Official text of Utah Compact declaration on immigration reform


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  • cfly Fort Wainwright, AK
    March 23, 2011 8:59 a.m.

    I don't know why people get so bent over backwards about simple things. This legislation has nothing to do with ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. They are never mentioned in this compact. Only Immigrants are subject of the compact. And after reading this compact I thought to myself, well this is obvious and I see why the Presiding Bishop agreed to attend the signing. What is embarrassing is the thought that perhaps this was written with the intent of misleading people into thinking the Church is anyway supporting, encouraging or ignoring illegal immigration. It is just ignorant to not welcome legal immigrants. What is ignorant is that lawmakers are wasting time and money drafting pointless legislation about something that is not an issue, Legal immigration is not and never has been as issue, Illegal immigration is. Stupid politicians.

  • BeththeOkie Edmond, OK
    March 21, 2011 8:45 a.m.

    If we change citizenship definition to include only those who are born here with at least one parent who is a legal citizen,we would end the motive for illegals to come here to give birth. Illegal aliens' children who are born here are entitled to every benefit of citizenship, as the law stands now.
    We must acknowlege that illegal aliens are outside the law. But if employers are sufficiently punished for employing illegals, (like losing their business licenses) and landlords are also severely punished for renting to illegals, soon the illegal aliens would find their home countries more attractive and return to them. We must motivate them to go home instead of motivating them to stay here. Readers might also be interested to check out the Kiva site which offers very low cost micro loans to businesses all over the world. Hope at home coupled with willingness to work hard and righteous living is the surefire way to prosperity as a nation and for individuals.

  • Mpope Sanford, Co
    March 18, 2011 10:53 p.m.

    I saw nothing in "The Compact" that did anything other than skirt the issues. Of course we should be humane, but breaking the law is breaking the law. We are a Nation of laws. That cannot ever be forgotten.

  • mb1107 Centreville, VA
    March 18, 2011 4:56 p.m.

    Notice that the Utah Compact' text does not actually use the word "illegal."

    This leads me to a few conclusions
    1) Isn't this confusing? When most people read this, as I can see in the comments, they are thinking it's referring to illegals..
    2) This is a huge omission. You can't draft an entire document about immigration and not talk about Legal v. Illegal Status. There is a huge difference.
    3) @jray and others, I think you should not assume the church is supporting "illegal" immigration, considering it's not even in the text.

  • Serenity Manti, UT
    March 16, 2011 6:51 p.m.

    This "Utah Compact" casts such a dark shadow. Whatever happened to the pride of being an American citizen? To the immigrants coming here and working and living productive lives for five years under the "alien" status before having the privilege to take a citizenship test and receiving the coveted citizenship to the United States of America?

    What about the 12th Article of Faith which states: We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

    Perhaps the Church feels a responsibility to its illegal members to protect and help them. But doesn't that compromise the basic fundamental beliefs of the Church? Is this an easy way out without hurting the feelings of the ones who broke the laws of the land?

    I realize that the Church is put into a tough situation, and perhaps the decision made is wise. Only time will tell, but right now, I just can't see it.

    Somehow, I feel betrayed by this skirting around the issue of illegal immigration. Our country is for Americans who are legal citizens and our boarders should not be violated so very badly.

  • Jeff H. Fullerton, CA
    March 9, 2011 8:00 p.m.

    In one of the earlier comments someone remarked that Utah had spent over $189 million in the education of undocumented children. Also in a previous comment someone claimed that 500,000 undocumented people came to Utah from 2003 to 2006. Assume that of the 500,000 50% work. Assume that they earn $6/hour and work 40 hours a week and 48 weeks per year. Assume also that the citizens of Utah would have to pay 15% more for the goods and services that these undocumented workers produce. All of the assumptions are reasonable. This new higher cost would be over $300 million dollars per year. When you talk of the costs of illegal immigration shouldn't the overal lower cost of services and products get counted too?

    We claim to be a nation of immigrants. We wear this like a badge of honor. Yet can anyone name an immigrant group that was welcomed and honored in our country when they first came here? Isn't it time this changed?

  • Greg Howard Provo, UT
    March 2, 2011 11:51 a.m.

    The LDS Church signed on to the Utah Compact which in part says:

    "LAW ENFORCEMENT: We respect the rule of law and support law enforcement's professional judgment and discretion. Local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code."

    I guess the Church should amend their 12th article of faith to say, "We believe in...obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law......except for the Federal Civil code."

  • snowbird Ogden, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 8:16 a.m.

    i have to agree with most of the others on this..our articles of faith #12 says we believe in obaying the laws of the land,,but our church has trouble with this article some times like with poligamy and hireing illegal mexicans.we have lots of people in our state looking for jobs.those jobs taken by illegals could be done by legal utah tax payers..the sad thing about it is most of the people hiring the illegals are our niegbers we set by in church on sunday morning..nobody forced these people to come here,they should do like our for fathers did 250 years ago and fight for and free there own country do away with there corrupt goverment and they would be happy at home..i know yhe lds church would be more than happy to help them do that

  • sirils manti, Utah
    Feb. 14, 2011 9:11 p.m.

    When did utah become such a hot bed of bigotry and hate? We use to be better than that. I support the church's position not only because I follow a living prophet of God, but also because in my heart I feel it is consistent with True Christianity - which by the way, is very much bigger than any one country's supposed national interests.

  • logicalfallacy Mesa, AZ
    Jan. 3, 2011 5:09 p.m.

    ProudMexicanMormon - I am sad to see you have fallen into the same fallacious arguments of why illegal immigration should be ignored. Here is what you are saying: Every country in the world that has hardships should allow its citizens to invade another country illegally, committing a crime in the process, lying and stealing (fraudulent docs) to get in. Screw the process or line, I'm taking cuts since my selfish needs are larger than my neighbor who is waiting in line. If I leach off the taxpayers and deplete their hard-earned taxes to support me, so be it. I'm trying to understand what your definition of "love one another" is?

    The reason this country has become so great is because it has been allowed to enforce its sovereignty and uphold its values and laws. Congratulations on becoming "a better person" with education. If you or your parents did it illegally, then you are a disgrace and a cheat. Don't try to call bad things good. We've been warned of that in the bible.

  • ProudMexicanMormon SLC, Ut
    Nov. 30, 2010 7:33 p.m.

    I am sad to see the hate and misunderstanding that is in this state.I am a mexican mormon that has lived in utah for 13 years and I have seen the change in this state.Go to Mexico,go SEE WHY people move,go see if you could live in such circumstances,go see if YOU wouldnt do anything for your kids not to starve.You do not understand what it is like until you have lived it.I have lived it.But I am so glad my parents brought me here because I now am getting my bachelors,I am becoming a better person.And you know what?I have paid my way for all this.So many of you need to analyse yourselfs because you do not understand the meaning of "love one another"

  • Jonathan Ickes Logan, Utah
    Nov. 19, 2010 11:18 a.m.

    I am intensely offended that people would assume that any and all immigration is bad. There is certainly a difference between legal and illegal immigration, and only the latter is what is in need of attention. I agree that illegal immigration is essentially scamming the system and is an illegitimate way of gaining status. However, the issue needs to be explicitly addressed as purely an ILLEGAL immigrant issue. Do not slander and generalize the terms, otherwise one might convince the general public that all immigration is bad, therefore terrorizing those people who obtained United States citizenship legally and legitimately who do not deserve that kind of attention. The media groups who generalize and do not realize their impact on society are enemies of society, and should be scolded for manipulating the good people of this country into thinking something completely different than what the real issue is.

  • proud2b4family Spring Grove, IL
    Nov. 16, 2010 5:24 p.m.

    I know of a family that needs reuniting. The parents left a dependent child in their home country to be taken care of by an ailing grandmother. They came here illegally. Can we reunite them with their family?

  • Deraj Douglas, Isle of Man, British Isles
    Nov. 15, 2010 3:55 p.m.

    It's a little disturbing to read these comments that stink of a distint prevalence of rascism remaining in the U.S.

    I realise that there has been huge improvements in achieving equality since the times of the Civil Rights movement, but it is shocking to someone, (maybe it's because I was naive about rascist attitudes in the U.S), who comes from a part of the world where when rascism does exist, at least it does not show it's face so plainly in the broad daylight!

    In many of the comments, I read about Mexicans and Hispanics. Hold on... I thought the topic was about immigrants? So.. when Mexicans and Hispanics enter teh U.S they all live off the welfare state and the hard-working U.S nationals are paying with their money for the laziness and lack of respect for law that Mexicans and Hispanics have?

    It is always easy to see the cause of your problems as someone elses' fault. Look at your own attitudes. If you want integration, then take responsibility to integrate with them. Wayneincalif, Europe has many cultures, but what makes you think that any of those cultures are any better?

  • Bobo Magna, UT
    Nov. 13, 2010 6:59 p.m.

    It is insanity to propose any solution to the presence of illegals until the government proves it will enforce the borders and prevent others from coming here illegally. The self-serving document proposed here is nothing more that nice-sounding phrases meant to hide the ugly truth about immigration: it is built on exploitation: it attacks the wages in this nation; and it serves the interests of those who really don't have the best interests of the nation as a whole at heart. The same forces that helped to create the mess are those listed as sponsors of this document. The analogy of the fox guarding the henhouse comes to mind.

  • JenniferZ Highland, UT
    Nov. 13, 2010 1:18 p.m.

    And how are we to treat those immigrants who are not integrated into our society? Yes, we do have a very open and kind society, but the hispanics' refusal to integrate, as other immigrants have done, is a huge stumbling block to acceptance and progress. I see so many children of these immigrants going down an awefull path because the parents don't know what's going on, and it breaks my heart, and puts a drain on our country. My children's education suffers, and I have to pay fees for them to attend school, and the school district cries that the population growth is creating a strain that we must pay for, yet no one asks immigrants for legal status. If anyone can break our laws and take our money through services, why do I have to follow the rules, why should I pay taxes? This is very frustrating for me when I daily see the troubles caused by illegal aliens.

  • maximum Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 13, 2010 8:43 a.m.

    It seems Utah is making the same mistake as others by lumping both legal immigrants and illegal aliens into one group and calling all of them "immigrants." Humane inclusion of [legal] immigrants already exists. I've never heard a case where families of [legal] immigrants were separated.

    Families separated because the parents are deported while their children who were born in the US stay behind have nobody to blame but themselves. If a father or mother is put in prison for a crime they committed, does that make the state inhumane because they are separated from their children?

    At least dependent children of deported aliens can (and should) remain with their parents. In fact, this should be mandatory unless the parents can make other arrangements for them.

    People try to make law enforcement the bad guys in these situations. But the *real* bad guys are the parents who knowingly break the law and, thus, bring pain and anguish upon their families.

  • jrey Salt Lake, Utah
    Nov. 12, 2010 2:07 p.m.

    jray...What?!!! "Why do i feel our church leadership is falling astray and giving into the world and its false presepts."
    Where is your testimony of the church and our leaders?

    FYI..not all immigrants come from Mexico. Do your Geneology buddy..

  • fromSTL Saint Louis, MO
    Nov. 12, 2010 1:37 p.m.

    what is this supposed to mean?
    "criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code"
    I thought the debate was primarily about violations of Federal statute, i.e. criminal violations ... like being here without a visa.

  • jray patterson, la
    Nov. 12, 2010 12:03 p.m.

    hello why are my comments not being allowed to post? Is there a pro illegal immigration sentament on this website? pres. benson taught against socialism and communism so you must not be a member cause this is something they would do.

  • jray patterson, la
    Nov. 12, 2010 12:00 p.m.

    Am i the only one who is feeling something is definetly wrong here? Why are our leaders promoting breaking federal laws and harboring criminals who are invading our country. Why do i feel our church leadership is falling astray and giving into the world and its false presepts. Illegals destroy their own country then come here wanting us to allow them to all come here and make this just like the place they just messed up. If you love mexico so much you should move there and try and make mexico a better place.

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    Nov. 12, 2010 11:21 a.m.

    I have no problem being compassionate towards those with goodwill. But illegal immigration is NOT goodwill. It is a well-oiled machine, where local groups encourage and assist illegal immigrants, give them fake social security numbers, and teach them what to avoid in order to not get caught. It's absolutely disgusting, and there is no honor associated with it.

    This Compact is essentially asking me to take in my brother, who means well, but steals from me every time he visits. The costs of hosting illegals outweighs the financial benefits--although the business owners that signed the Compact certainly benefit financially from illegal immigrants.

    Calling illegal immigration a Federal issue is nothing more than a cop out. WE, the STATE of Utah, are the people who have funded so many different programs in order accommodate our new immigrants. Illegal immigration is a huge state issue.

    We need ACTION, not a group of people getting together to talk about talking about an issue and feeling so good about themselves.

  • Gaius_Maximus Littleton, CO
    Nov. 12, 2010 11:13 a.m.

    Those flying the banners of 'land of opportunity', 'family values', 'Just and Fair', or even 'Economic Refugees', seem to me to be suspiciously blind to the real issue at hand: Is the horde at the gates friend or foe?

    Why can't families be kept together in their own homelands? What is unjust or unfair about requiring neighbouring nations to tend to their own poor? (Why is this spell-checker set to UK English?)

    I think that 'proclamation' needs one more point that might even supplant all the others:

    Friends are always welcome; Enemies are not.

    Friends prove themselves by fully embracing our culture, language, and laws, and are invariably rewarded for doing so.

    Invaders who reject everything about us (except our money) are clearly enemies.

    Our own who reject that all-to-obvious fact-of-life are not just enemies, but traitors, and worthy of its reward.

    And, by the way, 'love' ain't always pretty. And 'loving our enemies' does NOT equate to handing them the keys.

  • CJ Murray, UT
    Nov. 12, 2010 8:46 a.m.

    Personally I think that tax laws need to be reformed. They are hard to understand, take hours to comply with, and cost me personally a lot of money to obey. My family suffers from the requirement we have to obey tax laws. I am going to simply stop paying taxes as a result and wait until we get TAX LAW REFORM. If we all quit paying taxes there would be a huge economic gain, we would all have more money to spend. Face it, enforcing tax laws hurts the economy.
    My refusal to pay taxes will probably result in the separation of me from my family as I may go to jail. Do you think this enlightened bunch of elite people who think they run Utah would be willing to seek some "compassion" and "understanding" for me while I break the tax law waiting for "tax law reform"?
    Or do they only care about those who break immigration laws? Do you think there might be some reason they don't want immigration laws enforced?

  • Walt Nicholes Orem, UT
    Nov. 12, 2010 8:15 a.m.

    I applaud this statement that local police should stop enforcing federal drug laws. As far as I can find there is no specific Utah law against the use of marijuana.

    One can read this to also advocate that police stop enforcing speed laws, since they are civil in nature and not criminal. Specifically regarding the speed limit on the interstate highways, these are mandated by federal highway funds. The same can be said for seat belt laws, which are, again, not criminal laws, but civil infractions.

    Discharging a firearm in city limits - where no damage is done to persons or property should clearly go - as well as local burn permits. These shouldn't be enforced, according to this compact.

    Seriously folks - - - Seriously?

  • My2Cents Kearns, UT
    Nov. 12, 2010 3:57 a.m.

    This declaration is missing the most important element we are faced with in the United States and Utah, illegal foreign nationals occupying this country. It's not that we have any broken immigration laws, we have broken enforcement of national security.

    I have yet to see one illegal Mexican showing his immigration papers as he/she swims the river. Immigrants are documented and illegal Mexicans are not immigrants and the only race in the world who have confused occupation and looting with immigration.

    No where in this document does it really address illegal aliens and declare the difference in immigration and foreign occupation. But by definition, illegal mexicans are not immigrants or legal occupants of america.

    I totally agree with not breaking up families, so deport every member and cousin in the group with prejudice, the same prejudice and criminal intent they used to cross our borders.

  • CLW Vancouver, WA
    Nov. 12, 2010 2:22 a.m.


    I am a member of the Church and have also read the Church's statement on the Utah Compact. I find that it advocates compassion but also supports the law and order approach to immigration enforcement -

    "We acknowledge that every nation has the right to enforce its laws and secure its borders. All persons subject to a nation's laws are accountable for their acts in relation to them."

    The Church's statement was not to formally endorse the legislative agenda of the Utah Compact, since it does not contain one. It is a statement of support for a loving approach to the issue.

    I support the compact's ideals as well, but nothing in the compact or the Church's statement is asking members to abandon their efforts to reform and more effectively enforce immigration laws in our states or country. It is asking us to do so without malice or hate, which I sustain as a member.

  • scarecrow Saint George, Utah
    Nov. 11, 2010 11:02 p.m.

    Nearly every employed illegal alien has a stolen or forged identity. Is't that a crime?
    Last year it is estimated that the State of Utah payed out nearly 400 million dollars for health, education, welfare, and incarceration for illegal aliens.
    This compact seems to have been signed by all of those who benefit from illegal aliens, while the rest of us pay the cost.

  • Watch Dog Provo, UT
    Nov. 11, 2010 8:20 p.m.

    This is nothing more than a fluff piece.

    What it really is saying is that those legally in the country need to be compassionate and allow those that are in violation of our laws to continue to do so. That includes illegal aliens AND greedy employers.

  • Timj South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 11, 2010 5:00 p.m.

    Those members of the LDS church who don't like the Utah Compact should go to the church website and find the Church's statement on it.
    I quote:
    "The Church regards the declaration of the Utah Compact as a responsible approach to the urgent challenge of immigration reform. It is consistent with important principles for which we stand..."

    I'm grateful the church has now taken a strong vocal stand on the issue. Their actions (knowingly sending illegal immigrants on missions, etc.) show where they stand, but the church's recent statement strengthens that stand.

    I also support the Utah Compact. And my church.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 11, 2010 3:28 p.m.

    I don't think it really says anything except let the federal govt manage this problem....and it doesn't say anything about what if the fed decides to do nothing...which it has?

    Sandstrom needs to move forward with a bill like unto Arizona's....send a message to Washington that if they will not enforce the law, then we will enforce it here! Clean up the immigration problems we have here in Utah, before Utah becomes the next California!

  • dave4197 Redding, CA
    Nov. 11, 2010 2:44 p.m.

    Great!! Now Utah can start moving the federal laws towards more humane-ness. The present federal law is bad, nobody should blindly support it, it results in broken families, it promotes other illegal acts.
    Time to change federal immigration law to have a practical path for immigration, that takes a few days not a decade. I think this Utah Compact is great, in that it states much more is needed in this discussion than the blind rule of law chant. If the feds continue to sleep at the switch, and if AZ just wants to pull the trigger on their guns, reasonable people who wrote this Utah Compact need to come to the forefront of this debate. And move the feds to act.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 11, 2010 2:26 p.m.

    Maybe this compact would play well in California or Washington, DC, but not for this Utahn!

    On the surface this is a wonderful sentiment for a unicorn ranch in fantasyland.

    However, it totally ignores the core of the problem, and that is illegal, repeat illegal, immigration.

    Sadly, it encourages local cops to look the other way, but that is about it.

    Some people are simply not willing to distinguish between legal immigrants who come here and obey the laws, and those whose very first act is to enter illegally and often commit additional crimes once here.

    Legal immigrants good and welcome. Illegal immigrants band and not welcome.

    If immigration laws can be ignored, then what other laws are these "leaders" willing to allow us to ignore? Income taxes, traffic, violent crimes, drugs?

    The Utah Compact should be simple:
    Obey the laws; all of them, or face the consequences. We will not encourage, assist or tolerate criminals among us and will take every legal step to prevent their entry, presence or employment in our state. Legal immigration is good and illegal immigration is bad.

  • wayneincalif Huntington Beach, CA
    Nov. 11, 2010 1:37 p.m.

    I can't believe Utah's and our Church's attitude toward "illegal" immigrants.They even try to change "illegal" to "undocumented as a way to make them look "not so bad".
    In order to be perfectly 'fair' do they also support a plan for all others visiting from foreign countries, to simply overstay their VISAs --and be accepted also?
    An "Open Borders" policy cannot possibly be acceptable in any country with the 'Social Benefits' that we provide.
    It is a great myth that the illegals (from Mexico and South America) contribute anything close to what they take from us! We're not talking about Europeans here. They would most likely be actual contributors to our society.
    Only those irresponsible, selfish people who want them here to do their menial housekeeping and similar tasks, want them here -- even though the rest of us have to supplement their living expenses!

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    Nov. 11, 2010 1:15 p.m.

    I would hope to see the Deseret News write less in favor of enforcement of a illegal immigration law. Approximately 17.3 percent of the 2,550,063 total population increase between 2000 and 2006 in Utah was directly attributable to illegal immigrants, in 2004 alone, the taxpayers of Utah spent $184.4 million per year on illegal aliens and their children in public schools alone. Utah's "LDS Church public policy" problems associated with birthright citizenship (actually with illegal immigration) could never be solve through legislation. All Employers in Utah could be among the first in the country to face criminal charges for failing to verify their workers' immigration status and that scares the LDS Church. Utah lawmakers have long prided themselves on creating a business-friendly environment in the state. Illegal-Immigrants who enter the United States illegally must all be deported, they are referred to by many terms, including illegal immigrants, illegal aliens, undocumented workers or clandestine workers. Title 8 of the U.S. Code has a chapter outlining the illegality of hiring or harboring illegal immigrants. This extends to those who should reasonably know that the people they're hiring or harboring are illegal immigrants.

  • Speak English - USA West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 11, 2010 1:15 p.m.

    Brother Chuck, I could not agree more.

    P.S. Go read the DNews article called "Major human-smuggling cell busted" which happened in Arizona.

    P.S.S. To anyone that opposes the immigration bill that Senator Sandstrom is passing, go take a visit to the southern part of Arizona for a week and see what your stance is after that experience.

    The Utah Compact.... what a crock!

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 11, 2010 1:12 p.m.

    I have rarely read or seen a more arrogant, elitist, pejorative document. The elites are out to protect the pandering and exploitation of these poor people for their own economic, political and religious self interests.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    Nov. 11, 2010 11:46 a.m.

    Sorry to BURST your bubble, but here's "MY" Official text of Utah lies on illegal immigration. I highly disagree with Utah. Yes illegal Immigrants are integrated into communities across Utah. Utah must obey all the written law's of the land and "NEVER" ever adopt a phony illegal humane approach to this reality, reflecting on their culture, history and spirit of inclusion. The way to treat illegal immigrants will say more about us all as a free society and more about our illegal immigrant neighbors. Utah should never be a place that welcomes illegal's in goodwill. Right now Utah don't respect the rule of law and support law enforcement's professional judgment and discretion. They try to turn "federal code's" into minor State civil violations stuffed into Bill's in Congress along with earmarks and pork. while they oppose policies that unnecessarily separate families and deport the parent's, when they have the right to take their "welfare kid's" along with them. Utah don't really acknowledge the non-economic role illegal immigrants play while real American workers and taxpayers pay for while they are here. That's my view, like it or not.

  • utahenergyideas Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 11, 2010 11:45 a.m.

    We need to remove and not create any rewards and incentives for immigrants to come here and be here illegally.

    Immigrants that are here illegally should not have the ability to become United States Citizens prior to those outside the U.S. applying to come legally.

    We do need to treat all, even those breaking our laws, as human beings. There should be incentives for those that are already here illegally to register with the U.S. Government for a short term work visa if done in conjunction with a sponsoring legal business. Those short term work visas should not be a step toward citizenship.

    Citizenship, if desired and qualified for, must be applied for with the application from their country of origin, (unless qualifying for asylum) and behind those that have been waiting legally there. 

  • Sister Gold Layton, UT
    Nov. 11, 2010 11:37 a.m.

    I agree. What a lovely, succinct document. I support this new Utah declaration on immigration reform. So glad we have many good leaders here in Utah.