Utah immigration bill seeks middle ground in debate

February 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

In state legislatures across the country, most of the immigration bills being debated aim to crack down on illegal immigration. Legislators are trying to cut off illegal immigrants from receiving public benefits, deny their US-born children citizenship and force them out of states by granting local police the power to enforce immigration laws. One bill filed in Utah is being viewed as the possible middle ground that has proven so elusive in a hyper-charged immigration discussion. The Utah bill, known as the Pilot Accountability Permit Program, would grant work permits to illegal immigrants so they could legally work in the state but would require them to undergo criminal background checks, pay taxes and take English classes, and it would force them to leave the state if they lose their jobs. Under the legislation, the state would report illegal immigrants who commit a major crime to the federal Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agency. (USA Today)

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