Andrea Smardon / KUER

On Wednesday, more than 130 immigrants became U-S citizens at a naturalization ceremony at the Utah State Capitol. Some of them told KUER that it changes the way they feel about the July 4th holiday.

courtesy Salt Lake Chamber

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on whether President Obama's 2014 executive actions on immigration are constitutional. Utah business leaders are disappointed that this issue is still not resolved. 

magerly / Flickr Creative Commons

A group of retired community activists has unveiled their latest blueprint for making Utah a better place to live.

The nonpartisan Utah Citizens Counsel has assumed the role of a council of sages with deep community ties.

Brian Grimmett

Utah Congresswoman Mia Love spoke to some of the United State’s newest citizens at a naturalization ceremony in South Jordan on Monday. The event helps demonstrate how Love’s feelings about immigration reform sometimes conflict with those in her own party.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

For the first time in its 86-year history, the League of United Latin American Citizens is holding its annual convention in Salt Lake City. The civil rights advocacy organization is expecting 20,000 attendees from Utah and around the country this week.

Flickr: Matthew Montgomery

The president’s executive action temporarily shields certain undocumented immigrants from deportation. The lawsuit filed by more than a dozen states claims that President Obama exceeded his Constitutional

authority by acting without Congressional approval.

Attorney General Reyes said in a statement that, “This lawsuit is not about immigration policy. Whether you agree or disagree with some, all or none of the president’s proposal is not the point. The process is what is being challenged.”

Utah Immigrant Advocates Warn Against Scams

Nov 24, 2014
Andrea Smardon / KUER

In the wake of President Obama’s announcement on immigration, lawyers and community leaders met at the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City Monday to let immigrants know about available resources…. and to warn them against scams.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce held its annual convention in Salt Lake City this week. The organization's leader says Utah may seem like a counterintuitive choice, but it has proved to be a success.

Utah may be sparsely populated, and it may not be the most ethnically diverse state in the country, but the President of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Javier Palomarez was clearly pleased with the turnout.

Salt Lake County Settles Immigrant Detention Lawsuit

Aug 25, 2014
Andrea Smardon / KUER

Salt Lake County sheriff’s office has settled a lawsuit with the American Civil Liberties Union over its immigration detention policies.                                                                        

The ACLU of Utah filed the lawsuit in 2011, accusing Salt Lake County jail officials of holding 22-year-old Enrique Uroza unlawfully for 46 days after he posted bail. As part of the settlement, the county has agreed to end its procedure of delaying releases when authorities suspect an inmate is in the country illegally.

Brian Grimmett

Republican U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch touched on health care, immigration this morning when he addressed the Utah House and Senate Floors at the State Capitol.

Earlier this week, Hatch announced he is co-sponsoring a new Republican-led healthcare bill that he hopes will replace the Affordable Care Act. He says the Patient Choice Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment — or CARE — Act will cost less and have fewer mandates than the current health law.

Andrea Smardon

There was a packed house for Utah Congressman Chris Stewart’s Town Hall in Salt Lake City last night. In fact, there were many who didn’t get into the small library conference room in the Avenues neighborhood. Constituents had questions about the Congressman’s stance on environmental protection, immigration reform, and military action in Syria, but a number of people left feeling they did not have their voices heard.

Andrea Smardon

As the U.S. Senate begins debate on immigration reform, young immigrants with the Salt Lake DREAM Team are stepping up pressure on Senator Orrin Hatch. The DREAMers delivered letters from across the Wasatch Front calling on the Senator to keep families together and reunite those who’ve been divided by deportation.

21-year-old Itza Hernandez stands outside of Senator Orrin Hatch’s office at the federal building in Salt Lake City, and reads from a stack of about 600 letters.

KUER News Pod: Thursday June 6, 2013

Jun 6, 2013

A group of Utah mayors call on Utah’s senators to act on immigration reform, Salt Lake City launches a new bike route, and police find the body of a missing BYU student.

KUER News Pod: Tuesday May 28, 2013

May 28, 2013

While Utahn’s celebrate Memorial Day, a group of undocumented immigrants wants to find a way to serve in the military, and a Utah state senator is planning to run a bill next year to entice a Maryland gun manufacturer to relocate.

As the debate on immigration reform continues in the US Senate, immigrants in Salt Lake City held a press conference and vigil Wednesday night urging Senator Orrin Hatch to support legislation that creates a path to citizenship and keeps families together.  

The event was organized by the Salt Lake DREAM team, immigrant young people who want a chance to earn their citizenship through college or military service. In their stories, what you hear are dreams deferred.

KUER News Pod: Wednesday May 8, 2013

May 8, 2013

The Salt Lake City Council makes a decision about the Sugar House streetcar route, Senator Orrin Hatch files 24 amendments to the comprehensive immigration bill, and a community group protests a plan to build a freeway in West Davis County.

Senator Hatch Files 24 Amendments to Immigration Bill

May 7, 2013

Senator Orrin Hatch on Tuesday filed 24 amendments to the comprehensive immigration bill put forward by a group of Senators known as the Gang of 8. Hatch’s amendments focus on law enforcement, high-skilled work, health benefits, and back taxes. 

Speaking in Salt Lake City last week, Hatch told KUER the immigration bill would substantially improve border security, but he said there’s more work to be done. 

Senator Hatch Says Immigration Bill Could be Improved

May 1, 2013
Andrea Smardon

Senator Orrin Hatch spoke about immigration reform in Salt Lake City Wednesday at a Zions Bank client event. He praised the 844-page comprehensive legislation put forward by the group of Senators known as the Gang of 8, but stopped short of supporting it. 

KUER News Pod: Monday April 29, 2013

Apr 29, 2013

A unique medical technology company relocates to Salt Lake City, Senator Orrin Hatch says he’s ready to reform immigration, and state legislators plan to reintroduce a couple of defeated gun bills.

KUER News Pod: Wednesday April 10, 2013

Apr 10, 2013

The Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce calls out Utah’s Senators for their inaction on immigration reform, Utah’s Attorney General sends a letter to Congress encouraging immigration reform, and the Ogden-Hinckley Airport control tower will stay open, for now.

Courtesy of the Utah Attorney General's Office

Utah Attorney General John Swallow is encouraging Congress to enact immigration reform.  Swallow is part of a bipartisan group of 35 Attorney Generals who sent a letter to federal leaders calling for reform that improves the immigration system, keeps communities safe and protects borders. 

Swallow says drug crime, identity theft issues, and gangs tied to illegal immigration are threatening Utah’s safety and economy.

Business leaders in Utah say they’re disappointed in the state’s two U.S. Senator’s for trying to delay comprehensive immigration reform while the economy suffers. But Republican Senator’s Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee say they’re not ready to back a catch-all bill, especially if it contains a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Congress returned from Spring break this week with immigration reform at the top of the agenda. Salt Lake Chamber President and CEO Lane Beattie says for members of Utah’s delegation to say they need more time is ridiculous.

Chaffetz Calls for Piecemeal Immigration Reform

Apr 8, 2013

Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz called for a piecemeal approach to immigration reform while speaking at the Hinckley Institute of Politics today. He says if you want to solve the overall problem you have to start by fixing legal immigration.

“You never ever solve this problem unless you fix legal immigration," he says. "I don’t care how big, far, wide your fence is, if you don’t fix legal immigration you never solve the problem.”

Andrea Smardon

A Utah County woman with five young children may be deported to Mexico next week. But her family and community advocates are trying to stop that from happening. They met with representatives from Utah's congressional delegation Wednesday, pleading for help and for immigration reform. 

Brenda Guzman-Sandoval was arrested by Utah County Police on March 20th at her home in Orem.  Her 17-year-old brother Moices Guzman was there.

KUER News Pod: Thursday February 28, 2013

Feb 28, 2013

The Utah Legislature looks at a bill that would delay the start date for Utah’s guest worker program, the so-called “Zion Curtain” may be coming down, and KUER’s Dan Bammes takes a look at how Utah’s Industries are contributing to air pollution.

Proposal to Delay Guest Worker Law Heads to Senate

Feb 27, 2013

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.

Andrea Smardon

Arguments over Utah’s immigration enforcement law were heard in US District Court Friday.  It was the first hearing on the law in about a year.  Judge Clark Waddoups was waiting to rule on the constitutionality of HB 497 until after the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on Arizona’s enforcement-only law. 

Cecillia Wang is Director of the ACLU’s Immigrants Rights Project, and a lawyer in the case against HB 497.  Standing outside the US District Court in Salt Lake City after the hearing, Wang said the tide is turning in their favor. 

KUER News Pod: Friday February 1, 2013

Feb 1, 2013

A Utah legislator tries to give more control to individual schools, speed limits on I-15 and I-80 could be getting higher, and Senator Orrin Hatch proposes a high-skilled immigration bill.

Brian Grimmett

Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson made a visit to the legislature Thursday where he shared a list of things that he believes will help economic development.

He says the first task in encouraging economic development is eliminating uncertainty.

“You can’t eliminate all uncertainty of course but, when public policy multiplies the amount of uncertainty that’s out there, for the private sector, for the public sector, that’s a burden,” he says.

KUER News Pod: Wednesday December 12, 2012

Dec 12, 2012

Salt Lake County residents voice their complaints about a proposed tax hike, Salt Lake City welcomes immigrants, and a former state legislator switches parties.