Migrants in Utah React To US Immigration Plans

"We're not all criminals. We are not all bad people."

ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) The threat of deportation and harsher immigration laws worries Utahns born in other countries as they battle through the long and expensive path to citizenship. 
 
Dixie State University student Beatriz Giron was three years old when her mother snuck her across the Mexican border, fleeing corruption to hide in the US.
 
"We just kind of hopped over it. It wasn't a wall. There was no wire, there was no fencing that I remember. We got in a car and we drove away," Giron said. 
 
The wife and mother of two didn't know she was undocumented until she tried to get a driver license when she was nearly 16.
 
"At that moment, I was like, oh, I'm so different. I can't. That was the first time that 'I can't' became so vivid in my life," Giron said. 
 
She now has a green card, after waiting nearly four years and spending $10,000. 
 
However, many people in her family remain undocumented. 
 
"People that I know, that unfortunately had to sneak over illegally, find themselves in a constant state of panic," Giron said. 
 
"A lot of people feel like this is it. They're going to kick us out and do everything they can to get rid of us," Ivan Souverbielle said.
 
Souverbielle immigrated legally from Mexico after serving a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission in Utah. He says stereotypes of terrorists and drug smugglers coming to America are false. 
 
"We're not all criminals. We are not all bad people," Souverbielle said.  
 
That's the sticking point both Mexican-born migrants want lawmakers to know: the vast majority of undocumented immigrants came to improve their lives and the country. 
 
"People that I know, they take being here like the best opportunity ever. They don't commit crimes, they don't do anything illegal. They pay their taxes. They're not on welfare," Giron said. 
 
An estimated 100,000 undocumented migrants live in Utah. 
 
Undocumented migrants in Utah paid more than $67 million in state and federal taxes, according to the most recent data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy

An estimated 100,000 undocumented migrants live in Utah. 


More Stories

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center