I have been getting reputable reports that the Utah League of Cities and Towns (ULCT) worked in the background to negatively influence the fiscal analysis of Rep. Sandstrom’s Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act (HB 70). The ULCT represents Utah Municipal governments and lobbies etc on their behalf. It should also be noted that Utah municipalities have a less than stellar record in complying with illegal immigration/identity theft legislation themselves.
Currently, it appears the ULCT lobbied to inflate the fiscal note on HB70 by arguing it will increase law enforcement costs (such as hiring new officers etc) by requiring officers to go out of their way to enforce immigration law. The problem with their argument lies in the fact that the bill does not require such. The bill requires that officers, with reasonable suspicion, verify immigration/citizenship status of an individual they have already detained or arrested.
The money to fund the officer in making the primary arrest (for another offense) has already been expended regardless of whether or not they verify lawful presence status. Thus, HB70 only kicks in during the routine performance of an officer’s arresting authority and does not require them to separately enforce immigration law.
Under ULCT’s argument, you could justifiably say that correcting misspellings in a document includes the cost of the computer, electricity, software, office furniture, and other sundry expenses of having a computer.
Finally, it is imperative that you immediately contact your own State Representative and Senator and politely, but firmly, ask that they support HB70. Also, call your Mayor and City Council and ask if they are aware of the ULCT actions related to this bill. Ask that they support HB70 and they urge the ULCT to do the same.