Friday, June 24, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

HB 116 Repeal Resolutions

There are 4 bills that the Governor signed as the "Utah Solution". One that provides enforcement HB 497, one that provides for migrant workers HB 466, one that provides sponsoring HB 469, and one that provides a guest worker permit HB 116. Both HB 469 and HB 116 have a similar constitutional warning.

The Resolution that passed in Washington County dealt with HB 116 and the GOP Platform. The Resolution being considered on Saturday not only deals with that, but it deals with the constitutional nature of HB 116 as a state power.

HB 469 is a key to the question. Most, if not all, conservative legislative members voted for HB 469. Several of these members did not vote for HB 116. The reasons for the votes against HB 116 vary, as do the reasons for those that voted for HB 116.

HB 469 raises the same question, under the US Constitution is Immigration an enumerated power? Obviously not, if you read the current Deseret News Editorial.

If the Resolution on Saturday fails, it may be that a very few conservative activists care more about censuring the Utah Legislature over trying to find an answer to immigration. The Resolution on Saturday fatally questions the oath of office of its own legislative co-sponsors.

A Deseret News column misses this point.

Is HB 116 flawed? Yes. Is HB 116 unconstitutional? No. Is that understood by many conservatives? Yes.

I voted against HB 116, not because I want to ignore those here and just assume they will leave without another option.

I defended a US Congressional candidate and member for years that supported some form of a guest worker bill when he ran, as long as it didn't provide a pathway to US Citizenship prior to those legally waiting outside the US. I believe the sponsorship HB 469 is a better answer to the guest worker HB 116. Others may and do disagree.

I felt that HB 116 sends the wrong message. If we are going to have a line for people to come to this country, you can’t reward those who bypass the line. They need to be sent to the back of the line. That doesn’t mean you should stop treating them like people.

If the current wording of the HB 116 Repeal Resolution is not amended, I will be voting against the resolution, as I have done twice before.

I voted against HB 116, but I voted for HB 469. It is my opinion that in so doing, I can't then say HB 116 is unconstitutional. I will also not condemn my colleagues for voting for HB 116.

You need both enforcement and a way to solve the current situation that treats people as people. The answer to the current situation is complex and many differ in how to solve it.

Vote to replace HB 116 with something better or Vote to amend HB 116 with improvements, but don't condemn those in the Legislature that were faced with voting for it or not.

Fred C. Cox is a member of the Utah House of Representatives, serving from West Valley City.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

HB 469: Answer to the immigration puzzle | The Salt Lake Tribune

My op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune can be found here:

The Op-ed is worth reading, however I do have the following additional clarifications:

To be considered for approval as a resident immigrant for purposes of the program, a foreign national shall: at the time of filing the application be living outside of the United States

HB 469 only allows the the person or family sponsoring, to sponsor 2 people or a family.

We need to remove and not create any rewards and incentives for immigrants to come here and be here illegally.

Immigrants that are here illegally should not have the ability to become United States Citizens prior to those outside the U.S. applying to come legally. Citizenship/Naturalization is clearly an enumerated federal power. Immigration is not.

One of the reasons people are here without permission is that our current legal immigration system takes too long and in many cases doesn't work.

One of the 4 bills passed is a migrant worker bill. This one is different. It gives citizens the ability to sponsor 2 people or a family to come to this county with permission.

People that can be sponsored do NOT include individuals who are in the United States, but who are not lawfully present in any of the states of the United States.

If they are here illegally, they have to go home to be sponsored.

It will take longer than a day, as the application must be made from outside the US.

1) To be considered for approval as a resident immigrant for purposes of the program, a foreign national shall:
(a) file an application with the department;
(b) at the time of filing the application be living outside of the United States;
(c) pass a health and background screening;
(d) provide evidence that the foreign national has not been convicted of, pled guilty to, pled no contest to, pled guilty in a similar manner to, or resolved by diversion or its equivalent to a felony or class A misdemeanor;
(e) file proof of sponsorship by a sponsor who meets the requirements of Section 63G-12-203; and
(f) pay a fee established by the department in accordance with Section 63J-1-504.
(2) A foreign national is ineligible for the program if the individual:
(a) is in the United States at the time of application for the program; or
(b) is a citizen of a country:
(i) designated by the United States State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism in accordance with section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act, section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act, and section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act;
(ii) against which the United States has declared war; or
(iii) against which the United States has imposed sanctions as listed under a sanctions program of the Office of Foreign Assets Control within the United States Department of Treasury.

To see who voted for this bill, see:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Federal Land within a State - Read Again

As you may know, this year I sponsored a bill so that Utah could not to sell Bryce Canyon and the other 4 "National Parks", called the "Utah Lands Protection Act". Unfortunately, the bill came out very late in the session, still needed a few modifications, and was held in committee.

The principle behind the bill is that under the US Constitution, Art. 1, Sec. 8, Clause 17, and the 10th amendment, the Federal Government can not exercise exclusive jurisdiction or own land in Utah, unless it is for Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings, and it was purchased by the Consent of the Utah Legislature. Clearly the 2/3 of the land in Utah "claimed" by the Federal Government does not fit within this constitutional power.

US Constitution, Art. 1, Sec. 8, Clause 17:
"To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And"

My contention is that Congress, the President, the US Supreme Court do NOT have constitutional authority to exercise exclusive jurisdiction or own land in Utah, and that the Utah Enabling Act, Sec 3, 4th paragraph and the Utah Constitution Article 3, section 2, be declared void ab initio, which means "to be treated as invalid from the outset," based on US Constitution Art. 1, Sec. 8, Clause 17 and the 10th amendment.

Even if that Utah Enabling Act section be determined to be US Constitutional, the Federal Government promised in that agreement to sell the 2/3 of Utah, and not to keep it. They officially violated that agreement with FLIPMA in 1976, leaving Utah and not the Federal Government, the owner of 2/3 of the land.

My oath of office included "do solemnly swear that I will support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State".

What do you do when the Constitution of Utah conflicts with the Constitution of the United States? I did not swear to defend this federal land policy which I believe violates the United States Constitution.

I would suggest that if the Federal Government decides to close the five "National Parks" in Utah, that Utah claim them under the US Constitution, Art. 1, Sec. 8, Clause 17, and keep them open.

To fund keeping them open, for the short term, I believe there is money in the GOED or if not, the rainy day fund. For the long term, by owning 2/3 of Utah, there would be enough resources to not only fund our schools, roads and jails, but the parks. For any court battle, there is funding set aside under the Constitutional Defense Restricted Account.

Since the bill I sponsored this year didn't pass, we could try and sell Bryce Canyon, but I believe that would be a mistake. Allowing our Utah's "National Parks" to be kept closed by the Federal Government would also be a mistake.

The Utah Land Protection Act (2012)

For a draft copy of my bill see: