Question by new name: What do people think of Utah’s SB81 and illegals?
Utah Latinos learn details of new immigration law, SB81
New law » Police to look at suspect’s color, accent before asking immigration status.
Midvale » Officers here won’t be asking for the immigration status of folks who are witnesses or victims of a crime under new state law, but some crime suspects will be asked, Capt. Steve Shreeve said this week.
If suspects in police custody are white, officers won’t ask. But, if they are brown and/or have an accent, officers will ask to determine their immigration status to inform the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s deputies at the jail, he said.
Shreeve spoke about how the Midvale Police Department will be implementing the anti-illegal immigration law known as SB81 during a Latino community meeting Tuesday at the city’s Performing Arts Center.
Some 400 adults and kids from around the Salt Lake Valley packed the center for the two-hour meeting, conducted in Spanish, that included a few musical performances.
German Flores, an immigration attorney, translated for Shreeve. At one point, Flores interrupted Shreeve to say he couldn’t believe police would be racial profiling minorities, especially Latinos.
“That’s were attorneys can challenge the law; it’s unconstitutional,” Flores said. “That is discrimination.”
Flores encouraged folks, even undocumented immigrants, to learn more about their rights when dealing with law-enforcement officers.
“Keep you’re mouth closed and [know] your rights,” he said.
Flores and Shreeve agreed law-enforcement officials are in a “sticky”
situation under SB81.
“I didn’t say I agreed with the law,” Shreeve said.
Shreeve also said the police department does not think its officers should be cross-deputized as immigration agents because it makes some people “feel less safe.”
Throughout the meeting, people asked a panel of community representatives, from lawyers to labor law advocates, about what to do if an employer doesn’t pay you; what documents not to sign; and where to go when you’ve been hurt on the job.
“Don’t sign anything you don’t understand — get an attorney,” said Mark Sanchez, a Salt Lake City labor lawyer.
Julie Goldman, who works as a caseworker in the city’s Community Building Community office, said she and a few others decided to organize the Monday night meeting because she heard a lot of residents’ concerns and fears about SB81.
She said organizers wanted to help educate Latinos about the new law that goes into effect in July, where to call for help and their rights, regardless of their immigration status.
“They are now more prepared about the uncertainties that are coming,” Goldman said.
Juan Martinez, a 41-year-old Salt Lake City resident from Mexico, said he was pleased with the meeting because he got to hear from public leaders, and it makes him feel somewhat better about SB81.
Still, he’s heard from friends about the police crackdown on immigration in Ogden, so he’s trying not to drive too far from home.
Consuelo Fernandez, a West Valley City mom from Venezuela, said she came to the meeting because she can’t seem to find much about the law. She said she won’t be as nervous now, knowing officers can’t ask her for her immigration status — as long as she’s not doing anything wrong.
“I feel better knowing I have rights,” she said.
Answer by Mando
Do I need to make it more clear?
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