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The Quiet Ones: 12 Leaders Who Get Things Done

While right-wing Republicans gridlock Washington, a dozen leaders are demonstrating just how effective government can be
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mark shurtleff
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Mark Shurtleff
Attorney General, Utah

What He's Done While most Republicans would prefer to demonize "illegals," Shurtleff has confronted the challenge posed by his state's undocumented workforce through an initiative called the Utah Compact: a blueprint for "compassionate" immigration reform that calls on the federal government to act, but in the meantime urges local police not to go after illegals, opposes policies that break up families, and recognizes immigrants' positive roles as workers and taxpayers. The Compact spurred the Republican state legislature to pass a package of reform laws this year, including a program allowing illegal immigrants to live and work openly in the state if they register and pay a fine. Liberal activists have praised Shurtleff and the Compact, and other states are eyeing Utah's approach as a model of humane, common-sense immigration policy. "You hear constantly that undocumented workers are a drain on our economy," Shurtleff said. "Well, now we're seeing evidence that it's not true. It's quite the opposite."

Admirers Say "This is a pragmatic step forward," says Rosenberg of NDN. "It wasn't playing into the insanity that we've seen in Arizona and Arkansas."

Enemies Say Eli Cawley, chairman of the Utah Minutemen Project, says Shurtleff has played "a demonic role in reinforcing the grip of the organized-crime cartels over the flow of exploited human beings into our state."

Gives Us Pause How did Democrats let a conservative Republican from Orrin Hatch's home state get out in front on this issue?

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