Guest Worker Program, Immigration, Law Enforcement, Legislation

Editorial: Do the Right Thing on Immigration

From, “Editorial: Do the right thing on immigration,” 3 Apr 2011.

[Fort Myers, FL] — It’s true that only Congress can fix immigration comprehensively.

But Utah, a conservative state, recently adopted a series of immigration reforms that touched all the bases: tougher enforcement, a guest-worker program to meet the state’s labor needs and fines and work permits for the unauthorized immigrants already living and working in Utah.

This is an embarrassing contrast to Florida’s proposals, which continue to emphasize Arizona-style “enforcement only,” with its unavoidable (if unintended) racial profiling and alienation of immigrant communities.

Senate Bill 2040, scheduled for a vote today by the state Senate Judiciary Committee, is a good example of this bad trend.

Utah’s program is imperfect and may well be unconstitutional.

But it is decent and comprehensive, something promised 12 years ago under George W. Bush, and still undone under Barack Obama.

Other states, impatient for action but following the dictates of humanity and common sense rather than pandering to anti-immigrant prejudice, might follow the Utah model. Congress might finally be forced to act – and it would have a good model for at least part of the problem.

Illegal immigration is down because of the bad economy. This should give us time to do the right thing on immigration, rather than passing ill-considered laws. For example, Florida farm interests worry that state enforcement without a guest-worker program in place will leave them short of labor.

If Florida lawmakers are determined to legislate on immigration, urge them to help point Washington in the right direction, instead of engaging in immigrant-bashing.

Read at:, “Editorial: Do the right thing on immigration,” 3 Apr 2011.


About Farmworkers Forum

Farmworkers Forum is an online news and information resource for and about farmworkers. Your comments and suggestions are welcomed and very much appreciated! Let us know how we can improve this forum to better serve your needs and interests.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 139 other followers

%d bloggers like this: