The Church Statement on Immigration and Undocumented Residents

In the midst of moving to China last year, I missed this important announcement from the Church regarding immigration and undocumented residents. I find it interesting and fair. In addition to a kind approach for those already in the U.S. or other nations illegally, I would prefer some additional steps, such as better securing of our borders (even without using advanced technology and tall fences, with our huge armies, this would so much easier than invading nations on the other side of the globe!). I would also propose a much more generous immigration policy for those of many nations seeking to be productive, law-abiding citizens. Anyway, here is the June 10, 2011 statement from the Church on immigration. I believe this press release expresses the reasonable views of Church leaders on a difficult issue and agree that we should take heed, while also exploring improved ways to deal with the complexities of illegal immigration and its implications on health care, spending, taxation, elections, etc. And please, can we open the door for more nations to come and share the vision of American, in addition to many skills and talents that we really need?

Immigration: Church Issues New Statement

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.

As those on all sides of the immigration debate in the United States have noted, this issue is one that must ultimately be resolved by the federal government.

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.

In furtherance of needed immigration reform in the United States, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints supports a balanced and civil approach to a challenging problem, fully consistent with its tradition of compassion, its reverence for family, and its commitment to law.

I’m a foreigner living in China, and really appreciate the kindness I receive here and the surprising freedom that I enjoy, as well as the privilege of working in one of the coolest cities on earth. But if you’re thinking of coming here, please don’t even think of doing it illegally. The law is taken very seriously here, as it usually should be.

Author: Jeff Lindsay

9 thoughts on “The Church Statement on Immigration and Undocumented Residents

  1. When the people are righteous there are no "borders." As Mentioned in the Book of Mormon. People are left to freely travel, trade, work, etc. (this is in Alma, btw).

    It is a sign of a wicked people when borders become closed. One used to be able to freely travel between the US and Mexico. Not any longer, now you even need a passport.

    There is nothing wrong with people freely consenting to trade with one another. It is actually good and creates a more peaceful world.

    Let us shed the hate. Let love be the guiding principle.

    Why is there so much violence in Mexico? It is our own hatred and fear that causes it, i.e., no free trade, the unrighteous "war on drugs", the subsidization of our farms,corrupt secret organizations (FBI, ATF, CIA, etc.) , etc. Shed the unrighteous principles and we will see a more peaceful people.

    Truly, it is not necessarily the federal government that needs to resolve these issues, but is the individuals themselves for any law that is contrary to God's law is not a just law. Therefore, people need to stop the unjust laws from becoming laws and if that doesn't work, we need to harbor these people and treat them with good will, as in days of old when people refused the unjust laws of having to send the black slaves back to the plantations but instead defied the law and helped the blacks. Just as the Danish refused to hand over the Jews to the Germans but instead helped them flee to safe harbor.

  2. "It is a sign of a wicked people when borders become closed."

    Or the sign of a people at war, a people with enemies, a world with terrorists, a world with dangerous weapons and drugs that we don't want brought into this nation, and a world with infectious diseases that we also don't want randomly entering the nation. And one of these factors would be a good reason for regulating our borders and controlling who enters.

    As long as there are borders, a nation should be able to–indeed, has an obligation to–provide some degree of regulation regarding who and what enters across those borders in order to protect and defend its people. I don't see why that is a sign of us defenders being the wicked ones, though, for the record, we all need to repent.

  3. And why are we at war? We have not followed the very clear and concise commandments in D&C 98. Now the Lord will not protect us and the calamities prophesied in the scriptures will come true. When 9/11 happened what would have happened, if instead of retaliation and hate, we repented and said, "We have gone all over the world for over 50 years or so and claimed dominion [see 3 Ne 16:10] and overthrown democracies and replaced them with dictatorships, we have ravaged the world with economic sanctions that have hurt the poor and the elderly and children most, we have caused this harm, let us repent and turn away from these evil deeds." What if we had done that, would not the world stop hating us – including the so-called terrorists (who are nothing more than freedom fighters of their own homelands – I don't condone the innocent shedding of blood but neither am I blind the facts)? So, yes, wicked is the proper term, as used in the scriptures.

    As for infectious diseases, do you propose we hold everyone for 48 hours at the borders to make sure they aren't importing some disease? We don't, therefore, we can know of a surety that this isn't true.

    As for the drugs, they come through as long as their is a demand. We see the ravages that this war causes, the war on drugs causes more harm than what it was supposed to stop. We know that the war on drugs causes higher prices which causes the drug lords to be enriched which causes more violence. We know that it is more important for a father to be present that smokes marijuana than it is for him to be jailed. Instead we break apart the family (that which we should hold most dear) and we persecute the poor with militarized drug wars in the middle of the night causing psychological damage in the children. We know that our own government, on multiple occasions, has propped up this war and made it even worse. No, love is the answer, not hate and fear.

    All these things that you fear are truly of our own making. Let's replace that fear with love. Please read "Healing Our World in an Age of Aggression" to learn how we can truly change our world for the better without the use of violence and fear.

    Jeff, I love the work that you do hear and I know I come off a bit gruff, but please, look at my words and truly consider their import.

  4. From Connor Boyack's blog

    "Popular feeling is being flogged into a support of this plan [to wage more war]. The press, the movies, the radio, the rostrum, all are deliberately used to build this terrible aim in our hearts. Enormous sums are expended by the military in propaganda, to scare us civilians into a blind following of their insanity. Often this propagandizing is crudely done, at other times it is carried on with great craft and cunning. We are to be made so jittery with fear that we shall follow with eyes shut where they lead."

    -J. Reuben Clark

  5. On health: As for infectious diseases, do you propose we hold everyone for 48 hours at the borders to make sure they aren't importing some disease?

    No, I propose that simple procedures be used that are already used in many nations. If someone displays obvious symptoms of an infectious disease or is coming from a place with a serious epidemic, then they should be checked. In Asia, for example, many ports of entry have cameras that check for unusually high body temperature, and when there's an epidemic, extra screening may be needed. But if we allow people to walk across the border without ever being seen, the health risks to the nation are greatly increased.

  6. Excellent post, Jeff. I'm glad I ran across this site. I run a blog on the topic, in case you're interested:

    Do you listen to This American Life? The Jan. 27th episode featured a discussion on Alabama's recent immigration law, which focuses on immigration by "self-deportation." I highly recommend it. It's not wholly unbiased, but it does give both sides of the argument a chance to tell their story.

    @Jon. That's a great quote by President Clark. It's hard not to get carried away in the rhetoric surrounding immigration. I think having the eternal perspective and understanding of our inherent natures is one antidote. I hope that eventually replaces the current focus of the debate.

  7. Jeff, I think your fear is unfounded for infectious diseases. I agree that we should be careful when there is an epidemic somewhere but that would be very targeted and not general in nature.

    Also, I think it is more for show than anything, like the porno scanners, they don't do anything to make us safe, if anything they just make the people more subservient to the government and take away our rights (4th amendment).

    If infectious diseases were to be taken seriously then you would need to hold all the people on the plane (assuming that it is an airborne disease) for the entire incubation period of the disease, is that done? I've never heard of it being done, so it seems to be more for show than anything else.

  8. mforimm,

    That was a great show on This American Life, although I often disagree with their politics the human condition part of the show I love, it is interesting.

    Yeah, I do think the rhetoric really gets people to support things that are just horrendous. Although, my rhetoric gets a bit strong too.

    I think once we get the eternal perspective we'll see Christ in everyone and will refuse to support horrendous things, really, if we saw Christ in our neighbors, we would desire that they come to a freer nation instead of rejecting them (like the many people to our south and the Cubans, etc.).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.