Immigrant Family Justice

Senator Mitt Romney
Washington, DC 20510

April 1, 2021

Dear Senator Mitt Romney:

Last week, two major immigration bills HR6: The Dream and Promise Act and HR1603: The Farmworker Modernization Act passed the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives!

We urge you to vote yes on both of these immigration bills as monumental steps towards comprehensive and humane immigration reform. Polices like these are vital to the continued health and success of our state that will provide direct relief to immigrant families who have made Utah their home. It is time to come together and support these bipartisan measures to ensure a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 3 million immigrants including eligible immigrant youth, farmworkers, TPS, DED, and DACA recipients who will benefit.

Utah has a history of supporting immigrant families in our state through past state policies and with Sen. Hatch’s legacy of the first introduction of the Dream Act in 2001. Undocumented immigrants are our friends, family members, colleagues, and community members. HR6 & HR1603 signify an opportunity to recognize some of the contributions that immigrants have made in our state. Utah is home to approximately 92,000 undocumented immigrants, thousands of who would be granted a pathway to citizenship with the passage of these bills.

The Migration Policy Institute estimated that in 2020, approximately 15,000 Dreamers were eligible for DACA, most of whom may qualify for the Dream and Promise Act if passed. In Utah, about 66,933 children live in a household with at least one undocumented immigrant. Additionally, the New American Economy estimated that approximately 1 in 5 farmworkers in our state are foreign-born. While not all farmworkers undocumented, mixed-status farmworker families in our state will benefit greatly from the passage of HR1603. Nationally, it is estimated that over 55% of farmworkers have children and about 49% are estimated to lack work authorization. These milestone bills will make a significant difference in the lives of children and families and signify a path forward for immigrant families in our state who have lived with fears of deportation looming over them for far too long.

It is your opportunity to take action and help us move towards comprehensive immigration reform for our country. Undocumented immigrants have been on the frontline of ensuring our state moves forward during the pandemic. Now is the moment to reaffirm our support to the thousands of immigrants in Utah who will benefit from the passage of both bills.

We, the undersigned, urge your action to protect immigrant families in our state by voting YES on HB6 and HB1603.


Voices for Utah Children
Comunidades Unidas
Holy Cross Ministries
Perretta Law Office
Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City
Utahns Against Hunger
Planned Parenthood Association of Utah
Neighborhood House Association
Alliance for a Better Utah
Utah Coalition of La Raza (UCLR)
OCA Asian Pacific Islander American Advocates Utah
Utah Muslim Civic League


Email Ciriac Alvarez Valle for questions:


Published in News & Blog

Salt Lake City - Voices for Utah Children released publicly today (January 6, 2021)  "#InvestInUtahKids: An Agenda for Utah's New Governor and Legislature," the first major publication of our new #InvestInUtahKids initiative. 

Utah begins a new era in this first week of January, with the swearing in of a new Governor and Lt. Governor and a new Legislature. The arrival of 2021 marks the first time in over a decade that the state has seen this kind of leadership transition. Last month Voices for Utah Children began sharing with the Governor-elect and his transition teams the new publication, and on Wednesday morning Voices will share it with the public as well.

The new publication raises concerns about the growing gaps among Utah's different racial, ethnic, and economic groups and lays out the most urgent and effective policies to close those gaps and help all Utah children achieve their full potential in the years to come in five policy areas: 

  • Early education 
  • K-12 education 
  • Healthcare
  • Juvenile justice
  • Immigrant family justice

The report, which was initially created in December and distributed to the incoming Governor and his transition teams, closes with a discussion of how to pay for the proposed #InvestInUtahKids policy agenda. The pdf of the report can be downloaded here

Published in News & Blog

Great news, the Public Charge rule has been halted!

Earlier this week, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a new temporary injunction that bars the DHS Public Charge rule.

What does this mean? It means that the Public Charge rule will be barred from being implemented, applied, and enforced nationwide during the declared national emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is great news for immigrant families in our state! No one should have to make the difficult choice between accessing the programs they are eligible for and their immigration status. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we want to ensure that we fight the fear and the “chilling effect” of the Public Charge rule with facts. We commit to continue working alongside partners and leaders in our community to ensure immigrant families are able to make informed decisions for their families.

Published in News & Blog

A Welcoming Place For Immigrant Families.

Utah is home to 278,724 immigrants with more than 17,000 of those being immigrant children. They are our family members, neighbors, friends, peers, and colleagues. From driving privilege cards, in-state tuition for our undocumented youth, and the NEW State CHIP Program, Utah has continued to make strides to ensure that our state is a welcoming place for all, regardless of status. 

To address issues mixed-immigration status families face, Voices is committed to working with leaders in our state to uplift pressing issues in Utah's immigrant community by:

  • Working to ensure policies are inclusive towards our mixed-status and undocumented families.
  • Fighting against the harmful chilling effects of the Public Charge Rule.
  • Finding policy solutions that address the unique challenges and gaps that exist for immigrant families.
  • Leading a coalition of immigrant right advocates.

We will continue to work alongside immigrant communities and leaders to ensure Utah is a welcoming place for all.

Published in 2020 Issues

“We commend the Supreme Court’s decision finding the current administrations rescission of DACA as unlawful. We fully support the diverse group of more than 700,000 young immigrants (Dreamers) who are instrumental to our society including the approximately 10,000 who live in our state. We have seen many of them highlighted as essential health care workers during the COVID-19 crisis and we are proud of their many contributions to make this country a better place.

This decision does not mean that the fight is over. We must continue to follow the lead of our immigrant rights leaders and continue to advocate for a lasting solution that protects all 11 million undocumented immigrants including DACA recipients and their families. Whether it is the more than 25,000 Dreamers who are health care workers keeping us safe during the pandemic, or the Dreamers currently in other crucial positions including teachers and our military, DACA recipients are here to stay. 

As we reimagine the kind of America we want to become, and as we fight to make our country stronger and more just, we should look to Dreamers. This is a program that should be a basis of a comprehensive immigration policy that would allow us to grow stronger as a state and country. We commit to advocating alongside the Dreamers and ensuring Congress acts immediately so that DACA recipients can finally live in peace and security.”

Moe Hickey, CEO

Voices for Utah Children

 | 435-729-0233

Published in News & Blog

Utah has a long-standing commitment to immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers.

This brief provides an overview of immigrant families and children in our state, current political and policy issues affecting immigrant families, and how this impacts the mental health of Utah immigrant children. By reviewing both short and long-term consequences of current immigration policies on children’s mental health, we conclude with recommendations that can mitigate obstacles Utah immigrant children and families face to their mental and emotional well-being.

Download the entire brief by clicking here or checking below.

Published in News & Blog

Several weeks ago, threatening statements were made by the Trump Administration to ramp up deportations. Today, news outlets including The New York Times have reported that scheduled neighborhood ICE raids will begin this Sunday, July 14th in selected cities.

Voices for Utah Children is a non-profit advocacy organization that aims to influence policies, raise awareness, and provide data-driven research to support all children in our state, regardless of immigration status. We continue to oppose this threat that targets immigrant families and creates more fear to community members in our state.

We continue to wait for additional details regarding this operation and understand that as of now, no Utah cities are on the list. However, we understand that raids and threats of raids directly impact our state. Operations such as this run counter to the values we uphold in our state. Raids add to the climate of fear for immigrant families pushing children and parents to be more likely to miss school, work, church services, doctors’ appointments, and more. Research shows that children are negatively affected by raids, especially those who witness arrests in a home setting, being more likely to suffer from mental and behavioral health issues.

Voices for Utah Children will continue to oppose measures like this that aim to separate and bring terror to our immigrant neighbors, colleagues, friends, and loved ones.  We are proud to continue being a part of the Enriching Utah Coalition to promote dialogue and policies that reflect human rights and dignity for all, including immigrants and refugees. We continue to call on our local officials to speak out against this plan and support immigrant families impacted by deportations and raids.  


Published in News & Blog

June 10, 2019

Today Councilmember Shireen Ghorbani presented “A Resolution of the Salt Lake County Council Urging Utah’s Federal Delegation to Take Action on Immigration Reform that Reflects Salt Lake County’s Commitment As a Certified Welcoming County.” to the Salt Lake County Council. Moe Hickey, Executive Director of Voices for Utah Children urges the Council to vote in favor of the Resolution. The PDF version of this letter can be found at bottom of this page.

RE: Letter of Support for Proposed Salt Lake Co. Resolution Urging Action on Immigration Reform

To Whom It May Concern:

I am pleased to write this letter of support on behalf of our organization, Voices for Utah Children. We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization that advocates for policies and programs that produce great outcomes for Utah kids. We are based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and have been doing our good work for more than 30 years. Through research and policy analysis, we make a difference in kids’ lives. Kids can’t vote, but they are greatly impacted by changes to policy made by elected leaders. That is why Voices for Utah Children works to raise awareness, influence policy and unite our community on behalf of those kids.

Policies that are welcoming and inclusive of all children, regardless of their citizenship or that of their parents, are critical to ensuring children’s health, safety and success. Through our research and advocacy, we have found that expressing public support for immigrant families (regardless of official documentation) is an important avenue for encouraging community engagement and family investment. That is why we advocate for all children, not just native-born youth. 

In addition, immigrants are among our colleagues, friends, neighbors, peers and loved ones. Immigrants are members of our communities, and they are working alongside us to advocate for the wellbeing of all Utah children, no matter their country of origin. We wish to honor their past, present and future contributions to our work on behalf of children, and we encourage any effort to offer public support for their inclusion in our communities. 

To that end, we strongly support the proposed resolution, as presented by Councilperson Shireen Ghorbani, entitled “A Resolution of the Salt Lake County Council Urging Utah’s Federal Delegation to Take Action on Immigration Reform that Reflects Salt Lake County’s Commitment As a Certified Welcoming County.” 

Please vote in favor of this resolution, without amendments that attempt to separate our immigrant neighbors into categories of “undocumented” or “documented.”

Good policy does not distinguish between children based on where they were born, or how they arrived in our community. We hope that your vote will reflect this understanding. 


Moe Hickey

Executive Director

Voices for Utah Children 



Published in News & Blog
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