Archive for category Craig Frank

Cold as ICE


Loud raps shook a cozy home and brought the husband rushing to find two armed ICE officials standing gravely in his door frame with a picture of a woman. “Does this woman live here?” They briskly inquire. They go on to explain that the woman in the picture is registering stolen cars to his address. The husband quickly responds “no.” They request to come in and ask the rest of the household. When the wife looks at the picture and says “no.” The ICE officials verify the wife’s name and detain her for being in the country undocumented although she’s been married to a U.S. citizen since 2006 and applied for political asylum way before then. They deposited her into a white van carrying various others.

Since then this family has diligently been navigating a bureaucratic maze that finds them no closer to attaining asylum or citizenship for her than before. They endure ICE agents staking out their home. The wife endured a chemical burn from a monitoring device ICE has required her to wear around her ankle. Their son cries out in fear for his mother.

I hear people say being here in the U.S. undocumented is a legal violation. Well, our immigration system is a human rights violation.

Approximately 392,862 deportations have occurred within the past year. A record. More deportations than ever before. Can you even imagine the other stories out there? We were told about a few more this eve and are convicted to help.

Most undocumented workers create revenue through taxes for the U.S. Generating billions in revenue for the government. Most are going to through the process of attaining citizenship and pay thousands to navigate the paperwork by hiring an attorney. They can only hope the attorney doesn’t over charge them. They pay thousands to the U.S. government in form and application fees to get through the citizenship process. Not to mention the copies that need to be made for this process (475 pages in one packet) that needs to be duplicated and sent more than once. This process includes shipping fees and more. This social injustice is about economics. What would happen to our economy if mass deportations occurred?

We learned that the undocumented community will need toys during Christmas as well as clothing and food. A few of us have committed to learning the process to navigating the citizenship paperwork to provide a support to the community.

Let me know if you can provide assistance with this issue. It’s the most pressing human rights issue in Utah and YOU can help solve it by working together to call on the Federal Government to FIX this system and by volunteering your time to collect resources for these families. <3

The above is Utah family’s story that a few of us USJ members heard yesterday eve and again, we are convicted to help.

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Another proposal to raise the tax on food

Representative Craig Frank has a blog post with a big headline:

Repeal of 1% Restaurant Tax Receives Unanimous Approval

Repealing a tax should be popular right about now. Especially since Senator Howard Stephenson and others are proposing to raise the sales tax on food.

Unfortunately, repealing this tax isn’t as pretty as it sounds. The proposal is, in fact, to shift a one percent restaurant tax to a one-tenth of one percent general sales tax.

CraigfrankRep Frank says:

Although the Bill proposal removes the 1% sales tax on restaurant food, the Bill also gives Counties throughout the state an option of levying a 1/10 % (one-tenth of one percent) general sales tax in its place. Many counties have used the current restaurant tax’s revenue stream to bond for projects such as convention centers and other “cultural” venues.

Rep. Frank has stated that “it’s not (his) intent to put at risk those Counties who have already leveraged themselves against the previously ‘guaranteed’ revenue stream, but to take the tax from a less logical collection point and place it in a tax base that makes more sense.”

Let me repeat that last phrase: “take the tax from a less logical collection point and place it in a tax base that makes more sense.”

Stated more plainly, we’ll abolish a tax on prepared food enjoyed by those who can afford to dine out, and replace it with a tax on unprepared food that is a basic necessity of life.

This shift may be revenue neutral, as Rep. Frank claims, but the burden will be shifted from those who have expendable income enough to enjoy eating out, and will be borne disproportionately by the poor and working poor of the state who will be required to pay a greater percentage of their income to fund those convention centers and other ‘cultural’ venues.

In the comments Rep Frank says this proposal has nothing to do with Sen. Stephenson’s proposal to raise sales taxes on food. He is only partially right in that. While theoe may be two separate proposals, they both end up hurting the people most who already find their grocery-buying dollar stretched to the limit.

This proposal by Frank is nothing more than bowing to the restaurant industry. Restaurants benefit from those convention centers and cultural events. If a tax is needed to fund those things, then a restaurant tax seems far more appropriate than a grocery store tax.

This bill should never have made it out of committee and it must surely be defeated when brought to a vote.

Cross-posted at Utah Legislature Watch

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