Friday, June 10, 2011

Immigration and Mormons

A few months ago, Bishop Burton of the LDS church spoke out in favor of Utah's Immigration bill which set up a guest worker program (or the dirty word "amnesty"). Many conservatives took issue with Burton's presence. Arturo Morales-LLan, head of Legal Immigrants for Immigration Law Enforcement said “David Burton has a right to be present or to be involved in any affairs concerning the faith, but he does not speak for the First Presidency.” He added that he won’t believe that the church supports these reform efforts until he sees an official statement from the LDS First Presidency itself. (see here)

Well, today the church released an official statement on immigration (see here) which included passages such as these:
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.

this issue is one that must ultimately be resolved by the federal government

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.

In summary: the church acknowledged and denounced the racial component to the immigration debate, the church noted that immigration is not some 10th amendment item (aka states rights) but is a federal issue, and the church came out in support of amnesty (ie. no deportation). It sounds like the church supports allowing illegals to join a guest worker program or to be on a path to Legal Permanent Resident status, and are open to the idea of a path to citizenship (just not necessarily to citizenship).

I'd love to hear from mormons who feel this is at odds with your beliefs. I'd like to hear your thoughts and how you're dealing with this.

Monday, June 6, 2011