The debate about what to do about immigration problems is a big issue in Utah and other states. St. George’s newspaper, the Spectrum has reported that Stephen Sandstrom, a Republican from Orem is sponsoring a bill that
would allow local law enforcement to check people’s residency or citizenship status if officers have “reasonable suspicion” they have entered the country illegally. It would also allow for a warrantless arrest if an officer has a “reasonable suspicion” that the person they are facing is here illegally.
It seems to be modeled after the controversial Arizona law. Some Latino activists are upset with the proposed bill. Many opponents of Sandstrom’s bill have been unhappy about this heavy-handed approach to immigration problems, and have reminded him that the LDS church has supported the principles of the Utah Compact, a document that says,
We must adopt a humane approach to this reality, reflecting our unique culture, history and spirit of inclusion. The way we treat immigrants will say more about us as a free society and less about our immigrant neighbors. Utah should always be a place that welcomes people of goodwill.
The LDS Church has endorsed the Utah Compact, and the New York Times supports the Utah Compact. Some Latino activists would like the church to do more. They would like the LDS church to help influence Mormons (such as Sandstrom) to embrace less hostile forms of legislation. The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that Raul Lopez-Vargas
A former vice president of a local community group has penned a letter to Mexican President Felipe CalderÃ³n seeking the temporary suspension of visas issued to Mormon missionaries in response to his view the LDS Church hasn’t stood tough against Utah-based immigration reform bills.
There are those that think the LDS church should not be involved in any politics, from gay marriage to immigration. Yet sometimes they are pulled into the fray. What do you think? Is such a position tenable, when the LDS church must work with foreign governments for missionary work?
Oh, and just what is the church’s take on immigration?
I’m not sure what to make of this news. Utah has just approved a guest worker program. Some call it amnesty, but it contains some of the Arizona provisions.