Immigration officials may deport Mormon branch president and family


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  • NoMad Grantsville, UT
    May 4, 2011 3:49 p.m.

    "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all" (James 2:10, KJV).

  • NoMad Grantsville, UT
    May 4, 2011 3:30 p.m.

    After reading some of the comments here... Lets open the boarders. Yah that is, that the ticket. What does religion have to do with it?
    Lets look.

    Americans across the religious landscape largely agree on a clear set of values that should guide immigration reform policy.

    At least 8-in-10 Americans rated four values as very or extremely important guides to immigration reform: enforcing the rule of law and promoting national security (88%), ensuring fairness to taxpayers (84%), protecting the dignity of every person (82%), and keeping families together (80%). There are few significant differences among religious groups; for example, white evangelical Protestants are just as likely as white Mainline Protestants, Catholics, and the unaffiliated say protecting the dignity of every person is a very or extremely important value.

    He commited a crime so it seems. What if he was not from LDS? Would you feel the same?

  • Lone Star Cougar Plano, TX
    May 2, 2011 12:38 p.m.

    As I live in Texas, this debate hits very close to home. I used to be a very hard-liner on this but even before I knew of the church's stance on illegal immigration I changed my opinion.

    We do need to secure our borders without question and we need to do this immediately. But, as soon as we accomplish this, we need to get our current illegal inhabitants into a system where they are legal and paying taxes with added fees for working here but with no easier way to citizenship than the current way. We have too many here for any other way to work and it is the most humaine way to do it. It is logical and helps the most people and creates more revenue for the USA.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    May 2, 2011 9:23 a.m.

    Nobody really wants to solve the illegal immigration problem. They merely want to use it as a wedge to further divide this nation and shift our focus away from more important issues, like out of control government spending.

    The solution to the immigration issue is so simple. Make it a felony to employ illegal aliens. Illegals come here for one reason, JOBS. Start cracking down on companies that hire illegals and the jobs will disappear. When the jobs are gone the illegals will pack up and go elsewhere. Problem solved, and we didn't have to spend millions catching and deporting people.

  • Trooper55 Williams, AZ
    May 2, 2011 7:24 a.m.

    The law is the law, people want to mix law and what the bible says. I believe that what has happen and support the laws of this land.It has been placing a burden on the taxpayers for long enough and I for one is glad to see that they are doing their jobs. Churches need to stay out of the ways it's being enforce.

  • john in az tempe, az
    May 1, 2011 10:05 p.m.

    Cowboy Joe,
    Jesus said "render unto Ceasar".

    The LDS Church - thus God - has stated "Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. ... to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wivesmothers and fatherswill be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations." (see The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

    The LDS Church - thus God - issued a statement concerning immigration that persons should obey the law in the country in which they live. (see LDS Church on Utah Compact)

    The LDS Church - thus God - requires being honest with ones fellow man. (If you are LDS you know when this comes up.)

    Also, 12th article of Faith; notice this statement of faith does not have a "except when" clause.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    May 1, 2011 4:18 p.m.

    Um, my fairly confident understanding is that if the prophet of the LDS Church issues the mind and will of God in the name of God Almighty Himself, he doesn't do so INCOGNITO through the Church's Public Affairs Office. Yeah yeah I know, the statements issued by the P.A.O. are cleared by the First Presidency. But that AIN'T the same thing as the First Presidency itself issuing a statement, putting ITS signature at the bottom, and claiming that it is the mind and will of the Lord.

    Has God repealed the 12th Article of Faith?

    Then let the prophet boldly say so! Otherwise, I am NOT interested in Scott Trotter's or any other Church functionary's personal opinion, propaganda, or, worse, obfuscations; e.g., "This case reminds us all of the need to address immigration reform." Which everyone knows means AMNESTY.

    FALSE! There is NO such need!

    And knock it off with the riddles already! "Love thy neighbor." Just what is that supposed to mean?? We should endorse illegal behavior? And shouldn't Mexicans love their neighbors to the North?

    "Families." Your point?? They "CAN'T" take their children back home with them??

  • Hey It's Me Salt Lake City, UT
    May 1, 2011 10:22 a.m.

    People are saying we should just love and support illegals of any nationality. My question to all of you is why do we have laws of any kind then? If an American citizen breaks the law they go to court, people judge them and they serve the consequences. But we should love and look the other way when someone enters the country illegally for what ever reason (which is against the law) and not judge them. I feel really bad for ALL the people who immigrate to our nation the right way, following the law waiting years to be united with family or spouses here in the U.S.. They suffer the consequences of doing the right thing! I've seen a few posts of those people I wish more that immigrated by the law would express their feeling of those who break the law to get here.

  • Munk Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 1, 2011 4:45 a.m.

    "My understanding is they didn't commit any crimes," said Latino community activist Tony Yapias."

    What on earth do you think being here illegally is?

    However, we do need to remember this...

    Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these the homeless, tempest-tossed to me;
    I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    April 30, 2011 11:41 p.m.

    When my great great grandfather arrive in the Salt Lake valley in 1847, he had come from Wales and was welcomed in both the US and what was later Utah.

    When my great grandmother entered the US from Scotland with her father at the age of 6 she was welcome in Utah.

    A very close relative of mine came to the US from Canada illegally. His first job in Utah was remodelling a house for the local Sheriff in California. When his illegal status was pointed out to the Sheriff, the comment was; "I don't care, he's not a Mexican."

    Cowboy Joe has it dead on correct.

    My church holds too many Pharisees.

  • RagnarL4 Tupelo, MS
    April 30, 2011 10:09 p.m.


    The answer to your question is, The Declaration of Independence. Not that a document is required to grant rights, but the Declaration correctly identifies the fundamental rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

    Humans have rights by their nature, not by their governments or laws. The right of liberty necessarily includes being free to live where I choose.

    If I were to discover a new continent, who would there be to tell me where I could or could not live? No one. I am free to live wherever on that continent I please. What if another man comes to the continent? Where shall he live? Anywhere he pleases if it's not on my homestead. Who would stop him? Who would want to? If they did want to, would they be right?

    Man is free to live where he pleases and only other men exerting force upon him can prevent it. It is that force that is evil. For example, the good branch president, who forced no man to hire him, feed him, or house him, sits in a prison cell because someone didn't want him to live here. That is evil.

  • Humm?? Tropic, UT
    April 30, 2011 8:50 p.m.


    Where is it said that HUMANS have a right to live wherever they want?

  • Jeffrey Wilbur Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 30, 2011 8:31 p.m.

    All I can say to that, Cowboy, is Amen.

    Everyone should keep in mind that Christ's harshest criticism was toward the leaders and prominent members of his own religion.

    Also, let me add that I take umbrage at those who have the pretentiousness to "forgive" or "not forgive" this man, or any other illegal immigrant. They have done nothing to you; committed no offense toward you. You are simply not in a position to pass that kind of judgment on them in either direction.

    What we should be doing is looking at every possible avenue to show compassion toward and help our fellow human beings. If the laws are outdated, they need to be fixed. If the people are here illegally, they need to not be kicked out but helped to remain here legally. The people involved should take priority over any other political persuasion or stance.

    This man has done nothing wrong other than not being a legal resident. By all accounts he has been a benefit to his community. And so many here are frothing at the mouth in shouting for him to be kicked out.

  • Cowboy Joe Encampment, WY
    April 30, 2011 7:52 p.m.

    Remember the pharases's and sadducees followed the strict letter of the law. They attended church, read the scriptures, paid tithing, prayed daily ect. The Savior followed a greater law the letter of the law. He healed on the sabbath, against the law, many good church goers took offence to this. They crucified him.

    Our Savior taught us to love everyone, and He did not follow laws that were contrary to the gospel. Ask yourselves what kind of Christian are you. Am I a pharasee saducee or am I a true disciple of Christ? The difference between the two sets of people is charity. Charity never faileth.

  • Cowboy Joe Encampment, WY
    April 30, 2011 7:44 p.m.

    If you believe the book of mormon to be true, and the lamanites to be ancestors of many latins, then you should read 3 nephi 11-4nephi. These chapters talk specifically about immigration. Christ teaches that the gentiles will care for and give the gospel to the lamanites in the last days. He also issues a warning that when the gentiles stop following the gospel the lamanites will destroy the gentiles.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    April 30, 2011 6:45 p.m.

    Uh, Jeffrey Wilber, here's what he faces for defying a deportation order:
    $500 per day for every day he failed to show up.
    Four years in prison.
    Now, we are such magnanimous chumps that they never impose the law, but that's what it says in the books.
    TITLE 8 > CHAPTER 12 > SUBCHAPTER II > Part VIII > § 1324d.
    TITLE 8 > CHAPTER 12 > SUBCHAPTER II > Part V > § 1253

    There's another difference. When I get pulled over for a traffic violation, I get a ticket. These guys get released and an apology from the governor.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    April 30, 2011 6:22 p.m.

    oldcougar, if an immigrant is here legally, that's great. I have in-laws from across the border(legal). If they are here illegally, they chose to break the laws written in 1996. The laws aren't broken, they are being broke. There is a difference.

    The service sector is already in place, a few more people might need to be hired. 100 people don't create 100 jobs. Otherwise the world would be fully employed. 1.1 million people came legally last year, did they create 1.1 million new jobs?

  • CJ Murray, UT
    April 30, 2011 5:56 p.m.

    What a great contribution he and his family can make to the church in their native land. Do you remember the old days when the church used to tell members to stay in their own countries and build up the church there? And not immigrate here? And if you do come here ,do it legally? Those were the days when the 12th article of faith actually meant that you, as a church member, were expected to obey the law of the land. Now it seems you have the green light to go ahead and break the laws you disagree with and the church will look the other way, put you in high positions anyway, and condone it when you and your family loot the state and national treasuries.This is the new "compassion", mercy for lawbreakers and nothing for their victims, that are many in number. I am glad to see that many in the church are standing up to this great injustice and not simply rolling over and accepting a law (HB116 )that is wrong and unfair on every level. This law is not even fair to the immigrants it is supposed to help.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    April 30, 2011 5:09 p.m.

    SLARS: One more time -- slowly. Not all immigrants are bad. Our immigration system and laws are BAD. Fix the laws, help the people. Don't tell me about unemployment...I've experienced it. I got busy and found work. I admire people who come here at great risk to feed their families. I know others who refuse to work because they are content with unemployment compensation. I don't admire them. A large percentage of jobs are created in our country by eager and creative immigrants who start businesses. Lose the scarcity mentality. This is America. Every immigrant who comes here is a consumer. They buy stuff. They expand the market and spend what they earn. This creates jobs. Adopt an abundance mentality! It works.
    Ideasnstuff! Amen, brother. Right on! I couldn't agree more. Lock down the borders then fix the laws. No mercy for the real criminals. Make it easier for the good guys, the contributors to come and stay here! Let's get to work! Most of our economic problems we created ourselves by being stingy, lazy, and selfish. Let's work together and fix it. Elect good people!

  • sugarpoultry Midvale, Utah
    April 30, 2011 4:48 p.m.

    Jeffrey, yeah... because violating a traffic law and illegal immigration are exactly the same thing... O_o Wow. The consequences to breaking those laws are so far off the wall in comparison. By your logic Jeffrey speeding is perfectly OK, right?

    And a speeding ticket does not equal a temple recommend being removed or revoked, and you know that... Even my old bishop got pulled over, but does he need to call on repentance? No. SLars is right anyway, its a misdemeanor.

    And I have compassion for him, because God told us to forgive everyone. I forgive him, but I don't have to support him breaking the law. Like I said, I hope he finds peace during this trial. But I also support illegal immigration enforcement, and doesn't matter if he's white, Mexican, Mormon, or not, he pays the consequences of those actions.

    Also, its Heavenly Fathers responsibility to give mercy, but justice still needs to be carried out.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    April 30, 2011 4:13 p.m.

    Actually it's a misdemeanor. And working illegally is multiple federal felonies. It's more on par with bank robbery, since you are taking something that is not yours. And committing felonies.

    The law has a fine, jail, and deportation, with jail and fines seldom given. That is the mercy.

    Where is the mercy to those out of work and the people with stolen identities? To the taxpayer that subsidizes the illegal activity, to those who are victum of crimes?

    Illegal immigration and those that protect it, really are on a one way street.

  • Jeffrey Wilbur Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 30, 2011 3:59 p.m.

    Everyone on here who is completely lacking in compassion and siding with politics over faith while claiming that "he broke the law" needs to understand this: the law he broke is on par to you not obeying the traffic laws perfectly every time you hop in your car.

    If you don't, I sure hope you aren't accepting church callings or applying for temple recommends.

    After all, justice before mercy, right?

  • Uncle Mal Rose Park, UT
    April 30, 2011 3:57 p.m.

    Perhaps ICE doesn't just deport someone. But don't be fooled. ICE rounds up the most minor offenders, throws one gang member into the mix, and then holds a huge press conference about a gang sweep. The local ICE administrators may well just be expressing their views on LDS undocumented aliens. Compassionate and thoughtful immigration reform would force ICE to work harder to identify the real criminals. Thus far, it seems to be the state of Utah cops that are busting up the counterfeiting rings and fake social security card print shops.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    April 30, 2011 3:43 p.m.

    Jobs are finite. Otherwise the 100,000 people out of work in this state would be creating jobs. Bring in 100,000 more and it will enlarge the economy, but by a very small number in just the service sector. Maybe 3-5%. The idea that more people make more jobs is a ponzi scheme.

    Most of the 1.1 million that came here last year were not rich or elite. Over 700,000 of them were family members joining family. (Federal law limits this amount to 440,000, don't know how Obama got passed that law).

    I am seeing a ripple effect here. People are breaking immigration laws, then to work they break identity laws, work laws etc. then business breaks laws hiring them, landlords break laws renting to people illegally (and it is against the law) pretty soon the police stop enforcing some laws, because they affect mostly the illegal population. Cities stop enforcing immigration laws to please the business. Now people are breaking Gods laws. Is there an end to this?

  • ideasnstuff Orem, UT
    April 30, 2011 3:21 p.m.

    No, it is not likely that this family will ever return legally, unless they can pull together the extensive time and money resources needed to plod through the immigration maze.

    Current quotas and regulations are based on the notion that our economy is a zero-sum game and that law-abiding, hard-working newcomers (even legal ones) will take a slice from a finite job "pie", but won't expand the same pie with their presence. That's why the immigration system is set up to keep out everyone but the elite.

    The period in our history when we welcomed the "wretched refuse to our teeming shores" was the same period in which the United States transformed itself into the world's industrial and economic powerhouse. Then xenophobia took the upper hand. "Amurica fer Amuricans."

    And I still say build the wall and implement high-tech personal documentation. This will allow our country to bring in those who would build our wealth and quality of life, and keep out the crooks and the leeches.

  • sugarpoultry Midvale, Utah
    April 30, 2011 2:32 p.m.

    As sad as it is to see a fellow member of the church sent home with his family... that's the way it is. He broke the law. I believe one of the temple questions asks if you are law abiding citizen... or something like that, correct me if I'm wrong. So technically he shouldn't even be a branch president, right?

    While I don't feel sorry for him for refusing to take care of his citizenship for his families sake, I pray he finds the strength through the Lord to overcome this trial, and who knows, maybe one day he'll come back legally.

    It's shame to read all the hate comments. Breaking the law is breaking the law, there's no way around it folks... its not a very political, racial, or spiritual thing either, its just plain and simple as that.

  • pocyUte Pocatello, ID
    April 30, 2011 1:50 p.m.


    I'm the one who said it was a simple solution. And your solution is just about in line with mine. Unfortunately, I don't think there are enough politicians who are willing to take the political chance, thus removing commons sense from the equation and replace in with motivations to maintain power and money.

  • JBrady Murray, Ut
    April 30, 2011 1:37 p.m.

    Immigration quotas are set each year according to a formula that takes unemployment into account.

    It's cruel to let people in and tell them their are no jobs. Our country lets in more legal people each year than any other country, however our resources are limited. We can't open our doors to anyone who wants to come here from all over the world, when they choose. We have to have an orderly system that gives everyone in the world the same chance at a better life. Illegal immigration destroys this. It gives preferential treatment to those who can cross our borders. It shows a lack of compassion towards the rest of the worlds people. Compassion is a two way street, so far it's only running one way.

    We were at war with Mexico when the Mormons came into this land. Remember the Mormon battalion? Gods law tells us not to steal, covet, or lie, and to obey the laws of the land.

  • Jeffrey Wilbur Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 30, 2011 1:24 p.m.

    It's very interesting to me to see how many Mormons are seeing their religion come up against their politics on the issue of immigration, and are choosing to side with their politics.

    I believe that says quite a lot.

    Also, as far as the "honoring, obeying and sustaining the law" bit, the Church has always had a very complicated relationship with that. You only have to look at polygamy to see that.

    The bottom line is that God's law trumps Man's law. It always has for religion, and always will. And, if your religion is true anyway, I would argue that it logically should be that way.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    April 30, 2011 1:09 p.m.

    The responsibility is ours to change bad laws. I'm glad immigration quotas didn't exist when my ancestors came to America. And I'm glad my illegal immigrant Mormon ancestors were not deported when they settled in Mexican territory. JBrady, allow yourself to think practically and compassionately about how to solve the problems with our immigration system. If we remain rigid, we will become even more brittle. Our system is alrady broken. Quotas and laws, as well as methods of enforecment, should be constantly evaluated and amended to fit reality. That's the beauty of the rule of law in a representative democracy...the laws are subject to constant scrutiny and must be changed when they don't work. If you are an expert on immigration quotas, how they are established, and why they are absolutely correct as they are, enlighten us. But to say we have too many immigrants and we have no responsibility to make things better and to treat each other with compassion and reason, seems wrong to me. Just my .02. And I'm right, of course. :)

  • JBrady Murray, Ut
    April 30, 2011 11:32 a.m.

    It's so simple to put the responsibility on others isn't it?

    Those who chose to come here illegally instead of the legal way are responsible for being here.
    Business who encouraged people to come here illegally share a lesser responsibility.
    Organizations that encourage the illegal activity share responsibility.
    America's people are not responsible for this. People rob banks every day, is America responsible for their actions?

    It's not to late to enforce the laws, in fact it's the only option that solves the problem. Amnesty just delays it to the next generation. Under amnesty a person getting residency would have to compete with America citizens for jobs. Many would end up on welfare, as the next wave of illegal immigrants took their jobs.

    See the problem? This country can only absorb so many people each year. With over a million legal residents and unlimited visas for agriculture the good guys have a path already.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    April 30, 2011 10:50 a.m.

    Simple, but not easy, solution: Change existing laws to create a much easier path for the good guys to come and stay and a much more difficult path for bad guys to get here and stay. Some of you rightly emphasize the benefits of the "rule of law." Well, fortunately our sysem of laws allows us to change the bad laws. The problem here is bad immigration laws...not bad immigrants (a few posters seem to look for the laws to send all aliens home and discourage them from coming at all...that smacks of provincialism and unhealthy nationalism and protectionism...we're better than that and will not benefit from such "closed-system thinking). Let's fix the laws! We need legislators at all levels of government who are more interested in serving and doing what's right than in getting re-elected. There is little honor in "black and white," my-way-or-the-highway thinking. Thinking with feeling is OK. When laws are flawed and good people consistently choose to disobey them, we should consider changing them. We can do this, and we'll be better for it.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    April 30, 2011 10:30 a.m.

    I am very conservative but I believe there is room for compassion and practicality here.
    How many of you, living in a very oppressed situation with a family to support would not seek a better opportunity for their family. And with the immigration laws here being so liberal, would you not seek that opportunity to improve the lives of your family? Sure, there are parasites and predators that come here illegally that should be deported, but do you honestly think it is practical and economical to deport the productive and "law-biding" sector of the immigrant population. It would be a huge expense and a huge impact on the economy, and create a lot of chaos.

    The problem here is the U.S. Government's own making, not the illegal immigrants themselves. It's a mess, I know, but the logical, and right thing to do is secure the border, deport all who commit serious crimes (i.e, not a traffic ticket), and provide conditional amnesty to the productive and law-abiding.

    As for me and my house, we stand by the position of the Prophet and the Brethren.

  • RagnarL4 Tupelo, MS
    April 30, 2011 10:22 a.m.

    Dear President Calllejas-Hernandez,

    I am very sorry that America has forgotten that HUMANS are free to live where they wish, and pursue their freedom as they wish because they are HUMANS.

    America no longer has an answer to the question, "Whence liberty?".

    America now believes liberty depends on where you were born (and that loosely), not on actually being a HUMAN.

    So, go try living a HUMAN's life somewhere else. America will no longer allow a HUMAN creed... as if it were hers to allow or disallow.

    Gone is the motto, "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness".

    Entrenched is the catechism: Vox populi. Vox dei... or else!

    So much for HUMAN liberty. So much for HUMANITY.

  • ideasnstuff Orem, UT
    April 30, 2011 10:18 a.m.

    MormonDem: Precisely. That's why a reasonable national ID system with strong anticounterfeiting features is needed. Many in the extreme right wing have always feared such systems as big-brotherism, but we will soon find it to be essential.

    By the way, my suggestion to ease legal immigration includes revamping the political asylum so it is no longer a tool of foreign policy. I know a very capable engineer from El Salvador who ended up having to take his family to Canada even though he found out he was on the former right-wing government's "death list" in his home country. When his student visa ran out at BYU, he applied for asylum here and couldn't get it. Canada's gain - our loss.

    And yes, we still need to build "the wall".

  • Viva la Migra American Fork, UT
    April 30, 2011 10:18 a.m.

    I don't see this as a failure of our immigration laws. This family came into the country but tried to obtain a visa waiver they didn't qualify for. After being denied, the judge issued an order, telling them to leave the country. Instead of obeying the law, they choose to stay. Maybe someone told them to stay, hoping for another amnesty or something, but the bottom line is they took a risk, and after three years, the government arrested them and will apparently deport them.

    This sounds very similar to the other family (the stained glass mekers) profiled recently who tried the same thing, but were deported back home. It looks like there may be an immigration lawyer preying on the LDS Latino community, giving them false hope by applying for refugee visas they aren't qualified for, but also putting these families on the government radar. Perhaps this should be looked into by a reporter.

  • overitnow murray, utah
    April 30, 2011 10:11 a.m.

    it shouldnt matter what faith a illegal immagrant is if they are here illegall they should be deported . one of the rules is we must obey the rules of the land . if we dont this is a sin itself .

  • MormonDem Provo, UT
    April 30, 2011 9:46 a.m.

    This particular case has nothing to do with "securing borders." This gentleman and his family came into this country legally under political asylum. Their applications to renew their visas were denied. In other words: the system failed.

    This is precisely why the GOP's "enforcement only" solutions are inadequate.

  • The Final Word Alpine, UT
    April 30, 2011 9:40 a.m.

    I am LDS AND I was Canadian when I was married to my US citizen wife 14 years ago. Now I am a US citizen after many long years as a LEGAL resident alien and eventually after all the years of paperwork and fees I am a US citizen of two years.

    The US govt wanted me to stay in Canada and threatened criminal prosecution if I even visited my wife in the US before the legal paperwork was completed. Of course Canada was threatening the same thing in reverse and did not want my wife living with me in Canada illegally.

    I guess I don't understand why the Church was not advocating for me back then to just come here illegally 15 years ago as long as I served faithfully in my church calling.

    Maybe I needed to be poor and from a Latin-American country?

    Come to think of it I am pretty sure our articles of faith remain the same today as it was then...honoring, obeying, and sustaining the law.

    I followed the law and everyone else should to until/if/when the law is changed.

    No exceptions.

  • Seek to understand Sandy, UT
    April 30, 2011 9:36 a.m.

    I support the LDS church and the Utah Compact. We need to fix our laws. We must allow compassion to be our first motivation. WE are responsible for allowing illegal immigration to happen by creating an environment where it is very easy and makes a lot of sense for people to come here. WE must be willing to "pay the consequence" by welcoming and making legal the families who are currently here due to our lack of a system that is clear and enforceable.

    Hopefully, these challenges will move us toward an immigration policy that is reasonable and enforceable. Due to the the problems we are currently experiencing, a pressure is being developed that will hopefully bring both sides to the table where good laws and enforceable policies will be enacted. If not, and we choose to keep posturing and fighting instead, then at least at this point we are allowing most families to remain intact and work here free from the oppression of their native countries without the damage this family is experiencing.

    I hope everyone will be willing to learn about compromise and let's get this issue solved.

  • ideasnstuff Orem, UT
    April 30, 2011 9:32 a.m.

    An earlier poster stated that the solution to immigration woes was simple, but government lacked the gumption to do it. I agree. Here is what needs to be done, in order:

    1. Secure the borders. Yes, build "the wall".

    2. Create a national ID card that is very difficult to counterfeit and must be renewed. Even poor Latin American countries have these.

    3. Make it a lot easier for non-criminals to immigrate legally.

    As for those already here, focus on those those committing criminal acts other than their immigration violation. Too late to round everybody up.

    Without steps 1 and 2, nothing else will work.

  • E. Matscheko St. George, UT
    April 30, 2011 9:14 a.m.

    What an example; Felix Joaquin Callejas-Hernandez, a LDS president, an official, a leader, a "role model" repeatedly disregarding our great nation's laws, more than once!
    Not for a minute do I believe that this is the message the Church intends to send to its members and investigators.
    Then LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter refers in his statement to 'love they neighbor', ...keeping families intact, and the federal government's obligation to secure its border".
    I totally believe in the teachings of the Church, but nowhere in the Churches teachings can I find anything about "federal government securing its borders". More important, in its "Articles of Faith", the church teaches "WE BELIEVE in being subjects to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, IN OBEYING, HONORING, AND SUSTAINING THE LAW."
    Mr. Callejas-Hernandez follow the Churches teachings, repent, obey our great nation's laws, and return with your entire family to El Salvador, where you must continue to teach the Gospel. Meanwhile, I shall pray for you and your family.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    April 30, 2011 9:14 a.m.

    We have hundreds, maybe thousands, of non-productive criminal illegals in this country and we deport someone like this? ICE is cowardly and just plain wrong.

  • Let's be real Salt Lake City, UT
    April 30, 2011 8:55 a.m.

    This becomes offensive when I see Mormon on the title. Come on reporters. If you do such then please publish the most prominent title of each person detained by ICE, including thier religion. Now, like I have always said it is normally reported that "this poor indigent, hard working, religious, tax paying, wanting to get his kids the best life has to get, etc etc etc" position has to go. He, and his family were all here illegally. Period. Laws are for EVERYONE, not just the normal joe citizen. I do not care if he is a mormon, jew, catholic, or nigerian. Come here legally or get out. It is that simple.

  • JBrady Murray, Ut
    April 30, 2011 8:54 a.m.

    The Church is not saying to ignore borders. After all God created borders and the Nations. And they want the borders strengthened.

    They are advocating amnesty as a show of loving they neighbor and to keep families together. This is the problem, many believe the time to accomplish this was when the people were coming here illegally. Now it cannot be done without great harm to society.

    We must remember that those who came here illegally had the responsibility to love they neighbor, and chose instead to break into his land, steal his job, and steal his identities.

    Families are broke up all the time when laws are enforced. The people made that choice. Counseling before they did it would of helped.

    Are people being counseled now to stop breaking the law? to prevent this in the future? If not, then they they are ignoring the long term solution.

  • Laser Iowa City, IA
    April 30, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    This isn't a story about the LDS church if it is people are very hypocritical, I'm real sure other faiths with latino congregations deal with the same thing.

    Where the real problems lies is in the decades of implied consent from government officials towards illegal immigrants coming into the country. We also know factually that the Obama administration is dealing guns to Mexican drug cartels. So the issue is complex and frankly dirty and in some cases devious.

    We need solutions not hypocritical or myopic finger pointing. The churches stance is a humane approach to a complex problem.

  • Hey It's Me Salt Lake City, UT
    April 30, 2011 7:59 a.m.

    Many people here are saying you're not a good Christian if you don't have compassion and love for illegals. . .I don't believe that wanting people to follow the law is unchristian or why would we have them? There would be mass confusion without laws. We split families every day when we send criminals of any color or ethnicity to jail for a crime. Dad's and moms, sons and daughters are taken from their families to pay the price for their crime. So be it. . . they made the choice to break the law. It doesn't mean they are a horrible person . . . they made the choice now suffer the consequences. This pertains to anyone breaking any law!

  • patriotandmore Spanish Fork, UT
    April 30, 2011 7:56 a.m.

    @ Common Sense 11: "The first presidency and I believe that there are NO borders in Gods eye." Strange, the first presidency preaches that this nation was preserved for the last days from where the gospel would be spread to all nations. If we had no borders, why do we need a military to protect us? Why didn't we roll over and let Japan take the U. S. after Pearl Harbor? Why do we have a military and laws? Why do we need the constitution? Just let communist China invade and have the U. S. Better yet, just erase the borders and in 5 years the U. S. will look like and become Upper-Mexico, or perhaps Western-Iran. Perhaps someday the rule of law will be universal and we can all live in peace without borders, but in the dangerous world we live in today, we have to have borders in tact to protect our way of life, our laws, and our freedom.

  • Rod Provo, UT
    April 30, 2011 7:53 a.m.

    What difference does it make whether or not this family is LDS? The church says that we need to "remember the commandment to 'love thy neighbor,' (I can love them and still hold them accountable for breaking the law. Not just because they defied a deportation order but because they were probably involved in other illegal activity, i.e., identity theft). I believe in the importance of keeping families intact (so deport them all together and that will solve that issue), and the federal governments obligation to secure its border (great, but it's not happening)."

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    April 30, 2011 7:46 a.m.

    D&C 58:21 " Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land."

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    April 30, 2011 7:33 a.m.

    We shouldn't have such strict quotas in the first place. Liberalize the law to restrict only the criminals. We need more good people.

  • wrkn Beverly Hills, CA
    April 30, 2011 7:23 a.m.

    I'm amazed by the weak-minded "believers" who claim to be torn over the Church's position on this issue. The Church is advocating legal reform of existing immigration policy, not reckless abandon of the law. Besides, I think the Church clearly emphasized that God's law and the US's man-made border/immigration laws have some incompatibilities which should be addressed. Is that so difficult to understand?

  • BYU Alum Cedar Hills, UT
    April 30, 2011 6:46 a.m.

    I keep hearing that illegal immigration is no worse than a speeding ticket and we all speed therefore... ENOUGH! To be able to work here, illegal immigrants have to use false or forged papers, a FELONY! Come here be deported and return, and it is a FELONY! Taking jobs away from citizens of this country when we have unemployment numbers through the roof IS NOT VERY CHRIST-LIKE, neither is cutting in line in front of foreign nationals who are waiting their turn to become citizens. "Honoring, obeying and sustaining the law" USED to be one of the major tenets and beliefs of my Church. Sadly, no more. And why does immigrant Yapias always blame the "far right"? I'm a Democrat, my wife Republican and this cuts across party lines.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    April 30, 2011 6:11 a.m.

    He doesn't know if they broke any law?

    Leave in 2008 and 2009. Didn't leave.

  • ThankfulForFreedom Herriman, UT
    April 30, 2011 2:46 a.m.

    You are right, common sense, in that we ALL are here on borrowed land. We feel the blessings of freedom. Do we now stand confident, looking at others who have difficulties we don't know, judging and such. Have we forgotten that we could have seen a different United States had the plans of the 9-11 terrorists fully taken place. Then, how would our freedoms be.

    Compassion, recognizing law, compassion, recognizing what people may be dealing with. We proudly judge. When you look at the natural disasters of the world today, and the events that unfold before our eyes, our fragile life could change to give each of us the opportunity to see how it feels to not be allowed the freedoms of this country. Reform is a good thing, Compassion is a wonderful thing... and respecting the blessings we currently have of living in this country that for now, has some safety, for some people.

    I do pray for all people... in all their circumstances, as we all are on borrowed land.

  • common sense 11 Lehi, UT
    April 30, 2011 12:39 a.m.

    The first presidency and I believe that there are NO borders in Gods eye. Why cant this be drilled into you hypocritical peoples minds! UGH. Get a history book, find out whose ancestors were really here first, and then, only then make your judgement's.

    This isn't about liberal or conservative. It's about COMMON SENSE. Learn it.

  • Brian the engineer Columbus, OH
    April 29, 2011 10:22 p.m.

    Am I the only one here who does not see any inconsistency with the LDS church's statement?

    Love thy neighbor -good thing
    Important to keep families intact -another good thing
    Government should secure the border -also a good thing

    To me, this doesn't equate to "encouraging illegal behavior" as so many have claimed, and if loving your neighbor is illegal in this country, then I sure hope my neighbors are NOT law-abiding citizens.

    Joking aside, if this family have caused legitimate harm to other people, then deportation may be warranted. I don't know the details so I won't judge, but I do know it's practically and financially impossible to deport even half of the undocumented immigrants in this country. (and no, I'm not for open borders)

    Let's help the good ones that are here, invest more in securing the border, and continue to prevent and prosecute identity theft and other criminal behavior.

  • John Jackson Sandy, UT
    April 29, 2011 10:22 p.m.

    Would be good if we provided a way for such people to be legal. It might be conjecture, but it does seem they were good people. Why would we want laws to remain in place that do not allow such people?

  • NewsFeed Tooele, UT
    April 29, 2011 9:05 p.m.

    What needs to be determined is the the balance of deportations based on national origin just to make sure that the same number of individuals and families are deported equally for violation of law. I don't recall reading or seeing much about Mexican illegals being deported but whenever it's a family from another country, they seem to make the news? Why is that when you consider that 59% of illegal immigrants in this country come from Mexico?

  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    April 29, 2011 9:02 p.m.

    This man was a custodian at a Draper Charter School. Charter schools are taxpayer funded. I wonder who was in charge of doing the background check on him. In public schools, not only teachers undergo a background check, but so do other full time personnel such as custodians and bus drivers. Most good background checks would have picked up this illegal status. A background check that didn't find this must have been very sloppy.

    When I worked for the Jordan School District they did checks on employees that had worked for years for the district. They picked up on several that had been arrested for DUI and other offenses. If an illegal alien could pass a background check for this charter school, so could any pedophile, and other serious criminals. I am not saying that this illegal alien is a dangerous criminal, but I am saying that a poor background check was done

    If this illegal alien was hired after July 1,2009 it means that this charter school was not using E-Verify as required by Utah Law 63G-11-103

  • bobosmom small town, Nebraska
    April 29, 2011 8:44 p.m.

    It is so hard to comment on this story because all the facts appear not to be presented. I have a ex-sister in law who is from China and when she got her papers and came to the states to be with my brother who she had married she had a great dislike for the United States. She has a very hard time with the language.In the years that they were married it seemed that she wanted to be back in Chima with her mother. They have sinced divoriced which was very sad.

  • JBrady Murray, Ut
    April 29, 2011 8:40 p.m.

    It's inconsistency like this that drives people away from organized religion. They want to know why people are moving to independent churches? Practice what you preach.

  • getrealpleeze Salt lake City, UT
    April 29, 2011 8:24 p.m.

    I personally get really weary of individuals demonizing the LDS Church. Good grief, don't you guys have a life or something rather than being filled with such hate for a body of people and a church that does much good? Isn't this bigotry? Aren't you being a hypocrite in the highest order? I personally try to live what I am taught in the LDS Church which is to obey and sustain the laws of the land and to be a good neighbor and an honest/ethical/kind/diversely open minded to others individual.

    Please get a life people and find a life filled with something other than hate and misplaced judgement.

    Thank you...

  • patriotandmore Spanish Fork, UT
    April 29, 2011 8:06 p.m.

    What happened to obeying, honoring and sustaining the law? Are we now free to chose which laws we obey.......until we're caught?

  • CA. reader Rocklin, CA
    April 29, 2011 7:14 p.m.

    If anyone is interested, just about any ethnic Church unit has members who are here illegally, sometimes even in leadership positions. There was a time when Church policy was that missionaries could not even teach someone who was in the US illegally. Members who chose to stay here illegally could not be advanced in the priesthood or hold temple recommends. I think that Church policy changes have been to the advantage of all involved.

    As a retired ICE agent, I cannot overlook the possible political ties in this particular case, but it may only be a part of a current nationwide mandate of some sort from DHS headquarters in Washington. It would not surprise me however to learn that someone has decided to punish Utah this way instead of filing a lawsuit as they did in Arizona.

  • manaen Buena Park, CA
    April 29, 2011 6:45 p.m.

    "Given the support for HB116 and the rest of the package that came out, it does make it look like the church is trying to protect illegal aliens,"
    "Given the support for the LDS prophet and the other Church leaders in hiding, it does make it look like the Church is trying to protect illegal marriages."

  • jane Hereford, AZ
    April 29, 2011 6:39 p.m.

    I live on the border and see the results of illegal immigration every day. My position has always been that we need immigration law reform to allow law-abiding contributing people to immigrate legally--with a sponsor, a criminal background check, a health check and a job. We shouldn't give automatic citizenship to people just because they are born in this country if their parent or parents are here illegally. We should punish criminal illegals, not just send them thru the revolving door that is our border.

    When people ask for asylum, they are usually denied, even in cases where their lives are seriously in danger. I personally know of four such cases. So when one really needs asylum, it's dangerous to ask for it because if you are denied, then you are deported. If you just stay below the radar, often you can live here in safety. That's another thing that should be changed.

    One of my sons is a lawyer who does pro bono work with a human rights organization who appeals deportation orders and you wouldn't believe the horrors these people have gone thru. I wish he could help here.

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    April 29, 2011 6:32 p.m.

    Can we please stop quoting Yapias??
    First, he says the father didn't commit a crime. If he is not here legally, then he committed a crime.
    Second, he eludes that the "right-wing" is not compassionate. I'm not sure this is a right-wing, left-wing issue. Last I saw, many right-wingers want the cheap, under-the-table, illegal labor in Utah.
    Stop quoting this guy, as his underground networks bringing more and more folks here illegally is very much part of the problem!

  • Kitenoa Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2011 6:21 p.m.

    If you are going to do it right (by the law book), then enforce all the US immigrantion laws equally will each illegal immigrant (for all 12 million of them).

    Likewise, will the Federal and State governments, please enforce all of the current immigration laws on the books. In my limited views, US citizens are the biggest contributors to breaking immgration laws; just look at the number they employ for profit reasons alone.

    Real leaders, please be consistent with your enforcement efforts in solving this very complex situation.

  • awsomeron1 Oahu, HI
    April 29, 2011 6:19 p.m.

    Bye the law is the law, Being lds does not in anyway make you an exception to the law. If you are Not legal then you are not legal and you need cought and deported.

    They can be a Great Mormon Family in El Salvador. There are many.

    My Stake is establishing a Tongan Ward. Part of me says good and part of me says this is America Adapt.

    I would like to see a mainland Ward or evan Stake. Not Based on Race but based on Lanague, Custom, Culture and experience. I am not the only one who wants to be able to understand the Speakers and the Service. I would like to go to a Service more in line with what is on the BYU Channel.

    We have lived here 10 years and have Adapted Mostly.

    The 1st thing I would do is Run an Ice Check on the leaders and the members.

    We do not have Hawaiian Wards where the Service is in Hawaiian. Most Hawaiians do not speak Hawaiian they speak English or a form of English called Pidge. The mosre local you are the more Pidge you speak. Along with 100 other tongues.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    April 29, 2011 6:12 p.m.

    Millions faced with the same decision come here legally each year. Making excuses does not negate the criminal activity.

    As an LDS member I have been taught that Gods laws are eternal. I guess they are not?

    You want to solve the problem? Stop accepting it. Counsel people to come here legally. If that had been done years ago, we would not have the problem. That is the solution.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 29, 2011 6:10 p.m.

    If this guy was a gardener the posts here would be screaming for his deportation.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    April 29, 2011 6:06 p.m.

    I have been blessed by meeting many LDS,Catholics, Buddhist, Atheist, etc. and I must say that I have never seen such little compassion on a group of human beings as the ones who write from Utah. I know is not an LDS thing. It seems is just provincialism from living in isolation in a small environment. During my mission, I never understood why Elders from outside Utah would make fun of people from Utah, particularly if they were from outside Salt Lake City. I have not reached a conclusion and may be I never will. However, it seems that this sense of righteousness and superiority and lack of love is more a geographical limitation covered under a false pretense of Christianity.
    I beg forgiveness, I'm passing judgment. I welcome any ideas to clarify and take me out of my confusion if that is the case.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    April 29, 2011 6:03 p.m.

    I know as a member of the LDS Church my faith has been shaken over this issue. What laws are we to obey and which are we to disregard? The word Hypocrocy just screams in my head. Do not separate familys? Done every day in applying law. To the sheep who defend the church in this should we just open the gate and let every one in? Then what do we have? Think about it! This guy broke the law now he needs to pay. Bye Bye!!!!!!!

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    April 29, 2011 5:59 p.m.

    There are many people who came here illegally or overstayed their visa who are decent, hard-working members of society. Many are faithful members of the Church. Some came here when the country was more or less turning a blind eye, in fact making them feel invited. I think it's wrong to pass judgment on these individuals. If I had been in their shoes I might have made the same choice. It's comforting to me that the Church has taken a moderate stand on the issue.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    April 29, 2011 5:42 p.m.

    I still say REPORT then let ICE deport. Immigration officials may deport Mormon branch president and family ?. A illegal leader of an LDS Church Spanish-speaking congregation who faces deportation unwittingly finds himself in the middle of a religious turn in Utah's ongoing illegal immigration debate. That's like "Superman Renounces US Citizenship". Just like President Obama, in his concert tours, Superman is going global, he is to renounce his US citizenship to become a citizen of the universe. The classic American superhero makes his decision after getting criticized for joining an anti-Iranian demonstration in the landmark 900th issue of Action Comics. The Iranian government sees this as official US endorsement of the protests. Im tired of having my actions construed as instruments of US policy. The Man of Steel says in one frame. Truth, Justice and the American Way, it's not enough anymore. Superman also says he believes he has been thinking too small and he can't help but see the bigger picture. I hope citizen of the universe comes with a visa to visit/work in the United States or Ole Supes is breaking the law everytime he flies into US airspace.

  • H2OSKI Alpine, UT
    April 29, 2011 5:11 p.m.

    re: Pagan

    Big business make huge profits off illegals and Big Democrats make huge government socialized programs and beauracracy off illegals.

    Pick your poison.

    Illegals are being exploited either way so it seems like the sensible thing to do would be to stop the exploitation by STOPPING the illegals from coming in?

  • The Final Word Alpine, UT
    April 29, 2011 5:07 p.m.

    re: lehiaggie

    Did you honestly just compare illegal immigration with speeding? Are there not degrees of seriousness of sin? Are you that clueless you can't differentiate?

    Judge righteous judgement.

    re: TOR
    Did I say "round up everyone"? No I said we ought to empty our prisons because roughly 20% are illegals and they have already established what type of people they are by their choices to end up in prison.

    You people are pathetically dramatic.

    Those of you suggesting that we just stick our heads in the sand then stand around and sing kum-by-ya in regards to the immigration issue are just blind to all the existing problems that are caused.

    Look around the world at other countries that have tried to do it. They are a mess and rueing the day they ever did. Now they are at various stages of trying to stop or undo it.

    Gee, I wonder why.

    For example, in many Latin American cultures it is completely acceptable to take bribes for any and all business transactions. You want to add that to our list of problems?

    People need to get realistic. The list of problems is long.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2011 4:57 p.m.

    In the 70's an Apostle told my investigator who wanted to migrate to the usa to stay home and build zion in his homeland.....this good church leader will do great things in Mexico!

    Go get em tiger!

  • IngridUsa lehi, ut
    April 29, 2011 4:49 p.m.


    Thank you for your kind words :)

  • carpediem Holladay, UT
    April 29, 2011 4:47 p.m.

    I have a friend from Italy who has been waiting on U.S citizenship for years. I'm all for immigration, but there needs to be a balance. People coming here from Central and South America need to wait their turn just like everyone else, and if you don't you should be deported because it isn't fair for everyone else.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 29, 2011 4:45 p.m.

    There are consequences for breaking laws. Some, like this, are heart wrenching. God bless that family.

  • nottyou Riverton, UT
    April 29, 2011 4:38 p.m.

    No one has ever asked me about my immigration status, but if they did, and I was illegal, then it would be "cya, hate to bya." Life is cruel sometimes but we usually suffer the consequences of the choices we make. He chose to be here illegally and this is the consequence of his choices. "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."

  • Call2Action Thatcher, UT
    April 29, 2011 4:31 p.m.

    I don't have a lot of sympathy for illegal aliens, having seen what damage they do, overall. I think there is more to this story that currently reported.

    I think amnesty is completely wrong. Lots of people argue that we can't deport them all, and I'm sure that is true, but we don't have to deport them all. If enforcement is stepped up, a whole bunch will go home. If E-verify is used, a lot more will go home. If they get caught using a stolen SSN and get prison time, and this is publicized, even more will go home.

  • In Arizona Mesa, AZ
    April 29, 2011 4:31 p.m.

    While serving as a Bishop in Arizona a convert baptism was scheduled. It is very, very easy to know if a person from a foreign country is here leagally or illegally. This person was here illegally. I was new and wasn't sure she could be baptized. As I checked into it, made phone calls, etc., I was told she could be baptized and not to push the subject any further. I still have a problem with this since "are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen" and "we believe in honoring, obeying and sustaining the law". Maybe someday I will understand but for now I still don't feel a person here illegally should be allowed to be baptized. Somebody help me understand?

  • Humm?? Tropic, UT
    April 29, 2011 4:19 p.m.


    I like your thoughts, especially, "but we trusted that doing the right thing would blessed us,so everything would be done fast and it did".

    Thank you for doing the right thing. May you continue to be blessed!

  • IngridUsa lehi, ut
    April 29, 2011 3:58 p.m.

    I'm not done yet ha ha...
    So, I had no problems with the law. I know sometimes, we individuals, make choices that doesn't look to bad when you have a good intention, but in the end, if it's contrary to the law, you'll need to pay the consequences.
    It's sad for a family in this situation, but when you make a choice, the consequences of this choice will come, so be careful with what you choose.
    During the process with the immigration, I had to do lots of medical exams, and they checked my backgroung too. Of course, they have the right to know who is trying to come to live in their house. They need to make sure that it's someone that doesn't have a bad decease that can bring to other people's life and if the person have problems with the laws of the country they live.
    When you come ilegally, they can't see who it's coming to live here and what kind of person it is. We have to obey the law, they are there for the benefit Of the people.

  • IngridUsa lehi, ut
    April 29, 2011 3:48 p.m.

    I understand how hard it can be to be deported from a place that you are trying to make a living with your family, but we still have laws that we have to abey. I'm from Brazil and my husband it's from Utah. He went to Brazil to marry me and after our honeymoon, he went back home and I stayed behind waiting for the immigration to take care of my papers.
    I had a tourist visa and I could have moved to the US, but I was raised with a religious parents that thought me not just to try my best to obey God's law, but to try to obey the country law too, so we decided that it wasn't right. At the time we didn't know when we would see each other again(thank goodness, it took only 2 months for my interview), but we trusted that doing the right thing would blessed us,so everything would be done fast and it did. The first week I got here, I received my Social Security Number and my Green Card...

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    April 29, 2011 3:40 p.m.

    It's been reported in other media that he was denied asylum. If so, he might of ignored a deportation order.

    People usually get articles written about them because of activists like Tony Yapais and their lawyers reporting it. It's a last ditch effort to get public support behind them.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    April 29, 2011 3:34 p.m.

    1.- The Current Immigration Law is a failure. And Yes! We need to have amnesty for all those people who have been here for a specific time and have not broken the law since residing on U.S. soil. Is there a better and realistic option?
    2.- The article lacks in specifics and everything we can say about the reasons why Mr. Callejas and his family are being deported is mere speculation.
    3.- The fact that this gentleman is a Church Leader doesn't make him innocent nor guilty.
    4.- If Mr. Callejas is being unfairly targeted let's hope the INS can work with this man and his family. As a naturalized citizen myself I have gone through the whole process of immigration, through out the years in the U.S. I have seen many instances in which INS officers have displayed great humanity and compassion to honest people whose only crime is to look for a better future for them and their families.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    April 29, 2011 3:33 p.m.


    Overstaying a visa is a crime punishable by deportation and a fine. Crossing the border is a crime (misdemeanor) punishable by a fine, jail, and deportation. Stealing an id, working without permission, lying on a 1-9 form etc. are all felonies.

    It's not like rolling through a stop sign. Illegal immigration is a crime that leads to other crimes to work.

    When did the LDS church say our immigration laws were bad?

    We have the most liberal laws in the world, and allow more people here legally than any other country. There is nothing wrong with our laws, what's wrong is people using that excuse to encourage more people to break them.

  • c00kster Provo, Utah
    April 29, 2011 3:27 p.m.

    Too bad we don't have a system that would allow a sponsor (individual or family) to accept responsibility for undocumented/illegal aliens. The sponsor pays a fee/fine and is on the hook to see that certain language, civics, ethics and other education/training is performed. People of good moral character and who have made the effort to contribute to society regardless of their immigration status (i.e. lack of documentation) could work towards citizenship. Undocumented aliens who are here to take advantage would not easily find sponsors and would be subject to deportation when apprehended. I'm sure in this man's case that just as many people would step forward to be his sponsor as there would be people willing to drive the bus (actually, I believe they fly) to the border to drop him off.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2011 3:23 p.m.

    'Why don't you blog facts rather than your opinions, which always seem to be hateful towards the LDS Church.' - panamadesnews | 3:11 p.m.

    'I guess, in this case, I can stand with some of the LDS members on this issue.' - Pagan | 2:07 p.m., page 1.

    Wow! I paint the LDS in a positive light and I am STILL a 'hater!'


    Back to the: 'The LDS Church does not get involved in the status of illegal persons.' - Same

    *'LDS Church grapples with missionary immigration issues' - 04/27/09 - Mormon Lawyers website
    'Over the weekend the Salt Lake Tribune reported on an LDS missionary returning home from his mission was detained in the Cincinnati Airport for lack of documentation. The young man apparently was an undocumented alien, and his arrest has sparked new discussion about how the LDS Church deals with immigration issues.'

    Good day.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    April 29, 2011 3:15 p.m.

    The problem with being one of the 'good guys' is that you have to obey laws and live a moral life. So when we say someone living in the shadows outside the law is a good person, we change the meaning of 'good'. Everyone who makes disobedience to laws a habit has a good excuse...but that doesn't make them good.

    It is not good to work under a stolen identity or off-the-books.

    It is not good to encourage people to come here and live in an exploitable underclass to depress wages.

    It is not good to look the other way while illegal aliens and employers break laws; or to suddenly enforce the rules and break up families.

    And it is not good to expect the law-abiding citizens and legal aliens to bear the brunt of the misdeeds of illegal aliens and their enablers: illegal employers, identity theft artists, coyotes, pro-illegal immigration lobbyists and corrupt government officials.

    It's time for everyone to start being good. I think that's what the LDS church is saying: be good to each other.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    April 29, 2011 3:11 p.m.

    Sorry, Pagan: You are wrong again. The LDS Church does not get involved in the status of illegal persons. If they did, he probably wouldn't have been called as a branch president. Why don't you blog facts rather than your opinions, which always seem to be hateful towards the LDS Church.

  • Johnson72 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2011 3:08 p.m.

    Deport him... enough said.

  • Poqui Murray, UT
    April 29, 2011 3:04 p.m.

    ChadS said: "Illegally entering and staying in a country is akin to rolling through a stop sign? ..."

    The answer is, depends. If it's your first time caught then it is a civil offense, not a criminal one. If caught and deported then the second illegal entry is a felony.

  • oldschool Farmington, UT
    April 29, 2011 2:59 p.m.

    ICE's policy is self-evident. The agency makes sure it gets newspaper or TV coverage whenever it deports a fine, upstanding undocumented member of our society. The reason? To drum up support for a so-called comprehensive immigration bill, a code word for amnesty for illegal aliens. Our wonderful representatives in Congress will say, "This is a one-time amnesty only. If you can't prove you've been breaking our immigration laws, you're not eligible for amnesty." That's tantamount to saying, "If you've been waiting in line for a visa or green card, sorry, we've decided to give priority to the proven lawbreakers." But try telling prospective illegal aliens that this is a one-time program. They'll come by the millions, knowing full well that our legislators are chicken-hearted cowards who will cave in the next time we have millions of illegal aliens in danger of deportation. Amnesty will do nothing more than encourage further illegal immigration. If Congress decides to charge a fine, penalty or fee for the right

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    April 29, 2011 2:56 p.m.

    @Say No To Bo:

    Perhaps you will get the whole story, and maybe a little more, from the other local newspaper. I'm sure they will tell it all and will leave no stones unturned in doing so, even to the extent of hurtful non-information against the family. I'm sure they will also find a way to show negativity to the LDS Church because the man was called as a branch president.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    April 29, 2011 2:53 p.m.


    And on this issue, I have to disagree with you.

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    April 29, 2011 2:41 p.m.

    What are you doing DN and KSL will follow on for tonight news? Leave the family alone privately.

  • Phargo Rexburg, ID
    April 29, 2011 2:31 p.m.

    Why is this even in the news? There are many deported immigrants that never get their faces in the newspaper. It appears that this family was at least trying to contribute to society. So they are here illegally. That's a travesty. I feel bad they are being deported, but that is the law. Why embarrass this family any more by posting their faces and names in the news paper? Also, if the laws are bad, let's change them. I don't think enforcing laws based on how we feel about them supports the rule of law or is safe for society in the long run.

  • Chad S Derby, KS
    April 29, 2011 2:30 p.m.

    Illegally entering and staying in a country is akin to rolling through a stop sign? I think not. "Are you honest in your dealings with your fellow man?" Sound familiar?

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2011 2:29 p.m.

    Eddie | 2:10 p.m.,


    Ergo my post at Pagan | 2:07 p.m., page 1.

  • civility is dead Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 29, 2011 2:18 p.m.

    The current folly is demonizing anyone who falls outside our way of thinking. This is a difficult subject that has devastating consequences to individuals and families. It becomes too easy to blame all of societys ills on people finding themselves in desperate circumstances. Any laws broken by most of these people pale in comparison to higher laws which should be considered by people of conscience.

  • pocyUte Pocatello, ID
    April 29, 2011 2:13 p.m.

    I believe the immigration solution is pretty simple, however nobody has the political gumption to pull it off.

  • Eddie Syracuse, UT
    April 29, 2011 2:10 p.m.

    @ Pagan

    There are two words in your comments that you need to pay special attention to.

    "Perhaps" and "claims".

    Before you post anything, people should get the facts and not guess or take some articles as fact until they have been proven to be fact.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2011 2:07 p.m.

    Here's another:

    *'Mormon-Owned Paper Stands With Immigrants' - By JEREMY W. PETERS - 09/19/10
    - NY Times
    'SALT LAKE CITY Joseph A. Cannon is nobodys liberal. (sic) The Newss push for a more liberal embrace of undocumented immigrants has led to a collision between its editorial mission and its conservative, mostly Mormon, readers. But if this issue seems to stray from the reliably conservative politics of The News, Utahs second-largest paper behind The Salt Lake Tribune, that may be in part because it is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.'

    If this came off as 'anti-mormon', I apologize. My intent was only to show the growing trend with some fo the LDS faith.
    I do NOT agree with immigration in America today. While the laws are clear, prefer to look at the 'human factor' when addressing immigration.
    Not to mention the fact that big buisness makes HUGE profit on hiring someone who has ZERO access to legal defense, and offer's them less than minimum-wages.

    I guess, in this case, I can stand with some of the LDS members on this issue.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    April 29, 2011 2:01 p.m.

    First of all, this is Utah, this is the Deseret News and LDS owned newspaper and this is about an LDS member of the church. Thus the reason to tell his religion.

    So proud of you Utah law for getting rid of those good families, you would not want people who contribute to society to stay, you need to follow California's way of doing it, especially San Francisco, just look the other way for those that commit crime and murder.

    There are a lot of rapists, murderers and gang members that come to this country illegally and are still here. And there are good families that come here illegally, I do not condone either, but my heart has softened and I do think that those that are here contributing need to be offered a more fair chance.

    But alas, instead they send the decent ones away and keep all those that are taking and oh, yeah, they do give, they give in crime.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    April 29, 2011 1:55 p.m.

    His being from El Salvador makes this whole issue fishy. During the Bush presidency we worked out an argreement with El Salvador and also one with Honduras in which we essentially gave their former residents in the US permanent status here. El Salvador can not afford to have their nationals in the US returned. That would double the population of El Salvador.

    If this man had fled the equally if not less represive government of Cuba he would be a legal immigrant with no threat of deportation. It is just that the El Salvador government repressed people under a different guise. There is no reason that we should deport this family. It is built around a refugee system that was politically slanted instead of recognizing the real concerns of those who flee repressive governments.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2011 1:49 p.m.

    'Not sure why they're publishing his religion.' - "Liberal Ted | 1:08 p.m. April 29, 2011

    Perhaps because his faith was actively trying to keep his illegal status a secret?

    *'Source claims state (Utah) finds, but hides, immigrant ID theft' - By Lee Davidson - DSnews - 09/02/10

  • deseret pete robertson, Wy
    April 29, 2011 1:48 p.m.

    The article did not say what the violation was. ( "Oh that men could see a little clearer or judge less harshly where they do not know." )

  • LDS Cedar City, UT
    April 29, 2011 1:43 p.m.

    As advocated by the Church and admonished by Deseret News, we need to change the laws and make our good neighbors citizens.

    The same scenario has played out in our past. Women broke the laws to obtain the right to vote. American Indians fought for their freedom. In my lifetime, blacks broke the laws to become full citizens. As did their supporters (e.g. Freedom Riders).

    Today we have laws that are flat wrong, as the Church suggests. Let's change them!

    As in each time in our history, whenever we have extended full citizenship to those among us, our country has been blessed.

  • staypuffinpc Provo, UT
    April 29, 2011 1:34 p.m.

    It's so tiresome to read, time and again, people's assumptions about one's immigration status. There are myriad ways to become illegal, and crossing the border is but one of them. What if these people came here legally but allowed their status to expire? If you think "fixing the border," will fix the problem, you don't understand that there are larger problems at play. After all, once someone get in, how do they stay? Cut off people's lifeblood that allows them to stay and you solve the border problem. The border is a band-aide and band-wagon issue.

    This is the only country (of 4) that I've lived in that doesn't have a national ID card that actually identifies a person (face and finger print) and that must be renewed regularly. It's too easy to fake your ID in the US.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    April 29, 2011 1:28 p.m.

    "Liberal Ted | 1:08 p.m. April 29, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Not sure why they're publishing his religion. I wonder how many catholics, atheists have been deported without their religion put in the title."

    Seeing that many in Utah seem to "know better than the Prophet", his religion does matter. The LDS Church took a stance on the immigration issue only to have the First Presidency challenged by their followers. They have been doing their best to wriggle out from listening to the man they sustain as Prophet.

    How many of these people who now disagree with President Monson and the LDS Church policy were the same people condemning those who disagreed with the LDS Church stance on Prop 8? Tables have been turned. Religion in this case is significant because he is a Branch President, someone of leadership in the church and community.

    The anti illegal immigrant LDS flag bearers are scaring people away from investigating and joining the church. I believe they will all be accountable to a higher power some day.

  • We the People Sandy, UT
    April 29, 2011 1:23 p.m.

    I am glad the law is being enforced.

    Forgiveness is wonderful; we expect all to satisfy the penalty for breaking the law and we will forgive.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    April 29, 2011 1:19 p.m.

    Sounds like a horrible family.....why him when gangests run loose? I just don't get it.

  • TOR Galveston, TX
    April 29, 2011 1:13 p.m.

    @The Final Word

    Immigration is a complicated issue both in policy and practice. You can't solve the issue by deporting everyone (at very least, how do you propose to pay for the enormous cost of identifying, rounding up, and transporting all 11 million-or-so "illegal" immigrants?)

    But whatever your stance on policy, there is scriptural support for both sides of the coin. (Mercy not robbing justice, and justice not robbing mercy).

    "...of you it is required to forgive all men."
    "...Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."

  • Thlete Draper, UT
    April 29, 2011 1:12 p.m.

    Indeed, I wonder why this man and his family are getting special attention by ICE. They don't just deport you for illegal alien status, just ask the millions that are still here. Something made him stick out from the crowd.

  • JZ42 Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 29, 2011 1:10 p.m.

    Making assumptions on immigration issues is very dangerous. ICE officials investigate so many cases they don't have time to target specific groups. Drug dealers and saints are all on the radar of ICE officials but some hit the news and some don't. This happened to hit the news because he is a Branch president. Our country is founded on laws and until a law changes it will be enforced. If this family broke immigration laws they should pay consequences regardless of their efforts. This whole idea of "upstanding citizens" etc. is a joke and needs to stop. Simply opening the borders is going to be a very, very, dangerous policy for our country. Letting people go freely without proper immigration doucments is going to be very, very dangerous. We as US citizens need to work together to come up with a solution working with lawmakers to fix the current system. Defending those who break immigration law or any other law for that fact really destroys what our entire country was founded on regardless of how it was done. What other country in the world allows open immigration and lets people come in and out as they want?

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2011 1:08 p.m.

    Not sure why they're publishing his religion. I wonder how many catholics, atheists have been deported without their religion put in the title.

    With that to the side, if they came here illegally then deport them. It's that simple. I'm not concerned about their belief, I'm concerned about them coming here legally or not.

    He can serve as a Branch President in his own country.

  • lehiaggie Lehi, UT
    April 29, 2011 1:06 p.m.

    I am tired of hearing the hypocrisy about obeying the law.

    Next time you speed or roll through a stop sign, I expect you to run down the local police office, tell them what you did, and pay your traffic fine.

    "He who is without sin..."

  • The Final Word Alpine, UT
    April 29, 2011 12:57 p.m.

    "...we believe in honoring, obeying, and sustaining the law."

    Best wishes.

    I'm not quite sure why we don't deport all the criminal illegals in our prisons...as long as we are deporting people for breaking the law.

    Government is so pathetic in how they administer the law.

  • theother Saratoga Springs, UT
    April 29, 2011 12:57 p.m.

    Please note: In order to live in Utah as an illegal immigrant serious crimes must be committed. Either willful tax evasion (working under the table and refusing to pay taxes) or identity theft to obtain an ID to work. Any Utah citizen would be imprisoned for such crimes under the legal code.

    These are serious crimes and no church should look upon a member as being in good standing at any level if they are willfully living as a criminal in this way. It just seems immoral and wrong for the LDS or any other Church to welcome people into The Body of Christ who willfully perpetrate serious crime on society. These crimes are not the equivalent of speeding. More on the level of fraud, embezzlement, etc

    I dont know this Branch Presidents exact status but I certainly would question any church that allows someone openly committing fraud to stand as a leader in its population. Hope thats not the case here. His release was appropriate, his appointment in the first place probably was not.

  • Andy Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 29, 2011 12:55 p.m.

    Is this what we want? Community leaders being forced out of the country because of a stupid technicality on some expired visa? The only thing worse that this is if the kids are/were US Citizens who stayed behind.

    This is Cherilyn Eagar's dream for this country, to deport the sterling scholars and community leaders, to tear families apart and to undermine the economy?

    I don't get it. I'm super conservative on so many issues, but this one escapes me. There are plenty of Americans to fight, why fight this guy in this story?

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    April 29, 2011 12:41 p.m.

    Has Utah and the LDS church painted a target on itself?

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    April 29, 2011 12:32 p.m.

    Something's fishy here. ICE doesn't just deport somebody. They have a triage method of deporting the most dangerous felons first.
    And the whole family??? What's up with that?
    Perhaps they were previously deported.
    Perhaps they were fugitive absconders (aka defied a deportation order).
    Perhaps this is a PR ploy from the Obama administration to make a point. After all, it's amnesty season in Washington again.
    Sadly, I worry that we won't get the whole story from the DN due to their affiliation with the Mormon Church.