Mormon Church supports principles of Utah Compact on immigration


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  • Ginger Ravenna, OH
    Jan. 6, 2011 1:05 p.m.

    I support my church when they honestly declare that they are not an arm of US federal or state law enforcement. They should never be put in a position to inform on illegal non-residents. Neither would it be Christian to "counsel" members on their legal affairs.

    Aside from the position of the church in civil society, the US immigration policies are a failure based on exclusionary xenophobia from the early 20th century which few would support today. The status the undocumented today is well neigh to slavery: they have no rights, no redress and will be hunted down for an infraction as simple as demanding a fair wage. The sole difference is these new economic slaves aren't returned to their masters but sent out of our sight. It is unjust, unchristian and makes no economic sense in a free nation. Why must the refugee from exploitation by the rich and powerful in one nation be indentured by the laws of the rich and powerful in another nation? How does that solve the problem.
    In answer to a previous statement, the US citizenry does have a responsibility to the poor of the world if we call ourselves Christian.

  • A Aguila Provo, UT
    Nov. 19, 2010 11:53 a.m.

    Good for Utah! I hate reading about all of the generalizations people make about the immigration issue in order to justify their stances. They are reluctant to admit the true complexities that are involved. One thing I do know ... and that the Utah Compact seems to advocate ... is that we need to remember that we are dealing with real people. Innocent children. Hard-working members of our communities. FAMILIES. Do you have a family? Compassion and comprehension does not make us weak ... it makes us stronger. And this is true in every aspect of our lives.

  • hispanic from AF American Fork, UT
    Nov. 18, 2010 8:43 a.m.

    The Church needs to stay out of political=social issues. It has become too intrusive. First, with the gay marriage situation, now in defense of the illegals....what's next? Remember the separation of Church and State? They seem to assume that in Utah they rule and crossing the line is OK. Remember the 12th Article of Faith? It is not being respected.
    It saddes me.

  • Jaygirl Vernal, Utah
    Nov. 14, 2010 8:49 p.m.

    The church is supporting families by supporting this document. How many of us have hispanic friends? If I lived in Northern Mexico I would do ANYTHING to get my family out, from what a friend from that area told me about it. I think we should control the borders, but we don't need to ruin people's families and lives, that are fleeing bondage.

    I can't help but think of African slaves escaping into the Northern states. Committing the crime of fleeing their masters...who had bought them at a "fair price." As humans we can't help but want to make life better for ourselves and our families. If it were easy to get a visa to come to America, it would probably happen more.

    The compact is extremely basic. I'm glad it supports families and never-altered doctrine of all of us being children of God.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    Nov. 14, 2010 12:15 p.m.

    I love that the Church is standing up for compassion and families. To the chagrin of some of it's own members.

    I find it very interesting that so many LDS on these DN boards will jump all over commenters (like myself) who question historical or doctrinal aspects of the Church. And yet they are very willing to criticize the Church on the imigration issue.

    I find this same kind of thinking in church. You can criticize and speculate all you want if it appears to be "faith promoting" or in line with conservative political thinking. For example, it seems that to say the church is not conservative enough is really not criticism. But if you criticize or speculate in more of a liberal direction you are looked at funny in church or criticized on these boards. (right Id-Coug in Pocatello?)

    I guess it can get frustrating that, as a member of the Church, you seem to be able to speak up, speculate, and even criticize the church - as long as it all fits into that very conservative, faith-promoting box. It is just another very interesting aspect of our wonderful LDS culture that I love.

  • t-boy provo, UT
    Nov. 14, 2010 11:12 a.m.

    Twells... no one is saying ignore the laws. The LDS Church is obviously trying to give their opinion as the state legislature decides on what new laws they are going to create. What we want is for the legislature to enact laws that are both fair and compassionate. There is no need for us to get up in arms about people breaking civil laws. What most people forget is that being an illegal immigrant according to the law is the equivalent of speeding. Its a civil law, not a criminal law. So lets not treat illegal immigrants like criminals and lets not pass laws that will encourage unfair harassment of Hispanic people in Utah, like they've done in Arizona. This argument that "I was born here, so I have more rights than they do" is ridiculous. If you were born in the USA you did nothing to get yourself here to enjoy the blessings of the country other than be born here. So stop acting like you're entitled to something that others cant have unless they are willing to pay for it. Lets be generous with the blessings we have from God with others of the world.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Nov. 13, 2010 6:09 p.m.

    The answer to treating others as our neighbor, helping families and enforcing just laws is to create just laws.

    I would also say that people who are not law enforcement officers should recognize it is not their job to enforce the law on others. We should be kind, loving and reaching out in friendship and caring to all our neighbors and associates, and avoid being mean spirited, judgemental or vincidctive.

    Most definately we should avoid mean yelling at people for doing things that we do not like, and we should try to understand and appreciate the culture and aspirations of others.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Nov. 13, 2010 6:06 p.m.

    I have to take objection to Sister Gold's "good" verses "bad" immigratrants view.

    Who are we do says such things so quickly. Most immigrants from everywhere come here with good intentions. I knew a guy who came here from Mexico, did not participate in illegal activities while here, with the goal of earning enough money to go on his mission. He also spent a good [art of his time while in Tucson going on splits with the missionaries.

    Family unity is far too undervalued in our current immigration policy. The worst was the lady who had fled the violence in Guatamala in the early 1990s, married an American citizen over 10 years later, and then 5 years after that was threatened with deportion.

    If people have been married for five years, we need to recognize the establishment of a family and seek to regularize it.

    I would also like to see an end to forced seperations of husbands and wives as part of the immigration process.

    Lastly, living in Metro-Detroit I have seen so many jobs created by hard-working immigrants who start up new businesses that the "they are taking our jobs" fails.

  • twells Ogden, UT
    Nov. 13, 2010 10:50 a.m.

    We don't want to "feel bad" regarding the issue of immigration. What we don't realize is that millions come to this contry legally. What is wrong with that? Why are we to feel bad for someone making a choice not to follow the rules?

    How are we not compassionate because we want to follow the law? If the Church thinks we are not approaching the issue with compassion then they should help all "illegal" members get on the path to "legal" citizenship.

    What the discussion tends to do is make good people bad that believe in following the law. I can not go to another country without following the rules of that country. I feel bad that other governments treat their people badly. Yet, I don't want to become a country without laws. This is my home. You can feel bad for someone, yet you can not fix their problems. If they make a choice to break the law then they must fix it. I will have compassion for their efforts and cheer them on every step of the way.

  • Meg Portage, MI
    Nov. 12, 2010 2:49 p.m.

    Interesting how many people demand justice and insist the law have its due. Since I'm hopeful of receiving mercy, I think I'd rather insist on compassion, and try to change the laws that make these people felons. After all, if people are brought to this land by the hand of God, maybe we'd better get out of His way.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Nov. 12, 2010 1:25 p.m.

    Round up all the illegals and deport them. How do you do that without hassling legal immigrants and our own citizens? This is not a police state.
    Compassion in how we enforce the law please.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Nov. 12, 2010 1:18 p.m.

    The 14th Amendment is also the law. You can't deport children to a country they have never lived in and claim they are citizens of that other place. Many 3rd world countries don't accept children born in another country as automatic citizens of their country. So, the only change we could make to the amendment, is let the children stay legally and deny them citizenship. That won't solve anything.
    It gets even more difficult if the parents are from two countries. Or some family members are legal immigrants and some are waiting to be legal while trying to get by themselves without their family.

    You see absolutes is not so easy. Compassion and a day in court is moral.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    Nov. 11, 2010 10:28 p.m.

    LasVegas Coug, Thanks for posting that reference. There are thousands of "14 Amendment experts" posting on the internet nowadays who derive their expertise from reading Ann Coulter's piece a couple months ago. I respect Coulter's intellect, but 15 minutes research on Wikipedia led me to believe she was wrong on this one. Ho's piece is excellent.

    I'm delighted to see the Church and Salt Lake leaders call for compassion and reasonableness in dealing with the immigration issue. It's the decent approach. Not only that, politically the GOP will be in better shape if it's not taken over by the Inspector Javert wing of the party.

  • ArthurWellesley Orem, Utah
    Nov. 11, 2010 9:18 p.m.

    Didnt the illegals leave their families when they left their home counties?

  • LasVegasCoug North Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 11, 2010 9:14 p.m.

    To kemitc in Columbia TN: I too use to feel as you do, however, after being directed to a thorough legal discussion on the topic by James C. Ho in "Defining American" I realized that I was mistaken. The Congressional Globe for the 39th Congress contains the debate in the Senate over the Citizenship Clause and clearly demonstrates that those present did in fact understand that the clause would grant citizenship to those children born in the US to parents who were not citizens of the US. The Supreme Court, as TW in TX mentioned, has in both US v. Wong Kim Ark (1898) and Plyler v. Doe (1982) upheld this interpretation. Further, in Plyler v. Doe, "all nine justices agreed that the Equal Protection Clause [of the 14th Amendment] protects legal and illegal aliens alike" (see "Defining American" by James Ho, 2006:376). I would strongly recommend reading Ho's complete essay, it's quite enlightening.

    Regarding the Church and politics, I would suggest that the Church has as much right to take positions or give statements on policy as any other orgranization, group, or citizen has, that is after all what makes America, America.

  • libertarianmind Tooele, UT
    Nov. 11, 2010 9:12 p.m.

    The majority of Utah's citizenry want this issue addressed with enforcement not more pandering to law breakers.

  • BOY BLUE South Salt Lake, UT
    Nov. 11, 2010 6:25 p.m.

    When Illegals cross the border to grab jobs, he had to leave his family behind because it slows down the smuggling efforts. When the church has told us to uphold the laws and federal enforcement is lacking, what are we supposed to do?

  • Forrest Natchitoches, LA
    Nov. 11, 2010 5:34 p.m.

    Just fyi, DN, there is no Mormon Church. He passed away many centuries ago, and I don't belong to his church. But I'm a Mormon, a member of the church that gets abbreviated too often.

  • FalconV Park City, UT
    Nov. 11, 2010 4:42 p.m.

    I don't understand why people don't get this issue. Yes we need to uphold the law, but we also need to make sure the law is effective and in keeping with our ideals - economic, humanitarian, religious etc etc. Right now the laws are a mess and cause unnecessary damage to families. I think the church's position is clear - the police need to focus on the criminal activity not on illegal aliens civil violations of federal code. The application of the law needs to reflect our values. and the laws need to be crafted to make it easier to reflect those values as well. If you think there is no grey area you have never been in court - immigration or otherwise. ICE acknowledges that there is no way they are going to be able to deport everyone. We need to address those issues in our laws. Creating laws that will push anyone illegal out of the country will damage families, US citizens and non, as well as business and ecnomic interests.

  • CJ Murray, UT
    Nov. 11, 2010 4:39 p.m.

    Big mistake in my opinion. This is a very slippery slope with an overwhelming number of church members in favor of tough enforcement and deportation. (remember the 12th article of faith? has that been erased?) This one is going to be very controversial as no one seems to be interested in the victims of illegals of which I am one. Why this group of people want to stand up for law breaking and fly in the face of public opinion is pretty incomprehensible, they all must have a hidden agenda that is pretty strong. All of those involved in this are going to pay a price for it, hope illegal lawbreakers are worth it to you.

  • kemitc Columbia, TN
    Nov. 11, 2010 4:36 p.m.

    Section 1, Clause 1, of the 14th amendment of the Constitution, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. This law was never meant for illegals. If you research further you will find that this law was enacted to include children born to slaves would be considered legal citizens of the US. It was never meant for every Jose, Manuel, and Miguel who comes running across the boarder illegally. According to LDS standards we are to obey the law of the land. We do not need the Church getting into politics.

  • Upson Downs Sandy, UT
    Nov. 11, 2010 3:25 p.m.

    It is disappointing that the LDS and Catholic Churches put illegal immigrants above the legal laws of the State of Utah and the U.S. The costs to taxpayers for these illegals for birth, education, health care, welfare, criminal behavior is staggering. Yet when our religious and law enforcement officials, our supposed beacons of morality in society, turn a blind eye to the actions of illegal lawbreakers why should we expect the illegals to obey our laws? Our beacons of societal morality are sadly lacking.

  • TW in TX League City, TX
    Nov. 11, 2010 3:11 p.m.

    For those saying people born on U.S. soil have no right to citizenship, here's the text of Section 1, Clause 1, of the 14th amendment of the Constitution, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." It's the law and it's been upheld by the Supreme Court. So while entitled to your opinion, the law states otherwise and will continue to be so until a new amendment is drafted and ratified. As that will not happen soon, the issue needs to be addressed, which is what the Church is saying in its statement. And as a reminder to us all who wish to address the issue, we're given guidance to have compassion while sustaining the law and/or seeking to change it. As one who has a spouse that immigrated here legally, I do not begrudge the humble people who come here seeking a better life for their families. Given the chance, they would all leap at the opportunity to emerge from the shadows and stand beside us full-fledged self-sufficient citizens. Peace.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 11, 2010 2:39 p.m.

    Janet fails to mention the costs associated with medical care, welfare assistance for illegal aliens, nor does she mention the costs associated with crimes committed by illegal aliens include the cost of beds for them in our jails and prisons.

    US citizens have no responsibility to care and support the entire world's poor and hungry, and we expect citizens from other countries to enter through the front door instead of sneaking in through a back window.

    Individuals like Janet would be surprised if they found out how Mexico deals with their illegals.

  • Janet Ontario, OR
    Nov. 11, 2010 1:54 p.m.

    I never cease to be amazed at the ignorance and/or bigotry of the people in these DN comments sections. 1. It is not possible for people from certain countries, especially Mexico, to immigrate legally to the U.S. Exceptions are very, very, very rare, thanks primarily to quotas. 2. Those who can become legal once here are scarcer than hen's teeth because there is NO path, even for those brought here as small children. For those who can find a way, the cost is astronomical and therefore prohibitive. 3.Undocumented immigrants pay about $6 billion a year into Social Security but will never be able to claim it. I could go on, but minds are slammed shut. The LDS and Catholic Churches, among others, have urged compassion, but the "faithful" seem perfectly willing to discount whatever counsel they can't swallow. As for denying citizenship to those born here of illegal parents, not only are you subscribing to a sort of "original sin," LDS people, but you are also trashing the Constitution you claim to revere. The term "generation of vipers" comes to mind.

  • lawenforcementfromAZ Glendale, AZ
    Nov. 11, 2010 1:22 p.m.

    As a retired law enforcement command officer and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I fully support the position of the Church.

    That said, most of those commenting focus on only certain aspects of the Church's statment, to support the granting of legal status to those who voilated our laws, continue to do so by remaining here illegally, taking jobs away from legal US citizens, taking welfare, and breaking out laws.

    ALL of the conditions stipulated by the Church hinge on one aspecct of their statement: "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".

    If you voilate the laws of the land, you are subject to the law of deportation.

  • Capsaicin Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 11, 2010 12:23 p.m.

    While I support naturalization of existing immigrants, I do support the current law. If families are here illegally, regardless of their citizenship. If they are born to illegal parents, children shouldn't have citizenship and should be revoked.

    I support the law. Deportation is the current law. Let's fix the law and then naturalize illegals who have been here 10 or more years.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Nov. 11, 2010 12:15 p.m.

    Brother Schroeder: Your blog does not make sense. I cannot tell, from reading it, what you actually stand for!

  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    Nov. 11, 2010 12:11 p.m.

    What does this statement from the LDS Church actually say?? Enforce the law or not enforce the law?? When a person from a foreign country either illegally crosses the border, or overstays a visa, they know that they are breaking the laws of the United States.

    When an immigrant obtains a visa to enter the United States they sign a statement and promise the consulate officer that they will abide by the requirements of the visa. Those illegally crossing the border hide in the darkness and hire coyotes to help them avoid apprehension. Every illegal alien knows that they are breaking U.S. laws.

    Not only families of illegal aliens are disrupted by law enforcement, but citizens that are sent to jail for breaking other laws(such as fraud) also have their families disrupted. Is the LDS Church saying that if you have a family, you shouldn't be put into jail or deported?

    What about that 12th Article of Faith? "We believe in honoring and sustaining the law..." What about Article 13 "We believe in being honest true..." Not to mention Commandment #9 about bearing false witness (on your visa application)

    The Church wants it both ways.

  • utahenergyideas Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 11, 2010 12:02 p.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. 

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    Nov. 11, 2010 11:54 a.m.

    I'm a Mormon to you know. But "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.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Nov. 11, 2010 11:43 a.m.

    Thank you. It's about time people stood up to the fear mongers on the right. Totally agree.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 11, 2010 11:36 a.m.

    I don't know which is the more appropriate metaphor: having your cake and eating it too, or being caught between a rock and a hard place. Vigorously enforcing the law may result in disruption of families, while exercising compassion may require selective enforcement of the law.
    What a dilemma.

  • Sister Gold Layton, UT
    Nov. 11, 2010 11:32 a.m.

    I agree. A good approach to GOOD immigrants is to not persecute them. ICE needs to concentrate on the gangs. Not on stained glass artists, a real shame the Argentina family had to be targeted last week. They were no threat, were doing all they could, hoping to be sheltered from Argentina problems--now they have been sent back to a country where a Militant Communist Left-leaning female has just been elected to be president! Shame on the USA for doing this injustice to a wonderful family. Lighten up, ICE.