In a recent article available at the Salt Lake Tribune, "Immigration: Shurtleff can't find support for Compact" (posted 4/26/11), Attorney General Mark Shurtleff makes a number of very curious comments about HB116 and other immigration issues.
The comments are rather shocking when one considers they come from the elected Attorney General of Utah.
Read the comments below, that are either direct quotes from our AG or views attributed to him by the Tribune, and see if you react the way I did - with dismay and anger:
1. "His [Shurtleff's] next target [to petition for support] is Sen. Mike Lee, the freshman senator who campaigned on eliminating the constitutional amendment that gives any baby born in America automatic citizenship."
“'He’s completely wrong on the 14th amendment," Shurtleff said."
2. "Shurtleff is a big supporter of the guest-worker law [HB116]."
3. “'There’s a way to do comprehensive reform without having to be worried about the dreaded term ‘amnesty,’ " he said."
4. "Shurtleff is a driving force behind “America’s Compact,” a federal take on the document signed by Utah business leaders, faith groups and law enforcement personnel..."
5. "The attorney general is trying to persuade his colleagues from other states to sign a national version in either June or July and he sees it as a way to restart the congressional debate on comprehensive immigration reform."
6. "...he sees the Compact as a shield for politicians worried about getting attacked for supporting amnesty if they vote for a bill that includes some path to citizenship or a guest-worker program."
7. "In his meeting on Monday, Shurtleff downplayed Utah’s enforcement law, saying it essentially was a political move to appease those calling for a tough immigration bill."
The "cat" is this:
The Utah Compact appears to have been used to inhibit public criticism of an amnesty-type bill, get it through the legislature, and then sell it to the public as not an amnesty.
Mr. Shurtleff now proposes a national version of the Utah Compact be created as a way to provide "cover" for national politicians promoting amnesty and to accomplish the same goals as achieved in Utah.
Seeing Mr. Shurtleff's views laid out so plainly and how they are underpinned by either ignorance or arrogance is somewhat unsettling given his position in the Utah state government.
This Tribune article is available at: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/