The United States is waiting to see what Utah lawmakers put in a bill similar to Arizona's immigration law. Rep. Stephen Sandstrom (R) Orem is drafting the bill. It would basically require officers to ask for proof of citizenship, but only if there is a reason to ask. Examples would include a traffic stop or a criminal investigation involving a person who does not speak English.
Many people in the Hispanic community are upset with the bill. They claim Utah lawmakers promote racial profiling. Utah's lawmakers say illegal has no color or language. Illegal is illegal and asking for proof of citizenship will be a burden for all Utah citizens.
One thing is for certain. Something has to give. Utah tax payers can not continue to pay for the growing cost of illegal immigration. Utah lawmakers say the State will go bankrupt if nothing changes. Right now, Utah has the fastest growing illegal immigrant population in the United States with 100,000 currently living here.
I can't help but predict three possible outcomes if Sanstrom's bill becomes law. 1) Utah's lawmakers will find a more efficient way to send illegal immigrants back to Mexico and punish businesses for hiring them. 2) Utah's lawmakers will fail to meet this goal, to what degree I'm not sure. 3) Utah's lawmakers will provide a path to citizenship for hard working illegal immigrants who contribute to society and the rest will be sent back to Mexico. I think something between one and two will result. I have no idea what the reaction will be. I hope it is civil.
One huge problem remains. The federal government is still failing to seal the boarder. For this reason, it seems, the only way to fix the State's illegal immigration problem is to punish businesses responsible for hiring illegal immigrants. Sandstrom told me he's thinking about punishing business by suspending their business license on the first offense and then revoking it forever on the second offense.
But the other side of this story is the human side, the emotional side. Mexican families who come to Utah are escaping horrible poverty and drug violence. They will do anything to protect their children, even if that means breaking the law in the United States. I shared a story like this one with my viewers last week and asked for their response and proposed solutions.
A link to this story is attached. Use it to present your solution to this tough problem. Sandstrom is promising to look at the suggestions. Who knows your comment could help millions of people.