Republican coalition urges immigration reform without mass deportations

SALT LAKE CITY — A group of big names in Utah’s Republican Party have signed on to an effort to soften the edges of President Elect Donald Trump’s hard line on immigration.

The Coalition for Immigration Reform is an effort of  the group, New American Economy. They said they want secure borders, a growing economy, and no mass deportations.

U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) addressed the group, calling for the same goals with a nod to his own I-Squared Act, which would allow highly-skilled workers to come into the country or stay in the country more easily.

“Failure to reform our high-skilled immigration system is forcing American companies to outsource their innovation centers to countries like Canada or India,” Hatch told the group in prepared remarks.

Coalition members include former Senator Jake Garn and Mike Winder, former Mayor of West Valley City and newly elected state representative.

“Congress has the opportunity this next year to both secure our borders, and support an immigration system that truly works,” Winder said.

The business-oriented group said in 2014, Utah’s 106,000 undocumented immigrants contributed $56 million in state and local taxes, and $87 million in federal taxes.