I’m a strong believer in the rule of law and the need to control our borders. However, as an attorney, I’ve studied the doctrine of preemption outlined in the U.S. Constitution, which dictates where the federal government trumps states on public policy. The State of Utah has extremely limited standing to take action on immigration due to the doctrine of federal preemption. We are further limited by being an interior (non-border) state. Illegal entry is a crime in the border state where the illegal entry occurred, but it is not, for example, a crime to cross from Arizona to Utah.  This is a federal issue and as such the changes or reforms I believe to be the most pressing must be handled at the federal level.

The State can and should urge Congress through resolutions to enact reforms to our immigration system and resolve this patchwork of fixes. There may be some call for State level legislation on identity theft, weapons and drug trafficking or other crimes that might be related to, or offshoots of, illegal immigration. I would strongly support this type of public policy action by the Legislature.

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