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Proposed Resolution To Protect The Freedom And Liberty Of All Utahns

Brian Grimmett
Senator Brian Shiozawa at a Social Services Sub-Appropriation Committee in 2015.

On Wednesday, Utah Republican Senator Brian Shiozawa introduced a non-binding resolution encouraging protection of civil liberties and freedoms for all Americans including legal immigrants and refugees. It came during a tense time for some immigrant communities in the state. 

Speaking before the Senate Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee, Senator Shiozawa talked about his family connection to this resolution. His grandfather emigrated from Japan and worked on the railroads in Helper, Utah.

"Now my wife, on the other hand, is descended from a lady named Zina D.H. Young who is one of the plural wives of Brigham Young. And of course, her ancestors came as a result of what? Religious persecution," Shiozawa said. 

Shiozawa said this non-binding resolution is a statement to showcase the commitment of the Legislature and Governor Herbert to protecting diversity, religious freedoms and civil liberties of Utahns.

Republican Committee Chair Jacob Anderegg recalled his grandfather whose family came from Switzerland to Utah to practice the LDS faith.

"We’re all descendants of immigrants. And we can’t exclude some who are desperately in need, at the sake of wanting to ensure that we don’t have any people coming here who may have alternative motives," Anderegg said. 

The idea for the resolution came from Governor Herbert. But it’s being discussed just days after the Trump administration released new priorities about which undocumented immigrants should face deportation. It is a move that is expected to dramatically expand deportation efforts.

Shiozawa said the resolution is meant to emphasize civility, not criticize the actions of the Trump administration.

"As far as I’m concerned it’s just a timely issue," he said.  

Senate Concurrent Resolution Six passed out of committee unanimously. It now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

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