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Senate Bill 81 officially went into effect a week ago, but that doesn't mean the ill-conceived anti-immigration measure should stay on the books. Indeed Utah lawmakers ought to come to their senses and begin working to repeal the punitive and burdensome new law.
It is significant that the latest voice to speak out against the law is the conservative Sutherland Institute. The Salt Lake City-based think tank dropped a political bombshell recently with its measured analysis that SB 81 is "based on a flawed notion (that) undocumented immigrants behave differently than the rest of us." Undocumented immigrants, according to the Sutherland study, are simply "not a major source of crime in Utah." Indeed, claims Sutherland, most undocumented immigrants coming to Utah obey the law once they are here.
The Sutherland study clearly debunks one of the primary arguments used by many lawmakers to support SB81. Beyond that, though, is Sutherland's analysis, long shared by KSL, that the bill places undue burdens on business, may actually result in more unreported crime among immigrant populations and does little to solve legitimate concerns about illegal immigration.
As KSL has said before, SB81 is an oppressive, unworkable and imprudent approach to dealing with a perplexing national problem. It never should have been approved.