Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) Doug Owens, son of former Rep. Wayne Owens, is the Democratic nominee for the 4th Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. Jim Matheson. Owens beat Bill Peterson at the Utah Democratic Convention, Saturday, April 26, 2014.
Doug Owens, Mia Love to spar on immigration reform
Politics » Democrat Owens, hoping to succeed Matheson, favors a path to citizenship.
First Published May 14 2014 04:12 pm • Last Updated May 15 2014 08:53 am

The Democrat seeking to succeed Rep. Jim Matheson after November’s election vows to make immigration reform — including creating a path to citizenship — a cornerstone of his campaign.

Doug Owens made this announcement Wednesday, one day after a group of Utah business executives, religious leaders and law-enforcement officials held a rally to press the U.S. House to pick up the controversial issue.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"It’s time for Congress to set aside party politics and work together to pass real reform to our nation’s antiquated, ineffective immigration laws," he said in a statement. "I call upon Utah’s congressional delegation to begin working on immigration reform now, and I look forward to joining them in those efforts next year."

Matheson, D-Utah, has said he supports a comprehensive attempt to reform the nation’s immigration laws. Unlike Owens, he hasn’t said he supports a pathway to citizenship. Matheson has decided not to run for re-election after serving seven terms in the House.

Owens, the Democratic nominee in the 4th Congressional District, faces Republican Mia Love, a former Saratoga Springs mayor.

Love, the daughter of first-generation immigrants from Haiti, criticized Congress for inaction on the issue and said she supports reforms that increase border security and make it easier for people to immigrate to the United States legally. But in a meeting with Republican delegates in April, she also said she would push off talk about what to do with immigrants here illegally.

"Amnesty? That’s trying to fix the symptoms of the problem they created," she said.

Her campaign notes that she has the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a major proponent of immigration reform.

Love’s position mirrors that held by a majority of Republicans in Washington, while Owens’ take fits that held by most Democrats. And this difference of opinion is what’s holding up a deal.

The Senate, led by Democrats, has passed an immigration-reform bill that would boost border security, streamline the immigration process and include a path to citizenship. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, voted for that bill while Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, opposed it. But the House has done nothing with the legislation, rejecting out of hand one big bill in favor of a series of smaller pieces of legislation. That package of bills, none of which has come up for a vote, doesn’t include a path to citizenship.

story continues below
story continues below

President Barack Obama and allies, such as those who rallied Tuesday in Utah, continue to apply political pressure, sensing that there’s an opening to try pass such reforms before the midterm elections heat up in the months to come.


Twitter: @mattcanham

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • 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.