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Utah proposal would allow illegal immigrants to work



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Illegal immigrants would be allowed to live and work in Utah as long as they registered with the state under a proposal by a Democratic state lawmaker.

Sen. Luz Robles of Salt Lake City introduced a proposal Tuesday that calls for illegal immigrants to obtain a permit card. Those who registered with the state, paid a fee and passed a criminal background check would be allowed to get a job in Utah.

"It's a proposal that defines what a resident of the state of Utah should look like and bring mechanisms in place to allow a free market, relationships based on labor demand, to our state," she said.

New residents who are illegal immigrants would also be required to pass an English and civics test within one year of receiving their permit.

The proposal is backed by the conservative Sutherland Institute and is seen as an alternative to an Arizona-style enforcement bill being sponsored by Republican Rep. Stephen Sandstrom of Orem.

Robles says she hopes to get more input before presenting it to the Legislature when it convenes in January.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Brock Vergakis

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