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Utah Hispanic Legislators Condemn Trump Administration’s Hostile Anti-Immigrant Agenda, Mortensen No

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: May 25, 2018


Ross Chambless, Communications Specialist

Utah House Democratic Caucus

(801) 326-1568 |

Jon Hennington

Utah State Senate

801-214-4611 |

SALT LAKE CITY – Today Hispanic Democratic Legislators spoke out against President Trump’s worsening anti-immigrant agenda, including the nomination of Ronald Mortensen of Utah, for Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

Representative Angela Romero, District 26, said, “This is another push for Trump’s extreme anti-immigration agenda. Ronald Mortensen is certainly not the best person for this position, which is supposed to make sure the United States works to protect and ease the suffering of persecuted and uprooted people around the world. Mortensen is clearly not equipped to manage this responsibility in a fair or compassionate manner.”

“This nomination reflects poorly on Utah values,” said Representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck, District 24. “Mr. Mortensen has a long history of generally vilifying undocumented immigrants and refugees through his public actions. What the overwhelming majority of Utahns want is compassion, sensitivity, and fair-minded policies towards refugees and immigrants. Utahns have regularly demonstrated this through our welcoming support for immigrants, and through policies such as the Utah Compact.”

Representative Mark Wheatley, District 35, said, “Ronald Mortensen has regularly made dishonest and hurtful claims about immigrants – such as claiming that most undocumented immigrants commit felonies – when the facts and evidence indicate exactly the opposite. Most undocumented immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than U.S. citizens. He even makes ridiculous claims that Utah is a “magnet and sanctuary state” for illegal immigrants. I hope that Senator Hatch and Senator Lee make the most rational decision in this case and oppose this nominee.”

Utah Hispanic Legislators also decried the Trump administration’s recent announced policy to break up immigrant families apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Senator Luz Escamilla, District 1, said, “This appointment of Mortensen, along with their latest policy change to break up immigrant families shows how utterly inhumane this administration is. The recent stories of U.S. immigration agents now separating toddlers from their mothers and fathers, with no procedures for reunifying them – is simplify horrifying. How would any of us feel to have our children separated from us? How is this America? What are we becoming? Such cruel practices should never be committed against human beings who simply want a better life.”

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