Candidates don’t want cops after illegals
An immigration measure slated to take effect next July had candidates sounding off last week about burdens the new law places on Summit County government.
Those vying in November for five new Summit County Council seats were asked at the town-hall style gathering in the Snyderville Basin Sept. 18 to explain impacts of the controversial Senate Bill 81.
"I’m not sure I want to provide my opinion," said Woodland Republican Bill Miles who is campaigning for seat A. "My belief is that we should follow the law, we shouldn’t provide shortcuts."
But Basin Democrat Claudia McMullin, who is vying for seat B, said she is against SB 81.
"It imposes tremendous burdens on the counties," McMullin explained.
Sally Elliott, the Democrat in the race for seat A, explained that the federal government is responsible for enforcement.
But the new law may require government employers register to use a system that verifies the work status of new employees. The law also could require governmental entities to verify the immigration status of people who apply for state or local benefits.
SB 81 also requires local police officers and sheriff’s deputies begin aggressively enforcing immigration laws by detaining people in the United States illegally. The new law could make transporting or sheltering illegal immigrants in Utah a misdemeanor.
"The laws need to be enforced," said Henefer Republican Grant Richins who is campaigning for seat B.
Silver Creek Democrat John Hanrahan, who is vying for seat C, insists the responsibility for immigration enforcement rests with the federal government.
Parkite Tom Hurd, the Republican in the race for seat C, said deputies shouldn’t be charged with enforcing immigration laws.
Republican Parkite Alison Pitt is running for seat D and said laws need to be simplified so employers can easily hire from overseas.
But "we are a nation of laws," countered Jeremy Ranch resident Gary Shumway, Pitt’s opponent from the Constitution Party.
"I’m not sure it’s a County Council issue," Shumway said.
Basin resident Chris Robinson, the Democrat in the race for seat D, said he would oppose laws that shift responsibility for immigration enforcement from federal to local government.
Finally, Kamas Republican David Ure is vying for seat E after spending several years tackling immigration in the Utah House of Representatives.
"SB 81 brings us in to enforce immigration laws," Ure said, adding that he would oppose budgeting new money for the Summit County Sheriff’s Office to track illegal immigrants.
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