I’ve been following up on Utah immigration politics lately — and now I want to know how effective the Mormon-led Utah Compact was in light of Utah making one of the top 5 states of record court ordered deportations. For those who may not know — Utah is essentially the Mecca of Mormonism with one of their beautifully built churches in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mormons have tremendous power in the State of Utah — but what good does that power do when their church leaders are getting ignored and when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a supportive statement following the announcement of the Utah Compact, an immigrant-friendly document backed by a broad spectrum of community leaders? Representatives Rob Bishop, Jason Chaffetz and Jim Matheson did not vote for the DREAM Act in 2010. And while the Utah Compact was a nice gesture, what we are looking for now is federal teeth since immigration is protected by the Supremacy Clause of our United States Constitution.
I have been following Utah leaders in light of an upcoming immigration reform debate that we will see after the debt crisis discussions because of the Republican-led government shutdown. We are interested in how those 4 (mostly Republican) Mormon House of Representatives will vote with regard to the legal comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) bill. Let it be remembered not one single Utah House of Representative voted in support of the DREAM Act in 2010. The one Utahan who supported CIR in 2010 was retiring anyway. In fact the majority of the Republican Representatives who voted for the DREAM Act bill in 2010 were retiring or living in South Florida where a high Cuban immigrant population lives.
Here are some recent stories with regard to the State of Utah I wrote below:
FACT: The Democratic controlled senate passed a CIR bill.
FACT: The House of Reps are controlled by Republicans.
FACT: Obama said he will sign the CIR bill.
FACT: Republicans are not as motivated to pass CIR when a Democratic President is in power for fear of generational Latino Democrats.
FACT: Democrats are not as motivated to pass CIR when a Republican President is in power for fear of generational Latino Republicans.
Therein lies the push-pull.
But the State of Utah leadership has some explaining to do. If Mormon leaders backed the Utah Compact, why are there so many deportations ordered from that State? My guess is the majority of the Judges in Utah attend the Mormon Church, savvy? So why did Utah make top 5? Chris Crane is the ICE Union Boss and he also resides in the State of Utah.
David Leopold who is the immediate past president of AILA, has this to say about Chris Crane:
“My argument with Crane has been that he should confine his union activities to union business, like wage and hour issues, benefits etc. He has no business sticking his nose in public policy issues.”
Indeed several red states made top 5 and most are considered Red Republican states. Michigan is considered a blue state and also happens to be the state where John Tanton (anti-immigrant crusader) resides. It is also the busiest port of entry in the United States because of Canada and it is a big entry point for commercial and regular traffic and many expedite removals occur there. [Note: Many Michigan House of Representatives did vote for the DREAM Act 2010.]
Here are the top 5 States according to TRAC with regard to the U.S. Deportation Outcomes by Charge and Completed Cases in Immigration Courts:
Will President Thomas S. Monson - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints or Mormon leadership send a much needed signal to their faithful with regard to supporting a much needed legal immigration reform plan of a clearly broken immigration system that isn’t working? We are reminded how Senator Harry Reid reminded Americans with regard to Mitt Romney’s views when he sullied Mormonism last year.
We certainly hope so because the State of Utah is sitting at No. 4 with regard to Immigration Courts and Deportations:
Mexican-Americans and the Latino community are keeping watchful eye of who pays us lip service now vs. who actually votes in support of CIR.