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Utah senators pulled a surprise move Wednesday as they worked on a bill to eliminate dusty old commissions and boards that no longer meet or have useful functions.
They amended SB28 to eliminate also the Utah Commission on Immigration and Migration which was created amid fanfare two years ago to study the impacts of illegal immigration and help seek an agreement to streamline the process for legal workers to come to Utah from the Mexican state of Nuevo León.
Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogden, proposed eliminating the commission saying it is "frankly spending a lot of time talking, but coming to no real solution or recommendations as to what we should do in the state."
He said it also has talked about doing a study, but funding for that is unlikely.
New Attorney General John Swallow has said he is not interested in pursuing the agreement with Nuevo León, which had been promoted by former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, Reid noted.
No senator fought eliminating the commission, although Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, asked if it may be wise to keep it to respond to any federal legislation that may come as national debates on immigration reform are heating up.
But Reid responded, "We don't form commissions on some speculative expectation that the federal government may or may not do something because if we did that, we would have a lot of commissions with absolutely no purpose."
Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, said he served briefly on the commission, and he also believes "any more meetings would be either nonproductive or counterproductive."
Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake City, also said the commission likely isn't needed. "I think the state has spoken very loud about where we are" on immigration.
The amendment to eliminate the immigration commission passed on a voice vote. The Senate passed SB28 on Thursday by a 27-0 vote.