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Utah's Guest Worker Program

Utah Guest Worker Program: Some Insight About This Recent Utah Immigration Bill

We know many of you may be thinking, “This is the perfect opportunity to move and gain some sort of legal immigration status!” However, before you pack your bags and move to Utah, here are some things you should know:

  • Even though this law has been signed by the Utah governor, the federal government must grant a waiver before this law can take effect.  It is likely to be contested by them, and they have the authority to strike this immigration law down.
  • This bill isn’t set to go into effect until July 1, 2013
  • You must have lived in Utah prior to May 11, 2011 before you could be eligible for it.
  • You will have to pay a $2500 fine to get a “work permit” that won’t be valid for federal purposes, won’t stop you from being removed by Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE), and it puts you in a database that can be shared with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  Further, you will have to pass a criminal background check.
  • This does not give you any sort of legal status, such as permanent residency or citizenship. It would only allow you to be employed in Utah, and you are still subject to removal.
  • This legislation is very new and there are no applications in place, or any guidance whatsoever as to how this program will be implemented.

Immigration law is regulated solely by the federal government, so it is important to realize that even though the Utah legislature has passed this bill, it is subject to review by the federal government, and they are the governing body that has the ultimate authority over this issue.

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