Immigrant friendly Utah bills may be repealed

Guest workersTwo controversial immigrant friendly bills adopted three years by the Utah legislature may be repealed if the federal government does not provide operational waivers.

One bill creates a state program allowing immigrants already in the state to obtain guest-worker permits and stay in the state by paying a fine, demonstrating English proficiency, and submitting to a background check. While the other bill establishes a pilot program allowing a “U.S. citizen who is a Utah resident to sponsor an undocumented immigrant not already in the state to live and work here — but those immigrants could not leave Utah.”

Utah Senator Curt Bramble is attempting to delay implementation for the bills until 2017, instead of 2015, with the introduction of Senate Bill 203. SB 203, which passed through committee and is headed to the Senate floor, would delay the earlier adopted laws because, according to Bramble, the laws will need federal waivers to work.  If the waivers do not come through, Senator Bramble will recommend that the legislature repeal the two bills.

The law was intended to send a message to the U.S. Congress that it is “possible to find a rational, reasonable solution” to the dysfunctional immigration system. However, according to Bramble, the law accomplished this, while, at the same time, showing what a state immigration program could look like.

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