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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Rep. Chris Cannon denies his Republican primary challenger's claim that Cannon supports amnesty for illegal immigrants.
A group advocating immigration curbs suggests the question be submitted to an arbitration panel.
Matt Throckmorton, Cannon's opponent in a June 22 primary, thinks that's a great idea. Cannon doesn't.
Craig Nelsen, ProjectUSA director, wants the National Arbitration Forum to create a panel of impartial lawyers to evaluate immigration legislation Cannon supports and decide whether it fits the definition of amnesty..
ProjectUSA has sponsored billboards in Utah County that say Cannon supports amnesty, and Nelsen has discussed the issue on local radio talk shows.
Cannon's proposal would allow some undocumented agricultural workers to apply for temporary visas, and eventually permanent residence.
Cannon spokeswoman Meghan Riding called the Project USA proposition a "clever bit of theatrics." She said Cannon's bills are available on the Internet, "where folks can read them, contact us if they have questions and make their own decisions."
Throckmorton said Cannon's bill is just one step in an attempt to provide blanket amnesty through various pieces of legislation.
Bountiful immigration attorney Leonor Perretta said Cannon's proposal is an earned benefit, not an amnesty, because "people have to demonstrate past work contributions to the U.S. economy and a substantial future work commitment."
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)