Hatch Supports Amnesty Despite Clear Utah GOP Opposition

By Ronald W. Mortensen on May 24, 2013

The pro-amnesty wing of the Utah Republican Party continues to be rebuffed by thousands of state and county delegates despite incessant attempts to get the party to embrace the Utah Compact's phony amnesty agenda.

In spite of grassroots opposition to amnesty, Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch voted for S.744 in the Judiciary Committee, placing the interests of the Salt Lake Chamber (which created the Utah Compact, and threatened him with recall) ahead of the interests of the popularly elected Republican delegates who are largely responsible for returning him to office.

During the party's recent state organizing convention, debate on a resolution designed to put the Utah Republican Party on record as supporting the Utah Compact was quickly ended when a majority of the delegates voted to postpone it indefinitely, much to the shock of the powerful individuals and groups behind it.

An earlier attempt to insert the Utah Compact into the Utah County Republican Party's platform was also defeated and efforts by Democrats to get the state legislature to endorse the Utah Compact during the 2013 legislative session went nowhere.

In addition, the 2,584 Republican state convention delegates resoundingly rejected the original wording of the "2013 Immigration and Inclusion Resolution", which had been drafted by the chair of the party's Hispanic Assembly.

The resolution included pro-amnesty wording lifted from a Mormon Church press release ("to square themselves [illegal aliens] with the law") and it also placed Hispanics above all other immigrants. Delegates objected to the wording of the resolution and amended it to delete both the amnesty wording and all references to Hispanics.

Many of the delegates who rejected the Utah Compact and the resolution were the same ones that Hatch spent millions of dollars on in order to ensure that he didn't suffer the same fate as Sen. Robert Bennett, who was ousted in 2010 by a different group of state delegates. Hatch's delegates have been widely touted as being much more moderate than the average crop of Utah GOP delegates, leading many to predict that the amnesty resolutions would easily pass.

The rejection of the Utah Compact and the resolution wording is just another in a long series of defeats for amnesty supporters in Utah. However, this will not stop state Sen. Curt Bramble, former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff (who is being investigated by both federal and state investigators), and the powerful Salt Lake Chamber (which has been designated by Grover Norquist as an "enemy of the taxpayer") from pressuring Sen. Hatch to vote for amnesty despite the clear opposition of Republican Party delegates who were elected by their friends and neighbors to represent them.