Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Governor's Photo Op -- I Mean Summit

After being accused of not showing much indignation regarding the infamous DWStapo list, Governor Herbert hosted a "round table discussion" on immigration. He invited 30 state legislature representatives, community activists, religious leaders, and media personalities -- so everyone sees that Governor Herbert is in to giving everyone a fair chance to voice their concerns.

I'm an accountant, and each year I am required to attend 30 hours of continuing education. Inevitably there are always "roundtable discussions" at the events -- I have attended 1 in 6 years. In my experience they are always a waste of time. Governor Herbert didn't disappoint in this regard either.

The discussion started off with the idea of a Utah-ran guest worker program. This program would (somehow) skirt US immigration and allow migrant workers to travel between Utah and their home countries. Utah Farm Bureau supports this idea, citing a tragic incident one farmer endured waiting for Peruvian workers to clear Customs:
“One rancher recently told me about the death of 300 of his lambs while his Peruvian workers were delayed 30 days,”
I guess the thought of offering a little more money to hire locally was a moot point, but I digress. This was ultimately attacked by Rep. and Sen. Wimmer and Waddoups, the former citing that GW programs would bear the appearance of "amnesty" and the latter cited high unemployment as a reason not to be inviting guest workers to our state. Finally it took the rep from the Catholic Diocese to point out that all Utah programs would amount to Band-Aids -- the ultimate solution needs to come from the Fed.

Inevitably the Arizona law was brought up. Wash. Co. Sherriff Smith pointed that the AZ law is pointless unless the suspected undocumented worker is also a felon. However, Happy Valley anti-immigrant Sandstrom pressed the idea of a Utah version of AZ law further claiming:
enabling Utah police to stop suspected undocumented immigrants will give police a way to find those dangerous criminals (because all illegals are here to bring drugs). And even if ICE does let go some immigrants, Sandstrom said, at least there is a record of that person.
That's right. Pull over all the Hispanics so we can have a record of that person -- then rounding them up for the final solution will be so much easier (insert Dr. Evil laugh)

The incumbent governor made sure to place overall blame on the Federal government, and to call on Congress to secure borders -- he's making sure everyone knows he isn't to blame for illegals. He also made sure we knew he is highly involved in investigating the list.

After two hours the meeting ended with no consensus on legislation or policy. However Gov. Gary Herbert encouraged everyone to keep working.

I hope the participants received a free lunch for their time.

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