Not so fast: Evangelicals differ with their leaders on immigration reform

Many leaders support citizenship moves, but rank and file differ

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  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Feb. 26, 2013 6:43 a.m.

    The sole motivation of this Administration is clearly to curry favor with the Latino vote. After all the Latino vote secured his re-election. BO has little regard for anything remotely to do with economic reason.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Feb. 24, 2013 6:29 a.m.

    Many of you need to review the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints concept of families. A Bishop and a Stake President never asks if a person is legal or illegal as far as citizenship is concerned. They ask pertinent questions pertaining to the individuals worthiness pertaining to callings and temple attendance. How the individual answers is strickly up to the individual. I really would like to see how some of you can honestly come up with a way to round up the 11-12 million illegal aliens in this nation and send them back to where they came from. How you plan to make our borders which are extensive safer and impregnible. It is impossible. So the answer is to do things in a compassioniante and loving way. Sure Arizona's law was probably too strong but it was what was needed in that state. Obama took it upon himself to ridicule it because it didn't agree with his idealogy at all. He has no more compassion for the illegal alien than he has for the legal alien.

    The LDS Church and many church leaders of others sects are showing the compassion and love needed.

  • AmberDru Xenia, OH
    Feb. 23, 2013 9:01 p.m.

    I'm very liberal and not white and I want the laws we actually have enforced. Amazing how those who don't do the same jobs are in favor of another amnesty.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Feb. 23, 2013 6:20 p.m.

    My thinking is that Evangelical ministers the leaders do not necessarily represent the members views. That in my opinion is not rare in Protestant or even Catholic denominations. Somehow we have to do something about immigration. If they are going to be here let's have them pay taxes and fees, etc. A strong border is a must. I am not happy if a suitcase nuke enters and is set off somewhere. In the meantime we need an adult at the head of the country. I hope we get one in 2016 who is pro free enterprise

  • kiapolo Provo, MA
    Feb. 23, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    Truthseeker needs to discover the truth that the Obama administration is playing fast and loose with the numbers; it is now counting "voluntary removals in lieu of deportation" as deportations, which they were not before.

    Actual deportations are down even from the depressed numbers under Bush.

    Those claiming to practice Christian charity ought to be concerned for their existing neighbors more than their prospective new ones. Everywhere that Mexicans or Jamaicans or Somalis have come to live in the USA, their surroundings have come to resemble Mexico and Jamaica and Somalia in all respects, including the negative ones like lack of respect for education, single motherhood, misogyny and crime. Roughly half of all "Hispanic" children in the USA are now born out of wedlock. If you are pro-family, you will work to keep Hispanic families together where their governments do not subsidize family breakup. That means OUTSIDE THE USA!

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Feb. 23, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    To a Christian, national boundaries make no difference. All human beings are God's children and should be treated as God told us to treat our neighbor. Evangelical and LDS church leaders understand that concept.

  • prelax Murray, UT
    Feb. 23, 2013 12:38 a.m.


    Will God allow illegal immigration into Heaven. And just ignore the laws.

  • M. Butler Brooklyn, NY
    Feb. 22, 2013 2:42 p.m.

    Obviously the leaders are more in tune with God's will than the membership of the churches.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 22, 2013 2:12 p.m.

    re marcamus
    goochland, va


    The more revelent question is .. Will he give us amnesty?

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 22, 2013 2:01 p.m.

    Evangelicals know quite well how to hate those (who are different especially) who break Gods law or any law,

    Its time they now learn to focus on loving their neighbors.

  • Fitz Murray, UT
    Feb. 22, 2013 1:23 p.m.

    It has been said many times that we are a nation of immigrants. This is a misleading statement. We are a nation of LEGAL immigrants. Truthseeker tries to make a point regarding the deportation of illegal immigrants during various presidential terms. The information, while interesting, is flawed. From the period of 1892-1954 the immigration laws were very different than they are today. From the period of 1892-1924, when immigration laws were most liberal, some 20 Million immigrated to the US. From 1925-1954 the number of immigrants significantly dropped to 4.1 Million, reflecting tighter laws. Over the period from 1892-1954 over 600,000 were not allowed into the country, principally due to lack of proper papers or the potential to become charges of this country.

    We still welcome LEGAL immigrants today. Those that have come here illegally are not welcome under the law. They should respect our laws, not ignore or protest them. And they should voluntarily return to their country and go through the legal process to come here. We are supposed to be a country based on the rule of law. They current immigration laws should be duly enforced.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 22, 2013 1:22 p.m.

    the problem with the stats you cite is BO's "deportations" include interdictions at the border, which are not the same thing.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Feb. 22, 2013 11:49 a.m.


    What an utterly trite and pointless comment that has no relevance to this discussion. The subject is church leaders' and lay members' views in regards to illegal immigration.

    You might as well have brought up the Three Nephites.

  • Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    Feb. 22, 2013 11:44 a.m.

    Seems to me that this idea was being swept under the rug by the government while they kept the population busy chasing around after a gun law that has to be approved by both sides before being endorsed and years before any implementation.

    The gun law was getting all the attention there while trying to legalize 12 million illegals. I was totally amazed that both parties could agree on this immigration bll in about 25 minutes when they couldn't agree on the color of the sky in Washington for the past 5 years.

    The people up to the trough look at it like there could be up to 5 million new tax payers and that can bring significant revenue, no mater what it might do to the country.

    Smoke and mirrors, entertain the masses and the press with gun lobby and pass 12 million people into the country

  • marcamus goochland, va
    Feb. 22, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    When Christ comes again, he will arrive as an illegal immigrant. Think about it. A native Palestinian suddenly appearing at a temple. Will He stop for a visa? Will we give Him amnesty?

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Feb. 22, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    Lay members don't hire public relations firms and make public statements in order to massage their image. Many churches do. This obsession with public opinion can affect churches' stance on public, civic, moral, and political issues. Further, churches are after converts. More converts means more revenue and greater power and influence. I'm not trying to be offensive, but just point out the fact that churches compete with each other to grow their memberships.

    Lay members, however, have been taught repeatedly to "choose the right", or "obey God and leave the consequences to Him". Further, LDS hold as one of their major beliefs to "obey, honor, and sustain the law".

    The LDS Church and Evangelicals have had great success in converting Latino immigrants, so for their leaders, prospects outweigh principles (they call it "compassion"). Lay members, however, see this issue clearly: breaking the law is wrong.

    If illegal immigrants as a whole had no interest in joining any other church, the level of compassion or desire to "keep families together" by church leaders would undoubtedly be less. Thus, no call to keep polygamist families together.

    Overall, many of us are disappointed by our leaders' behavior on this issue.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Feb. 22, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    "the Utah Legislature and Governor have made Utah, and especially SLC a sanctuary state."

    According to Census Bureau numbers, UT ranks #11 in the U.S. for the highest percentage of white population--86.1% in the 2012 report.

    Doesn't the LDS church teach we are all brothers and sisiters--God's children? Weren't early church members expelled from several states because they were viewed with fear and loathing when they started to congregate in large numbers? One would think an LDS dominated state would approach immigration with a more compassionate approach.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 22, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    Could it be that the leaders have let their commercial desires exceed and diminish the desire for religious activities.

    When religion is a business, it is no longer a religion.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Feb. 22, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    According to current figures from ICE, Obama has removed 1.4 million people during his 42 months in office so far. Bush's cumulative total was 2 million, over eight full years.

    Comparing the presidents’ monthly averages, it works out to 32,886 for Obama and 20,964 for Bush, putting Obama clearly in the lead. Clinton is far behind with 869,676 total and 9,059 per month. All previous occupants of the White House going back to 1892 fell well short of the level of the three most recent presidents.

    We wondered whether there might have been a surge of undocumented immigrants that explained the increase, but there wasn’t. During the first two years of Obama’s tenure, the Pew Hispanic Center estimated the illegal immigrant population nationwide at 11.2 million, compared to an average during Bush’s eight-year tenure of 10.6 million. And illegal immigration actually peaked late in Bush’s second term, at which point the recession hit and the numbers declined under Obama. Such patterns do not explain the 57 percent bump in monthly deportations that we found under Obama.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 22, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    Thank you for the insight. Missing from the article was any information about a disconnect between LDS members and statements from Church HQ. Believe me, it exists.
    And I would dare say the Catholics have the same disconnect.
    At the end of the day leaders from all churches are driven by congregational growth. Immigrants are the growing contingent in most Christian churches. I believe that to be true for the LDS Church as well.
    But Mormon doctrine is clear about obeying the law of the land. And the handbook advises immigrants to come here legally. The rub comes when those principles are disregarded to accommodate missionaries and leaders who are known to be living fraudulent lives.

  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    Feb. 22, 2013 9:12 a.m.

    The same could be said about the LDS in Utah. The leadership of the LDS Church also has a disconnect with its membership on illegal immigration. The LDS Church didn't sign the Utah Compact, but they openly showed support. The LDS Church has supported those who have broken U.S. Immigration laws, in spite of the 12th Article of Faith, and favors amnesty for illegal aliens.

    With the support of the LDS Church and cheap labor employers the Utah Legislature and Governor have made Utah, and especially SLC a sanctuary state. This reinforces in the minds of others that Mormons are mindless political robots, similar to what is said of Evangelicals. Both Mormons and Evangelicals are very concerned about how the media perceives them, especially the LDS Leadership.

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    Feb. 22, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    Thank you for a well-written, accurate description of the different opinions within the evangelical community.

    Richard Land may formerly have represented Southern Baptists at the Convention, but his group does not speak for the millions of independent Baptists and community-church "evies". He is welcome to his opinions and efforts at a viable solution. But the realistic threat as seen by the realists is the abysmal lack of enforcement, as your article accurately described.

    We have seen the enemy 'and the enemy is us'. We saw this Administration attack our republic neighbor, Arizona, with vicious disregard for its precarious border dangers and offer NO solutions outside of litugation. 'Nuff said.

    No regard for the laws already on the books indicates that the cartel-stronghold is well embedded within our legislatures. Pray for those living within a stone's throw from the Mexican Al Queda amassed at our borders. After 17 years, our church can no longer take our high schoolers to cross the Yuma border at Easter vacation to do Vacation Bible School because of that very threat. Tragic.

  • Itsjstmeagain Merritt Island, Fl
    Feb. 22, 2013 6:33 a.m.

    Churches should tend to mens souls and not politics. It is frustrating to me how the Churches have become more "me, me, me" and turning their back on those who need the church for sanctuary.

    When did we lose the moral compass, to reject anything out of hand?

  • JanSan Pocatello, ID
    Feb. 22, 2013 4:52 a.m.

    Thank you!
    This is the first article I have read from Deseret News that explains how I feel.
    I get so tired of reading article after article saying that I am basically a bad person or a bad Christian because I think that there is a difference in the words "Immigrant" and
    Illegal alien."
    I wish that we had all the money and supplies and food and medical etc... for all the poor in the world. Truth is, that is unrealistic. Truth is, that we don't have enough to support even our own people born and raised in this country.
    In airplanes, we are taught to take care of ourselves first when the air mask fall, then when we are secure to take care of others. That is the way the government needs to look at this problem. Take care of the citizens first so that we can have all that is needed to be able to truly help others in the world that need our help. Don't bypass the needs of the citizens in order to give help to others.