Friday, April 1, 2011

Utah Compact & City of Mesa, Yes or No

The Arizona Republic's editorial board yesterday wrote an opinion piece which they published. In it they referred to the City of Mesa recent Human Relations Advisory board meeting where time was given to the Utah Compact. They expressed their opinion that the time is right in Arizona for a similar compact and that the City of Mesa should lead the charge for two main reasons:
  1. Law maker recently shot down 5 immigration bills in the legislature
  2. Because 60 business leaders signed a letter.
They also referred to the need for more civility in the discussions, referencing Tom Horn being accosted by protesters at a press conference and the attorney general being called a liar, and a racist by La Raza supporters.

While I can agree with the editorial board on the principle that there needs to be more civility and less name calling, I don't think that it is in the best interest for the City of Mesa to endorse or appear to endorse a Utah style compact.

I attended the meeting and while waiting in line I listened to a conversation between two people. The interesting part was that neither side was listening to what the other side was saying. They were both so interested in defending their position that they couldn't see the points being made. Both sides had valid points. One side was talking about the need for compassion while the other the side was talking about the need to obey the laws of the land, both sides had valid points. Unfortunately neither side was listening to what the other was saying, they were to busy formulating their defense.

Until both sides on the immigration debate can step back and acknowledge the validity of the other sides arguments nothing is going to get accomplished. We have to agree to disagree on some points and work on the points we agree upon.

Immigration is an issue that is divisive, it is not something that pulls people together but drives a wedge. The City of Mesa should be working to bring people together as a community not dividing the community. For the City of Mesa to endorse, sign onto or show support one way or another for a Utah style compact would be for them to drive an existing wedge even deeper making the dived wider.

In reality the City of Mesa doesn't have power or authority to change the constitution of the United States and neither do to they have the power or authority to change Arizona constitution. The only thing the city has power or authority to do is take the laws already on the books, develop policy and ordinances that do not violate the law, and making the city policies and ordinances more restrictive within those confines.


  1. Matt you seem to miss the point that there already is division in Mesa on this issue. Having something like the Utah compact is not going to be the cause of division but a means to build bridges between the two sides. One other point you seem to not understand is the Utah Compact is not a law. It does not change the constitution of the state or the nation. All it is is a resolution. A formal way of saying, Hey, let's work on this together in a civil manner. Have you read the Utah Compact? Did you know it was endorsed by the LDS church?

  2. Julie, I didn't miss the point. I understand what is wanted by be those pushing the compact on Mesa. I would like a more civil discussion on the issue as well.

    I believe that by the City of Mesa getting involved in the discuss that it causes greater division because then people can use the city either for or against the arguments such as has gone on in San Francisco.

    We do not need a resolution, instead the City should be saying we treat ALL people equally and the same regardless of nation origin.
    Yes I've read it? This is not a religious issue.

    Do I believe we need to be more civil yes? Civility doesn't come from the government but from the people first. The same as the morality of a nation comes from the people not the government and by the way that morality has gone down hill.


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