Utah to start own "guest" worker program, collaborating with Mexican government; Shurtleff; HB466

Utah is pushing to start their own state-level guest workers program, and they hope to work with the Mexican government (specifically the state of Nuevo Leon) to do it. This program will almost assuredly reduce wages for Americans in that state, it will probably lead to more illegal immigration (due to the network effect), and it will probably also lead to more mixed status families (i.e., Mexican citizen parents and U.S. citizen children).

Their first step is a bipartisan bill (HB466) sponsored by state senator Curt Bramble and state representative [Stephen Sandstrom and promoted by Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. Per this:

The bill would create a 27-member commission comprised of legislative leaders in both parties, legislators, the attorney general, state department heads and residents. It would study the economic, legal, cultural and educational impact of illegal immigration and develop a plan to use migrant workers in the state.

It also would authorize the governor to negotiate an agreement with the state of Nuevo Leon in Mexico to provide workers to Utah. The project would be evaluated after a year to determine whether the state should consider agreements with other countries.

You can read HB 466 here. Note that the ten citizens appointed to the Commission would no doubt all or almost all be on the pro-mass immigration side. Those citizens selected would have to come from one of:

(i) an immigrant or immigrant-serving, community-based organization; (ii) a philanthropic organization; (iii) an advocacy group; (iv) a business, including an immigrant entrepreneur; (v) a union; (vi) academia; or (vii) a faith-based organization.

Only iii would include someone who'd be opposed to "guest" workers, mass immigration, or illegal immigration. And, just as with other panels elsewhere, there's a strong chance that they'd be at the most just a setup person.

The "guest" worker program is described here:

(1) With the assistance of the attorney general, and subject to Section 63G-12-302 , the governor may negotiate and enter into a memorandum of understanding with the government of the State of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, through its Migrant Attention Center to create a pilot project known as the "Migrant Worker Visa Pilot Project" under which Utah businesses may obtain legal foreign migrant workers through use of United States nonimmigrant visas.
...(1) Under the pilot project memorandum of understanding, the governor may commit the state, including the commission, to work directly with officials of the government of the State of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, including the Migrant Attention Center, to encourage, facilitate, and support the migration of legal Mexican migrant workers from the State of Nuevo Leon to Utah for the purpose of filling jobs with Utah businesses most in need of skilled and unskilled migrant labor.
(2) The pilot project and the pilot project memorandum of understanding shall:
(a) be compatible with the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1101 et seq., and federal policies, procedures, and requirements for issuing United States nonimmigrant visas to Mexicans qualified to participate in the pilot project, with particular attention to the following:
(i) a Utah business hiring an alien through the pilot project shall demonstrate and certify that there are not sufficient workers where that labor is to be performed who are able, willing, qualified, and available at the time of application for a United States nonimmigrant visa; and
(ii) the employment of the alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of workers in Utah who are similarly employed;

Such a program would add to the labor supply and would necessarily impact the wages of Americans in Utah doing low-wage work. Then, connected growers and manufacturers would "certify" that they can't find jobs for those newly-lowered-wage jobs, pulling tricks and strings to do so.

And, those "guests" would assist with the "network effect": they'd tell their friends about Utah and if those friends can't get into the program they might decide to go there illegally, knowing that they'll find a support network in place. Some of those "guests" will have U.S. citizen children, increasing the chances that they'll decide to stay in the U.S. illegally. And, for those who decide to stay, raising the possibility of "separating families" and giving yet another chip to the far-left and the Dems to support amnesty.

If a "guest" doesn't leave when their time is up, a provision would notify the Department of Homeland Security, and agency that's shown little interest in deporting non-criminal illegal aliens away from the border.

This is basically just a crooked scheme that will lower U.S. wages and increase illegal immigration.

3/8/11 UPDATE: The bill has passed and apparently awaits governor Gary Herbert's signature; you can contact him at utah.gov/governor/contact . State representative Chris Herrod says he'll help anyone who wants to sue Utah over illegal immigration (link). Whether anything like that would fly or not isn't clear, but overall the best way to oppose things like this is through plans such as question authority. A smart, experienced trial lawyer "cross-examining" Herbert or another politician over this issue on video destined for Youtube would send a strong message to other politicians and might prevent "guest" programs like the one described above. The problem - the same problem that's existed for the four+ years I've been promoting the question authority plan - is finding anyone else willing to get involved.

And, former George W Bush lackey Alfonso Aguilar weighs in (link):

"This is a common sense, market-based approach that balances immigration enforcement with measures that are supportive of the needs of Utah businesses and are also welcoming of immigrants," said Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.

Aguilar said the bills would allow Utah's illegal immigrants to live "without the fear of being detained and removed from the country," assuming the federal government goes along with the plan.