SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A resolution expressing Utah’s commitment to protecting the rights of legal immigrants and refugees fleeing persecution has received full support from a panel of lawmakers.
Members of a Senate economic development committee talked on Wednesday about their own ancestors’ experience as immigrants before unanimously voting in favor of the proposal.
Bill sponsor Republican Sen. Brian Shiozawa says his grandfather moved to the U.S. from Japan as a single man who didn’t speak much English.
Utah’s unique political culture, dominated by the Mormon church, puts a premium on personal decency and openness to immigrants and refugees. The embrace of refugees by the religion has roots in the history of the faith, which counted many immigrants among its early members.
The proposal now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
This story has been clarified to show that Shiozawa’s grandfather didn’t speak much English.