Back in November the Deseret News published the Official text of Utah Compact declaration on immigration reform, a declaration of five principles that was endorsed by many community members, including the LDS church, to “guide Utah’s immigration discussion.”
Then I was reading yesterday’s Salt Tribune article on the growing Momentum building for Utah immigration reform. Immigration reform is and will continue to be a hot and emotional issue in Utah and beyond. After reading this article and doing more research I was gearing up for a piece to post on Utah Legislature Watch, formulating information about both sides of the issue along with my own stance on immigration reform.
Little did I know that hours later our nation would be gripped with shock over the terrible tragedy in Tucson, Arizona where a gunman shot US Congresswomen Gabrielle Giffords in the head before spraying bullets into a crowd that ultimately resulted in the deaths of six innocent people – among them a 9 year old child.
There is a lot of speculation about why this incident occurred, including the underlying political current in the country, particularly since Rep. Giffords had been a target of threats and vandalism. It is no surprise that over the past few years there has been increasing amounts of hatred and violence in political debates – the network political commentator programs are no exception to this – inciting hatred and violence amongst people in the United States over their political views and practices. One only has to read the comments in the articles cited in the first two paragraphs above to see the undercurrent of hate towards fellow human beings without any thought at all to discussing the real problems of immigration reform…or health care reform…or ethics reform…or global warming…or any issue – and devising solutions together as communities should.
There are a lot of things to say on immigration reform in Utah. In time. At this time, though, I offer my sympathy to the victims and their families of the tragedy in Tuscon. I pray for recovery and healing – a healing of not only those directly affected by the incident but also by the rest of us on the periphery – a healing of the heart and mind.
(cross-posted to Utah Legislature Watch)
The last day of the Utah Legislature for 2010 saw a rally by students called “Still We Rise”, a group of activists, students and community members which unveiled a “Student Bill of Rights.”
(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune)
“We the Communities take back the power to declare our inalienable rights that have been promised but not practiced. We rise to protect our civil liberties and to show our legislators they will be held accountable for their actions today and tomorrow. We march to the heartbeats of our ancestors and we rise together united by our struggles.”
The 2010 legislative session has become increasingly frustrating for community members. A number of bills were considered and implemented this session intended to mute the present opportunities and programs that benefit Utah’s marginalized communities. Community members from all over SLC have followed this session and have organized to express their opposition to the bills considered in 2010.
Event organized by student community groups including: The Magpie Collective, Mestizo Institute of Culture and Art (“MICA”), SLC Brown Berets, Movimient Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (“MEChA”), Family School Partnership (“FSP”), Utah Coalition of La Raza (“UCLR”).
Highlighted bills that were considered by organizers to be detrimental to marginalized communities included:
HJR 24-A proposition to end Affirmative Action.
HB 428- A proposition to repeal in-state tuition for resident and hard working undocumented students.
HB 227-A proposition to require prospective business owners to present documentation that verifies they have the “right” to be in the United States.
SB 251-A proposition that mandates the use of e-verify for every employer.
HB 90-A proposition to benefit public and higher education through a slight tax increase on high wage earners did not leave committee as legislators sacrificed quality education to ensure attractive tax rates for prospective corporations to settle in Utah.
HJR 21-A proposition to withdraw Utah from the Western Climate Initiative.
SB 54-A proposition that would require schools to incorporate instruction about contraception in heath education courses which would benefit communities did not pass through committee
(cross-posted to Utah Legislature Watch)