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Protecting the Bill of Rights in Utah since 1958

ACLU of Utah Critical of Utah’s Acting As Plaintiff in Lawsuit

04 December 2014 Published in Newsroom

The ACLU of Utah is disappointed that the State of Utah is a plaintiff to a lawsuit that seeks the deportation of “Dreamers” and the parents of United States citizens and legal permanent residents.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The ACLU of Utah is extremely disappointed that the name of the State of Utah has been lent as a plaintiff to a lawsuit that seeks the deportation of “Dreamers” and the parents of United States citizens and legal permanent residents.  (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/12/03/obama-immigration-lawsuit-texas/19851141).

The decision for Utah to join this lawsuit directly contradicts the spirit of the Utah Compact and fails to live up to our shared Utah values that treasure children and family togetherness.  In the Utah Compact, signed in 2010, hundreds of community, business and religious leaders committed to several guiding principles in approaching immigration issues, including:

  1. Families. Stating opposition to policies that unnecessarily separate families.
  2. Economy. Recognition of the economic role of immigrants. Advocates support for free market policies to maximize individual freedom and opportunity.
  3. A Free Society. Recognition  that immigrants are part of society. States the need for a "humane approach to this reality, reflecting our unique culture, history and spirit of inclusion.

Since embracing these laudable principles, Utahns have made significant progress in choosing to embrace our immigrant neighbors as members of our communities. We have worked to support families, opposing policies that unnecessarily separate parents from their children, and aunts and uncles and cousins from one another. We have also recognized the important economic role that immigrants play in keeping Utah’s economy vibrant and strong. Proudly, we have strived for a humane approach to the reality that immigrants are a vital part of our state and society.  We celebrate that our unique culture, history and spirit of inclusion continues to undergird our lives as Utahns in 2014.

Utah’s elected officials should embrace the President’s grants of relief to certain immigrants as an opportunity to better integrate immigrants into our communities and accomplish some of what Utah’s legislature has been unable to accomplish by acting on its own.  Utah’s guestworker legislation, which similarly intended to get immigrants already living and working in Utah working legally on the books, has never been implemented because only the federal government has the power to grant work authorization. 

Said Karen McCreary, Executive Director of the ACLU of Utah, “At this time in our state and nation’s history, we need to work together to assure that Utah remains a welcoming place where diverse people from around the world feel valued and want to put down roots.  Acting to join Utah as a plaintiff in this suit sends the exact opposite message, and should be reconsidered immediately.”

Read the national ACLU’s statement submitted to the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary for a Hearing on “President Obama’s Executive Overreach on Immigration,” >> (12/2/14)

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