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The Church And Illegal Immigration


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I just came across this news item:

http://www.hispanica...ortation-/7333/

I live in Arizona and I know there are many more like this brother, who are apparently good "citizens", yet in the country illegally. I understand the Church's stance on loving they neighbor, not breaking up familes, etc. But I also think there is a HUGE disconnect when we also believe in being honest, and in keeping, honoring, and sustaining the law. It seems to me, that this could be a huge PR problem for the Church.

I once sat in a QnA meeting with Elder Anderson before he was made an apostle, when he came to create a new stake. I so wanted to ask him the question, but I could not figure out a way to pose the question without the possibility of a politically charged topic, and I didn't want to be perceived as uncompassionate to our Latino brethren, some who were undoubtedly in attendance, let alone the possibility of being perceived as a racist. Both of which I am not. I love my fellow Latino members. I just don't understand how this obvious disconnect is justified by the members themselves and the Church. Am I making any sense here? If I had to attempt to verbalize the Church's policy, it would be somwhere along the lines of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" type of thing.

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how far down the rabbit hole do you want to go....

A person of authority in the Church has issued a statement about illegals being common trespassers. (a very cynically way of viewing is asking yourself how does the church allow

)

another view point.

Article of faith 12. "We believe in ... honoring, obeying, and sustaining the law" article of faith 12 does not include a "except when I personally feel a law is wrong"

The Family: A Proclamation to the World states:

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. ... to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

Christ said "Render unto Caesar"

Official Church Statement on Utah Compact:

All persons subject to a nation’s laws are accountable for their acts in relation to them.

lastly, had the family in the article been the least concerned with the law they could have applied for Temporary Protected Status, (El Salvador is on the list for TPS) which status prevent the US from deporting those persons who have been ordered deported.

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If I had to attempt to verbalize the Church's policy, it would be somwhere along the lines of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" type of thing.

I think that's about right. However, the Utah Compact, which the Church supports, is a very conservative statement about immigration so the notion of much stronger enforcement with the knowledge that we already have a naturalization process is well within the bounds of what the Church thinks. Those who support breaking and skirting the law do not appear to be within such bounds.

and I didn't want to be perceived as uncompassionate to our Latino brethren, some who were undoubtedly in attendance, let alone the possibility of being perceived as a racist.

It's quite unfortunate and bigoted in and of itself to consider those who support upholding the law to be uncompassionate and racist. The fact that you feel that way and fear to pose the question in public is a good illustration of this. There is nothing racist at all in the notion that, for example, illegal immigrants should go back out and come in through the front door in sight of and with the permission of the host.

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Superman was an undocumented alien who entered the United States illegally. His "adoptive" parents lied about Clark Kent's origins. Yet, as children of the 1960s we were indoctrinated with the notion that Superman embodied "truth, justice and the American Way." (He was even President of the United States at one point. Where were the "birthers" then?) Some of us just don't see the issue of how a person arrived in the United States, and whether or not they are are "documented," as being as important as how they live once they get here. I suspect when Christ returns, He will be entering the United States (and every other country) illegally. There is the spirit of the law as well as the letter of the law principle that is helpful when trying to use the 12th Article of Faith to condemn all activity that is illegal on its face. It is that spirit of the law which permits the Church to take the position is has. IOW, I see zero PR problems for the Church.

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11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away,

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11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away,

These scriptures have absolutly nothing to do with immigration.

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the king has a party, he knows who is permitted to be there and who is not permitted to be. The verse and principle is very applicable to immigration, those who are invited i.e. entered in the correct way are permitted to stay, those who were not invited i.e. entered by someone other way are kicked out.

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These scriptures have absolutly nothing to do with immigration.

"Get thee out of thy father's house unto a land which I shall shew thee."

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the king has a party, he knows who is permitted to be there and who is not permitted to be. The verse and principle is very applicable to immigration, those who are invited i.e. entered in the correct way are permitted to stay, those who were not invited i.e. entered by someone other way are kicked out.

Seriously? Christ was talking about secular immigration? :rolleyes:

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"Get thee out of thy father's house unto a land which I shall shew thee."

. . . . but stop first at the local consulate and make sure that thou hast all proper documentation before thou enterest into that land that is occupied by someone else, and make sure that thou leavest when they ask you to . . .

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Where were the "birthers" then?) Some of us just don't see the issue of how a person arrived in the United States, and whether or not they are are "documented," as being as important as how they live once they get here.

There's nothing in the Constitution about Superman having to be a natural born citizen. Obviously, those who support a president who is an illegal or who spends millions of dollars to cover up evidence of his citizenship are going to pan the issue and those who don't are going to be concerned about it. Those who are concerned about it are on the correct side of the issue if one's goal is to run the country according to the Constitution. Judging by the initial bruhaha leading up to the race, if McCain had won, but had not been so vetted (as Obama wasn't), there would be just as much of a hue and cry from McCain "birthers" today.

The bottom line is that those who are opposed to illegal immigration and who want the POTUS to be a natural born citizen are not intrinsically racist or bigoted, etc. and neither are any who truly wish to abide by the (non "living") Constitution and the rule of law.

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Superman was an undocumented alien who entered the United States illegally. His "adoptive" parents lied about Clark Kent's origins. Yet, as children of the 1960s we were indoctrinated with the notion that Superman embodied "truth, justice and the American Way." (He was even President of the United States at one point. Where were the "birthers" then?) Some of us just don't see the issue of how a person arrived in the United States, and whether or not they are are "documented," as being as important as how they live once they get here. I suspect when Christ returns, He will be entering the United States (and every other country) illegally. There is the spirit of the law as well as the letter of the law principle that is helpful when trying to use the 12th Article of Faith to condemn all activity that is illegal on its face. It is that spirit of the law which permits the Church to take the position is has. IOW, I see zero PR problems for the Church.

So how would you suggest one would be living by the spirit of the immigration law then? I'm also curious as to what illegal activity should not be condemned? It seems oxymoronic to me.

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I think we shouldn't allow jay walkers into the Church, either. After all, they broke the law.

I know you're trying to be facetious, but I don't think equating law breaking of jay walking with law breaking of illegal immigration is a valid comparison. Illegal immigration is an honesty issue for me.

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So how would you suggest one would be living by the spirit of the immigration law then? I'm also curious as to what illegal activity should not be condemned? It seems oxymoronic to me.

Those who suggest "he without sin cast the first stone" , would have to accept that society should have no law, because all have sinned and fallen short.

Secondly, my biggest issue with the current state of immigration is that the hispanic population seem largely selfish on the issue. There are multitudes upon multitudes of none hispanics who do not have the convience of running across the border. These multitudes must go about the issue legally which takes years, this means families are separated for years at a time.

Why should a man from Congo, who enters legaly be told "sorry you did everything legally, now you can not see your family for 5 years, because that is how long it take to process the paper work"

but the illegals are told, "You did everything illegally and your reward is to not face the law or justice"

There is great animosity between African immigrants and illegal hispanics, in many areas, as both groups have to compete for the same low paying jobs. And the Africans who came here legally are basically being snubbed in favor of person who came here illegally. What kind of message is that?

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I know you're trying to be facetious, but I don't think equating law breaking of jay walking with law breaking of illegal immigration is a valid comparison. Illegal immigration is an honesty issue for me.
I think it's valid. Considering the U.S. has hardly enforcde the law, why should they take it as anything worse than jay walking? Besides, the purpose of many immigrants coming here is to make money to send home to family. I am, personally, an advocate for controlling who crosses our borders and who doesn't, not being a fan of the drug lords. But from my experience, many immigrants that come here just want to escape the dump that is Mexico. I can't blame them for that. I have to give them credit for doing what they have to do to make a decent living. What choice do they have, and why should they put "honesty" ahead of supporting their family? The Church promotes the notion that parents need to provide for their children. I can't say that wanting to come here isn't a righteous desire. I have respect for that and haven't walked in their shoes, so I am not going to judge.

The way to solve this problem is to no longer have an unjust system. That would involve, in my view, creating work visa program, so that Mexicans (who are needed by many industries) can come work here without being forced to break the law in order to do so. Why should they be put in such a difficult position, when our own businesses and economy benefit from their work? Our food is cheaper as is our construction, thanks to their hard work.

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The other day I read a nicely reasoned post on the Salt Lake Tribune website that talks about the teachings of the church contrasted with the apparent relaxing of standards for illegal aliens. I concur with the points made

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are taught from a very young age to memorize the following…

Article of Faith #12:

We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

They are also taught to sing a song containing these lyrics…

Keep the commandments; keep the commandments!

In this there is safety; in this there is peace.

He will send blessings; He will send blessings.

Words of a prophet: Keep the commandments.

In this there is safety and peace.

(Children’s Songbook, page 146).

I point these two out because of the SAFETY and PEACE aspects of coming into the United States of America via LEGAL means. When one does so, one is granted certain protections that are NOT afforded when one comes here in a manner contrary to the law.

It is much like those that obey the commandments of God. When one does so, God is bound by certain promises. But when one does NOT obey His commandments - they are given NO guarantee.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints openly baptizes and accepts as clergy and missionaries those in the United States contrary to the laws of this nation.

Yet, according to the teachings of the Church, and according to the documents which LDS leaders use as guides (which state that members should be encouraged to stay in their home countries), this seems to be in DIRECT contradiction to not only POLICIES, but DOCTRINES.

Policies - such as the incredibly unwise POLICY prohibiting concealed carry in LDS houses of worship in Utah - are generated by men. DOCTRINE - it is believed - comes through inspiration from God Himself.

Let me give you another example that might shed some light on this. LDS members are taught there are many levels to heaven. Only in the highest of these will families be together, and be able to continue on through eternity.

It is also taught that being sent to a lower level won’t be seen as much as a punishment, as it will be seen as compassionate. If one was admitted to a level that is too high for their spiritual development, they would be constantly uncomfortable and would not be spiritually at peace. They would not feel right being there. They would be in constant fear.

Does this sound like a familiar argument? Those would promote illegal immigration often state that those that are here illegally live in a state of constant fear of discovery. They don’t feel comfortable or at peace.

Yet, if there were here legally, they would have those blessings. It makes sense.

Let’s take this even further.

If your wife is sent to that highest level but you are not, do you expect that God will simply let you enter it anyway? “But my family is here, I need to be with them!”

Will God accept that? Will He look the other way? Will you be able to lie about your Celestial Kingdom citizenship?

LDS are taught that He can not look upon sin with even the least degree of allowance. God doesn’t have compassion in that.

Taken to its logical conclusion - it is clear that in heaven according to LDS doctrine, families will be separated. This is why people are told how important it is for them to be married in the Temple, and then to do all they can to become perfect - even as Jesus and God are. If they don’t, they won’t be together and won’t go on forever as a family.

So, why is it different here? Why are they not telling these illegals that want to be baptized here “go back to your native country, we have missionaries there that will help you”? Why are they not taking the DOCTRINE of obeying the law (and US immigration law IS friendly to the Constitution) and APPLYING it?

The Glory of God is Intelligence - Light and Truth. Light comes from APPLYING truth. They don’t seem to apply it here.

Now, if President Thomas S. Monson was to come out and say “Thus Sayeth The Lord - It Is Not Needful To Obey US Immigration Law”, and do so BOLDLY and NOBLY as Joesph Smith said should be done, then that would settle it. Let the chips fall where they may. Do what is right, let the consequence follow - right?

President Monson hasn’t come out and said anything. But we have seen men acting in ways that certainly appear to contradict established DOCTRINE.

I hate to see this. Things have changed since I grew up in the Church. They still make children memorize the articles of faith, but they don’t seem to be taken as seriously as they once were.

In Temple Recommend interviews, people are asked if they are honest with their fellow man, and if they are honest in their business dealings.

If that honesty is to be expected, how is being honest about your immigration status not encompassed in those questions? In order to be a Branch President or a Missionary - one must be worthy of a temple recommend.

In the article it says that a member of the branch stated that the wife and children are in hiding.

How long could an “illegal” in the Celestial Kingdom hide from God? Would He accept being “scared” and “not wanting to leave” as an acceptable excuse?

Shouldn’t those members be honest, report their whereabouts, and let consequence follow?

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The other day I read a nicely reasoned post on the Salt Lake Tribune website that talks about the teachings of the church contrasted with the apparent relaxing of standards for illegal aliens. I concur with the points made

Good article. He explained the disconnect better than I did. I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees it. I liked the comparisons of "citizenship" in the different heavens. With God, I think everything is black and white, proven by His succint words that He "cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance". I get nervous when people start rationalizing behavior and making issues gray.

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I know you're trying to be facetious, but I don't think equating law breaking of jay walking with law breaking of illegal immigration is a valid comparison. Illegal immigration is an honesty issue for me.

What about trafic violations, speeding or running stop lights. both can be deadly and harm others. Do you turn yourself in for traffic violations. If you were totally honest you would.

I am one that believes the borders need to be sealed then solve the problem of those who are already here.

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We are a nation of immigrants, and we are better for it.
If we weren't, the only thing here would be animals. That'd be great for the Green Party. That said, if we leave our borders wide open, we could ruin the good work that our immigrant-filled country has done. You can't just let any old crummy bunch of people, like a bunch of jihadists, drug addicts, rapists, etc. The crime rate in Mexico is insanely high for a number of reasons. If we could reduce the number of criminals we allow into the U.S., it would make things better. That said, I do love the Mexican (illegal) immigrants I have dealt with in my work. None of them, as far as I could tell, were the corrupt people we want to keep out.

However, word is, a good 10-20% come here as agents of organized crime. That's scary.

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If we weren't, the only thing here would be animals. That'd be great for the Green Party. That said, if we leave our borders wide open, we could ruin the good work that our immigrant-filled country has done. You can't just let any old crummy bunch of people, like a bunch of jihadists, drug addicts, rapists, etc. The crime rate in Mexico is insanely high for a number of reasons. If we could reduce the number of criminals we allow into the U.S., it would make things better. That said, I do love the Mexican (illegal) immigrants I have dealt with in my work. None of them, as far as I could tell, were the corrupt people we want to keep out.

However, word is, a good 10-20% come here as agents of organized crime. That's scary.

Besides poverty and greed, why is the crime rate in Mexico high. How high is it? How does it compare to other countries?

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Depends on what and how it is measured.

http://alamandas-travelsafelytomexico.blogspot.com/2010/10/crime-in-usa-vs-mexico.html

Recent FBI statistics show the murder rate per 100,000 inhabitants in Baltimore is 43.3, Washington D.C. is 29.1 and Detroit is 47. Mexico, however, which suffered an especially violent year in 2008, recorded a murder rare of about 10 per 100,000. Ergo life is statistically far more dangerous in the north.

And

http://www.seacoastmx.com/mexico_safety.htm

International Crime Statistics

Crime happens all over the world. But where do certain crimes happen more often? Here are the latest statistics from Nationmaster. Mexico is not on the list, even though Mexico city is the 5th largest city in the world with over 17 Million people.

Total Crimes:

1. United States - 23,677,800

2. Germany - 6,264,723

3. United Kingdom - 5,170,831

4. France - 3,771,849

5. South Africa - 3,422,743

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