Pro-Amnesty 'Utah Compact' Rejected by Utah County Republicans

By Ronald W. Mortensen on April 3, 2013

The Utah Compact is the creation of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce and it was designed to push the Chamber's illegal alien amnesty agenda.

The Utah Compact has been embraced by the pro-illegal immigrant Mormon Church, the New York Times, and the Obama administration.

In addition, the Utah Compact was signed by three former Utah governors, a retired U.S. Senator, the state's former Attorney General, and a who's who of Utah business, civic, and religious leaders.

According to advocates of the Utah Compact, it is the greatest document since the Ten Commandments and it will lead America to the promised land of immigration reform.

Therefore, when an influential group of Republicans in Utah County (the state's second most populous county) announced that they would ask the county Republican Party Central Committee to recommend replacing the county party's existing immigration platform plank with the Utah Compact, it appeared to be a sure bet. After all, the predominant Mormon Church supports the Utah Compact, most of those on the Central Committee are Mormons, and Utah Republican leaders have adopted the "Hispanics are the future of the Party" mantra.

Furthermore, the Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives, Rebecca Lockhart; her influential lobbyist husband Stan; and powerful state Senator Curt Bramble, who has traveled the nation extolling the virtues of the Utah Compact and the "Utah Compact Bill" were firmly behind the platform changes. (Note: Locally the Brambles and Lockharts are referred to the Bramharts and the "Utah Compact bill" actually makes illegal aliens virtual indentured servants of their employers while making it cheaper for employers to hire illegal aliens than American citizens.)

The grassroots opponents of the proposed platform change fought back against the elite opposition with a four pronged strategy:

  1. Expose the Utah Compact as the cynical creation of the Salt Lake Chamber;

  2. Portray the Utah Compact as a set of guidelines for discussion embraced by the Obama administration;

  3. Show how the Utah Compact conflicts with Republican principles; and

  4. Offer Central Committee members an alternative to inserting the Utah Compact into the platform. (Wording of alternative can be found at the bottom of this piece).

When the Utah Compact platform proposal finally came up for debate, the president of the Utah County Chamber of Commerce, Val Hale, spoke in favor of it; however, when he brought up the Mormon Church's support for the Utah Compact, he was booed by those who opposed introducing the Mormon Church into the political debate.

On the opposition side, state Senator Margaret Dayton called out the high profile, Utah Compact proponents for what she said was an attempt to create a "bipartisan" Republican Party platform.

According to an analysis by Utah state Representative David Lifferth, Committee members refused to incorporate the Utah Compact into their platform because:

  1. The Utah Compact was written by a "tiny tent" of interested groups;

  2. The Utah Compact is a public document that has to be taken as written; and

  3. Wording problems with the Compact resolution (restricts law enforcement's ability to act, requires that all five Compact principles be adopted as a group, and implies that families should never be broken up when a crime is committed).

In a comment posted online, Rod Mann of Highland wrote:

As a member [of the Central Committee] I listened to the arguments both during the meeting and read numerous pro/con emails before. The pro compact side arguments tended to follow two lines of reasoning. 1) The Compact is an inspired document that provides a framework for law makers to create a compassionate solution to immigration and 2) it must be good because it has the approval so many including President Obama, the NY Times editorial board, multiple churches, business organizations ... . The arguments to me were not substantive.

The opposition arguments were that while the sentiment behind the document may be good the document itself is vague and has a lot of internal inconsistencies and therefore is not suited to provide a standard against which that actions of elected Republican officials can be compared. Specific examples were cited to illustrate these points.

When the votes were finally counted, the Utah Compact suffered a massive defeat by a vote of 179 to 95, which is all the more notable because the proponents had planned on passing it by a two-thirds majority.

Central Committee members then voted 169-71 for an alternative grassroots proposal, which its proponents say embraces clear principles, is a specific plan for a longer-term solution, and balances the principles of compassion and the rule of law. By a vote of 117-115, they also voted to retain language from the current platform that reads "Taxpayers should not be covering state benefits for illegal aliens."

By the end of the day, the Utah Compact had been soundly rejected by Republicans who saw it for what it really is — an attempt to equate illegal immigration with legal immigration or, as a post on the Mormon Church-owned Deseret News website explained:

Many of us are personally disgusted by the lies and manipulation which surround the immigration debate. Among these is the Utah Compact itself. It cunningly erases any distinction between legal and illegal immigration, in order to subtly convey a message that there is no legal nor moral difference between the two. It implies that both should be celebrated and embraced.

A Party activist, David Duncan, wrote:

As one of the four creators of P106 [alternate proposal], I can definitely state that we got no help from the Bramble/Lockhart clan, and that they were not open, in any way, to any modifications to the Utah Compact language to make it more compatible with format of the platform, to make it not conflict with other parts of the platform and especially not to modifying the content to be more Republican-oriented … . The grassroots effort to oppose P105 [Utah Compact proposal] and instead, strengthen our platform with P106 is what should be celebrated here — not out-of-touch party power-brokers.

Another individual commenting on the Provo Herald website explained the rejection of the Utah Compact:

The Bramharts bragged for months about how voters, at the last caucus meeting, had elected a very moderate group of uninformed delegates and how they would be able to get those delegates to pass moderate agendas. Well the whole strategy backfired on them; these delegates did their homework and did not go along with the Bramharts moderate agenda.

The rejection of the Utah Compact should serve as a wakeup call to the nation and it should raise a red flag every time the Utah Compact is mentioned in conjunction with immigration reform since its one-and-only purpose is to achieve amnesty for illegal aliens — and their employers.

P106 (alternate proposal) as amended and adopted (source: David Lifferth)

The United States of America is a stronger and better nation because of the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of immigrants. We welcome people of goodwill from all other countries immigrating through a system that is legal, safe, orderly, and humane and addresses the needs of national security. Our nation is stronger when immigrants weave themselves into the fabric of our common language and culture of personal liberty, self-reliance, family values, and the rule of law.

First, we support the constitutional mandate for the federal government to protect and secure our national borders. Failure to do so threatens our national security and is unfair to hardworking people around the world who follow the process to immigrate legally.

Second, we support a fair and efficient immigration approval process that is consistent with national economic needs, that provides equal access to persons of all nationalities, and does not favor those who come here illegally over those who seek to come here lawfully.

Third, we support a humane approach to reconciling the status of illegal immigrants that respects both justice and compassion, does not reward illegal behavior, and does not create incentives for future illegal immigration. We support policies that strengthen families. Parents have a responsibility to act lawfully so their children are not negatively impacted.

Taxpayers should not be covering state benefits for illegal aliens.