President Obama’s aides were flabbergasted. Here was Mark Shurtleff, the conservative Republican attorney general of deeply red Utah, explaining how he and other GOP officials had approved a statewide version of the immigration measures that the president and his progressive allies have long sought.
“You sued us on healthcare,” Shurtleff recalls the aides saying during his meeting in Washington this month. “How is it you did something differently on immigration?”
The answer lies in how Utah expresses its conservative values — particularly the importance placed on family and business — and the influence of the Mormon Church.