Immigration: LDS Church issues new statement

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Clint2 Lake Worth, FL
    June 15, 2011 7:22 a.m.

    Here we go again, whatever happened the "we believe in ... obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law" (12th Article of Faith"). The Church seems to always look the other way at the law when it is convenient, but if an active member should make a mistake in their life, the Church is ready to excommunicate or disfellowship a person at the snap of your fingers; and if, God forbid, you should work for the Church, you will be fired on the spot because you can no longer hold a Temple Recommend. It makes me very ill to see that the church always looks the other way when it comes to people being in this country illegally. How can these people hole a temple recommend? When I have my temple recommend interview, I am asked Am I honest in all of my dealings? I think if you are breaking the law, how can you reply Yes to this question.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    June 14, 2011 10:06 p.m.


    Amen. I feel the same way.

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    June 14, 2011 6:33 p.m.

    Well, today there was a press release that stated 2 LDS Branch Presidents were deported on immigration related charges. As a non-member of the LDS faith, I have to ask the question, "Does the LDS Church support the law of the land or simply work around it?" It would seem to me that this question had to come up when LDS Church leaders were interviewing these two individuals for the positions. I would then assume that they knew this fact. This could be looked at as supporting illegal activity. I hope the LDS Church is not going down this path as I have admired the goals and ideals that this church has emphasized. However, I am thinking twice now regarding what I hear and what I see. Does anyone else feel like this?

  • MTaylor PROVO, UT
    June 14, 2011 4:06 p.m.

    Rewarding law breaking with amnesty will never solve the problem. Those who support illegal immigration are still telling people to come here illegally.

    I don't like the selective compassion that has hurt my fellow countrymen in the immigration debate. Americans are hurting right now, hunger is hunger, and to allow people to break the law and treat others without compassion is wrong.

    If this is the Church policy, I want to hear it from the First Presidency. I don't want to hear a press release from the for profit business arm of the Church.

    This law treats the citizens of the state without compassion. How would business like to lose their livelihood to those from foreign countries? It creates a second class people in this country out of those who broke the laws to come here. The only people who benefit are business. Surely Utah is not that dishonest in our dealings that we would destroy our countries foundation, circumvent honest immigration, and treat our poor and middle class this way?

  • amst plano, tx
    June 14, 2011 1:44 p.m.

    A most difficult area to address. Here illegally yet things in Mexico are terrible yet at the same time they have come without permission. I don't think there is really any easy way to deal with illegal immigrants. Some one or some people are going to have to make very difficult choices that will negatively impact someone. You can't please everyone.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 14, 2011 12:57 p.m.

    Idaho Stranger,

    I have seen this video (Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs) but went back to look at it again just to be sure.

    The argument he makes (effectively) is that our immigration policies cannot reduce world poverty as the impoverished are too numerous. No argument there.

    Other than the point that folks should be helped where they are (because most cannot immigrate) the video has little bearing on how we need to proceed with the immigration issue we have in the US.

    The church's response has outlined an effective set of principles for us to implement. It addresses both effective borders and humane treatment of those who are here.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 14, 2011 10:35 a.m.

    I M LDS 2 | 10:09 a.m. June 13, 2011
    Provo, UT
    I disagree with the Church's position on this issue.


    You're officially on the road to apostasy.

    I will pray to you - and other like you.

  • fire_rooster Kaysville, UT
    June 14, 2011 9:01 a.m.

    So simple, so true, the word of God. So hard for so many us to follow. Let's have the compassion, love and non-judgmental hearts as well as respect for the laws of God and of man that God expects of all his children. It's the one constant in the doctrine of all religions, how we treat others. Remember, the word of God that without love and service we are nothing, and all the law and the prophets have no value to one without charity.

  • IdahoStranger NEWDALE, ID
    June 14, 2011 8:58 a.m.

    There was a story in the Upper Valley LDS Life about a month ago that tells of a lady who married an illegal alien and then later their consciences got to bothering them. Since URL links are not allowed (I wonder why?)you will have to Google "Young love in Rexburg" to view the story. I would suspect that they have much less "guilt" now that they have done the right thing and God has blessed them for it.

    To get a better perspective on Immigration, both legal and illegal, your time will be well spent in viewing this short video - just Google "Gumballs and Immigration".

    Did you learn anything new?

  • patriotandmore Spanish Fork, UT
    June 14, 2011 7:00 a.m.

    To: ClaudioCorrea
    "Note also that the Mormon pioneers--possibly the ancestors of some who oppose this statement--were illegal immigrants." Interesting observation Claudio. Can you please state or quote a law that was on Mexico's books when these immigrants traveled to Utah that made their settling there illegal? Thank you.

  • Hunt Spanish Fork, UT
    June 13, 2011 4:52 p.m.

    "How is HB116 any different from your efforts to repeal federal healthcare or simplification of the US tax system?"

    It's not any different.

    The people behind these efforts you speak of are actively seeking legal and lawful avenues for repeal of healthcare, tax code simplification and the repeal of HB116. You can disagree with the effort but I don't understand how you can fault the perfectly legal process. This is in sharp contrast to the pro amnesty crowd who are actively encouraging illegals to continue breaking the law.

    Once again it is the pro amnesty and liberal types who seek to label those who disagree with them with derogatory and insulting terms. When your best tactic is to smear, shame, and insult, you know you've lost the argument.

  • Jazz Bass Man Wellsville, Utah
    June 13, 2011 4:39 p.m.

    tmaxr: "Another point, most illegals who work her pay into Social Security, but the majority never collect because they're not citizens. So you're reaching into THEIR pockets."

    WRONG. Most illegals are being paid under the table by greedy employers, and they contribute nothing to the tax base. A lot of whatever they earn goes to mexico. Their 12 anchor babies surely do take plenty out in welfare, WIC, health care, and free school, however. Not to mention the added costs in crime and gangs that are brought by illegals.

  • tmaxr Santa Rosa, Ca
    June 13, 2011 3:40 p.m.

    Those 75 percent taking free assistance, does that include women who report rape?

    Because I read of a GOP brain who wants illegal alien rape victims to be deported. Talk about being soft on crime! He'd rather have rapists walking free than illegal aliens.

    Another point, most illegals who work her pay into Social Security, but the majority never collect because they're not citizens. So you're reaching into THEIR pockets. Not that anyone should be ashamed of stealing from the poor. It's a time-honored tradition here in the Corporate States of America.

  • gramma b Orem, UT
    June 13, 2011 2:59 p.m.

    One issue the Church is dodging is the issue of how much of these people are reaching into our pockets. I saw a recent article stating that something like 75 percent of immigrants from South of the Border are taking some kind of public assistance.

    Sneaking into a country and taking free services meant for citizens is wrong, no matter who does it. The fact that disproportionate numbers of people of a certain "heritage" have been willing and able to commit those wrongs should be a source of embarrassment to those of that "heritage." It should not be turned on its head and converted into some kind of defense, where anyone anyone who objects to the commission of the wrong and wants to see it stopped is a "racist," and anyone of that "heritage" who commits the wrong is a victim of "racism" if someone tries to stop him.

  • welcomethemall Nampa, ID
    June 13, 2011 12:07 p.m.

    Hmmm... let me see if I can use Tea Party English to break through the historic myopia regarding the apprent desire to canonize the "Law of the Land" (let us all bow toward DC and give praise to the US Code).

    Obamacare = Law of the Land. We must never repeal nor ammend Obamacare as it is the Law of the Land. Amen.

    Taxation = Law of the Land. The tax code is enshrined in our holiest writ, of which not one jot nor tittle may be ammended nor repealed, upon the penalty of Excommunication from the Great Land of the States United. (I confess as a CPA I have a conflict of interest... the current tax regime provides me with job security, which makes me a priest of the Most Holy Law of the Land.)

    "Anti-immigrators" are the loudest screechers in the debate over these issues and how horrible current laws are. has a great reference for "IRONY."

    How is HB116 any different from your efforts to repeal federal healthcare or simplification of the US tax system?

    Quit using jihadist reasoning to justify your dislike of the color brown. It's embarrasing.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    June 13, 2011 10:14 a.m.


    "When Christ comes will borders matter?"

    You better believe it! Borders matter right now! Try attending a Ward "across the border" from where you are supposed to, and let's see how you do in the recommend interview.

    The Church itself defines its congregations according to "borders" and boundaries, and those are supposed to be respected. If you want to "cross the borders and boundaries" without approval from the proper authorities, you will rightly be treated with suspicion.

    If so many from "across the border" are interested in becoming Americans, let them petition the US Government to annex the State of Mexico as the 51st State in the Union.

    Until then, honor and sustain the law!

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    June 13, 2011 10:09 a.m.

    I disagree with the Church's position on this issue.

    Repeal HB116 and do everything in your power to avoid any "amnesty" no matter what euphemistic names it comes under or who is pushing it.

  • patriotandmore Spanish Fork, UT
    June 13, 2011 7:28 a.m.

    @l.cee, To answer your question re: "When Christ comes to reign again will borders matter." Perhaps not, but until that time comes and we find out, he set up the U. S. as a sovereign nation to allow the spreading of the gospel. Once again, why do you think the U. S. flag flies over the LDS church office building and not the UN flag? The prophets have said that saints need to stay in their own country to build the church there and as the 12th article of faith states: "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law." This would indicate to anyone with a brain that you obey the laws of the country where you reside. Would you disagree with this article of faith?

  • christopherK WINCHESTER, KY
    June 13, 2011 12:20 a.m.

    I'm glad we have the Articles of Faith that do not sway to political pressure.

  • l.cee Ridgefield, WA
    June 12, 2011 11:42 p.m.

    I posted this on another article and I'll post it again here:

    When Christ comes again to reign, will borders matter?

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    June 12, 2011 10:34 p.m.

    They are not judgmental but obsessed. Immigration is a core value of the self centered and narrow minded tea party people.

  • phgreek Hooper, UT
    June 12, 2011 8:59 p.m.

    @ James B. Young

    "Nativist"...ah yes here we go...what page from the playbook did that come from?

    So...this is where we attach a label to those with principle in order to deride them, and make them appear close minded and insular. Why...because we do not respect our brtheren with differing views, so we first try "reason" with them in scriptural terms...then we resort to labels, and shame, then finally intimidation with threats of overrunning the electorate.

    Unfortunately, all of this has been done so frequently, nobody buys it anymore Mr. Young. May as well have pulled BOs Guns and Bibles quote...because its tone is the same.

    BTW, EVERY person who is a citizen, who became so through the immigration process resents the heck out of this you better listen garbage, and gets very angry when you use them as a "gun".

    Its doing the people who did things the RIGHT way a serious diservice...cut it out...

  • l.cee Ridgefield, WA
    June 12, 2011 8:50 p.m.

    When Christ comes again to reign, will borders matter?

  • ClaudioCorrea concepcion, biobio
    June 12, 2011 8:32 p.m.

    This is a nice comments that I read about this problem and I would like to refer to LDS readers specially. (I think most of the Deseret News readers are members
    Note also that the Mormon pioneers--possibly the ancestors of some who oppose this statement--were illegal immigrants. You might be the descendent of an illegal immigrant yourself. Utah was owned by Mexico and we didn't get a land grant( that is very true) Also note there is no legal path for the people who most need to be here(Also very true, the path if any is a path that takes many years )Also, for those thinking it was a membership or tithing issue: The Church collects tithings from Mormons of all nations and they can be converted in Mexico as well as here. We're a world-wide church, with more than half of membership outside the U.S( I know many LDS members that would like to go and study in BYU, but cant, just because they will never be accepted to enter in US. Why dont more than half of the members have the opportunity to study there????)

  • James B. Young SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 12, 2011 6:42 p.m.

    The nativists have to admit their judgmentalism and repent. The Church has given some very good guidance here. (1) secure the borders (2) punish businesses and owners/management with RICO fines and imprisonment for knowingly hiring illegals (3) a sensible immigrant reform path to citizenship.

    A middle ground has to be possible because the great majority of Americans will not tolerate a police state style roundup as well as Hispanic citizens and their allies will vote any politician out of office who tries nativist enforcement.

    Let's work together.

  • John Adams Miami, FL
    June 12, 2011 4:48 p.m.

    @ A voice of Reason | 7:39 p.m.

    Here's the arguement: God is not a respecter of persons. If I must be honest in all of my dealings with my fellow man, then everyone else is required to as well.

    But such does not appear to be the case when it comes to temple worthiness for illegal aliens (and this is just one example).

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    June 12, 2011 3:39 p.m.

    Didn't Church leaders already state their opinion regarding illegal immigration? Why do they have to repeat or reiterate it? Does it have anything to do with the fact that just a couple of days prior, several Latin American nations voiced their opposition to proposed Utah legislation?

    Unfortunately, bad long-term decisions are sometimes made because of a perceived short-term benefit (to "get along", be seen as the good guy, financial reward, etc.).

    This reminds me so much of the Book of Mormon and the Nephites' desire (for whatever reason) to just get along with the Gadianton robbers. If I recall, it didn't turn out that well.

  • cindyacre Shelley, ID
    June 12, 2011 3:11 p.m.

    My husband and I were recently in another state, attending business meetings and also went to a pro-baseball game. It was great fun to see the enthusiasm of all there, regardless of race or creed, cheering on the home team, wearing the motto T-shirts and hats, etc.

    I think we all would like to cheer on the peoples of the world to do better for themselves and their families. Rules and laws make everyone safer - that is why there are laws, that's a fact. The immigration laws need reformed - and also governments in other parts of the world need to be less corrupt so that their people will WANT to/CAN be home and have opporunities like we have here.

  • goatesnotes Kamas, UT
    June 12, 2011 8:03 a.m.

    In 1986, I wrote:

    "Ephraim's descendants [residents of Utah and other places who have joined the Church] will figure prominently in the leadership of the House of Israel in the development of Zion, but it would be a gross error to assume that Zion is the private domain of Ephraim. The scriptures speak plainly of all the tribes coming to their inheritances in their various lands. We are witnessing the emergence of all these long-lost cousins in Israel in our day, as adversity, lawlessness, and political upheavals continue to drive them to our borders of freedom. They come because of wars, famines, diseases, natural disasters, and the love of freedom, but whatever the reasons they are coming to claim their promised blessings at the hands of Ephraim. Let us never be so surfeited by the things of this world that we cannot embrace them, when they come with little more than the clothes on their backs."

    The stated position of the Church today, now published to the world, is totally consistent with what the scriptures reveal about the establishment of Zion in the last days.

    May it ever be thus that we welcome the refugees.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    June 12, 2011 7:48 a.m.

    A wonderful declaration, humanitarian and in the spirit of Christ.
    Thank you LDS church.

  • Hunt Spanish Fork, UT
    June 12, 2011 12:58 a.m.

    From a moral standpoint:
    To support HB116 is to support institutional racism and that is morally reprehensible. There are far more impoverished nations than Mexico and there are far more impoverished races than hispanics. The LDS church wants us to give pause to the targeting of one race or group.
    It should give us all pause when we seek to disproportionately give one race, group or nationality the vast majority of the benefits provided by immigration, especially when that very race, group or nationality has chosen the shameful and criminal path of illegal immigration, identity theft and document fraud.

  • Hunt Spanish Fork, UT
    June 12, 2011 12:41 a.m.

    It amazes me that not one pro illegal person on these boards or in our community, including the LDS church, addresses the real underlying issues.

    Issue 1. Identity Theft and document fraud. These are felonies and are not victimless crimes. In Utah, 1,626 companies were found to be paying wages to the SSNs of children on public assistance under the age of 13. It is estimated that 75 percent of working illegals are utilizing identity theft and document fraud in order to obtain employment. I have seen zero concern for the very real and very innocent victims of identity theft from the "lets show compassion to the illegals" crowd and it is absolutely shameful. Continued...

  • wrz SLC, Utah
    June 12, 2011 12:37 a.m.

    @positiverealist 9:42 p.m.: "@donburi the Bishops of the Church have a set list of questions for Temple Recommend interviews and that specifically is not one of the questions as far as asking someone if they are using a false identity."

    Thew list of questions does not cover bank robbing either. But, I believe such activities would disqualify for temple attendance.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    June 11, 2011 10:21 p.m.

    @ DY13
    "Over time, Utah will no longer be Utah. Our kids and grand kids will live in a different Utah than the one we know. Economics 101"
    No matter what we do with regard to immigration, our kids will live in a different Utah than the one we know. History 101. It's different now than when I moved here 40 yrs ago. It's better. And part of the reason it's better is that we have, for the most part, welcomed millions of people who have moved here, including immigrants from other countries. Worrying about change is a useless occupation. Emracing people and change is how we enrich our lives and our culture. Your kids are not the ones complaining about immigration and change.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    June 11, 2011 10:04 p.m.

    @ Utah 1

    The problem, as I see it, is that our immigration authorities quit treating immigrants like people a long time ago. I have first hand experience with them and they are truly an embarrassment to our country. The way the person I sponsored as an exchange student was deplorable (and all we were trying to do was comply) and the way I was treated as a sponsor was unacceptable. We did it all legally, and the young man is now part of our family...but I have nothing good to say about ICE. It is a bureaucratic nightmare, full of jaded employees who treat our potential guests and citizens like so many cattle. Although I believe immigrants should take the legal route, I easily understand why some do not and actually feel they cannot -- because they cannot affort the fees nor the legal representation to make it happen.
    We need to dimantle and rebuild ICE and make it easy for the good guys to get here and difficult for the bad guys.

    June 11, 2011 9:47 p.m.

    @joelwisch - Unfortunately you are mistaken about mass expulsion never happening here in the U.S. It happened to the members of the Mormon faith three times. Once in Kirtland, OH, again in Missouri, and finally in Nauvoo, IL. That's why we (I am a member), ended up in Utah.

  • positiverealist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2011 9:42 p.m.

    @donburi the Bishops of the Church have a set list of questions for Temple Recommend interviews and that specifically is not one of the questions as far as asking someone if they are using a false identity. Our Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that those using false ID just to work will not be charged the same as someone using false ID for identity theft where they are taking out loans and stealing. Illegal aliens paid more than 9 billion in the the Social Security fund alone just in 2009 and that does not count Fed and State taxes. Sure they claim more but they never get that money back. I don't say this to justify it because it still remains wrong, however who am I to judge what the Church is saying either. Many of the laws are unjust and we should work to change those legally. The Church normally does not help illegal aliens in the long term but families are being divided on a regular basis because of these problems and that is not right either. We are forcing many of them to use false IDs by inviting them to work.

  • positiverealist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2011 9:36 p.m.

    @Say No to BO, ICE does not have the man power to deport 11 to 14 million people yet more deportations have occurred with the Obama administration than any other and the numbers are at record highs. You are correct that many are arrested for speeding or other misdemeanors and released and some are even released on what is call voluntary deportation where they agree to go back to their country because we don't want to pay to have them in jail and we don't want to pay to send them back so they act like they are doing something about it. I for one think the real criminals should be dealt with harshly. Having said criminals that is what I mean, if we want the laws to be more stringent we need to change them. The Gov knows that we cannot deport 11 million people because it would hurt our country and devastate Mexico. But I am serious because the current deportation numbers are higher than they have ever been so to say that the Gov is not doing anything is not quite right either.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    June 11, 2011 9:20 p.m.

    There are many on this board who disagree with the leadership's position on immigration. I wonder how many of these same individuals stand in disagreement with the leadership on the position of same sex marriage, abortion, pre-marital sex, the Word of Wisdom and other things. Are disagreement shows how close many of us are to being apostates ourselves. I was once told by a dear Bishop, that whenever we come in contact with a disagreement with the leadership to ask the question, "What would Christ do in the same circumstances?" Once I put that into my mind I learned that the disagreements with the leadership was mans terms not the Lord's. These men are called as special witnesses of Lord Jesus Christ. The PR man is speaking for the Lord's ONLY mouthpiece on earth, Thomas Spencer Monson. Therefore, this is what Christ wants the world to do. Yet, we still have our free agency to agree or disagree. With each decision there is a consequence to follow. I love this statement because it is exactly what Christ wants for his church to do, to LEAD OUT.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 11, 2011 8:36 p.m.

    Agree or disagree this stand by the LDS church is courageous. I happen to agree with their stand. Not only is this the compassionate thing to do. It is the shrude thing to do. If Utah can keep the ones who are hard workers and turn the gang members and other trouble makers over to the federal government to be deported, we benefit our economy.


  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    June 11, 2011 7:57 p.m.

    I truly feel for members of the Church on this thread who have a problem with this pronouncement. It must be troubling to hear something from Salt Lake that conflicts with your personal take. I feel fortunate to be delighted with the statement and grateful to the Church for making it.

  • Mugabe ACWORTH, GA
    June 11, 2011 7:44 p.m.

    Frankly, I don't know what all of the fuss is about. The Europoean settlers were not required by the natives of this country to have a green card, when they came here. They were welcomed with opened arms. Have the Saints forgotten that the Lord said that these, so called emigrants, would return to this land of their inheritance. This land does not belong to the Gentiles, was only given to them temporarily and for the express purpose of the gathering of Israel, which includes those people that we are trying so vehemently to keep out. This land belong to the ancestors of these immigrants. Welcoming those families back home is the only salvation for the Gentiles of this nation.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2011 7:39 p.m.


    First, the source of the quote-

    Doctrine And Covenants, Section 3: 1-4, 7

    "The works, and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught.

    For God doth not walk in crooked paths, neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left, neither doth he vary from that which he hath said, therefore his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round.

    Remember, remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men;

    For although a man may have many revelations... if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at naught the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him."

    "For, behold, you should not have feared man more than God. Although men set at naught the counsels of God, and despise his words"

    My previous comments defend against arguments that the LDS church is hypocritical, and in context this scripture only defends my claims. No offense intended, I just don't see an argument.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2011 7:11 p.m.

    @A voice of Reason

    "To every LDS member on here who stands apart from the church based on the 'being honest in all their dealings' and temple recommends, baptism, comments, etc. ... You nor I have authority to say who can go in God's temple. God does."

    But God does not walk in crooked paths, A voice of Reason.

    Think about it.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2011 6:48 p.m.

    I just thought of something brilliant!

    To every LDS member on here who stands apart from the church based on the "being honest in all their dealings" and temple recommends, baptism, comments, etc.

    No offense but I have only one point to make to all of you and I say this kindly and in firm belief that my comment should (not will, but should) end this criticism entirely:

    You nor I have authority to say who can go in God's temple. God does. There is no more discussion after that. Those who stand against the church should reflect on the simple teachings we all know regarding priesthood authority.

    I stand in defense of the Church and all those who are worthy and hold temple recommends. I know they aren't perfect but as I am not, I will not cast stones at them. All personal feelings aside, I have no authority whatsoever to decide who is clean enough for the temple of God. Seeing members loose sight of faith for such worldly beliefs worries me. I'll ask all of you, kindly, to reconsider.

  • owlmaster2 Kaysville, UT
    June 11, 2011 6:48 p.m.

    Like Jesus, the Mormon Church has some liberal leanings.

    I'm so totally proud of the LDS Leaders for finally making this comment.

    I'm an old white guy that hears derogatory statements on a regular basis against supposed illegal Hispanics that I certainly hope will now end.

    Thank you Tom Monson for your leadership on the issue.

  • patriotandmore Spanish Fork, UT
    June 11, 2011 6:11 p.m.

    @l.cee. Hey that sounds great. A world without borders? Despotic leaders would embrace that idea too. Why does the flag of the United States of America fly over the LDS church office building in SLC rather than the UN flag? Perhaps you can answer your own questions.

  • Just Jargon Orem, UT
    June 11, 2011 5:45 p.m.

    My wife came illegally to save her children from abuse. She was denied a visa twice. Never stolen and identity, nor have our children. The children have all worked, and work. Funny, you all think they have to steal an ID to work.

    Not so. Just have to have an ITIN number. The Federal Gov. knows who is here when they sign up for an ITIN. Once a year, you get a letter in the mail, "your social security number doesn't match any records, etc."

    They "know" what the number is...they know it is an ITIN. Then, you wait a year, and get another letter.

    We have insurance on all our children, and my wife. They work harder than most of the "local" kids, who want to call in sick, not show up, go out back and have a smoke. They also get paid more than the other kids...why? They work hard. Period. Many of you "American" kids--well, you have been selling your inheritance for a smoke or a hit. Too bad, because God says in the scriptures, when the people of this land become wicked, he'll bring another people here.

    Seems to be.

  • Mr. Bean SLC, Utah
    June 11, 2011 5:01 p.m.

    @very concerned 7:33 a.m.:

    "Or should we let them have some legal and beneficial way to stay here and be productive in society?"

    We don't need immigrants right now. We have 15 million unemployed Americans sucking up billions in unemployment benefits from money we don't have and must borrow from China, et. al. We need immigrants (illegal and otherwise) to go home, take their families with them, and give up their work to unemployed Americans. We'll let them know when we need them back.

    "Millions of immigrants in the past have come to the U.S. legally, and contributed mightily to our collective success."

    Yes, and the operative word is, 'legally.'

    "To continue to make it illegal and then condone it propagates illegal activity."

    I think I see your point. We need to stop making bank robbing illegal... right?

    "We need a federal-level solution which includes a streamlined, fair, legal process for people to enter the country."

    We have a solution. You apply for citizenship, line up like the rest of the foreigners who would like to come here, and wait your turn.

  • Charityalways Centerville, UT
    June 11, 2011 3:47 p.m.

    I am just wondering if all the people so incensed with illegal immigration and the LDS Church's position feel as strongly about the illegal Canadians, or Norwegians, or British who are here illegally. Of course! All illegals should be treated the same! So every time you see a European-looking person, do you have some kind of reaction that brings up your anti-illegal-immigrant feelings? Maybe we could send the police into the European-looking neighborhoods to root them out? Maybe we could just sit back and think about that for a minute?

  • Alfred SLC, Utah
    June 11, 2011 3:42 p.m.

    "toosmartforyou: I too would put in place something that allows people to work in this country without the need to become criminals in so doing."

    There is such a provision. The problem is, those who come on visas to work for a season picking apples, etc., decide they like it here and would rather stay... which makes them lawbreakers. They seem to think that it's OK to break laws in their own country so it must be OK to do the same here.


    @BostonTerry: "Most affluent countries require proof of when you plan to leave their country.

    But having proof of when you plan to leave doesn't solve the problem. They can lie and say they have a plan, and even a Bus or plane ticket out as proof. That doesn't mean they will leave.

    "I remember 20 years or so ago the Church put the word out to not immigrate to the United States once you join the Church, but rather stay in your own homeland and build your life there. What happened to that policy?"

    Yeah, and what happened to the policy to "obey, honor, and sustain the law"?

  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    June 11, 2011 3:25 p.m.

    It seems that the LDS Church and some of those commenting here consider the privilege of living/working in the United States an entitlement for all of the nearly 7 Billion people living on the planet today. Or do I misunderstand and that entitlement is only for a specific ethnic/racial group living South of the U.S. Border?

    Also, "Illegal Alien" is not a racial/ethnic group, it is a crime and the name of all of those that have violated United State' border or visa laws. The LDS Church does not encourage the violation of visas or borders of any nation except the United States. Several years ago the Church was asking its members to stay in their own country and build the Church up there. I guess those days are over.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2011 3:05 p.m.

    Pamela Atkinson "said she liked the emphasis 'that we are all God's children' and the importance of treating all with compassion and understanding."

    What exactly is this supposed to mean? Is there some "inhumane treatment of illegal aliens" problem in this state? I don't believe so.

    What, then, is the point? Could it be that these terms -- "compassion," "understanding," "love thy neighbor," and "how we treat God's children," are being hijacked by some and used as code terms for endorsing illegal behavior? Because I'm not seeing any particular "compassion" problem that would warrant the Church mentioning these terms. Certainly allowing illegals ample time to get their affairs in order and return to their countries with their families in peace, without even having to serve jail or prison time, is compassionate!

    Atkinson continuing: "It isn't amnesty. It doesn't talk about a pathway to citizenship."

    Not only is this a rationalization -- by most definitions it IS amnesty -- "legalization" of "guest worker" arguably is WORSE than citizenship: With citizenship, an immigrant at least PRETENDS to pledge allegiance to THIS country and its Constitution. "Guest workers," on the other hand, don't even pretend!!!

  • Carson Provo, UT
    June 11, 2011 3:02 p.m.

    Business Lobbyist: It's Too Late to Stop the E-Verify Train

    "Pending action at the federal level is going to force some quick decision-making for the business community. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) is expected to introduce a bill in the coming weeks mandating that most or all employers across the country enroll in the E-Verify program," says Joe Kefauver with Parquet Public Affairs in a commentary this week for Convenience Store News.

    "But while it is unclear how it will all play out, one thing is very clear to those who have been closely involved in this issue across the country -- the E-Verify Train has not only left the station, it is barreling down the track like a runaway locomotive."
    Dan Stein report

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    June 11, 2011 1:37 p.m.

    If the Mormon Church chooses to instruct delegates on how to vote on the resolution to repeal HB116 in a further effort to save Utah's illegal alien amnesty bill, Romney may have to once again assert his independence from Church leaders and Huntsman may be forced to directly address this issue for the first time. Both would undoubtedly prefer that the Mormon Church stay out of the current fray and leave the delegates of the state's major political party to make their own decisions on the political merits of HB116 rather than making it a test of religious faith. When a group of Republican delegates pressured Utah's governor to veto HB116, a senior Church official stood next to the governor as he signed it. When Republican delegates introduced resolutions to repeal HB116 at county Republican Conventions, the Mormon Church issued an "Immigration Response" that set out its support for HB116 "that will allow those who are now here illegally to work legally." However, if it does and if the delegates do indeed defeat the resolution, questions will arise about the control that the Mormon Church exercises over people sworn to represent those who elect them.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    June 11, 2011 1:35 p.m.

    A mass "coverup?. Talk is cheap. As the Mormon Church sinks deeper and deeper into the battle over amnesty for illegal aliens in Utah, it risks raising questions about the influence that the Mormon Church will attempt to exercise over Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman should one of them eventually be elected President of the United States. Questions have already been raised about the influence the Mormon Church has exercised over Utah's elected officials when it comes to illegal immigration. In 2005, at the behest of the Mormon Church, former U.S. Sen. Robert Bennett snuck an amendment into an agriculture appropriation bill that allows the Mormon Church to use the services of illegal aliens. Then in 2011, Utah's Republican legislators set aside their promise to uphold the Republican Party platform on illegal immigration when, encouraged by the Mormon Church, they passed HB116, that would grant a Utah-specific amnesty to illegal aliens and their employers.

  • tenx Santa Clara, UT
    June 11, 2011 12:25 p.m.

    Very concerned 7:33am. Rather than watch television you should get out and travel a bit. There are about 180 countries in the world whose economy and conditions are worse off than Mexico. If you would like to show your compassion for them I can give you several relief agencies in, say the Sudan (where I worked for some time with them), that you can donate to to help out.

  • BostonTerry Merrimack, NH
    June 11, 2011 12:18 p.m.

    I remember 20 years or so ago the Church put the word out to not immigrate to the United States once you join the Church, but rather stay in your own homeland and build your life there.

    What happened to that policy?

  • BostonTerry Merrimack, NH
    June 11, 2011 12:17 p.m.

    Most affluent countries require proof of when you plan to leave their country. If you want to immigrate you must have a job before you arrive, and the employer provides the proof. In Bermuda they want to see proof of your return flight. In other words you must show you will not be a drain on their economy. They take in refugee's and needy cases as they can provide for them. They do not turn their economies over to the whim of millions of the worlds mobile populations.

    Most of the pro-illegal immigration/immigrant positions I see do not acknowledge that a percentage of the illegals are here without desperate need. All illegals are viewed as needy and therefore I am evil to want them out. I understand many, many people are here for a variety of healthy- but non-needy reasons.

    I love Italy. In a heartbeat if I could get even a menial job in Italy I would move there and stay for years. I know many people who would travel the world this way. If I could buy a house as easy as many illegals did recently I might even stay a lifetime.

  • Mr. Bean SLC, Utah
    June 11, 2011 11:59 a.m.


    "Once again to enlighten those that don't know, unlawful presence is only a Federal Civil matter not criminal..."

    Breaking a federal law is also criminal activity. And they remain a criminal until they leave.

    "If you are caught crossing the border without inspection that is criminal, if you are not caught or if you overstay a visa it is only civil more like a speeding ticket."

    Staying here without permission is like speeding over and over again every day, 24/7. Such a repeat conduct will eventually cause a loss of license and perhaps jail time.

    "The Church is saying they don't encourage people to come over without the proper paperwork or to overstay their visas but they are also telling the Government that we should look for a reasonable solution allowing them to 'Square up.'"

    In other words, the church is saying if you come here (or overstay) some sort of amnesty should be worked out.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2011 11:36 a.m.

    "Mexico has the 14th best economy in the world."

    Mexico definitely does not have the 14th best standard of living. I think you mean largest economy which is more a function of their large population rather than how good their economy actually is.

  • phgreek Hooper, UT
    June 11, 2011 11:13 a.m.

    @very concerned,

    Based on your statement I have to conclude you have the same understanding of the constitution and declaration...indeed all equal. Those guarantees are all you get don't get a guarantee of quality of life, or special treatment...just freedom to pursue, WITHIN THE LAW, what it is you want to pursue without repercussions from government.

    When the government goes beyond creating a safe place to pursue is out of bounds. The growth of entitlements...which is what the government is doing with illegals (for example) is bad for the country...considering the fed is doing so in violation of its own standing laws is unconscionable.

    There are entitlements (children $ elderly) I will back...but this chicanery is not one of them.

  • Moracle Blackshear, GA
    June 11, 2011 10:55 a.m.

    How different is our situation/conflict here in the USA (with our friends south of the border), from the Israeli - Palestinian situation/conflict?

    Many of us are in sympathy with the Israelis, to whom the land of Israel was given by God -- which begs the question: To whom was the land of America given by God?

    The Book of Mormon prophet, Lehi, who brought his people over from 600 B.C. Jerusalem taught: "...We have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord." (2 Nephi 1:5)

    Considering this pronouncement by the Lord God, should we think more in terms of sharing this land, than of excluding part of those the Lord has covenanted with: that this land would be an "inheritance" to them "forever"?

    In this issue, who are we most like; Israelis, or Palestinians? What should we do?

  • milojthatch Sandy, UT
    June 11, 2011 10:48 a.m.

    This Latter-day Saint stand with the church on this one. I 100% agree with what this said and have felt that way long before the Church said it. Happy to see that I'm actually on the same page with the church, that makes my day!

  • sg newhall, CA
    June 11, 2011 10:40 a.m.

    @I.cee. So because you feel you have a handle on the eternities, that while here on earth we should turn the blind eye? roll over and play dead? What does it matter in the eternities...? Wow, how short sighted are you. If that be the case, then what does it matter if I see something my neighbor has and hey I decide to "borrow" if for a while. What does it matter in the eternities? Sorry, but illegals come here breaking the law. They sneak across our borders. What would happen to you or me if we sneaked into our neighbors house? Oh, right, what does it matter in the eternities. Please, don't through the eternities card in our face. Personally the LDS church's statement is wrong and out of step as to what is happening in this country. Maybe their church leadership needs to come visit California and live among the illegals in southern CA and really see for themselves just how abusive and bad this state is. We can love them, but that doesn't change the fact that they want what they believe is theirs and they have broken the laws.

  • Mysty Lilburn, GA
    June 11, 2011 10:20 a.m.

    @CowboyJoe: You're right, no one is perfect. No one is without sin.
    When we sin, which we all do, we repent of our sins, we promise not to do it again, and we're forgiven. When someone is living in their sin, as is an illegal alien, he cannot be forgiven, since he isn't repenting!
    By the way, to be an immigrant, one has to officially "land" in this country. Those who are here illegally have not gone through the process, therefore they are not immigrants, illegal or otherwise!
    If you are living in sin, you are not allowed a temple recommend, therefore, no celestial kingdom. Yet the church is allowing illegals to have temple recommends. Would I be allowed a temple recommend if I drank tea or a beer once in awhile? I guess if I wanted to lie about it, I could.
    I'm sorry, it just isn't right! What is the point? Those who are here without documents have to obey the law of the land, and the rest of the commandments, just as the rest of us.

  • Maggie Saint George, UT
    June 11, 2011 9:48 a.m.

    Does the church give any thoughts to how a mass influx of people who do not hold the same values and morals as many of us do will impact our already morally declining society?
    The unwed pregnancy rate for hispanics is very high.Studies have shown that several generations of Hispanics come from single parent housholds. Studies also show that these children are most often at a disadvantage in a society. Why do you want this to be our society and our children exposed? This is not the teaching of many of our churches. If you doubt what I am saying,please Google for facts and read the stats for Los Angeles schools. This is not racist,this is a true concern I have to protect our future generations and the moral values I have been taught by my parents and church.

    If you travel the world there are cultural differences that should and deserve to be respected. When people enter a new society in small numbers each has a chance to adjust to the other. Thus legal,controlled immigration is good for all.

  • l.cee Ridgefield, WA
    June 11, 2011 9:12 a.m.

    Consider this: A United Order world. No borders. No racism. No haves and have nots. All working together. All serving one another. All respecting and loving each and all. All children of God.

    Would there be concern that someone south of you crossed over into your "space" and should therefore be "deported" because in your view they had no "legal right" to do so?

    Come on folks. What does it matter in the eternities if people want to live here in the United States whether by the government's legal process or not?

  • patriotandmore Spanish Fork, UT
    June 11, 2011 9:02 a.m.

    In a perfect world what the LDS church is suggesting would be wonderful. It isnt a perfect world. The federal government isnt going to control illegal immigration. Illegal aliens are going to come to the U. S. and suck the entitlement well dry. Legal citizens are going to have to pay the bill. The church suggest that U. S. citizens should Avoid being judgmental in immigration issues. U. S. citizens are expected to obey the laws, why shouldnt illegal aliens? There is a double set of standards at work here and legal citizens are getting very tired of it

  • Cowboy Joe Encampment, WY
    June 11, 2011 8:53 a.m.

    Adam would you please let me know how you became so perfect? My understanding is we all have sins. The only sinless person to walk on the face of the earth, under your statement, would be the only one to get to heaven legally. We all have sins, and repentance, the atonement, and enduring to the end are what will make us all legal.

    If you have become perfect and can say you are "legal" to enter heaven, please share with the rest of us how you did it. I'm sure we would all like to know how.

  • John Adams Miami, FL
    June 11, 2011 8:52 a.m.

    "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is concerned that any state legislation that only contains enforcement provisions is likely to fall short of the high moral standard of treating each other as children of God."

    How is this applied to all other "state legislation" (laws) that contain "only enforcement provisions"?

  • Truth csar Colorado Springs, CO
    June 11, 2011 8:38 a.m.

    Wise balance and compassionate counsel.

  • The Sensible Middle Bountiful, UT
    June 11, 2011 8:31 a.m.

    When those who complain about amnesty begin to refuse warning traffic tickets, and insist on the real thing, I will take their cries about 'no amnesty' more seriously.

  • E. Matscheko St. George, UT
    June 11, 2011 8:22 a.m.

    The Church's statement on illegal immigration demonstrates common sense and even more important, applies the principles of unconditional love and forgiveness.
    I am an advocate against illegal immigration, but at this point an enforcement-only policy appears to be unreasonable, on humanitarian as well as on logistic grounds.
    I suggest that first, we must enforce our borders and second, those who committed crimes, must be returned to their native country immediately.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    June 11, 2011 7:51 a.m.

    @ phgreek

    I most strongly object that the government is not in the business of helping individuals, but should ony be concerned with propagating the republic. That sounds dictatorial and self-serving rather than what I've ever known the government's role to be.

    The overall and arching principles in the constitution and Declaration of Independence were the protection of the individual and his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If it were not so, the founders could have done their jobs much easier and not had to gaurantee all the rights we have.

    Therefore, I respectfully disagree with the foundation premise of your argument. The founding documents of the U.S. say that ALL men are created equal, endowed by their creator with inalienable rights. I would think that "ALL" men includes "ALL" men.

    However, I will concede that the current situation is untenable and the system is broken. Something needs to be done! But, let's make sure it's a good, workable, and humane solution.

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    June 11, 2011 7:48 a.m.

    The LDS church along with many other churches that may share a similar opinion may be world-wide institutions, but they need to operate within the laws of the borders where they operate. I am really unsure what is being suggested in this official statement. Are members of the LDS church being encouraged to harbor/support fugitives of the law? Is the LDS church willing to harbor and support fugitives of the law? Or does the church believe it has the authority not to obey the law and is it encouraging its members not to obey the laws regarding illegal persons in the United States? And since this is a world-wide church, does this message relate to members in other countries as well? I think it is rare that God would require anyone to break the law of the country in which they reside and in this case I just can't believe this message comes from God. Are Bishops in other countries "encouraging" their members to support illegals in their country or is this message purely politically motivated and meant ONLY for the U.S.?

  • RShackleford Saint George, UT
    June 11, 2011 7:38 a.m.

    I was hoping that the church would have also mentioned (or reminded embers) That it does not encourage, Members whom are Employers, to break the law by hiring those that are here illegally.

    It always seams employers (aka)the magnet that draws in cheap illegal labor get a pass on obeying and sustaining the laws of the land...

    When Joseph Smith was asked how he was able to govern all of the members, he stated he "taught them corrprinciplespils and they governed themselves."

    We know what the laws are, it is not that hard people.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    June 11, 2011 7:33 a.m.

    One only needs to watch spanish-speaking television in Utah to see what kind of environment the Mexican people are living in. It is one of fear and murder. I repectfully disagree with the previous comment that millions are here just for convenience. Find out what it's like there and you may have different feelings.

    How are we SUPPOSED to deal with this other than a federal, charitable solution. As a matter of practicality, there is NO way to deport all illegal aliens in this country. Do we want to try to do so, take the hard line? Or should we let them have some legal and beneficial way to stay here and be productive in society?

    Millions of immigrants in the past have come to the U.S. legally, and contributed mightily to our collective success. To continue to make it illegal and then condone it propagates illegal activity. We need a federal-level solution which includes a streamlined, fair, legal process for people to enter the country. That's what Ellis Island was about. It would probably lead to more law-abiding immigrants coming than is now the case.

  • tenx Santa Clara, UT
    June 11, 2011 7:32 a.m.

    Wow, 177 comments and growing. I like the comments of toosmartforyou, Fitness Freak, RRB, Dadof5sons, Bompar, Kathy, Brer Rabbit, Patriot, cork and best of all Boston Terry. Boston Terry really has the answer to this problem. This statement (by the church) would make any politician proud. It gives something for all of us. For me, a firm supporter of our immigration laws and for Tony, Luz and Doug and those who want open borders for all. From this statement I can show compassion for those several million who are waiting in line around the world to come here legally and support the idea for those here illegally to go home and come back legally, or "square up". Some still don't understand the difference between immigrant and illegal immigrant. If you are ever in Manila, Philippines go by the embassy and see the several 1,000 standing in the hot sun for days waiting to immigrate after a 12 year waiting period. Those are immigrants! If the Feds would just do their job this would not be an issue.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    June 11, 2011 7:27 a.m.

    Lets see I tell my kids do not do certain things but if they do oh well. I park my Motor Home in your driveway without your permission because I have no where else to park it. You should not be judgemental by having me evicted. Say What!

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    June 11, 2011 6:38 a.m.

    Thats a nice dance around the issue.Illegal is Illegal why dance around it?Is illegal illegal?Nice feel good statement. Sounds like Bill Clinton. Depends on what is is.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    June 11, 2011 6:19 a.m.


    Regarding your request to refer to the "LDS Church", context is everything. The article makes clear which church is being discussed. If I were commenting about a statement by the Catholic Church, I would similarly say "the Church" if the context made clear I was referring to the Catholic Church.

  • botdriver Midvale, UT
    June 11, 2011 5:52 a.m.

    The other part that the LDS church forgot to put in the statement: " The LDS church in no way is involved with the politics of Utah, nor influence the members of it's congress.", " Furthermore the LDS church in no way would in fringe upon the law that divides church and state." When the LDS church can follow the laws of this country, then they can display statements like this on the issues that are controversial, and effect this nation, but until then this state has no voice, and why, most of the members of the legislative branch of Utah are mormon. That is why I, as a citizen of Utah will never be properly represented. Bias T.V. news reporting, bias newspaper reporting, bias legislation, and politics. Does something sound like communism. Oh, but that couldn't happen here......Right. If you are not a mormon, you ...just ...don' Immigration is not for the church to decide nor be involved with, this statement is irrelevant, and shouldn't have been even written, that is why we have a government to make decisions, not the churches.
    There are laws separating church and state. Not here.

  • Rufio Saratoga, UT
    June 11, 2011 5:48 a.m.

    "he LDS Church reiterated the First Presidency teaching that undocumented status shouldn't alone prevent an otherwise worthy Latter-day Saint from entering the church's temple or being ordained to the priesthood."

    Unfortunately undocumented workers often have a few other issues that constitute criminal activity, such as one or more of the following:
    1) Falsifying employment documents & Social Security Numbers
    2) Non-payment of employment taxes
    3) Falsifying or not filing tax returns
    4) Driving without auto insurance

    Most of these and other legally required documents have clauses which stipulate "under penalty of perjury"

    Doesn't sound like it is easy to stay worthy.

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    June 11, 2011 3:47 a.m.

    Until all the drug related crime and the illegal trafficking in human slavery that is tied to the importing of drugs along with the killing of our Police, Deputy Sheriffs and Highway Patrol Officers is brought under control then how can the states of Utah and Arizona which unfortunately happen to be at the apex of the crossroads and conduits of several major pipelines geographically for much of these types of criminal activities be expected not to take a stand. Based on these issues alone with the extent of the drug related culture that has deviently permeated our society then I have some issues with not allowing states to pass legislation on this major issue due largely on the fact that the federal government has done a poor job of I disagree with some points attempted to be made here... because yes there is cause to be concerned about bad apples and a need to separate the wheat from the wild tares. We can no longer afford to turn a blind the new generation of Gadiantan robbers.

  • Zabilde Lehi, UT
    June 11, 2011 1:09 a.m.

    A couple more points. 1: The Brethren have not spoken, this was a press release, not delivered to the church in Conference or via the Ensign. Maybe it'll be read over the pulpits this weekend, but it's still a political statement. NOT a doctrinal statement so disagreement is fine.

    2: Someone asked what would Jesus Do? Well with those who were breaking his fathers law and desecrating the temple he braided a whip and drove them out with violence. He also taught to render unto Caesar. Both of those events support those who want to deport and then allow return under a guest worker program.

    3. This is NOT A RACIAL ISSUE! Stop trying to claim it is one. We want all illegals out, regardless of where they come from. Just because the majority are from south of the border doesn't mean it's all about that ethnicity. Illegals from all over the world are robbing this country blind. It's not racial, despite the lefts repeated claims that it somehow is racial. It's legal vs illegal.

  • Allen#1 West Valley, UT
    June 11, 2011 1:05 a.m.

    Wouldn't it be nice if Senators Hatch and Lee, Congressmen Bishop, Chaffetz, and Matheson would take this statement and similar statements from Bishop Wester and other prominent church leaders in Utah and propose legislation to get the Federal Government to DO something about illegal immigration.

    Sadly, when George W. Bush and Senator John McCain tried to address the issue, the Republicans went bonkers and threw the epithet "amnesty" into their faces.

    I don't see many Democratic members of Congress working to solve the immigration issue either.

    Where are the statesmen when we need them?

  • Zabilde Lehi, UT
    June 11, 2011 12:29 a.m.

    The one thing I don't get in this statement is: "State legislation that focuses only on enforcement "is likely to fall short of the high moral standard of treating each other as children of God.""

    Exactly what makes state level enforcement "likely to fall short" of this standard? We can identify, detain and deport with full respect for their status as children of God. What's hard to do is to offer that respect when they are stealing identities or committing other fraud in order to work in this country.

    Then there is the fact that anyone who knows they are here illegally is guilty of a federal felony with a 5 year sentence. (USC title 8, look for penalties). So their crime may only be a civil infraction resulting in removal, but any citizen who is aware of their status is a felon. So their very presence puts Neighbors, co-workers, bosses and fellow church goes at risk of being convicted as felons.

    "So sorry your son is now a felon and has to spend five years in Federal Prison because the church decided illegal aliens could serve missions and he had one as a companion."

  • SLars Provo, UT
    June 11, 2011 12:07 a.m.

    So the only people eligible for compassion are those here illegally? Let's not forget, this is a country wide problem, and with the addition of several state enforcement laws, and ability to go after business, I think we are headed towards strong enforcement.

    I don't think some in the LDS church believe it's a crime? They try to walk on both sides of the fence, and it serves no one.

    We have guest worker programs already, those here illegally chose not to come that way. Why would they decide that path this time when they know they won't be prosecuted? Do we really want a slave class of people? is that compassion? With 9% unemployment, I know who deserves compassion, but they are being ignored.

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    June 10, 2011 11:59 p.m.

    I am still trying to understand what the LDS Church is actually saying. Either people respect and honor the law or they don't. Or, it all depends on your excuse for breaking the law. I like the comment from one reader who wondered if they could illegally enter into heaven and then square things with the Lord and stay there. Might be more interesting to see how many would be deported from that location. As a nation, we do have a problem that is already here. Yes, it is both a Federal and a State's issue as it impacts both. The laws need to be enforced and obeyed. Either you have laws or you don't. The LDS Church's statement left alot of confusion over where they really stand on this issue. Maybe the rules for members are changing now regarding how honest you really need to be in order get a temple recommend?

  • J in AZ San Tan Valley, AZ
    June 10, 2011 11:57 p.m.

    To RRB: You wrote, "since when has our laws been measured by this standard, and will this measure be used in all areas of law from now on in Utah?"

    It would be a fine thing if enough voters used this as their standard for judging the actions of their elected officials and let them know that was the standard when they vote them out for falling short.

  • phgreek Hooper, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:47 p.m.


    I think there is a basic problem with your statement. See, it is not the reponsibility of the government to think in terms of the individual. The constitution/Bill of rights takes care of any expectations individuals get to have...PERIOD.

    Alas this is the core problem with alot of thinking these days...the government is not the red cross, or any other charitable organization dedicated to helping cannot be, as much as you folks would like to make it be.

    Government must take actions that ensure the strength and security of the Republic...Illegal immigration is the poster child for why our government is it is not the sole cause, but rather the same focus on the individual's circumstance across the board is damning this nation.

    Take a hard look at California...tell me why they are essentially bankrupt...

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    June 10, 2011 11:44 p.m.

    @ Fitness Freask -- how do you decide who is and who isn't your "neighbor"? You think God loves his children from Mexico less than he loves you?

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:43 p.m.

    As a Utah Catholic I can choose to disagree with my ecclesiastical leaders on civil issues. All HB 116 has tried to do is to address the ideals of the Utah Compact, which was signed off on by Bishop Wester. Even he knows that no state law is going to be perfect but at least the conversation is still ongoing.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    June 10, 2011 11:42 p.m.


    You wrote: "Mass expulsion without serious cause has never happened in our country"

    Wrong. Read your Mormon history.

    June 10, 2011 11:21 p.m.

    This statement floored me. "State legislation that focuses only on enforcement "is likely to fall short of the high moral standard of treating each other as children of God."

    Since when has our laws been measured by this standard, and will this measure be used in all areas of law from now on in Utah?

    June 10, 2011 11:18 p.m.

    RE: The Stumped

    I have family members from Mexico. There are several countries south of them that are much worse off. I went to the CIA site, it shows Mexico has 18.2% below the poverty line, with 5.6 unemployment. The US has 12% under the poverty line with 9.7 unemployment. The number you quote was based on a statistical formula that was only used one year. There are over 3 billion people living in worse conditions than those in poverty in Mexico. Mexico has food programs for the poor.

    Tony Yapais and Senator Robles both have told us that they come here for the jobs. It's better pay. It has very little to do with poverty. Honest people come here under the law, dishonest people come here illegally.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    June 10, 2011 11:16 p.m.

    It is funny to see conservativeMormons going against the LDS church on this one. Are you the same Conservative Mormons that criticized those who were opposed to the LDS church taking action on Prop 8 ? You called those people some nasty names and questioned their loyalty to the LDS Church and Gospel. My how the tables have turned.

  • Walt Nicholes Orem, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:15 p.m.

    WOW! I guess this statement has generated more responses than any other Deseret News article in the history of the paper.

    I hope that the Brethren will clarify which other laws are henceforth unimportant. But of course, they never ask you in a temple recommend interview if you obey the law - not really. They ask if you are honest in your dealings with your fellow men, and apparently you can be that on phony papers as long as you do no harm.

    Its nice to know. A little confusing, since it seems to fly in the face of things that I have been taught since 1950, but ok, I can chalk it up to continuing revelation and move on.

  • Adam Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:02 p.m.

    Since my post on the first page seems to be fairly popular may I please ask one favor from many of you posting comments. Please stop saying "the church" when commenting. It sounds highly egotistical to refer to the LDS church as "the church". Don't assume there is only one church in Utah. Typing LDS church would be correct and less assuming.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:01 p.m.

    On this issue I have to say I can't imagine a difference between what Jesus would do and what the LDS church has done. The LDS church is to be commedned for taking this higher road and doing it in the face of certain opposition. My prayers and for what it is worth, my blessing are upon this church.

  • Adam Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 10:50 p.m.

    The LDS church mentions that this is a Federal issue. Then why has the LDS church put themselves in the middle of this issue for the past year or so here in Utah? It seems as if this is a Federal issue to the LDS church and the Latinos when laws get passed not in their favor! It sure didn't seem to be a Federal issue when the Utah Compact was introduced and the LDS church leaders, Latinos etc were all on board and very excited. Remember? It was in the news for weeks straight. So what is it LDS church? All Federal or only Federal when your agenda is behind a bit?

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    June 10, 2011 10:49 p.m.

    I see a lot of comments on here criticizing the Church's statement. Many are presumably from loyal members of the Church. Rather than reflexively criticize, maybe we should consider what the Church is trying to teach us, ponder the message, and see if our views or actions could be improved.

  • Utah Joe murray, utah
    June 10, 2011 10:37 p.m.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. How we treat people is a moral issue. I welcome guidance from religious leaders on moral issues.

    Next time you see someone in our community who looks like they come from another country, smile at them and say hello. If they need help, offer to serve them.

    It's the Christian thing to do. Thanks LDS Church leaders for reminding us about that.

  • BostonTerry Merrimack, NH
    June 10, 2011 10:18 p.m.

    To assume that everyone, who enters the country illegally, does so out of desperation is to be deceived. If a person has entered the country without documentation then they have broken the law. How can this be overlooked by church and government leadership?

    A comparison can be drawn between the need to immigrate and the need for an abortion. Of the millions of abortions that are performed very few are done because of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. Most are done out of convienance. Millions of immigrants enter our country seeking convienance, not out of desperation.

    I understand desperation.

    Of my 45 employees - 21 are immigrants. 3 from Ghana want an education, 2 from Cambodia watched their parents starve to death and were able to leave before they also died. One employee carried his young son on his back through the jungle while running from the North Vietnamese only to find at the end of the day that his son was dead after having been shot. 6 from India show me pictures of their desperately poor slums while 4 others lived in relative opulance. The Bulgarian came when the wall fell. All are here legally

  • BostonTerry Merrimack, NH
    June 10, 2011 10:00 p.m.

    "Are you honest in all your dealings?"

    "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."

    To baptise, give the priesthood and temple recommends to individuals who have broken the law is in direct contradiction to these familiar LDS tenets. If I illegally move to England to work will the Church leaders give me a temple recommend? I think not. Many, many immigrants are not here because of deprivation in their own countries but because they want cell phones and SUV's. I am a proponent of legal immigration, and helping those who must flee their homelands. We are a generous people which is good. But neither should we be taken advantage of because that leaves fewer resources for those who are in desperate need.

    Where my tax dollars are involved I have a right to be judgemental. I want those dollars used wisely. Just because someone shows up on this side of the border does not mean they have a right to stay here.

    This policy is very misguided.

  • Charityalways Centerville, UT
    June 10, 2011 9:37 p.m.

    It's not an easy situation. The best of many possible, mostly difficult possibilities is to deal with reality and charity. The best idea I have heard in many years is the one proposed by Senator McCain and Pres. George W. Bush some years ago 1) secure borders, 2) temporary workers program, 3) pathway to citizenship. When proposed by McCain and Bush, the Republican base went bonkers. Methinks it was not about all the illegal Norwegians, or even Canadians here. I think illegals deserve basic human rights. And we need to be sure we are not singling out one class of people, millions of whom are legal citizens of the United States. In fact, the ancestors of many were here before any Anglos and were given citizenship by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo 1848. If we want new immigrants to be more like "us" maybe we should be a little more welcoming. Besides, if our economy is going to pick up, don't we need new markets, new people, growth? I hope that people will sit back and think about this just a little. We may have to get rid of some of our own assumptions and perspectives. Peace.

  • Thoughtful Voter Spanish Fork, UT
    June 10, 2011 9:35 p.m.

    This was an incredibly timely and needed communication. As an active voting GOP delegate in the County and State conventions, I've been particularly dismayed at some of the rhetoric surrounding the questions and challenges of immigration. This was a very well-worded, thoughtful dose of "perspective" in my opinion. I hope that it helps those on all sides of the issue -- and LDS or not, quite frankly -- to at least re-consider some of the more angry, sketchy, and scapegoating arguments out there.

  • Laser Iowa City, IA
    June 10, 2011 9:21 p.m.

    I'm confused why some posters thinks this squares with the Dems. The Church said generally stay home unless you can come legally.

    Dems have seriously misconstrued that enforcing the law is discrimination...The church wants the laws enforced and it's another wake up call to the Fed gov. (democrat in office who isn't listening), to enforce the law. AZ is saying the same thing, "If you don't do something we will."

    The dem leadership in this country needs to wake up and do something. The church stated, 'Most Americans agree the Federal government needs to it's borders and sharply reduce the flow of undocumented workers."

    That what Reps have been saying ALL THE TIME!!!!

  • The Stumped Rexburg, ID
    June 10, 2011 9:17 p.m.

    RE: RichardB

    I agree greed is the root to the problem. However, 47% of Mexico is below the poverty line (asset based amount), according to the CIA World Fact Book. Having lived there, I saw what that looked like. Government corruption, especially at the local level, creates barriers to economic growth. Drug wars threaten the stability of life for others. Greed is most certainly involved, but not for the majority of the illegals coming here. Two wrongs don't make a right, but I don't see U.S. Citizens sneaking across the Rio Grande trying to find jobs in avocado fields, car factories, etc. Could you please to explain more clearly how illegal immigrants from Mexico working minimum wage jobs in the U.S. are greedy?

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    June 10, 2011 9:04 p.m.

    Why is this board 150 comments long? The Prophet has spoken and the discussion is over, right?

  • The Vanka Provo, UT
    June 10, 2011 9:03 p.m.

    Once again, the LDS Church creates serious problems when they defy their own scriptures. Instead of following D7C 134:9, they choose to mingle religious influence with civil law on this illegal immigration issue, and they will continue to cause problems by so doing.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 9:01 p.m.

    Why criticize a Muslim for not following the word of wisedom? There is no logic in that.

    People might argue'saying the LDS church is hypocritical doesn't compare as the LDS church believes in following the law of the land'

    But that is exactly what I am addressing. This claim is ignorant of the LDS belief system on several accounts.

    Although we have absolute right and absolute wrong (no grey area, etc) we also believe in some things that work on a different scale (such as virtue ethics does, etc). An example, maybe someone isn't doing something wrong but they should still try to do something better than what they are doing.

    No one on Earth has a temple reccomend and is perfect.

    Also, we believe in following God's prophet who can reveal higher laws. If God says follow the law, then we do. But God has also commanded that which cannot accomdate the law... such as defending oneself even if it is illegal. Extermination orders while legal to man are not to God. Should Joseph have accepted the bullet because of the law?

    Our moral system is different. Any criticism should be conscious of that.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 9:00 p.m.

    There aren't many well-thought, kind, and reasonable comments on here regarding a specific theme found commonly in these comments.

    Baptism & Temple Recommends.

    First, to anyone questioning the LDS Church's moral integrity because of this, I would offer a word of caution. Judge not lest ye be judged. I'm not pretending to be biblical or more righteous, simply saying that there is a lot of truth to that statement and it applies to anyone offering criticism of anyone else. If we absolutely must judge a person or group, we ought to be very considerate of context, have good and honest intentions, and have a good understanding of what we are judging. In my experience, those who criticize the LDS church do not understand the LDS belief system well enough to make valid arguments, including ex-members.

    My suggestion to everyone. Consider: should an illegal immigrant be prevented from attending church service also? At what point does it become absurd?

    Also, can someone with Kantian morals use their views to criticize a virtue ethicist? No. Can people use their own moral rules to judge the LDS church? No.

    My comments will continue...

  • SLars Provo, UT
    June 10, 2011 8:55 p.m.

    You can't ignore the lack of compassion from the illegal community and business the past twenty years, and then try to throw it back on those who were hurt by their actions.

    I don't see the love thy neighbor in this discussion, I see an attempt to stop the repeal of HB116.

  • danaslc Kearns, UT
    June 10, 2011 8:23 p.m.


  • JBrady Murray, Ut
    June 10, 2011 8:12 p.m.

    I use to vote Democratic, voted for Obama. I will not vote for anyone who supports amnesty or open borders. This mass invasion of 12-20 million people and the dishonesty in our government and business community is probably the most serious problem this country has faced since WWII.

    You can feel the dishonesty and moral corruption in this debate.

  • Hunt Spanish Fork, UT
    June 10, 2011 8:11 p.m.

    What I read is a double message being sent by the church. They on one hand say that it is wrong to illegally enter a country or stay to long. On the other hand they are saying if you do it there will be no consequence and in fact we want you to stay.Scripture teaches that mercy cannot to justice yet this is what we are asked to swallow.
    They say we should not mistreat one race or group of people but should we not also reward one race or group of people over other sometimes more deserving races and groups?
    This statement was released on the eave of our state republican deligates voting on repeal of hb116. The church is blatently trying to influence the vote and is being pretty shady in doing so.

  • VA Saint Chester, VA
    June 10, 2011 8:09 p.m.

    @Uintahiker: Don't forget, there were also German and Italian internment camps during WWII. Amazing how many people forget this little tidbit.

  • DrGroovey Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 7:53 p.m.

    For so long the Utah Republican party has believed that they are the only true and living political party on the earth. I think this church statement shows just how far the Republicans have drifted from what they once represented. The Republicans are now a bunch of angry and judgmental partisans that do not care about individuals. I hope they see their party's position, at least in Utah, is in conflict with the Lord's church.

  • one day... South Jordan, UT
    June 10, 2011 7:52 p.m.

    To be honest the worker's visa, "works" for those with money to go to the States, how can you ask someone who's trying to get food for their families and are looking for a better future, like education, to have the money for paperwork.
    Most if not all of them are hard workers, the others coming with drug, it's easy....stop buying from them!
    We need each other, we can help each other, that's the point.
    And the Immigration hate goes to the ones from the south border, not the "white" ones from the north or Europe, it's all based on race. I don't buy your "illegal" issue

  • SpanishImmersed Mesa, AZ
    June 10, 2011 7:47 p.m.

    Indeed a multi-faceted issue with millions of anchor children and grandchildren now born and raised within the USA since the previous generations crossed the border illegally.

    Also for consideration, the hundreds of Church-owned properties and a dozen temples within Mexico, along with hundreds of American-born LDS missionaries serving throughout that country. An offshore investment that has significant implications.

    Does this statement lead to an increased sanctuary status for Utah, and with it a re-doubled migration of Latinos from other states seeking a more compassionate domicile.

    The forthcoming repercussions may soon reveal themselves.

  • JBrady Murray, Ut
    June 10, 2011 7:40 p.m.

    "Immigration issues need to be resolved at the federal government level."

    Let's not forget that the Supreme court has given states the power to pull business licenses. The Federal "issue" no longer applies exclusively.

    It's our problem, and we are not handling it correctly by going against the laws of the land, or wishes of the majority of the people.

    The local Catholic church has withdrawn support for HB 116. They do not want any part of creating a sub class of people here. I hope the rest of the state comes to this conclusion, and we resolve the problem, and do not create more trouble down the road, like we did with the 1986 amnesty. Sometimes we have to be strict, to teach the future generations right from wrong.

  • LiberalEastCoastMember Parkesburg, PA
    June 10, 2011 7:38 p.m.

    Adam asked, "Can I also go to Heaven illegally and then "square up" with God once I get there so I can stay?"

    Yes, its called grace and mercy. Ever heard of them?

  • katiefrankie Provo, UT
    June 10, 2011 7:33 p.m.

    In order to be eligible for a temple recommend, I had to answer the question, "Are you honest in all your dealings?" From my perspective, entering another country illegally, using a stolen identity, and/or not "being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law" would make the answer to that question a resounding, "No."

    I admit that I do not understand the Church's response to the current immigration problems facing our nation. And boy, they are serious problems.

  • Spartan ALPHARETTA, GA
    June 10, 2011 7:31 p.m.

    People who broke the law to get in by definition are criminals. The church should be loving to all so I agree with that. But the good citizens who were born here or are citizens by legal process need work also to live. Illegals working here are taking a job from an American citizen who needs it to feed his family. Why is it okay for a good illegal to take a job that a good American citizen needs? And why is it okay that the American citizen who has done no wrong is punished like this? How is that fair and just? Answer, it is not. Why is it good to let the innocent law abiding American born here by God's will be left to starve because another performs a criminal act to get here to take the American citizens sustenance. Mormon Church you can't have your cake and eat it too. The illegals need to go home and we need to help them fix the evil in their country that drove them out. That would really be Gods work.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    June 10, 2011 7:24 p.m.

    What about a amendment for E-Verify that is an Internet-based, free program run by the United States government that compares information from an employee's Employment Eligibility Verification, on all Church's, in these Sanctuary States for illegal's they hide then hire them?.

    Illegal Immigration: Church Issues New Statement

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today issued the following official statement on immigration:

    Around the world, debate on the immigration question has become intense. That is especially so in the United States. Most Americans agree that the federal government of the United States should secure its borders and sharply reduce or eliminate the flow of undocumented immigrants. Unchecked and unregulated, such a flow may destabilize society and ultimately become unsustainable.

    How about it Sen Hatch and the boyz in the RINO hood?.

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    June 10, 2011 7:21 p.m.

    So, since no employer in the U.S. may lawfully employ someone here illegally, are we supposed to love all these illegals so much that we support them? Offer them a place to stay in our homes? Is the LDS church going to employ them? I'd really like to know how the church proposes that these people support themselves in the U.S. when they are here illegally and may not lawfully be employed? Another thing, you won't accept tithing from gambling, but will you accept tithing from illegals, knowing that any income they have received they have received unlawfully in this country?

  • Allen#1 West Valley, UT
    June 10, 2011 7:18 p.m.

    To Jay Tee: West Valley City could now be re-named North Juarez. It is disgusting to hear people jabbering in a foreign tongue in the grocery stores, at the bank, and even in the Granger Library WITH a librarian. I would more fully welcome the Spanish speaking immigrants IF they would speak English.

  • JBrady Murray, Ut
    June 10, 2011 7:14 p.m.

    Confusing. We must follow the law, however.....

    Amnesty brings more law breaking. When we discipline, we do so to teach adherence to the law, we do not reward the wrong behavior.

    Has anyone given any thought to the problems a second class of citizens could bring? Their abuse by business would be intolerable to a civilized society.

    We already have a visa system. Let them go home and come back legally, it will solve many problems and prevent future ones.

  • CJ Murray, UT
    June 10, 2011 7:10 p.m.

    This is very disappointing, disgusting and outrageous. If you are an unemployed Utahn, the victim of identity theft ,or any other of the many crimes committed by illegal aliens your own church just went totally against its own principles (12th article of faith) and threw you under the bus so they can pander to lawbreaking citizens of Mexico who are here looting the state and national treasuries. If you can't get a temple recommend because you are behind on child support or because you have broken some other law the church just threw you under the bus as well. This is wrong on every level and we all must stand up and let the church know that we are no longer going to close our eyes and shut up when they are clearly in the wrong and on this issue they are WRONG! Surveys show that the majority of Utahns and church members want the law enforced, time to let the church and the state know how we feel in a much louder voice obviously. Illegal immigration is destroying the state and nation and we need to let them all know it.

  • Jeff in Orem Orem, UT
    June 10, 2011 6:55 p.m.

    The article of faith does not distinguish between civil and criminal law. So the question now becomes at what point is it ok to break the law? Any expulsion for illegal presence is a direct result of breaking that law. It is not arbitrary. As citizens of this state, we are allowed to create the government we wish to within reason and the constitution, and if the federal government won't do something it is supposed to, I see nothing wrong with our legislators taking the initiative with regard to our state.

    Leaving it to the feds to handle it is a total cop out since the feds clearly aren't handling it. The church has already made us defenseless in our chapels by forbidding guns, and now it wants to make us roll over for illegal immigrants.

    If compliance with the law is now optional for temple attendance, how optional is compliance with the other standards the church has? Perhaps the bishops should maybe not judge on the basis of belief, abusive family relationships, sexual misconduct, etc. too? I hope the church reconsiders and retracts its statement.

  • BoomerJeff Saint George, UT
    June 10, 2011 6:51 p.m.

    Ummmm,Im confused. . . if illegal aliens are worthy to enter the temple and have church callings, then anything I do that is less serious than identity theft (a felony) should still allow me to enter the temple too. Right??? I think I'm going to like this "new standard", yahoo!!!!!

  • buttercup Orem, UT
    June 10, 2011 6:48 p.m.

    So, the Church which believes in obeying the law now says that enforcing Utah state law is an unacceptable way of dealing with the immigration problem. Make up your mind. You follow the rule of law or you don't. This looks to me like the exact same thing that the power elite tries all over the world. The mundanes must follow the rules and pay the taxes but the rich and the powerful do not. They create their own rules. Must be nice.

    I'd really love to follow this one back a little bit and see who benefits from the latest Mormon double speak. Cui Bono, Elders? Cui Bono?

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    June 10, 2011 6:46 p.m.

    To praxis -

    You wrote: "According to FBI statistics:
    1) 99% of long term "over-stayers" (enter on a visa and stay 3 or more months past their date to depart the country) never intended to leave on time.
    2) 99% of illegal aliens commit their first felony within 30 days of entering the country."

    I could not find these statistics anywhere other than in a random blog. It appears you copied the statement verbatim and didn't give credit to the person posting it. Unless that was you posting it originally, that is plagiarism.

    What's worse than committing plagiarism is plagiarizing unsupported data. I could find no such reference on the FBI's website. What's more is how can either of those stats even be measured? In order to do so, one must 1) have questioned all 100% of the undocumented workers in the US, and 2) believe they are telling the truth (w/ respect to #1) and, 3) know the exact date when an undocumented worker enter the US.

    If you can't argue the issue on its merits, please just opt out. Don't perpetrate false information.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    June 10, 2011 6:39 p.m.

    RE: The Stumped
    The largest group here illegally is from Mexico. Mexico has the 14th best economy in the world. It's greed that makes people ignore the laws and come here illegally for the work. Those that come here legally usually are hoping to be citizens.

    When 12-20 million people come here illegally and break our laws, I can't help but exercise my free agency and be judgmental.

    I have to wonder why those breaking the immigration laws and the businesses hiring them are not being asked to be compassionate also?

  • phgreek Hooper, UT
    June 10, 2011 6:28 p.m.

    oh boy...first of all, what do you expect the church to say here? The church is responsible for providing leadership for your spiritual well being, First and foremost. I think the church honestly worries that without thoughtfull solutions, this could turn out to be non-christ like.

    But folks, in there is the recognition of the "choice land" thought process, and that we cannot allow for destabilization. Many, many, many of you blew right past that concept.

    What lies in the ballance here is the judgement of when destabilization occurs, and what to do about it. The church is not saying wait for that to happen, then do something.

    Alas, there are tragic consequences for the continued failure of the Fed. to do its job. For that I am sorry...but resolute in implementing what must be done. WHile we determine what constitutes destabilization, and press the Fed into reform, enforcement must lead the way.

    This is the definition of making the tough decisions...thank you church leaders for your leadership on the spiritual side, however I'll support the measures necessary regardless of the position of the church.

  • praxis Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 6:21 p.m.

    @Terrie - there **IS** a "legal path for the people who most need to be here." - those that "just want to work." You should "research that for yourself" - but, let me help you:

    Workers can come to the U.S. legally by using the **EXISTING** federal Guest Worker program with categories for different work types:

    - Permanent Labor Certification: A certification issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) allows an employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States.

    - H-2A Temporary Labor Certification (Seasonal Agricultural): Program for agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature.

    - H-2B Temporary Labor Certification (Non-agricultural): Program permits employers to hire foreign workers to come temporarily to the U.S. and perform temporary nonagricultural services or labor on a one-time, seasonal, peakload or intermittent basis.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    June 10, 2011 6:19 p.m.

    "The history of mass expulsion or mistreatment of individuals or families is cause for concern especially where race, culture or religion are involved."

    Race has nothing to do with it. It's an illegal act, no matter who does it. So is hiring those here illegally. You can make your own laws about membership and temple access, but we have to abide by the laws of the land.

  • Steven Harper Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 6:17 p.m.

    Anyone who recommends "expulsion" of 12 million human beings is not concerned with our economy, our image in the world, with fixing our broken immigration system, the logistical impossibility of the project, or the political ramifications of targeting a bloc of immigrants whose grandchildren will be the majority in America at mid-century. Those folks have another agenda, and it's not punishing law breakers. We have laws, police, & a judicial system for that. It's fair to ask them - minus the above reasons - just what that agenda is.

  • The Stumped Rexburg, ID
    June 10, 2011 6:09 p.m.

    The problem that never seems to get enough attention is the reason for illegal immigration. Generally speaking, poor economic conditions in counties result in able-bodied workers leaving to find decent paying jobs (by their standard) in another country. In some cases, so they can send money back to their families. This happens all over the world. Political turmoil and war may contribute to that poor economy. Regardless, most immigrants I've met here from around the world love their native countries. Most would stay in, or return to, their countries if it were possible. Although they are grateful for the opportunities the U.S. provides them and their families, however meager, they would rather be in their countries. Why don't we talk more about fixing that problem and helping people return and take care of their families back home?

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    June 10, 2011 6:06 p.m.

    HB 116 is scaring me. I want to know who is behind it. I don't believe it originated in Utah anymore.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    June 10, 2011 6:06 p.m.

    The LDS were at war with Mexico when the pioneers settled here. The analogy does not work unless we admit this is war. We ended up winning the land, then paying for it.

    I think some still believe that illegal immigration is a victimless crime. It's not.

    The higher law applies to everyone. Compassion does not lie with only one side of the issue. The LDS church is global, and this preferential treatment is being noticed by people around the world. I do not believe that any higher power would condone such preferential treatment that ignores so many of his laws. Their statement is so full of wiggle words, how can anyone make sense of it?

    If laws are to be enforced, then deportation and coming back legally is the only option under the law. If compassion is mandatory, then business must comply with the laws of the land. Amnesty and creation of a second class of people surely is not their intent?

  • open minded Lehi, UT
    June 10, 2011 6:05 p.m.

    I am sure some LDS members will still try to find a way to enforce their prejudice despite these church leadership statements. How can anyone still defend their hatred after the church has just clearly pointed out that there is a lot of hate and not love when it comes to immigration.

  • praxis Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 5:55 p.m.

    "...if you are not caught or if you overstay a visa it is only civil more like a speeding ticket." positiverealist | 11:41 (page 1)

    WRONG - Coming into the U.S. without proper clearance and documentation (read that permission) is a violation of the U.S. CRIMINAL CODE: TITLE 8 > CHAPTER 12 > SUBCHAPTER II > Part VIII > ยง 1325 Improper entry by alien

    Civil Offense: Caught at the border while trying to enter the U.S. illegally

    Misdemeanor: Being in the U.S. illegally

    Most traffic tickets issued for traffic offenses are "infractions" -- including mechanical violations and most non-dangerous moving violations. It becomes a misdemeanor or felony if it causes injury to a person or destruction of property.

    A misdemeanor is a criminal charge - a lessor offense than a felony, but they are not without penalties.

    According to FBI statistics:
    1) 99% of long term "over-stayers" (enter on a visa and stay 3 or more months past their date to depart the country) never intended to leave on time.
    2) 99% of illegal aliens commit their first felony within 30 days of entering the country.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    June 10, 2011 5:29 p.m.

    Those here illegally already have a compassionate way to continue working here. They can go home and come back legally. Problem is solved, and we are compassionate to all concerned.

    Allowing people to stay after breaking the law is amnesty. It is compassionate to no one, as it teaches those here illegally that breaking the law is tolerated. It is not compassionate to those citizens that have had to pay taxes to support their dishonest behavior. It is not compassionate to business that plays by the rules. There is nothing compassionate about amnesty.

    The Supreme court has ruled that it's illegal to hire them. Where is the church statement condemning the lack of compassion in our business community?

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    June 10, 2011 5:29 p.m.

    1) The Federal government isn't going to provide an adequate solution to this issue, now or ever.
    2) A touchy subject, no doubt . . . but with 25-50,000,000 Americans either unemployed or underemployed, how will we pay for all the free goodies demanded by the invaders? Will the churches chip in? Nope.
    3) We need to get serious about this, and we need to do it soon. We're in trouble already, although many are very adept at putting their heads deep in the sand.
    4) Those who pay should have a say. How about it taxpayers? Are YOU going to have a voice in this, or will it always be those who supposedly "represent" you?
    5) If you want to see what the effect of mass uncontrolled invasion does to an area, look at California. Or, compare West Valley to what it was twenty years ago. Go ahead . . . get an honest look at the problem. We won't be able to simply wish this one away with more brotherly love.

  • Mysty Lilburn, GA
    June 10, 2011 5:28 p.m.

    I agree that we're all children of God. I also agree that we are to obey the "laws of the land". It looks to me like the church teaches that only those that are born & raised in the USA are obligated to obey those laws. That if you're here illegally, you are forgiven, you can live a life of lies & secret combinations, and, this absolutely makes me angry: You can have a temple recommend, even though you're being unfair to your fellow man!!!! What is with this double standard????

  • Terrie Bittner Warminster, PA
    June 10, 2011 5:21 p.m.

    Ezra Taft Benson gave an important talk on 14 fundamentals of following the prophet. If you're LDS and putting the party before the prophet, please read it. Remember also that laws sometimes conflict, as they do here, and the higher law is justice and mercy, not civil law and living prophets trump dead ones. Note also that the Mormon pioneers--possibly the ancestors of some who oppose this statement--were illegal immigrants. You might be the descendent of an illegal immigrant yourself. Utah was owned by Mexico and we didn't get a land grant. Also note there is no legal path for the people who most need to be here. Research that for yourself. You must have family, wealth, or a high degree in a rare field. Also, for those thinking it was a membership or tithing issue: The Church collects tithings from Mormons of all nations and they can be converted in Mexico as well as here. We're a world-wide church, with more than half of membership outside the U.S.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    June 10, 2011 5:12 p.m.

    What to do about the 12 million here already....
    Well, what do you do when you find someone in the temple without a recommend? Or camped out in the parking lot of any chapel?
    You remove them. To do less will only encourage others. And the pressure to come here is enormous.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 5:05 p.m.

    Adam, at the beginning of these comments, said:

    "Can I also go to Heaven illegally and then "square up" with God once I get there so I can stay?"

    Good question -- especially since those who say "that's what the Atonement is all about" are doctrinally wrong.

    "And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.

    "Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, FALSE AND VAIN AND FOOLISH DOCTRINES, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark."

    The Book of Mormon
    2 Nephi 28:8-9
    upper caps mine

  • CaseyA Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 5:01 p.m.

    Johnathon S, great point with one glaring flaw ... a country and a home are different. Individual property rights are not the same as immigration rights and laws. In fact, they aren't similar.

  • KM Cedar Hills, UT
    June 10, 2011 4:55 p.m.

    The LDS Church has made another great statement on an important issue. "The US government should secure its borders and sharply reduce or eliminate the flow of undocumented immigrants. Unchecked and unregulated, such a flow may destabilize society and ultimatley become unsustainable." Well, does anybody think that the power driven politicians are going to do anything to curb the flow of illegals into this country? No Way! Also, I think its really part of the plan with this administration. Look at the people and groups who have influenced our dear leader and tell me they don't mean to "fundamentally transform" this country by any means possible.

  • DY13 Orem, UT
    June 10, 2011 4:52 p.m.

    Its nice and idealistic to hope that the federal government will enforce our laws. The reality is that they have not, do not and seem to have no intention to change.

    Since that is the reality, individual states have taken it upon themselves to protect their citizens from all the problems created by hundreds of thousands of illegal people moving into their communities.

    If Utah wants to be the state that welcomes illegals while other states pass laws that discourage them from coming, we will soon double and triple our illegal population. Over time, Utah will no longer be Utah. Our kids and grand kids will live in a different Utah than the one we know. Economics 101 - Incentives matter.

  • Jonathan S Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 4:46 p.m.

    How much can one love his neighbor when his neighbor is in his home uninvited, and at great expense?

    The US is a home writ large. U.S. citizens are its only owners. A primary right of home-ownership is determining who gets in, and who must leave. Those who aren't owners of this home -- such as legal resident aliens, who are guests, and illegal aliens, who are invaders -- have no rights, not even to an explanation for why they most leave.

    These are the rights literal homeowners take for granted with regard to their literal homes, and it moves me to ask border-jumper-sympathizers: why do you set moral standards for your country that you'd never follow in your household?

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 10, 2011 4:44 p.m.

    Clark Kent, Joggle, and others who have mentioned tithing as the possible impetus here.

    I find it hard to take such assertions seriously.

    Perhaps the Hispanic population in Utah is different, but in the several states where I have interacted with them, they have not typically made the type of wages that would even begin to make money a factor. Yes, some folks are successful and more will be as time passes. But if this were about money the church would not be moving this way.

    In fact, if money was an issue at all, I doubt the church would be moving as aggressively as it has been to establish wards and branches in the third world. Doing so simply makes no economic sense - these areas will be in negative cash flow for decades to come.

    Doing these things makes sense only if you believe that all are God's children and deserving of the gospel. And that is the real reason behind this policy.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    June 10, 2011 4:41 p.m.

    It would be wise to assure the situation does not happen again. With 75-80% of the people here illegally from one ethnic group, that has to be addressed.

    Tell their leaders that they must come here legally, and that they must return home and come back legally under the law.

  • Serenity Now American Fork, UT
    June 10, 2011 4:41 p.m.

    Thank you LDS Church for another reasonable, sane statement aimed at (I believe) reactionary state legislators. Those who frame the immigration debate with simple-minded analogies to illegal burglaries, illegal trespassing, or other illegal activities need to broaden their thinking of a very complicated issue (that should be resolved solely by the feds).

    Descendant of 1854 immigrants from Wales and fugitives of Missouri Governor Boggs extermination order...

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 4:39 p.m.

    @EJM | 11:22 a.m. June 10, 2011

    "As for this Utah Catholic a big "Thank you" to the LDS Church for this."

    EJM, are you not aware, as a Utah Catholic, that the Most Reverend Bishop Wester now takes a position in opposition to HB116 precisely because it would convert Utah's illegals into a non-citizen sub-class?

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    June 10, 2011 4:38 p.m.

    Joel Wisch You are incorrect. Mass expulsion has not only happened with the LDS it has happened with native Americans and Japanese Americans. The church is absolutely correct. A mass deportation would involve mostly hispanics. One other thought. How do we determine citizenship. Make people carry papers with them like was done in Eastern Europe. I don't want my government demanding people prove citizenship based on ethnicity. That is unconstitutional.

  • gsa RIVERTON, UT
    June 10, 2011 4:22 p.m.

    This is a very reasonable approach. Jesus said love everyone treat them kindly too.

  • JMT Springville, UT
    June 10, 2011 4:18 p.m.

    Translation, nothing has changed.

    I respect where they are coming from but this does not solve the problem. The 20,000 foot view is that this provides an incentive to sneak your way here and get squared away second. It is incentive to break the law, pure and simple. This is our current system with an emphasis on creating a greater incentive.

    I have come around to the idea of a working Bracero Work Visa with no abbreviated process for citizenship. Provide this to current workers, make it easy to obtain and retain, and cross the border. Most illegal immigrants want to remain citizens of their homeland but come here for work.

    The 50,000 foot view is the inequity caused by numerous laws. This is pure economics but the minimum wage creates massive problems that so many try and get around. Welfare benefits the same. Free education and health care. Ultimately what we are seeing is groups of people fighting over the spoils of a redistributive wealth system. Remove those from the equation and watch this problem disappear. People that want to come here can, no one is playing Karl Marx.

    I know, no chance of it ever happening.

    June 10, 2011 4:13 p.m.

    Compassion is a two way street. Where is the compassion for those who jobs were stolen, for those who ID's were stolen for those waiting in other countries to come here legally?

    Allowing people to stay here that break the law seems racist to me, since it would affect one ethnic group the most.

    You teach by example. Allowing those who commit the crime to continue committing it, does not set the proper example.

  • Allen#1 West Valley, UT
    June 10, 2011 4:13 p.m.

    Thank you Utah Catholic for your show of compassion. Altho I had been told many times back in the 50's and 60's that the Roman Catholic Church was the Church of the Devil, it is refreshing to read that the LDS Church leadership often works side by side with the Roman Catholic Church to help the poor and the needy in Utah and elsewhere.
    ...I have enjoyed the hospitality of the Catholic Church more than once in the beautiful Cathedral of the Madeleine and the Helena Cathedral.

  • jim l West Jordan, UT
    June 10, 2011 4:11 p.m.

    This is like asking some people to pay 30% tithing and having some pay nothing. I work in construction and my wages have been suppressed by the illegals, while other people in and out of construction benefit by hiring the illegals, paying them nothing and waiting for the rest of us to pick up the tab for their free health care etc. etc. This is wrong. I guess ill inform my bishop that i have allready given at the office.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 3:59 p.m.

    "The church supports an approach where undocumented immigrants are allowed to square themselves with the law"

    Lets see, we have HB 469, the sponsorship bill, one of the 4 bills that was signed, that could do that. We don't need HB 116 for that.

    Someone here illegally could find a sponsor, go home and come back with permission.

    To be considered for approval as a resident immigrant for purposes of
    the program, a foreign national shall: at the time of filing the
    application be living outside of the United States

    HB 469 only allows the the person or family sponsoring, to sponsor 2 people or a family.

    If we are going to have a line for people to come to this country, you cant reward those who bypass the line. They need to be sent to the back of the line. That doesnt mean you should stop treating them like people.

  • UtahnativeinliberalCA Claremont, CA
    June 10, 2011 3:59 p.m.

    The Federal Governments failure to secure the borders has resulted in the problems existing in California and other border states, which is now spreading enough to become a problem in other states. The problem will continue until the Federal Government secures the Border and locates the ones who do not have a legal status in this country. A method should be provided for those without legal status to be guests for a period of time similar to some countries Visa restrictions. They should have to obtain a legal guest worker status renewable for periods of time if they are gainfully employed, crime free, and paying their fair share of taxes. Right now the problem is a mess created by failure of the Federal Government to protect and follow the Constitution.

  • Jeffrey Wilbur Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 10, 2011 3:58 p.m.

    To those trying to paint the Church as hypocritical here, you should be aware that "honoring, sustaining and obeying the law" has ALWAYS come second to honoring, sustaining and obeying God's law.

    Are you even aware who the Article of Faith which teaches that came from? Joseph Smith. And what did Joseph Smith practice? Polygamy, which was in direct violation of civil law.

    Anyone who thinks that the Church is trying to have it both ways here is just revealing themselves to be almost completely ignorant of what the history of the Church actually entails.

    The bottom line is that the Church is not, and should not be, in the business of enforcing immigration policy. They are "in the business" of saving souls, and that should not be, and is not, dependent on the legal status of the soul in question.

    Besides, let's not mince words here: this isn't about political stance or some self-righteous philosophy of obeying the law. It's about the discomfort and mistrust people feel around brown people, with a different culture, who speak a different language.

  • Danish American Payson, UT
    June 10, 2011 3:55 p.m.

    Any judge or legislature who refuses to enforce the law has to be removed from office.

    June 10, 2011 3:48 p.m.

    Has the LDS church been threatened by the 13 countries that openly condemned Utah's laws? It was my first thought.

    With 36% of legal green cards going to one ethnic group that makes up less than 7% of the worlds population, they are already getting preferential treatment. With 80% of those breaking our immigration laws comprised of one ethnic group, they would be affected by enforcement more. It's nonsense to stop enforcing laws because one group breaks them more than others. The problem is not with our laws, but with the group that breaks them.

  • Bompar Provo, Utah
    June 10, 2011 3:42 p.m.

    To Bompar-

    I'm sure that when you (and I) get before God's judgment bar, we'll be hoping that "compassion supersedes the law." If that's the case on the other side, then perhaps it's time we started practicing it in earnest in the here and now.

    To blj123,
    How right you are! However, Im not sure the condition of ones heart can be meaningfully applied to immigration; immigration compliance may be more in the legal arena, perhaps more akin to ones willingness to accept baptism. Which leads to another situationthere may be room for everybody in heaven; Utah, not so much.

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    June 10, 2011 3:29 p.m.

    The timing of this official statement is interesting. I think this will ultimately completely eliminate any chance that Romney had to get elected.

  • We the People Sandy, UT
    June 10, 2011 3:26 p.m.

    Dave D:

    Well, let us use your logic. If people have no control over where they were born, should we permit those born in abusive situations to break laws without consequence? I think not.

    Everyone must choose to act for themselves, no matter in what circumstances they are. I do not judge illegals. I really do not. I feel for them, just as I feel for the millions waiting to come to this country legally but cannot because, in part, of those who cut in line by entering this nation illegally. I believe we do not need to punish illegals, deprive them of dignity, or inflict any other pain. I want only that they return them to their homelands. My dad is a legal immigrant who played by the rules. Why should his efforts be ignored?

    Illegals are in captivity here; they have limited educational opportunities and generally are subjected to all sorts of abuses ranging from their "guides" who help them cross the borders to those who give them low wages simply because they can and the illegal cannot turn offenders over to proper authorities. I want these illegals to go home and return legally.

  • byu rugby Crystal Lake, IL
    June 10, 2011 3:25 p.m.

    How can you get a temple recommend when you aren't adhering to the law of the land? This is a major problem for me. I am not perfect but, how can members who break the law of our land be allowed to enjoy full fellowship?

    Since when is it ok to pick and choose which of our basic beliefs we will adher to?

  • JBrady Murray, Ut
    June 10, 2011 3:23 p.m.

    The Church has ignored compassion towards our citizens and those of other countries that try to come here legally. They have forgotten our legal workers have lost jobs to those who break our laws, and American workers have had their ability to feed their family weakened.

    Something is wrong here.

  • DrAnnBlakeTracy Bountiful, Utah
    June 10, 2011 3:04 p.m.

    I would consider myself conservative and a Tea Partier, BUT I was also born and raised in Southern Arizona where I grew up with illegals. They were never a problem! I have said from the beginning of this issue that someone is trying to start a race war. To me it is clear and I appreciate the Church reminding us that these are our brothers and sisters we are treating this way!

    If you want this "problem" taken care of why not start with OUR Immigration Dept. Like start over! Dealing with them is like stepping into the very pit of hell!! For years I have said I do not know why anyone would go through what they put you through to get into this country!! Are any of you familiar with that abominable institution?!! If not you need to learn what you are asking these people to subject themselves to in order to be in this country. I for one never want to have to deal with them again after adopting outside the US!!! Yes, they even force tiny babies to go through this process! As an American I am embarrassed by our INS!

  • Dave D Pocatello, ID
    June 10, 2011 3:02 p.m.

    Adam said

    "Can I also go to Heaven illegally and then "square up" with God once I get there so I can stay?"

    Not exactly; we should be repenting along the way. But make no mistake: nobody earns their way into heaven. It is only through the grace of Christ. And if Christ has the compassion to grant those of us who strive to live the gospel eternal life despite our shortcomings, shouldn't we have compassion on those children of God who want to live here, but had no control over where they were born?

  • We the People Sandy, UT
    June 10, 2011 2:52 p.m.

    Elder Holland recently gave a talk in the Middle East. The Church's website has his remarks under the title," Members in Middle East Reminded to Obey, Honor, and Sustain Law."

    I wish that applied here.

  • whistle219 princeton, IN
    June 10, 2011 2:49 p.m.

    The problem, being that the real solution to the illegal emigration is blocked by the left. An ID card system that contains a photo and finger prints along with other biometerics seems to rankel the left each time it is brought up. With such an ID card system we could track them where ever they are,if you are law biding then you would not have a problem with this.

  • donburi Oceanside, CA
    June 10, 2011 2:41 p.m.

    "The First Presidency has for many years taught that undocumented status should not by itself prevent an otherwise worthy Church member from entering the temple or being ordained to the priesthood. Bishops are in the best position to make appropriate judgments as to church privileges."

    I'm guessing that stealing identity would preclude one from temple or priesthood service. I hope Bishops ask that question.

  • DistantThunder Vincentown, NJ
    June 10, 2011 2:39 p.m.

    Americans are desperate for work, especially teenagers. Years ago teenagers would work in the fields and paid for their schooling this way. Why can't we try and see if it would work? If not then use immigrant labor. We need to rebuild our workforce with Americans.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 2:34 p.m.

    Amen to this statement by the Church. However, there are enormous benefits to the cheap labor lobby to influence the government to not protect the border. We citizens of the USA need to insist even harder that the federal government protect our border.

    Also, I do NOT want to hear from Church members with statements that over-generalize this Church statement, applying their own personal agendas and personal interpretations of this statement.

  • Eliot Santaquin, UT
    June 10, 2011 2:27 p.m.

    Should we now consider HB116 to be the 139th section of the Doctrine and Covenants or is there still room to debate its merits? Does the church's plea to its members to avoid being judgmental extend to those who look narrowly upon fellow saints who have adopted an immigration position contrary to their own?

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 2:26 p.m.

    I live and work all around illegal aliens.

    I sometimes wonder how/where the LDS church has gotten the perception they have of illegal immigrants. Is it the Sutherland institute, the Chamber of commerce, or other advocates of sub-par labor rates?

    When Utah state government talks about having their own "guest worker" program what makes anyone think the illegal will even WANT to sign up for it?
    They don't "sign up" for much of anything unless it gets them free stuff.
    Most illegal immigrants I know carry 3-4 sets of "I.D.", then if they get a misdemeanor citation, or the I.D. is "discovered" some other way, they just switch to a new one.
    Also, who in state government is going to be enforcing the new "state worker" visas, and WHAT HAPPENS to those who choose NOT to "sign up".

    Think things through!
    The ONLY approach that makes sense and will work is ENFORCEMENT.

    Most illegal aliens are VERY hard workers, and I DO have compassion for their plight but Utahns simply cannot afford to continue to bear the financial burden they put on the LEGAL citizens of Utah.

  • lopaki Holladay, UT
    June 10, 2011 2:08 p.m.

    I support this statement by the LDS Church about the need for a comprehensive solution contemplated by a series of bills passed by the Utah legislature including HB 116 as opposed to an enforcement only solution being pursued by Arizona and now even more so by Alabama. As a state delegate to the Republican convention, I will be voting against any resolution to repeal HB 116. There may be areas that HB 116 could be improved since it does not take effect for two years but it is clearly on the right track. I thank the Utah legislature and Governor for the courage to tackle these difficult issues in the face of the federal government (including our federal delegation) failing to even attempt to address the issue.

  • welcomethemall Nampa, ID
    June 10, 2011 2:07 p.m.

    One additional note: I live in a community that is at least 30% hispanic, many of who are probably here illegally.

    I welcome them! They bring with them a rich cultural heritage that includes a powerful love of and devotion to family.

    My hispanic neighbors are religious, hardworking, good people. They pay their fair share of taxes (when they buy gas, pay rent, have income taxes withheld, buy groceries or cars...) nothing is coming to them for free. They don't use social services at any higher rate than do "citizens." To claim otherwise is to underestimate the vast power of our government in its ability to collect taxes.

    How are hispanic gangs today any different than the 1860's Irish gangs in New York or Boston, or the 1880's Asian gangs of San Francisco? Were those gangs "caused" by illegal immigration? Rather, perhaps gangs are one of the natural byproducts of poverty and ignorance. (Again, bless the Church in its Perpetual Education work.)

    The point is, the Brethren GET IT. This is a humanitarian issue that is vastly more complex than just "hunt 'em down, jail 'em and shippin' 'em back south cuz theyze took mah job"

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    June 10, 2011 2:06 p.m.

    I love the moderation and compassion of this statement. But it is clear not all LDS do. I suppose there is a reason the church does not want to get involved in political issues. Offend the far right members with this just like the far left were offended with Prop 8 involvement. And yet the church keeps stepping its toes into the political waters.

    I do think that when the church chooses to comment on political issues like this it is purely administrative rather than any kind of doctrinal action. Members should not feel guilty if their political beliefs differ. This is not a "revelation" that needs to be framed in the LDS living room.

  • eaglesglen St. George, UT
    June 10, 2011 1:56 p.m.

    I understand being an illegal alien is a direct violation of United Nations Article 23 Human Rights of American citizens employment (or unemployment). Also appears the U.S. Fed violated U.S. Constitution 9th amendment rights of American citizens by seizing about 7 million jobs from American citizens. And none of these require payment for illegal use of the land, the USA?

  • milhouse Atlanta, GA
    June 10, 2011 1:55 p.m.

    Huge fan.

  • New Yorker Pleasant Grove, UT
    June 10, 2011 1:54 p.m.

    Amen to this great clarification! After all the land belong to them if one believes Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the speaker in this quote, who is Jesus Christ himself: "But if they (the Gentiles coming to the Americas) will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob (a part of the indigenous peoples of the Americas), unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance." (3 Nephi 21:22)

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    June 10, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    @positiverealist, you cannot be serious. The government is not aggressive in deporting those who are unlawfully present. Millions are identified and released back on the street. Just ask the SLC police chief.

  • johnnylingo62 Gray, TN
    June 10, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    I hope everyone understands that NOT all non-US Citizens living and working in the USA want to become Citizens of this country - I would think that most don't care about "becoming a US Citizen". They come to "make money" and "have opportunity at a better life".
    So the LDS Church's statement addresses the "path to citizenship" as not the prime purpose for immigration reform. It's not amnesty to become citizens. The purpose is to get a VISA system that works so proper documentation with "limited rights" to non-citizens. The key is for EMPLOYERS to only hire "legal workers" - those with legal papers that have the rights to "normal wages" and not under the table payments that hurts US Citizens ability to compete for the same work available.
    The LDS Statement also redoubles its stance that this is a FEDERAL issue that needs to be addressed and the BORDERS should be secure. That is the only way to attempt to create a STABLE environment that can be "controlled" and monitored and safe for everyone.
    There should be Quotas for non-citizen workers - need a viable system that is enforceable and acceptable.

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    June 10, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    It is one thing to question the churchs position on specifics, but it is quite another thing to publicly chastise the church and its leaders for abandoning its one point claiming the church is separating itself from the 12th Article of Faith and the rule of law.....and supporting criminal activities such as illegal immigration. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has abandoned its claims to neutrality apparently. Of course the Church has this stance....afterall...there is an estimated 50 to 75 percent of members in Utahs 100-plus Spanish-speaking congregations that are undocumented. That includes many bishops, branch presidents, even stake presidents. The church sends missionaries among undocumented immigrants across the country, baptizing many of them without asking about their status. It also allows them to go to the churchs temples and on missions. Plus there is that potential loss of tithing money!

    It all seems contridictory to me and that the stance the Church claims is not what the Church's real agenda. They seem to be's alright for members to break immigration law! WOW!

  • welcomethemall Nampa, ID
    June 10, 2011 1:47 p.m.

    I am amazed at the number of people who equate man-made laws with the moral absoluteness of the decalogue. Others in this discussion have referred to this problem - allow me to be more blunt.

    - Jim Crow laws were the "law of the land" well into my lifetime. They should NEVER have been obeyed.
    - It was illegal for Mormons to vote in the state of Idaho until the 1970's. No one obeyed that law.

    Our current immigration policies are as inherently racist and ignorant as Jim Crow and anti-mormon or anti-catholic laws were - there is no way around it. The rhetoric against hispanic immigrants now is exactly the same - virtually verbatim -- as the vitriol spewed against Catholic immigrants in the 1800s. (Sidenote: I have yet to meet ANYONE who pointed to a job and said, "That Columbian person took that job from me!")

    To reflexively say "we believe in obeying the laws of the land" is silly. What you REALLY mean is "we believe in obeying the laws I like."

    Have we progressed so little in the last 200 years?

    I bless you my neighbors to the south for trying to create compassionate compromise.

  • flatlander Omaha, NE
    June 10, 2011 1:42 p.m.

    OK, being here illegally does not restrict church service but how does one live who is here without a visa. They steal or make a false identity, work for cash and don't pay taxes, lie on their employment application if they fill one out. Do these things restrict church service?

  • WestWyo Orem, UT
    June 10, 2011 1:40 p.m.

    I agree wholeheartely with fitness freak, we as a nation cannot continue with this financial drain! The big problem is the Feds aren't doing ANYTHING with immigration, that's why the states are trying to get something going! I think the chruch is "politely" trying to say...."GO HOME"!

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    June 10, 2011 1:38 p.m.

    I agree with the Church's statement but one thing I am still having a problem with is the idea of encouraging illegals to cross the border(breaking the law.

  • cork Murray, UT
    June 10, 2011 1:33 p.m.

    The Church IS accepting illegal behavior from its members when it allows the benefits derived from church membership to those who have clearly broken the law of the land.

    Until the borders are physically secured by the Federal government, states are forced do do something to protect its own citizenry. They have the moral and legal right to do so. Unless the borders are so secured, this country can look to California as a microcosm of what is to come.

    I personally will save my sympathetic help for those of any nationality who made the conscientious and expensive effort to come here legally, as well as to those sorely affected and displaced because illegals have taken food out their mouths. And that means all the law-abiding actual taxpaying citizenry.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 1:32 p.m.

    "Mass expulsion without serious cause has never happened in our country, and I pray, never will."

    Try looking up the Trail of Tears. Or heck, in a way the 1840s LDS members were kicked out.

  • Pa. Reader Harrisburg, PA
    June 10, 2011 1:29 p.m.

    Idealogues worship their own ideology. When living Prophets speak and that ideology is shown to be flawed, the clear choice is between repentance and apostasy. (Those who imply the Brethren's position is based onnumbers of baptisms have already made that choice.)
    Simplistic extremism and sloganized thinking are almost always out of step with the true Kingdom of God. Complex problems require complex solutions. Let us literally thank the Lord for kind and compassionate leaders who love all God's children equally, and who refuse to descend into political gamesmanship.

  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    June 10, 2011 1:28 p.m.

    Thus, to all of those who are here illegally, please keep paying your tithing and we will keep giving you a temple recommend. This isn't that hard to see between the lines here ..

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 10, 2011 1:28 p.m.

    It doesn't matter how many times or ways the Brethern say it --
    There will always be those who will put political party ideology, Fox News, and Limbaugh, Beck, Levin, and Hannity;
    over what the Lord has clearly and repeatedly said.

  • Bompar Provo, Utah
    June 10, 2011 1:27 p.m.

    To Bompar-

    I'm sure that when you (and I) get before God's judgment bar, we'll be hoping that "compassion supersedes the law." If that's the case on the other side, then perhaps it's time we started practicing it in earnest in the here and now.

    How right you are. However, Im not sure the condition of ones heart can be meaningfully applied to immigration; immigration compliance may be more in the legal arena, perhaps more akin to ones willingness to accept baptism. Which leads to another situationthere may be room for everybody in heaven. Utah? I'm thinking not so much.

  • Sarah Nichole West Jordan, UT
    June 10, 2011 1:26 p.m.

    I definitely agree with the Church's stance on this. I've said this before, but it's always been my feeling that when it comes to illegal immigrants, three things need to happen:

    The federal government needs to start doing its job - and also stop sueing the states who try to take up the slack when it doesn't do its job;

    Those who are here illegally need to take steps to remedy that, and make restitution for breaking the law (and there are all sorts of ways that can be done: paying a fine, community service, serving a short jail sentence, being deported and coming back through other means, etc.);

    And then solutions should be found to help them stay, so long as they aren't wanted for another crime in this or any other country. If they're otherwise law-abiding, productive members of society, then we should come up with a solution to help them stay.

  • Chris Bryant SLC, UT
    June 10, 2011 1:25 p.m.

    The funny thing is, Jeff Wilbur is spot on. Many who claim to be faithful LDS will choose their political party line over what their religion teaches on this one.

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    June 10, 2011 1:15 p.m.

    Thank you NightTrader for broadening the discussion. As a child of a Danish immigrant, my thoughts immediately go to Denmark and their current problem with thousands and thousands of Muslims seeking citizenship there. FYI, that nation is trying its best to stem the tide, too, even passing a recent law that non-Danish citizens must be age 25 to marry in Denmark. Since most Danes today either marry quite late or don't marry at all, this law was passed to discourage Muslims, who are encouraged to marry as young as age 18, from choosing to reside there. I am pleased that the LDS Church has released this Statement and know it will remind Latter-day Saints in countries around the world to treat all as our brothers and sisters.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 10, 2011 1:11 p.m.

    If Utah were to adopt an open border, amnesty approach as stated you can look no further than California to understand the long term economic consequences - BANKRUPTSY. California adopted the same "look the other way" approach to illegal immigration and now they are broke. Not really hard to figure out why a state can't simply absorb millions of illegals with no economic consequences.

  • Moderate Thinking Bogota, Colombia, AA
    June 10, 2011 1:08 p.m.

    Well articulated policy. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I would hope that my fellow members and myself can set the example of compassion and fairness towards immigrants of all types, understanding and empathizing with those who truly seek a better life for themselves and their families. As a citizen of the United States, I hope we can find better solutions that provide easier means for those who will add to the diversity and industry of our country to immigrate legally, and not forcing them to break laws out of necessity for survival.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 10, 2011 1:06 p.m.


    actually the statement goes much further than you have stated. For those who are here illegally (those who have broken the law and crossed our borders) get to stay here and keep doing whatever they were doing as long as they "square with the law". We can and should treat all people with kindness and sensitivity but that does not imply turning our head to the consequences of law breakers. Illegals should be deported (with kindness) and then encouraged to obey the laws of the US and "earn" their citizenship the right way just like millions of their fellow countrymen have though out the past 200 years. It's as if there are no negative consequences for the LEGAL citizens of Utah which is completely false. Taxes much be raised to support the flood of illegals not to mention the violent crime and illegal drugs they bring with them. We can be kind and sensitive while at the same time enforce the laws of our country. Yes we can do both and we should do both.

  • BYU Papa Cedar Hills, ut
    June 10, 2011 1:02 p.m.

    It is interesting that some have critisized the LDS Church, saying that there have never been any mass expulsions here in the United States. Please Look up the extermination order issued by Governor Liliburn Boggs against the Mormons.

  • Teafortwo salt lake city, utah
    June 10, 2011 1:01 p.m.

    The illegals had a chance to "square themselves with the law" before they came here illegally. There is already a "path to citizenship" for people from other countries who want to live in the USA. Illegal immigrants chose to bypass that path when they came here illegally and they should not be rewarded for having done so.....

  • Viva la Migra American Fork, UT
    June 10, 2011 1:01 p.m.

    In stating that the church "discourages members to cross borders illegally or overstay visas", what does that mean exactly? Most of the other church policies are pretty black and white.

    For example in the Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, the church doesn't just "discourage" people from smoking, drinking alcohol, etc... but is very clear that this affects an individuals worthiness for the temple and in some cases callings. The church also delves into civil matters, asking whether or not a member is paying state-ordered child support when determining worthiness.

    Simply stating that it discourages something, without any clear penalty seems to be the same thing as encouraging members to drive safely and obey traffic laws when they leave the conference center...

    Perhaps it should consider returning to its previous policies of not actively converting illegal aliens (asking them to return to their homeland before being taught the gospel)

  • Some1outthere Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 12:59 p.m.

    Wow you can break the law (be here illegally - KUTV) and still hold a temple recommand, callings and the priesthood but if you smoke or drink or live with a person who you are not married to, all of which are legal you can't have a recommand.

    My point - being here illegally is wrong. So is smoking, drinking and shacking up with a person of the opposite sex and yes families can be destroyed by even doing the things which are legal.

    People who are here illegally are taking jobs from those who are actually citizens of this state/country. In our ward we have two people who are from other countries here because the person they married is a citizen and both of these foreigners have jobs. While the persons I speak of are wonderful people sorry but those who are born in this country should be the ones with the jobs that they hold.

  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    June 10, 2011 12:57 p.m.

    If you agree with this Church statement you must like the slavery and depressed wages for unskilled workers in the United States. Since none of the comments seem to come from the unskilled labor folks, I suppose their plight should be ignored? There is no limit on the number of guest workers that could receive the "Utah Guest Worker Permit." Then again maybe the federal government should stop trying to keep out those that want to improve their standard of living, come to the Utah and supply the cheap labor desired by employers that want to continue paying slave labor wages.

    Don't complain about the economy and those on food stamps and welfare if you agree with the LDS Church, and the Chamber of Commerce that want to flood the unskilled labor market with foreign cheap labor.

    By the way, this state delegate and my wife who is also a delegate will be voting for The Repeal HB116 Resolution at the Republican State Convention on the 18th.

  • Jeffrey Wilbur Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 10, 2011 12:56 p.m.

    This is going to put many people in this state between a rock and a hard place.

    I'm calling it now and saying most will choose to side with their politics over their religion on this.

  • jmort SLO, CA
    June 10, 2011 12:53 p.m.

    Very intesting. A lot of general statements, but one thing was loud and clear: the Church believes that who comes and goes in the various states is solely a federal issue. I can't say I disagree, but I wonder how church members in border states, like Arizona, will react.

  • RantBully Bend, OR
    June 10, 2011 12:52 p.m.

    This statement points out both sides of the issue. That is, you have to treat the families here illegally with some respect. At the same time, it is saying that no one should be here illegally. The federal government needs to take care of this issue. Unfortunately, I find both political parties unwilling to do what is needed (but, Republicans are more inclined to act). I don't believe this statement is against Utah's legislative efforts. The states need to pass legislation in order to send a message to the federal government that they ultimately need to act in a similar fashion. What the states pass must be sensitive to those already here. I don't like that these illegals are getting a relatively easy path to staying here, but the statement did not say they should be granted citizenship. It did say to document their presence in an orderly manner. That is the crux of the problem on immigration. That is, there is no control or order to our borders. The statement is not against a wall or secure border. It just wants sensitivity given to those here while illegal immigration must be stopped.

  • blj123 Murray, UT
    June 10, 2011 12:51 p.m.

    To Bompar-

    I'm sure that when you (and I) get before God's judgment bar, we'll be hoping that "compassion supersedes the law." If that's the case on the other side, then perhaps it's time we started practicing it in earnest in the here and now.

  • positiverealist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 12:51 p.m.

    @Say No to BO they can't even go arrest many of these people because they don't have their names and addresses. Many of the real criminals have guns and ICE does not want to go into these dangerous places so they choose to go after and deport the easier cases of people that are not hiding that have applied to fix their cases. Last year they deported almost half a million people and half of those had no criminal record. At this rate it will take over 24 years to deport all of them assuming that no more come in without inspection.(Right) Your right that the penalty is removal and when they do this most of the time families are separated, it is part of their consequences. Criminals still on probation are not baptized but if you have a civil infraction or a speeding ticket this does not hold up your baptism nor should it. Legally they can't just round them up, to go to their homes they are supposed to have a warrant or deportation order and there are millions that we just don't have information on.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    June 10, 2011 12:50 p.m.


    "Uh, ya.

    If you are LDS and really understand how the Atonement works,
    That's precisedly what happens. "

    Nope! Not how it works.
    Nobody goes to heaven ILLEGALLY.

  • NightTrader Colonia, Yap, FSM
    June 10, 2011 12:50 p.m.


    Remember this isn't written just to the Utahns, or just to the Americans. This is a well written, clear, and fair policy statement that applies to all countries, all governments, and to all individuals.

  • Kathy. Provo, Ut
    June 10, 2011 12:42 p.m.

    I'm glad they have made the statement about entering any country without obeying the law of the land.

    I think there are lots of people that have entered or overstayed when visa'a expire that should be made to obey the law of the land.

    I think the mass exodus of law breakers to their own home country should not be equaled with those forced to leave their home country by violence.

    I agree all things done with respect to all concerned, including the tax payer and citizen that is footing the bill.

    I also think that if you are not a citizen of a country and enter illegally any children born to you should continue to the citizens of their parents country. Illegals should not gain from their crimes. You did not subject yourself to the laws of our country and you cannot bestow citizenship on your children.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 10, 2011 12:36 p.m.

    the reason the Church is taking such a soft and confusing stance on immigration is because they need to have good relations with Mexico for continuing to do missionary work and for building temples. I am a bit troubled by this to be honest. Don't we sing the hymm "Choose the right" which states do what is right and let the consequence follow"? In other words OBEY the law of the land .. PERIOD... and then trust in the Lord that by doing the right thing he will support you. We can certainly be humain and kind to illegal's just like we need to be humain and kind to a teenager who is busted for DUI but that does NOT mean we need to also waive the consequences of their actions. Illegals need to be deported and then allowed to come to America in the right way ... by obeying the law and earning the right of true citizenship. By allowing millions of law breakers to stay here we punish the lawful citizens of the US by imposing increased taxes to support the illegals and the loss of millions of jobs as well.

  • Mary E Petty Sandy, UT
    June 10, 2011 12:32 p.m.

    I am grateful for this statement on the reaffirmation of our heritage and values that points to the higher way of resolving the current problems of unjust law in the American Immigration system. Remember how our forefathers dealt with unjust law in that less than perfect colonial day: the original Tea Party members broke the unjust law of their day as did their fellow revolutionaries. Members and non members of today's Tea Party know we have unjust immigration law in America; may we unite together for the betterment of our society and fix the unjust law, appropriately on the federal level. And encourage our leaders and representatives to pass just immigration law that reflects our heritage and common values of the brotherhood of man and loving thy neighbor as thy self.

  • md Smithfield, UT
    June 10, 2011 12:30 p.m.

    How about not baptizing anyone who enters the country illegally?

  • Jazz Bass Man Wellsville, Utah
    June 10, 2011 12:28 p.m.

    I'm sure this statement has been put out as a result of the raging debate over HB116, and the current efforts by many in the state to repeal it. The article makes the following statement: "The Church supports an approach where undocumented immigrants are allowed to square themselves with the law and continue to work without this necessarily leading to citizenship."

    It sounds to me like the church is still supporting the amnesty part of 116, since they still want to allow people here illegally the right to work and stay here. Yet, they want it to APPEAR that they support the rule law. I think that the church cannot have it both ways. Either you support the constitution of this country and the laws it represents - or you don't.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 10, 2011 12:28 p.m.

    Adam makes a GREAT point about sneaking into heaven illegally and squaring up with God to make things ok so I can now stay. "The Church supports an approach where undocumented immigrants are allowed to square themselves with the law and continue to work without this necessarily leading to citizenship". I have to wonder what the term "square themselves with the law" means?? If a thief breaks into a hardware store and steals the cash then decides to "square" with the law he certainly doesn't get to keep the cash nor does he avoid jail. Illegal means "ILLEGAL" and when you do something that is illegal there are consequences. As a member of the LDS church I am confused - honestly - with the middle ground the Church is trying to play here. On one hand we say we believe in honoring, obeying and sustaining the law and then we reverse course and say we discourage illegal entry into the US but if you are illegal and you happen to be here ... well it's ok and you can just stay here and continue to do whatever you were doing. Can't have it both ways.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 10, 2011 12:21 p.m.

    Adam | 11:20 a.m. June 10, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Can I also go to Heaven illegally and then "square up" with God once I get there so I can stay?


    Uh, ya.

    If you are LDS and really understand how the Atonement works,
    That's precisedly what happens.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    June 10, 2011 12:20 p.m.

    These principles have proven themselves over the years. As we have seen, some elected officials and despots try to rule unjustly. At least, we have the ballot box within the United States. A lot of citizens don't vote that should and would make a difference.

    1 We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society.

    2 We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.

    3 We believe that all governments necessarily require civil officers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same; and that such as will administer the law in equity and justice should be sought for and upheld by the voice of the people if a republic, or the will of the sovereign.

  • Hawkeye79 Iowa City, IA
    June 10, 2011 12:17 p.m.

    I fully support allowing a needed number of workers to stay and work at or above minimum wage under the following conditions:

    -They mush register with the government and check in periodically (every few months, or so).

    -They will have no path to full citizenship or voting rights while here. The path to these benefits does not begin by illegally entering the country. (I have a feeling this requirement won't fly well with people who are trying to artificially create voter-support for one party or the other.)

    -Once the registration period has ended, enforcement of non-compliance is greatly enhanced at all levels (border, local, federal).

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    June 10, 2011 12:15 p.m.

    A couple of comments suggest that being here illegally (I call it Immaculate Presence) is a civil infraction.
    True enough, but the penalty for violation of that civil law is removal.
    I can live with that. The trouble is they are not being removed.
    People are not demanding round-ups, just enforcement of existing law. I thought the church taught the same thing. I guess there are exceptions where baptismal statistics are concerned.

  • Bones Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 12:14 p.m.


    First of all I think the mass expulsion of LDS church members from missouri, and pretty much anywhere they tried to settle until the move to Utah is an example of mass expulsion without cause in our nations history.

    Second of all I dont think that the church is refering solely to the history of mass expulsion in the United States. I hope we can agree that in general that mass expulsion based on "race, culture or religion" is bad and sadly has happened many times in human history. Shockingly enough this has been suggested by some as a solution to this problem.

    I'm actually very impressed by this statement as a tool to clarify the
    churches position. The points made that stood out to me are
    1. Illegal immigration can cause instablilty and may become unsustainable
    2. The federal government is urged to come up with a solution because it is their responsibility
    3. We must proceed with compassion.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    June 10, 2011 12:13 p.m.

    We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

    Thanks for this.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 12:06 p.m.

    I am seriously disappointted in the LDS Churches position.....

    Its time that we invade Mexico and clean up the corrupt govt to stop the flood of mexican's fleeing tyranny across our border.....

    The Church could do alot by encouraging the same....

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    June 10, 2011 11:58 a.m.

    Wrong! Repentance takes place before one goes to heaven. Romans 3:23-26 does not support your statement.

    Can mercy rob justice? No, not one whit.
    Illegal aliens broke our laws. Many commit identity fraud. They overburden out social services and cost us a fortune in so many ways.

    I think we need a guest worker program where they can come and work here for a limited period of time (3 to 5 years?) and go home when they are done. They should also come here with the understanding that their children born here will not be citizens.

    We should also make it impossible for people to stay here if they are not legal.

    1. Offer a $10,000 reward to the first person who turns in an employer who hires illegal aliens without exercising due diligence to keep them out. The employer gets to pay a $15,000 fine.
    2. Make it illegal to rent to anyone who is not here legally. The penalty would be: They have to refund all the rent. 100% chance of getting caught.

    Compassionate: Yes (guest worker program)
    Justice: Absolutely

    Do not make a mockery of out laws.

  • Carson Provo, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:56 a.m.

    I hope our Legislators pass Rep. Sanstroms E-verify Bill.

  • puzzled RANDOLPH, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:56 a.m.

    Does this mean that the church will no longer have missionaries overstay their visas--either in this country or in others? While we tried to follow the laws on my mission, we had several missionaries, including myself, that overstayed our official visas while witing for renewals.

    I absolutely agree though, that there should be a way of allowing people to gain legal status if they have been responsible, productive members of society while here.

  • floridian pleasant grove, ut
    June 10, 2011 11:54 a.m.

    to Joelwisch: I need to disagree with your thought that that particular portion of the statement is "offensive". I read the statement in that it suggests RATHER STRONGLY that we not zero in on one nationality or heritage, in this case Hispanics, as our government takes whatever action(s)it will take. That whatever is done needs to be applied equally across the board to any and all immigrant groups.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:54 a.m.

    The ones who work hard and play by the rules are an economic benefit to our nation. This is why the government won't kick them out. The ones who are gang members and criminals are a drag on our national well being.

    The fact they aren't citizens means we can pick and choose, we can kick out the bad ones and keep the rest, which is what the Obama administration says it is doing. Not only is this compassionate it is to our benefit.

    How nice it would be if we could criminals and gang menbers who are citizens out of the country.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    June 10, 2011 11:54 a.m.

    "If we allow any and all who manage to arrive here to work, how do we find jobs for actual Utah citizens?"

    I suppose that's a fair question, but if we see everyone as sons and daughters of God, wouldn't we have to also ask how we find jobs for everyone? Sending illegal immigrants home does not take care of the fact that they still have no way of providing for their families. Our responsibility to care for all of God's children does not end with deportation.

  • Bompar Provo, Utah
    June 10, 2011 11:53 a.m.

    Much in the LDS Church immigration statement makes sense and sounds compassionate, but much is evasive gobbledygook, sounding like a weak attempt to be politically correct and kowtowing to an ever increasing, albeit illegal segment of Utah society. The church is apparently against mass expulsion in general, but even more so when mostly from one heritage. For me, that smacks of being a respecter of persons. The last paragraph extolling compassion, family and law is ambiguous at best and begs the question, When a family (or individual) is in violation of the law, should compassion supersede the law?

  • tom_e Kaysville, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:50 a.m.

    "As a matter of policy, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints discourages its members from entering any country without legal documentation, and from deliberately overstaying legal travel visas."

    So breaking the law is discouraged. I can see the temple recommend interview now:

    Are you robbing banks, breaking into homes, committing fraud? You know we discourage these things. If you are doing them we encourgage you to stop.

    Now next question,

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    June 10, 2011 11:50 a.m.

    "Mass expulsion without serious cause has never happened in our country,"

    Of course, there's always a serious cause.

    "Can I also go to Heaven illegally and then "square up" with God once I get there so I can stay?"

    Considering there is not a soul who doesn't need the Atonement of Christ to stay in heaven, I would say the need to "square up" with God applies to absolutely everyone. The difference is, Heaven has a perfect immigration policy to begin with, so the squaring up has already happened before anyone enters. America's immigration policy results in all sorts of people, who have no legitimate reason to be prohibited from staying in the country, suddenly finding themselves in a position where they need to "square up." Comparing Heaven and America in regards to immigration is like comparing apples to Morris Day and the Time.

  • Teafortwo salt lake city, utah
    June 10, 2011 11:48 a.m.

    Please. Lets stop pretending illegal immigrants are victims. They are criminals. The fact that they desire a better life is understandable. The fact that choose to break the law in order to achieve it, is not. The USA can no longer afford to absorb every person on Earth who desires a better life. The more we do, the more our own quality of life is diminished.

  • WestGranger West Valley City, Utah
    June 10, 2011 11:47 a.m.

    Secring the borders is the key. A widespread desire for excessive punishment for an offense that doesn't even rise to the level of an infraction or crime is puzzling. We should not rationalize cruelty and hateful, dehumanizing attitudes toward hispanic illegal aliens because of the fact the are here illegaly and changing our society. I agree that Understanding and tolerance can be applied while looking for civil and balanced soultions to a long-ignored prolems. Illegals aliens themselves are often cheated and ecploited.

  • Uintahiker Saratoga Springs, Utah
    June 10, 2011 11:47 a.m.

    To Joel. Now go back and read that WHOLE sentence, not just what you cherry picked out of it. It says, "The history of mass expulsion or mistreatment of individuals..." You conveniently left out "mistreatment". Now think about how native americans, blacks or even Japanese Americans (during WWII) have been treated in our past. Kind of gives credence to that statement, huh?

  • Dadof5sons Montesano, WA
    June 10, 2011 11:46 a.m.

    I agree with the church's statment 100 percent! Now if the Federal government would just enforce the laws on the books then this issue would solve its self. Also we can end the status quo for current welfare. if a person is able body to work and is on food stamps or medicaid they should do the work that most Americans don't want to do. Maid service picking crops, construction, etc...
    to get the welfare they now enjoy with out the labor. then when ilegal's try to find work sorry we don't need you we have plenty of our citizens that have to work to get bennifits. Doing it that way does a few things it helps those on welfare gain back self worth 2nd it makes it so the ilegal imagrant has no options but take themselves back to were they came on their accord.

  • shaggyman48 Cedar Hills, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:45 a.m.

    To our friend from Albuquerque who said that "mass expulsion without serious cause has never happened in our country", I would simply point out the history of our Native Americans & also the relocation of Japanese to internment camps during WW II.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:45 a.m.

    read some Mormon history,
    American Indian history
    American Japanese history and then tell me mass expulsion hasn't happened.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:45 a.m.

    I agree with joelwisch. The implication of the church in that statement is that our immigration policy is heartless. We invite more family members, refugees and asylees LEGALLY than any other nation on earth. We provide a free public education and free emergency care. We provide an appeals process to those who are caught here illegally. And we are taken advantage of by 12 million people!
    All that is left in the context of that statement is amnesty.
    As for the racial overtones the church suggests, it is a demographic reality that the vast majority of illegal aliens are Hispanic, about 80% by most estimates. Activists have made it appear to be a racial issue. I for one am just as concerned about the unlawful presence of Asians, Europeans and Africans as I am of Latinos.
    The rule of law ought to be color-blind.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:44 a.m.

    Enforcement is the ONLY problem that exists regarding illegal immigration.

    We already have work visas for temporary workers. They come to work but forget to go home.

    The ONLY culture/ethnic group that we currently have problems with regarding immigration violations seem to be those south of our border. Why should we pretend OTHER cultures are involved.

    As a ward employment specialist I have problems finding jobs for MY NEIGHBORS.

    If we allow any and all who manage to arrive here to work, how do we find jobs for actual Utah citizens? Especially if we want to guarantee minimum wages.

    Utah citizens WILL use kindness and compassion in dealing with illegal aliens, (they always have) but, frankly, we can't afford to keep supporting any/all who manage to arrive here.

  • Thunder Provo, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:42 a.m.

    @joelwisch - I would disagree with your comment. The LDS Church and its membership were expelled from Missouri. For more info I would read about the 1838 Mormon Ward and Missouri Executive Order 44 on Wikipedia and elsewhere. I too pray that such a mass expulsion based on race, culture, or religion does not happen again in this country. I pray and hope that our leaders in Washington will put political popularity aside and take up this national issue. Seems like a bipartisan, non-partisan, federal endeavor would be much more productive than the judicial branch fighting the states for attempting to solve the problem that our national leaders are too afraid to tackle themselves.

  • positiverealist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:41 a.m.

    Once again to enlighten those that don't know, unlawful presence is only a Federal Civil matter not criminal, that is why the LDS Church lets these people hold important callings, go on missions and have temple recommends. If you are caught crossing the border without inspection that is criminal, if you are not caught or if you overstay a visa it is only civil more like a speeding ticket. The Church is saying they don't encourage people to come over without the proper paperwork or to overstay their visas but they are also telling the Government that we should look for a reasonable solution allowing them to "Square up" Making it seem like it is a criminal matter is misleading. Having said this I don't advocate having them come over without the proper papers either but I don't think we can reasonably mass deport these people and in good conscience separate millions of families either. Most of these families have some of the children born in the US making the problem even more difficult. I commend the Church for their statement and now we plead with the Federal Government to take action.

  • rallred Fort Lauderdale, FL
    June 10, 2011 11:36 a.m.

    @Adam. Yes. Romans 3:23-26.

  • Phill Provo, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:30 a.m.

    It's an official statement. I love how the gospel works. Differencing between and "ideology" and the gospel is important people. Sadly many, especially politicians, are trapped in this ideology's.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:30 a.m.

    This is the right stance on the issue. I support this position and hope my representatives will also. I plan on getting involved at the grassroots level to see that these guidelines are followed and to stand up to those who will again try to flood the caucuses and conventions with other, less thoughtful and effective (IMHO) approaches. I guess I'm a Doug-Wright conservative on this issue.

  • rachsticle salt lake city, ut
    June 10, 2011 11:30 a.m.

    Amen. Although I am sure the Republicans in the Legislature will find some way to sidestep this advice or ignore it.

  • XelaDave Salem, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:29 a.m.

    Amen- now to the tricky part "treat each other as children of God." Not always as easy as it sounds and makes for some room for interpretation- but conceptually- once again- Amen

  • Charityalways Centerville, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:28 a.m.

    As for this Utah Mormon, it's nice to be vindicated every once in a while by your own church. I hope the state legislature, tea-partiers, and conservatives all get the message. Maybe we just need more Mormon Dems? Anybody?

  • joelwisch Albuquerque, NM
    June 10, 2011 11:27 a.m.

    "The history of mass expulsion or mistreatment of individuals or families is cause for concern especially where race, culture or religion are involved. This should give pause to any policy that contemplates targeting any one group, particularly if that group comes mostly from one heritage.
    There is absolutely NO reason to insert this in any comment on the removal of the illegal aliens from the United States. Mass expulsion without serious cause has never happened in our country, and I pray, never will. In our case, employers use the illegal aliens at a very low wage rate, and the illegal aliens then turn to welfare to make that wage 'livable'. That certainly helps the employers, and it costs the taxpayers a fortune.

    It is a very offensive comment in this context.

  • Utes21 Salt Lake City, ut
    June 10, 2011 11:26 a.m.

    I support the churches statement, may we all look at each other as Gods Children. They clearly state that they do not accept illegal behavior from its members but they do support treating everyone with love and respect. Also they hit it dead on that illegal immigration needs to be handled by federal level.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:22 a.m.

    I agree with this statement.

    I too would put in place something that allows people to work in this country without the need to become criminals in so doing. And I wouldn't make it too onerous, either.

    I would encourage those who want to have that privilege to lobby their fellow citizens to STOP stealing identies: social security numbers, fake green cards, bogus driver's licenses, etc. And those who benefit from the migrant labor force ought to realize that they are partly responsible for the situation getting out of hand and the jeopardy they are encouragning for individuals and families. Surely they weild enough influence to get the Federal Government to do something.

    Of course the Feds have been on the opposite side of the Church's views in the past few hundred years a few times, so unfortunately I lack the faith that they will suddenly be motivated to do the correct thing; or to do anything at all.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:22 a.m.

    So how will this go over with the Utah Republican delegates in Utah-Davis-Washington counties? I smell a problem. As for this Utah Catholic a big "Thank you" to the LDS Church for this.

  • Adam Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:20 a.m.

    Can I also go to Heaven illegally and then "square up" with God once I get there so I can stay?

  • LasVegasCoug North Las Vegas, NV
    June 10, 2011 11:12 a.m.

    Agree wholeheartedly. Nice catch on the state legislation provision Deseret News :) I was in the middle of commenting on it when corrected.