For several weeks, the media focused attention on stopping HB 477 which was passed with virtually no debate and during a late session. For weeks, I’ve been noting that HB 116 had been passed on the same night (actually, even later that night) under identical circumstances. At long last, one media outlet has called for HB116 to be repealed. Imagine the surprise when the Salt Lake Tribune penned an editorial entitled “Friendly Fire” focused on the bill:
A group of Utah Republicans has launched an online petition drive urging the Legislature to repeal the state’s new guest worker law. We agree that the law never should have been enacted and should be repealed, but we disagree on the reasons.
The petitioners are right that the new guest worker law is unconstitutional. Only Congress, not the state of Utah, can pass immigration laws. If each state attempted to create its own immigration system, chaos would result. For that reason, the new Utah law should be repealed.
Yes, the Tribune did fail to mention the fact that (besides being unconstitutional) the bill as passed just like HB477 but at least they actually cared about constitutionality. They also admit not really liking those who oppose the bill on other grounds besides those already mentioned but both sides have a healthy dose of a common ground and objective: Getting rid of atrocious legislation perpetuated at the behest of powerful special interest lobbyists*.
*Note: The Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce was one of the big pushers of HB116 and their chief lobbyist also came out explicitly stating that they worked to severely water down enforcement legislation. More on that in another post later.