Comments about ‘Mormons' immigration attitudes set them apart’

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Published: Saturday, Jan. 14 2012 8:00 p.m. MST

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The Pew study included ONE question on immigrants:

"Which statement comes closer to your own views even if neither is exactly right?

Immigrants today strengthen our country because of their hard work and talents OR
Immigrants today burden our country because they take our jobs, housing and healthcare."

Results: 49% of 18-49 yr olds agreed with strengthen, while only 39% of those over 50 agreed with strengthen.
Mormon Republicans/ lean Republican 42% agreed immigrants strengthen and 44% disagreed immigrants strengthen .
Mormon Democrats/lean Democrat, the percentages were 59% agree, 36% disagree.

Of note, only 5% of Mormon Democrats said neither or both statements are true while, 14% of Mormon Republicans said neither or both statements are true.

Henderson, NV

The largest issue highlighted by this article has already been touched on by earlier comments: the purposeful confusing of legal immigration with ILLEGAL immigration. The Left loves to do that. Nice try. Politically it works for them - maybe it is the poor white evangelicals who fall for the trap - but of course falls flat on any logical level. This issue of course has nothing to do with "treating people equally" or "They are human beings just like us" or "Immigrants are not a burden". And whether the 'real issue' as one commenter suggested is poverty, violence and government corruption in Mexico and other central American countries or not is NOT the primary concern of the United States. The primary concern is stopping illegal immigration and cleaning up the results of it. Its likely Mexico will be impoverished, violent and corrupt for a long, long time but that does not mean we should be burdened by illegal immigration for a long, long time.

Vernal, UT

I guess I have a hard problem blaming the left for confusing legal and illegal immigration. In Utah, the Conservatives seem to be leading this charge. One would think Democrats might even take advantage of this and point out that it hurts the average US worker. But, no, both sides want to encourage this law breaking. Neither party is to be respected.

Al Thepal
Salt Lake City, UT

I agree with many of the posters that there should be a distinction between legal and illegal. I think that the vast majority of legal immigrants are good for the country, but that most illegal immigrants are a burden.

Through my service in the LDS Church as well as through my schooling at BYU, I have known a lot of legal immigrants to this country and many of them are some of the best citizens (or residents if they are not yet citizens) of this country that I have ever met.

Boise, ID

Legal and illegal are useful terms for those having agendas to push. Fugitive Slave Laws were legal once too, to beg the point with an extreme but highly promoted concept at that time. If you learn enough about how most of our ancestors moved from country to country, even to America, you'll find very little legality in the process. Many had to get permission from landlords who considered them as serfs or slaves; allowing them safe passage elsewhere was stuck-on-stupid for the landlords' bottom line. Many of our grandparents skipped out, illegally. Whether or not we accepted them here is another issue, but these had no "right" to initially leave the Old Country. Before WWII we, America, legally sent many Jews back to their deaths rather than allow them to disembark to a safe haven here. Our immigration system has been broken for years. There are ways to fix it and deal with organized crime coming in. Lumping all immigrants into our broken "legal or illegal" categories is inhumane. We actually can take care of those who need help and come here to get it and begin a productive life. Many just don't want to share.

Highland, Utah

Illegal immigration and legal immigration are totally different. I absolutely favor legal immigration and believe that it should be made easier for people *from all over the world* to enter the United States--legally. I absolutely oppose illegal immigration and all of the violence and crime that comes with it. Please, let's separate the debate.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

This comment roll has conducted its own survey, unscientific as it may be.
Those that agree with RichardB (19 at this moment) out number those that "liked" MormonDem (5 at this moment).

Based on this I would have to agree that 80% favor legal immigration and oppose illegal immigration.

The church has said that we need to enforce our laws but that we need to realize that lives will be impacted and we need to treat illegal immigrants humanely.

I for one have no desire to make life harder for those already having a rough time.
I also think that we must enforce our laws.

Riverside, CA

I believe the thrust of this piece is accurate. LDS tend to have more moderate and nuanced views on illegal immigration than comparable groups. I think it has to do with our collective memory of being victims of mob mentality and propoganda ourselves, and having to do what it took to survive.

There are those in other countries who will never be in a position to immigrate here legally and have to endure danger and corruption even from their government and police.

I'm not condoning illegal immigration but I don't equate it with robbing a bank, unlike many who routinely post on these threads. There should be a path to legal status for some who have been decent and productive and have deep roots and family ties here.

Henderson, NV

To equate the illegality of the current illegal immigration to fugitive slave laws is fallacious. The moral stature of the illegality of current illegal immigration clearly is not nearly the same as that for historical slavery, and the proponents of this argument know that. Again, nice try. And again, false appeals to humanity or sharing or any other bleeding heart fallacy is underhanded. The claim that lumping all immigrants into our broken legal or illegal categories is inhumane is a fallacy of emotional appeal. Immigrants and illegal aliens are two different things. Two separate policies should apply to them. Also, if 'Conservatives' in Utah are driving this indistinction then these 'Conservatives' are endorsing a liberal behavior. The policy is liberal, regardless of whether the perpetrators are nominally Conservative, Liberal, Democrats or Republican.

Wasatch Front, UT

So Mormons aren't really different from evangelicals on this issue when adjusted for the demographic characteristics of the sample...

Way of the Warrior

Aw, the never-ending immigration debate. Aren't we all citizens of the same planet? Children of the same God? How petty we are. It's too bad political boundaries keep us from seeing people for who they really are.

Chapel Hill, NC

We live in the eastern time zone. We have volunteered to help with food distribution and seen that it is mostly going to illegal immigrant families, few of whom attend church and less are trying to live by Church standards. We don't want anyone to starve, but if a little hunger would send them home, then we are enabling law breaking. Also, a few come in cars and trucks that are more expensive than what most members drive, meaning that they are using food distribution to supplement their untaxed wages. I don't think Mormons in the West understand what is happening to America's cities. Our schools and hospitals are flooded with illegals. They drive without licenses and are often drunk behind the wheel. For every hard working illegal there are three more riding the system. We see that farmers, factories, and contractors are getting rich from illegal labor, and we understand that they are robbing our children.

Boise, ID

"To equate the illegality of the current illegal immigration to fugitive slave laws is fallacious. The moral stature of the illegality of current illegal immigration clearly is not nearly the same as that for historical slavery, and the proponents of this argument know that."

Not so. I, for one, used a common situation to illustrate my point: slavery in any country may be legal, as it was here, and returning escaped slaves might be mandatory by legal systems, as returning illegal aliens is legal now. We do it even if they were escaping danger back home; but there is nothing moral or ethical about doing so whatsoever, only "legal." Definitions of key words as "conservative" and "liberal" have been hijacked and redefined narrowly by popular figures who rule any argument with an iron fist. Bleeding heart" is back again, I see... Well, using the bully's simplistic dictionary has always made it easier to intimidate and control the masses. Critical thinking may not apply, not with impunity.

Holladay, UT

We're all immigrant's in God's country.

Third try screen name
Mapleton, UT

Just what is the position of the Church?
From Handbook 2: "Members who emigrate to any country should comply with applicable laws."

But as Hamlet says, the policy is "More honour'd in the breach than the observance."

Hence, Church policy is far from clear.


re:Al Thepal
"I think that the vast majority of legal immigrants are good for the country, but that most illegal immigrants are a burden."

I disagree.
I believe there are many illegal immigrants who work very hard and make positive contributions to American society. Wasn't there a LDS Church Branch Pres./Bishop deported in the past year? Was he not an asset to the branch/ward?

I don't think one question about immigration really reveals underlying Mormon attitudes about immigrants.

moniker lewinsky
Taylorsville, UT

We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, magistrates, and in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
Or at least that's what I thought.

Wasatch Front, UT

Immigration isn't about being equal in the sight of God. There have to be laws and order. Without immigration laws and an orderly way for people to legally enter the country, the U.S. would quickly be over-run by BILLIONS of people who live in difficult circumstances. Sad, but it is reality...


@Gracie, nope. fallacious equation as JmThms has stated. much like orwell's newspeak/doublethink many distort words to the point of outright contradiction per agenda. orwell's 1984, "...whole aim of newspeak is to narrow the range of thought." Your "bully's simplistic dictionary" assertion belies such a desire to hijack/distort language as a means to an end. Try as you may, "illegal" = illegal. check merriam-webster (the bully)

South Jordan, UT

"Aren't we all citizens of the same planet? Children of the same God? How petty we are. It's too bad political boundaries keep us from seeing people for who they really are."

I just love how God is brought into the picture, as if there's no consequences for our actions.
I'm glad there's boundaries...I can't image what this country would look like if we had open borders...it wouldn't be a country...not the one we know anyway.

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