Local religious leaders urge support for activists fighting for immigration reform

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  • LJohnson Los Angeles, CA
    March 11, 2014 12:25 p.m.

    Very few illegals pay taxes. Many many more use & abuse our overly generous welfare system, our educational system and our medical system. ERs in CA file for bankruptcy because by law they must accept the costly illegals for any and every medical reason. The ERs are never compensated for the huge costs. As a citizen of the US, my family can Not afford to be treated at an ER, except under extreme emergencies, yet these people walk in at anytime and must be treated by law because of a judges ruling. Citizens of CA voted for Prop 187 years ago, to prohibit such costly abuses, but a judge overturned the voice of the people and created an overwhelming & expensive $$Burden. What is wrong with our system?? Don't be fooled.

    March 10, 2014 7:03 p.m.

    Legal immigration supplies this country with all the help we need. Record setting one million a year green cards and 3.2 million work visas are an all time high (2011). This is questionable with over 20 million people looking for full time jobs, and those here illegally moving into service, construction, hospitality, etc jobs. Jobs that can't be moved overseas, and are needed for our citizens.

    Processing paper work faster accomplishes nothing. There are only so many openings each year. If you don't want lines, then petition to return to immediate families and stop giving our visas to everyone in a persons extended family. The person here for 34 years was eligible for five different amnesties, I would like to hear the full story.

    Business is pulling out all the stops to retain their cheap labor, and keep from being charged with a felony for each person hired here illegally. I wonder how many of the pro-illegal comments here are representing the business lobby?

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    March 10, 2014 1:57 p.m.

    Change the law? Probably no. Reform the system that takes lots of $$, stacks of bureaucratic paperwork, and (in some cases) takes decades to process said paperwork -- definitely reform that process!!!

    Consider this -- what would you do if the DMV drivers license process worked like our green-card process? Wait to drive 'til they were done? Get politically active? Drive anyway because you needed to in order to get a paycheck? ---

  • Dr. Leslie Whited Kaysville, UT
    March 10, 2014 12:40 p.m.

    When laws are just, then surely uphold them. When they are not just, as a community, as a nation, reform the law rather than asking people to be battered against unjust laws. The first dozen or so comments reflect a reality of remembered white-ethnic European migration (except the Irish). Just wait, you'll be allowed in. It does not reflect the reality of the long migrations of people of color from Mexico, Central America, China and other nations from around the world (See Howard Zinn's book: A People's History of the United States). Reformation is needed so that economic migration (which is not taking away the jobs most American citizens are applying for) and citizenship paths can be about dignity, respect, and egalitarian values. As President Roosevelt (FDR) said not so long ago: "Remember, remember always, always that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists." Our nation is about welcome. Our God is about welcoming all who are created to the table. 34 years is too long to wait as the wife of Jose Bonilla listed in the article. May we fast in Lent for welcome and law (legal)reformation.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    March 10, 2014 6:52 a.m.

    Nowhere did I say I supported illegal behavior. I've only qualified how we should punish it. And yes, I have defended the same principle for other crimes all over this the Deseret News website.

    What does it take to convince a man to soften his heart and have compassion for others who've made mistakes?
    What does it take to convince someone who's sinned to forgive others who've sinned?
    What does it take to show someone you can uphold the law, and do it in a compassionate way?

    The LDS Church released an official statement on this issue. My belief has been that exact position from the very beginning.

    * We discourage people from breaking the law, we don't condone it
    * For those who do, in our justice and punishments we must still treat each other as children of God
    * We're "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"

  • prelax Murray, UT
    March 9, 2014 6:37 p.m.

    The comments here I believe, were directed towards those who come here illegally, not legal immigration. Correct me if I am wrong.

    People are coming here legally for the reasons you mentioned. But some are coming here illegally, equal to the populations of Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and Nevada.

    The demand is greater than the supply, there will always be a wait. Like a movie house, we only have so many tickets. Our laws should never be written to satisfy business lobbyists who want to flood our country with cheap labor, and sell out the 20 million Americans looking for full time work.

  • dave4197 Redding, CA
    March 9, 2014 5:20 p.m.

    I take issue with each of the above posters, except cjb. All of you posters have reasons or attitudes that you just do not want immigrants, you are blockers, you are not reasonable. You're overdue for change. There's a sea change coming.

    Please people. The reasons so many cross our borders is to seek the freedoms we have and for access to our economy. The root causes of this migration are relief from poverty and oppression. The US does not stand for oppression or poverty for all. We in the US stand for freedom and opportunity, let's show that. We in the US have a relatively opulent economy, let's help our neighbors. Bienvenidos amigos. My ancestors were immigrants, where did yours come from? I stand with those who try to comprehensively change our present terrible immigration policy into a policy that allows immigration in a few months instead of several decades.

    Stop hanging your hat on the rule of law. Our rule has always been to stop injustice where it exists, and the present law is an injustice. And the fence is a fool's errand.

  • oldasdirt Grantsville, UT
    March 9, 2014 4:15 p.m.

    Should we change the US laws to accommodate the illegals? If people are leaving countries because of oppression and corruption, maybe these people should take note of how the Ukraine people over threw their government. And are fighting for their rights.

  • prelax Murray, UT
    March 9, 2014 3:48 p.m.

    cjb; that's not much of an argument, since they took it from someone else. At least the US paid for it.

  • prelax Murray, UT
    March 9, 2014 3:44 p.m.

    “I will choose good over evil and will accept responsibility for my decisions.”

    “Good, law-abiding citizenship is a key to more abundant, joyful living. Taxes could be much lower, people would be more happy with their neighbors, homes would be strengthened, and each individual would find more inner peace, if laws were better observed.”

    LDS President Spencer W. Kimball
    Ensign Magazine - 1977

    I doubt God will allow illegal immigration into Heaven. I think he has already given us his answer about illegally coming here, thou shall not steal, lie or covet. And we are to live the laws of the land. It's time we force business into following our laws, and require those here illegally to return home and come back legally. It may take years, but the lesson of honesty to your children could last generations.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    March 9, 2014 2:53 p.m.

    I know it. I Live it. I Love it

    Do you feel this way about all people who break laws, or just those that break immigration laws.

    This is not an issue of compassion, but of supplying business with cheap labor. Otherwise we would see people arguing for amnesty of bank robbery, murder, stealing etc.

    Let us not forget those here who have lost jobs, had id's stolen etc. It's time we show our compassion for them.

    Amnesty begets amnesty, rewarding dishonesty begets more dishonesty.

  • Mack2828 Ft Thomas, KY
    March 9, 2014 2:35 p.m.

    I have been taught since my childhood to be subject to kings, presidents, rulers and magistrates in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law. So I think that these people should obey all immigration laws.
    I hope and pray that someday my church leaders will feel the same on this issue.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    March 9, 2014 2:36 p.m.

    Dozens of punishments exist in U.S. law. Those who demand only one aren't interested in justice, but something else.

    All of our motivations come from one of only two sources. It's no wonder that in a day when every other facet of our society is coming apart, that people can't see this issue with sobriety either.

    How we treat others who have made mistakes is not only a moral issue, but it also reflects the treatment we deserve when we make mistakes. And if any of us feels that we haven't, we are accepting something that simply isn't true.

    In the day that we need help, we will be measured by how willing we have been to help others.

  • Ett Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2014 2:14 p.m.

    It's funny how the sort of people who support letting illegals in without consequence spout separation of Church and State... until it supports their agenda.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    March 9, 2014 2:11 p.m.

    "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." (John 10:1)

    Thomas Sowell said: Let's go back to square one. The purpose of American immigration laws and policies is not to be either humane or inhumane to illegal immigrants. The purpose of immigration laws and policies is to serve the national interest of this country. There is no inherent right to come live in the United States, in disregard of whether the American people want you here. Nor does the passage of time confer any such right retroactively.

    It should cost more to break the law than to obey it.

    Immigration laws are the only laws that are discussed in terms of how to help people who break them.

    The person here illegally for 35 years was eligible for the amnesties of 1986, 1994, 1997, 2000.

    "We" don't ask people to come here illegally, that's the doing of the dishonest businessmen.

    Give amnesty, more will come creating the same problem. The deaths in the desert, trafficking, and the cost to taxpayers is on those who encourage illegal immigration.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 9, 2014 1:59 p.m.

    Commenters here wonder why immigrants who haven't respected our law are supported by various powers that be. In part this is because when much of the land the United States has now was acquired, the prior owners rights and laws of the previous land owners weren't respected. This being the case we don't have clear title to this land, those whom we refer to as illegals also have just claim to this land.

    It is only right that we be at least as liberal to others, especially the descendants from whom we took the land, as we were in helping ourselves to what didn't belong to us at the time.

    These people haven't respected our laws, but neither did we respect their laws when the land was acquired.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    March 9, 2014 1:45 p.m.

    In 1965 we changed our laws to stop allowing just immediate families, and instead allowing extended families. Before 1965 we averaged 500,000 people coming here each year on green cards. Now we allow over one million each year, our immigration laws are the most liberal in the world. We let in more people than the rest of the world combined. We are already the most streamlined country in the world. You can't speed up a process when there is millions of people waiting in other countries, and the demand exceeds the available spots.

    As far as reforms go, we have given out seven amnesties since 1986, involving over 6 million people. That is very significant.

    I think some of our religious leaders are encouraging people to come here illegally, instead of trying to help people by telling them to follow the laws of the land. Love is sending people down the path of righteousness; rewarding illegal/dishonest behavior is not love.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 9, 2014 1:08 p.m.

    Yes, we need to have immigration reform, maybe even increasing the number of LEGAL immigrants allowed each year.

    However, any attempt to give amnesty (no matter what euphemism is used to describe the decriminalizing of violation of long standing laws) is totally wrong, immoral and unacceptable.

    One question for the amnesty advocates- will you be there demanding amnesty and freedom from prosecution for law abiding citizens who decide it is inconvenient, or economic hardship to bother obeying laws about paying taxes? Why is that any different?

    Either we have laws and enforce them, and punish those who break them, or we do not have any laws at all.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    Where are all the posts complaining of separation of church and state? Oh, yea Politically correct religious views can be as loud as they want. Its only those religious viewpoints that differ from Democratic Party dogma that must be silenced by the IRS.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    March 9, 2014 8:47 a.m.


    I agree. There is nothing inherently or automatically racist about it.

    I believe loving people isn't hard either. Showing mercy, while requiring justice, is something I believe to be good and honorable.

    When a cop caught me speeding, he fined me.

    I hated the fine, I couldn't afford it. But it taught me a lesson. The point of justice isn't revenge but to teach and help people be better. I believe in welcoming others into our free country. I believe people who want freedom want to come here.

    But I also believe in respecting the law. That is why I support a system which allows "undocumented immigrants are allowed to square themselves with the law" just as I was able to pay a fine and not be arrested or imprisoned for my criminal behavior on the road.

    See, the thing is... we don't have to split up families in order to satisfy the law, make things right, document people, and begin to really protect our borders. I've never felt there was anything hard to understand about that either. Only the merciful obtain mercy. Our country needs more of it right now, not less.

  • Ironweed Chattanooga, TN
    March 9, 2014 8:46 a.m.

    If we want to retain our national identity, protect our economy and prevent overpopulation, we need to deport millions of illegal Mexicans first. Then deport the rest of the illegals who have come here ignoring our laws.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    March 9, 2014 8:06 a.m.

    The federal government has made it more difficult than it needs to be.
    The BIA looks for reasons to grant amnesty from the faux court, and millions of illegals have magically been given papers.
    As a result, many of illegals feel entitled to work papers.
    The very notion of unlawful presence has morphed into an amnesty plan through the BIA, and slowed things down in the process. People should not have to wait months to be deported. This court ought to look for any evidence that the person came here legally. If not, the person is returned to their home country with a warning that the next time they will be jailed, then deported.
    The way these immigration hearings are conducted today gives all illegal aliens hope. So they stay here.
    Bottom line: Either our borders and visas mean something or they don't. The current lack of enforcement and administrative latitude is not helping the situation one bit.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2014 7:48 a.m.

    I am in complete agreement with those mentioned in the article who are pushing for comprehensive immigration reform. Like so many other things about our bloated, wasteful, inefficient and ineffective federal government, it has needed drastic reform and overhaul for a long, long time.

    I am also in complete agreement with "AZDZRTFOX", who correctly points out that reform of the immigration system and process should never include ignoring the importance enforcing our current laws.

    Even though our current President, someone who swore and oath of allegiance to the Constitution and by implication, to the laws produced therefrom, has shown a dangerous and unprecedented eagerness to flaunt laws he deems unworthy of his concern and respect (correctly spelled), that is not something that should be either emulated or condoned by the rest of us

    To do otherwise invites and accelerates the deterioration of our society, the ultimate result of which is a lawless, corrupt and crumbling country, like many of the places those who come here, legally and otherwise, are hoping to escape.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    March 8, 2014 11:04 p.m.

    You want people to stop dying in the desert, enforce our laws. Amnesty/reform just encourages more to come here illegally. Families are separated by dishonest behavior, not by the laws, just as a bank robber is jailed and separated from his family. People need to take responsibility for their own lives, and we need to use enforcement as a deterrent to stop this problem completely.

    Are we going to enforce our laws, or not?

  • AZDZRTFOX Hucahuca City, AZ
    March 8, 2014 9:57 p.m.

    Why is it so difficult to distinguish those people who respect our nation and it's laws, who come here via the LEGAL immigration process, and those who disrespect our nation and it's laws and feel they have some "right" to enter into, or remain in, our country illegally?

    Simply said- Legal immigrants GOOD, illegal immigrants BAD.

    There is nothing racist, bigoted or xenophobic about this. It's a matter of Safety, Security, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, and Honesty.