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Shurtleff trying to convince White House to adopt the Utah Compact

By KSL.com  |  Posted Mar 8th, 2011 @ 5:28pm


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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Utah's Attorney General is back in Washington, D.C., trying to convince the White House that principles outlined in the Utah Compact should be used by the federal government to guide comprehensive immigration reform.

The Utah Compact is a "declaration of five principles to guide Utah's immigration discussion" that was created with cooperation from government officials, religious leaders, business leaders and involved citizens.

Mark Shurtleff is attending a national meeting of Attorneys General from around the country. He told KSL Newsradio he's taking every opportunity he can to hold meetings about Utah's approach to immigration outlined in the compact.

Shurtleff met with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder earlier Tuesday to discuss immigration. Wednesday afternoon He'll be meeting in the West Wing to talk about immigration with the White House Intergovernmental Affairs staff.

"What I'm working for is to try and expand the Utah Compact and make it a national compact," said Shurtleff.

Part of immigration meetings discuss Utah HB466, which would also create a guest worker program. That program would require a waiver from the Federal Government.

Also Tuesday, Shurtleff made presentation on the Utah Compact at a national attorneys  general conference and to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Shurtleff wants to drum up support for a national compact.

Shurtleff said in a telephone interview that it was hard to tell how his words were received. "I've got some work to do, I'll tell you that. Mostly with my Republican colleagues."

The compact outlines principles for civil discussion on immigration reform. It urges federal solutions and policies that don't unnecessarily separate families. Several states have patterned their own documents after it.

Shurtleff said Holder sounded interested in the concept and appreciated Utah wanting to work with the federal government on immigration issues. Shurtleff also has meeting with the White House intergovernmental affairs staff to discuss the state's approach, including the migrant worker partnership he plans to form with Nuevo Leon in Mexico.

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Story written by Randall Jeppesen and Dennis Romboy.

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