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Utah senate hopefuls agree: Immigration laws aren’t working

May 3rd, 2010 Posted in Opinion

By Kate Clark

LOGAN–Utah Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate all agreed that immigration laws in our country should be reevaluated.

Utah State University students and citizens from around the valley crowded the Sunburst Lounge Friday to hear what candidates Tim Bridgewater, Jeremy Friedbaum, Mike Lee, Merrill Cook, Cherilyn Eagar, Leonard Fabiano, and Bob Bennett, who was represented by his son, had to say about various issues. Dave Chiu did not attend. The debate was hosted by USU College Republicans and ASUSU.

After introductions had been made, attendees split into small groups to form question and answer sessions with each of the candidates individually.

Immigration was the hot topic brought up by both the candidates and eager public.

“Illegal immigration is a very serious problem,” Cook said.

Bennett voiced similar concerns. “There is no question that immigration is one of the great challenges we face.”

Amongst the discussion of immigration was the new Arizona law, passed in late April, which authorizes police officers to demand proof of citizenship to any suspected illegal immigrant. Many have argued that the new law will promote racial profiling and will deplete the trust relationship between citizens and law enforcement. However, several of the candidates actively promoted it.

Eagar said, “Isn’t it novel that a state came up with a law to make it illegal to be illegal?”

Lee was also in its defense. “The Arizona law is constitutionally defensible. People calling it unconstitutional need to wait and see how the law plays out.”

While opinions were important, attendees were searching for solutions.

Bridgewater said, “We need to secure our borders, use satellite imaging and remove incentives that draw people here to be a part of the American dream.”

Fabiano thought the solution to be much easier. “No visa, no work. No work, no money. No money, they would self-deport and go home.”

Friedbaum found it to be a matter of maximizing defenses. “We should increase the penalties of illegal aliens and for the people that hire them.”

Although potential solutions were visited, the candidates faced the reality of the situation.

Bennett said, “There’s not one way to fix the problem.”

Cook agreed, “This is something we’re always going to be dealing with.”


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