"It doesn't look like we're going to get a waiver. We're not getting any traction," Bramble said. "We made a legitimate effort to solve the problem at the state level that requires cooperation from the federal government. They are neither cooperating, nor is Congress doing its job" on immigration.
When asked if he wanted to wait for the presidential election to see if a new president might be willing to give such permission to Utah, he said, "That's one possibility" if others want it. He said the law would not take effect without a federal waiver anyway, and he and others are not seeking a lawsuit to force the issue.
Bramble said the purpose of the immigration debate five years ago was to send a message to Congress that it is possible to find a rational, reasonable solution.
Debate on HB115 and other bills came as a compromise after some lawmakers initially sought to copy a tough law enacted by Arizona to require local law enforcement officers to ask for immigration status documents of anyone they suspected of being an undocumented immigrant. Huge protests resulted.
While the immigration debate is generally more calm now, Bramble said, "All the problems remain. Congress has not addressed it."
Bramble has also introduced SB129 to tweak Utah's law allowing undocumented immigrants to have driving privilege cards, instead of a full driver license.
Last year, he tried to require more robust background checks for them by requiring the FBI to do nationwide checks, instead of just western regional checks the state performed previously.
Bramble is now proposing to repeal that requirement because the FBI refused to provide complete background information.