Comments about ‘Mormon Church supports principles of Utah Compact on immigration’

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Published: Thursday, Nov. 11 2010 11:24 a.m. MST

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LasVegasCoug
North Las Vegas, NV

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.

ArthurWellesley
Orem, Utah

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

SoCalChris
Riverside, CA

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.

Razzle2
Bluffdale, UT

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.

Razzle2
Bluffdale, UT

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.

Meg
Portage, MI

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.

twells
Ogden, UT

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.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

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.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

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.

t-boy
provo, UT

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.

Idaho Coug
Meridian, Idaho

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.

Jaygirl
Vernal, Utah

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.

hispanic from AF
American Fork, UT

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.

A Aguila
Provo, UT

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.

Ginger
Ravenna, OH

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.

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