Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Governor signs bill cracking down on illegal immigration
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. signed a comprehensive anti-illegal immigration bill into law on Thursday.

The new law will allow local law enforcement agencies to enforce immigration laws and forces some employers to verify the U.S. documentation status of their workers. It goes into effect July 2009.

"It's a good step forward on addressing immigration," said Lisa Roskelley, a spokeswoman for Huntsman.

Earlier in the legislative session, Huntsman had said he didn't believe states should be passing anti-illegal immigration laws to deal with a federal issue. Roskelley said Huntsman changed his mind on the issue because he's hopeful the illegal immigration problem will be resolved by Congress and a new administration in early 2009 before the Utah law goes into effect.

Antonella Romero Packard, a Republican and Utah Hispanic/Latino Legislative Task Force spokeswoman, said she isn't surprised Huntsman signed SB81, but she can't believe lawmakers passed such a detrimental law that affects so many Utahns - legal and illegal - without studying its repercussions on the state. The people it will affect the most are people who don't look white and will have to justify they live in Utah legally, even though many were even born here, she said.

"I'm disappointed," Packard said. "I don't think [Huntsman] understands the implications of it."

Supporters of the law had said it was a good start but a compromise, especially pushing back the effective date more than a year.

The law will force public employers and their contractors to verify the legal status of workers, and enlist local law enforcement agencies to help enforce federal immigration statutes. It will also be a Class A misdemeanor to conceal, harbor, transport or shelter undocumented immigrants, though church, charitable and humanitarian assistance groups are exempted.


Article Tools

 Print Friendly
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.