Business, civic and religious leaders from all over Utah came together in 2009 to create and sign the Utah Compact. This document was a pledge to treat immigrants to the state humanely, preserve the family unit, and focus only on deporting serious criminals. These same groups came back together in late March, nearly a decade after signing the original Utah Compact, to reaffirm their stance on immigration amid all of the immigration issues that have been brought to the forefront in recent months.
Reaffirmation of Commitment to Utah’s Immigrants
With the re-signing of the Utah Compact, these groups hope to help reaffirm that the document’s “principles could calmly help find solutions amid hot debates on everything from a wall along the Mexico border to immigrant detainment and whether immigrants who arrived as children should be allowed to remain,” according to media. According to one signer, Salt Lake City Chamber President Derek Miller, “Today, nearly a decade later, our immigration system is still in need of significant reform. And again, unfortunately, politics overshadow important policy decisions.”
Churches Weigh in on Utah Compact
One notable signer this time around was Bishop Oscar A. Solis of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, a Catholic church of 300,000+. According to Solis, the church opposes the separation of immigrant families and supports immigration policies that benefit all children. Solis noted that the foundation of all successful communities can be found in its strong families, so the church remains opposed to any policy that unnecessarily separates families.
While it issued a news release endorsing the Utah Compact, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was visibly absent from the signing ceremony. A church spokesman says that the church “had difficulty clarifying the purpose of the meeting and did not want to become involved in specific political arguments on immigration.”
Utah Compact Highlights
Some of the Compact’s highlights include:
- Urging the adoption of reasonable policies for Utah’s immigrants
- Focusing on criminal activities among immigrants, not civil violations of the federal code
- Opposing policies that separate immigrant families
- Championing policies supporting the health, education, and well-being of Utah’s children
- Recognizing the economic role of immigrants as both workers and taxpayers
- Reaffirming Utah’s reputation as a welcoming state for immigrants
- Integration of immigrants into Utah’s communities
- Recognizing what Utah’s treatment of its immigrants says about its place in a free society
- Keeping Utah a place that “welcomes people of goodwill”
Get Involved and Show Support
Utahns are invited to show their support for the values of the Utah Compact by visiting UtahCompact.com and adding their names to the list of signers.
Familia America and our team of Salt Lake City family immigration lawyers are staunch advocates for Utah’s immigrant population. From DACA issues to deportation threats, if you have an immigration problem or concern, please call our office at 801-656-9605 to discuss your situation in greater detail and arrange a consultation and case review at no cost to you.