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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Kaysville, UT

For those who say nothing has been done, just a few facts to add regarding enforcement.

1) The recession has become the most effective enforcer of all, with many illegal immigrants leaving the country because they can't find jobs here.

2) The budget for federal immigration law enforcement has doubled over the last five years.

3) Deportations are at an all time high.

4) Border security has been improved. Congress, for all their other problems did manage to send another 2000 troops pilotless drones, border barrier improvements etc. at a cost of an additional $600 million.

5) Utah has gained a new federal immigration court in Salt Lake with two judges, dramatically improving processing of deportation cases.

6) The Utah legislature is considering a political message bill that is not much more than political posturing, an unfunded mandate to cash strapped local law enforcement agencies.

7) A more effective federal/local law enforcement program exists under 287(g). It has been very effective in other states. Local law enforcement can be trained and apprehend criminal aliens, but it takes state and local funding to implement, which is why only two counties in Utah have done it.

Salt Lake City, UT

@MormonDem: The law isn't broken, it's the politicians don't have the stomach to enforce the law they have sworn to enforce.

The real problem with illegal Mexican immigration is that the government of Mexico has been corrupt for decades. Until that problem is solved we will continue to have illegal immigration.

Deport the illegals and let them fight for their rights in their home countries. They have no rights here other than to be deported.

Salt Lake City, UT

@Ronald Mortensen: You're wrong. You cannot work in this country when you are here illegally and that is a criminal offense not a civil one. You can't confuse the facts because your facts are based on based on a lie. Simply stated you have to have the right to work here in the United States and those people who are working illegally are either working by taking $$$ under the table (thus not paying taxes) or by stealing an identity. Both are criminal acts not civil.

I used to work for Workforce Services and 2 out of 3 people who get reported under bad SSNs are illegal (1 in 3 is a typo when reported to Workforce Services.) The Department of Workforce Services can only report your SSN being used illegally if you are under 18 and they reported about 100 the last week I worked for DWS.

Bountiful, UT

Ultimately this issue hinges on the LDS church and growth via missionary work, at least as far as the Utah Legislature is concerned. If the Mexican government threatened to withhold missionary visas, the Legislature would fold, immediately.

Growth in the church is fairly stagnant within the US, but Latin America is a gold mine.

Saratoga Springs, UT

I would like to see some polls based on questions like...

Do you support a pathway to citizenship through paying fines, and community service.

Do you support a way for families that have mixed legal/illegal members to fix their status and stay united.

Do you support rounding up 100,000 illegals in Utah and deporting them.

Do you think by removing 100,000 people from Utah's population is going to benifit out economy..our rental market, our housing market.

Do you think talk radio is creating more hate and divide than common sense solutions on immigration.

Would you support deporting your best friend or close members of your church if you found out they were illegal?

Would you want to deport his/her mother or father?

Should the LDS church take a stand like the Catholic church has on the immigration issue?

Utah is getting alot of publicity nationwide with the Utah Compact. Would Utah be better off leading the country with ideas like the Utah Compact or follow the hardline approach like the Sanstrom/Arizona type bill.

  • 8:28 p.m. Jan. 2, 2011
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Provo, UT

It's interesting how when the Church supports Prop 8, Utahns are chomping at the bit to show how faithful they are. The Church supports the Utah compact, and all of the sudden half of Utah is on the verge of apostasy.

Chandler, AZ

I'm always entertained by all the "Obey the law" posts. Many of these same people think nothing of breaking the law every day as they speed to and from work. What that tells me is that it's okay to break the law if it will cut 2 minutes off your commute, but it's not okay to break the law in order to give your family a chance at a better life.

Santa Clarita, CA

Tony Yapias doesn't get it. Obey the laws of the land. Tony, why don't you walk across the Mexican border to live there and let us know what happens? I'm sure the Mexican gov't will receive you with open arms and feed you, clothe you, give you medical attention when you need it; provide you with a driver's license, a social security number and the right to work. All of these illegals, their families, their children, everyone of them that is here illegally should be, no must be deported back from where they came. There shouldn't be any sanction or safe city haven. The rule of law supercedes what liberals cry as humanitarianism. It is not. And yet, if these bleeding heart liberals are so concerned, then I suggest you pay the bills and leave us who believe in this country; to be protected from all borders to do our jobs in protecting this great nation. Tony, you are so wrong; it makes me really wonder what your agenda truly is.

Claremont, CA

It wss interesting to me to find out that a missionary from my ward was called to the Mexico City West mission and had to spend the first few months of his mission in the Provo mission because he could not get a visa to go to Mexico. He finally received one last week. We are flooded with illegal immigrants who do not honor, obey and sustain the law as we have been taught from youth. We and the church can both honor and obey and sustain the law and still be compassionate. Everyone has their free agency and the illegals can choose to keep the family together in Mexico if they desire or they can choose to continue to break our laws. Laws can be changed and be compassionate but existing laws should be enforced and should be obeyed by church members.

Salt Lake City, UT

A couple of thoughts from the Book of Mormon:

- When pride was at it's peak among Nephites, hatred and contention was also at it's peak. Feuds and divisions between regions flourished.

- When the people turned their hearts to Christ, trade and friendship increased and boundaries & divisions became meaningless.

These discussions sound like a lot of pride being wrapped up in nationalism and "rule of law" talk.

Stockton, UT

van in his "editor's choice" post demonstrates how polls can be rigged to say anything you like.

How about a poll that asked questions like:

Do you think illegal aliens should get preferential treatment over would be lawful immigrants who are doing things the right way and waiting for legal authorization to enter our nation?

Do you think people should be rewarded for criminal conduct?

If you learned your or your child's identity had been stolen and used by an illegal alien, your credit damaged, and tax problems created for you with the IRS, would you support greater enforcement of our immigration laws?

If you learned that illegal aliens are far more likely to commit crimes such as ID theft, driving without insurance, and be involved with gang activity and the drug trade than are legal immigrants or natural born citizens, would you support greater enforcement?

Should our immigration laws or policy give preference to Mexico over Great Britain, Europe, Asia, or Africa?

Do you support paying increased taxes to provide government services in two or more languages?

Do you enjoy having to "press one for english?"

Do you prefer US culture or Mexican culture?

Orem, UT

The problem is that the correct measures require political courage:

1. Truly secure the borders. Build the "wall". All the way across. Be willing to look like a heartless monster.

2. Institute a secure, hard-to-falsify identification system capable of tracking the status of citizens and non-citizens. Many "illegals" flew in legally with tourist or student visas, and stayed. Many Americans (especially conservatives such as myself) resist such an ID system as "police state". But sooner or later we will need it.

3. Modernize our laws so that hard-working, law-abiding people from other countries can immigrate in months, not years, and without spending a fortune. The current immigration system is frankly designed to keep people out, for historical reasons of political expeiency.

4. Find a way to qualify and transition most of who are already here. We do not have the resources (or the inhumanity) to deport 12 million people. But this will not work without secure borders, a key to national sovereignty!

Historical note: The first Mormon settlers were illegal aliens on Mexican territory until the signing of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, February 2, 1848.

Tooele, UT

I want the good, law abiding Mexicans here, legally. I like them. I think we need them. We need to make immigrating here a faster process!

Stockton, UT

The first mormons were NOT "illegal aliens" in Mexico. Anyone who so claims better cite the specific Mexican law in effect at the time that made the LDS conduct illegal. Notice that LDS polygamists were quite welcome to start their colonies in Mexico well after the treaty was signed. Laws change over time.

I got my first ticket on I-15 driving a speed that is perfectly legal today, but was illegal under the "double nickel".

We do NOT have to deport 12 million illegal aliens. Mexico did not deport them to get them to come here. If we remove the incentives to be here, most will self deport. Any real effort at enforcement will provide additional pressure to self-deport.

ANY reward for illegally entering our nation will lead to increased illegal border crossings. We must not send that message. It is fatal.

We have sufficient ID today. We need to penalize employers who look the other way.

I don't know why a fence makes us look like a monster? Have you seen what Mexico does on their southern border? Or what Australia requires to legally immigrate? Good fences make good neighbors.

Littleton, CO

I am not afraid of my church (LDS) to be opposed with illegal immigration in the US.

Cedar Hills, UT

Not sure what the issue is exactly?? Just follow the law of the land. Problem solved. Illegal is illegal just like speeding is speeding and is against the law. You can't drive what ever speed you want just because you are a certain race. The law is blind to race.

Orem, UT


You make some good points. My pioneer forbears walked into Mexico (the Salt Lake Valley) and settled down without asking permission of anybody. But probably the Mexicans didn't care, or couldn't pay much attention to the matter, as they were in the process of losing a war and massive national territory to the USA.

I don't think we would be Monsters for building the wall. I absolutely think we should do it. However, many in the world woud SEE us as inhuman monsters for doing it. That's what I meant by political courage.

I agree that we should remove incentives for illegal aliens to come here, while enhancing the ability of law-abiding people with skills to immigrate legally. The problem is that it is now pathetically easy to obtain and use falsified ID, and there is no non-burdensome way for employers and public agencies to verify that ID. ID needs to be provided with anti-counterfitting measures that are very expensive to overcome, and should be quickly verifiable. As a lifelong citizen I would gladly tote such a card for the sake of national security and sovereignty.

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

The LDS Church is playing a hamfisted game of situational ethics.
My testimony has been shaken, not stirred.
Personally, I have found it necessary to divide the church into two segments.
One I'll call the "Institutional" church that employs lawyers, lobbyists and PR people to navigate the world of politics and media.
The other church, the one I joined, I simply refer to as the Gospel.
It isn't a great plan, but it'll do for now.

patrick campbell
Salt Lake City, UT

And while we're quoting Articles of Faith:

10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

As much as many commenters would like to believe, this is not a black and white issue.

Somewhere in the USA, UT

Considering, I wish there was an applause button I could push for your comments. They are spot on, and spoken eloquently. I always get to excited to write so profoundly. Good Job!!

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