Forensics to debate immigration reform

By By , Asst. News Editor

By Trent Lowe, Asst. News Editor

The Utah Forensics Team is hosting a debate Thursday centered around the issue of immigration reform in Utah.

The event, titled “Broken Borders: Debating the State of Immigration,” will feature Tony Yapias, the former director of the Utah State Office of Hispanic Affairs; Utah Reps. Mike Noel and Chris Herrod; and Dee Rowland, a government liaison for the Utah Catholic Diocese. The U’s Speech and Debate team will also perform a small-scale demonstration.

“The role of the event is to draw some attention to the issue, and many questions have been raised about (it),” said Michael Middleton, one of the directors of the forensics team who organized the event. “The speakers are interested in this topic because it could be one of the next big national issues.”

Immigration reform has become a hot-button issue in the United States, and especially in Utah after the Utah State Legislature passed Senate Bill 81 during the 2008 legislative session. S.B. 81 authorizes local police officers to check the immigration status of not only people in jail, but also anyone who is pulled over for a traffic violation. Various police enforcement agencies around the state have refused to enforce the law because they believe it will lead to racial profiling and that there just aren’t enough resources.

“We chose the topic because we had several students that are interested in it,” Middleton said. “Some of them were actually involved with Senate Bill 81.”

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