Bishop Wester Joins White House for Immigration Meeting

(KCPW News) Utah’s approach to illegal immigration is piquing the curiosity of leaders in Washington. Bishop John Wester of the Salt Lake City Catholic Diocese took part in a White House meeting Tuesday with President Barack Obama, his cabinet members and other stakeholders. He helped present the Utah Compact, which was written to guide Utah’s approach to immigration reform. And now Bishop Wester says the White House is talking about a national compact.

“They believe that the Utah Legislature came up with immigration laws that were broader, they’re trying to look at all aspects of the case, the human issue, the moral issue, the political issue, economics, everything,” he told KCPW. “And they saw it as being better reasoned out.”

But better than Arizona’s enforcement-only approach to immigration?

Bishop Wester says he got the sense that there is some real political will for comprehensive policies.

“That seemed to be coming out in the room that we’ve learned from the past that enforcement only doesn’t work and amnesty only doesn’t work, that you’ve got to have provisions that allow us to do something with the 11.2 million undocumented that are currently here and have been here for some time, provisions that allow us to keep families together. And we also need to have secure borders,” said Wester.

Wester adds he has no doubt President Obama is serious about tackling those issues. He says the president told the group he wants to get started this year.