Utah's Immigration Enforcement Law in Judge's Hands

Oct 10, 2012

The long drawn out legal challenge over Utah’s immigration enforcement law House Bill 497 is nearing its end.  US District Court Judge Clark Waddoups could rule on the so-called “show me your papers law” any day now.  Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff gave an update at a meeting of the state’s Commission on Immigration and Migration Wednesday.

Before Judge Waddoups could make a decision on HB 497, he needed a briefing on the US Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s immigration law and how it applies to Utah.  The Attorney General’s office also had to respond to a new challenge from the ACLU, raising constitutional concerns about state officers transporting immigrants to federal detention centers. 

“All the briefing as of a couple days ago have been done,” Mark Shurtleff said, “So it’s left with Judge Waddoups to then make a decision to allow all or part of Utah’s 497 to go forward, and we think he will, particularly with regard to the provision with checking immigration status on those who are arrested for a felony and Class A misdemeanor.”

Shurtleff also provided an update on Senate Bill 116 – which allows undocumented guest workers to be legally employed in Utah.  He said the federal government has not provided the required waiver for the law to be implemented, but Utah’s law enforcement agencies are still preparing for the law to go into effect in July 2013.