The passage of Arizona’s SB 1070 started a dialogue about immigration that prompted some states to start passing their own immigration laws in the absence of comprehensive reform at the federal level. In the red state of Utah the government is hoping to implement a unique approach to immigration. They passed a similar bill to Arizona’s SB1070, but also passed two other bills that create a guest worker program and offer undocumented immigrants legal status. States aren’t allowed to create their own immigration policies, but Utah’s Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is hoping the federal government will grant Utah a special waiver. He initiated the conversation about having a guest worker program, and is hoping the president will consider adopting it as a national strategy. Maria Hinojosa spoke with Mark Shurtleff about the thinking behind Utah’s new approach to immigration.

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One thought on “Utah’s New Approach to Immigration

  1. Just a comment in resopnse to Elusive. First,I can confirm that bigotry towards Hispanics and Native Americans does exist in pockets of the Mormon church, especially in certain small Mormon communities. This bigotry has been justified by some Mormons by using the Book of Mormon (personal experience). Luckily, this is a bias that is dying out, but it is still holding out in a few places. Second, if you are already feeling insecure, it is really hard to read Nephi in the Book of Mormon, and not get really sick of all the white and delightsome and dark and loathsome phrases used to describe the Nephites and the Lamanites. I just insert white and pastey and dark and beautiful whenever I read those phrases. I do agree with MAC that Hispanic does not equal Lamanite curse, but that belief is still alive and well in certain communities (in fact my brother-in-law refers to Hispanics as Lamanites). Regardless of whether the Lamanite curse refers to Hispanics or not, the dark and loathsome passages are still troubling. Personally, I think that those words are Nephi’s words. Incidentally, if Nephi’s people did not mix with the Lamanites due to their bigotry, that simply means Nephi’s descendants were utterly destroyed rather than having a few survive due to mixing with the Lamanites. I wonder if the curse is for both the Nephites and the Lamanites. And finally, if you are of the tribe of Manasseh, it is easy to get really tired of the Ephraim is the most blessed tribe Sunday School discussions.Despite all of these problems that do exist in certain pockets of the church, I do agree with the others that those problems are false doctrine. There are many church leaders out there who are of the tribe Manasseh. You should not be passed up for a leadership position because you are of the tribe Manasseh, but I know there are Mormon communities where this happens. I also I know of a certain Mormon community that had been very clearly chewed out by the visiting General Authority during Stake Conference for their bigotry towards Native Americans and Hispanics. I can only hope that this tongue lashing will extend to your stake soon. Just be prepared when members of your stake start muttering that the General Authority was not inspired on that day.Finally, just a comment to MAC, are you northern New Mexican, or have you been listening to northern New Mexicans? Most northern New Mexicans are really proud of their genealogy, and will tell you at at length about their Basque, French and Spanish ancestors-but most also have a line or two they know little about. If that line is recent enough and you manage to find a picture of the mystery ancestor, that person often will look exactly like a Pueblo Indian. If you want to start a fight with certain northern New Mexicans, just suggest that since great-great grandma looked like a Taos Pueblo Indian, plus she was fluent in Tiwa and all her friends were Pueblo Indian, then just maybe she might have been a Pueblo Indian. Trust me, fireworks are destined to erupt. I am always amazed that northern New Mexicans are able to believe that despite living 400 plus years in close proximity to Pueblo Indians, that not a single one of them ended up with a drop of Pueblo blood.

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