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The Church and Immigration Policy


Bob Crockett

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This month's issue of the Clark Memorandum, which is the high-gloss alumni rag for BYU law grads, features an article by Carolina Nunez. She is a law professor at the law school.

It is a great article, and basically argues against the discriminatory anti-immigration policies of the U.S., at least in the employment sphere.

"As invisible as their day-to-day work may be, undocumented workers are an integral, though unsanctioned, part of the U.S. economy. They build our houses, tend our crops, and slaughter our livestock. They help satiate the American craving for affordable abundance . . . . Should undocumented workers enjoy the same workplace protections that authorized workers enjoy?" Spring 2010 CM, p. 19.

She goes on to answer the question in the affirmative. "For much of U.S. history, undocumented workers have enjoyed many of the same rights that U.S. citizens have enjoyed by virtue of mere presence within U.S. territory." Id. p. 20.

Although her article contains confusing terminology, which I attribute to the desire to avoid being seen as attempting to beard the lion in his den, it is pretty apparent what she suggests. "In the employment sphere, I believe U.S. law has diverged form a broader U.S. commitment to and trend toward a more principled approach to membership." Id. p. 25. This "membership" term is her confusing choice of terms, but she argues that once in and living here, an undocumented worker is a "member" of the U.S. and entitled to very significant protections now often wrongfully denied.

This is again evidence that the Church does not support, tacitly or otherwise, current immigration policy. It takes no stand on the issue, so it does not support, tacitly or otherwise, immigration reform. However, given the number of undocumented workers who serve in bishoprics throughout the southwest U.S., it does seem to me that the question "are you honest in your business dealings" has no application to a person's immigration status.

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What do you mean? Is this because her last name is Nunez?

Get real. You did not ask this in good faith. YOu think because some one is a "rightwinger" they must be racist and that we are so shallow that we only look at last names and skin color. Substance not skin color (or last names) Jaybear.

I wonder... are you sympathetic to what she says because her last name is Nunez? (sarcasm off)

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This month's issue of the Clark Memorandum, which is the high-gloss alumni rag for BYU law grads, features an article by Carolina Nunez. She is a law professor at the law school.

It is a great article, and basically argues against the discriminatory anti-immigration policies of the U.S., at least in the employment sphere.

"As invisible as their day-to-day work may be, undocumented workers are an integral, though unsanctioned, part of the U.S. economy. They build our houses, tend our crops, and slaughter our livestock. They help satiate the American craving for affordable abundance . . . . Should undocumented workers enjoy the same workplace protections that authorized workers enjoy?" Spring 2010 CM, p. 19.

She goes on to answer the question in the affirmative. "For much of U.S. history, undocumented workers have enjoyed many of the same rights that U.S. citizens have enjoyed by virtue of mere presence within U.S. territory." Id. p. 20.

Although her article contains confusing terminology, which I attribute to the desire to avoid being seen as attempting to beard the lion in his den, it is pretty apparent what she suggests. "In the employment sphere, I believe U.S. law has diverged form a broader U.S. commitment to and trend toward a more principled approach to membership." Id. p. 25. This "membership" term is her confusing choice of terms, but she argues that once in and living here, an undocumented worker is a "member" of the U.S. and entitled to very significant protections now often wrongfully denied.

This is again evidence that the Church does not support, tacitly or otherwise, current immigration policy. It takes no stand on the issue, so it does not support, tacitly or otherwise, immigration reform. However, given the number of undocumented workers who serve in bishoprics throughout the southwest U.S., it does seem to me that the question "are you honest in your business dealings" has no application to a person's immigration status.

Admittedly, while I praise this professor for her advocacy of justice in the humane treatment of illegal immigrants, she does not speak on behalf of the LDS church. I have not heard any authoritative statements from the Church on immigration policies. But I do find the immigration issue a fascinating one as it concerns the culture and conflicting beliefs held by American Mormons. This is an area worth exploring more. The conflict is between various factors which likely influence LDS attitudes on the subject. On the one hand, we believe God is no respector of persons, that he loves all of his children equally, and there are a great many LDS who have served Spanish-speaking missions, become acquainted with Latin American culture, who have grown excited about the rising Latino LDS population and high conversion rates, and who are somewhat pacified on the question of illegal immigration. But I observe another prevailing element in LDS attitudes- the xenophobia that mistrusts people with different ethnic, linguistic, or cultural heritages. This attitude tends to long for a preservation of and/or return to a homogeneous population comprised of conservative, native-English-speaking caucasians who are firm in the faith and hold "true" American values. What is particularly interesting to observe is the interaction between these countervailing attitudes. The net effect often seems to be this: Many American LDS despise illegal immigration and are happy to side with the political xenophobes when it comes to setting restrictive immigration policies; but when it comes to illegal LDS immigrants, they are happy to turn a blind eye because religious belief and comradery trumps xenophobia in these instances.

It seems to me we should strive for greater consistency and accept the fact that other illegal immigrants who are not LDS have every bit as much of a moral right to try to make a better life for themselves.

I do NOT believe we should abandon all immigration restrictions. But in my personal opinion, anyone who does not have a serious criminal background, who is willing to learn English and be a productive, otherwise-law-abiding member of American society ought to be allowed to come here and contribute and obtain citizenship.

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rcrocket:

The Church is not in the business of enforcing any law other than God's law.

Although, the question "are you honest in your business dealings," and the article of faith "honoring and obeying and sustaining" the law, and St. Paul's and the D&C's references to civil law, make it clear that Church membership can and has been conditioned upon compliance with the law. And, it even goes beyond that -- CES employees can't be bankrupts.

I bring this article and my thoughts to the attention of this forum to make the point that a Church member who is undocumented and illegal is not considered to run afoul of the principles I highlight in the previous paragraph.

Therefor, one cannot argue for tough immigration policy on the basis of Church or Christian principles and, I would argue, there is plenty of room to argue for immigration reform in favor of Reagan-like amnesty applying Christian principles.

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Get real. You did not ask this in good faith. YOu think because some one is a "rightwinger" they must be racist and that we are so shallow that we only look at last names and skin color. Substance not skin color (or last names) Jaybear.

I wonder... are you sympathetic to what she says because her last name is Nunez? (sarcasm off)

I didn't ask you, but since you appear to be the expert, why did he refer to Ms. Nunez as "legal"?

I am puzzled, and sincerely (and in good faith) want to know the answer. I have never seen the term used as he did, especially in " ".

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Admittedly, while I praise this professor for her advocacy of justice in the humane treatment of illegal immigrants, she does not speak on behalf of the LDS church. I have not heard any authoritative statements from the Church on immigration policies.

Nonetheless, I have a little familiarity with the way this journal is edited. That it appears in a high-profile BYU alumni magazine, published with a lot of editorial thought and consideration, means something. These folks just don't publish on a whim without approval of those who must answer to the church's Board of Trustees or whatever it is called today.

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Nonetheless, I have a little familiarity with the way this journal is edited. That it appears in a high-profile BYU alumni magazine, published with a lot of editorial thought and consideration, means something. These folks just don't publish on a whim without approval of those who must answer to the church's Board of Trustees or whatever it is called today.

Is this the way the church communicates to its flock about critical information nowadays?

If it doesn't have the name of the First Presidency on it, it is not a formal statement from the church.

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I didn't ask you, but since you appear to be the expert, why did he refer to Ms. Nunez as "legal"?

I am puzzled, and sincerely (and in good faith) want to know the answer. I have never seen the term used as he did, especially in " ".

She is a law professor. Did you not catch that? A little sensitive today? I think it was a play on words. Forgive me of my snarky response.

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That's a terrible response.

Is it?

I bear and suffer from no guilt that my ancestors all came here prior to the railroad and have been relatively successful . . . yet others have not been successful, either in my particular gene pool or somebody else's.

A whole lot of people feel profound guilt for their relative success and, when they see their family or tribe members not succeeding or in desperate straits, they can't function without beating themselves up and acting not in the best interests of their country or tribe or family in order to assuage that guilt.

It's not a new phenomenon . . . and this professor falls into the trap of being motivated by guilt. Call it survivor's guilt. Call it guilt because of feeling of unentitlement. Call it guilt for those little sins one commits in the course of living and being engaged in affairs. Call it whatever you want.

The politics of guilt -- How can you live with yourself when *********? -- is all over those excerpts.

And this kid is decidedly unimpressed.

Besides which, the argument is stupid:

Sally and Johnny and Mary and Jose all did it, so Ahmed and Lenny and Lisa and Marisol should be able to. Others "getting away with it" is no basis for establishing an immigration policy. Let Ahmed and Lenny and Lisa and Marisol join the 1,000,000 each year that do it legally.

And, of course, there's this: The policy of imported, illegal labor forcing teenagers, already selfabsorbed and spoiled rotten, out of the low-end workforce is suicidal.

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It is a great article, and basically argues against the discriminatory anti-immigration policies of the U.S., at least in the employment sphere.

This statement relegates your OP to the status of mere propaganda; similar to the antiMormonism found at Shady Acres. Most of those who oppose your pov are not anti-immigration and none of the laws currently in question, including that passed by the state of Arizona, are anti-immigration. The correct term would have been "anti illegal immigration".

"As invisible as their day-to-day work may be, undocumented workers are an integral, though unsanctioned, part of the U.S. economy. They build our houses, tend our crops, and slaughter our livestock. They help satiate the American craving for affordable abundance . . . . Should undocumented workers enjoy the same workplace protections that authorized workers enjoy?" Spring 2010 CM, p. 19.

She goes on to answer the question in the affirmative. "For much of U.S. history, undocumented workers have enjoyed many of the same rights that U.S. citizens have enjoyed by virtue of mere presence within U.S. territory." Id. p. 20.

Not legally. The problem would be solved if they entered the country legally and became documented.

This is again evidence that the Church does not support, tacitly or otherwise, current immigration policy.

But it is supporting illegal immigration by your own admission through legitimization:

It takes no stand on the issue, so it does not support, tacitly or otherwise, immigration reform. However, given the number of undocumented workers who serve in bishoprics throughout the southwest U.S., it does seem to me that the question "are you honest in your business dealings" has no application to a person's immigration status.
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..."As invisible as their day-to-day work may be, undocumented workers are an integral, though unsanctioned, part of the U.S. economy. They build our houses, tend our crops, and slaughter our livestock. They help satiate the American craving for affordable abundance . . . . Should undocumented workers enjoy the same workplace protections that authorized workers enjoy?" Spring 2010 CM, p. 19....

The economic claim of necessity cannot be supported. It also seems unwise to grant any citizenship with the loss of eight million jobs last year, and no real signs of recovery.

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So is your solution to force teenagers, already selfabsorbed and spoiled rotten, into the low-end workforce?

How else is the self-absorbed, spoiled-rotten individual to learn work and self-support skills except by being compelled into the low-end workforce by parents who actual care about their long-term welfare?

They're not good for much else, really, are they?

Do you want a 16-year-old inspecting your 17-year-old electrician's work?

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USU78:

I was as self absorbed as the next teenager when I was a teenager. Many Many moons ago. :P

If I wanted extra spending money I got a job outside our home. First mowing lawns on a weekly basis(at 10), then delivering news papers(at 14), and then working in restaurants(at 17). But there was no compulsion from my parents, other than my personal desire for more personal spending money. I treated my children the same way. No compulsion, but their own desire for more personal money. They all had jobs growing up, and are successful, and resourceful adults now.

I don't see my 5 Grandkids as being any different, though all except one is way too young for a job at this time.

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