Bishop Wester calls on Utah Legislature to push Congress to reform nation's immigration laws


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  • Maggie Saint George, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 4:09 p.m.

    As a baptized Roman Catholic who has studied Church history past and present,I would put the Churches stance on illegal immigration in the category of yet another incorrect response to lawbreakers. Somewhat like protecting Priests from the law of the land and Gods law when it is convenient. As our politicians are ignoring the Constitution so our Church leaders follow along and interpret the Bible to the advantage of their needs and wants at this time in history.It has all been done previously and will be tried again unless we get the message across to our Church leaders and our elected officials. The laws in the USA governing immigration need to be obeyed just as the laws from God . I refer you to the Ten Commandments. The laws are intended to be fair and just to this country and the people who apply to come. The Churches need to continue the quest to help most people in their own country . We cannot take on every poor person in the world and it is unfair to ALL to let those who can just walk here disobey our laws.Think about it. How fair is it to developing countries around the world for us to take the best and brightest from that country and on the other side of that coin,how fair is it to the American citizen to take the poor, uneducated,lawbreaking citizens into our society if we can help them thrive in their own country?

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    Jan. 13, 2012 10:25 a.m.

    Where were you illegal immigration supporters when my friend was arrested for a DUI? It was a very difficult situation for him, and tore his family apart. If it had not gone to trial, his family might still be together. Can't we just let the DUI go for the sake of his family? It's absurd that a simple law we enforce in our country would tear his family apart.

  • Tom Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 13, 2012 10:05 a.m.

    These posts are pretty amazing. Listening to them we are definitely not a Christian nation. We may be a nation of pharisees. I attended the conference and it was very good. I also enjoyed having dinner with Elder Marvin J. Ballard and Elder Clayton their. It is like our Attorney general Mark Shurtleff said, "The first casualty of the immigration debate is truth" most of these post demonstrate that. The second casualty must be our collective humanity.

  • realsoothsayer SANDY, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 10:41 p.m.

    Too bad the ecclesiastical leaders and all the liberals can't afford to financially support all of the costs that result from their advocacy. We have unemployment, underemployment, Medicaid off the charts, education costs, criminal justice, law enforcement, corrections, etc., etc. Every one of these issues is made markedly worse by the unfettered and illegal invasion of this country as sponsored and promoted by the cheap-labor lobby and their supporters who confuse insanity with charity and compassion. HIGH time to wake up, folks.

  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 9:48 p.m.

    Deporting illegal aliens doesn't break up families. They are always welcome to take their children with them, when they return to their home country. It doesn't matter if the children were born in the U.S. or not, no one will stop them from taking them home. In fact it would be better for the taxpayers if they did, due to the decrease cost of taxpayer education.

  • JBrady Murray, Ut
    Jan. 12, 2012 6:01 p.m.

    Hispanics get 36% of all green cards and the majority of visas (less than 8% of worlds population). The preferential treatment goes to Mexico, India, China and the Philippines. Canada, Australia etc are way down the list.

    People in their home countries that want to come here legally wait their turn, in their country. This is the "line".

  • Kathy. Iowa, Iowa
    Jan. 12, 2012 5:20 p.m.

    So if someone steal your car and keeps it for 5 years it should be theirs? Same faulty logic.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 4:36 p.m.

    There are approximately 6-8 billion people who would like to live here.

    Should we let anyone and everyone be here regardless of whether they have means of support?

    How should we pay for their support? We already pay 100 billion per year nationally to support illegal immigrants, (400 million in Utah alone).

    Should we even have borders? What good are they if they aren't enforced?

    The ONLY answer is to have some sort of ORDERLY immigration process. Why, simply because they sneak across the desert, should THOSE folks be given priority?

    If I bring shiploads of my asian friends here do you think we should support THEM also? Why do THEY have to report to the state dept. but those who sneak across the desert get the same benefits?

  • Miss Piggie L.A., California
    Jan. 12, 2012 4:31 p.m.

    "...to lead out on federal solutions to the nation's broken immigration system."

    The system is not broken. What's broken is immigration law enforcement. Mr. Wester is pushing for nothing short of amnesty. We tried amnesty 30 years ago and what did it get us? Millions more illegals... millions.

    "Immigrants the vast majority having lived in the United States five years or more are not leaving, just hiding in fear..."

    My suggestion, return to their countries of origin where they don't have to hide in fear. We don't have work for them. Perhaps there's jobs there.

    "Children are the victims of family separation."

    When they leave take their families with them. Problem solved.

    "As an infant, Jesus and his family fled King Herod as refugees."

    Jesus and His parents fled from a person who wanted Him dead. They didn't illegally invade an other country.

    "As an adult, Jesus was an itinerant preacher, a migrant."

    Jesus might have been a migrant but He migrated from city to city within his own country, Palestine.

    "... which means a growing number of couples cohabitate and are in conflict with their church's tenets."

    So, go home to get married... and stay there.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 4:31 p.m.

    Bush didn't dare tackle illegal immigration. I don't recall being too impressed with Bush on this one. Was anyone?' - ouisc | 4:22 p.m. Jan. 12, 2012

    Don't know.

    I didn't vote for George W. Bush, ever.

    But he was elected President under the Republican party ticket...

    twice. Wasn't he?

    Why are the problems Bush IGNORED...

    suddenly a 'screaming' issue?


    Because it is 'acceptable' for Republicans to pass the problems and not...

    solve any.

    My example:

    At least Obama, ended the war in Iraq.

    Who started, the war in Iraq? Who had majority in the House, Senate and Presidency in 2002?


    "The Iraqi regime . . . possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons.' - George W. Bush - Ohio Speech 10/7/2002

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 4:22 p.m.


    Bush didn't dare tackle illegal immigration. I don't recall being too impressed with Bush on this one. Was anyone? Comparing current deportation numbers with deportation numbers during the Bush years is meaningless.

    Are we deporting enough illegal immigrants during the Obama administration? I dunno. Seems like we're still doing a little bit of chasing and not much on the preventative side, as it's been for the past two decades. Which is why we're SCREAMING for change!! The states believe the feds are not doing enough, so the states want to help enforce the federal laws.

  • sportsfan21 OREM, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 4:17 p.m.

    Bandarji, are you seriously asking this question? Yeah people vacation in Mexico... IN CANCUN! You realize that is a very small part of Mexico, right?

    Mexico has out of control crime rates and drug use and unemployment that 2 or 3 times as bad as America. People work for a few dollars a day.

    Is it as bad as hell? Maybe not. Unless living in poverty, day to day stitching baseballs in a factory (without health benefits or retirement) just to buy food and realizing your beloved children are doomed to the same fate qualifies as hell.

    Don't be naive. People don't leave vacation resorts, cross a hundred miles of desert, just to work for less than minimum wage. They leave lives void of hope for the opportunity to earn freedom.

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 4:11 p.m.

    CWEB paints a lovely, noble picture, but it is not quite accurate.

    The fact is, we are no longer living in the 1890's, when all folks had to do was sign their name on a list, and they're in.

    In the place of a paper list, we have laws--laws that the federal government has decided are pertinent to the fairness of immigrants, worldwide, and to the safety of Americans. These immigration laws are among the most liberal in the world. CWEB should try to relocate to Mexico just to observe how hypocritical Mexico is with immigration.

    Because we have had to implement laws, there are now "underground railroads" to make it easy for folks to come to the U.S. illegally, especially from Mexico. There are usually stolen IDs here waiting for them. It is quite an impressive network.

    Despite CWEB's whining about the immigration process, much more people have come to the U.S. legally than illegally, and for the most part, they're not whining about the process. They're happy to be here, and hope to become citizens someday.

    Illegal immigrants simply take calculated risks, hoping to not get caught.

  • Bandarji Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 3:39 p.m.

    So what is so terrible about Mexico that this has become some moral test if we don't want masses of their population coming here illegally? As if we were letting our poor brothers and sisters live in hell and we are responsible for that by not opening the borders. If it is so bad why do people go there on vacation?

    Mexico has beauty, resources, fabulous oceans,great climate. Actually it is a fantastic place. So why is it bad that we don't appreciate them coming here, getting on welfare, working under the table, running drugs and committing an out of proportion share of crimes?

    What is wrong with Mexico is it has long been a bandit mentality state and the masses coming here bring that right along with them.

  • sportsfan21 OREM, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 3:03 p.m.

    Well said CWEB!

    I think all of us would have a different perspective if we were impoverished and unable to jump through the hoops required to let our kids and grand kids gain freedom

  • CWEB Orem, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 2:33 p.m.

    1. Please stop shouting your ignorance on the real subject of immigration.

    If you believe the system is not broken, you are A. Angry B. Misinformed. C. Ignorant of the reality of the immigration process.

    2. Largest misinformation--There are NO lines. Telling someone to leave, and get in line is in complete error. There are no lines. A person desiring to come to the United States, goes to the American Consulate, fills out papers, pays what to them is often a life-fortune, and they are most often denied.

    Especially women. Especially those who don't own property (in most cases women). Especially families with little income. (There goes the send us your poor, needy, etc.)

    The only "line" that exists is the order in which a person applies for citizenship, and that is after they are here with a green card. So if the laws are adjusted to help those who came when there was not much other option, why does that strike so much fear and anger in Americans?

    Where is our compassion as a nation?

    We cannot sit in our comforts, warm homes, nice cars and turn away God's children. Our brothers and sisters!

  • Cleo_76 PROVO, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 12:36 p.m.

    Families do not need to be broken up upon deportation, or when the family wants to self deport and come back legally. There is no reason for them to leave American-born children here; the family should stay together. American-born children with foreign parents from most countries are dual-nationals -- they are citizens of both countries. What breaks up families is the decision to come to the US illegally in the first place, knowing the consequences of doing so. This is why it is so important to encourage legal immigration and reduce the magnets that draw people here illegally.

  • sg newhall, CA
    Jan. 12, 2012 12:08 p.m.

    No. Immigration laws should be handled by the states. Why? Because it is to the state that illegals go. The feds are incapable of obeying the current immigration laws or refuse to. This has become a political issue rather than a legal issue. It is all about garnering the illegal votes during elections. And why have laws been struck down that require an ID to show proof of citizenship at the polling sites during elections? I just read that a woman in California voted 10 times at different polling stations. ID's will NOT disenfranchise any particular race. This is a weak argument. And the argument that deportation will separate families, not if you send the entire family out of the country. I am tired of this blatant disregard for the laws and our feds are guilty and should be held accountable. Fire those that refuse to uphold our laws or secure our borders.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 11:50 a.m.

    **'U.S. sets another record for deporting illegal immigrants' - By Lee Davidson - DSNews - 08/19/10

    "Federal immigration officials deported a record number of illegal immigrants last year the seventh year in a row the Department of Homeland Security reported on Wednesday." - ARticle

    **Record high: 400,000 undocumented immigrants deported By Elizabeth Stuart DSNews 10/18/11

    Supported by:

    **'Deportation of illegal immigrants increases under Obama administration' - By Peter Slevin - 07/26/10 - Washington Post

    'The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency expects to deport about 400,000 people this fiscal year, nearly 10 percent above the Bush administration's 2008 total and 25 percent more than were deported in 2007. The pace of company audits has roughly quadrupled since President George W. Bush's final year in office.'

  • sportsfan21 OREM, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 11:30 a.m.

    There is one blatant problem with our immigration system. Immigrants from Canada, Europe, Australia, and even Asia are given preference in visas and citizenship. This my friends is discrimination. To borrow the movie theater analogy from a previous post, imagine arriving at the theater only to be ushered into one of several lines. You notice that your line is full of people of the same socioeconomic class as you and that your line moves considerably slower than the line for wealthy people. Would you be a little upset? Now imagine it's your race and nationality that puts you on the slow track to the American Dream. Everyone, not only Americans, have a God-given right not to be discriminated against because of race.

    Some of you may argue that we don't favor certain nationalities, but there's a reason Justin Bieber could get a job in America before 99% of those from Mexico waiting for work visas.

    Let me be clear because some will be upset by this post. I'm only arguing against the government setting quotas how many visas a country gets. We need a better system so that hispanics feel like they can get in legally.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 11:01 a.m.

    My opinion is that the breaking up of families caught in the immigration maze was initiated by those breaking the immigration laws in the first place.

    My opinion is also along the lines that the Federal Government (Read: US Congress) is really what's broken as they not only refuse to deal with illegal immigration, but don't care thing one about a national energy policy, education reform, fairness in the tax code, elimination of the "dole" that has gone on for 3 generations now, the need for a strong military who's presence alone helps keep the peace, etc. They only care about being re-elected time and again.

    Q: When can we fix at least one of these problems? A: Next election day. Hopefully the American People will have the courage and determination to get rid of the good-old-boy network in Washington DC. And regrettably simply replacing them with good-old-boy former State Legislators isn't much better, either. This is Democracy in a Republic run amuck!

  • Leopard Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 10:58 a.m.

    This and the priest scandal is why I don't attend anymore, except on Easter and the mass for my son's ascension. The clergy should stick to working on the spiritual God realization of their flock, there is plenty of that work to do. People are lost and don't know how to have personal experience of God. The priests see themselves as the legitimate conduit. Now that is not good enough for them, they have to become political advocates. Perhaps they should rethink their preferred role in life.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 10:52 a.m.

    We don't need to enforce immigration laws at all.

    Illegals come here for jobs. If the jobs go away so will the illegals.

    Require E-verify or a similar system nationally. Revoke the business licenses of corporations that do not comply.

    We won't have to deport anyone, we won't be violating anyone's "civil rights." If they can't get work they will leave of their own accord.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 10:25 a.m.

    So "marriage is a fundamental right." So what's the point? Illegally entering and occupying this country should also be a "basic human right," since it may facilitate marriage? Is that the point? It's fine to respect God's law of marriage. The problem is disrespect for this country and its laws -- which ensure religious freedom in the first place. Just as it would be outrageous to do away with the institution of marriage so that no one need break religious laws, so is it outrageous to suggest effectively doing away with U.S. immigration law so that no one need be illegal.

    The law does not break up families; rather, law-breakers break up their own families. Deportees are free to take their families with them. Thus the "family" issue is specious in the context of the immigration discussion.

    "Reform," meaning amnesty, would welcome into this country persons who have manifest a basic disrespect for this country and its laws, to the detriment of the integrity, unity, and well-being of this country.

    "...the least of my brethren..." And what is this supposed to mean? Look the other way at illegality? Jesus also said, REPENT and SIN NO MORE.

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 10:18 a.m.

    Last I checked, Utah tried to pass laws that would enforce illegal immigration laws, and now we're getting sued by the U.S. Justice Department...

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 9:31 a.m.

    Clergy would add much more credibility to themselves if they advocated ENFORCING the current laws, then, (provided enforcement is implemented effectively)3 or 4 yrs. from now advocating CHANGING the law.

    As per usual, all they're doing is hoping for another few years of NO ENFORCEMENT.

    They're really not fooling anyone!

  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 12, 2012 9:27 a.m.

    This Catholic Bishop's argument to support illegal immigration is off the wall! Very strange.

  • Jazz Bass Man Wellsville, Utah
    Jan. 12, 2012 9:15 a.m.

    Here we go again with more pro-criminal propaganda from the open borders crowd. When will the deseret news figure out that the people aren't going to buy into letting foreigners who broke our immigration laws stay here? We don't want them here, and we can no longer afford to pay their way here. They need to go back to mexico and demand their native country to take care of them.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 9:12 a.m.

    I'll tell Bishop Wester something else that "shreds the social fabric of our society". The COST of illegal immigration to American citizens who are killed by illegal drunk drivers. The cost of drugs coming across the border with the illegals. The amount of gang activity that comes into the country with illegals. The financial burden of dealing with the illegals. Need I go on? I know that the above is not the majority of illegals, but the fact that illegals are allowed in just adds to the aforementioned problems. We have enough home grown problems as it is. No need to add to it by allowing borders to be penetrated, and then allow them to stay after breaking the law.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 8:42 a.m.

    Sorry, Bishop Wester, your demand to "...stand up against a record number of state immigration laws and local law enforcement initiatives" tells me all I need to know.

    You do not seek a solution to the problem of criminal behavior, or violation of our clearly written (but poorly enforced) immigration laws. Instead you seek to overturn the sovereignty of the United States and subvert it to allow criminal actions to be declared legal.

    What part of illegal do you fail to understand?

    Instead you should be urging obedience to the law, and if family unity is important, you shuld be urging illegals to take all their family members back to their country of origin. The fact that children of illegals born in the U.S. are U.S. citizens is indeed a problem, and one that needs to be fixed by ending the "anchor baby" citizenship.

  • watchman Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 8:25 a.m.

    Federal immigration laws are OK. The problem lies in the lack of enforcement. The lack of federal enforcement is what has caused the many, many states and local governments to find ways to attack the problems that have impacted them at this level.

    What concerns most citizens is that when Bishop Webster and some of the other liberal thinkers call for 'immigration reform', they usually mean repeal of existing laws and enacting laws will legalize the invasion of our country.

    They apparently have no concern about the identify theft, loss of jobs and real costs this brings upon our citizens.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 8:16 a.m.

    "The Constitution of the United States grants authority to the federal government to regulate foreign commerce and to adopt a uniform rule of naturalization. The United States Supreme Court has also found inherent federal authority to regulate immigration on the basis of federal sovereignty and the power to engage in foreign affairs: this is sometimes referred to as the "plenary power," ....."

    While the US Constitution doesn't specify that Immigration is a federal power, any treaties and agreements with other countries are federal powers. Not only is the federal government refusing to solve this problem, it is blocking the states from fixing it as well. That is wrong and should stop.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 8:14 a.m.

    If we are going to have a line for people to come to this country, you can't reward those that bypass the line. They need to be sent to the back of the line. That doesn't mean you should stop treating them like people.

    Do you remember when you had to wait in line to buy
    tickets to a movie, and then wait in line before going in? If you came to the theater and the show was full, you could buy a ticket to a later show. That was before you could order them at home, and know then where your seat was and what time to come to the theater.

    You can't let everyone show up for the same movie or there would be no place to sit, and you do need some reasonable security and rules.

    Why do we make immigration more complicated?

    We have a new law. Lets use it. The sponsoring principle of 2011 HB 469 provides a limiting factor of how fast immigrants can come, makes sure they do not place a larger burden than we can handle, and is more like co-signing a friends car loan.

  • tenx Santa Clara, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 7:39 a.m.

    Question. Does reform, that the good Bishop refers to, mean amnesty or enforcement? Just checking. Viva Legal Immigration.

  • danaslc Kearns, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 7:12 a.m.

    I would prefer that Bishop Wester would worry about the citizens that live in Utah. It seems that all the Legislating that Utah does, leaves the citizens of Utah out in the cold and feeling like we don't have a solid place within our state any longer. Articles such as these need to be pitted against an article of a family in Utah who are citizens, where dad or mom have lost jobs or wages have been lowered because of our laws in Utah on immigration. People like Bishop Wester have gotten on the wrong bandwagon. He needs to look inside the lives and living conditions of the legal citizen. We in Utah have hunger, loss of jobs, crime in our neighborhoods, split families and a feeling of lack of safety and concern by our leaders. Both coming from government and our religious leaders.

  • CJ Murray, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 7:05 a.m.

    We need to reform the enforcement of immigration laws, they are just fine as they are. We need to start by replacing a President who is more worried about recruiting voters than protecting our borders and removing those who are here to do us harm. Every one in the world doesn't have the right to emigrate here and they especially don't have a right to crash the border and break the law.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 6:44 a.m.

    Here we go again! A broken immigration system. And again it is a lack of enforcement nothing broken except mining for votes. What Bishop Wester is calling for is AMNESTY pure and simple. Why doesnt he just say it instead of this broken system malarky!

  • Cinefan MIAMI, FL
    Jan. 12, 2012 6:28 a.m.

    Our immigration laws do not need to be reformed, they need to be implemented.

  • JBrady Murray, Ut
    Jan. 12, 2012 4:27 a.m.

    It requires a Federal solution, yet they support Utah's three guest worker laws?
    The Utah compact in all it forms in the several states have less than 10,000 signatures. It sounds like it has very little support.

    There have been majority mandates in this country to enforce the laws. Many major media have come up with 60-75% wanting enforcement, and almost 80% not wanting amnesty of any kind. I guess these mandates are not acceptable, and only mandates that give amnesty will be acknowledged?

    Why can't we just enforce our laws. They were broken, their are consequences. The justifications don't hold water if you apply them to other crimes.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 1:53 a.m.

    Ah, I see. Marriage is a fundamental right. Therefore, illegally entering and occupying this country must also be a "basic human right" since it facilitates marriage. So how about simply doing away with God's law of marriage? This way, unmarried, co-habitating couples need no longer violate church tenets. (Read sarcasm.)

    Immigration law as it stands today is NOT inhumane and does NOT violate human rights.

    The law does NOT break up families; instead, law-breakers break up families.

    Deportees may take their families with them. Many, however, CHOOSE not to.

    The nation's immigration system is not "broken." Rather, the integrity of government to enforce the law is broken.

    By "reform," what they really mean is a type of amnesty and anarchy.

    They claim to care about Federal supremacy. But this is only because they know that the Federal government will not enforce Federal immigration law.

    By using the term "immigrants" they mean to subtly suggest that there is no real difference between legal and illegal immigrants.

    "Suffering?" Where is the concern for Americans who suffer in many ways because of illegal immigration?

    "...the least of my brethren..." And Jesus also said, REPENT YE. And SIN NO MORE.