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Bishop Talks Bears Ears, Immigration With Utah Legislature

Lee Hale

Republican Congressman Rob Bishop addressed Utah lawmakers at the State Capitol Friday during his annual visit to the Legislature.

Before being elected to Congress, Rob Bishop served in the Utah House for 16 yearsand was Speaker of the Utah House in the early 1990s.


He spent part of his annual address discussing the importance of the federal government listening to the states. He said state legislators often do a better job than congress and deserve more of a say in U.S. policy.


He also fielded some questions from the representatives, touching on Trump’s recent immigration ban. Bishop said he’s been talking about that a lot these days.


“And it creates a whole lot of very emotional behavior," Bishop said. "That has to be brought down a notch.”


Once the country gets past the "angst," Bishop said there should be a focus on process. And that he wouldn’t comment further until after the current federal court proceedings—which have lifted the temporary ban—are concluded.


He also reaffirmed his view that the Bears Ears monument needs to be overturned and redone.


“What will happen in the future, I hope, is to simply take that area and do it the right way," said Bishop. "So you confine Bears Ears area to just what is Bears Ears area.”


And give deciding power to the Native Americans who live there. Bishop said it’s probably time Utah is treated more like Wyoming. A state exempt from the Antiquities Act which cleared the legal path for establishing the Bears Ears National Monument.


Lee Hale began listening to KUER while he was teaching English at a Middle School in West Jordan (his one hour commute made for plenty of listening time). Inspired by what he heard he applied for the Kroc Fellowship at NPR headquarters in DC and to his surprise, he got it. Since then he has reported on topics ranging from TSA PreCheck to micro apartments in overcrowded cities to the various ways zoo animals stay cool in the summer heat. But, his primary focus has always been education and he returns to Utah to cover the same schools he was teaching in not long ago. Lee is a graduate of Brigham Young University and is also fascinated with the way religion intersects with the culture and communities of the Beehive State. He hopes to tell stories that accurately reflect the beliefs that Utahns hold dear.
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