Utah Republicans Wrangle Over Immigration Laws

Thursday, 26 May 2011 02:53 PM

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Utah Republicans continue to wrangle over new immigration laws that GOP Gov. Gary Herbert signed this year as the state party convention nears. A party committee agreed on Wednesday to move forward two immigration resolutions, one of which seeks to repeal guest-worker provisions of the new laws, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Thursday.

Republican State Rep. Keri Witte wrote the resolution that challenges the guest-worker bill, saying it’s unconstitutional, and that it violates the party platform on the state and national level. The resolution says the guest-worker law "results in a breach of federal immigration law" and opposes "government policies that encourage or reward illegal activity.”

"The delegates want to hear this," Witte said. "It is a Republican issue, and I think it’s an issue the Republican Party should lead out on."

Witte has been battling to overturn the law, which would allow illegal immigrants in the state to pay a fine and have a background check done so that they could stay and work in Utah.

Immigrant advocates and President Barack Obama have hailed the Utah laws as models for the rest of the country.

The state GOP convention is June 18. Ivan Dubois, state party director, said the party will consider the two immigration-related resolutions.

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