A Brief Reply to the Anti-Immigrant Utah Law

Immigration Reform Leaders Arrested 4

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I am thrilled this morning, in part due to the wonderful news that Immigration Equality has filed an amicus brief against the controversial and anti-immigrant Utah law:

According to Immigration Equality, the Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act, similar to the controversial law passed last year in Arizona, contains a provision that criminalizes “harboring” and “sheltering” documented individuals, which poses a direct threat to LGBT binational families. The group argued against the law in the amicus brief filed with pro bono support from the law firm of Wilmer, Hale and the Utah Legal Clinic

The Utah law doesn’t just affect LGBT bi-national families. On an average day, I could care less for any policy that arbitrarily assigns rights based on a nuclear family unit. People who love each other shouldn’t be torn apart by the ruthless system regardless of whether they are married or whether one has U.S. citizenship. However, what makes me happy is that I support an organization that doesn’t idly support an immigration reform that cloaks anti-immigrant policies like some of our dear friends:

Utah’s new law has thrilled immigration reform advocates like Frank Sharry, founder of America’s Voice.

“The Utah legislation is a very rough draft of what we call comprehensive immigration reform at the national level,” Sharry says.



This comes on the heels of the American Civil Liberties Union suing Utah for passing a watered-down version of the papers-please Arizona law. I will venture to say that the Utah law is more dangerous. It serves to mask anti-immigrant policies in a pro-immigrant light. This was on show at the Migration Policy Institute conference in late April where the Utah Attorney General paraded the new law as an answer to harsh immigration laws. And the audience in the theater applauded him.

By now, you should have grabbed some popcorn and taken a cushy seat in the theater where the non-profit industrial complex tries to move away from its support of harsh anti-immigrant legislation after years of promoting that very agenda. Sometimes they slip up and show the true faces behind the mask.

It’s mindless entertainment when the parallel structures you have built are stronger, more powerful, far more influential and can see through the smokes and mirrors.

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