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Utah Passes Omnibus Immigration Law

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 08031390 (posted Mar. 13, 2008)"

On 03/13/08, Utah Governor Jon M. Huntsman, signed HB 81 into law. This omnibus law addresses law enforcement, licenses/IDs, employment, and public benefits.

Specifically, it:

  • requires public employers to use the E-Verify system;
  • requires a state agency to verify lawful presence in the United States with respect to public benefits;
  • requires the attorney general to negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding with DHS for the enforcement of federal immigration law by state and local law enforcement personnel;
  • prohibits local government units from enacting a policy that limits a law enforcement office from cooperating with federal officials regarding the immigration status of a person;
  • makes it a class A misdemeanor for a person to transport, conceal, harbor or shelter unauthorized immigrants.

The bill was amended from its original version in early March, notably removing the provisions that would have ended access to in-state tuition rates for undocumented immigrants who reside in the state.

According to the Governor, implementation of provisions in this law have been delayed until 07/01/09 in the hope that the federal government will resolve the issue first.

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