Citizen’s Summary On The Utah Commission on Immigration and Migration

I had this summary of the July 2, 2012 meeting passed on to me by a citizen attendee. The commission is chaired by Lt. Governor Bell and Attorney General Shurtleff is a member.  Edits were limited to a couple of spots where they went a bit off topic and commissioner names (look for brackets). Otherwise, the text of the summary, including typos, is in tact and unedited to allow for background information and avoid altering the writer’s personal opinion.

It should also be noted that this summary also demonstrates the Commission’s penchant to avoid hearing from citizens affected by illegal immigrants and the problem of relying on studies that don’t actually address the topic at hand. As noted in the first paragraph, one gentleman has been brushed off more than once and later a study is presented that fails to distinguish legal and illegal immigrant. This time, however, they did fit in testimony from a mother who’s son was the victim of illegal alien identity theft. Nevertheless, at this same meeting, one commissioner wants to officially disregard such testimony and only consider scholarly studies as discussed in yesterday’s post regarding the proposal.  Summary:

It was a terrible shame to see Mr. Bowers, whose son, Jonathan, was killed by a drunken illegal alien last year, once again present at the commission meeting the other day, once again ready to testify — and once again ignominiously bumped from the commission meeting agenda. It seems someone on the commission thought this grieving father’s testimony was merely “anecdotal,” not “scholarly” enough to be worth hearing. The commission, it was suggested, should instead stick with “scholars,” and “scholarly” data — not “isolated,” “unverified” testimonials by non-experts and country bumpkins. Blah blah blah, we’ve heard it all before, we’ve heard enough, we’re bored with it, intimated another commissioner, regarding citizen testimonials.

Certainly everyone in the room understood how biased a “scholarly” testimony could be. Both [Anderson and Tobias] vigorously raised this issue a couple of meetings ago and again this week. As I recall, the question of which “expert” testimonies should be commissioned, or even considered, had not yet been put to a vote, and remained unresolved.

Thus it was a surprise to a number of persons in the room when Pam Perlich, a University of Utah demographer, launched into a 20 minute PowerPoint presentation entitled, “Coming to our Census.”

Perlich had given variations of this presentation many times since 2010. Basically she warns that White Utah is facing imminent extinction and that if the state is to survive, it must accept the “new demographic” — which she identified as primarily Latinos, their babies, and their future babies — and that Utah also must agree to dramatically increase taxpayer funding in order to medicate and educate the “new face of Utah.” Besides, she repeatedly asserted, it is Utahns’ moral “responsibility.”

Much was made of the supposedly intrinsic value of diversity. (Of course, “diversity” ALWAYS is good, regardless of how good or bad, beneficial or detrimental, the divers elements are. Plus, unity is not important.)

Perlich clearly implied the illegal-alien invasion is no different than any “successive wave of new Americans” in the history of the country.

[snip]

It seems Perlich’s study has been seized upon by the Salt Lake Chamber, by Deseret Management Corporation (parent company of Deseret News, KSL, and related Internet sites), by some members of the Utah Commission on Immigration and Migration itself, and by various other boards and commissions in Utah. Many of these, by the way, seem to be interlocked. For example, Governor Herbert’s Education Excellence Commission includes Lane Beatty, who also is President and CEO of the the Chamber. Salt Lake’s Downtown Alliance is led by Jason Mathis — who also is on the immigration commission, and also is executive vice president of the Chamber. [snip]. Perlich’s points have been echoed almost verbatim by Salt Lake Chamber economist Natalie Glochnour, and form the primary basis for the Deseret News’ and KSL’s recent, multi-article, flagrantly pro-sanctuary, anti-enforcement series of articles, which series also is entitled “Coming To Our Census.”

Of course, the Chamber, Deseret Management, and at least some on Utah’s interlocking boards and commissions, and with no discernible objection from Perlich herself, are spinning Perlich’s study to subtly but clearly suggest that illegal aliens in Utah are not going anywhere; that they are reproducing at a faster rate in this country than in the country from whence they came and even more rapidly than the early pioneers; and that Utah therefore needs to “Shut up,” “Suck it up,” “Cough it up” (“Pay Up”).

According to them, one of the several items taxpayers should be opening their purses even wider for — again, if they are to fulfill their responsibility to the rising generation, they claim — is all-day Kindergarten. Not just “Kindergarten,” mind you, but ALL-DAY Kindergarten, specifically. They also are calling for pre-school (i.e., PRE-Kindergarten) — yes, that’s right, pre-school, for ALL illegal aliens and ALL anchor babies in Utah.

Surely the Chamber loves THAT idea (Glochnour, at least, is expressly pushing for it). After all, these things basically amount to taxpayer-funded day-care — which of course would facilitate the Chamber’s illegal employment of both father AND mother (God knows the father’s slave-wage alone isn’t enough).

Of course all this funding sounds altruistic and humane on the surface — until one realizes that the altruism and humanity apply only to illegal aliens and their anchor babies, not to America’s children, nor to their parents, who are losing wages, jobs, and homes.

Another presenter at the meeting, whose name I do not remember, subtly pointed to Driver Privilege Cards as the Key to illegal-alien health and therefore something that should never be done away with in Utah. He candidly acknowledged that illegal aliens are healthier than Americans in Utah — not a surprise, considering how much more enriched illegal aliens are by various health and welfare services than are most Americans, well coached as illegal aliens are in how to game the system and obtain these services for free, at taxpayer and premium-payer expense.

By carefully framing the issue of illegal immigration as one of ethnic demographics and skin color — instead of acknowledging that it really is about culture, values, and choices — the Chamber, Deseret Management, the interlocking commissions, and Perlich herself, effectively are setting up Utahns such that if they will not “come to their senses” and embrace the “changing demographics” of Utah — i.e., illegal immigration — then they are selfish, irresponsible, and racist. Indeed the Race Card is being played very skillfully in Utah today, by all these parties.

Upon the conclusion of Ms. Perlich’s presentation, [Tobias] dropped a bomb which effectively rendered moot Ms. Perlich’s 20-minute presentation: Of COURSE Utahns fully embrace LEGAL immigration; of COURSE Utahns recognize the valuable role LEGAL immigrants play today and will play tomorrow. Given that the commission and meeting ostensibly were about addressing the issue of illegal immigration, and given that Ms. Perlich — like the formulators of the Utah Compact before her — made no distinction between legal and illegal immigration in regard to her subjects, what could Perlich and the rest of the Commission say in reponse to [Tobias]’s rejoinder? Not much.

[Tobias] gave no quarter. She inquired of Perlich whether she had distinguished between legal and illegal residency status among the “new face of Utah.” Perlich didn’t seem to have a very satisfactory affirmative response to that either. How could she? As [Tobias] pointed out, we’re not even allowed to ask that question in Utah! [Tobias] then asked whether illegals’ easy access to medical care — free child delivery, for example — as compared to most Americans’ inability to afford such medical care, might not have something to do with “the new face of Utah’s” current and projected birth rates in this country and U.S. citizens’ current and projected birthrates.

When asked whether illegal aliens are able to receive welfare benefits a commission member from Workforce Services said no. [Anderson and Tobias] pounced on that. The Workforce Services fellow was then forced to acknowledge that illegal aliens often obtain benefits through the use of fraudulent documents and that even where this is not the case, there is no practical way to police the dispostition of welfare monies and benefits at the end of the line. In other words, there is nothing really to stop illegal-alien parents from wiring money to Mexico that was earmarked for baby’s pablum.

Jennifer Andrushko gave a great presentation regarding the theft and wanton exploitation of her son’s identity, which even predates his birth by some years. As an added bonus, she used the words of House Immigration Subcommittee Ranking Member and pro-illegal-alien, pro-amnesty Zoe Lofgren against those of the commission who had suggested that only “scholarly data” had veracity: Lofgren had suggested, in so many words, that “scholarly data” can mean essentially nothing, and often does.

Lacking any voice recorder, transcript, or good notes to speak of, I am leaving out much, regrettably. [snip]

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Utah Commission on Immigration and Migration: Shut Up, He Explained

In April, the Sutherland Institute’s Paul Mero made it clear that he didn’t want the Utah Commission on Immigration and Migration to hear from citizens (Chaired by Lt. Governor Bell with Attorney General Mark Shurtleff as a member). In typical form, he condescendingly insulted anyone who would dare address the commission.

Now, another commission member (albeit with more tact) also wants to exclude citizens from commission findings. In the proposal they want to only hear from a very limited group:

1) Any research or findings the Commission reviews shall be factually based and verifiable. The Commission will focus on data that comes from academic sources and quantifiable research.

Jason Mathis simply does not want to hear citizen experiences and expertise with illegal immigration. He noted that personal experiences are isolated and, thus, insignificant. The fact is personal experience does factor into policies as government and society weigh consequences. What may seem a minor problem based on numbers in a report can make us shudder and deem it entirely unacceptable when faced with the tangible outcome.

Effectively, this is a ruse to lock out citizens while picking studies and groups to listen to. Furthermore, the studies will have a tendency to be rapid-fire and poorly vetted in order to meet deadlines for commission recommendations. An example of a rushed and flawed immigration study can be found on KSL related to illegal immigrant crime. KSL ended up with egg on its face as sampling-savvy commenters tore the methodology and conclusions to shreds.  Then there’s the factor of picking and choosing studies (especially in a commission stacked with pro-amnesty special interests).

The fact of the matter is the commission is supposed to take citizen comment and feedback into consideration. When first formed, the exclusionary precedent was set as citizen members were not invited to the first meeting. Mero carried on the precedent and it is still being pushed. This is just another example of insiders telling us to shut up and let them have their way.

I’m not buying it and I hope you won’t either.

By Request – Civility: Mero Ridicules Citizen Input On Utah Government Commission

Well, I didn’t think I would have time to do much more than put up a tweet on Sutherland Institute President Paul Mero’s snarky email to citizen members (pdf) of the Utah Immigration and Migration Commission….but when an adoring fan pleads with you to “Please spread it far and wide“, how can I say no?

Here are the…er…highlights from Mr. Mero’s email…dripping with condescension and insults for your entertainment:

I offer this insight as the one who did express in our last meeting that not only have I had enough random email from “citizen experts” about immigrants living in Utah, I will oppose any attempts to open pathways for this sort of input into the Commission.

That said, I commend you ladies for creating a valve thorough Facebook to allow concerned citizens, from all over the world, to vent their opinions and share the minutia of their anecdotal experiences as to why they don’t have a job or why their neighbor was violated or why some little children shouldn’t be taught in government schools like their own kids living off of the generosity of taxpayers as well.

Perhaps this is not a good day for me to respond thusly. Then again, given all I’ve already been through on this issue, perhaps these comments are as simple as not wanting to subject myself to even more kooky conspiracy theories and the rantings of “patriots” who, as God as their witness, know more about this issue because they’ve seen a Mexican than every serious mind in Utah who already has worked this issue with a fine tooth comb.

…and I’ll pushback on any efforts to use the brief meetings we have to entertain any agenda, any “concerns,” that even sound, in the slightest, like they were born in the crazed minds of a nativist community of people who already have more than sufficiently expressed their views across the Internet, through email and, unfortunately in many cases, in person to me.

Please don’t contact Mr. Mero.  The other commission members seem more open and were also reminded in Ms. Tobias’ response to the above email that the commission is supposed to take citizen input…even if it means Mr. Mero will feel sullied from having to allow the ‘unwashed masses’ to attend or (gasp) testify at a meeting.

Further background on this and Ms. Tobias’ response available here.

Shurtleff Again Partners With Soros-Backed Group

About six months ago, Utah’s Attorney General,Mark Shurtleff, began teaming* with a George Soros funded group (National Immigration Forum).  Back then, the group’s “summit” included Salt Lake City Police Chief Burbank and KSL host, Doug Wright, having a good laugh about knowing where stolen and fraudulent identities are sold locally effectively broadcasting Burbank will do nothing about it.  Interestingly, Mark Shurtleff  (aka “Utah’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer) was sitting next to them and never admonished either one.  Besides pressing for illegal immigrant amnesty, the group also works to stop E-Verify implementation.

Apparently, Mr. Shurtleff likes the group’s positions and direction so much, he’s going to help them push their agenda in the Southeastern United States:

April 2012

– Mayor Paul Bridges of Uvalda, Georgia, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, Jeb Bush, Jr. and others will host the Southeast Summit: Forging a New Consensus on Immigrants and America in Atlanta. At this event, business, law enforcement, and faith leaders from Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia will begin to develop a common understanding of the value of immigrants and immigration to the Southeast and America.

*Note: Besides Shurlteff, Burbank, and Wright, the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce and Sutherland Institute (Paul Mero), Downtown Alliance, and “Melaleuca” were also involved in the event.

Bramble Spills LDS Public Affairs Involvement On HB116 (Update)

A few weeks ago (March 12, 2012), Utah State Senator Curt Bramble got into a Facebook argument on legislation and HB116 came up.  Here’s what Bramble stated (edited to protect privacy):

Realistically, this isn’t much of a surprise given documentation of LDS Church Public Affairs’ prior antics on the subject.  Senator Madsen also noted Public Affairs involvement in 2011.  Interestingly, I think this is the first time that Bramble has explicitly told of church involvement.

What this doesn’t say, however, is how involved church lobbyists (Bill Evans and John Taylor) were in the details of the bill.  Particularly given the majority of  provisions which are clearly in line with Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce (a major proponent) desires.  It certainly appears the Chamber crafted the majority of the bill with Bramble.  Bramble may well be speaking in generalities here.  It also leaves one to wonder if Bramble and bill proponents (including the Sutherland Institute) lead the church down the primrose path on what the bill actually does.

This also doesn’t change the fact that the LDS First Presidency still has not released any statement on HB 116.  More so, when called on the issue by member opponents, church headquarters explicitly stated that political opposition was entirely in order and absolutely not out of line.  Quizzically, on several different occasions, callers were informed that the law was not expected to go into effect or stand (is it just a PR game??).

What ever the case, Bramble provides another data point on the issue.

UPDATE: Looks like the Salt Lake Tribune blew their report by failing to ask key legislators regarding  LDS Church lobbying on HB116.  Today’s article (How Utah’s Capitol marches to a Mormon beat ) didn’t ask any of the amnesty bill’s key players regarding church influence.  I have no idea why they didn’t ask Bramble, Madsen, Noel, Sandstrom, Wimmer etc…it seems like a wasted effort on the Tribune’s part.  Sheesh, Dave Montero (their own reporter) could’ve pointed the writer (Davidson) to the right folks.

Also, the Facebook post with Bramble’s comments was deleted (hence no link) but I have a copy of it.

ABC4 Identity Theft Report Highlights Utah Voter And Child Risk (Lt Gov, Legislature Inaction)

Late last week, ABC4 reported that “Identity Theft on the rise in Utah“.  A few portions caught my attention.  First:

“It’s like they know our seniors. My mother in law is 91, she has been targeted many times,” said one woman.

It may well be because they do know our seniors, and Utah government, specifically the Lieutenant Governor’s office may well be providing crucial information for the scammers to target seniors.  The Lt. Governor’s office makes the entire Utah voter registry publicly available to those willing to pay for it.  The list includes name, address, phone number and…date of birth.  With this list, all scammers need to do is filter out the elderly (using date of birth) and they have a rapidly, refined target list.

Surely, the Lt. Governor would take action?  Quite the opposite: this year a bill was amended to protect voter date of birth from release.  The Lt. Governor threw a hissy fit and including an offensive political charade. Then the Senate took revenge on the Representative who amended the bill.  Additionally, the Utah Republican and Democrat Parties also added their spin (they’ve been consistent opponents for marketing reasons).  They succeeded in getting the House to capitulate and remove the amendment.

Next, another bill will allow you to choose to make your date of birth private (HB304S1).  Yet again, as it made progress (despite Republican and Democrat Party pressure), the Lt. Governor’s office struck again, attaching a large fiscal note to the bill in an effort to kill it.  Apparently, the money from voter registry sales and Party politics take precedence over our seniors, and voters in general*.

Immediately contact your Representative and Senator and politely, but firmly, request that they support HB304S1.

On to the second point of interest:

…a new chilling trend is child identity theft…what we realize is it comes at the worst possible moment. 18 they want to go to school, all of a sudden they find out their credit it ruined,” said Kirk Torgensen, Chief Attorney at the Utah Attorney General’s Office.

I’ve tracked identity theft for years.  This year, the legislature, again, had the chance to bolster the E-Verify law to significantly prevent employment-related child identity theft.  Pressure to stop the legislation included the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, Sutherland Institute, and the LDS Church Public Affairs.  Thus, rather than protection, they opted for deception.

*Note: The released sensitive information on voter registration increases identity theft risk for all voters.  Also be aware: victims of abuse (especially with restraining orders) and stalking victims must also disclose their personal information in order to vote.  This raises a personal safety concern for those individuals.  This problem came up too late to address but absolutely must be remedied by the next session.

Rejection: Republican Legislators Defy Delegates On Illegal Immigration

I think it’s more than safe to say HB300 is dead.  However, its death is instructive on certain legislators’ attitudes toward their constituencies represented by delegates.

During 2011, several county and even the State GOP convention passed resolutions instructing legislators to repeal Utah’s rammed-through highly flawed amnesty legislation (HB116) and replace it with legislation that would respect the Constitution, actually be debated, and respect identity theft victims (HB300 was that bill).  Further, the instruction passed despite fierce opposition from well funded and well organized special interests along with pleas from political elites like Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and in Governor Herbert’s presence.  It was a case of David and Goliath as a small grassroots effort resonated with citizens elected by their neighbors sent a clear message to the legislature.

Unfortunately, many legislators (particularly leadership such as Bramble and Lockhart) appear so beholden to special interests, loyal only to their own interests, or lack the fortitude to stand up to the special interests behind HB116, that they entirely capitulated.  The Senate President (Waddoups) also couldn’t be bothered to stand by his pledge.  They flatly rejected the citizen delegates who nominated them.

Meanwhile, Governor Herbert is still trying to salvage something by reiterating how strongly he supports E-Verify legislation.  As I noted on Monday, the fact of the matter is he doesn’t really give a rip.  He will talk big but will take absolutely no action or show even a whiff of leadership.  The E-Verify bill (HB477) was a single vote away from the committee hearing but the Governor could not be bothered to get that vote or involve himself in the matter at all…but he did find the time to declare “Jeremy Evans Day”. That speaks volumes.

Actually, both the actions of the Legislature’s leadership and the Governor speak volumes.