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AG Reyes on POTUS’ Executive Order

 
UTAH AG ISSUES STATEMENT ON THE PRESIDENT’S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON IMMIGRATION 
 Reyes calls on Congress to act quickly to close loopholes
 

SALT LAKE CITY – This afternoon, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes issued the following statement in support of President Trump’s Executive Order Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation:

I applaud President Trump’s executive order stopping family separations at the border. No one wants to see children separated from their parents. It has been obvious for decades and under multiple administrations that our immigration system is flawed. Legal loopholes not only impede moral and pragmatic relocation and residence of families, but also fuel the human trafficking scourge among many vulnerable populations and ages. Congress needs to come together, setting aside partisan differences, to close these loopholes immediately and fix the problem.

I was born into a family with an immigrant father. I understand the immigration quandary from both a personal and legal perspective. My father risked his life to stand up to a dictatorial regime in his country and barely escaped by coming to the United States. He ultimately achieved his U.S. citizenship, one of the greatest days of his life. As we debate immigration policy, we must remember the real victims of today’s broken system and the consequences if Congress fails to fix the law. Again, I call on Congress to close the loopholes and get immigration right.

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AG Reyes Speaks on Veto Override

UTAH AG’S OFFICE RELEASES STATEMENT ON VETO OVERRIDE

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, the Utah Legislature met to override Governor Herbert’s veto of SB 171, despite significant concerns. Following the vote, Attorney General Sean Reyes made the following statement:

We believe in a carefully balanced democratic system of government where the legislature enacts laws, the executive branch enforces them, and courts interpret them. When one branch upsets that equilibrium, it threatens the harmony and integrity of the whole and erodes public confidence in the institutions.

The legislature heard several serious concerns about SB171 during the legislative session and ultimately the executive branch voiced its strongest opposition possible when the Governor exercised his veto power. In turn, a supermajority of the legislature has chosen, as is its prerogative, to go forward with this new law. If SB 171 is challenged, the courts will have their important role to play in deciding whether the law will stand or be rejected. We respect the role of all branches and have faith in the long-term results of our system of checks and balances.

In the Office of the Utah Attorney General, we will continue to do our duty and defend state laws, unless and until there is a decision from the courts requiring us to do otherwise.

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AG Reyes Statement on the Passing of Barbara Bush

This evening, Attorney General Sean Reyes released the following statement regarding the passing of Barbara Bush, wife of President George H.W. Bush and mother of President George W. Bush: 

“I am saddened to hear of the passing of Barbara Bush – a larger than life political figure and the matriarch of the Bush family. She was a fierce advocate and a graceful public servant at the same time. Her commitment to her husband of over 70 years is, in and of itself, a testament of her character and devotion to her deep family values. 

“Mrs. Bush’s legacy cannot be overlooked and her selfless dedication to improve our nation is woven into the history of our country. One of the first to join the front lines of the civil rights movement, she was not shy about sharing her opinions and beliefs surrounding tough issues of the times. Most notably, she poured her heart into fighting illiteracy and homelessness, believing that the two went hand in hand. 

“Mrs. Bush was a remarkable individual and a great American. She showed us how to live a full life, committed to issues, but above all putting family first. Her influence will be greatly missed.”


AG Reyes & AG Bondi Commend Senate Passage of H.R. 1865

UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL REYES AND FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL BONDI JOINT STATEMENT ON PASSAGE OF H.R. 1865

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah and TALLAHASSEE, Florida — Today, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, both leaders in the fight against human trafficking, issued the following joint statement commending the U.S. Senate passage of H.R. 1865:

“Today, we applaud the U.S. Senate for making the right decision and overwhelmingly passing H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, in a 97 to 2 vote. This legislation will significantly support all state attorneys general and state prosecutors in their effort to hold online sites accountable for supporting the sale of sex trafficking victims. 

“We thank President Trump and his Administration for working closely and proactively with Members of Congress, including our dedicated Utah and Florida federal delegations, industry experts and human trafficking survivors in the fight to eradicate sex trafficking across the country and around the world.”

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NOTES:

  1. You can read the National Association of Attorneys General urging the Senate to pass H.R. 1865 here: https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/CDA-Final-Letter.pdf.
  2. Find The Washington Post coverage of H.R. 1865 passing in the Senate on here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2018/03/21/bill-enabling-prosecutors-to-pursue-websites-that-host-sex-traffickers-heads-to-white-house/?utm_term=.44a852a8aaa2.

UTAH JOINS LAWSUIT AGAINST OBAMACARE

UTAH JOINS LAWSUIT AGAINST OBAMACARE
Twenty Attorneys General Challenge Constitutionality of Affordable Care Act

 

This week, Attorney General Sean Reyes joined a 20-state coalition lawsuit against the federal government, challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. The lawsuit asserts that since the tax reform passed by Congress eliminated the tax penalty of the ACA’s individual mandate, the ACA is now unlawful.

“Utah has always believed that the ACA was an impermissible overreach of federal authority,” said Attorney General Reyes. “The Commerce Clause gives Congress the power to regulate commerce but not to compel it. The U.S. Supreme Court defined the individual mandate penalty as a tax which made the ACA constitutional. Because the recent tax reform legislation eliminated that penalty, Obamacare is no longer legally viable. This lawsuit will clear the path for the states and Congress to move forward with solutions that work better for Americans and are in line with constitutional limits on government power. We hope small business, individuals, and families whose costs and premiums increased dramatically due to the ACA can finally get much deserved relief.”

The Supreme Court construed the penalty as a tax, even though Congress had repeatedly denied that it was a tax and upheld the mandate as a permissible exercise of the taxing power. The Court and the DOJ under President Obama’s Administration repeatedly emphasized that the mandate was not severable from the rest of the ACA – that is, if the mandate was unconstitutional, the entire law must go.

Joining Utah in the coalition, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

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NOTES: 

  1. You can read the copy of the complaint here: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/epress/Texas_Wisconsin_et_al_v._U.S._et_al_-_ACA_Complaint_(02-26-18).pdf.

AG Reyes and D.C. Opioid Press Conference

Attorney General Sean Reyes joined U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, along with several other state’s AGs, to address the nation’s opioid epidemic and deliver a new opioid policy announcement in a press conference in Washington, D.C. yesterday. AG Reyes shared about the effect of the epidemic in Utah and steps being taken to fight the addiction and trafficking of drugs statewide. In his statement, Reyes said,

“When we work together, we work best. There is hope, as devastating as this issue is, working together we can overcome and eradicate this threat from our communities.” 

To watch the entire press conference, go here: https://www.justice.gov/live. AG Reyes starts his statement about the fight in Utah at 30:22. 

See KUTV2’s coverage of the event below. 

 

 


ICAC Task Force Featured on ABC4’s Behind the Badge

Don Hudson of ABC4 featured the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, part of the Justice Division of the Utah Attorney General’s Office, on last Friday’s Behind the Badge.

 

 

The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) is a multi-jurisdictional task force that investigates and prosecutes individuals who use the Internet to exploit children. The Utah Attorney General (UAG) ICAC Task Force was created in 2000 and is now one of 61 ICAC task forces in the country. They focus on crimes related to sexual exploitation of a minor – whether possessing, distributing, or manufacturing child pornagraphy, enticing minors over the internet, or exchanging material deemed harmful to minors. The UAG ICAC Task Force has 32 local, state, and federal police agencies involved in the task force.

You can learn more about ICAC and how to keep your family safe, check out the ICAC Task Force here: https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/justice/internet-crimes-against-children-icac-task-force.


AG Files National Monuments Amicus Brief

The cases challenging President Trump’s recent diminishment of two national monuments in the State of Utah are slated to be heard half a continent away.  We believe they should be heard locally.

This week, the Utah Attorney General filed a friend of the court brief in Washington, D.C. on behalf of the State of Utah, Garfield County, Kane County, and San Juan County.  It supports the Department of Justice’s request to transfer these two cases to Utah.

We argue that a court in Utah should hear these cases because

(1) Utah’s interests in them are greater than the interests of Washington, D.C.; and

(2) The cases could significantly affect Utah’s property interests in, and rights on, those lands.

You can read the Amicus Brief here: Consolidated Utah Monuments Amicus Brief.

 


Fighting Against the Opioid Epidemic

Utah currently ranks 4th in the nation for opioid drug overdose deaths, losing six people a week to the epidemic. This is a national health crisis and a priority of the Attorney General’s office since Sean D. Reyes took office.

In June, Attorney General Sean Reyes joined Brian Besser, DEA District Agent in Charge, in creating an executive Opioid Task Force to address the epidemic. The task force consists of skilled partners, including Speaker Greg Hughes, Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, Rep. Steve Eliason, Senator Evan Vickers, Councilmember Jenny Wilson from the Salt Lake County Council, members of law enforcement, the medical community, academia, and congressional delegation staffers.

The Attorney General’s Office has been diligently working to help stem the tide of the opioid addiction in the state. Below is a list of actions taken by AG Reyes and the Opioid Task Force for the last few years.

2014 
FEB: Arrest of Victor Rax – known drug & human trafficker.

2015
OCT:  AG Reyes urges Congress to pass the Comprehensive & Addiction Recovery Act of 2015.

2016
JUL:    AG Reyes joins investigation by a bipartisan coalition of 41 state attorneys general seeking documents and information from manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids.

OCT:   AG Reyes files a lawsuit with 36 other AGs against Suboxone, an opioid addiction treatment drug, for blocking generic competitors.

2017
APR:   AG Reyes promotes turning in unused prescription drugs on for Utah Takeback Day.

MAY:  AG Reyes creates Opioid Task Force with DEA, Utah legislators, community members, and public health officials to act against the opioid epidemic.

JUN:   In conjunction with the DEA, Utah AGO assists in one of the largest heroin busts in Utah history, arresting 35 conspirators.

SEPT: AG Reyes urges health insurance companies to examine financial incentives that contribute to the opioid epidemic in Utah by co-authoring a letter with a coalition of 37 states and territories.

OCT:   AG Reyes joins a bipartisan group of AG’s encouraging 15 healthcare companies that provide pharmacy benefit management services to implement programs that mitigate prescription opioid abuse.

Utah Opioid Task Force alerts health care providers and law enforcement that Naloxone rescue kits, are legal and only used as an antidote to reverse an opiate overdose.

NOV:  AG Reyes advocates for and assists DEA in bringing DEA 360 to Utah.

DEC:   AG Reyes invited to White House to consult with on President Trump’s declaration of opioid crisis a “health emergency.”

MISC: AG Reyes partners to create the number for mental health support.

 


AGO Recognizes Susan B. Anthony Day

Attorney General Sean Reyes issued the following statement for Susan B. Anthony Day 2018:

“Today we celebrate Susan B. Anthony and her legacy of women’s rights and social reform. She remains, to this day, a prominent leader and instrumental voice in the fight for social equality and a woman’s right to vote. Her steadfastness in the face of persecution, ridicule, and harassment is a testament to those of us who long to make a similar impact in our own arenas.

 

Susan said, “There never will be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers.” We at the Utah Attorney General’s office agree and are proud to partner with organizations like Better Days 2020, who are raising awareness about the value of women leaders in civil and corporate communities, such as Utah’s Martha Hughes Cannon. Being surrounded by strong women – mother, wife, colleagues – I know the value women bring to the decision-making table and want to make sure there are more chairs available. By doing so, we honor the work of women like Susan B. Anthony and all those who dedicated their lives to this end.”


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