Create A Better Immigration Bill 

I have the utmost respect for the character, opinions, ideas and approaches of our politicians, leaders, activists, friends and others. But I also have high respect and great loyalty to the immigrant community, our brothers, whether legal or illegal.

On the issue of immigration, I respect the ideas of legislators Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem, Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake, and many others as well as Arturo Morales (with Legal Immigrants for Immigration Law Enforcement). I applaud their efforts in their eagerness to find a statewide solution to the problem developed, presented or outlined in proposals.

Like them, we all agree that the solution is entirely a federal issue and not state, but because of the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the federal government, the facts are that some states like Utah will test local immigration laws.

I believe and am convinced—and with me are many, especially the immigrant community—that none of the proposals are a good solution and that they have more disadvantages than advantages. But all the proposals are unrealistic and have not respected participation of the immigrant community and specialists in immigration.

Not agreeing with or accepting the proposals is not an attack on the person or his or her public image. There is a misunderstanding between the defenders and the opponents of the proposals. “Disagreeing or highlighting problems with an idea or approach” is not an attack on the person. Ideas are criticized, not individuals. Only attack the credibility of people who do not have good arguments to counter the ideas or approaches.

From here, I call on all to lay down their attacks and respect people and confront the ideas and opinions in a reasonable and respectful way.

Also, I must express my disagreement with those leaders and supporters of the immigrant community who, when a Republican raises a law that does not favor immigrants, take to the streets and use radio, press, TV and press conferences to oppose and protest against that person or approach. But when it comes to a Democrat who does the same, those leaders or supporters become entirely silent accomplices. This is not fair. This is a double standard. Our loyalty is to the community and not to our feelings, personal preferences, political party or interest.

I ask our authorities to put aside their partisan political interests and work for the community, calling on all (including immigrants and specialists) to draw up a better bill for Utah.

Give the United States a lesson in democracy—not to impose an act of power by force but by the force of reason, which is the justice.

Jose Gutierrez
Utah Hispanic/Latino Coalition Salt Lake City

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