Comments about ‘2 LDS branch presidents in Utah deported to Guatemala, El Salvador’

Return to article »

Published: Tuesday, June 14 2011 5:00 p.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Sandy, UT

Latino community activist Tony Yapias said it was his understanding that Callejas-Hernandez . . . had not committed any crimes.

"We'd have a much better system, much better control, if we were able to legalize a lot more of the people who are already here."

That's perfect double-talk.

His statement "if we were able to legalize" confirms the fact that Mr. Yapias realizes they had, indeed, committed a crime.


Obviously being here illegally shows they did break the law. And those that continue to encourage it are breaking the law also.

Provo, UT

ComSen1's and RRB's comments perfectly demonstrate the tautological thinking on the right on this issue. This issue centers on the fact that the laws as they now stand do not square with the economic or moral reality of the situation. Consequently, enforcement-only approaches are inadequate because they involve the enforcement of laws that do not square with the economic or moral reality of the situation. So, we talk about crafting the laws in a way that does address those realities. We talk about whether or not certain things should or should not be criminalized. Yet the right seems to only be able to think in the simplistic terms of enforce or not enforce, rather than address the core issue of crafting the laws that are to be enforced.

As Elder Marlin Jensen put it a while back, it's futile to complain about broken laws when the laws themselves are inherently "broken," i.e., inadequate.

The Deuce
Livermore, CA

First of all, as a non-member of the LDS faith, I am amazed that this individual would be in a leadership position with the LDS church when they knew he was not in the country legally. It was my understanding the LDS Church supports the law of the land and emphasizes this to their congregations. Please correct me if I am wrong on this. Second, to be in a leadership position would he not have had to reveal this fact to those who interviewed him for this position? These examples continue to emphasize the point that immigration must be done through legal channels. If this had been done, this family would not be in this situation. It is not right to complain about a situation you are in when you created the problem in the first place. I feel for the family but this was a gamble in the first place to come into this country illegally and think that all is well.

South Jordan, UT

I am impressed that the church is printing articles about this. I think the publication of stories like this will open members eyes to the realities facing families and individuals, including church leaders, because of our inadequate immigration laws. Hopefully those capable of feeling sympathy and compassion will realize our laws need to change, and these people need to be given a chance to continue living here legally.

Salt Lake City, UT

The LDS Church won't let have a man that is behind on his child support have a temple recommend but will let an illegal alien be a Branch President. What is wrong with this picture?

Sorry but church leaders are wrong here as they have an obligation to support the laws of the United States as this is church doctrine. If the Stake President knew those people were illegal then that Stake President needs to be released. As well as those General Authorities that knew as well.

Problem is that members of the church have become too cowardly and will not raise their hands to oppose when they have an ethic obligation to do so. If a bishop called Adolf Hitler to a calling you would still have everybody raising their hands to sustain that calling. Sorry that's morally wrong.

Evanston, WY

I wonder if there is a statute of limitations? Seems like there is many more serious crimes that do. Reforms must be made sooner than later

Cache Valley Native

I have been following the story of the Carias's since 2006, and I feel like some of the commenters may have jumped to some conclusions.

In the April 13, 2006 Herald Journal article entitled "Deportation imminent", it says,
"Carias moved to Utah in the mid-1990s from Guatemala to help his ailing father and to bring his family to better living conditions. In 1997, he started the process of becoming a permanent, legal U.S. resident, but several years of misfiled papers, an ill judge and an attorney who did nothing for Carias 8 and was later disbarred resulted in Carias case file being closed."

From what I read in this article and what I know of the Carias's personally, I feel they have done all in their power to obey the law. I am sad to see that this story had a sad ending after all. I wish him and his family well.

Provo, UT

Come on now. Whether a law is good or bad is up to the courts to decide. As individuals we may disagree with a law but it is still the law. You may feel that a particular law is bad and I may feel that it is good... which one of us is right? We can't, and must not, take the law into our own hands. Let the lawmakers and the courts decide. If you don't like a law, get involved. Campaign for something different. You don't have a moral or legal right to break the law just because you don't like it.


Enforce the laws, and the problem is solved. Make excuses for not enforcing the laws, and the problems continue.

The Supreme court of this country just gave states the right to enforce immigration laws in certain areas. Let's become an honest and moral country again and start doing it. Situations like this need to be stopped, and the only way for that to happen is for enforcement and a call for honesty from those encouraging it.

We have not seen the nationwide call from the pro-illegal groups for people to stop immigrating illegally, until that happens, and there is a deterrent for those tempted, the problem will build.

We can bury our heads in the sand, and hope the Federal government will approve our illegal business orientated law that creates a second class, or we can tackle the problem honestly.


Laws are good, it's the dishonest people that need reforming.

No One Of Consequence
West Jordan, UT

'Yapias said the deportation of law-abiding people is "devastating" to families.'

I imagine it would be devastating were they deporting law-abiding people.

If you repeat an untruth enough times it does not become true but it becomes believed.

I feel bad for the family, but I have to ask, "What were you thinking?"

Peoria, AZ

It's amazing how illegal immigrants can hold positions of leadership in the church or even hold a temple recommend for that matter. i guess being honest in all your dealings isn't relevant any longer


I read the Callejas-Hernandez article on another publication, then I found his court of appeals documents from 2009 (available on the Internet).

It found that his attorney was not responsible for him missing his hearing. His lawyer was found competent when it was discovered that Mr. Callejas-Hernandez lost his notice of hearing.

Angleton, TX

Let this man alone. He is a credit to his Church and his community. As a citizen of the United States I am happy to have him live in my neighborhood. All of you that are heartless and say that he is a law breaker and should be deported should ask yourself what you would do if you were in his circumstance. I would hope that I would have the fortitude to follow his arduous path to the U.S. so that I could better provide for my family. Unfortunately our immigration system does not allow for him to legally immigrate.

Mchenry, IL

He moved to the US - on a VISA? Temporary or medical or as a permanant resident? In 1997, a year or two later he started paperwork? So 14 years after filing papers that were not progressing his case there is now surprise about being told to return? Certainly would have been easier on the kids to return in 06. Or years earlier when it became apparant the paperwork wasn't moving along to the family's desires.

Another article on DN today talks about the Entitlement Trap book.

Roy, UT

I fear many will feel it is okay to fudge in other areas of church taught principles if our leaders give a pass on being illegally in the country. Of course we love the sinner, always, but cannot condone nor encourage the sin, or in this case, the breaking of the law. Illegal immigration has been acknowledged by church leaders as being unsustainable for US citizens over time. I want mercy over justice, so I hope to be merciful to others, while encouraging them to live justly, and striving to do so myself.

Saint George, UT

I find it unconscionable--definition--shocking to the conscious; unscrupulous; outrageous that people think someone not keeping the law should be able to stay because their family and friends will be upset when they are forcefully removed.

I am very sorry for these children!!! Sorry they had to witness their father being removed. It is extremely sad the parents put the children in the middle of such a tragic tale.

Thank you enforcement agents for doing your jobs!!! It must be difficult to hear the cries of all the people at the scene and know you will be made to look like the ones doing wrong. I, like many other citizens, am very glad you can keep your priorities straight. Again, thank you.

Tyrone, PA

It so happens that my wife and I are also dealing with Byzantine U.S. immigration laws. She's a white Canadian schoolteacher and we've been marrried a year, and have just recently been approved by Homeland Security for the next step -- waiting for permission to apply for a visa for her, which will take many more months and beaucoup bucks beyond the extortionate fee we already paid for the first application (more than 400 dollars, and it was rejected the first time). Current immigration laws are very unjust -- they militate against families -- including married couples like us -- being able to live together within a reasonable length of time. For us, the process is likely to take a couple of years and several thousand dollars, and in the meantime, she lives in Newfoundland and I in PA. But unlike the people in this story and many others like them, we have chosen to obey the laws, fair or not. That is the only option for law-abiding LDS. The fact that so many ignore the laws and then complain when they get caught and deported does not move me in the least.

Salt Lake City, UT

"It was my understanding the LDS Church supports the law of the land and emphasizes this to their congregations. "

The optimist in me says it's because illegal immigration is a complicated issue.

The pessimist in me says they are afraid of losing hispanic members knowing that it is predominantly hispanic growth in central and south america that makes up the majority of new baptisms.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments