My ancestors settled Utah as refugees from religious persecution. Once they were here, they made the desert bloom. Today, immigrants—including refugees—make Utah’s economy boom. In fact, our economy depends upon immigration. Most undocumented persons work and contribute to our economy. That’s why I support the Utah Compact’s compassionate, common-sense approach to immigration reform. We should replace quotas with an open jobs index. We must reduce the burdensome bureaucratic cost, time, and red tape of immigrating legally. This will free up time and resources for our Border Patrol agents to track down the criminals who are truly dangerous..
When I reflect on my pioneer ancestors’ stories, I remember how they held to the belief that we should do for others what we’d have them do for us. It breaks my heart to see the inhumane, uncharitable treatment of refugees and immigrants now common at our border. If there is anyone who qualifies as “the least of these,” it’s a family who has lost everything to violence and made a perilous journey to start a new life in America. They may be strangers, but we can wisely and safely take them in. And we need to take them in. It’s not only good for our economy, it’s the right thing to do. No one should ever be penalized for wanting to live the American dream. Let’s make it easier for them to do so legally.