Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Senator Luz Robles' Former Associate, Joe Reyna, and the CCIME Mexican Advisors' Plan to Lobby the LDS Church

It is now several years past the events described below.  However, given the current debate swirling about the role of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church) in immigration issues, especially in Utah, I found it interesting to come across the information below.

At the beginning of the 2005 Utah legislative season, Luz Robles and Joe Reyna co-authored an op-ed in the Deseret News.  In the article they tell us: 

"As we begin this new legislative session, Utah Hispanic leaders from both Republican and Democrat parties are united once again to lobby and fight for common legislation that will affect the Hispanic community. Rare are the occasions when Latinos from both parties put political differences aside in order to support common ideals and work for common goals."

The article is not too specific about what those common ideals and goals are, but we get a strong clue from their following comment:

"During the 2004 session, a sleeping giant, the Hispanic community, awoke and was forced to become active in the legislative process and take action against anti-immigrant groups."

Mr. Reyna must have found it difficult to use such a subdued term as "anti-immigrant groups." 

This usage is quite different from how he described Utahns for Immigration Reform and Enforcement (UFIRE) during the battle over House Bill 109 in 2004 (a bill to restrict the use of Mexican Matricula Consular ID cards in Utah):

"The group, Utahns for Immigration Reform and enforcement [sic], led by Mr. Matt Throckmorton, have one objective in mind and one only -- to promote hatred against the Mexican people living in the state of Utah."

("Illegal Immigration and House Bill 109 Stir Up Controversy" -

That's quite a statement. 

It is both irresponsible and inflammatory. 

Be that as it may, as a result of this awakening during the 2004 session, the Utah Hispanic Legislative Task Force was created.  Luz Robles and Joe Reyna were co-chairs of this task force at the time they wrote the op-ed in 2005.

It appears that one purpose of the task force was to monitor proposed illegal immigration enforcement bills in the legislature and to work against those they saw as counter to the interests of the Hispanic community. 

The distinction between legal and illegal immigrants seems to have escaped the co-chairs as they characterized those working to end illegal immigration as "anti-immigrant groups" and not as "anti-illegal immigration" groups.

The Deseret News op-ed is available at:

("Utah Hispanics Talking Charge" -

Aside from being co-chairs of the task force during the 2005 legislative session, is there anything else, looking back from the present, that creates a common experience for the Democrat Luz Robles and the Republican Joe Reyna?

Indeed there is.

They both filled three-year terms as representatives of the Mexican community, geographically served by the Mexican consulate in Salt Lake City, on the Consejo Consultivo del Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (CCIME - Advisory Council/Board of the Institute of Mexicans Abroad). 

The CCIME is an elected advisory board organized by the Mexican government that makes recommendations to the Mexican government about issues of concern to Mexicans living abroad - mostly in the U.S.   Members meet as a body bi-annually to discuss and make recommendations to the Mexican government.   The meetings are generally in Mexico. 

Mr. Reyna served the Mexican government as a member of the CCIME during the years 2003 - 2005.

Ms. Robles served the Mexican government as a member from 2006 - 2008.

For roughly half the time of her service on the Mexican advisory board, Luz Robles was also employed by the state of Utah as Governor Huntsman's appointed Director of the Utah Office of Ethnic Affairs. 

She was elected to the CCIME to hold the position that was previously held by Joe Reyna. 

For more information about this Mexican government advisory board, see the article about Luz Robles (currently a Utah State Senator) at (click on "Luz Robles Report") in which the CCIME is described in detail.  Luz Robles' role in the CCIME is the primary focus of that article. 

Jumping back in time just a bit to late 2002, when Joe Reyna was first elected to the CCIME, we see that the Deseret News (12/6/02) thought the event to be significant enough to do an article about it, which is available at:

("Reyna in position to help Utahns, Mexicans relate" -

The Deseret News tells us that Reyna already had a list of "hot topics" to deal with and that:

"Most urgent among them: Granting legal-resident status to Mexican nationals working in the United States. "

How did the Mexican consulate view Mr. Reyna's new position?:

"We want him to be a voice for the community here," Salt Lake Mexican consular Martin Torres said of Reyna."

The Mexican consulate in Salt Lake City wanted Joe Reyna to be a voice for the Mexican community?

It appears to be so.

That's an interesting view to have for a foreign consulate. 

At the very time that Joe Reyna was writing an op-ed with Luz Robles about working against those working for immigration enforcement and was serving as the co-chair, with Luz Robles, of the
Utah Hispanic Legislative Task Force, a group dedicated to influencing the state legislature, Mr. Reyna was also working with the Mexican government as part of the CCIME. 

While going through some of the records of the CCIME recently, I came across an interesting discussion about a plan to try to influence the LDS Church by either getting them to share a political consensus or as part of a larger concern about shaping public opinion.  

The discussion took place during the fourth bi-annual meeting of the CCIME, which was held in early December 2004.  The meeting took place in San Luis Potosí in Mexico.

Utah's Joe Reyna was there and was part of the discussion.

But who is Joe Reyna? 

A bit more information about him will allow us to see that he is a person of influence and accomplishment who would be listened to in other venues. 

Mr. Reyna is a prominent Utah businessman and Republican political activist. 

For example, among the positions he has served or worked at are the following:

- Regional President for Zions Bank

- Deputy Mayor of Ogden, Utah

- Chairman of the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

- Chairman of the Utah Republican Hispanic Assembly

- Board Member of the Westminster College Board of Trustees

- Advisor/Counselor in Mexican President Vicente Fox’s Consejo Consultivo del Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (CCIME).

Less than two months before the 2005 op-ed with Luz Robles appeared, in December 2004, Mr. Reyna attended a CCIME conference in Mexico

As part of the bi-annual CCIME conferences, the council breaks into various commissions and considers recommendations by topical focus.  For example, the commission of which Joe Reyna was a part focused on economic and business issues.  Sometimes they also met by geographic region. 

At one such geographic regional session, in December of 2004, Joe Reyna met with other advisors of the southwest region.

The relevant record which documents the discussion is at:

("IV Reunión Ordinaria del Consejo Consultivo del Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior - Minuta de la Reunión de la Región Sur Oeste" -

The quotations from the CCIME meeting below are from the minutes of the meeting.  The minutes appear to be notes about what was said and not actual transcribed statements of the participants.  Some of the context is thus missing, which leads to some confusion when trying to follow the conversation and to attach precise meanings to the notes.  Quotes are, therefore, of notes which occur in the document and not of verbatim statements.

A variety of issues were brought up in the meeting.  Among them was how to use the media to influence U.S. public opinion about, for instance, the "militarization" of the border and how that created hardships.  The assumption seems to have been that an improved perception would work against certain border policies that were instituted after 9/11.  Amid this discussion, the name of Jeffrey Jones was brought up.  Jeffrey Jones, at that time, was a Mexican senator representing the state of Chihuahua and was also president of the Mexican senate's Border Affairs Commission. 

He would be a natural ally for any plans the group might have regarding the border.

Joe Reyna proposed an additional avenue to aid in the generating of a more positive public opinion in the U.S. - get the Catholic church and other religious leaders on board:

"It would be good to dedicate time to getting the support of religious leaders - such as the council of Catholic bishops - to help make a positive change in public opinion."

After some more points are raised by other advisors, Henrique Valdovinos brings in the idea of seeking political consensus before involving the media:

"I think that the most important [thing] right now is to bring political consensus to the situation, it is not the moment to bring the media, the important [thing] is to get people who want to participate." 

After some points are made by Isabel Garcia from Tucson, Reyna brings up the Mormon church.  It is not clear, in what follows, if the discussion has turned to seeking political consensus or is still focused on creating a more positive public image.  It is also not clear if Mr. Reyna is referring to the leaders of the LDS Church, as being in favor of Proposition 200 (which had recently passed in Arizona), or the general membership, or both: 

"The Mormons are in favor of Arizona's Proposition 200.  Undersecretary Geronimo Gutierrez was there in Salt Lake City and met with leaders of the Mormon Church."

After more discussion, Reyna adds:

"Jeffrey Jones is a Mormon, from Chihuahua.  Why not invite him to speak with the Mormons?"

Another advisor, Henrique Valdovinos from New Mexico, who appears to have been in charge of the meeting, adds this:

"In late December, he [Jeffrey Jones] will be in New Mexico, there he has his ranch.  Maybe when he is in New Mexico we could meet with him.  Let Guillermina and I make contact, and say when he could meet with the group."

The notes for Mr. Valdovinos also contain the following:

"Point of Agreement: "Make talks with leaders of the Mormon church to open doors for the humanitarian immigrant agenda."


"Request the cooperation and participation of Secretary Luis Ernest Derbez and Undersecretary Geronimo Gutierrez."

It is not clear if this final note was meant as a call to have Secretary Derbez and Undersecretary Gutierrez talk with the LDS Church or was meant to solicit from them other types of help.  Mr. Derbez, at the time, was Mexico's Secretary or Minister of Foreign Affairs (equivalent of the U.S. Secretary of State). 

Opening doors for a "humanitarian immigrant agenda" is an interesting goal.

What exactly did this group of CCIME advisors have in mind by this term? 

It could include a variety of proposals. 

In the context of this discussion, it possibly relates only to the border issues being discussed.  But, it also could refer to a broader immigration agenda. 

But, what does it imply for how the group sees the LDS and other churches? 

One advisor (Isabel Garcia, from Tucson), during the discussion, says this:

"...They [the churches] are as unions already having ready-made constituencies, then it is very important to establish communication with them."

If this perception was shared by the other advisors, then it implies seeing the churches as speaking for their memberships.  Public statements by the churches, therefore, would be seen as representing or influencing the memberships and would create a perception in the larger public of broad support and would thereby create pressure to change border policies - regardless of whether or not the membership of any particular church shared the viewpoint of its leadership. 

Without more information, it is difficult to say exactly what this group of CCIME advisors had in mind in the plan to approach the Mormon Church.  But, clearly, they saw in the Mormon Church a potential ally. 

In the case of Joe Reyna, this discussion shows that he was meeting in Mexico as a representative of the Mexican government (on the CCIME) and discussing enlisting a prominent LDS Mexican official as part of an effort to get the LDS Church to help open doors for a "humanitarian immigrant agenda" - less than two months before writing about working against proposed state immigration enforcement laws as a co-chair with Luz Robles of the Utah Hispanic Legislative Task Force

It is unknown at this point if the group's plans were actually carried out or what the end results were - that is, if they were successful in having Mr. Jones or the other Mexican officials talk with LDS leaders and what the outcome of such a meeting might have been.

As a side note, it is interesting to note that Mr. Jeffrey Jones is a current member of the National Presidential Advisory Board of Utah Valley University:
So, is that all Mr. Reyna was up to at the end of 2004 and in 2005?

In January of 2005, Jon Huntsman, Jr. began his first term as Utah's governor. 

Within a few months, with his feet barely wet as governor, Mr. Huntsman traveled to Mexico. 

During the trip, according to the Salt Lake Tribune (7/11/05):

"Huntsman also plans to discuss immigration, but it's not clear with whom or at what meeting, said a governor's spokeswoman."

("Huntsman aims to bring Utah, Mexico a bit closer" -

The article tells us that Huntsman was only traveling with a handful of people.  Among them was Joe Reyna, who, according to the article, was paying for his own trip. 

Later in the article:

"He [Reyna] said he helped organize Huntsman's Mexico trip because he wants to see leaders start a dialogue about trade and immigration. He also hopes the trip encourages Fox to visit Utah."

Recall that, in July of 2005, that Reyna was an advisor on the Mexican government's CCIME (which was mentioned in the Salt Lake Tribune article), had worked on a plan to try and influence the LDS Church during a recent CCIME conference in Mexico, and was currently, or had been recently, a co-chair of a group whose goal was to influence the state legislature on immigration issues,

And Mr. Reyna was now helping to plan Governor Huntsman's Mexico trip and trying to advance immigration discussions between Huntsman and the Mexican government?

Mr. Reyna was, indeed, busy.

Was Governor Huntsman aware of Mr. Reyna's immigration interests and relationship to the Mexican government prior to the trip and, if so, did he care? 

Or did he and Mr. Reyna already share a similar set of outlooks and goals for immigration issues? 

Another interesting side note - it was in July of 2005, the same month that Joe Reyna accompanied Governor Huntsman to Mexico, that  Luz Robles, Joe Reyna's co-chair of the Utah Hispanic Legislative Task Force earlier in the year, was chosen to be the Interim-Director of the new Utah Office of Ethnic Affairs.  She would go on to appointed its first director in November. 

So, how did that trip to Mexico go?

In terms of working on immigration issues, it seems to have been a great success.

According to the Deseret News ("Huntsman tells Fox of plan to push immigration issue" -, in Huntsman's closed-door, 40-minute meeting with President Fox:

"Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. sweetened the deal for his Utah-Mexico "Alliance for Prosperity" Wednesday, telling Mexican President Vicente Fox and other officials here that he'll take on the immigration issue with the help of America's Western governors."

The governor also spoke with Mexico's Undersecretary for North America, Geronimo Gutierrez, and had this to say:

"The governor said Mexico's undersecretary for North America, Geronimo Gutierrez, told him the country is not looking for blanket amnesty but a "workable solution going forward to better identify those who are crossing the border" for employment."

The Deseret News adds this from Mr. Gutierrez:

"Migration is a great opportunity for both countries, if we're able to establish a mechanism that allows for legal, safe borders and secure migration. That will help us take advantage of the fact that we have complementary labor markets," Gutierrez said."

Let's recap.  Governor Huntsman goes off to Mexico with Joe Reyna only months after taking office.  While in Mexico he planned to talk about immigration and seems to have had some very interesting discussions on the issue.  These discussions appear to have led him to the position of wanting to pursue the issue with the Western Governors Association. 

How did the governor come to focus so heavily on immigration?  From the same article:

"That just came out of discussions with senior officials," Huntsman said of his decision to tackle the issue. "I think there's a serious need to reinvigorate the whole discussion on immigration. It's falling victim to politics here in Mexico and maybe to some level of indifference at home. I think it's one of the most critical issues of our time and requires a good public policy solution."


 "Immigration, he said, came up repeatedly throughout his four-day visit. "I don't think we had a conversation where it didn't come up in some form or fashion." Creel, who belongs to the same political party as Fox, talked of little else during the hour and a half he spent with Huntsman over breakfast Wednesday."

So, Governor Huntsman goes to Mexico, has a number of little chats and just happens to come out swinging for policies Mexico likes?

This is a problem. 

The odd thing about these particular comments from Governor Huntsman is this:  if he is accurately describing how he came to his immigration focus, then that position seems to have been arrived at in an environment where he was heavily lobbied by foreign officials seeking to bring him to their views while the governor was in their nation. 

Shouldn't the policies pursued by an American governor of be arrived at through high level discussions about what is best for the United States and with the national interest of the United States foremost in mind - not the interests of a foreign nation while visiting that nation's president and meeting high level officials of the foreign government?

Governor Huntsman's immigration views seem to rely on a basic assumption that is certainly challengeable:  that the national interest of the United States is best served by pursuing an immigration agenda set in Mexico. 

Either Governor Huntsman went to Mexico already with a policy agenda in mind, that he was seeking to fine-tune through his discussions with Mexican leaders, or he went there rather naively and was easily influenced by those promoting the Mexican position.

The choice for us is to decide if Governor Hunstman is either easily influenced or he was working in the shadows prior to his trip, regarding immigration matters, and used the trip as a way to begin a push for a not-quite-amnesty for illegal aliens in the U.S.    

A few short months later, Governor Huntsman went on to convince the Western Governors Association to allow him to draft an immigration proposal.  According to the Deseret News

"Just last week, Huntsman persuaded members of the Western Governors' Association to let him draft a proposed stand on immigration for the organization, the first time they've agreed to tackle the issue."

What might his proposal include?:

"He [Huntsman] hasn't said what position he'll propose the governors' association take, but his draft will offer solutions to protecting the nation's border with Mexico, some type of guest-worker program, and ways to improve the process by which immigrants can become citizens."

("Put brakes on Mexican job seekers, Utahns say" -

The rather strange thing about this article about Huntsman's position is that it is also reporting on a poll of Utahns who overwhelmingly think that it should be more difficult to bring Mexican workers to Utah. 

In an interesting moment of candor, Joe Reyna as quoted in the same article, said this:

"There's no way to focus on a 'Berlin Wall' on the border to keep them out if the demand is still high for cheap labor," Reyna said, praising the governor for getting involved in the issue. "Even though it's not his responsibility, he's taking the initiative."

A Berlin Wall? 

The Berlin Wall was meant to prevent people from escaping a communist tyranny. 

Mr. Reyna's extreme rhetoric here, as with his earlier description of the UFIRE group, is out of place and offensive.   

Reyna's view of Mexican labor coming to the U.S. also seems to echo Subsecretary Gutierrez' view of Mexico as having a complementary labor market with the U.S. - only Reyna is more specific about what "complementary" seems to mean: cheap labor.   

Praising the virtues of cheap labor without examining the larger picture is, to say the least, a simplistic approach to economics and the impact such a proposal would have on a host nation.  It also downplays both the responsibility of Mexico to care for its own citizens and the effects the outflow of Mexicans has on families and communities in Mexico. 

In another interesting side note:

Jumping to August of 2009, we find Mexico opening a consulate in Boise, Idaho. 

In what seems just a bit strange, it was Zions Bank that hosted a "grand opening party" for the new consulate.

Although the article linked below does not specifically state that Joe Reyna attended, it does quote him in his position as a regional president of Zions Bank:

"Zions Bank hosted the party, and the company's regional president Joe Reyna says the consulate will not only provide documentation services for Mexicans and Idahoans, but will help the business community as well."

("Idaho's Mexican consulate opens in Boise" -

A U.S. bank hosting an opening party for the consulate of another nation in, of all places, Idaho?

Aside from that interesting fact, what does Mr. Reyna mean by "documentation services"?

It is not specified in this very brief article. 

But, it does seem reasonable to assume that Matricula Consular ID cards would be included.  The acceptance of such cards was the focus of the 2004 controversy in the Utah legislature mentioned earlier.  Indeed, the use of such cards has been controversial for a number of years throughout the country. 

Some final thoughts;

The purpose of this article has been to demonstrate certain linkages of one individual, Mr. Reyna, in his efforts to promote a particular view of how to address the illegal immigration issue.

Mr. Reyna's representing Mexico, through his service to the CCIME, and the discussion to seek LDS Church help in advancing the perspective of the southwest region's advisors ought to concern us. 

Mr. Reyna's work on the Utah Hispanic Legislative Task Force at a time he was a member of the CCIME ought to concern us.  An individual who represents a foreign power while seeking to influence the laws of Utah, especially in an area of great concern to the CCIME and Mexican government, is very concerning. 

Additionally, the fact that Mr. Reyna was close enough to Governor Huntsman to accompany him on a trip to Mexico where immigration issues were discussed, while he was a member of the CCIME, ought to also concern us. 

Finally, Governor Huntsman's actions regarding immigration ought to concern us as well. 

We have far too many leaders who know the public opposes amnesties in any form and want increased enforcement of our very reasonable immigration laws and yet work against those same very reasonable positions.

The public-at-large has a better intuitive grasp of these issues and how they should be addressed than many of our leaders.   

It is time for our leadership to get on board and to work for the benefit of our national interest.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Voter Fraud In Utah?:

Could this be happening in Salt Lake County and elsewhere in Utah?

Is this one avenue that Obama hopes to capitalize on to try and steal the election?

Are our election officials even concerned?

Is Utah media clueless about this issue?

A Florida TV station has come up with a unique way to find non-citizen registered voters.

The video at the link below tells the story:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mexico loves Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank!

Mexico loves Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank!

Or, at least, Mexico's American attorneys do.

In the amicus curiae brief filed in June of 2011 on behalf of the Mexican government as part of the lawsuit against Utah's immigration enforcement law, HB 497, Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank was listed as a co-author of two articles in the "Other Authorities" section of the brief.

Makes you proud of Chief Burbank, doesn't it?

The brief is part of the effort to keep HB 497 from being implemented. 

The brief is available at:

The first citation in the brief is to an opinion article that appeared at

Chris Burbank, Phillip Atiba Goff & Tracie L. Keesee, Policing Immigration: A Job We Do Not Want, Huffington Post, June 7, 2010,

This article is available at the link cited (  and is short, but insightful, into the position held by Chief Burbank.

The second article is cited as:

Phillip Atiba Goff, Liana Maris Epstein, Chris Burbank, & Tracie L. Keesee, Deputizing Discrimination?, The Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity, May 3, 2010 (on file with authors)

While the first article is reproduced in full in an attachment to the brief, the second article is not and is listed only as "on file with authors."

Furthermore, the second article appears to be the only article that is missing from the "Other Authorities" that is either not referenced to a website address or to a published source (there are others listed and missing as well - but public sources are listed for them). 

Why is it not readily available?

I will leave that an open question and not address it in this blog entry, although it is an interesting question and one that warrants further attention.

In addition to the two articles listed in Mexico's brief with Chief Burbank as a co-author, there is a third article of interest listed in the attachment with Phillip Goff as a co-author (also missing, but at least referenced to a published source). 

Phillip Goff is also a co-author of the two citations with Chief Burbank. 

The combined list of authors of the three articles: 

Chris Burbank
Phillip Atiba Goff
Tracie L. Keesee
Liana Maris Epstein

What ties these four individuals together? 

The missing article, with no available link or published source, is the only one of the three that mentions the "Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity" in the citation.

The article, however, also has this notation at the bottom:

"Chris Burbank is the Chief of the Salt Lake City Police Department in Salt Lake City, Utah. Phillip Atiba Goff is the co-founder and executive director of research for the Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity, and Assistant Professor of Psychology at UCLA. Tracie L. Keesee is the co-founder and executive director of operation for the Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity, and Division Chief of Research, Training, and Technology of the Denver Police Department" [emphasis in original]

Goff and Keesee are listed with associations to the consortium.  What about the other two of our group of four?  Are Burbank and Epstein also associated with this consortium?

At the consortium's website, on their "People" page (, we find that Chief Burbank is closely associated with the consortium and is listed as one of four police chiefs on their "Chiefs Advisory Board."

Liana Maris Epstein is also listed on this page as an emerging scholar.

All four authors, therefore, are closely associated with the consortium.

Chief Burbank, it seems, has been associated with this consortium for quite some time.

From the consortium's "About the CPLE" (, the following:

"In November, 2008, following in the steps of Dr. Eberhardt’s Policing Racial Bias initiative, Dr. Goff and Division Chief Keesee traveled to the Major Cities Chiefs conference in San Diego, California to invite interested departments to participate in the initiative– promoting researcher and law enforcement collaborations with the goal of tackling issues at the heart of both groups’ interests. Their enthusiasm for this new paradigm was contagious. Chiefs of police and sheriffs in departments in: Denver, Chicago, Edmonton, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles County, Milwaukee, Nashville, Newark, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Jose, Seattle, Toronto, Virginia Beach were eager to become part of this new wave of research and policing."

The consortium itself appears to have been formally organized in early 2009 - although elsewhere on the site, it says it was organized in July of 2008 (see at the bottom of the page for the item posted February 17, 2009: "Welcome").

If you search for "Burbank" in the website search engine, you come to a page that lists more information about Burbank's relationship to the consortium (  Scroll down and you will come to an entry dated February 14, 2009 and which lists him as being on the Chiefs Advisory Board as of that date. 

Other interesting dates for Chief Burbank from the page:

June 8, 2009:  The consortium thanks Chief Burbank for his support for equity issues in law enforcement.

July 27, 2009:   The consortium states: 

"The CPLE has just completed Wave 1 of data collection of residents of Salt Lake City, UT and officers with the SLCPD. We were aided by a great team of CPLE-trained researchers in Salt Lake City and the integral support of Chief Burbank."

September 26, 2009:  The consortium tells us:

"On September 23, the CPLE briefed congressional staff in Washington D.C. on the subject of biased policing.  Dr. Goff, co-founder and executive director of research for the CPLE, Dr. Keesee, co-founder and executive director of operations for the CPLE, Chief Burbank of the Salt Lake City Police..."

May 18, 2010:  According to the consortium:

"Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, Executive Director of Research, was invited to testify as a witness at the House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Racial Profiling and the Use of Suspect Classifications in Law Enforcement Policy.  Chief Christopher Burbank, a CPLE Chief and the Chief of Police of the Salt Lake City Police Department, was also invited to testify."

June 3, 2010:  The consortium reports about hate mail received by Chief Burbank: 

"Pat Reavy recently wrote an article for the Deseret News about the backlash that Chief Burbank, the chief of a CPLE partner police department, is experiencing because of his recent trip to Washington along with other chiefs to meet with Attorney General Eric Holder and express their concerns about the new Airzona [sic] immigration policy..."

June 7, 2010:  The consortium describes the brief article that appears at and tells us that it covers research that was recently completed about policing in Salt Lake City:

"The op-ed outlines the recent research conducted by the Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity in Salt Lake City assessing whether or not cross deputization creates harmful effects on policing.  The research showed that cross deputization will decrease trust in law enforcement and decrease the reporting of crime - consequences that negatively affect policing making it difficult to effectively keep people safe."

The research talked about in the article, that appeared at (with Burbank as a co-author), is most likely the same research that is described in the missing article referenced in the amicus curiae brief for Mexico (the article not reproduced in the attachments for "Other Authorities" of the brief with Chief Burbank as a co-author).

So far, we have the following points:

1.  Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank is one of the co-authors of this study:

Phillip Atiba Goff, Liana Maris Epstein, Chris Burbank, & Tracie L. Keesee, Deputizing
Discrimination?, The Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity, May 3, 2010

2.  Chief Burbank has had a close relationship with the Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity from sometime in 2008 and probably a more formal relationship as a member of the Chiefs Advisory Board since early 2009.

A third element is now needed to see the relevance of the missing study in the amicus curiae brief. 

In a story at (5/27/10 - "Study shows Latino crime rate proportional to population," at:, the mysterious study is talked about.  Here's how begins the story:

"Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank is armed with a new study to support his stance in the immigration debate. But critics think the study is flawed."

The article also includes this:

"Burbank commissioned the Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity to see if data and public perception supported his opinion and to analyze the effects of SB81."

Burbank commissioned the study?  To see if it supported his opinion? 

The three points now are connected like dots to form a relationship:

Salt Lake City Police Chief Burbank commissioned a study that just happens to end up supporting his viewpoint on certain immigration issues.

Chef Burbank's study just happens to be of his own department and the community his department serves.

He commissioned it from an organization that he has strong ties with, including perhaps serving on their Chiefs Advisory Board at the time he commissioned the study.

He is also a co-author of the report.

This is a major problem for the study. 

The problem is this:  whether or not the study was designed to produce a certain point of view, it has the appearance of being compromised through bias, whether intentional or unintentional, because of the strong relationship between Chief Burbank and the consortium that produced the study.   

The conclusions of the study, that Chief Burbank and the consortium seem to want people to accept uncritically, are what are generally talked about in the public domain. 

The nuts-and-bolts of the study itself, however, seem to be far less known or talked about than the conclusions.  The key for judging the validity of the conclusions lies in a careful reading of the study and analyzing whether or not the mechanics of the study justify the conclusions made or their use in the public domain to support Chief Burbank's immigration positions. 

For an example of how the study's conclusions are used, we may turn to Chief Burbank's own "Declaration" in support of the lawsuit against HB 497, submitted with the original filing against the law:

"A recent study conducted by the Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity (CPLE) in Salt Lake City showed that people across the board, regardless of immigration status, race, ethnicity or national background, are significantly less likely to report crimes if they feel officers are engaged in immigration enforcement, interjecting bias into our policing actions.  I have received numerous anecdotal reports of individuals who have fallen victim to a crime and have failed to report these incidents because of the rhetoric surrounding proposed immigration laws."

Chief Burbank's "Declaration" to the initial suit against HB 497 is available at:

The political uses to which Burbank and the consortium's research have been put seem to demand a careful examination of the study itself. 

Bias in the research process, at any level or in any form, is one area that should be considered.

Chief Burbank's strong ties to the consortium that produced the study (of his own department and city) make this area of concern a significant one - especially given that the research just happens to confirm his own positions and finds its place within political and legal battles surrounding this issue.