Thursday, May 22, 2008

Interim Immigration Committee Meeting

FWIW, notes of the meeting today (very rough) Do NOT expect this to be a totally accurate report, I'm neither a steno or a secretary, many comments may reflect my biased hearing. (asides: are my comments) Recording of meeting available online

(~26min) = approx. time on recording ?name = question by committee members.

Net result: AG Shurtleff and US Atty Tolman say Utah is not a sanctuary state (except for those quietly 'working' at jobs Americans won't do) and doing well in prosecuting illegal alien criminals (those merely working are not 'criminals,' but merely have an illegal presence, which is NOT prosecutable except in the State of entry. Overstay of visa is NOT a felony, or a misdemeanor (?) but a civil offense)

Good questions asked by committee members - mainly Hickman, Donnelson and Madsen.

With this emphasis on the inability to prosecute illegals and deport, additional emphasis must be placed on employment verification and denial of benefits while continuing to arrest those committing "real" crime.

Future committee meetings will be at other locations -
Next meeting 6/19 in Cache County (USU) .
If you would like to testify, contact Art Hunsaker

1:00 1. Committee Business
• Call to order
• Introductions
• Review committee responsibilities established by the Legislative Management Committee

1:10 2. Utah Attorney General's Office
• Mark Shurtleff, Attorney General

Congress has NOT addressed the problem. Received lots of emails - If US does not enforce state should. I believe in separation of powers, we do not have authority to enforce federal law. Thanks for the bill creating the task force. (aside: there was no bill) We enforce state laws.

SB 81 MOU requirement - mandate to go forward. We worry about illegals who commit other crimes (state). ID theft problem, we are working on it. Document mills busted by task force last year. Not enough resources. ICE underfunded. First state in nation working with HUD - mortgage fraud against illegals, 100's damaged credit. Save the Children program - ID stolen by those looking for a job. 2,000 letters sent from Workforce Services over fake numbers; no enforcement. Until law changed they couldn't advise SSN owners, new law allowed penalties. Hold companies responsibility.

ID theft program in Utah -
Problem with MOU - ICE can (does) not enforce problems against simple illegals.
?Donnelson (acting chair) asks How long allowed for ICE to pick up. AG: depends on local jurisdiction - ONE HOUR ??? ICE will not come to Utah to train 3 yrs waiting list. AG: (287g) doesn't say to be recognized training is required, written cert. only needed. Negotiating requirements. I'd rather not enforce immigration law. ??? Statute says if we provide ability, they can certify. AG: if locals want 287g, use it (~26min) ?Hickman legislature needs to properly fund enforcement. ?Donnelson ICE did have regional training. ?Romero State has been involved ID theft Thanks 3 yr for training? AG: I don't know ?Donnelson what prevents Utah from putting them on the bus? AG: Due process Constitution protects them. ?D What if they admit being illegal AAG: we can not deport. ?Madsen You are looking for $600K for task force, what is the cost of ID theft to society? AG: $millions in mortgage fraud (~ 35 min) 1,000's of children, perhaps 10K ?Madsen $38K in cash in raid - are there orgs that keep * * * DPC back out in an hour had lots of resources to get out AG sheriffs saying ICE not picking ?? Authority is Fed are we working with Fed in 24 hrs out - county jail problem SLCo biggest problem, most arrests one hour let 'em go. 24 hrs if ICE hold. Children who are citizens, what happens to them. AG I don't know the answer. ?Donnelson sanctuary city why not just send them out AG we'll be sued. ACLU ?? Data to obtain - what source AG I'll talk to SLCo I don't know if they have the info. ?? Is there anyway to know how long they are kept? AG I'm sure they would know. nature of overcrowding. ?? Is arrestee always determine illegal status? AG under new law SB 81 they will be. AAG we need add'l help ($$) AG we don't want to be ICE agents, most victims are other "undocuments" if deputies are enforcers we lose ability to get info.
• Wade Farraway, Assistant Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud Unit

1:50 3. United States Attorney's Office
Brett L. Tolman, United States Attorney, District of Utah
(~48 min) Thank you for listening. Fed needs to do something. work with FED and state. Bret Parkinson from atty officehere. 25% of cases involve illegals, not incl drugs, etc. Debate is UT suffering more from plague of illegals; no, we are more agressive. Many colleagues have more problems. Debate (blogs) often educated. Types of cases (Fed crimes): not prosecutable for simply being here. Only at the border they cross, not a continuing crime. Re-entry IS prosecutable. Illegal committing crime can get plea bargain for 364 days = not prosecutable as aggravated re-entry. ?Hickman Are you suggesting that if entry illegal they can only be prosecuted in the state of entry? Att: Must be prosecuted in the state they crossed.
(~56 min) ?Hickman: A person here illegally where there are illegal That's NUTS. Att: Solace - court may change that interpretation. only re-entry now. ?Hick I would hope you would express our frustation.. ?Noel: SB81 says foreign national = flight risk, (Madsen's example) Is that legal. Atty: depends on court. I can't comment on your legislation due to separation of powers. resources lacking. pushing for office in StG Cases that are being prosecuted: Re-entry, Harboring, Transport code1324 facilitators
code 1203 hostage taking 8:1324c marriage fraud 1542 ID theft

(~1:06min) prosecutions one man with 8 aliases, not 8 individuals. Worksite enforcement, very difficult to do. Need to investigate facilitators and vendors, not just employers Corporation itself must be analyzed. Human side, children may be citizens. recent examples thousands of individual.. ? Dee: We understand you are partner but may not like the fed action. trial balloon on contracting oxbow jail; we need to be proactive be after criminals, not workers. (aside: we need to stop all ilegals, the criminals hide in the massive numbers of workers) Would that help? Att: we need ICE retention facility Hatch and Bennett working on it It may be helpful. ?Madsen: Should we force another more rational jurisdiction to make a decision on illegal presence. Att: we try to work together as US attys to be consistent
(~1:24) Not prosecuting illegal presence, but your officials are doing phemonemally even without 287g. ?? UT perceived as sanctuary - drug dealers coming here. Att: no validity of sanctuary, we have stopped them running through UT. There have been individuals using teens in BLM land to grow marijuana. Large % of meth coming from Mexico. ?Romero frustation with fed, big proponent of this committee. This is not a sanctuary state (aside:only for illegal workers, our problem is still accepting the undocumented) ?Donn who deports? Att: ICE ?Donn ICE doesn't make too many arrests Att: they are reactive to locals who make arrests. ?Donn ICE agent said it is implied a sanctuary att: because it is not a border state. dangerous because we are aggressive. ? can ICE deport wihout US Att Att yes, but not normally ? do you deal with employers att: we have learned of illegal practices of corporations
(~1:37) ? you don't actively pursue employers att: mainly through referrals. ?Hickman of 2500 deported in 2007 how many have returned? att: difficult to guess, ? we do not know because they need to violate another law. (aside: 2,500 out of 100,000+ present in UT) ?Hick congressional liaison committee, is it working att: legislative affairs comm. could change illegal presence prosecution ?Clark After you explained illegal presence, how can we correct it? How can we work together to solve the illegal alien problem. att: knee jerk reactions, this study is refreshing study, training, resources ($$), valiantly led by AG, cooperation, recognize you are further along than others. ?? Will more money solve the problem? att: define the problem "we have a handle on crime- NYC" (aside: we may solve the HARD CRIME problem, but not the soft crime) ? ? Do we have the resources to determine illegality, are we integrated? Att: No, not like CSI we need a database. ICE will respond to calls. (aside: someone needs to ask about EVerify) ?Romero How many ICE agents att: 25-30 pushing for more. (Aside: Washington Co new law) Because of aggessive nature of our office we don't need more ? Hickman: Can we prosecute overstays? att: different category, not even a misdemeanor
(~1:58) Info ICE was asked and will not testify

2:40 4. Federal Immigration Law, State Regulation, and 50-state Experience
• Ann Morse, Program Director, Immigrant Policy Project, National Conference of State Legislatures Eligibility for benefits see presentations
Q & A (~2:20) Do you have a current economic study - are illegals beneficial or detrimental depends on the economic study. ? Hickman: we need some facts. not 1997 data Morse: many diverse studies, answers not clear. ? Hickman to committee we looked primarily at AZ law (aside, I though OK) error corrected we need to study AZ law. ?Hansen When were latest figures Morse: 2006 ?Romero 2 yr backlog in processing green card. Morse: 1.6 million farm workers 50 to 80% illegals. ?Donn: new tourists up 35 million internationally worldwide down 3 million to US. Brazil takes150 days for appt for visa.

3:45 5. Other Items / Adjourn

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