Utah’s new immigration law went into effect yesterday and Utah’s inter-faith leaders met in Salt Lake City Tuesday to discuss and lament Senate Bill 81 and even suggest that it should be repealed. Among other things, SB 81 allows local police officers to enforce federal immigration law. Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has said participation in the enforcement provision is optional. Cache County Republican Party Chairman David James says party members all over the state have had discussions on how the immigration bill should be approached. James says Republicans have a broad range of feelings about it. “The party has consistently chosen to take a moderate approach, probably a little more moderate than even what the law that goes into effect has taken, purely from a party view,” James says. “There are some people who feel very, very strongly about the issue. There are others who want a more practical and pragmatic approach. There’s a lot of moral issues associated with immigration and I’m not sure we’ve really worked them out completely.” Republican Attorney General Mark Shurtleff says a new immigration strike force will target felony-level crimes committed by undocumented residents.
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