Utah Puts 'Latino Day' on Hold

Utah officials are backing off support of a Latino Day event at the state Capitol in anticipation of intense debate about immigration.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports the state's ethnic affairs office sent an e-mail Wednesday saying it also considered budget reductions in its decision.

"Our Office of Ethnic Affairs has come to the decision that it would be best to postpone Latino Day at the Capitol until after the legislative session,” said an official e-mail signed by the director of Latino/Hispanic Affairs for the Office of Ethnic Affairs, Silvia Castro.

Immigration legislation is a national hot button issue and in Utah many believe that momentum is building for state immigration reform.  

The Salt Lake Tribune estimates that the legislature will face 16 to 25 immigration related bills during the legislature session beginning Jan 24.

Legislators are expected to combine these diverse measures and programs into bigger bills that would tackle employment, enforcement, and guest worker programs.

Organizers of the event say they are confused as to why the immigration debate would be a contributing factor, but they took the note to mean they could still schedule the event without the state contributing money.

The state was to contribute $500. The event was to include a band performing the national anthem, food and drinks and a chance for Hispanic leaders to meet lawmakers.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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