The Cleveland Plain Dealer praises Utah's approach to immigration reform, arguing that "Utah's solution may not be perfect," but "elected officials there are demonstrating that even on such a hot-button issue, it is possible to be practical and thoughtful."
At one point, Utah -- a very red state -- looked as if it would mirror Arizona. But then other voices emerged. Business interests warned of economic pain if the state lost thousands of dependable, albeit undocumented, workers, or Utah became the target of a tourism boycott. Mormon Church leaders worried that deportations would shatter families.
Those concerns dramatically changed the tone at the statehouse in Salt Lake City.
In the end, the Republican-run legislature and GOP Gov. Gary Herbert agreed on a package of bills that has become known as the Utah Solution.
There's an enforcement element -- police can check the immigration status of felony suspects -- but the emphasis is on legalizing work: One bill would bring temporary guest workers from Mexico into the state under existing federal law. Another would issue work permits to undocumented immigrants -- and their families -- already in the state if they pass a background check and pay a fine.
(See also related Reuters story.)