compact, which declares immigration a federal issue and recommends a more compassionate approach, was proposed on the steps of the Utah Capitol Thursday and it already has support from many political, business, and religious groups including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, a member of the group behind the Compact, says it has been in the making for some time. “As the Arizona law passed, it was seen as a real need to have frequent meetings to talk about what response we could have,” Shurtleff said on KVNU’s For the People program Thursday. “The key here is, that if there is not something to offer legislators besides an enforcement-only, Sandstrom-type bill, it will pass. “I think legislators want to do something. They’re hearing from their constituents. They demand action. But there has to be something for them to turn to other than an enforcement-only bill and that’s why we’re recommending some guiding principles.” Shurtleff says the Utah Compact urges Utah’s congressional delegation and others to lead efforts to strengthen federal laws and protect national borders. It also states that local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code. Official text of The Utah Compact: A declaration of five principles to guide Utah’s immigration discussion FEDERAL SOLUTIONS? Immigration is a federal policy issue between the U.S. government and other countries? not Utah and other countries. We urge Utah’s congressional delegation, and others, to lead efforts to strengthen federal laws and protect our national borders. We urge state leaders to adopt reasonable policies addressing immigrants in Utah. LAW ENFORCEMENT? We respect the rule of law and support law enforcement’s professional judgment and discretion. Local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code. FAMILIES? Strong families are the foundation of successful communities. We oppose policies that unnecessarily separate families. We champion policies that support families and improve the health, education and well-being of all Utah children. ECONOMY? 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. A FREE SOCIETY? Immigrants are integrated into communities across Utah. We must adopt a humane approach to this reality, reflecting our unique culture, history and spirit of inclusion. The way we treat immigrants will say more about us as a free society and less about our immigrant neighbors. Utah should always be a place that welcomes people of goodwill.

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