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Salt Lake City - Late this morning, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert signed four immigration reform bills, which combined, constitute what he calls "the Utah solution." He said, "Utah has taken a thoughtful, rational approach and found common ground."

Flanked by business, religious, and legislative leaders in the Gold Room of the Utah Capitol, the Governor touted the day as an historic one. "Utah did the right thing. We did the hard thing," he said. "Today I challenge our federal delegation and those who work alongside them in Washington, D.C.: It is time to get off the sidelines and have a meaningful dialogue about immigration in this country."

While most acknowledge immigration is primarily a federal issue, Governor Herbert said these bills provide him some leverage at the federal level to engage the federal government in addressing Utah's challenges.

After citing his six guiding principles for immigration reform, the Governor signed the following bills:

 

  • HB 116: Utah Immigration Accountability and Enforcement Amendments
    House sponsor, Representative Bill Wright
    Senate floor sponsor, Senator Stuart Reid

  • HB 466: Migrant Workers and Related Commission Amendments
    House sponsor, Representative Stephen Sandstrom
    Senate floor sponsor, Senator Curtis Bramble

  • HB 469: Immigration Related Amendments
    House sponsor, Representative John Dougall
    Senate floor sponsor, Senator Wayne Niederhauser

  • HB 497, Utah Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act
    House sponsor, Representative Stephen Sandstrom
    Senate floor sponsor, Senator Margaret Dayton

The Governor referred to the summit he convened last summer to lay the groundwork for finding legislative solutions to the challenges of illegal immigration. "Stakeholders from all sides of this complex issue came together to discuss options," he said, citing the process as one which has been "open, transparent, and civil."

"There are those who will say these bills may not be perfect, but they are a step in the right direction and they are better than what we had," said the Governor. "Thanks to the vision and determination of these local leaders, what we have begun today is a framework for a national conversation about immigration and a means to engage the federal government. Once again, Utah leads the nation in finding solutions and making tough choices."

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