Date: Sunday, February 24, 2008
Speaker: Tony Yapias
Tony Yapias is a native of Junin, Peru. In 1981 at the age of 14 he immigrated to the United States. He lived in Evanston, Wyoming where he attended High School. He received a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Currently, Tony is the Scoutreach Director for the Boy Scouts of America in the Great Salt Lake Council serving Latino and ethnic minority youth in After-School programs. In 2003, he was appointed to Director for the State Office of Hispanic Affairs by former Governor Michael O. Leavitt. He was the first Peruvian born to be appointed to this position. He continued to serve as Director under Governor Olene Walker until 2005. As Hispanic Affairs Director, he was responsible for advising the governor on issues that impact the Latino community.
Since September 11, 2001, the immigration debate in Utah has increased in intensity. Prior to September 11, 2001, then Governor Michael Leavitt and the Utah legislature passed a law to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a Utah driver’s license. Later in 2002, the Legislature passed HB-144 which allows undocumented immigrants who graduated from a Utah high school to continue their higher education in Utah’s public colleges and universities at an “in-state tuition” rate. Since 2002, dozens of proposed bills targeting immigrants and reversing these positions have been presented without success at the Legislature, although with each passing year, the debate has become stronger. This presentation with Tony Yapias will review the history of current immigration policy, its impact on undocumented workers and the U.S. economy and society, and will encourage discussion of the consequences of various legal measures currently proposed.