Business leaders gathered at the Salt Lake Chamber to reaffirm their commitment to The Utah Compact, a set of key principles initially released in 2010 outlining the need for smart immigration policies to drive Utah’s economy forward.
The Utah Compact seeks to recognize and support the positive impact that immigrants bring to Utah’s economy as workers, business owners, taxpayers, and consumers. More than 120 prominent Utahns, including business, civic, faith and city leaders from across the state, have signed on to reaffirm their support of The Utah Compact. Their collective voice calls for a federal immigration system that provides sensible policies for addressing immigrants in Utah who make significant contributions to our state’s economy; reaffirms Utah’s global reputation as a welcoming and business-friendly state; and secures America’s borders while enforcing the country’s immigration laws.
“Immigration reform is a federal issue, but the lack of smart policy that works for business is felt at the local level,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “As Utah’s business leader, the Salt Lake Chamber is proud of the role we have played in elevating the level of debate on this important issue and we stand with our partners across Utah to encourage elected officials to champion policies that recognize the role immigrants play in our society. Immigration policy based on the principles of The Utah Compact will strengthen families, communities and greatly benefit our economy.”
Today’s event reaffirming the principles laid out in The Utah Compact comes as new data from New American Economy (NAE)’s Map the Impact shows just how much immigrant contributions add to Utah’s economy. According to NAE’s analysis, in 2017, immigrants in Utah paid $534.6 million in state and local taxes and held $5.3 billion in spending power.
“Respect for the rule of law is fundamental for a society, but as law enforcement officers, our limited resources should be focused on criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code,” said Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown. “We serve the public, regardless of status. We need immigration reform that recognizes that many immigrants in Utah are law abiding, valuable contributors to our community.”
“Our state’s economy faces global challenges we must meet with effective immigration policy that balances security with the flow of people and goods across borders,” said Miles Hansen, President & CEO of the World Trade Center Utah. “Smart immigration policy not only recognizes that Utah is best served by a free-market philosophy that maximizes individual opportunity, it also helps us compete in the global marketplace by attracting the best talent and most industrious workers to our state.”