When it comes to immigrants, my own grandparents came to the United States from Japan seeking a better life.   I remember stories about my grandparents and my parents facing their own racial discrimination and how they were rounded up after Pearl Harbor during World War II and sent to various internment camps in Amache in Colorado and Heart Mountain in Wyoming (where Clarence Ihachiro Uno, my father's father died at the age of 47).  As a therapist, I have encountered a number of Latino clients and in my personal life I have met many Latino laborers who take on the most demeaning, demanding, laborious tasks without complaint.  In my experience with illegal immigrants that I have met and continue to meet, they pay their bills unlike a number of other clients, they are always on time and don't miss appointments, and they are humble and polite people.  These immigrants, regardless of their legal status, have been respectful and dutiful in their behavior and attitude with me.

Illegal Immigrants

The issue of illegal immigrants has come up four times on the campaign trail so far (from the last week in April through to the end of July 2018) in Utah House District 13.  None of the residents who raised concerns, except one, appeared to have had any direct experience of illegal immigrants as the basis for their concerns and another resident who moved from California for his experience.  From my clinical experience, illegal immigrant children are not a primary problem within our public schools in North Davis, rather it appears that emotional and behaviorally disruptive students of other mainstream racial backgrounds are making it almost impossible for some of our teachers to offer quality education in our schools.  Additionally, comments from a representative from Intermountain Health Care does not reveal any substantial impact on the use of the emergency room at McKay Dee Hospital by illegal immigrants and a representative from Davis Hospital and Medical Center has not returned my messages regarding the matter.  Overall, as for our Legislative House District, the illegal immigrant issue appears to be a convenient and emotional "non-issue" that hasn't measurably impacted our local communities ("Utah minorities booming, grew by 130K since 2010," The Salt Lake Tribune, June 21, 2018).  


At the present time, vastly more important  and substantive social and community issues demand our attention such as public schools, our environment, our health care, our economy, the lives of a rapidly growing elderly population, and the growing problem and the negative impact of police officers transporting more and more local residents and citizens under the influence (rather than illegal immigrants) to emergency rooms.  These seem to be the "real" issues that our state legislators must address instead of becoming sidetracked, wasting precious time and resources on this hot button "issue" that admittedly is impacting some of our neighboring states but there appears to be little evidence as to how this issue is having a real impact on the residents in our Utah House Legislative District.


As for the rest of the State of Utah with an understanding of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments (including the July 4, 2018 Federal District Court ruling upholding most of California's Sanctuary laws) (and in August 2018, a Federal Appeals Court also held that the federal Executive Branch could not withhold funds to sanctuary cities) to the U.S. Constitution, illegal immigrants may be best handled on a local level where local governments have a better idea as to how prepared their own residents are to either accept or reject these people and the resources they have available and willing to offer these people.  Some local communities are much more diverse and accommodating whereas other communities may not have the cultural orientation that would make it easy to integrate other people without violence and intolerant dysfunctional outcomes for both residents and immigrants.  As for young children and adolescents, our American due process system calls attention to the importance of focussing on the "willful intent" of these people to violate immigration law.  Just as we don't necessarily treat our own children or young adults with the same penalties or standards of justice meted out to adults by having them instead face justice in the juvenile justice system, so too Utah has a legal and moral responsibility to determine whether or not these younger immigrants have the mental capacity to understand their actions before severe consequences are meted out to them.  Can children and adolescents be legally responsible for the actions of their parents or even of their own actions that would rise to the level of deportation?  These are legal and moral issues that require answers before we actually take action as a State on this issue.

Follow me

© 2018 by Tab Lyn Uno.
Proudly created with


T: 801-458-6743   F: 801-773-5918

  • Facebook Clean