A Message from House Republicans

Illegal Immigration has been a hot topic leading into the 2011 legislative session. This issue could be more easily addressed at the federal level, but unfortunately the federal government lacks the courage and political leadership to do so, that leaves the states to fix the problem. One thing is certain; there are different approaches to dealing with illegal immigration as we can see by some of the bills Republicans that have been filed within the Utah House Republican Caucus. Recognizing that there were many bills to consider in our short session, the Senate Republican Caucus has suggested that an omnibus bill be created to encompass most of the compatible ideas. Clearly, not all of the ideas that have been suggested are compatible, and we in the House Republican Caucus are eager to see what they might propose.

Here is a list of immigration bills that have filed this session:

HB 70

Sponsored by: Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem

Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act — This bill would among other things, require that an officer verify the immigration status of a detained or arrested person upon reasonable suspicion the person is an illegal alien.

HB 116

Sponsored by: Rep. Bill Wright, R-Holden

Guest Worker Program Act — This bill would modify the Utah Workforce Services Code to establish a guest worker program that provides for the issuance of permits to undocumented individuals.

HB 165

Sponsored by: Rep. Chris Herrod, R-Provo

State Reimbursement for Required Medical Services Act — This bill would modify the Utah Health Code to provide for state reimbursement of required medical services provided to an individual not lawfully present in the United States and to seek repayment of the money from the federal government.

HB 253

Sponsored by: Rep. Chris Herrod, R-Provo

Employment of Unauthorized Aliens — This bill would modify provisions related to labor to address verification of an individual’s eligibility under federal law to be employed.

SB 60

Sponsored by: House Sponsor, Rep. Jeremy Peterson, R-Ogden/ Senate Sponsor, Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake City

Pilot Accountability Permit Program and Identity Related Amendments — This bill would require undocumented immigrants over the age of 14 to register to receive an accountability card, which would need to be renewed every two years. The card would require fingerprints, photographs and criminal background checks on those applying, and 160 hours of English and civics classes paid for by those wishing to obtain the card. The card also would require holders to pay income taxes and prohibit the holders from receiving unemployment benefits or any social or public welfare benefits.