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Utah attorney says immigrants could fill many vacant jobs

Jan 24, 2022, 8:40 AM | Updated: 8:41 am

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Attorney Carlos Trujillo, immigration lawyer. Photo: Trujillo Acosta Law

SALT LAKE CITY — An attorney who represents immigrant workers says they could fill many of the vacant jobs across Utah. The unemployment rate in Utah dropped below 2% in December, and employers report many vacant jobs in the state.

Carlos Trujillo says providing work permits and Social Security numbers to immigrants who are already here could help ease labor shortages in many areas.

“It would be more than enough to really make an impact in many businesses in different areas,” Trujillo told KSL NewsRadio. “Not only the hospitality area, but the to the construction area and other job areas.”

While the Biden administration has been deporting fewer immigrants under recent executive orders, Trujillo says that’s not enough. What many of them need, he says, are work permits. For that to happen, he says, Congress has to act.

“We need a proper immigration reform that passes both houses, and, sadly, there is nothing that is being worked on at this moment.”

One proposal that had been attached to legislation to be passed under the budget reconciliation procedure failed because the Senate parliamentarian determine it was not appropriate to  put it in a budget bill. Since then, Trujillo says nothing significant has been proposed.

Contributing: Mark Jackson

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Utah attorney says immigrants could fill many vacant jobs