Packard said those high profile deportations and the influx of new Hispanic members within the church helped with the recent passage of immigration bills in Utah that included an enforcement law modeled on Arizona's but balanced by a program that allows illegal immigrants to work and pay taxes in Utah if they register with the state.
Packard said she also was motivated to travel to Phoenix to campaign against the recently defeated former Arizona Sen. Russell Pearce, who authored Arizona's much debated immigration law. She and others also have helped organized other Latino Republicans to speak out against Romney.
Pablo Felix, a Spanish-speaking bishop of the Liahona Second Ward in Mesa, Ariz., was reluctant to criticize Romney but said the immigration stories in the Book of Mormon are powerful and one of the many factors that draw Latinos to the church and act on behalf of the faith.
Felix said he cannot be sure about his congregation, but he suspects some 60 to 70 percent of the members could be here illegally.
But Hispanic Mormons may have limited influence in Arizona's upcoming GOP primary and the general election this year. Garcia said that's because most are illegal immigrants and can't vote. Those who can, he said, lean toward moderate Democratic candidates.
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