Guest Worker Program, Legislation, Politics

Activists in GOP Work for Repeal of Guest-Worker Law

From SLTrib.com, The Salt Lake Tribune, “Activists in GOP work for repeal of guest-worker law” by David Montero, 25 Mar 2011.

Still smoldering after Gov. Gary Herbert signed a guest-worker immigration bill into law, Keri Witte decided to take matters into her own hands.

So the Provo mother of two pulled out her copy of Robert’s Rules of Order, a few old resolutions she had seen drafted in the past and began drafting a document she intended to have sent to every Republican county party for passage as a resolution.

“No, I’d never written one before,” she said. “But I had several friends look it over first to make sure it was OK.”

It wasn’t quite OK at first.

She brought it to Utah County Republican Party’s Executive Committee, where it was critiqued for being “overly harsh and personal” in its criticisms against lawmakers. So Witte tried a new version and delivered it to the Salt Lake County Republicans on March 17.

It passed a vote of the party’s Central Committee.

“I’m just surprised and disappointed with our elected officials that supported this,” Witte said. “There are many facets of HB116 that come straight out of the Democrats’ platform. I’m surprised they supported something that goes against Republican ideals.”

Witte also has drafts prepared for the Republican parties of Piute, Iron and Beaver counties — all of which have annual organizing conventions this weekend, and which begin a series of more than two dozen such gatherings over coming weeks leading up to the June 18 state Republican convention.

Her approach is one of a series of tactics being used by those angered by the passage of the guest-worker bill, which has also garnered national attention as a possible model of immigration reform.

The bill doesn’t take effect for two years and relies on getting federal waivers to function. Among its provisions, HB116 allows for workers and families to get permits to work and reside in Utah and register through the Department of Public Safety. It would cost $2,500 for an undocumented immigrant to obtain a permit — $1,000 if the person overstayed a visa.

Read more at: SLTrib.com, The Salt Lake Tribune, “Activists in GOP work for repeal of guest-worker law” by David Montero, 25 Mar 2011.

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