Can Rep. Sandstrom bag him an illegal next session?---
I love a good theme in a profile piece. Like the piece the D-news did today on rep. Stephen Sandstrom where the last sentence compared his love of big game hunting to his love of politics.
There's the planning that happens first, picking the animal that is his target, investing time stalking it, researching it and waiting for the perfect shot. And if he can accomplish his goal, taking down the big bison or tackling the complicated beast of illegal immigration, there is impending satisfaction, a rush, he knows, if only he pushes himself hard enough.
I know the writer made the figurative "beast" there the issue but I couldn’t help walking away with the image of Sandstrom placing the stuffed head of an undocumented immigrant above his desk.
But that’s not the best part of the profile; the best part is the insight that Sandstrom’s major motivation for an immigration bill came from traveling the country and seeing bilingual signs outside of Utah in some areas, a clear indicator of a damaged culture in Sandstrom’s opinion. Which is also interesting considering that when it comes to immigration related crimes like drug and human trafficking, Sandstrom said that after visiting with Border Patrol Agents in Arizona he was sure the same crime would come to Utah. Ultimately the question that seems like a crucial one for the Legislature to consider for next session is whether or not the “perceived” evils of immigration are really apparent in Utah?
Do we have the kind of border crime Arizona gets? And if Arizona’s bill pushes that border crime somewhere else, is it really going to push it to a non-border state like Utah? Also are there Latino enclaves in Utah that are recognized by local government with bilingual signs? Is there any evidence of that in Utah?
These are all pretty important questions considering that Utah has already passed a number of reforms that have had little more than a year to take effect, such as the creation of a special “strike force” that targets specifically dangerous immigrant criminals as well SB 81.
Figuratively speaking, the evidence so far seems to show Sandstrom is on safari for a beast that really just doesn't come through these parts.