SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Utah business leaders are giving a renewed push for comprehensive immigration reform.
Across the country 122 republican donors signed a joint letter to congress including 9 in Utah. In the letter the donors are asking republican members to fix our country's immigration system. Among those who signed, Stan Lockhart, the former Chairman of the Utah Republican Party. "Illegal Immigrants overall t are contributors to our society,” says Lockhart.
Lockhart tells ABC 4 Utah our current immigration system isn't working and congress is only keeping illegal immigrants in the shadows. “By bringing them out of the shadows we allow them to start paying taxes, to start contributing, to start being a part of what America is all about, “ says Lockhart.
In the letter business leaders are asking for three main points. One, securing the borders, Two, providing a legal pathway for U.S. based companies to hire legal workers, and three, to provide a simple path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants already in the U.S. “ I signed it because I feel strongly now is the time to act. As we watch what is going on in Washington D.C. there seems to be a predisposition for nothing to happen or for very little to happen and we are trying to encourage them to do more,” says Lockhart.
Utah immigration advocates say they are proud to see business leaders stepping up to pass comprehensive immigration reform especially because of the role it has on the states economy. “A good portion of our economy depends on people coming to visit our state and that usually employs a lot of people in the service industry, in construction, where a lot of the back bone is done and a lot of farming as well, which is good for Utah’s economy,” says Tony Yapius, immigration activist with Proyecto Latino de Utah.
Lockhart goes on to say in an effort to fix our current immigration system Republican donors are advocating for laws to be changed so that immigrants can become legal without going through such a difficult process “Congress made it so difficult now congress needs to make it easier. That is why were calling on congress to act. They are the ones that created the problem, so fix the problem congress.”