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Monday, July 13, 2009

Rep. Herrod Response

By Chris Herrod
Utah State Representative

I appreciate the Mayor Becker's offer to meet. After two and half months, I look forward to finally having all my questions answered.

My hope is that we will discuss the real issues. The issue is not whether “Hispanic residents are a valuable part of our Salt Lake City family.” I believe that they are. The vast majority of the Hispanics are good people as I believe is the case with all peoples and cultures around the world. The real issue, however, is what are the true costs of tolerating illegal immigration? Crime is certainly one since there are consequences of not screening individuals as happens during the legal immigration process. The issue is whether or not illegal aliens are better for the community than legal immigrants would be if given the opportunity? Why are we so willing to discriminate against those who choose to follow the law? Why are the opinions of legal Hispanics that are against illegal immigration not equally validated by Salt Lake City?

My issue with Salt Lake City is not whether SLCPD has the right to refuse to cross-deputize. Under SB 81, cross-deputization is clearly optional. The issue is whether or not it is appropriate for a Police Chief to influence public debate on SB 81 by saying that SLCPD keeps records and they have proven something “time and time again” when these records do not exist. The issue is whether it appropriate for the Salt Lake Police Chief to use taxpayer money to continually speak against legislation that the majority of state legislators believed was necessary and with which the vast majority of Utahns agree. The issue is why I was given information that at the very least was misleading. Who made the decision to include “Unknown” in the “Non-Hispanic” category when under traffic citations “Unknown” was clearly listed separately?

The issue is where is the concern for the civil rights of working class individuals who bear the brunt of illegal immigration? Those with less than a high school education are now facing 15.5% unemployment. Is tolerating illegal immigration fair to Utah’s laborers or new legal immigrants?

The issue is that the law was not followed when I requested information. Salt Lake Police are aware of the five day requirement (see Salt Tribune’s July 11 page 4 quoting a SLCPD officer.) My concern is that the police chief can question the integrity of legislators for months, yet city officials are disappointed when a legislator dares call into question the integrity of being given misleading information in an untimely manner.

We already face radical changes in our society with crushing debt that will lead to the loss of freedoms for our children. Is it not important to ask how are we going to pay for illegal immigration? As a society, we have forgotten that true compassion never comes forcibly at someone else’s expense and illegal immigration is not a victimless crime.

I look forward to a productive meeting.

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