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SALT LAKE CITY — Nearly two-thirds of Utahns disapprove of President Obama's recently announced executive orders on immigration, a new UtahPolicy.com poll indicates.
The poll found that 64.2 percent of Utahns disapprove of the president's executive order, announced in November. The order extended work authorizations to some 4 million people and expanded the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which puts on hold the deportations of young immigrants, age 30 and younger, who came to the United States as children but were not authorized to be in the country, among other reforms.
According to the poll results, 33.2 percent of Utahns support Obama's action, while 2.6 percent of respondents were undecided.
Arturo Morales Llan, an activist against illegal immigration, said the poll results suggest Utahns are displeased with Obama overreaching his presidential authority.
"The American people already know, three years of experience has told them that whenever we grant amnesty ahead of enforcement mechanisms, enforcement will never take place. This is exactly what happened with these executive orders. No enforcement has taken place," Morales Llan said. "Nothing has been solved so far as immigration goes. The so-called broken system remains broken. But we have now some form of amnesty for 5 million illegal immigrants."
But Tony Yapias, a Latino community organizer, said the poll results indicate there is a great deal of misunderstanding regarding Obama's executive orders.
"A lot of them think this is amnesty, which it is not. Some think they're going to have some permanent status, which is also not so," he said.
. . .Nothing has been solved so far as immigration goes. The so-called broken system remains broken. But we have now some form of amnesty for 5 million illegal immigrants.
–Arturo Morales Llan
"I don't think they get the full scope of what Obama has done, and that worries me."
The poll of 609 registered voters was conducted Dec. 2-10. It has a 4 percent margin of error.
When broken down on party lines, the vast majority of Republicans — 85 percent — opposed Obama's actions, while 78 percent of Democrats agreed with the president.
Overall, 49 percent of Utahns said they "strongly disagreed" with Obama's executive order, according to the poll conducted by Dan Jones & Associates.
While Morales Llan and Yapias disagree about the executive order, both men expressed concern that some people will take advantage of the uncertainty the orders create.
Morales Llan said he has already heard of people attempting to assemble documents — some of them fraudulently — to attempt to qualify for work permits.
Meanwhile, Yapias has heard of attorneys as well as "notarios" attempting to charge exorbitant amounts of money to assist people in filling out the forms to apply for programs created by Obama's reforms.
The problem is U.S. Citizenship and Immigration has not yet released the needed forms, he said.
According to the American Bar Association, "notarios" or unregistered "immigration consultants," hold themselves out as qualified to help immigrants obtain lawful status or perform legal functions such as drafting wills or other legal documents. They are not licensed attorneys.