Utah representative seeks comprehensive immigration policy


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A Utah lawmaker is back in town after she took a trip to the Mexico border to learn more about immigration policy.

Representative Karen Kwan (D- Murray), says she witnessed firsthand what it’s like for people trying to seek asylum.

“It’s frustrating. It’s intentionally confusing to discourage people from coming to America,” the District 34 representative said.

Kwan spoke with ABC4’s Brittany Johnson about her quest to learn more about policies and how it impacts her constituents.

“The story here in Utah is the fear of being deported. Even our residents with permanent residency status are threatened with deportation.”

Kwan says the policies are complex, confusing and there’s no clear process.

“So many of my constituents are immigrants, but even more so, most of my constituents come from immigrant families and we all need to feel safe.”

In trying to seek clarification for people in her district, Kwan says she has reached out to local U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents but has yet to hear back.

“I did. I tried. I’m still trying. I’m still trying to get a meeting with our local ICE agency to ask the questions: What is the policy? What is the process?”

A descendant of Chinese immigrants herself, Kwan says because of what she witnessed at the border, along with constant fear in her community, she’s pushing for comprehensive immigration reform.

“The bottom line for me is to make sure that we as America are creating an atmosphere that is not violating any human rights, and without transparency, we don’t know.”

ABC4 did reach out to ICE for comment on this story. The agency did not respond at the time of publication.


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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...