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.