2012 Opinion Summary
|Summary of Informal Opinion
|The purpose of this Opinion is to provide state and local law enforcement with guidelines concerning the enforcement of the “Utah Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act” (the “Act.”) It is not intended to limit law enforcement’s underlying authority. The Act, in most respects, does not significantly change state or local law enforcement’s existing authority pertaining to aliens unlawfully present in the United States.
The provisions of the Act only apply when law enforcement conducts a lawful stop, detention, or arrest based on prior law or authority. The Act does not itself provide any cause or reason to stop, detain, or arrest a person and does not create a separate crime relating to a person’s citizenship or nationality. As before, racial profiling remains illegal. A stop, detention, or arrest cannot be made based upon a suspicion concerning that person’s citizenship status, race, ethnicity, or nationality.