(KCPW News) As the Utah Legislature prepares to debate immigration, Governor Gary Herbert is warning that any immigration bills that are passed had better be paid for, and not impose any additional costs on local cities and towns.
“Look at the fiscal note. What is the cost of what you’re going to change going to be to the taxpayers?” said Herbert. “And make sure you account for that, rather than say to the local governments, ‘well, just absorb it, it’s just another unfunded mandate.’”
Several competing immigration bills will likely be debated by lawmakers, including one that would strictly enforce federal immigration law, and another that would let undocumented residents get a permit to work in Utah.
Speaking at his monthly news conference on KUED, Governor Herbert said the rule of law must be respected, but also:
“We need to respect the humanity of the people we’re dealing with,” said the governor. “These are human beings. This ought to have nothing to do with race or ethnicity, it only has to do with condition.”
Herbert expects the legislature will be able to pass a bill that he supports during this session, but said that a complete solution to immigration reform must involve the federal government.