One of the primary sponsors of the Arizona immigration law. state Sen. Russell Pearce, is LDS. This article makes the argument that there is a widespread perception among Arizona Latins that the Church – or at least some of the most prominent politicians who are LDS – are against Latins because they support the law.
One prospective convert stopped seeing the missionaries because “I decided I did not want to expose my kids to a religion that has members that hate other people because they are different,” Corral said.
A branch president says the missionaries are getting doors slammed in their faces.
Kenneth Patrick Smith, a Mesa lawyer and president of the Valencia Branch, a Spanish-speaking LDS congregation in Mesa, said missionaries from his church have had doors slammed in their faces since Arizona’s new law was signed by Gov. Jan Brewer in April.
One long-time member says other Latins blame Mormons.
“It is embarrassing to have to defend the church for the thoughts of one man,” said Castañeda, a member of the Spanish-speaking Liahona Second Ward in Mesa.
My take: supporters of this law, no matter how well-intentioned, completely underestimate how much the Latin community opposes this law and how discriminatory they believe it is towards them. Hispanics truly feel this law makes them second-class citizens, constantly under suspicion because of their ethnicity.