Sutherland Institute Calls for Modifications to Immigration Bill

SALT LAKE CITY – Sutherland Institute today released recommendations to improve HB 116 as Utah prepares to make it law – or defend it in court – two years from now . The cover paper describes the strengths of SB 60, the legislation Sutherland crafted with Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake City, making it the gold standard for state-based, comprehensive policy. The companion piece to the cover lists 14 proposed changes to HB 116.

Sutherland’s primary recommendation is simply to substitute SB 60 (2nd Substitute) for HB 116. Short of that, Sutherland proposes 13 other changes to enhance personal accountability from everyone within Utah’s borders.

“Accountability is the key – Utah has the right, as a sovereign state, to insist on personal accountability from anyone within its borders,” said Sutherland Institute President Paul Mero. “Law enforcement needs to know who is here in Utah so officers can effectively find the serious criminals hiding among a large group of people driven underground by the unintended consequences of enforcement-only policies.”

“Accountability also means undocumented immigrants must be willing to come to the surface of society,” Mero continued. “And Utah employers utilizing undocumented immigrant labor must do their part.”

To be clear, Sutherland supported HB 116 as passed by the Utah Legislature and signed by Governor Gary Herbert. Although it’s a political compromise, HB 116 is nonetheless a symbol of reasonable, comprehensive policy and a responsible alternative to enforcement-only approaches. With two years ahead to perfect the legislation, Sutherland believes HB 116 is a solid starting point from which to address this complex issue and has therefore recommended these changes as crucial improvements to the bill.

Click here to access The Next Steps for State-Based Immigration Policy in Utah.(

Follow this link to read Sutherland Institute Recommends Changes to HB 116.(

Sutherland Institute is a conservative, state-based, independent public policy organization located in Salt Lake City. Its mission: protecting the cause of freedom, constructively influencing Utah’s decision makers, and promoting responsible citizenship. Sutherland Institute is recognized as the leading conservative think tank in the state of Utah.