Mormons' immigration attitudes set them apart

Return To Article
Add a comment
    Jan. 24, 2012 11:47 a.m.

    The biased slant of this article was obvious. Seeing illegal immigrants as equals, less than equal or our level of love for them has nothing to do with the reasons many people oppose more open borders. The article seems to equate less education, less commitment to church and less love for their fellow men as being the group against illegal immigration and I think this comparison is misleading at best.

    Many people fail to recognize the Church position is much broader than suggested approval of legislation brought forth in the Utah Legislature. I'd actually like to see better immigration laws in place with transitions to become a citizen shorter. I also believe families who have lived in the US for extended periods specially those with kids that have never lived out of the country should be given an exception.

    There are many other elements effecting legal and illegal immigration with many more facets than many are willing to talk about including, political corruption, social safety nets, Drug cartel involvement in human trafficking and their presence in the US. There are many more reasons besides these.

  • AmericanPride Phoenix, Arizona
    Jan. 18, 2012 8:54 p.m.

    @ sportsfan21 How very sad that you think that "unless you're a soldier, you've actually done nothing to merit citizenship". If you really believe that you definately don't have a clue as to "what makes an American" and who built America. First, of course is birthright and it is the reason why we must put up with SOME criminals. We do however incarcerate them whenever we can to keep them out of our general population and unable to harm good citizens. Do you really think that we should have to take in the dregs of other societies??? Don't you feel that we have enough of our own and pay a high enough price for them?

    And where exactly did I say that "the US was justified in taking land and rights away from Native Americans...". What I said was that if they had established immigration laws and ENFORCED them they may not have lost their country. Obviously by that statement I believe they would have been powerful enough to enforce them. They just weren't smart enough to have them and were even less smart to help the invaders survive. We were smart enough to have laws and should deport invaders.

  • sportsfan21 OREM, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 12:44 p.m.

    American Pride says "It's really very simple... people who don't respect our laws and borders don't respect our country and people. Those people don't belong in our country."

    So any criminal should be kicked out of the US? How about those that commit misdemeanors? And where will we send them?

    You are only arguing the point which suits you best. What makes an American? I'm pretty sure the only reason I am (since I haven't served in the military) is because someone let my ancestors in. So unless you're a soldier, you've actually done nothing to merit citizenship.

    And since you believe the US was justified in taking land and rights from Native Americans because they weren't powerful enough to enforce immigration laws, aren't Mexicans just as justified in ignoring laws that we don't enforce?

    By your logic, every illegal who is already here should be allowed to stay because we didn't "establish immigration laws and enforce them."

    You're selfish to keep "your" country for your children while hating others for wanting to gain freedom for their children.

  • AmericanPride Phoenix, Arizona
    Jan. 18, 2012 11:26 a.m.

    @ kargirl You posted, "Raise your hands, how many of you would be here if the Native Americans had had immigration laws and your ancestors had to get papers, and permission, sponsors, and green cards, etc--or the equivalent---to be legal residents here before getting permission to become citizens in this country? And what language would you speak, do you think? Do you think you would even be who you are? Now, how many of the original citizens got murdered so your ancestors could live here without papers? Answers, anyone? Now who wants to get really upset about immigration?"

    Had the Native Americans established immigration laws/a process AND ENFORCED THEM they may not have lost their country. Instead, they made the big mistake of helping the INVADERS survive the first winter. I choose to learn from their mistakes and not follow in their footsteps. I prefer to keep my country for my children and their children's children.

  • AmericanPride Phoenix, Arizona
    Jan. 18, 2012 11:08 a.m.

    It's really very simple... people who don't respect our laws and borders don't respect our country and people. Those people don't belong in our country. Our immigration process is not 'broken' and needs no 'reform'. What is broken is our ENFORCEMENT of the immigration laws. If it were broken we wouldn't have ONE MILLION + legal immigrants entering our country EACH YEAR! (That's more than all other countries combined!) If we made the process any easier we would soon be so over populated that our situation now with unemployment, homelessness, poverty, lack of medical care, hunger, etc. would be a fond memory of better days. It is common sense, people! We do not have an expandable country or expandable resources! We must put a stop to illegal immigration and get rid of those who have ignored our laws and borders. It is not inhumane to enforce our laws on those who break them. They knew the risk for themselves and their children and took it anyway. That's on them, not us.

  • marcamus goochland, va
    Jan. 18, 2012 6:25 a.m.

    Went into a Spanish store yesterday to buy some Mexican bread and some made to order food to take home and they had the nerve to assign a worker to me who spoke the best English. The nerve of them to try and make me feel welcome in my native language :) Though I am fluent in Spanish, they did not know that.

  • justinbloom MOLALLA, OR
    Jan. 17, 2012 10:15 p.m.

    Conservatives don't have a problem with immigration. The problem is with illegal immigration. It is insulting that this distinction was not made.

    Illegal immigration causes a number of problems, especially when the illegal still considers themselves a citizen of the country they came from and is unwilling to assimilate and show allegiance to America. There are high levels of crime, including identity theft, and this can be difficult to track with people who do not have proper identification. Illegal immigrants, who usually do not contribute taxes, can be a drain on the system. In fact, one of Mexico's biggest sources of income is money sent home from people who are here illegally. This was even encouraged by Vicente Fox, and I don't doubt is still encouraged by the current president.

    Immigration can be wonderful when people want to come here to assimilate and live the American dream. I do not mean that they forget where they came from, but when they come here they are first and foremost Americans. There is a reason we have an immigration process.

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Jan. 17, 2012 3:41 p.m.

    Love how so many people know everybody and what is in their hearts, what they think and feel. As an illustration: those who post what undocumented people in this country feel and think, and why they are here, what they do, how they live, what their motives are. I must not be exaggerating, since it appears to be so in sentences that tell us what "they" are and do, and what is the result of their presence here. Of course, these people also know all of the "legal" residents, as they have told us the same things about them and the results of their presence here. Now, if I am not right, let's have them tell us they made a mistake and don't know these things about these or any other groups and would like to apologize for implying otherwise. Then we can have an adult conversation, which, in the light of the one that has been going on in the last few years, would be a breath of fresh air.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 12:21 p.m.


    Endorsing and looking the other way at illegality in the name of charity and compassion actually is FALSE charity and compassion.


    Do you feel that the hijackers of the airliners that flew into the twin towers also were brought here by the hand of God? The notion that the illegal invasion of America constitutes some sort of divine providence is false doctrine.


    If you are referring to the Church statements in support of the Utah Compact, actually the "Brethren" have NOT spoken, inasmuch as those statements do not bear the signature or imprint of the First Presidency.


    You are rationalizing that U.S. immigration law is unfair when it is not and also that two wrongs make a right.

    @The Rock

    The oft-heard call that we must treat illegal aliens "humanely" is specious and deceptive, for humane treatment of illegals is not actually at issue. They are not treated inhumanely. What many are doing is FALSELY implying that enforcing the law is inhumane, when it is not.

    @John Pack Lambert of Michigan

    The implication that 30 million illegals have come here fleeing rape, bombs, murder, and starvation, is a bunch of MALARKEY.

  • marcamus goochland, va
    Jan. 17, 2012 11:58 a.m.

    The issue can be quite grey. Cubans enter illegally but the moment a foot touches our soil they can become legal. Many asylum seekers enter illegally, but are awarded legal status. Many come here legally, but lose their status. Some come here legally, form legal businesses employing US citizens and then USCIS determines they are not doing enough and tell them to go home, destroying the businesses and the US jobs. Some have legal work authorization for decades until a government worker gets around to looking at the case and then deciding that 20 years later an asylum case does not have enough merit and tells them to go home.

    For some cases it is black and white, but it is difficult to tell. Spending precious resources to build higher and higher fences and trying to deport every person is not wise. Take away the welfare and job carrots instead and give businesses tax credits to implement e-verify.

  • marcamus goochland, va
    Jan. 17, 2012 11:51 a.m.

    In the end, I would rather be known as erring on the side of charity and compassion.

    Jan. 17, 2012 11:09 a.m.

    I think if you survey Mormons in border states, on the front-lines of the illegal immigration mess, you will find 75-80% feel they are a burden on us taxpayers. Here in AZ, they cost the hospital systems about $150M/year. Our prison system has 25% illegals. Would anyone say that's NOT a burden?

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 6:11 a.m.

    The Book of Mormon contains distinct prophetic words regarding those who come to this land. Many LDS view the incursion of many natives from this continent into this country as a fulfillment of prophecy and that despite the difficulties, the best way to deal with it, is to lift, uplift, and greet our fellows from the House of Israel with love and tolerance.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Jan. 17, 2012 5:23 a.m.

    Mr. Bean,

    Reference Jesus being in Egypt, please see Matthew 2:

    13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

    14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

    15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

  • Brian Utley Freedom, IN
    Jan. 16, 2012 11:39 p.m.

    Most criminal problems are generated by "economic problems." Either people choose to honor and sustain the law or they don't. Hypocrisy often results. Christ is reported to have been fairly critical of I recall.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 8:51 p.m.

    First, it is interesting how the Deseret News apparently doesn't want to give press ink to the NAME of the Arizona "Mormon state senator" and "President of the Senate."

    His name happens to be RUSSELL PEARCE -- a good man who was unjustly ousted as a result of a dishonest propaganda campaign.

    The Pew study, Charles Morgan, and this report, all effectively -- and falsely -- lump legal and illegal immigration into the same category, as though there is no legal nor moral difference between the two.

    The subtle implication, therefore -- that "the more devout Mormons" endorse ILLEGAL immigration -- is patently FALSE.

    Conduct a study that clearly differentiates between legal and illegal immigration. The results then will be very different.

    And for the record: despite appearances, the Church statements in support of the Utah Compact do NOT constitute official Church policy, doctrine, nor posture. Only the First Presidency has the right to speak for the Church (Handbook 2, 21.1.29, D&C 107). Those statements of support carry neither the names nor the signatures of the First Presidency. In fact, they are nothing more than anonymous press releases issued by the Public Affairs Department -- which has no inherent Priesthood authority WHATSOEVER.

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Jan. 16, 2012 5:57 p.m.

    Raise your hands, how many of you would be here if the Native Americans had had immigration laws and your ancestors had to get papers, and permission, sponsors, and green cards, etc--or the equivalent---to be legal residents here before getting permission to become citizens in this country? And what language would you speak, do you think? Do you think you would even be who you are? Now, how many of the original citizens got murdered so your ancestors could live here without papers? Answers, anyone? Now who wants to get really upset about immigration?

  • NorCalCougar MODESTO, CA
    Jan. 16, 2012 4:55 p.m.

    Illegal immigrants should be deported. If they are members of the church, they can help strengthen the church in their own country. We are taught that we should be the salt of the earth. That means working to make the country where you live a better place, not breaking immigration laws to enter the U.S. Honor, obey and sustain the law of the land, just as the article of faith states.

  • The_Kaiser Holladay, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 4:50 p.m.

    immigration has gotten a bad rap because our government doesn't know how to foster legitimate legal immigration.

    Make it easier to let them come. Have them share the full burden of taxes/responsibility.

  • sportsfan21 OREM, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 4:26 p.m.

    Miss Piggie, I've seen that clip on YouTube and I think you should be aware that that man in a statistical manipulator. If you look closely on his chart, he begins in 1970 at a population growth of zero so that it looks like the population will be mostly Hispanic by 2020, which isn't the case. He also doesn't account for variables among both groups. He explains that for several reasons, existing citizens will decrease the number of children they have, but he doesn't think that those same reasons (ie fewer jobs, less healthcare) will decrease the rate that people enter the country.

    Later, he says that 4.6 billion people are more impoverished than the average Mexican. In 1990 there were only 6 billion people in the world total. So only 1,400,400 people were wealthier than the average Mexican? I would say that 500 million Americans were wealthier along with 500 million Europeans and 400 million Japanese. Now throw in Chinese, Australian, South African, Brazilian, and Russian people who make more than " 1/10 of what the average Americans make" and his estimate might be 2 billion off.

  • TeenageConstitutionalist MESA, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2012 4:03 p.m.

    Immigration and Illegal Immigration are two entirely different things. Trying to lump them together into the same thing is like trying to lump together water and oil. The amount of people who think they are the same thing is astounding. The ignorance in our country has never been as prevalent as it is now. By the way, the church doesn't support the "Utah Compact". In order for the church to support something or have it become church policy, doctrine, etc. The President and the Quorum of the twelve must all be in unanimous agreement. This never happened to the "Utah Compact". Certain un-educatd members of the church may support it, but the church as a whole does not.

  • Miss Piggie Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 3:24 p.m.

    @Mr. Bean:

    "But we clearly can't continue to take in all the people of the world who would like a better life in America."

    You got that right, Bean. And if you want to see the details of why, go to YouTube's 'Immigration Gumballs.'

  • Mr. Bean L.A., California
    Jan. 16, 2012 2:15 p.m.


    "Immigration - legal and unathorized - is a net economic benefit to the country."

    If they are, it's only be a very slim few cents. They get free education and mostly free health care. Most don't pay any income taxes because they don't make enough to qualify.

    "Jesus Christ was an undocumented immigrant to Egypt. Going to throw him out?"

    Jesus didn't go to Egypt. And if He did, He didn't stay for long. He just visited then went home.

    "Those blaming all our economic problems on 'the Mexicans' are engaging in National Socialism."

    No one is blaming ALL our problems on Mexicans. But we clearly can't continue to take in all the people of the world who would like a better life in America. We just can't do that. So, we need to draw the line someplace. We already have immigration laws, so that's the logical place to start. Secure the borders. Then, what about those already here? Well, I say if they broke our laws don't give them citizenship, ever. Or, at least until they leave and return in a legal fashion. Then take away the magnet that brings them here... jobs. Require usage of E-Verify.

  • ArizonaMom3 MESA, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2012 1:46 p.m.

    @rhappahannock, I agree "blindly following some radio host" is unwise but Econ101 (taken by those at the helm of our financial debacle by the way lol) if "blindly" followed stirs up same anger and resentment. The real world is the cure. Join us. No one is blaming "all our economic problems" on "the Mexicans." That assertion is absurd. But not nearly so absurd as the notion that our sovereignty respected would somehow lead to "National Socialism." I recommend a History class or maybe a historical document such as our glorious Constitution. Away from conflicting "soundbites" you may learn the truth that our founders gifted us with precious Liberty that all should understand, appreciate, honor and defend else it "perish from the earth." Here is a thought, how bout we spread "Liberty to all" across sovereign borders rather than quash the last bastion of it here on God's green earth?

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 16, 2012 1:05 p.m.

    After you have known people who came here "illegally" to flee rape by paramilitary forces aligned with the US backed government in Guatamala, people who came here "illegally" because they could not earn enough money to feed their children, and people who came here "illegally" because they feared for their lives at the hands of the people who had recently bombed the local LDS chapel and had made it known that they intended to kill the leader of the local American connected Church, you will not be so quick to judge.

    When your favorite primary teacher ever was a man whose parents learned of the gospel after they had come to the US illegally, when your favorite high council speaker ever was a man whose parents came to the US as stowaways since they could not afford the trip, and thus never dealt with immigration, and when your grandmother has second cousins who died because US immigration policy had low quotas that kept them where they were killed for being Jews by the Nazis, you will not be so quick to distinguish "illegal" and "legal" immigration.

  • rhappahannock Washington, DC
    Jan. 16, 2012 12:01 p.m.

    Immigration - legal and unathorized - is a net economic benefit to the country. Go back to Econ 101 or read "The Economist" as opposed to blindly following some radio host that is paid to stir up anger and resentment. Get the real facts - not a soundbite.

    Jesus Christ was an undocumented immigrant to Egypt. Going to throw him out?

    Those blaming all our economic problems on "the Mexicans" are engaging in National Socialism. Some of the posters here are even advocating a "Final Solution."

  • Gracie Boise, ID
    Jan. 16, 2012 11:46 a.m.

    milojthatch --

    Thank you for your thoughtful, quick statement about laws and that we can change them. We should and often do. Slavery laws were changed but not until after unbelievable brutality of all factions who could cite law and the philosophical bases supporting their positions.

    It's nearly impossible to change the minds of people who control the language in ways that favor their points of view. It's ever been this way as long as money and power are involved, that the discourse becomes toxic and allows for wild verbal swings at anybody who stands for some kind of long-term, positive conclusion based in mutual respect.

    As far as my living in Boise is concerned, that's a fairly recent thing, and it's only one of several places around the country I've called home. It's interesting to me how much disrespect people here receive from others around the country.

    I'm closely watching the news about the Utah Compact. It sounds as if they're trying to get it right, at least in Utah, finally.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 11:34 a.m.

    I'm an International business person with extended trips up to six months exporting USA goods and services.

    I am thankful most countries are not discriminative against American immigrants. I swear to always assume everyone in the US is legal until proven otherwise, then I will hear their story.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 11:20 a.m.

    @milojthatch "the falsehood it seems...that to follow the (law), you can't work to change laws."

    Yes, I agree. It is not hypocrisy to debate and try to change the laws that you currently sustain.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 11:08 a.m.

    I have proud Mexican American friends in Arizona. If you ask them "What part of Mexico you are from?" they will tell you..."Arizona."

    Not all Mexican Americans have immigrant ancestors, but were here before the USA. Yet, these American citizens are harassed as illegal immigrants from time to time.

  • Theeng2 Holladay, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 9:31 a.m.

    I think they should close the borders and give everyone who's been here illegally longer than a year and is contributing to society a 9 month window to get their green card. After that they need to start cracking down on illegals and taking the situation seriously.

  • AZ Patriot Lakeside, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2012 8:53 a.m.

    Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and living in a border state, I find myself in a quandry at times. I feel that helping my fellow man, legal or illegal, is of utmost importance. However, I, also feel that obeying the law of the land is the thing to do. AZ have tried to enforce the law and are being sued by the full force of the federal government. Just ask Sherrif Joe how that is working for him. He who was doing his job and found himself in the whirlwind of political correctness. If the feds were enforcing the laws on the books, ther wouldn't be a problem. I just do not want this to be an issue used by either political party to demonize the other.

  • ArizonaMom3 MESA, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2012 6:37 a.m.

    @ Gracie, you take umbrage at the use of "bleeding heart fallacy" just as you bemoan the use of accurate definitions in the english language while down here on the front lines we contend daily with the illegal acts of illegal people as you (for now) remain sheltered up in Boise, ID from true reality while the mainstream media blacks out truths per your bleeding heart "agenda." MY heart bleeds for the victims of this agenda such as Liberty and the 4 week old baby in New Mexico raped to death by Juan Galindo who held prior assault of a minor, etc. and had been recently deported then skipped back illegally once more to "begin a productive life." (try googling)Yes Gracie so generous of you to "share"...

  • ArizonaMom3 MESA, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2012 6:19 a.m.

    @ Gracie, "Legal and illegal are useful terms for those having agendas to push."
    Legal = allowable/enforecable by being in conformity with the law of the land. Illegal = antithesis.
    Not terms.
    Words - with definitive meanings.
    No agenda attached.

  • milojthatch Sandy, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 2:51 a.m.

    As a Latter-day Saint, I fully believe in the 12th Article of Faith. However, the falsehood it seems most Conservative Latter-day Saints here and elsewhere seem to make it out like is that that means that to follow that, you can't work to change laws. When Joseph Smith wrote that, he never said that following a law meant you did not have the power to help change it.

    Further, for all the law lovers out there, how many of you have never run a red light or jay walked? When you look at history and a slightly bigger picture, and realize how much the US has negatively influence events South of the Board that ultimately inspired many of these illegals to feel the need to come here illegally, you might feel a little kinder towards them, and realize how grey the issue really is.

    We do need to deal with this issue, but let us do so with fairness and kindness and less hate and fear. That is all the Utah Compact is saying and why the church supports it.

  • sg newhall, CA
    Jan. 16, 2012 12:23 a.m.

    The poll didn't ask me. I would like to see all illegals deported with their entire families. Everything they acquired while here confiscated and sold. No Dream Act. No work visas. No Spanish branches. No driver licenses. No welfare. No health care. No education. No jobs. and MUST have to carry ID stating that they are legally here. If not. Get out of our country. I would also like to see the church stop encouraging illegals from remaining here by teaching them the gospel. What ever happened to obeying the laws of the land? So, I believe that illegals are a burden on this country. And they should be required to learn English. No English, no service whatsoever. No Spanish translation on the phones for bank service or any services. And then, seal the borders period. I would rather spend the money to seal the border than to pay the cost in having them illegally living here, stealing identities and social security numbers. And yes, it does happen and yes, there is a black market they can go to to acquire fake documentation. It is one way to prevent voter fraud.

  • Alfred L.A., California
    Jan. 16, 2012 12:05 a.m.

    @Way of the Warrior:

    "Aren't we all citizens of the same planet?"

    Yes, but in our little corner of the planet we voted in massive give-away programs which attracts the riffraff. Give-aways designed for citizens, not the rest of the world.

    "Children of the same God?"

    Which God? Would that be Allah, Jesus, or Buddha?

    "It's too bad political boundaries keep us from seeing people for who they really are."

    We see others for who they are just fine... from a distance... across a boundary line.

  • Alfred L.A., California
    Jan. 15, 2012 7:23 p.m.


    "...the immigration system in this country it's broken, corrupt."

    The immigration system is perfectly OK. What's broken and corrupt is enforcement.

    Obama and Holder believe immigration is totally the fed's responsibility, including enforcement. Certainly the US Constitution states that the Congress shall establish an 'uniform rule of naturalization' (Article 1.8.4). However, it says nothing about enforcement. It's true that immigration rules have been established and codified in federal law but it would seem states could provide enforcement since it is a herculean task for the feds with just ICE as an enforcement agency. In fact, there are provisions in federal immigration law which provides for the fed to partnership with states for enforcement. What each state should do is work to ensure they have such written authority as a first effort toward solving immigration problems. If noting else, it would get Obama and Holder off their backs.

    I'm sure there must be myriads of examples where states aid the feds in law enforcement such as, for example, illicit drug enforcement.

  • Ms.W South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 6:37 p.m.

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

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

  • ArizonaMom3 MESA, AZ
    Jan. 15, 2012 6:29 p.m.

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

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 5:33 p.m.

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

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 4:45 p.m.

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

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 15, 2012 3:53 p.m.

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

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

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

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 3:30 p.m.

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

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

    Hence, Church policy is far from clear.

  • wear2manyhatz Holladay, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 3:13 p.m.

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

  • Gracie Boise, ID
    Jan. 15, 2012 3:05 p.m.

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

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

  • garybeac Chapel Hill, NC
    Jan. 15, 2012 2:46 p.m.

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

  • Way of the Warrior ANACORTES, WA
    Jan. 15, 2012 1:33 p.m.

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

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 1:23 p.m.

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

  • JmThms Henderson, NV
    Jan. 15, 2012 12:57 p.m.

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

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    Jan. 15, 2012 12:39 p.m.

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

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

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

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Jan. 15, 2012 12:31 p.m.

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

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

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

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

  • Kris Highland, Utah
    Jan. 15, 2012 11:48 a.m.

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

  • Gracie Boise, ID
    Jan. 15, 2012 11:47 a.m.

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

  • Al Thepal Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 11:38 a.m.

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

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

  • Emophiliac Vernal, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 11:36 a.m.

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

  • JmThms Henderson, NV
    Jan. 15, 2012 10:49 a.m.

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

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 15, 2012 10:48 a.m.

    The Pew study included ONE question on immigrants:

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

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

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

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

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 9:28 a.m.

    Same old worn out rhetoric on immigration. I am referring to the comments on here not the aricle. Why is it that so few are concerned about the real issue, which is the poverty, violence, and government corruption in Mexico and other central american countries. My wife is an immigrant and she has an incredible work ethic. Immigrants are not a burden. They are human beings just like us. Illegal immigration will stop when Mexico's economy provides jobs for it's citizens. All the harsh laws will never stop illegal immigration because it is an economic not a criminal problem.

  • ubig PAYSON, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 9:26 a.m.

    The cost of harboring illegal immigrants in the United States is a staggering $113 billion a year -- an average of $1,117 for every ânative-headedâ household in America -- according to a study conducted by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

    I agree with the comments made about legal vs illegal. I fully support legal immigration and the right to work for immigrants who follow the laws of the land. The Federal Government and our elected officials continue to fail us on protecting our borders against "ILLEGALS". Utah government has offered suggestions and get hammered. Why do we allow government to sue government - who wins? All parties need to come to a quick and ethical solution.

  • watchman Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 9:04 a.m.

    RichardB is correct. A poll such as this asking questions about 'immigration' really doesn't tell us much because some people will interpret it as 'illegal immigration' and some more literally as all immigration.

    It is my opinion that most people support legal immigration so what have we really learned from such a poll?

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 8:52 a.m.

    Thank goodness that God doesn't think that 100% of humanity is NOT a burden to Him.

  • danaslc Kearns, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 8:39 a.m.

    This article is deceptive once again. Mormons favor Legal Immigration. At least the Mormons I know. The Mormons I know do not favor illegal immigration and they are also feeling the pains of being a Sanctuary state and loss of jobs for their families, the high crime and high taxes.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 8:30 a.m.

    "The churches position is clear, immigrate legally and countries have the right to enforce immigration laws"

    Immigrate illegally and the church doesn't mind.

  • mecr Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 8:23 a.m.

    Problem is people see an immigrant and automatically they think that person is illegal. How many times I have seen cashiers accepting credit cards from white people but as soon as a latino shows up, that person is asked for identification. How many times I have heard latinos trying to speak english at public offices just to be immediately asked if they want a translator or a spanish speaking representative. How are they going to learn if we don't let them use their english skills just for the sake of saving us the effort of trying to understand them? And how many times I have seen the discrimination in our own wards when we don't integrate the latino families and they feel they are not accepted. That's what's the brethren talked about when they said treat them like your equals.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Jan. 15, 2012 8:20 a.m.

    I'm pretty sure that if you rephrased the question, most Mormons would support legal immigration and shun illegal immigration.

    The way this question is asked is like asking "do you like drugs?" Well, yeah, I think Tylenol and chemo are wonderful inventions. But I don't feel the same about cocaine and heroin.

  • tenx Santa Clara, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 8:13 a.m.

    @Richard B. You are spot on. I agree completely.

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Jan. 15, 2012 6:51 a.m.

    I also am a Mormon Democrat...but let's get realistic here shall we. We all know that illegal immigrants are only now somewhat vaguely id'd...but definitely need to be further broken down into groups classifying them further based on demographics of why they are coming in such great numbers in the first place. Yes all are coming for better economic opportunities and even freedom. But here is the realistic point that sorely begs to be addressed. Among those groupings there has to be regognized that despite wanting to give the benefit of the doubt to almost everyone...we simply can't...because hidden among even a majority of basically good people there happens to be a large criminal element that are here only to feed off of numerous societal vices...Drugs, alcohol and tobacco as well as numerous other pirating and contriband smuggling and trafficing opporations that support pornography, prostitution, slavery... to include child labor, and child sex. There's also a huge volume of illegal weapons smuggling as is obviously being seen by the huge increase of killings now being seen on both sides of our southern borders. We have to drastically address these issues...period.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 5:59 a.m.

    Mixing the two different groups is a form of suppression used by the National media. Until we start talking about the illegal aspect of immigration, and doing polls on illegal immigration, there cannot be honest discussion.

    The rhetoric used by those that support illegal immigration, such as using the word "undocumented" only confuses the issue and stops us from focusing on the real names and issues.

  • Terrie Bittner Warminster, PA
    Jan. 15, 2012 5:07 a.m.

    Herrod said we need to get back to core values where you learn the language and blend in. Anyone who studies history or looks at the census records while doing family history knows that was never a core value or practice in our nation. Immigrants lived in a community with others from their homeland and had no need to learn the language or blend in. Their children went to school and learned to do all that, so second generation immigrants were the ones blending and speaking English. Today's immigrants are more likely to do that then past immigrants. Having taught ESL at the LDS church, I can tell you they work very hard, but it takes a very long time to become fluent, especially given the difference between textbook English and ordinary English. Most of my students took English in school in their homelands and thought they knew English until they got here and tried to speak it to actual Americans with poor grammar and careless pronounciation.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 3:33 a.m.

    Since illegal immigration is against the law, I,for one would have assumed someone asking my opinion regarding immigration would have been referring to LEGAL immigration.

    Unfortunately, there are so many institutionalized advocates for ILLEGAL immigration I can no longer assume those doing the survey aren't being deceptive in their survey.

    Surveys can (and are)being manipulated to produce outcomes that those paying for the surveys desire.

    The survey SHOULD HAVE asked Mormons if they respect the law. THEN (and only then)would the survey reflect reality.

  • Phill Provo, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 12:57 a.m.

    GooD!.. RichardB, the immigration system in this country it's broken, corrupt. Doesn't work, ineffective. It;s so bad that it encourages illegal immigration. The Church has been clear on it's stance with immigration, neutral, but while neutral, it has reached out support to the illegal immigrants, embracing them you may say. General Authority's have spoken openly for humane laws tours them. Illegal Immigrants can go on mission, attend temples and serve in the church. The Church embraces them a bit different then the tone of opinion that you have about them, but hey everyone is free to have an opinion. I guess that they can be viewed differently under the scope of the gospel rather than the political scope.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Jan. 15, 2012 12:09 a.m.

    RichardB is exactly right. The issue is illegal vs legal immigrants. This article is advancing a liberal view point. Go ahead and sugarcoat it anyway you want, but illegal is illegal - Article of Faith#12: "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law" - how can you be any more black and white than that?

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    Jan. 14, 2012 11:48 p.m.

    The use of the word immigration for legal and illegal immigration is deceptive, and it is meant to elicit a specific response. Most are for legal immigration, but against illegal immigration. So combining the two does not give a clear picture. It's dishonest and deceptive.

    @MormonDem, I never said a word about evangelicals. Perhaps an explanation is in order?

    The churches position is clear, immigrate legally and countries have the right to enforce immigration laws. If the question was about just illegal immigration, how high do you think the percentage would be.

  • MormonDem Provo, UT
    Jan. 14, 2012 10:59 p.m.

    RichardB: are you suggesting that Mormons were confused by the question but evangelicals were not?

    Sorry, but the Church's position on immigration is clear. I'm just disappointed that 41% of Mormons haven't yet taken the Brethren's counsel on the issue to heart.

  • welcomethemall Nampa, ID
    Jan. 14, 2012 10:25 p.m.

    I'm pretty sure no one was confused by the question. Everybody knows what you are talking about when asked about their position on immigration.

    Even the trolls living under rocks.

    Jan. 14, 2012 9:46 p.m.

    I think that this question is a very DISHONORABLE one!
    I cannot imagine ANY practicing LDS having a problem with an immigrant.
    Now, an ILLEGAL ALIEN is a whole different story!

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    Jan. 14, 2012 9:17 p.m.

    I would like to see an honest poll, that divides legal and illegal. Combining the two discredits the question.