The citizens of Utah should be some of the most understanding and compassionate people in regard to immigration, according to George Handley in a recent blog post on Patheos.
In many ways, when pioneers first arrived in the valley, they could have been viewed as being here illegally: “The academic term for their development of the Great Basin is ‘extralegal,’ that is, outside of the bounds of law. They were stepping into the ungoverned and soon-to-be contested territory of the Spanish colonies, but even if their immigration was not technically illegal, their practice of polygamy certainly was. LDS pioneers were deemed a sexually deviant and threatening bunch, and no one gave us the legal right to settle and develop this land.”
Given these facts, Handley argues that Mormons should be understanding of immigrants, who are seeking their own “promised land” as Mormon pioneers originally did.
According to Handley, the Utah Compact was a good start. It was lauded nationally and cited by President Obama as a reasonable set of principles guiding immigration.
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