by David Safier
When Utah has something to teach Arizona about pulling back from the conservative abyss and moving toward greater political moderation and sanity, you know Arizona is way out there in conservative crazy land.
Political, business, law-enforcement and religious leaders there have endorsed what they call the Utah Compact. It is a statement of principles meant to address, with moderation and civility, “the complex challenges associated with a broken national immigration system.” What a welcome contrast it draws with the xenophobic radicalism of places like Arizona.
Who signed it? Lots of people who would not think highly of Raul Grijalva or other immigration reform advocates.
The signers, who hope to influence the shape of state immigration policy, include the mayors of Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County, the state attorney general, two Republican former governors, a former United States senator, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, the Chamber of Commerce and a host of other civic groups and citizens. The prominent and powerful Mormon Church did not sign on but issued a “statement of support” calling the compact “a responsible approach to the urgent challenge of immigration reform.”
Note that the Mormon Church signed a statement of support.
Here are two statements which are exactly the kind of arguments Arizona conservatives would make if they were on the other side of the issue: respecting families and welcoming good people.
Because “strong families are the foundation of successful communities,” it opposes policies that unnecessarily separate them. It recognizes immigrants’ value as workers and taxpayers.
It ends by urging a humane approach to the reality of immigration: “Utah should always be a place that welcomes people of good will.”
Congratulations to those in Utah who crossed all kinds of political divides to sign this Compact. And Arizona legislators who support SB1070, some of whom are Mormon and have used the tenets of their faith to support their commitment to ridding this state of the dreaded illegal aliens, should note that the Mormon Church, not known for leftist leanings, has given its support to this sane document.