Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The Utah Commission on Immigration

Happy Independence Day!  A day for reflection on Freedom - and Security - and the Rule of Law - an Illegal immigration  (and noticing my personal failure to post anything of the recent events of  Supreme Court decision on AZ immigration law and executive Obamnesty)

This, however caught my attention at the local level (Utah) of the continuing effort loosely based on the "Utah Compact" toward "legalizing the illegals."

The Utah Commission on Immigration, in their recent meeting presented (but did not vote) this proposal, apparently in preparation for presenting a report:

"Proposed Policy Language:

1)     Any research or findings the Commission reviews shall be factually based and verifiable.  The Commission will focus on data that comes from academic sources and quantifiable research.

2)     As the Commission “develop[s] a comprehensive plan to address immigration, use of migrant workers and integration of immigrants in Utah,” the Commission’s recommendations and findings shall be based on the impact of any comprehensive plan to Utah’s economy, legal system, law enforcement efforts, and educational system.

Note:  This language is for formal vote to establish guiding principles to help delineate boundaries for future Commission discussions, findings and recommendations to the Legislature.  This language should help prevent the Commission from being pulled in too many directions which will detract from the Commission’s ability to make positive recommendations and fulfill the intent of the legislature.  A set of broad-based and consensus driven principles will help us focus our attention and increase our value to legislators."

Obviously, basing findings on verifiable facts is an admirable goal.    However, not all "facts" come from academic sources or are quantifiable:  Chis Herrod's book "the Forgotton Immigrant" has a great deal of quantifiable research and could be used as a source.     Limiting "facts" to academia, would presumably preclude NumbersUSA, CIS, FAIR - as well as the Sutherland Institute.

"Social Issues" in and of themselves tend not to quantifiable. 
The more important issue is the idea that the Commission is making "recommendations and findings shall be based on the impact of any comprehensive plan to Utah’s economy, legal system, law enforcement efforts, and educational system."

That, I believe, is far beyond the scope of their charter as any "comprehensive plan" should concern only the Migrant Worker Visa Pilot Program and NOT the full consideration to the problem and plight of illegal aliens, which is generally where comprehensive plans tend to lead.  IMO, the biggest job, at this point, may be to try to keep the Commission focused on its primary functions. 

Why is this commission creating a comprehensive plan to Utah's . . . education system?   Does the proposed Migrant Worker plan include families?  Should it? - That might be a valid subject for discussion, then a plan might be needed - such as the employer would be responsible for the payment thereof.   

Is the Migrant Worker going to be a permanent resident, on the path to citizenship?  My understanding is that it would be a temporary visa for a limited time for a specific job.   Is this being discussed?    

How about the eligibility of current illegal residents in Utah, is THAT being discussed?

In short is the Commission focusing on the Pilot worker visa plan or comprehensive immigration reform and "amnesty."   Have they lost the focus on the set goal or refocused efforts on legalization of the illegal?

It might be very helpful to review the committee and floor discussions to better determine the sense of the legislature.

As you may recall, the Commission was created by HB 466 in 2011 which was created for:
 "19 . providing for the creation of the Migrant Worker Visa Pilot Program;
20 . requiring monitoring of the pilot program and reporting on information gained;
21 and
22 . providing for implementation of similar migrant worker visa pilot programs."

The function basically are: 

(1) A study of current state and federal immigration law. 

(2)  The ONLY function as far as illegal immigration is to study its IMPACT on Utah:

"(1) The commission shall:
149 (a) conduct a thorough review of the economic, legal, cultural, and educational impact
150 of illegal immigration on the state and its political subdivisions;

(3) The function pertaining to MIGRANT workers is limited to the Nuevo Leon Pilot project and developing a possible plan from it.

"(c) develop a comprehensive, coordinated, and sustainable state plan to address:

154 (i) immigration and the use of migrant workers in the state;

171 (f) comply with Part 3, Migrant Worker Visa Pilot Project."

The function is NOT to create a guest worker program, (aka HB116), nor is it to legalize the current illegal aliens in Utah.

Further, I think it was NOT within these defined function to suggest to the 2012 legislature that no 'immigration' bills should be considered.

I would also point out that:             
180          (3) (a) In performing its powers and duties, the commission may invite testimony from
             181      the governor, legislators, state agencies, and members of the public.
AND   (c) The commission may hold one or more public hearings that it considers advisable
             186      and in locations within the state that it chooses to afford interested persons an opportunity to
             187      appear and present views with respect to any subject relating to the commission's powers and
             188      duties under this section.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Illegal Aliens and Income Taxes

The DNews published "Thousands of undocumented workers in Utah file taxes" last week promoting the idea that illegal aliens are actually "law-abiding" residents just waiting for citizenship.

There was, of course, no comment about the illegality of her employment, merely that she had a Social Security issued before she overstayed her student visa.  She says,  "You have to pay taxes,"  "That's the way that you know that you have for sure some kind of security."

Two questions, how much taxes might she have paid?  What type of security is she concerned with?  One could assume FICA taxes for Social Security retirement.   (Though that payment possibly won't provide any benefit)

How about Income Tax?    In a quick analysis with an online Income tax calculator (TTax), it shows a divorced illegal alien declaring a $30,000 income with three dependents a standard deduction and without any tax withheld would receive a REFUND of $5,270 for federal income taxes!!!
That's a fairly good incentive to file.    (With a $40,000 income she only gets a refund of $1,936, at $25K the refund goes to $6,825) 

The article refers to them as "invisible taxpayers" - but, they may very well be paying an "invisible" tax!!

Worried about legality of dependents? The site declares "The person MUST BE a U.S. citizen, resident, national, a resident of Canada or Mexico . . ."

However, just to be fair TTax says the illegal alien filer would be responsible to pay $466 to the state of Utah  -  which would not quite cover the $18,000 for educating the three dependents. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

More Illegal Aliens Found Working in PKC

Here we go again. 

"One of Park City’s largest employers, the Stein Eriksen Lodge, recently lost about 10 percent of its workforce of more than 580 after a federal audit found those employees were ineligible to work in the United States."

This is quite similar to the Grand America Hotel last year, except that one took more time.   Same results:
  • Illegal aliens found employed in jobs Utahns could do.
  • No penalties to the employer
  • AFTER the audit, they begin to use E-verify, which has been required in Utah for a couple of years now.
The Deer Valley Resort where the lodge is located uses E-verify.  Two other large Park City hotels St. Regis and Marriott use E-verify, why not Stein Eriksen Lodge?  Could it be because there is no penalty for not doing so and cheap labors might increase the profit margin? 

For other E-verify users in Utah, check the list here.

Where have all Utah jobs gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the teen jobs gone?
Long time ago
Where have all workers gone?
Illegals took them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
(Apologies to Pete Seeger) 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Legislature Kills the last Illegal Immigration Bill

The last attempt to pass an illegal immigration law in this legislative session appears to have killed any hope of anything being passed to protect Utahns in lawful employment and other costs and problems associated with illegal aliens.

From the official journal:
Representative Herrod made a motion, under suspension of the rules, to lift H.B.
300 from the Rules Committee and refer it to the Law Enforcement and Criminal
Justice standing committee. Representatives Draxler and Harper commented. 

Paraphrased transcript from the recording of the session:

Herrod: We should not be afraid to tackle tough issues.
Draxler: against motion  - survey ranked immigration - highest points were the facets of guest-worker HB116, it's a mistake to lift bill at this time of the session   (HB 300 was introduced 27 Jan
Harper: proper motion, but against motion -   failed in rules with other immigration bills,  part of process;  if we do this, what other bills will we have to hear    (11:20) "what other games might be played?"  shouldn't be done this late in this session  (It's been sitting in rules for two weeks)
Dougall: Motion to "saunter'  (12:05)
Herrod: I warn this body about process; the legislature has lost the faith of Utahns;  Have you on rules even read the bill?:  We have high unemployment  for teenagers, high suicide rate;  21% of rape of child are by illegal aliens, murder rate up; but we won't even hear a bill that is constitutional (HB300)   Lincoln quote  “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”, don't use a ploy to saunter to stay away of vote
Dougall:  This is not a motion of cowardice      He (Herrod) issues a tirade day after day, very bitter about many things,  we need to cool down.

Chair: Voice vote - passed   division =  vote:
Comments by chair of what are we voting on -  not on bill, but to saunter.   
pause (long)  16:45  17:42 
Mel  Brown:  Point of order, need recess or adjourn- not to saunter, motion not debatable.  18.22   motion is to recess for 15 min.
Representative Dougall made a substitute motion to recess for 15 minutes.
Representative Herrod commented.

The motion to recess for 15 minutes passed on the following roll call:

Yeas, 40; Nays, 31; Absent or not voting, 4. 

Voting in the affirmative were: Representatives
Anderson Arent Barrus Bird Briscoe Chavez-Houck Cosgrove
 D Brown Daw Dee Dougall Doughty Duckworth Edwards Fisher
 Handy Harper Hemingway Hendrickson King Kiser Litvack
 M Brown McCay McIff Menlove Moss Newbold Poulson Powell Sagers
 Sanpei Seelig V Peterson Watkins Wheatley Wiley Wilson
 Wright Lockhart

Voting in the negative were: Representatives
Barlow Butterfield Christensen Cox Draxler Dunnigan Eliason
 Frank Froerer Galvez Gibson Greenwood Grover Herrod
 Hutchings Ipson Ivory J Peterson Last Mathis Nielson
 Noel Oda Painter Perry Pitcher Snow Sumsion Vickers Webb

Absent or not voting were: Representatives
Hughes Morley Ray Sandstrom
So ends 2012 Utah immigration enforcement, not with a bang, but a whimper   
House - 2012 General Legislative Session Day 35 Part 2 Feb 27, 2012 00h 19m
  Video MP3 Audio

If the link does not work, scroll through the archives on the home page.  When you get to the video click on "Lift Bill"   (about 8 min in)