Comments about ‘A faith divided: Opinions on illegal immigration vary among Utah's Mormons’

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Published: Sunday, Jan. 2 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

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Roosevelt, UT

It is a huge problem facing the USA and Utah. I hope the lawmakers don't just address the painful and immediate issue now facing them but fix the problem once and for all.

I know educated, working, people who have been waiting for 3 years to come to this country. They have made application and paid thousands of dollars in applications yet still wait.

For the country to ignore those who could be here but chose not to break the law vs those who came and stayed uninvited is wrong.

If those wanting to come from other parts of North America, Europe and South America just showed up and stayed and worked until Utah/USA changed the laws, the outcome would be drastic

Dixie Dan
Saint George, UT

Let's start by deporting all full time missionaries who are here illegally but lied to go on a mission with the help of their bishop and stake presidents.

Murray, Ut

It's the actions of those who break the laws, that breaks up families.

Upon deportation, the family is reunited in their own country. It seems to be a lot of excuse making. Enforcing other crimes breaks up families, but there is no argument to stop their enforcement?

It's not the law that's broken, it's Federal enforcement. We let in more people legally, than all other countries combined since 2006.

There is no reason for this.

Springville, UT

This statement made me laugh:

"The LDS church has tried to find a balance between the teachings of the church, compassion and the law." Nothing can be further from the truth.

The fact is the Church, through its media--chiefly the Deseret News and KSL, has been the most vocal advocate for illegal immigration and amnesty in this state. Sure it did its best to keep the name of the Church out of the fray, but it still provide the vehicles for propoganda.

As a stake leader, I also received notice from Church HQ to keep discussion on this issue civil. Why should discussion of this issue receive preferential treatment?

The problem for me has been that other motives besides those given have really driven their stance. And rather than say the truth regarding the matter, they have allowed employees of their media to call the rest of us racists and lacking compassion.

I am intolerant of lawlessness and oppose to its sanction by those I believe care little for our nation, its heritage, the rule of law, but gladly trade those for money and power.

Sandy, UT

In my opinion, having spent over 10 years in Spanish wards in Utah and outside of Utah, whatever support the LDS Church gives to immigrants regardless of legal status is a very tiny fraction of what goes on in government levels. I think efforts to teach English (such as the Daily Dose program) to those who need to learn it, regardless of whether one is here legally or not, helps those who stay and helps those who return to their countries of origin, either way the people decide. It is my opinion, that if immigration law were re-engineered to be faster and more fair, and that if rudimentary English skills were required as a condition of living here past a certain amount of time, that those of us who have experience teaching English as a second language might actually make a living wage instead of doing it largely on a volunteer basis. Also, business English would help those who have businesses in other countries build business contacts here in the United States.

Terrie Bittner
Warminster, PA

Sandstrom said that if the church openly opposed his bill, he'd do it anyway. Ezra Taft Benson said following the prophet only when he agrees with you is not following the prophet and that putting someone else's views first (your political party for instance) makes that person or group your prophet. Sandstrom revealed his source of truth in that statement.

The Church's focus has been on those who are already here. They don't advocate opening the borders--no one does--only treating those who are here the way Jesus would. Remember in the Church's early past, prophets themselves sometimes broke laws for the greater good.

When two commandments conflict, we have to choose the higher law and the twelfth article of faith is not ranked higher than compassion, nor is it higher than following the prophet. It's an Article of Faith...not the greatest law as outlined by Jesus Christ.

The Church is right--the Utah Compact is compassionate, fair, and balanced--and Christlike.

Salt Lake City, UT

Mormons are not as divided as this article pretends to imply.......

As the Utah Survey showed a huge number support Sandstrom while little to no one listens to Yapias!

Aurora, CO

@Maple Don;
I think if you check, the Church encourages ALL discussions on highly charged matters to be civil. So, this one isn't getting preferential treatment. I too, want ILLEGAL immigration stopped, but trying to make all 12M plus leave is logistically problematic. So, a better way must be found. We must find a better way to get this under control, or we will invariably succumb to the deluge.

Murray, UT


Great comments, you are exactly right on this. We should not trade expediency for the principles we purport to believe in. The church is clearly doing exactly that. The DN is so blatantly pro amnesty and anti enforcement it is truly disheartening. I think they are on a slippery slope with this issue unlike anything they have ever undertaken. This is one where they don't have the support of a majority of members, in fact, quite the opposite. I have been the victim of illegal alien crime three times now and it is getting hard to be "compassionate" about it when they are not even supposed to be here and now the church is behind them. Not very easy to be understanding about it.
Salt Lake has become a major distribution hub for black tar heroin and the DEA will tell you it is operated by illegal Mexican nationals. The church is not looking at what illegal immigration is really doing to this state, those of us in the real world are seeing it firsthand. I have a 24 year old son who can't find a 9 per hour job, illegals have taken them all.

Ronald Mortensen
Bountiful, Utah

Vin writes: The law defines violation of immigration law as on par with rolling a stop sign, speeding, etc.

This is not entirely correct because 8 U.S.C.1325 distinguishes between people unlawfully in the U.S. after entering legally and people who are unlawfully in the U.S. after entering illegally.

Thus, a person who enters legally and overstays her visa is subject to a civil penalty (fine) for unlawful presence. Civil penalties also apply to people caught while trying to illegally enter the United States but who do not get in.

A person who illegally enters the United States commits a criminal misdemeanor. The penalty for the first successful illegal entry is to be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months. The penalty for returning after being deported is to be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.

The problem is that people who are unlawfully in the U.S. quickly commit felonies in order to get jobs. They commit document/social security fraud in order to get fake Social Security numbers, perjure themselves on I-9 forms and even commit identity theft.

Mapleton, UT

Certainly a growing Hispanic underclass (mostly Mexican) of gangbangers who remorselessly prey upon our society is a concern. However, I question whether the pursuit of the Sandstrom crowd of an across the board purging of "illegals" is truly in our best interests. Sandstrom's lament that, "It's hard to be called a racist or a bigot when all I want to do is enforce the law" I find to be highly disingenuous.

In this case the simple-minded jingoism of "the law" seems less a legitimate concern than an expression of insecurity in troubled times and a convenient pretense. A vindictive and oppressive mindset serves no one. The scapegoating of minorities is the all too often response.

Facts are that the majority of undocumented immigrants are engaged in legal endeavors that clearly benefit our communities. Might we not be better served in focusing on the real criminals? That is certainly the most feasible approach and the overwhelming preference of our law enforcement officials.

Highly commended in resolving differences is charity. Difficult to understand but nonetheless true is that the well-being of others and ourselves is not exclusive but always intertwined.

Riverton, UT

This is the LDS Church's stance on ILLEGAL immigration: We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. Now, will someone please explain what the LAW IS?


We need to fix our immigration system. I just don't see it happening. Anything short of bussing 12 million back to Mexico won't get Republican support.
I found this interesting:

As of November 10, 2010, Citizenship and Immigration Services was processing some family-related visas applications filed as far back as January 1988, and it was still processing some employment-related visa applications from January 2002.

A US citizen wishing to sponsor an unmarried adult child from Mexico, for instance, has to wait more than 17 years before the application will be processed, and a US citizen wishing to sponsor a sibling from the Philippines has to wait 22 years. However, recent years have witnessed dramatic reductions in the backlogs for certain categories of immigrants, particularly the immediate family members (spouses and children) of lawful permanent residents.
(migrationinformation org)

Mapleton, UT

Have you ever wondered why so many of us in our political views are so consistently meanspirited on social issues, so unyielding to concessions that would allow for important reform, and so warmongering at home and abroad? Why are we so ardently exclusionary on nearly every issue? And what does it say of ourselves?

The way we see our world and those around us has as much to do with our inner ethos as with the outside reality we normally reference as reason for our beliefs. To a significant degree we are they who confront us in shaping our world. Might we better look to our own hearts to know the truth that would free us from the despair of harmful beliefs than to wallow in the degrading self-condemnation inherent in the criticism and rejection of others?

Pocatello, ID

I am conflicted about all of this....
As an American I am for square that the laws of this land should be obeyed.
I think that it is totally unfair that all of these illeagal immagrants come in and use our resources. I don't think it is fair for some to have to wait years to do it the right way while some break the law and get onto food stamps etc. while people are still waiting.
That said, I feel for children who have only known the US as home being torn from this land and put into a land that is foreign to them.. con't

Santa Monica, CA

Nottyou: The law, as stated by Jesus, is quite clear: 1) love God with all your heart; and 2) love your neighbor as yourself. Illegal immigrants are our neighbors. The articles of faith, as are all faith tenants, are subsumed under these two "greatest" commandments. The balance in dealing with illegal immigration by the LDS church tempers any extreme interpretations of "law" with the spirit of love. This is the law, my friend.

Pocatello, ID

I worry big time about the borders and how if illeagals can get into the country this way then so can terrorist.
I get frustrated when I have to deal with someone in public that cannot speak English and I get upset when they seem to want to take over and make this a new Mexico. If they are here then they should be AMERICAN!! I don't care what your color is, what your religion is, what your legacy is.. if your here you should be American and PROUD to be such.
The thing that is upsetting is that so many of the illeagals seem to be from Mexico and they seem to want to make over America. But, then hey, the way Mexico is now I know I wouldn't want to live there! I feel for those trying to get away from horrible situations in their home lands.. there has to be some kind of middle ground..Please politions DO YOUR JOBS and find it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mapleton, UT

Am I alone in seeing an ity bity problem with the constant clamor for being subject to kings, presidents, etc. and the thorough going insurrection against your president and mine, Barak Obama?

Ronald Mortensen
Bountiful, Utah

AJAX writes: Facts are that the majority of undocumented immigrants are engaged in legal endeavors that clearly benefit our communities.

The fact is that illegal aliens are real criminals. According to the Social Security actuary, as reported by the New York Times, an estimated 75% of illegal aliens have a fraudulently obtained Social Security number (felony). When these fraudulently obtained numbers are used to obtain jobs with employers who require the completion of an I-9 form, illegal aliens perjure themselves by falsifying the I-9 (felony). Finally, many of the fraudulently obtained numbers belong to other Americans and under Utah law that is identity fraud, a felony.

In Utah based on investigations by Workforce Services and the Utah Attorney Generals office, it is estimated that 50,000 Utah children have their identities being used by illegal aliens. In Arizona, over one million children are the victims of illegal alien identity theft.

These kids have their good names ruined and their futures destroyed. Their credit is ruined, they have arrest records attached to their names and their medical records may be corrupted with life threatening consequences.

Thus, most illegal aliens are involved in serious criminal activities.

Kaysville, UT

Why can't enforcement of existing immigration laws coexist with improvements to existing immigration laws? I don't see the conflict. It is possible to be for enforcement of all laws and also to change laws that need changing.

Unlike laws against crimes universally accepted as fundamental in all nations, (e.g. murder, theft etc.) immigration laws tend to vary from country to country and over time as conditions change. Even fundamental laws do not deter all crime, neither do they detect all crimes or punish all criminals. Immigration enforcement is no exception. The idea that the borders must be sealed and enforcement complete before any positive changes can be made to immigration laws needs to be flushed out with realistic numerical or statistical targets.

We should continue to improve enforcement not just by throwing more money at it, but by doing things smarter. At the same time having a national guest worker program, (not at the state level only), and other improvements to existing laws will help separate those who will legally contribute to our nation and society from those who will not honor and obey the law.

Immigration is not a zero sum game!

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