Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Utah Compact's Bad Approach to Illegal Immigration:

The Utah Compact is an interesting collection of interrelated statements that, when examined closely, reveal a number of serious problems in its approach to illegal immigration.  One central problem is that the Compact serves more as a way to control and limit the debate about illegal immigration than as a way to "guide" it - in other words, open discussion is discouraged and reasonable avenues for finding solutions are cut off from consideration.  

Image courtesy of xedos4 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The restrictive set of propositions of the Compact also create an unwarranted reduction of the overall immigration picture and the myriad associated issues.  The Compact, therefore, poses a fundamental block to creating effective policy to address the totality of issues surrounding illegal immigration.

If the Compact cannot be trusted to provide guiding principles for an open discussion, then it should be rejected as a guiding instrument for policy - as it shuts off discussion instead of encouraging a free and open exchange of ideas in this area of critical public concern.

Below is a brief examination of the general principles and more specific statements of the Compact.  The Compact's statements are bolded and numbered.

Many of the Compact's assumptions are not overtly expressed, but are to be found lurking in the unexpressed premisses of its statements.  The wall the Compact constructs to keep out unwanted considerations also serves to protect its views from careful examination.  

The purpose of the discussion below is to outline, in a general way, some of the shortfalls of the Compact so that people interested in the critical issue of illegal immigration can decide if the Compact is or is not a good guide for making policy.  

At the time this article was posted, the official website of the Utah Compact, theutahcompact.com, was not functioning.  Because of this, the official text of the Utah Compact available at the Deseret News website was used for this analysis.  This is found at:


The Utah Compact official site has been restored and is currently available. 


The Utah Compact

1.  A declaration of five principles to guide Utah's immigration discussion

This statement of purpose declares to us that the goal of the Utah Compact is to "guide Utah's immigration discussion."

Does this use of "guide" mean to provide ground rules for conducting a conversation, i.e., rules that encourage open discussion and participation by all?

Or does it mean making sure the immigration conversation remains controlled and limited by its propositions?

If the latter, then issues and information not already organized by the Compact will be kept out of the discussion.

Does it also mean that the the propositions of the Utah Compact, once accepted, are no longer open to challenge on any basis?

As you read the Utah Compact's statements, keep in mind that they are meant to apply to immigration - or more specifically and clearly than the Compact writers stated it: illegal immigration.


2.  Immigration is a federal policy issue between the U.S. government and other countries — not Utah and other countries.

While most would accept that the federal government has the right to create immigration laws and the primary responsibility for ensuring that the integrity of those laws is upheld through enforcement, the right of the states to assist in the enforcement of immigration laws through appropriate and constitutional state action needs to be recognized and respected.

An extreme view on this issue leads to the rather strange legal argument that states should not be permitted to support, through state law, the federal immigration laws that were duly passed by Congress and signed into law by the President if such state action conflicts with the joint foreign policy objectives of the United States government, i.e., the executive branch, and a foreign power.  This is essentially the argument of the amicus curiae brief filed in the lawsuit against Utah's enforcement bill, HB 497, by the Mexican government.  The governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay agree with the notion and have added their nations to Mexico's amicus curiae brief.  In other words, if the executive branch chooses to ignore enforcement in the furtherance of bi-national or even multinational policy goals, the states are duty bound to go along with the program regardless of the express wishes of Congress as embodied in actual federal law.  Such a view would essentially subordinate vast areas of domestic law and life to presidential foreign policy objectives.  Granting to the president such broad powers to bypass congress through such a foreign policy mechanism would create a serious threat to our constitutional order.

3.  We urge Utah's congressional delegation, and others, to lead efforts to strengthen federal laws and protect our national borders.

Most Americans agree that greater protection of our national borders is needed and that such protection may entail different things.

But, what did the Utah Compact writers have in mind when they called for our congressional delegation to "strengthen federal laws"?

Did they have in mind better enforcement mechanisms?

Did they envision simplified immigration laws that dramatically increase the number of legal immigrants by making it easier to immigrate?

Do they wish to create much simpler and easier ways to significantly raise the number of "guest workers" in America?

Are they seeking a reliable labor flow into the United States in order to keep wages low enough to compete in the global economy?

A significant number of illegal immigrants did not enter the nation illegally, they merely overstayed their visas and remained.

Do the Utah Compact writers propose adequate ways to address this aspect of illegal immigration?

Do the writers of the Utah Compact wish to see enforcement prove itself to be effective before granting amnesty to illegal immigrants?

4.  We urge state leaders to adopt reasonable policies addressing immigrants in Utah.

We all agree on the idea that policies should be reasonable.

But, do we agree on what reasonable means when addressing illegal immigration?

If this statement is referring to legal immigrants, then it seems silly to mention it.

If this statement refers to illegal immigrants, and it apparently does, then we are entitled to ask what it means to "adopt reasonable policies" addressing illegal immigrants in Utah, are we not?

This statement is so general as to be meaningless - unless its writers had something in mind that they thought should be intentionally not mentioned.

"Reasonable," in the minds of the Utah Compact writers, most likely means accomodating illegal aliens residing in Utah.


5.  We respect the rule of law and support law enforcement's professional judgment and discretion.

This seems to grant to law enforcement broad discretionary authority - perhaps too broad.

When applied to illegal immigration it implies that law enforcement, or more specifically local law enforcement, should not participate in any enforcement of immigration laws.

This is an unfortunate position to advocate.

Local law enforcement should be open to being tasked appropriately and constitutionally to assist in restoring integrity to our immigration laws.

6.  Local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code.

I think most would agree that local law enforcement should focus on criminal activity and not on civil violations of federal code.

But what is being left out here?

Someone crossing the border illegally has committed a crime.

Someone who illegally crosses the border after deportation has committed a more serious crime.

Why does the Utah Compact leave this out?

Many crimes are committed in conjunction with illegal immigration, in addition to illegal entry or overstaying a visa - does the Compact encourage us to downplay and ignore such crimes because they are committed in furtherance of maneuvering in society for illegal immigrants?

Some rather misleading analogies have been used by some pro-amnesty advocates and Utah Compact supporters regarding the law and illegal immigration.  Comparisons of illegal immigration to a traffic violation, for example, ignore the fact that laws are not built on arbitrary whims.  They are the result of our constitutional systems and are responsive to areas of critical concern.  Changing laws requires engaging those same systems - not in simply ignoring laws that one finds inconvenient.  Different areas of human activity that fall within the legal domain require different types of laws and responses for violations.  The appropriate endpoint for illegal entry into the U.S. or for overstaying a visa is to be required to leave the nation.  Focusing on the act of physically crossing the border as the only real offense is a willful distortion of the illegal immigration picture.  Traffic laws organize and respond to a different area of activity.  No one argues, for example, that traffic laws lack validity, should be done away with, are mere arbitrary restrictions on driving behavior, or are part of a "broken traffic system" that can only be fixed through "comprehensive traffic reform," when they challenge a ticket in court.  Pretending that our immigration laws are arbitrary, trivial, and designed to unfairly restrict people in other nations from freely migrating into the United States ignores the fact that immigration laws are meant to accomplish a variety of purposes that serve our interests as a nation, as a people, and as individuals.  Downplaying the law and trivializing it when addressing the illegal immigration issue is misguided and ignores the consequences that derive from ignoring the foundational principles that guide our immigration laws.

When someone enters the U.S. illegally or overstays a visa, we have no idea as to why they have done so.

This specific proposal removes local law enforcement from any responsibility or role in this important issue - except, perhaps, in those situations in which someone has become the victim of a serious crime.  

If other cities, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, are indicators of where this is headed, it is towards refusing to cooperate with federal law enforcement in all but the most egregious of cases - to the detriment of public safety.

If the Compact were about open discussion, it would not prematurely push out exploring reasonable and constitutional avenues for local law enforcement to cooperate and coordinate with the federal government to restore integrity to our immigration laws.


7.  Strong families are the foundation of successful communities.

This is a good general statement that few would disagree with.

8.  We oppose policies that unnecessarily separate families.

This is another example of a general statement that few would disagree with.

But remember, the Utah Compact is talking about illegal immigrants.

When we are told that we should oppose "unnecessarily" separating families - we are talking about illegal immigrant families.

What does "unnecessarily" mean?

What are the principles that underlie that term?

Does it argue against enforcement when somehow a family is involved?

Does it negate the idea that people are responsible for their actions in relation to our laws?

Does it ignore the fact that many illegal immigrants left families behind in order to come here?

Do the Utah Compact writers want an open discussion on this issue?

Or is this another example of an area where they want us to accept the immigration position they are proposing without thinking about it too much?

9.  We champion policies that support families and improve the health, education and well-being of all Utah children.

This is another general statement which few would disagree with.

Aside from the obvious emotional argument being used here, we have to point out again that the Utah Compact is proposing a view that refuses to distinguish between illegal and legal immigration.

We are also being manipulated.

Who can refuse to do what is best for children?

No one.

And the writers of the Utah Compact know it - so they chose to use children as a cover for their amnesty proposal.

What do we see when we examine the family proposals in the Utah Compact?

We see a model for state action regarding illegal immigration - a model calling for no action.

Can this model be examined, discussed, and considered in relation to the overall situation of illegal immigration in the United States?

Or do the Compact writers want to avoid such a discussion?

Can humane principles be derived for addressing these legitimate concerns raised by the Utah Compact within a strong-enforcement policy?


That is, if the Utah Compact actually wants an open discussion.

Should the family proposals be seen as a call to ignore enforcement of our immigration laws?


But they do need to be considered as part of an overall strategy for addressing the issue.


10.  Utah is best served by a free-market philosophy that maximizes individual freedom and opportunity.

Another general statement that most would accept.

Applied to illegal immigration - what does it mean?

Does it mean that anyone in any part of the world who can make it to the United States falls within its application?

Some who advocate amnesty also advocate for open borders and no work restrictions.  Others who advocate amnesty also advocate for dramatic increases in legal immigration and guest workers.  Many who advocate for amnesty also work hard against any type of enforcement of immigration laws.

Is the Compact group willing to lay their cards on the table and have a conversation about how illegal immigration, legal immigration, and guest worker programs might impact the ability of American families to sustain themselves and move ahead economically?  Or do they want us to ignore the issue?

11.  We acknowledge the economic role immigrants play as workers and taxpayers.

The Compact group is stating nothing here while making it sound like something.

Any group in the United States has an economic role as workers and taxpayers.

The issues here are whether that role is a net gain or loss for the economy and whether or not the net gain or loss warrants ignoring our immigration laws.

The Compact group clearly is promoting  the idea that it is a net gain and, therefore, an argument for amnesty.

But, this idea has been challenged by many and should not be considered a closed question.

The Compact presupposes a net economic benefit from illegal labor and is subtly closing off the issue from further examination.

Have they considered all aspects of that question?

For example, have they considered the economic impact of a father struggling to find a good job in construction after having been replaced by an illegal immigrant?

Even if we were to accept the Compact's underlying assumption about a net gain from illegal immigrant labor, is it justifiable to accept another implicit assumption of the Compact: that we should look the other way if illegal immigration is a net gain?

Are there other important considerations that are equally as significant as the economy in the illegal immigration debate?

Should the many illegal immigration issues be reduced to the economic question?

I personally believe that the economic case against illegal immigration and other programs designed to flood America with cheap labor, while benefiting the few, create enormous economic problems in both the short and long term.

If the Compact group has its way, however, we may never examine such questions - because it has been decided for us already.

Which is very strange when you think about it - as the Utah Compact is supposed to guide the discussion - not choke it off and exclude everything not congruent with its immigration model.

12.  Utah's immigration policies must reaffirm our global reputation as a welcoming and business-friendly state.

This is a very nice-sounding idea.

Again, notice that the word "immigration" here really means illegal immigration.

Does it still sound so nice when we make the following clarification:  "Utah's illegal immigration policies must reaffirm our global reputation as a welcoming and business-friendly state"?

Clarifying this concept jars the mind.

Are we now inviting illegal immigrants to Utah?

The Compact writers seem to suggest here that we can't have the state trying to help solve the problem of illegal immigration through enforcement because we will get criticized for it in other nations.

There is, however, no clear reason why this is some sort of sacred principle for guiding our immigration debate.

It's not on the same level, for instance, as the idea that "Strong families are the foundation of successful communities."

It is just accepted by the Compact writers - driven as many of them are by business concerns.

But, what are they really saying?

Are they not implying that Utah, if it wants a good international business reputation, must look the other way on illegal immigration?

Are they not also saying that, if we have state measures against illegal immigration, we will impact negatively our prospects for international business?

Is this not a subtle form of manipulation encoded in the Utah Compact?  The idea seems to be: ignore illegal immigration or Utah business will suffer and by extension, the economy of Utah.  If you are for the Utah Compact's amnesty call, you are for economic prosperity.  If you are opposed to the Utah Compact's amnesty call, you are destroying the Utah economy.

Shouldn't this issue be openly debated and not just have its validity assumed in the Utah Compact?

Again, the Utah Compact, while pretending to "guide" the discussion actually wants to control it by placing policy planks into its structure and calling them principles.


13.  Immigrants are integrated into communities across Utah.

This statement is so obvious that its lack of relevance to the discussion is easy to overlook until we, again, clarify what is really being said by replacing "immigrants" with "illegal immigrants."

The sentence now reads:  "Illegal immgrants are integrated into communities across Utah."

If we examine it in this light, there is some truth to it.  But it also hides a lot of differing circumstances.

For example, is a twenty-year old illegal immigrant, who arrived a few months ago, really integrated into a Utah community?

Should we accept previously deported criminals and passively wait for them to commit another crime - a crime that may take the life of someone?  

Does being integrated into a Utah community exempt illegal immigrants from immigration laws?

The Compact seems to be suggesting that it does.  

14.  We must adopt a humane approach to this reality, reflecting our unique culture, history and spirit of inclusion.

Does our "unique culture, history, and spirit of inclusion" now mean that we must accept illegal immigration?

Does our "unique culture, history, and spirit of inclusion" suggest that we are distinct enough from the other 49 states to justify a state amnesty that encourages more illegal immigraiton - thus impacting other states?

Why is it considered inhumane to send someone back to their nation of origin?

Why are laws that seek to maintain order in our immigration system, consider the impact of immigration on American families and communities, and serve our national interest, considered inhumane?

We are not told the answer to any of these questions.  The Compact merely controls the discussion by moving us away from them.

True, there are a variety of circumstances and situations that many people are in that may warrant exceptions.

But, granting exceptions, when enforcement remains too weak to discourage illegal immigration, is to invite more of it and an increase in the problems associated with it.

The government needs to convince us that enforcement is effective and will prevent further illegal immigration before the question of exceptions can be considered.

15.  The way we treat immigrants will say more about us as a free society and less about our immigrant neighbors.

Again, the tiresome and misleading use of "immigrants" when the Utah Compact crowd means "illegal immigrants."

So, it should read: "The way we treat illegal immigrants will say more about us as a free society and less about our illegal immigrant neighbors."

If we firmly, but humanely, enforce our immigration laws, it will say that we are serious about our laws and we will discourage further illegal immigration.

If we ignore enforcement, we send the message to all that we will look the other way - that includes those who would intentionally do us harm.

This statement also implies that illegal immigrants are not responsible for their actions and that almost any justification for violating our immigration laws should be accepted.

It also subtly implies that it is our duty, and one which defines good citizenship, to welcome any and all who violate our immigration laws.  The message is a cloaked invitation to ignore our immigration laws.  It further suggests that illegal immigrants can expect that immigration laws will be ignored and that they will find a local populace who will agree that ignoring them is a good thing.

16.  Utah should always be a place that welcomes people of goodwill.

Yet again, by "people of goodwill," the Compact group clearly means "illegal aliens."

The statement should actually read:  "Utah should always be a place that welcomes illegal immigrants of goodwill."

This is surely a very strange proposition.

No one rejects the idea of welcoming people of goodwill - provided they come here legally.

However, many, if not most, would have a hard time accepting the idea that Utah should now be inviting people of goodwill to come here illegally.

The Compact does not merely call for an amnesty for those already here, it calls for accepting illegal immigrants in perpetuity.

Did the Compact writers merely make a mistake?  That's a good question.

Perhaps it's one we could discuss - that is, if the Utah Compact as a "guide" to our immigration discussion will permit it.



From the above discussion, it appears that the Utah Compact has many serious problems, some of these are as follows:

It leaves too many important questions unanswered - some because it doesn't want them considered.

It does not guide the illegal immigration discussion; it seeks to control it by channeling the discussion into its concepts and closing off discussion to ideas not already embodied in the Compact's set of propositions.

It reduces the number of issues involved and the complexity of those issues into a small set of statements that create the illusion of having solved something because they look good on paper.

It sneaks in specific policy directives, while hiding them behind more general concepts that make them appear more reasonable and noble than they really are when examined closely.

It seeks to create an unconstitutional state amnesty.

It promotes illegal immigration.

It challenges us to ignore legitimate law enforcement issues that can be addressed by the state, in cooperation with the federal government, and seems to rely on a fundamentally flawed sense of the purpose of law.

It asks us to accept its premises without examination.

We can certainly list additional problems with the Utah Compact.

When we closely examine the Utah Compact, we are faced with an obvious conclusion: the Utah Compact is a deficient tool for addressing the complexity of issues surrounding the problem of illegal immigration.

The Utah Compact has some good points, but they need to be extracted and considered within a truly open and comprehensive immigration debate - a debate that the Utah Compact as a "guide" fails to create - but one that is necessary for finding good solutions to the problem of illegal immgration.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Utah Compact and the NIF's Question: "How do we make sure that the opposition is seen as driven by racist elements?"

Were the Utah Compact and HB116 part of a national campaign to create a "conservative" middle in favor of amnesty? 

The National Immigration Forum (NIF) was a key player in the shadowy work that led to the Utah Compact in 2010. 

Other players included the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, the Sutherland Institute, and Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ali Noorani is the Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum and is a strong ally of Mark Shurtleff. 

For instance, he had the blusterous AG participate in a number of events sponsored by the NIF. 

Mark Shurtleff is now a board member of the organization, in addition to his new role as Obama's  "Amnesty Emissary" to the LDS Church.

The groups involved in creating the Utah Compact seem to have hit if off and had a reunion of sorts at the NIF's "National Strategy Session" this past December.   The event featured a variety of individuals which included Natalie Gochnour of the Chamber, Paul Mero of the Sutherland Institute, Chief Burbank of the Salt Lake City Police Department, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and, of course, Ali Noorani of the NIF as host and sponsor. 

But, let's back up a bit - to 2009 - and examine an amnesty-strategy laid out by Ali Noorani at that time. 

In 2009, amnesty groups were gearing up for an amnesty push and Ali Noorani, of the National Immigration Forum, outlined a three-part strategy for achieving it.

The three parts are: 

- Mobilize the base

- Persuade the middle

- Marginalize the opposition

Two transcribed segments from the video of a speech by Mr. Noorani are below and illustrate what he had in mind with these three points. 

Mobilizing the base, for instance, could consist of ensuring ethnic media is "moving a message."

Persuading the middle might include putting up someone with a badge and a gun to help sway the middle into believing amnesty is a good thing.

Marginalizing the opposition, for Noorani, seems to include making sure that the opposition is "seen as driven by racist elements."

While Mr. Noorani was speaking for his organization (NIF) in outlining these three points, he was delivering his speech to another large amnesty group, OneAmerica. 

Let's expand or reinterpret the three points a bit as follows:

1.  Mobilize the base = get those who already want amnesty involved in pressuring leaders for amnesty.

2.  Persuade the middle = use respected symbols and ideals as a way to manipulate the middle into seeing amnesty in a positive light and, perhaps, get conservatives and Republicans on board as an additional "middle" group that is necessary to get an amnesty through Congress. 

3.  Marginalize the opposition = push them out of the discussion, keep them out, and demonize any person or idea that challenges amnesty.

Mr. Ali Noorani from the video

Starting at about 08:43 -

"So there's three things that we need to do.  We need to mobilize the base.  The base could be the immigrant community.  The base could be the churches.  But, in essence, it's the people are with us.  We need to persuade the middle.  We need to understand that there's a large part of America that says, "you know what? I wanna, I wanna, I wanna help here, but I, I don't know what to do.  This is a big confusing topic."  So what do we do to persuade the middle?  And then third, we need to marginalize the opposition. 
When the opposition starts calling in to talk-radio and says, "blah, such and, you know, the, the" - I can't even make this up.  Earlier this week, the opposition said that immigration to the U.S. leads to global warming.  Perhaps they forgot to see that it's called, "global warming."  That means it's kind of beyond any one border.  But, the opposition is just nutty and we have to call them nutty for what they are.  So those three things - and we each can take a different role and a different responsibility.  Some of us are good at organizing and mobilizing the base.  Some of us are good at persuading the middle.  Some of us are good at marginalizing the opposition - you know - When OneAmerica organized the, the letter from the chief, the Seattle chief, or the president of police, the chiefs' association, the sheriffs' association, sorry, just two weeks ago, in the last two weeks, that persuaded the middle - because when you stand somebody up with a badge and a gun and who says, "you know what, we need to fix our immigration system," the middle listens.  It's those kinds of things."

Starting at about 12:40 -

"The other reason we need to do it now is because the President has made that commitment.  Within the last, late last month, he pulled together this meeting and he said in the meeting, "I want to do this - this fall - by the end of 2009, I want to start moving a bill and I think we can get it done early in 2010" - and it's gonna take, and when Rahm Emmanuel and David Axelrod sit around a table at some point in this fall and say, "you know what, are we gonna do it?"  They're gonna look at the number of calls that the White House gets, the number of calls that members of Congress get, and the, our ability to push a message through the media at a local and national level.  And let's bring it back.  That message needs to do three things.  It needs to mobilize the base - so that's -  ethnic media, how can we make sure that the Spanish language and Asian language, uh, and Asian community media are understanding and moving a message.  Persuading the middle - different messengers, local elected law enforcement, etc., speaking to the need for immigration reform.  Marginalizing the opposition - How do we make sure that the opposition is seen as driven by racist elements?  We drive that message through the media locally and nationally, we put phone calls into the White House and Congress, David Axelrod and Rahm Emmanuel will go into the Oval Office and say, "Mr. President, we can do this.  We can win this."  - because  the President wants to do it - now it's just up to us to make it happen.  Thank you."

Is there a Utah connection for this type of an operation? 

Read the following passage from the National Immigration Forum's report, "The Utah Compact: One State’s Conservative Approach to Immigration Reform":

"The Utah Compact was effective in gaining national attention because it came from leadership that had not usually supported comprehensive immigration reform. The power of the Compact came from the unlikely allies who signed it and their participation sent a message to other conservatives and moderates who have become necessary allies for immigration reform. By including conservative elected, faith, business and civic leadership, the Compact changed the debate in Utah – and created a national story. Simply put, the Compact is a vehicle around which to organize conservative and moderate leadership of a state." 

When this statement is matched up with Ali Noorani's three-point amnesty strategy, it sure seems like the Utah Compact was intentionally created to be a tool for bringing on board "the middle."

When the statements made by Ali Noorani are compared with the types of events they have been running since the Utah Compact came out, it becomes even a more likely that the National Immigration Forum has been running a "middle" campaign for some time. 

More evidence comes from an article that appeared just a few weeks before the Utah Compact was signed:  "States Step Into the Void on Immigration."  The article says this about Utah:   

"In Utah, immigrant advocates, typically liberal Democrats, are trying to find common cause with conservatives, because they know that if they don't they'll be left out of the debate." 

Certainly, those advocates might have come to this conclusion on their own.  But, just in case they didn't, look who shows up to make sure they do - Carter Livingston from the National Immigration Forum:

"Carter Livingston, an organizer for the National Immigration Forum in the state, spends much of his time coordinating with the Sutherland Institute and other conservative players." 

The article, just a moment later, tells us: 

"He [Livingston] says that it has been a boon to the immigrant-rights movement to have conservative leaders talk about legitimizing undocumented foreigners."

Then Mr. Livingston of the National Immigration Forum, one of the biggest pro-amnesty groups in America, tells us:

"You have to change where the message is coming from," Livingston contends.  "You have to communicate in a way that legislators will hear, that conservatives will hear." 

The "conservative" spin-campaign for the middle becomes all  the more obvious when we see the name of the report selected by the National Immigration Forum for their 2012 operations:

"Voices of the New Consensus: Bibles, Badges and Business."

From the report:

"Over the last 18 months, the National Immigration Forum’s Forging a New Consensus on Immigrants and America campaign brought together hundreds who hold a Bible, wear a badge or own a business. Once we left Washington, DC, we found common ground between these new allies on the need for an immigration process that works for our economy, our families and our communities."

The campaign for the "middle," being built by the National Immigration Forum, is a carefully crafted campaign to put a symbolic face of respected authority (by using key figures in religion, law enforcement, and business) in front of the "middle" to subtly manipulate them into supporting what they would not otherwise support: amnesty. 

From the information presented above, it would be reasonable to conclude that the Utah Compact and the principle law that was passed under its influence, Utah's HB116 (state guest worker amnesty law), were meant to be a test case for a much larger national operation that we are now facing. 

The "middle" is the battleground for the National Immigration Forum.

The NIF Utah Compact report reads as if it a blueprint for creating other compacts.  Indeed, the report tells us as much: 

"This report provides a closer look at the process that led to the Utah Compact, and what factors could make similar efforts in other states successful. If you would like to work on a Compact in your state, please contact...at the National Immigration Forum

As we have seen, that process is one of secrecy and deception and of manipulation of the electorate by creating a fog of noble sounding principles to provide cover for amnesty. 

But, is the battle really for the "middle"? 

Illegal immigration seems to be an issue that people have strong feelings about from all over the political spectrum.  Many liberals, progressives, environmentalists, etc. (i.e., people from the left), seem to also have a desire to reduce illegal immigration and want enforcement of our laws.  It is not a left-right split.  Middle of the road people want enforcement.  Conservatives want enforcement.  America wants enforcement. 

It is at the national level of counting congressional votes that the battle for the middle - or just enough Republicans - to go along with amnesty is the focus.  The public campaign for the middle is to generate enough congressional support for amnesty from Republicans. 

That campaign may turn ugly, if Mr. Noorani's speech is any indication. 

The focus will not just be on the middle, but also on creating an enemy to attach the "wrong" immigration views to and marginalize so that "correct" immigration views will be seen as the only "reasonable" option. 

Remember, the man who heads the National Immigration Forum, which was instrumental in the process of creating the Utah Compact, believes in marginalizing the opposition and asked the question, "How do we make sure that the opposition is seen as driven by racist elements?"

For more information on the Utah Compact, please see:  http://immigrationutah.blogspot.com/p/utah-compact-information-sources.html

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Covert Operation Behind the Utah Compact:

Below are some quotes pulled from the National Immigration Forum's report on the Utah Compact.

They show how the operation was worked in the shadows to keep the public out of the process. 

You may recall that the National Immigration Forum is one organization that former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has been working closely with for some time to promote amnesty.  In fact, he is now on their board of directors:  http://immigrationforum.org/about/board

I personally believe that the National Immigration Forum came to Utah to help create a "conservative" face for a national amnesty campaign that we are now engaging.

A lot of special interests, of course, are pushing for amnesty, but the National Immigration Forum (
along with the Chamber of Commerce, the Sutherland Institute and Mark Shurtleff ) used Utah as a launching pad for a propaganda operation to push for national amnesty. 

The same cast of characters appeared together just this last December to help the National Immigration Forum launch a new amnesty campaign:


Some videos of the conference, including some local members of the cabal:  http://forgingconsensus.org/

The National Immigration Forum's report on the Utah Compact: 

Along with the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce lurking in the shadows regarding the Utah Compact and HB116, the following astonishing statements about the process leading up to the Utah Compact should cause us all concern.  

The statements are from a report put out by the National Immigration Forum titled, "The Utah Compact: One State’s Conservative Approach to
Immigration Reform."  The National Immigration Forum is another group that apparently preferred to not be seen as instrumental in creating the Utah Compact.  In this report, the early process that led to the Utah Compact is described.  It incorporated a high level of public-avoidance:

"In April 2010 just after SB 1070 was signed into law in Arizona, National Immigration Forum consultant Carter Livingston worked with the Sutherland Institute to put together a panel of Utah leaders on immigration policy. Organizers intentionally avoided the term debate or town hall in order to facilitate the conversation, and while the event was open to the public it was not widely publicized to avoid attention from extremists." 

The National Immigration Forum - have you heard of their involvement before? 

Intentionally trying to avoid public scrutiny and labeling opponents of illegal-immigration as extremists? 

"In the following months, the Sutherland Institute privately convened immigration working group discussions."

Privately convened working group discussions?

"With the state’s conservative attorney general now calling for reform, the Sutherland Institute quietly convened a small working meeting of communications professionals to strategize a broader response to actions like the Utah list. The group included communications representatives from the chief of police’s office, the mayor’s office, United Way, the Downtown Alliance (a group representing more than 2,500 business and property owners in downtown Salt Lake City) and Carter Livingston on behalf of the National Immigration Forum."

Quietly meeting with communication professionals? 

Carter Livingston from the National Immigration Forum at the meeting? 

"Together, this group began brainstorming a set of principles around immigration reform unique to the culture and values of Utah."

A group of communications professionals and a National Immigration Forum operative began brainstorming the principles that would become the Utah Compact?

"By the end of the summer [2010], a draft of the Compact was complete and the authors began quietly sharing it ..."

Quietly sharing the draft? 

"Working with the communications team at the National Immigration Forum
, the Compact writers formulated a media plan to announce the Compact. A show of public strength was essential and going public too early could have scared off supporters. Thus, communications planning was kept private until the signing ceremony."

A communications team at the National Immigration Forum?

Secret media plan? 

In a section titled, "Keeping it Quiet," we have the following:

"Rather than announcing several months prior that a Compact was formulating, the authors of the Compact worked discreetly and were selective in their discussions. This way, if signing the Compact could be sensitive for someone like a police chief, they minimized political risk until everyone could unite to provide political cover..."

Working discreetly? 

Providing political cover?

What does all this add up to?

The process that led up to the Utah Compact was kept in the shadows by the groups putting it together.

Those groups apparently included the National Immigration Forum, the Sutherland Institute and the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce

The kick-off event in the Utah Compact process seems to have been the Sutherland Institute's forum, "Our Undocumented Neighbors: What the Conversation Should Be About,” which featured Bishop Wester of Salt Lake City and former U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman. 

Videos of this event, which was held on June 24, 2010, are available on Youtube. 

In the first video of the event, Paul Mero thanks Reform Immigration For America (an umbrella organization pushing for amnesty - closely connected to the National Immigration Forum) and Carter Livingston (who we have already seen was coordinating efforts in Utah on behalf of the National Immigration Forum) - he thanks them for "helping us facilitate this event."  Mr. Mero then goes on to introduce both Bishop Wester and Brett Tolman. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce's Utah Compact/HB116 Shadow Operation:

When the Salt Lake Chamber's Robin Riggs appeared on a conference call with ImmigrationWorks USA's Tamar Jacoby two weeks after HB116 was signed into law, he exposed the true nature of how the law came to be and the covert operation that produced the Utah Compact. 

That process was shrouded in secrecy and deception.  The Chamber worked to keep their role in the process out of the public's eye and
portray it "as something that came from the broader community, not from the Chamber."
You can read Mr. Riggs' comments on a transcript of the conference call available at: 


The audio of the call is available at:


Mr. Riggs made some rather revealing comments in this conference call. 

For instance, he characterizes the Chamber's role in pushing HB116 as an insider political operation:

"So we then – the chamber, we sort of fleshed out our Guest Worker ideas that we had proposed earlier and quietly started to work on legislation even as early as last summer and trying to get our friends on board as an alternative to what Sandstrom was pushing publicly. That sort of insider, you know, politics that we play pretty well here in Utah." (p.3) 

He also tells us that the Utah Compact idea began with the Chamber of Commerce:

"Yeah, that was – that was the first impulse. But what happened is – it was very interesting and that was we talked quite extensively here and decided that, you know, a really great side benefit, if not the sole benefit, for something like this would be to at least try to change the tone and tenor of the discussion. Try to get people to talk about other pragmatic solutions rather than just one certain way of doing.

And that’s when the idea of the Utah Compact came together. That really originated with us here at the Chamber." (p.3-4)

On page 4 of the transcript this exchange takes place in which Riggs tells us that the Chamber worked to keep their role in the operation secret:

"MS. JACOBY: (Inaudible.) Here, let me stop you and ask you a question, because in a lot of states, you know, business folks say, well, we’re negotiating behind the scenes, we don’t want to go public because we think that will hurt our negotiations, it will hurt our stats – you know, we work with a lot of states and they say better that we don’t come out publicly. Did you all have qualms and decisions and discussions about that? Do we go public or stay behind the scenes? Will it hurt our negotiating power? Did that come into this compact?

MR. RIGGS: Yeah, we did. Yeah, in fact, what we did is the Compact, we tried to make sure that it was characterized as something that came from the broader community, not from the Chamber.

MS. JACOBY: Got it, yeah.

MR. RIGGS: So, if you look in – (inaudible) – if you look online and look anywhere where the genesis of this came from, you’re not going to Chamber’s fingerprints on it. And so we just ran the two parallel tracks – we ran – we kept pushing on legislation but also very, very strongly pushed the Compact forward."

The Chamber apparently realized that the HB116 would probably lose in court:

"Two problems with that obviously. First of all, it’s federal government under the U.S. Constitution has preeminent authority over immigration law so you could – so this bill, or all these bills would be subject to lawsuit fairly readily and probably lose." (p.7)

Mr. Riggs also makes it clear that the Chamber knew that HB116 and its need for a federal government waiver was not really feasible:

"So there’s the preemption issue that we’re worried about, and so that’s why we think we need to get waivers. But the wrinkle in that is there’s no – there’s nothing that we can find in current law that allows Homeland Security, for example, to give waivers to this kind of thing. They can give waivers for visa, quotas in some smaller populations of workers but to allow a state to implement a whole program I don’t think is actually even allowed under current statutes. So we’d have to get our congressional delegation to push for congressional action. That’s probably what would happen if we weren’t successful in getting waivers." (p.7)

Mr. Riggs acknowledges that HB116 is essentially a message bill - on steroids, no less:

"Yeah, exactly. And so you know, it – but you’re right, it is – it really is kind of a message built on steroids, trying to just get the federal government to stand up and take notice and really do something, even if – you know, we don’t have any illusions that we’re going to get some waiver the next couple of years – I mean, I don’t think so – but we want to at least get the buzz going..." (p.8)

There are other remarkable comments in the transcript.