President Uchtdorf supports immigration reform

President Uchtdorf met with President Obama today and told reporters he supports immigration reform.

Here are some highlights from the story in the Salt Lake Tribune:

President Barack Obama’s outline for immigration reform matches the values of the Mormon faith, according to Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the LDS Church’s governing First Presidency.

Uchtdorf joined other faith leaders in a meeting with Obama on Friday, where the president asked them to support a reform effort that would streamline the legal immigration system and create a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country.

“He just said in this value process we need to stand together and make sure the United States is still a place where people can come and once they come can feel not at fear. And do it, of course, in a lawful way,” Uchtdorf told The Salt Lake Tribune in a brief interview as he left the White House. “He was talking about his principles and what he said was totally in line with our values.”

Uchtdorf’s comments and his involvement in the meeting are the strongest indications yet that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is sympathetic to a reform effort that many Mormon politicians, including all of Utah’s members of Congress, have so far rejected. Utah’s two Senate and four House members have rejected efforts that they believe offer illegal immigrants amnesty.

President Uchtdorf also said the following:

Uchtdorf expressed his view that the government should respond with compassion to undocumented immigrants who have worked in the United States for decades

“My personal feeling there is the United States over the last couple of decades, even de facto, encouraged others to come. You know, to work in the fields in California,or Arizona or Texas, some of those have been here for 30 years,” he said. “They are bishops in our church, but they never became legal residents because the system was not right for it and all of a sudden we are having changes even though they were more or less invited here to come because their work was needed.”

Still ,Uchtdorf said he believes a different standard may apply for more recent immigrants who did not arrive through legal channels.

“If someone is coming now to the U.S. or in the last couple of years they know they should come the legal way,” he said.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B has had three main careers. Some of them have overlapped. After attending Stanford University (class of 1985), he worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. In 1995, he took up his favorite and third career as father. Soon thereafter, Heavenly Father hit him over the head with a two-by-four (wielded by the Holy Ghost) and he woke up from a long sleep. Since then, he's been learning a lot about the Gospel. He still has a lot to learn. Geoff's held several Church callings: young men's president, high priest group leader, member of the bishopric, stake director of public affairs, media specialist for church public affairs, high councilman. He tries his best in his callings but usually falls short. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

80 thoughts on “President Uchtdorf supports immigration reform

  1. “He was talking about his principles and what he said was totally in line with our values.”

    Of course, one might share the same principles, but proceed on a different logical course from those principles to a different decision.

  2. “I would compassionately give them a ticket back to their legal country.”

    And what compassionate act would you do for all their landlords, who suddenly have no tenants to pay rent, to the grocers and other merchants who no longer have purchasers for their goods, to the teachers whose classrooms are half-empty, to the tax collectors who no longer receive sales taxes for goods that aren’t sold, to the farmers who don’t have workers to harvest their crops?

    And while you’re feeling so compassionate, what compassion would you show to their children who came into this country with their parents when they were babes in arms, or toddlers, who have attended school here, who speak English, who know no other country, no other culture? Does your compassion extend to paying their way back to an unknown country?

  3. Mark B,
    Who between the two of us is legally descended from Mexican immigrants? I. So get off your judgmental high horse.

  4. This issue may end up being like the MX missile one during the Reagan era. Utah’s politicians were all over the idea of deploying the weapons system in Utah’s western regions until the First Presidency actually issued an official statement coming out against it. Then the politicians back tracked very fast.

    See: https://www.lds.org/ensign/1981/06/news-of-the-church?lang=eng and
    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/51716448-78/church-mormons-utah-statement.html.csp for some context.

    Maybe a similar statement will be needed to get more Mormons on board with truly *compassionate* immigration reform.

  5. h_nu:

    I have no idea what it means to be “legally descended” from anything or anybody. I can only surmise that it means that you don’t have any of what we lawyers used to call “bastards” in your family line. Congratulations!

    Secondly. Who said anything about Mexicans? There are a whole lot of non-Mexicans in the country without documents.

    Third, It was you who twisted the words of church leaders in an unfunny attempt to claim that your ideas are somehow compassionate. No matter how important enforcing the immigration laws might be (and frankly, it’s not very important), sending 10 or 11 million people out of the country would have severe consequences for all of us. And I just wondered if your compassion extended to all of them.

  6. It seems pretty clear to me that the Church position is in favor of immigration reform. There are many proposals out there supported by many people, including Republicans and conservatives. I will admit that the Church’s position in favor of immigration reform is much easier for me to accept because I have been in favor of immigration reform for decades. I would hope that those Church members who support the Brethren will latch on to some of the Republican and conservative proposals for immigration reform (at the very least) and not cling to a position the Church does not support.

  7. h-nu,

    So many families are torn apart each month under our current immigration system, and in the name of enforcing immigration laws, that it has made me weep. There is NO compassion in tearing families apart. Only the hard-hearted would applaud the government’s current (frequent) actions of deporting parents and adopting their children out to American families. Ripping apart families like that for a misdemeanor (under Federal law, crossing the border illegally is classified as a misdemeanor) is cruel, unusual, and uncompassionate.

  8. The church has had bishops, temple workers, and other strong ward and stake leaders forcibly taken from their congregations and deported. They want this to stop. Let’s not ignore the prophet plea for compassionate immigration reform that allows those who are currently working and living here to stay here.

  9. Since President Uchtdorf is in the First Presidency, and since his views expressed in this article match the views expressed by the First Presidency about the Utah Compact (an invitation to similar immigration reform that allows for a path to citizenship), I think this quote from Elder Maxwell is fitting:

    “Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. (See 1 Kgs. 18:21.) President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had ‘never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life’ (in Conference Report, Apr. 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ!”

  10. The reality is, we need the immigrants. They are the soul of our nation. Every one of us comes from immigrant stock. Our nation thrives because we always have had a lower class of immigrants to come in and take the lowest jobs, until they can lift their families higher (usually within a couple generations). We kill millions of babies via abortion every year, and need to replace them, so we have a tax base to support Social Security and Medicare. Guess where that must come? We train many foreigners in our colleges, then kick them out once they graduate. Why? Why allow China to compete with us, when we could keep them here and be more competitive?
    In the BoM, the Nephites were immigrants to Zarahemla. They welcomed the Ammonites into their lands, even though it was a hardship. Only a generation later did they become a benefit to the Nephites, when their sons joined the military.

    Christ invites all to come to him. Mormons should do likewise. And those who believe in the Constitution, Ronald Reagan, and Liberty, should also open the doors wider to immigrants from everywhere.

  11. So every non-Mormon who votes for a faithful Mormon politician is voting for someone who is morally obligated to change his political views to agree with those of members of the First Presidency, persons whose revelatory powers that voter does not acknowledge? How many non-Mormon votes do you expect LDS candidates to receive once that “fact” is widely publicized?

  12. “How many non-Mormon votes do you expect LDS candidates to receive once that “fact” is widely publicized?”

    Personally, I would say a lot more. The anti-immigrant political subgroup is decreasing in size, and the pro-reform and pro-immigrant wing in increasing. Pro-immigration reform candidates who are fiscal conservatives are much more likely to win elections than anti-immigration “conservative” candidates.

  13. I’m sorry, Geoff B. You seem to have misunderstood the antecedent of “that ‘fact'”. It was: “every non-Mormon who votes for a faithful Mormon politician is voting for someone who is morally obligated to change his political views to agree with those of members of the First Presidency, persons whose revelatory powers that voter does not acknowledge”. It’s a(n alleged) principle that goes far beyond application to a single issue. Will you vote for a Muslim candidate who pledges to do whatever his Imam tells him to?

  14. LDP:
    I would compassionately give their families a ticket as well. Two illegal immigrant parents who choose to give birth to their child on American soil, thus granting them American citizenship have made that choice. Them choosing to remain in the US illegally afterwards is just not the “only compassionate thing.” As children of legal residents of other countries, the child would also be entitled to citizenship in the country of which the parents were legal residents. Thus the family does not need to be “uncompassionately separated.”

    However, there’s another point here. Locking up a man who rapes a woman certainly isn’t compassionate to the rapists wife and children (unless he’s also abusing them). Yet we do it anyway. Only the silliest of liberals will admit to saying it’s uncompassionate and should be stopped. So the question shouldn’t be about what’s compassionate to the person, because that only ends in anarchy and lawlessness. Instead, we look at what’s most compassionate the society, we sum over all of the influences it has to remove a rapist from society. We look at the possible positive and negative affects it has on the family of the rapist, and we look at the possible positive and negative affects it has on every single other possible rape victim, and their families. Then we decide it is better for one family (the rapists family) to suffer the uncompassionate act of locking up their role model, breadwinner, etc., that the rest of society isn’t harmed for a time being. Until the man is released and Obama appoints him to a committee on childhood safety…

    Ripping apart families like that for a misdemeanor (under Federal law, crossing the border illegally is classified as a misdemeanor) is cruel, unusual, and uncompassionate.

    Quite an interesting philosophy, yet you act as though this was some-sort of unseen forseen circumstance, something that occured without a law and a consequence being known beforehand. Illegal immigrants know that this was a possibility, heck they know that death is a possibility before they start, but THEY are willing to take the chance. Now, people choosing to exercise their moral agency, and take an much higher chance of dying to get into the country can certainly withstand the consequence of such an act, getting kicked out of a country. There isn’t a country in the world that doesn’t do the same thing, and that could afford not to. It’s called the rule of law, not the rule of compassion. And for those who think the US can afford to have justice overcome by mercy, will need to learn a thing or two about economics, and possibly the LDS scriptures…

  15. There appears to be a wide variety of political positions that politicians adopt. In our church we have politicians ranging from Harry Reid to Russell Pearce. Mitt Romney ran for president as someone very hawkish on the immigration issue. In my opinion, he was not in line with the Church’s position, yet I am sure he had a temple recommend. There is a significant difference, it seems, between what political positions Latter-day Saints *should* adopt and what politicians choose to do. Personally I am OK with that, but I will continue to publish the Church’s views on this and other political issues.

  16. RAM.
    Did I really just read that you think we should be in favor of abortion because it justifies illigal immigration?

    Our nation thrives because we always have had a lower class of immigrants to come in and take the lowest jobs, until they can lift their families higher (usually within a couple generations).

    Actually, this is my biggest opposition to illegal immigration, the creation of an underclass of people willing to do the jobs other people think themselves too good for. In essence, it is our modern day slavery. As someone who’s 1/4 Latino (legally classified as a minority, as opposed to the 1/16 Democrat Elizabeth Warren), I find it uncompassionate and immoral for anyone, Mormon or otherwise, to be in favor of a system that allows foreigners to come in and do the dirty work Americans are unwilling to do. So in one fell swoop, the immoral democrats, and the naive republicans, have enslaved the immigrants, and damned the priviledged Americans to the point that “they are too good for real work.” That is not fitting with the plan of salvation, and I don’t support it. The LDS church has not said that I need to, and if I ever have a personal meeting with any of the brethren, you can bet I’ll explain this to them.

    There are more logical ways of dealing with our problems.
    1.) Make elective abortion (not victims of rape or incest) less easy to come by.
    2.) Reduce Social Security and Medicare benefits. Social security was initially given as old-age insurance, it kicked in when the average/median person died. The law of statistics requires equal number of persons to die BEFORE that age as after. The law was not well written, that age increased but the entitlement year did not, creating an entitlement society instead of the old-age insurance it was billed as. And now it’s destroying the nation. Sure, you can put a bandage of illegal immigration around it, but the nation’s still bleeding to death. Not a very sustainable option.

    We train many foreigners in our colleges, then kick them out once they graduate. Why?

    There’s no shortage of qualified and trained college graduates in the US. You’re obviously far-removed from reality if you’re unaware of this. There’s a shortage of good jobs for them, because of the eceonomic policies pursued by the false-messiah. The US accepts many foreigners in our colleges, because the colleges get a lot of money from them. In many cases, they come from socialist and communist countries that ration who is allowed to go to college. Those not smart enough, but rich enough, must pay to go to the US, where everyone, with the dough, is allowed to come. A few months back, TIME magazine did an expose on this. We’re not losing money on the foreign students who come here legally to get their educations. In fact, the only time we get the best and brightest from other countries it’s because of our facilities, so we get their brightest to make the best contributions.

    Why allow China to compete with us, when we could keep them here and be more competitive?

    Red Herring. China keeps its best and brightest. Then they cyberhack us and take our intellectual property.

    Christ invites all to come to him. Mormons should do likewise.

    I agree. But hopefully you can recognize that they don’t have to come to the US to become a Mormon. I recall learning in Sunday School that Mormons use to think they had to come the US in order to be Mormon. How old are you RAM? Did you miss that revelation in the 1950’s?

    In fact, it may be helpful to talk about why the church no longer had people come to the US. After WWII, the saints fled Germany. Before then, the church was moderately successful. Since then, it has never been overly successful. Sure the elect are still being gathered. The Church changed their instructions, said that people needed to stay in their own lands and build up their country, and the church, in the native land. I believe the same principle applies to immigration now. When you allow those with the most initiative and drive to flee their own country, you rob them of the opportunity and ability to improve their own country. Sure, the US may ultimately be better off (if we could ship off the riff-raff Americans that read the HuffPo) and had the hard-working immigrant stock, but if you sum over the entire world, are you doing the right thing? Is it better to take the best and brightest out of a country, enlarge the US, and then have the US nanny state the rest of the world? Really, it sounds pretty darn arrogant and xenophobic to me.

    But what do I know, I’m just the descendent of a legal mexican immigrant, a bastard was what Mark B called me. How is that in line with M* commenting guidelines, Geoff?

  17. h_nu, our society has become one of limitless laws. It is impossible — and I mean impossible — for an American to go through his life today and not break some law. Gibson Guitar suffered a federal raid because they imported wood that broke Indian — not US — laws to make guitars. Just to use another example, the NY state legislature passed even stricter limitations on guns in New York just a month or so ago, and conservative gun owners are getting together to say they will simply ignore the laws. If tens of thousands of people actively flount and ignore the law, it is in effect nullified and meaningless. A society where there are limitless laws is a repressive, totalitarian society where police can always come up with some crime you have committed. This is not the type of society you want because it means that government officials always have power over you. Now we get to immigration laws, which are, I am afraid to say, ludicrous. They do not reflect the demand for workers in the U.S. Millions of people *are trying to become legal but cannot*. The realities of the marketplace have nullified bad and useless immigration laws, and it is good thing because hundreds of thousands of businesses would suffer if these laws were not nullified. We believe in honoring and obeying the law, but we as a people also recognize that a society of millions of useless laws creates a totalitarian society. In that environment, we must concentrate on the most important laws — against property crimes, murder, etc — and recognize that some laws cannot and should not be enforced.

  18. H_nu, being an undocumented immigrant a freaking misdemeanor. Comparing it to rape is just downright offensive. Yes, throwing people in jail separates families. I believe families are divinely ordained, and should not be separated for light and transient reasons. Rape is not a light and transient reason. A misdemeanor is. Making that comparison is ludicrous.

    Our nation was founded on immigration. One of the stated complaints against King George in the Declaration of Independence is that he curtailed immigration. The freedom to change one’s nation of residence without government interference is one of the founding principles of liberty our nation is founded on. I’m inspired by the words on the Statue of Liberty: “”Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    The LDS church is urging immigration reform, because they witness the tragic and the human costs of enforcing current, draconian immigration laws. The brethren have repeatedly encouraged Latter-day Saints to take a much more gentle, humane, and compassionate approach to immigration (including endorsing a path towards citizenship, not judging or condemning those who without documentation, etc.). H_nu, I invite you to consider their counsel. I know you understand the importance of prophetic counsel, considering how adamantly you defend the prophets in other threads. Don’t let the neo-conservative trend to grist immigrants dull your ears to the gentle pleadings of our leaders to adopt a gentle hand in immigration concerns.

  19. Also, sure, Latter-day Saints are encouraged to stay in their country of residence and building the church, rather than moving to the U.S. But are you seriously using that as a rationale to force them to? And to force those who have already moved to the U.S. to move back?

    Particularly when the same church leaders are encouraging you and I to support immigration reform that allows them to stay?

    That sounds pretty inconsistent to me. Don’t rely on prophets to excuse ignoring prophets.

  20. Mark B:
    Exactly what compassionate act would you do for the landlord who rented to meth-producer, maybe even knowingly, when that druglord is caught and goes to jail? Am I personally responsible for the consequences of the illegal act that others choose to engage in? There is an inherent risk associated with any job. Choosing to study English, for instance, might ensure that you never make more than 15,000$ a year. Being a landowner and renting, there’s probabilities that your tenants might a) die and not fulfill their contract, b) move out and not fulfill their contract, c) go to jail and not fulfill their contract. I’m no more on the line to pay for an illegal immigrant than the child molester that liberals love to defend…

    to the grocers and other merchants who no longer have purchasers for their goods,

    I was unaware that there were stores that only sell to illegal immigrants. As a free-market capitalist, it seems silly to reduce those to whom you would sell, but certainly their choice. Of course, there’s a risk in choosing to only sell to those who are illegal immigrants, but until Obama removes all agency in America, grocers can assume that risk by only selling to illegal immigrants. But, like any other entrepeneur, I assume they’ll be able to adapt and sell to non-illegal immigrants as well. I still like beans, even if they were previously only sold to illegal immigrants in this strange imaginary world that you happen to insist exists.

    to the teachers whose classrooms are half-empty,

    If they’re good teachers, and we neuter the evil teachers’ unions, I’m sure they’ll be able to get jobs somewhere, isn’t there a shortage of teachers?

    to the tax collectors who no longer receive sales taxes for goods

    It’ll be a cold day in Sodom before I feel bad for a tax collector getting fired.

    to the farmers who don’t have workers to harvest their crops?

    You mean, the law of supply and demand will kick in and people will have to pay more for food, and people will choose to eat less of it, and become less overweight, and the people doing the jobs would get a higher wage and be treated with more respect. Yeah, those ARE terrible things that we must avoid.

    Does your compassion extend to paying their way back to an unknown country?

    Yes, and they should be mad at their parents, not me.

    If they’ve been educated here, surely they have better educations, better work-ethic, and can achieve more in their home country. In fact, I’d be fine with cultural exchanges, even multi-year ones. If you think the US is better off interacting with students of other countries, and the student might be better off too, I can agree with that, and even envision a temporary way to allow that. But the US is no longer frontiers-land. We can either choose to have completely open borders, or no welfare state. But completely loose borders with a huge welfare state doesn’t work. If you’re willing to give up the welfare state, I’d totally be in favor of completely open borders. I just have a brain inside my head, and can’t hear idiotic platitudes about “compassion” when there are issues that need to be taken into consideration as well.

  21. “Yes, and they should be mad at their parents, not me.”

    And here I thought we shouldn’t punish people for the sins of their parents. But maybe that was just me.

    Actually, no, that’s not just me. Punishing someone for the crimes of their parents is just downright evil.

  22. Here is the statement from the Church:

    “What to do with the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants now residing in various states within the United States is the biggest challenge in the immigration debate. The bedrock moral issue for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is how we treat each other as children of God. 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. …

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is 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. 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.”

    H_nu, please please please don’t let your personal politics get in the way of heeding the prophets counsel on this issue. It’s clear that they don’t support mass deportations. It’s clear they want a way for these people to stay.

    It’s clear also that your complaints against us could equally be leveled against them. Are you willing to say that the prophets haven’t thought through the issues? When they ask that we treat immigrants with compassion (which, in context, directly implies not kicking them out them the country if that can be avoided), do you dismiss their use of the word as idiotic as well?

  23. LDP:
    Whether or not you are offended by my argument is a red-herring. I am more than willing to hear you provide an argument for “separating a family is not a fitting punishment for illegal immigration”, but that is not the one put forth. The argument put forth is “That’s not compassionate, we shouldn’t do it.” I have provided an argument that the “Not compassionate” argument is not a good one, because there is no objective, logical reason to stop it only for immigration. It’s a stupid argument, and that’s why I rebutted it. I’ve also tried to point out that there are other possibilities. Case in point, a father tries to bring his 7 year old son into an adult bookstore, the bookstore keeps him out. The ACLU can’t think of any place more fitting for a son to go with his father than an adult bookstore and says, “Families should be kept together. Be compassionate.” Couldn’t the bookstore owner, in good conscience say, “Here’s the address for a Barnes and Noble” perhaps he’d be more comfortable there. Returning to their legal country TOGETHER is certainly an option. Maybe you don’t think that’s fair, but guess what, buddy, Life Ain’t Fair.

    I believe families are divinely ordained, and should not be separated for light and transient reasons.

    Right, but you’re still assuming two things that I don’t agree with.
    1) That illegal immigration is ONLY a misdemeanor in its consequences when summed over all society, not just the family, not just the community, and not just our measly nation.
    2) That the only way for the illegal immigrants to leave our nation is by separating the family. In one sentence, I tried to show that this is just NOT true. Give them the option of taken their child with them, to their legal country, or say, we’ll raise them as orphans. If they choose the latter option, the child is probably better off here that with parents who honestly think its best to abandon them.

    Making that comparison is ludicrous.

    Ah, LDP, I didn’t say that rape=illegal immigration, I said that the compassion of separating a family isn’t the only thing one must take into consideration. One must take the entire issue of allowing illegale immigration and what it does to the host and former nations… a point which seems to have slipped past your comprehension.

    The freedom to change one’s nation of residence without government interference is one of the founding principles of liberty our nation is founded on.

    Call for references. Here I thought Georgy was just trying to limit future soldiers. If your statement was true, then Lincoln shouldn’t have fought the civil war, he should have let the South seccede. What could be more in line with letting one change one’s nation of residence without government interference? As my friend from Tennessee would say, “Damn Yankees!”

    That’s fine that you have an emotional attachment to the wording on the statue of liberty. It’s not gospel truth, at least, I couldn’t find it in there when I did a word search of the LDS standard works. Of course, mine’s the old edition, maybe there’s a different change you’re aware of that I’m not?

    H_nu, I invite you to consider their counsel.

    I hope it is apparent to you, LDP, and Mark B, that I have considered their counsel and this issue. I just have different assumptions, different reasoning, and different outcomes, and it’s partially helped by the fact I don’t mind members leaving this country. I have no vested interest in their being here, and hence have a more objective view to offer. I am trying to illustrate those in as a logical a manner I know how. I have specific insights as someone of Mexican ancestry who thinks different about this than you do. It’s not a viewpoint of bigotry, and quite frankly, “YOUR SIDES” inability to understand that provides quite a bit more insight into their thought processes than mine.

    Let’s also be clear about what the prophet has not said. He has not said that any LDS must believe like he does. Not even Uchtdorf went that far. So in this sense, you seem to be going much further outside what is acceptable and are bordering on breaking boundaries of propriety. Hopefully you’re smart enough to understand I think for myself, and am not flattered into thinking a certain way… I have a “freaking” PhD. My gentle hand is just different than yours.

  24. ” If your statement was true, then Lincoln shouldn’t have fought the civil war, he should have let the South seccede. ”

    A different issue, but I wish he had.

    “I have no vested interest in their being here, and hence have a more objective view to offer.”

    Wow, so the prophet’s view is clouded because he has a vested interest in keeping them here? And you’re more objective because you don’t?

    For shame.

  25. LDP:
    Well I’m sure you can tell God where he went wrong letting a fallen world exist where children do in fact pay the consequences of the parents crimes. “That’s a feature, not a bug.” The more I interact with you, LDP, I fear you’ve bought into silly liberal arguments. I recommend you read “Intellectuals and Society” by Thomas Sowell. You sound like you think you’re “on the side of angels”, trying to “right some cosmic wrong.” I’d rather people see where they are are recognize that children do pay the consequences for their parents acts. THere are plenty in my life. I have the agency to choose to make better choices. I’d also recommend you read the BoM a little closer when it talks about agency.

  26. Again, I PLEAD with you to read this official church statement (not one man, but a statement that claims to represent the Church as a whole):

    “What to do with the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants now residing in various states within the United States is the biggest challenge in the immigration debate. The bedrock moral issue for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is how we treat each other as children of God. 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. …

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is 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. 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.”

    And now tell me that your position (deport them all) squares with the church’s position.

  27. And I HATE the “liberal” vs. “conservative” dichotomy. It’s so constraining. “If you’re not a neo-con, you must be a liberal!” Lame. Just lame.

  28. “I’d rather people see where they are are recognize that children do pay the consequences for their parents acts.”

    Wow. Children DO pay for their parent’s choices. But that doesn’t mean WE have to punish them for it. To take the whip into our own hands to punish children for their parent’s acts is just plain wrong. It sickens me to no end.

  29. I reread the Church’s statment, yet I fail to read where they say: “LDS members must believe the same thing written in this statemnt.” As LDP insisted it did. I remember when the statement came out, and Geoff essentially said the same thing. But alas, the statement itself, kind of speaks for itself. The LDS handbook of instruction has absolutely no teaching that members must adopt the political views of the church. And quite frankly, the assertion that it might (or it should) gives the anti-Mormons, and NOM’s enough fodder to declare the church a mind-control organization. Fortuneatly, I’ve been around the block long enough to know that that is untrue. And I enforce boundaries against people who claim otherwise.

    WRT this current issue, I’d even be willing to tell someone what the Church’s stance on this political issue is, before I would say that I disagree with it, and why. The doctrine is clear, all men are children of God. What is not doctrine, is YOUR application of that, which seems to be, the US is not allowed to have or enforce border laws.

    H_nu, please please please don’t let your personal politics get in the way of heeding the prophets counsel on this issue.

    LDP, if you reread their statement again, you may be able to find that they told no one what to believe, how to vote, or what to think. They stated the church’s opinion, and stance. I personally don’t agree with your application of their statement. And that’s OK. But it won’t be OK if you continue to insist I have to interpret it the way YOU do, in order to be a good LDS. I just don’t work that way. YOU lack the authority to do that.

    It’s clear also that your complaints against us could equally be leveled against them.

    If you want to ask them if they’ve thought about it, that’s your business.

    Are you willing to say that the prophets haven’t thought through the issues?

    No, but I’m also not willind to say that they have considered ALL of the issues. But I do think they’ve made a good faith effort. It should also be noted that I’m not organizing an acitivist moment either. Just pointing out some issues that LDS people should think about. Maybe someone reading will see the point who has access to the right people, and can ask them. Or maybe God will cause me to change my PoV. But so far He hasn’t, and it’s kind if disingenuous to assume this is some sort of bigoted knee-jerk attack.

  30. “The LDS handbook of instruction has absolutely no teaching that members must adopt the political views of the church.”

    Nor does it say that women who electively work outside the home aren’t good members of the church, or that members have to accept that counsel. And yet you defended their counsel vigorously, on the grounds that it was prophetic counsel.

    Smorgasbord indeed.

  31. And I HATE the “liberal” vs. “conservative” dichotomy. It’s so constraining. “If you’re not a neo-con, you must be a liberal!” Lame. Just lame.

    Yeah, and I hate the “healthy weight” “unhealthy weight” dichotomy. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, isn’t important, or isn’t true. So ambulatory, ambulatory!

    This isn’t a you don’t think “b”, so you’re not cool because you’re “a”. It’s a recognition that you “think” in a particular manner, with your emotions instead of using reasoning. That’s OK, but if you sit here and through your emotions at me, it won’t convince me, and if I sit here and through my facts and reasoning at you, it won’t convince you.

    FTR, I’ll admit my ignorance about the term Neo-con. Don’t know what it means. I use the conservative/liberal as a right/wrong and reasoned/emotive separation.

  32. LDP. That’s simply untrue. I never said that “women who work outside the home aren’t good members of the church.” Never. Reading comprehension. Might wanna get some. Sorry, shouldn’t have written that, but I feel that’s a gross and inaccurate characterization of ANYTHING I’ve ever thought, said, or written. If that’s something Jettboy implied (which I’m not saying it is), then it’s part of the severe disagreement I have with his post series.
    http://www.millennialstar.org/gender-roles-part-3-women-of-the-home/
    Thomas Sowell on Illegal Immigration:
    http://theacru.org/acru/thomas_sowell_speaks_up_on_immigration/

    http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2012/06/19/the_immigration_ploy/page/full/

    Not only is border control fundamental, what is also fundamental is the principle that immigration policy does not exist to accommodate foreigners but to protect Americans — and the American culture that has made this the world’s richest, freest and most powerful nation for more than a century.

    No nation can absorb unlimited numbers of people from another culture without jeopardizing its own culture. In the 19th and early 20th century, America could absorb millions of immigrants who came here to become Americans. But the situation is entirely different today, when group separatism, resentment and polarization are being promoted by both the education system and politicians.

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2011/12/01/why-is-economist-thomas-sowell-relying-on-anti/177509

    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.

  33. And with that, I’m too stressed to continue. I’ve spoken my peace. I do think it’s important for ya’ll to understand the difference between the church’s stance on political issues, and prophetic counsel to do certain things. I would submit a guest post on “the sins of the parents” but it seems I have been banned (that is, two submissions were ignored). Classy. I guess I’m just glad that my comments don’t go into the automatic moderation bin anymore.

  34. If you’re not familiar with the term, do some research. There is far more nuance out there than “conservative/liberal.” There’s neo-conservatives, classical liberals, paleo-conservatives, and modern liberals. There’s even more, but this will do for a start.

    Brief education:

    Paleo-conservatives and classical liberals are largely similar in their approaches. They believe in limited government, private markets, private action, restrained approaches to law, etc. Modern libertarians evolved as an amalgamation of these two groups. Most scholars would classify Thomas Jefferson as a classical liberal. Thomas Jefferson and others considered themselves liberal. The term “liberal” simply means free. A celebration of political freedom is a celebration of liberalism in the classical sense. Paleo-conservatives and classical liberals get along quite well, and use the terms “paleo” and “classical” to separate and distinguish themselves from neo-conservativism and modern liberalism.

    Neo-conservatives like big government in some areas, but not in others. They like small government when it comes to freedom of religion, private markets, etc. The love big government when it comes to foreign affairs, immigration, etc. They use the rhetoric of both paleo-conservatives and classical liberals (freedom), but reject many of their ideas. For example, neo-conservatives reject the idea of the executive branch’s power to wage war being checked by the legislative branch (a classical liberal idea encoded into the Constitution). They reject the idea of the executive branch having to grant due process to citizens accused of treason (a classical liberal idea encoded into the Constitution). They also reject the idea of completely dismantling the welfare state. They want to keep social security, etc., even though they complain about how poorly its administered. That’s neo-conservatism. The modern Republican part is largely neo-conservative—borrowing the rhetoric of liberty but failing to take it seriously on many important issues.

    New Liberals like big government in some areas, but not in others. Further, they use the rhetoric of “freedom” and “liberty,” but instead of freedom from political oppression and government tyranny, they seek liberation from cultural customs, restrictive religious belief systems, and societal traditions (such as the family), and they seek to use the force of law as an instrument in their liberation from these institutions. So they use “liberal” in a very different sense. They often opine for smaller government in immigration and foreign affairs (but forget that when Obama’s the one doing the bombing), but want larger government to enforce their vision of a good society.

    These days modern liberalism and neo-conservativism butt heads not on wether to have a big government, but what kind of big government to have. Classical liberals or pale-conservatives who reject the big government proposals of both groups invariably get labeled as being a part of the opposing group. Modern liberals call classical liberals “conservative” for rejecting welfare programs. Neo-conservatives call paleo-conservatives “liberal” for rejective big-government immigration laws. Everybody feels forced to choose between one of the two options, failing to see that a third option (paleo-conservativism/classical liberalism) is not only viable, but represents a more consistent approach to the issues.

    I’m reminded of what C.S. Lewis said: “He (the devil) always sends errors into the world in pairs—pairs of opposites… He relies on your extra dislike of one to draw you gradually into the opposite one. But do not let us be fooled. We have to keep our eyes on the goal and go straight through between both errors. We have no other concern than that with either of them.” I believe that paleo-conservativism/classical liberalism offers such a third alternative—a consistent, across the board rejection of big government, centralized control, and economic planning and protectionism by government.

    Classical liberals and paleo-conservatives alike protested the implementation of strict immigration laws in the 1880’s, and again in the 1920’s, largely because these laws were implemented by proponents of big government, seeking to use the government to enforce their idea of “ideal racial demographics.” They called it central planning and economic protectionism. Sadly, neo-conservatives have forgotten their paleo-conservative heritage, and now wrongly assume these strict immigration laws are part of a “small government” philosophy.

  35. I’ve got no problem with people wanting to come to the promised land. Immigrate and emigrate are concepts used by by both petty and major tyrants, so declaring either on illegal is outrageous. From whom did Lehi (and countless others) seek permission to move out of their land and into a new one when the spirit of The Lord promoted him to do so?

    Any law which thwarts the workings of the spirit is unjust in my opinion. There may have been a day when immigration controls reasonably just checked for disease, and basic statistics. Now that its being used to control and prevent people, it’s inherently unjust in my view.

    This land welcomes all who wants to be free, and so do I and I feel our laws should reflect that.

    Now if we want people to pay taxes, not live on the dole, learn the language of their neighbors, those seem reasonable. But even the language issue isn’t a big deal as self interest will handle that in short order.

    The issue is really welfare and the criminal justice system. Bring all the good that you have from your land and let us see if we can add unto it.

    The fact is, many Mormons are wrong on this issue. Demonstrate love of freedom and love of your fellow an before pleading with me to support unjust laws.

  36. Wow. Fascinating discussion. I admit I am surprised by H_nu’s vehement opinion. When I found myself on the opposite side of the Church’s position on prop 8, I figured that conservatively minded members would never know what it feels like to clash with the Church position on a political issue. H_nu now fills that position, whereas I am on the Church’s side. It’s not an exact reversal, but it’s not far off either.

    The question of whether we should deport all of these immigrants, even if it was feasible, is absolutely absurd. You can’t throw 11 million people out of a country without that impacting the economy direly. Undocumented immigrants give us some incredible benefits. Among the greatest of which is that they work dirt cheap. If companies had to charge them normal minimum wages to harvest the produce they collect, our market prices for produce would jump beyond what customers’ reasonable purchasing power. They would then buy less produce, and the economy would suffer (not to mention we’d be even less healthy).

    Sure, undocumented immigrants cause some drain on our medical system, but no matter what, they are a drain on our medical system. Make the legal? They go on medicade because they are poor. Incentivise companies to give them health benefits? That would again drive up the cost of produce, and we’d be paying more in government subsidies (kind of like how the US government pays Walmart and other huge corporations to give their employees decent medical).

    The point is, as much as we value having everyone become educated and going into white collar jobs, we need people at the bottom who are producing the necessities that white collar people must have to sustain life. And we need them to be poor, as ugly as that sounds (so long as we want to continue our extravagant, technology-seeking society). Even so, naturalizing these undocumented immigrants is at least the moral choice. I think our church leaders are very right on this point.

  37. DavidF.
    You’re wrong in two ways.

    The church’s statement does not ask members of the church to “do all they can to support the church’s political stance” here. If you compare this to prop8, the church put out a letter asking members to do all they could to support prop8 passing. That was an apple, this is an orange. Let’s not both issues orange juice. They’re not.

    2.) I find the slavery inducing affects of creating a sub-class willing to “do the dirty work” to be abhorent. As someone of mexican ancestry, I find it demeaning of “good christians” to promote the creation of a caste system that exalts “white” people and demeans “mexicans.” It’s evil, and yet you all have no problem with it. Typical “white priveledge”.

  38. Among the greatest of which is that they work dirt cheap. If companies had to charge them normal minimum wages to harvest the produce they collect, our market prices for produce would jump beyond what customers’ reasonable purchasing power. They would then buy less produce, and the economy would suffer (not to mention we’d be even less healthy).

    So, Because of bad choices along the way, continuing an unfair, demeaning practice is more important because it would be bad for the economy? Whom do you serve, God or Mammon? If you choose do the right thing for the economy instead of doing the right thing for their nation, and those people, you’re choosing Mammon. You hold them back by making them your slaves here in America. If paying cheap for veggies isn’t sustainable, then it isn’t sustainable and shouldn’t be done.

  39. Thanks for this discussion. I’ve enjoyed reading the posting and interchanges.

    I applaud the Church’s stance for working with utmost compassion on these difficult issues of U.S. immigration. Once a citizenry makes a big mess through neglect it needs to clean up before it can avoid the same again. Almost always forgotten in this discussion are the messes citizens make and perpetuate while it serves their self interests. I share the concern for not wanting to make subclasses and/or slaves. By the same token, when a citizenry has sinned so blatently by exploiting others over decades it can’t with compassion just sweep it under the rug.

    I tried to consider these issues in a novel, trying to make the issues immediate and personal to me. It was a fun exercise.

  40. @h_nu.

    For a person supposedly “too stressed to continue,” you seem unable to stop yourself from ranting. And for a person who claims to have spoken his “peace,” you don’t seem very peaceful.

    President Uchtdorf reportedly states that President Obama’s outline for immigration reform matches the values of the Mormon faith. If the reports are true, and it seems clear they are, then your views are out of line with the values of the Mormon faith. The Church handbook may not “ban” hot conviction in your misguided views, but I don’t think you’d be very smart to pin your hopes and dreams on generalized verbiage in a procedural handbook.

    Here’s where things stand, h_nu: After years of considering the topic, we now have the strongest sign ever that the LDS Church endorses or will endorse some type of immigration reform plan along the lines President Obama and principled conservatives have proposed. It looks like things won’t go your way on this one. Most Church members will seek the truth in what President Uchtdorf says, and the Church will join hands with other immigration reform proponents nationwide. Dissenters, including holdouts in Congress, will weaken.

    In all likelihood, the efforts of the Church and others will lead to immigration reform, which will provide a pathway for “mexicans”and other “aliens” already living in your neighborhood to “naturalize,” escape the caste system you say you abhor, and become your bishop, stake president, business partner, etc.

    Along the way, you will have the opportunity at every turn to bring yourself into line with the values of the Mormon faith, if you desire. Of course, you will also have the option to foment dissent, kick against the pricks, and invent technical justifications for clinging to soul-distorting bigotry. Having the freedom to choose either course won’t insulate you from the consequences of your decision.

    You’ve got a hard road ahead. Like DavidF, my heart goes out to you. Many will pray for you and others like you. But make no mistake, as things now stand, you are on the wrong side of both history and the Gospel on this one.

    Time will make this clearer.

  41. “But make no mistake, as things now stand, you are on the wrong side of both history and the Gospel on this one.”

    Sue, that’s coming on a bit strong. Let’s leave the judgment of history to….history, shall we?

    By the way, did you support Prop 8? :)

  42. H_nu,

    Be careful not to presume to much of me either. As I said, the Prop 8 analogy isn’t a perfect fit. But even there, the Church made it clear that members were allowed to disagree. Based on what you’ve written in this thread and the last, I feel that you have a very uneven way of judging the utility of analogies. Rape is kind of like illegal immigration, but two instances of being politically opposed to the Church’s political stance is like apples and oranges.

    But moving on, I don’t actually support the indentured servituted we’ve essentially created for Mexicans. HOWEVER, I strongly suspect that most people who would want them to go (generally conservatives) would be even more upset at how kicking them out would affect our economy. Subtracting 11 million consumers would be dire. As a result, I think most people really would rather live in a “white privilege” kind of society. It is the society we live in currently. But you are wrong to suggest that I support a white privilege society. You are also wrong to suggest that I support having poor in society in general. Note this sentence and note the important qualifier in parantheses, which I have never said I supported as the best aim for society:

    “And we need them to be poor, as ugly as that sounds (so long as we want to continue our extravagant, technology-seeking society).”

    Giving them citizenship would at least allow for minimal upward mobility and greater benefits to ameliorate their bad situation. So I support naturalization. I can’t see how mass deportation, which you are advocating, is more moral. And since I can see no moral motivation for this policy (enlighten me if I’m wrong), I don’t understand why you are accusing me of serving mammon over God. Deportation seems to imply a political, nationalisitic agenda, and that seems to be more “man centered” than “God centered.”

    As a final thought, you wrote, “It’s evil, and yet you all have no problem with it.” Well, I do have a problem with it. This helps explains my support for social programs and why I lean left. Having said that, anyone who supports capitalism supports an institution that promotes evil. We can pretend otherwise, but capitalism forces us to have income disparity (ie poor people), it encourages indulgence in material goods, and it welcomes companies that help people seek vices. Make no mistake, we wouldn’t have nearly as high a standard of living without the porn industry. I don’t support porn, but that industry is a perfect example for showing that capitalism has some very ugly moral flaws. And to some extent I support all of that (as do we all who support capitalism), but only because the thing I’d like to support, Zion, is currently untenable.

  43. @Michael Town

    You’re right, what I wrote above is a little too strong. I should have said something like, “As things now stand, you are veering towards the wrong side vis-a-vis the Church and presumably the Gospel.” I also think you are right to say we should leave the judgment to history. In the meantime, though, we have increasingly clear guidance from Church leaders.

    I was living in China during Prop 8, so didn’t follow it closely at the time. Not a “free pass” though and I take your point. Maybe I can respond by saying that I like the direction the Church has taken more recently with launch of the “mormonsandgays.org” site, deletion of the perhaps “homophobic” line in one of Elder Packer’s recent conference talks, etc. Like President Uchtdorf’s statements on immigration, I think the Church’s recent approach on gay issues more closely reflects core gospel principles taught by Christ when he was on the earth, etc.

  44. Sue, I’ve seen a lot of people compare and contrast the church’s support of proposition 8 with the church’s more recent approach.

    But I frankly can’t see a difference. There is nothing in the new website that contradicts their support of proposition 8. In fact, as recently as last month, they reaffirmed their support of proposition 8 in a brief to the Supreme Court.

    I don’t see any difference between how the church treated the issue now and how they treated the issue then.

  45. Folks, the Church is opposed to same-sex marriage. The Church believes that SS attraction is a NOT a sin but same-sex activity is a sin. The Church also believes that businesses should not discriminate against those with same-sex attraction and that Church members should treat all people, including those with same-sex attraction with love and respect.

    The church supports immigration reform. The Church supported the Utah compact on immigration reform and believes families should not be separated because of immigration issues. The Church has not supported a specific immigration proposal under consideration, but, as I say, there are immigration reforms that are supported by Republicans and conservatives.

    I agree with the Church 100 percent on these two points. Individual members have to take their own path, but as for me and my family, we will follow the Lord.

  46. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Elder Uchtdorf found Mitt Romney’s idea of self-deportation to be so offensively out of line with Church policy that he registered Republican just so he could vote for Mitt in the primaries.

  47. Plenty of conservatives, including myself, support immigration reform. I personally believe that anyone that wants to come to America and build a life for him or herself is welcome. America is, as Reagan reiterated time and time again, a “shining city on a hill” and we should welcome anyone who wants to contribute to the American experiment. Plenty of conservatives believe this.

    What I dislike is the notion of coming to America to jump on board the welfare state, which is already teetering and tottering due to demographic pressures. But with states like California and now Colorado treating “undocumented workers” like royalty (free tuition in CA, etc., etc., in a cynical power play for future votes), I don’t see the immediate immigration future as anything but a cluster. We’ve made a real mess and it’s going to take decades to fix, if it ever does get fixed.

  48. The libertarians here assume that it’s the immigration conservatives that are out of line with Church policy. But many of you think there should be no immigration laws at all. That clearly isn’t the position Elder Uchtdorf endorses. So aren’t you also under condemnation for defying THE WILL OF THE LORD?!?!?

    Just asking.

  49. “But many of you think there should be no immigration laws at all.” This is not what I believe. So, MC, you may want to launch your attack against somebody else.

  50. GeoffB,

    If my comment doesn’t describe you, then I’m not “attacking” you, am I? (Note: a contrary argument is not an attack in grown-up discourse). Why do you feel compelled to respond as if I were?

    Nonetheless, I know that some of the commenters in this thread are in favor of removing all immigration restrictions. Why is no one condemning them for FAILING TO OBEY THE LORD!?!?!?

  51. DavidF. You continue to put words in my mouth that I have already refuted.

    I did not equate rape with illegal immigration. Liars go to hell. And you’ve bourne false witness against me. Not very Christlike behavior, in my opinion. Perhaps you could take a reading comprehension course at some university. Once you’ve passed it, and demonstrated that you’ve mastered that skill, we can talk again. Until then, I will ignore you comments.

  52. I think it’s quite frankly an affront to humanity to control/restrict the fair employment and movement of peoples.

    Imagine you want to move to a new town. You are told by some you can’t move out and by an authority you can’t move in, even though there are property owners that willing sell or rent to you. Imagine you have a valuable skill and are willing to work. You are told by an authority that you can’t work, even though there are others willing to employ you. Imagine you want to get married and start a family, you are told by an authority you can’t do so even though you and your future spouse are desirous to progress in our heavenly fathers plan.

    We have a name for that authority, it’s a tyrant. Now in our age, we’ve replaced the hard tyranny of a despot with the soft tyranny of a bureaucracy employed by elected officials who pass legislation so far reaching they can’t even read it, and then let the bureaucrats administer it.

    I’ve seen each of the above examples occur in people’s lives thwarting their progress. That which does not bring you closer to Christ is not of him.

    As an aside, The Lord himself has said when he comes we shall be a free people and have no laws but his laws. I realize we can differ on what to do in the meantime, but as for me I hope we can hasten the day of his coming. I grant I may be a radical on this, but my zeal is towards God and also towards man. Not toward government or the present system of laws as currently enacted.

  53. H_nu,

    I was prepared to have a meaningful discussion on this topic, but it doesn’t seem possible. When I commented on a strange comparison that you first proposed (note that I never said what you claim I said), you called me, or at least heavily implied, that I am a liar. Your sarcastic tone about my reading comprehension is also incredibly demeaning, and quite arguably an ad hominem attack, since you used an (unwarranted) inference about me to dismiss my position. I hope you have a good Sunday. May the non-blogging world be a little kinder to you.

  54. Chris,

    Elder Uchtdorf has endorsed enforcement of some immigration restrictions. You do not. Therefore, by the logic of the pro-immigration folks here, you are DEFYING THE WILL OF THE LORD!

    Just having fun here, friends.

  55. The quickest solution to the “illegal immigration” problem is to declare everyone who is now in the country “legal”–and then all the concerns about exploitation of undocumented workers will disappear.

    We can certainly require that the newly declared legal immigrants pass a background check, and deport those who have committed felonies, and those who pose national security concerns.

    The biggest likely complaints one is likely to hear from the h_nu’s of the world are the following: (1) they broke a law and should have to pay for it; and (2) this will simply invite another flood of illegal immigration.

    As to the first objection, they have already paid. They’ve paid with years of working hard and paying taxes and being denied the full benefits of participation in the United States. In many cases they can’t open bank accounts, obtain drivers licenses, borrow money for higher education for their children, etc. But when there are crops to be harvested, houses to be built, animals to be slaughtered, they’ve been there. Doing hard, dangerous work for miserable pay.

    As to the second objection, look at the birth rates in Mexico. A generation ago, the average Mexican woman had six or seven children in her lifetime–now, it’s about two. The surge of immigration from Mexico was fueled by that large number of people coming of age, and the Mexican economy could not absorb all those new workers. But with birth rates down there won’t be another surge of Mexican immigration. And thus the pressure to immigrate to the U.S. has dropped–and is likely to stay low. For intending immigrants from other countries, there are many other obstacles to getting to the U.S., and so large scale illegal immigration is unlikely.

    So, the “problem”–if it ever was a problem–is over. It’s time to recognize that the restrictive laws of the past 20 years have been an abject failure, and to get rid of them. In 1934 we recognized that Prohibition, no matter how good the intentions of those who enacted it, had been a complete failure. And we repealed it. And, so far as I know, we didn’t decide that we had to prosecute all those who had violated that law when it was in effect. Likewise, let’s get rid of all the draconian anti-immigrant laws that Congress has enacted in the past 20 years. And stop supposing that we need to enforce an unjust law in order to keep faith with the cosmic order.

  56. Mark B.,

    If there is no problem of illegal immigrants wanting to come over anymore, then I suppose no one would be hurt if we were to suddenly find the ability to secure the border, right?

    Put another way: You say that Mexican birth rates are too low to make illegal immigration enforcement worthwhile. What would the Mexican birthrate have to be before you would say, “Whoa there, maybe we ought to think about whether we want to risk a new wave of immigration.” Would ANY level of Mexican fertility make you say that? If not, am I free to treat you point about Mexican birth rates as sophistry?

  57. Mc that’s cute. Elder Uchtdorf is not commanding in all things. That’s intellectually lazy to assume we must receive all from his mouth without bringing to pass much righteousness on our own using the principles laid out in scripture. Elder U. isnt in a position to make any suggestion that is outside the realm of possibility. The best principle we have from the hard liners on this is to follow the law of the land. I’m replying the law is inherently unjust, so,since we’re govt of the people lets change it.

    If you want to go baby steps in moving towards the lords will that’s progress. You think living the lower law is defying the will of The Lord when we know there is a higher law? Hobblegobblygookpoppycocknonsense.

    I still maintain if anyone wants to tell me where I can move and work in this land, I am outraged. I don’t think my citizenship grants me the right to move freely and work! My humanity does – remember the declaration of independance declaring inalienable rights endowed by a creator? Those don’t just depend on citizenship in what “should” be as far as governments are concerned.

    Hopefully we can make the clams that our govt is more just so we recognize and protect those rights while other lands defy them.

    Our govt has an implied social contract, so I agree in some sense if you want to be a part of it, you should agree to it (in the sense of some kind of immigration law). But right now it’s a broken system of controls. Walk thru an airport and you see the same over zealous control directed at our citizens. Card check work programs will metastasize just as bad. And they’ll all get worse as time goes on unless we wise up.

  58. Wow, I’m late to the party on this one. Slow as molasses on M* for months, now it’s hopping again. And my favorite topic!

    Michael Towns said:
    “What I dislike is the notion of coming to America to jump on board the welfare state, which is already teetering and tottering due to demographic pressures.”

    You’ll go nowhere here with this argument, my friend. The M* horde has definitively concluded that illegal immigrants are *absolutely not* a drain on welfare (after all, they don’t qualify, so how could they be?) Can’t happen and doesn’t. End of argument. As a matter of fact they’re a boon to our economy. Nay, invaluable. So since illegal immigration (or just immigration– because all immigrants from all eras and all immigration circumstances are *exactly* the same) is a boon to the economy, just why are you so eager to curb it, huh pal?

    Chris said:
    “I still maintain if anyone wants to tell me where I can move and work in this land, I am outraged. I don’t think my citizenship grants me the right to move freely and work! My humanity does – remember the declaration of independance declaring inalienable rights endowed by a creator? Those don’t just depend on citizenship in what “should” be as far as governments are concerned.”

    Does your humanity give you the right to live undocumented in Finland? Would your humanity be offended if Finish officials had the gaul to require you to immigrate there legally? And are they obligated to make it easy for you?

    No argument about immigration is productive because both sides are speaking a totally different language and muddying the water constantly with red herrings, straw men, and studies that can’t be proven or disproved by anybody.

    h_nu, hang in there, buddy.

  59. “You’ll go nowhere here with this argument, my friend. The M* horde has definitively concluded that illegal immigrants are *absolutely not* a drain on welfare (after all, they don’t qualify, so how could they be?) Can’t happen and doesn’t. End of argument. As a matter of fact they’re a boon to our economy. Nay, invaluable. So since illegal immigration (or just immigration– because all immigrants from all eras and all immigration circumstances are *exactly* the same) is a boon to the economy, just why are you so eager to curb it, huh pal?”

    Not quite. It is a very good point that a major problem with illegal immigration is that immigrants sometimes (not always) end up on some kind of government program. My solution is to cut the government programs to the bone, but this particular concern of immigration restrictionists is a very valid concern (in my opinion).

    As to whether immigrants are a boon or drain to our economy overall, I think the restrictionists’ arguments are exaggerated and incorrect. Immigrants bring many intangibles with them (energy, new ideas) that cannot be measured by conventional means. I tend to think that it is basically a “wash” in the short term, meaning that immigration in the short term costs about as much as it helps the economy, but in the long term the positives of immigration outweigh the costs.

    “No argument about immigration is productive because both sides are speaking a totally different language and muddying the water constantly with red herrings, straw men, and studies that can’t be proven or disproved by anybody.”

    Agreed for the most part. I still think it is important to point out the Church’s position on immigration, just as I think it is important to point out the Church position on gay marriage.

  60. It may be a political position, but I was living in the Cincinnati mission five years ago when one of the missionaries got deported as he was flying home to see his parents after serving honorably for two years (the church at that point changed its policy and started arranging for certain missionaries to be given rides home, as to avoid airports).

    And I know of branch presidents and bishops who have been deported in the last couple of years.

    Even ignoring arguments of right and wrong, and even ignoring arguments about keeping families together, the church still has an interest in seeing reasonable immigration reform happen. It’s unfortunate so many members, including politicians, are fighting the church on this.

  61. Tossman,

    The problem in our society, American at least, is that *everything* is politicized. It used to not be this way.

  62. Its always politicized, when we don’t agree. Geoff, LDS P etc, to their credit, are showing some consistency on this. However, most conservatives I know are downplaying this move on immigration. Liberal Mormons did it on Prop 8.

    I, for one, support those who disagree with the FP on any given social issue – as long as they can shed their hypocrisy.

  63. Tim, re:
    “(the church at that point changed its policy and started arranging for certain missionaries to be given rides home, as to avoid airports)”

    Agree or disagree with current immigration law, I’ve got a problem with my church sneaking around like that because it goes a step beyond simply turning a blind eye. We’re not just flouting law, we’re actively circumventing it. Honest in all our dealings…except in cases where we disagree with current parameters. All for the Kingdom.

    Of course your solution would be to change the law so that current practice would no longer be illegal. Don’t change our behavior, change the law. Kinda like me demanding that the state not to ticket me for doing 75 on a 65mph highway, simply up the speed limit to 75 so I can “come out of the shadows.” The consequences of such a change can be debated, but its likely there would be some negative consequences.

    But the amnesty crowd has brilliantly nullified/denied/debated away any potential negative consequences of amnesty and thus effectively removed that argument. There are no negative consequences of amnesty– or maybe there are, but they’re a wash– so no harm. Neutralize that component and you’ve positioned yourself to reduce any opposition to your argument as nativist, restrictionist, ridiculous. IMMORAL.

    Nicely played.

  64. Tossman,

    A few years ago the laws were changed regarding churches being involved with undocumented immigrants. Basically, it’s not illegal for a church to have volunteers who are undocumented. Guess what church was instrumental in getting that passed?

    And of course if an airport can be a dangerous place for a missionary who just wants to go home instead of being shipped off to some country he doesn’t remember, why go to the airport when other options are available?

  65. Agree or disagree with current immigration law, I’ve got a problem with my church sneaking around like that because it goes a step beyond simply turning a blind eye. We’re not just flouting law, we’re actively circumventing it. Honest in all our dealings… except in cases where we disagree with current parameters. All for the Kingdom.

    And thus we get to the crux of the matter. The church tells us to be honest, unless the church can get more converts by using illegal immigrants, who’ve certainly stolen someone’s identity if they’ve ever use anyone’s SSN… Integrity is doing what’s right even when it doesn’t help you personally…

  66. I’m pro-enforcement, but before we start accusing our priesthood leaders of hypocrisy re sustaining the law, polygamy was fairly illegal too. Sometimes there’s a higher law to sustain. I don’t intend to obey any old tyrannical law just cause it was duly enacted.

    I don’t think immigration laws are tyrannical, but I don’t like the “our leaders are hypocrites” line of argument one bit.

  67. h_nu, Are you suggesting that publicly opposing the council of the FP/Q12 is legit – and even morally right – if their direction on a particular matter is in conflict with our own conscience?

    I agree MC – at least as far as recognizing that we have a history of ignoring the law in favor of following what we believe God is revealing through the prophet. Not that we can’t disagree or have concerns, but the outrage seems to ignore our rocky history with federal law.

  68. CJ Douglass, since I only briefly skimmed h_nu’s response before it was deleted, I’ll respond to your first question:

    “h_nu, Are you suggesting that publicly opposing the council of the FP/Q12 is legit – and even morally right – if their direction on a particular matter is in conflict with our own conscience? ”

    I think it depends on your method of personal opposition, which could range from online comments to holding a sign outside of conference (or in the case of several LDS last summer, skipping church to march in a gay pride parade).

    Though my own views on issues like Prop 8 and illegal immigration are nuanced, I disagree with the brethren’s public political statements (which are also unfortunately nuanced). I agree with h_nu’s assertions that Elder Uchdorf’s endorsement of Obama’s plan does not obligate me, as a member, to fall in line. And since I’ve not seen a detailed plan from Obama stipulating who gets which level of amnesty, I have to think the endorsement is mostly conceptual. He like’s the idea.

    Of course those who are pro amnesty would probably ignore or at least downplay Uchdorf’s statement about recently arrived illegals. The fact that it is all so vague, theoretical, and emotionally based muddies the water even further and hampers logical discussion.

    But back to your question, which could apply to any number of topics. I personally feel airing disagreements semi-anonymously on a blog is pretty benign, as is voicing opinions to family and friends. When I have disagreements like this, I do not voice them during the Sunday block or at church at all, and I imagine most people in my left-leaning ward have no idea what my political take is on any given topic.

    (although I admit that a few years ago I politely pointed out in casual conversation that the west Salt Lake home that President Monson grew up in is now being squatted in by several illegal immigrant families– much to the chagrin of a few older neighbors who grew up with the prophet and still refer to him as “Tommy”)

  69. In a nutshell, I think it’s possible to disagree with an official political position or the opinion of an apostle without risking one’s standing in the church, or even without disrespecting the office. I respect Elder Uchdorf immensely on both an official and personal level, and I don’t think threads like this that include conflicting views are problematic.

  70. Tossman, thanks for the comment. fwiw, I too think it’s possible to disagree with an official political position or the opinion of an apostle without risking one’s standing in the church.

    However, I’ve been astonished at how willing people are to demonize those that disagree. Then when its their turn to disagree, its downplayed and rationalized.

  71. “But back to your question, which could apply to any number of topics. I personally feel airing disagreements semi-anonymously on a blog is pretty benign, as is voicing opinions to family and friends. When I have disagreements like this, I do not voice them during the Sunday block or at church at all, and I imagine most people in my left-leaning ward have no idea what my political take is on any given topic.”

    Totally agree, Tossman. The gospel is a gospel of freedom. You are free to work through your own issues/questions in your own way, and if that includes commenting on a blog, no problem. I would say that if you were to start a “Mormons Against Amnesty — the Prophets Are Wrong” group and start picketing General Conference, then you might be going in the wrong direction, however. :)

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