On November 15th, 2010, KSL Channel 5 reports that the Utah Minuteman Project has rejected the Utah Compact on immigration. While they agree with many of its objectives, they question the motives of those who pieced it together, and they take issue with what they perceive as the elimination of any meaningful distinction between legal and illegal immigrants.
-- Read the Minutemen's full statement HERE.
-- Read the Utah Compact statement of five principles HERE.
-- Read the LDS Church statement HERE.
-- Read Rep. Stephen Sandstrom's 12-page immigration bill HERE.
The Utah Minuteman Project did not address the companion statement issued almost simultaneously by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is basically their version of the Utah Compact.
Highlights of the Minuteman critique:
-- The Utah Minuteman Project largely agrees with the general principles of the Utah Compact.
-- Those who comprise the Utah Compact are dishonest about their intent; the deceitful language in the compact appears to erase any distinction between immigrants and illegal aliens.
-- Were the issue only about legal immigrants, there would absolutely be neither a Utah Compact nor a propaganda release like this designed precisely to obscure and misrepresent their intent to the Utah people.
-- The Utah Minuteman Project believes the Compact to be a pre-emptive strike by those opposed to the State of Utah's enforcement of federal immigration law as proposed in Rep. Stephen Sandstrom's bill for the upcoming legislative session. Opponents of Sandstrom's bill are characterized as being motivated by greed for using cheap illegal labor and putting illegal aliens in church pews to increase tithes and offerings.
-- The language of the Compact disingenously states that immigration is not a policy issue between Utah and other countries.
In conclusion, the Utah Minuteman Project maintains that not only do the actions and public statements of the Utah Compact further institutionalize illegal alien sanctuaries and magnets, but in perpetuating and reinforcing them, further enrich the smuggling cartels that rely on the individuals and groups like the Compact to do the public relations dirty work they require to facilitate their trade in flesh across our national borders. Indeed, every utterance which advocates for illegal aliens ultimately has the same result: more money into the pockets of organized crime. Thus, the Utah Minuteman Project, while sympathetic to the difficulties that immigrants face here in our state, completely and utterly rejects the specious language, pro-illegal alien intent and double speak indulged in by the members of the Utah Compact. Considering that not one current elected politician has signed the public statement put out last week, their agenda will face stiff opposition next year on Capitol Hill.
Rep. Sandstrom has just spoken out about the Compact on KCPW. He now believes he actually has a lot in common with the coalition of business, political and religious groups that released the Utah Compact last week. He does note that in the context of their document, they talk about immigrants, they don’t say illegal aliens, which is a huge difference. KCPW is trying to insinuate that Rep. Sandstrom is wavering in his concern about the Compast, which he's not.
Let's look at the actual Utah Compact statement itself:
FEDERAL SOLUTIONS: Immigration is a federal policy issue between the U.S. government and other countries—not Utah and other countries. We urge Utah’s congressional delegation, and others, to lead efforts to strengthen federal laws and protect our national borders. We urge state leaders to adopt reasonable policies addressing immigrants in Utah. [Ed. Note: The Minutemen disagree with the opening statement. They cite Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, which states "...the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution..." to mean supporting the laws passed under it, all the laws, including federal immigration laws.]
LAW ENFORCEMENT: We respect the rule of law and support law enforcement’s professional judgment and discretion. Local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code. [Ed. Note: This presumes that illegal immigration should be considered a civil violation rather than a criminal violation. Not all people agree with this approach.]
FAMILIES: Strong families are the foundation of successful communities. We oppose policies that unnecessarily separate families. We champion policies that support families and improve the health, education and well-being of all Utah children. [Ed. Note: We don't want to break up more families than is absolutely necessary, but we must maintain an incentive against "anchor marriages".]
ECONOMY: Utah is best served by a free-market philosophy that maximizes individual freedom and opportunity. We acknowledge the economic role immigrants play as workers and taxpayers. Utah’s immigration policies must reaffirm our global reputation as a welcoming and business-friendly state. [Ed. Note: This statement does not distinguish between illegal and legal immigrants.]
A FREE SOCIETY: Immigrants are integrated into communities across Utah. We must adopt a humane approach to this reality, reflecting our unique culture, history and spirit of inclusion. The way we treat immigrants will say more about us as a free society and less about our immigrant neighbors. Utah should always be a place that welcomes people of goodwill. [By treating illegal immigrants the same way as legal immigrants, we discriminate against those who played it straight and didn't enter the country without permission. This can undermine the rule of law.]
The Utah Minuteman Project is right. This Compact does not satisfactorily address illegal immigration. It makes no distinction between illegal and legal immigrants. The Utah State Legislature should oppose it.