Friday, you can join activists who will be rallying outside the federal courthouse on House Bill 497, what critics are calling Utah’s “Papers Please” immigration-enforcement law passed in 2011 that requires law enforcement to check the immigration status of certain arrested individuals.
HB 497, sponsored by Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem, allows law enforcement the discretion to ask individuals for proof of citizenship in some circumstances, which worries immigration-reform advocates who say the bill only instills a culture of fear among Utah’s Latino population. The bill also requires law enforcement to check the immigration status of individuals arrested for felonies and serious misdemeanors. Since May 2011, a suit has been brought to block the law from going into effect, first by civil-rights advocates, before later being joined by the United States Department of Justice.
Friday’s court hearing will be the first on whether the law is unconstitutional in allowing the state to take over regulating immigration from the federal government. If you want to come and make some noise for comprehensive and compassionate immigration reform, then show up at the rally and let your voice be heard.
Check it out, Friday, Feb. 17, from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. outside the Frank Moss Federal Courthouse, 350 S. Main, Salt Lake City.