A state Senate committee voted Wednesday to push back the start date for Utah’s guest worker program by two years to give Congress a chance to work on comprehensive immigration reform.
Utah’s guest worker program was set to go into effect this July, but Republican Senator Curt Bramble of Provo introduced Senate Bill 225 to postpone the implementation until 2015. Bramble told the Senate Business and Labor committee that Utah’s guest worker law was designed to pressure the federal government into reforming immigration policy.
“We have taken sufficient action to get Congress’ attention, and we’ve heard from our federal delegation that they will be acting. This will give two more years for Congress to actually do their job, but there is encouraging rhetoric coming from Washington that they’re intending to act,” said Bramble.
The bill passed out of committee 5 to 1. Republican Senator David Hinkins of Orangeville opposed the extension, saying the guest worker program should go forward this July to challenge the federal government on the issue of immigration reform. SB225 now heads to the Senate for consideration.