‘This isn’t about job cuts’: Cox calls again for immigration reform

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SALT LAKE CITY – Gov. Spencer Cox says immigration reform is a vital step in strengthening the US economy.

The governor’s comments during his month’s fame PBS press conference Thursday was his latest report in support of immigration reform — an issue he has repeatedly described as “the one contentious issue most Americans agree on.”

“Our economy demands that we need more manpower and we can’t find more manpower here,” he said. “So it’s not about taking jobs away from Americans; it’s about helping create new jobs and more jobs and helping our economy continue to grow.”

Cox also hailed the SB35, which will go into effect in May. The law allows immigrants with a professional and training license from foreign countries to obtain a license in Utah. This follows a similar law passed in 2024 that introduced the same allowances for a different set of occupations. Cox encouraged immigrants applying for those permits to be patient while the state navigates the new process.

“We have a desperate business for these types of employees. We can’t fill these positions fast enough, so it makes sense. It makes a lot of sense, and I’m proud that we’re one of the first in the country to be able to find pathways for those nationals to get a license here without having to start.” from zero “.

The comments echoed arguments Cox has made previously, including in a joint opinion piece he wrote with Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb in February calling for states to sponsor immigrants to fill labor shortages. Cox’s moderate approach has been supported by some, such as his statements in which he told the Dreamers, children brought to the United States illegally as children, that they belonged in the United States. He said excluding unregistered students from sports.

Cox has repeatedly called out politicians in Washington, D.C., for failing to work on immigration reform. However, Cox said Thursday that he is “cautiously optimistic” that Congress will take action on the issue soon.

“The problem is the politicians, and the politicians are the ones who get elected by dividing us on this issue on both the left and the right. And we’ve been very close to consensus before,” Cox said, adding that immigration reform was on hand in both the Bush and Obama administrations. “I’m opening my eyes to this. I realize it’s been tried before and failed before, but I’m always hopeful and hopeful that we can get something done with this Congress.”

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Sydnee Gonzalez is a multicultural correspondent for KSL.com covering the diversity of the people and communities of Utah. Se Habla Spanish. You can find Sydnee at @sydnee_gonzalez on Twitter.

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