Church Statement on Immigration

November 11, 2010 | 128 comments
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This is interesting stuff.

128 Responses to Church Statement on Immigration

  1. Chris H. on November 11, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Interesting indeed. What is this “just and caring society” stuff. I am so telling.

  2. Kent Larsen on November 11, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    FWIW, the Deseret News has the full text of the statement here:

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700080758/Official-text-of-Utah-Compact-declaration-on-immigration-reform.html

    While perhaps not as strong a statement as what I would like, it is a very clear improvement over most statements from conservatives.

    In particular, I suspect that the phrase “civil violations of federal code” may not be understood, because most people still don’t understand that merely being in the U.S. without a visa is not a crime, but a “civil violation.”

  3. Chris H. on November 11, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    There are two statements. One by the Utah Compact. One by the Church supporting the Utah Compact. They are very moderate statements, but they are clearly responding to certain takes on the issue.

  4. Matt S. on November 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    I wonder how Russell Pearce will twist this?

  5. Bryan in VA on November 11, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    I wonder how Harry Reid will twist this?

  6. Chris H. on November 11, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Bryan, thanks for reminding me why I was happy that Reid got re-elected.

  7. Steve on November 11, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I don’t think many folks understand that the church does not support a hard line on illegal immigration.

    Consider the following evidence:

    * The church will call illegal aliens in the U.S. on missions and then transports them to and from their mission by ground to avoid running into authorities in the airports.

    * The church-owned Deseret News has repeatedly called for a soft approach to the issue.

    * Now, this statement.

    Being a worldwide church with a substantial footprint in South & Central America, this is not surprising.

    What is ironic is the rather hardline anti-illegal attitudes of Glenn Beck and many other conservative members of the church.

  8. Paul on November 11, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    #7 It is not just South & Central America. In the Philippines, many, many families are separated as one parent (or both) leave the country (and the rest of the family) to seek work abroad. The reaffirmation that families should be able to stay together speaks to this issue, as well.

  9. chris on November 11, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    #7, I’m not a hard liner by any means. But you don’t have all the moral high ground you suppose.

    Especially when church leaders (Q12, CHI) counsel members to stay in their home countries and build up the kingdom there. Some of the things you point to (missionary travels) are how the church deals with a situation after its been made more difficult, often by the actions of the parents in transporting their child somewhere where they are now vulnerable, rootless, and generally fearful of legal authorities.

    All that being said, I’m in favor of helping people who demonstrate themselves to be willing to contribute to society and play by all the rules and integrate.

  10. Steve on November 11, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Chris,

    I actually support tighter border control.

    But, it is clear, that the LDS church does not.

  11. Dave on November 11, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Steve, a couple equivalent statements:
    -I don’t think many folks understand the church does not support a hard line on traffic violations.
    -I don’t think many folks understand the church does not support a hard line on decency statutes.
    -I don’t think many folks understand the church does not support a hard line on political affiliations.

    “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” We are encouraged to utilize procedures put into place to change such laws as we feel is right.

    This issue has never been unique and it is not now. If one is not “anti-illegal,” you are not in harmony with the 12th article of faith. Now, I do think I know what you meant, Steve, however, it is unfair to label Glenn Beck or anyone else as “anti-illegal.” That is an ambiguous rhetorical device used by liberals to defame conservatives. Do you mean the group of people (immigrants) or the process (immigration)? While Beck’s rhetoric is decidedly against illegal immigration, he certainly (as all “conservatives” I’ve heard) when pressed has admitted the current law leaves much to be desired.

    Unchecked illegal immigration is a threat to a nation’s sovereignty. The “debate” should be the extent that it is currently a threat and what to do about it. “Just and caring” does not imply you must surrender your prosperity to those who are in need. We cannot run faster than we are able.

    As one who grew up in Texas and recently moved to the midwest, I am astounded at how little people outside of border states realize the scale and extent of the repercussions of this issue. In my medical training my associates and I provided massive amounts of care for indigents, most of whom were Mexican illegal immigrants. They have a beautiful culture of strong Christian faith, faithful marriages, and a good work ethic. Their presence in my community, however, was at a price. The problem is that in order to live and work as an illegal immigrant, one must break other laws. License plate and social security number forgeries are just the beginning. The life and health of my then pregnant wife was once unintentionally put in jeopardy by an otherwise responsible illegal immigrant trying to go about her life. Some of our property was damaged in this incident also.

    I demand a “just and caring” society. Let it be just and caring toward my family and those who are just members of said society. Then we can figure out how to include more.

  12. Kent Larsen on November 11, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Dave, the problem with your analysis is some assumptions that are problematic at least.

    First, you suggest that immigrants should obey the law, saying “We are encouraged to utilize procedures put into place to change such laws as we feel is right.”

    I can’t resist pointing out that these immigrants had no voice in these laws and can’t take advantage of the procedures you suggest! Their ability to immigrate is controlled by those who see it as in their interest to keep them from immigrating!

    You then say, “Unchecked illegal immigration is a threat to a nation’s sovereignty.” I’m not sure how you meant this. In my view, ANY unchecked illegal activity is a threat to a nation’s sovereignty. The question is really what is the best way to stop it.

    Too often the unstated assumption is that the way to stop illegal activity is to boost enforcement. This can be costly and even contribute to the decline of a society. In my view a better approach is to examine the underlying causes for widespread illegal activity and design policies and laws that encourage legal behavior. In some cases that may even include legalizing things like immigration to some extent.

    Is it so hard to imagine that if we just made illegal immigrants legal, they would lose the incentive to commit other crimes?

    You also claimed, ““Just and caring” does not imply you must surrender your prosperity to those who are in need. We cannot run faster than we are able.”

    This is also an error. In fact, immigration usually boosts economic activity. Obviously some controls are needed so that the infrastructure can accommodate the influx of immigration. But historically we are at a relatively LOW level of immigration — less than 1/3rd of its highest point in the last century. We can accommodate many more people.

    You end by saying, “I demand a “just and caring” society. Let it be just and caring toward my family and those who are just members of said society.”

    This does get to the crux of the problem, in my view. Justice must give everyone an equal opportunity. It can’t be seen to favor some over others based on where they happened to be born — something that is beyond their control.

    What exactly did you or your family do to deserve living in the U.S.? Only the accident of your birth prevented you from living your life in poverty. You and I and most Americans are very, very heavily blessed. How can we use the accident of birth to keep those blessings from others?

    If our immigration system didn’t make it nearly impossible to get here legally from most poor countries, I might agree with the idea that immigrants must obey our laws, despite their inherent immorality. But when the wait to come legally is measured in decades instead of years, I can’t fault those who find a way around the system.

    Lets fix the system so that we are justified in requiring outsiders to follow it.

  13. Reagan Republican on November 11, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    I’m glad to see the Church take a soft approach on illegal immigration. I for one think that immigrants, illegal or otherwise, are great for an economy.

  14. Chris H. on November 11, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Kent, well done.

  15. Paul on November 11, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    #11 Dave, it’s true that indigent care does cost taxpayer money, whether those indigents are citizens or not. But the economy also derives great benefit from those immigrants. Many work, pay taxes, and provide services at a low enough wage to allow you to buy cheap fruits and vegetables in your local supermarket. (Those cheap vegetables contribute to your prosperity; they do not take it away.)

    I only mean to suggest that this issue is more complicated than you make it seem.

  16. George Orwell on November 11, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    What exactly did you or your family do to deserve living in the U.S.? Only the accident of your birth prevented you from living your life in poverty. You and I and most Americans are very, very heavily blessed. How can we use the accident of birth to keep those blessings from others?

    Clearly Dave’s family were very righteous in the pre-existence. Mormon doctrine argues against any “accident” of birth. God wanted those brown-skinned Mexicans to be born where they were. If he wanted them born in the US with all the blessings that entails, they would have been born here. We should do all we can as a church to keep them there and not coming to our country and bringing it down.

  17. Dan on November 11, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    anything that is a slap in the face of guys like Russell Pearce is a great thing in this world.

  18. Reagan Republican on November 11, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    What Paul said in #15.

  19. Melissa B. on November 11, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    #16

    What about Mosiah 18:21 and 27? Maybe read the talk by Elder Uchtdorf in the priesthood session this past conference. Pride goeth before the fall, don’t hurt yourself on the way down.

  20. Chris H. on November 11, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    George appear to be sarcastic in #16.

  21. Chris H. on November 11, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    George appears to be sarcastic in #16.

  22. Steve on November 11, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    I’m fascinated by the comments on the Deseret News site: http://www.deseretnews.com/user/comments/700080772/LDS-Church-supports-Utah-Compact.html

    What is remarkable is how many (presumably active members) are blasting the church on this.

  23. Mark B. on November 11, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    I liked the version without the “s”, Chris H. He do appear to have been sarcastic.

    I heard that Russell Pearce had a bunch of yard signs up in his district, and some civic-minded citizen had painted a Hitler mustache on him. If only I had known in advance, I would have flown down there myself and “fixed” them all.

    Oh, and seriously, what Kent said.

    In addition, I suggest two things: Get in an airplane. Climb to 40,000 feet. Fly south (not in Texas, where the Rio Grande lets you cheat. Look hard for that border whose defense is so important. Think of Apollo VIII, Christmas-time of 1968. And then ask yourself if “defending the border” doesn’t sound downright ridiculous.

    Second–solve the problem of undocumented aliens in a flash–pass a law granting them either permanent residency (after the typical background checks) or temporary residency with work authorization. Voila, no more illegal immigrants. People in Kansas can’t keep Coloradans from moving in–why should people in the U.S. stop Mexicans or Botswanans from moving in?

  24. Dave on November 11, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Kent #12:

    “I can’t resist pointing out that these immigrants had no voice in these laws and can’t take advantage of the procedures you suggest! Their ability to immigrate is controlled by those who see it as in their interest to keep them from immigrating!”

    That’s the point–it’s not up to them. It’s up to us. Sovereignty is held in a democratic system by the members of that system. The rules for joining are not up to those outside it. And those who join must play by the same rules that members do.

    “This is also an error. In fact, immigration usually boosts economic activity. Obviously some controls are needed so that the infrastructure can accommodate the influx of immigration. But historically we are at a relatively LOW level of immigration — less than 1/3rd of its highest point in the last century. We can accommodate many more people.”

    It’s problematic not just for economic reasons, but they do exist. This is a bit of a simplification, but the Fed loves illegal immigrants because they never file for return of any of their tax withholdings and they don’t draw federal entitlements. The states hate it because they are a drain on resources such as public education and healthcare, among others. That’s where the politics come from. And there’s the criminal/fraudulent activity required that I spoke of. There was a reason my car insurance was double in Texas what it is now. I’ll repeat that illegal immigrants by necessity drive cars and engage in other activities that are dangerous to themselves and others. People are hurt and personal property is damaged by well-meaning illegal immigrants. (I’m purposefully going to leave drug trafficking and organized crime out of this discussion.)

    Even if the net economic effect is positive, that’s no justification for turning a blind eye to an illegal activity that has other damaging implications.

    “This does get to the crux of the problem, in my view. Justice must give everyone an equal opportunity. It can’t be seen to favor some over others based on where they happened to be born — something that is beyond their control.”

    I am not aware of choosing to be born male. Does justice afford me the an equal opportunity to child bearing? I wasn’t born into a rich family, therefore going to an elite school was not within my reach, even though my scores were high. Does social justice demand I be entitled to that? Why aren’t all ~6 billion people on the Earth entitled to US citizenship? We can’t run faster than we have strength.

    Forget my absurd exaggerations and let’s talk about justice. There is no universal justice that one can invoke here. Justice under the law is justice defined by and concerned with the sovereign society. Those outside not included. It is unjust and unfair towards members of a society to allow individuals outside to circumvent and be exempt from its laws while reaping benefits from that society. I think also of what a slap in the face it is to all of my friends who immigrated here legally. It erodes everyone’s freedom.

    If you believe a broader social justice exists beyond the scope of US law and sovereignty, by all means make a case. Appeal to the UN or some international organization. Appeal to a loving creator and see what our liberal friend will think. Just don’t play word games that insinuate that those who believe in US sovereignty and justice under US law are in favor of exclusion and suffering of those outside our nation.

    I want more legal immigration. I want secure borders. I want our laws to reflect this and I want just enforcement of our laws.

  25. Dan on November 11, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Dave,

    #11,

    As one who grew up in Texas and recently moved to the midwest, I am astounded at how little people outside of border states realize the scale and extent of the repercussions of this issue.

    Right, there are no illegal immigrants here in New York…and certainly no illegal immigrant Mormons…

  26. Chris H. on November 11, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Appealls to social justice are not appeals to the United States or the United Nations, but appeals to morality…as a result this is a universal appeal since such boundaries are mortally arbitrary.

    Kent, am I the liberal friend of “our liberal friend.” I think that should be my new titlle. Chris H. Universal Liberal Friend.

  27. Dan on November 11, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Dave,

    #24,

    Appeal to a loving creator and see what our liberal friend will think.

    What the hell does that mean?

    I want more legal immigration. I want secure borders. I want our laws to reflect this and I want just enforcement of our laws.

    Then you should be in favor of INCREASING immigration to this nation and not strangling the process so fewer people come in.

  28. Mark B. on November 11, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    If you’re concerned about sovereignty, then the best thing to do is to welcome those who are here into the body politic, so that they are part of us, rather that a class of outsiders among us that have no say in and less than a full participant’s share in our society.

    On the other hand, if you want to reduce immigration, the best thing is a recession. Or a full-blown depression. That’ll stop people coming here faster than anything else, and will help those who are here to make the decision to leave for greener pastures.

    Dave and Thrasymachus seem to have nearly identical definitions of “justice.” I didn’t much like Thrasymachus’s definition, and I’m not too keen on Dave’s either.

  29. Dan on November 11, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    Mark,

    If you’re concerned about sovereignty, then the best thing to do is to welcome those who are here into the body politic, so that they are part of us, rather that a class of outsiders among us that have no say in and less than a full participant’s share in our society.

    Absolutely well said.

  30. Mark B. on November 11, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Dan,

    I’m not quite sure what the hell that meant either–I was supposing that he was using “our liberal friend” to refer to the “loving creator”–you don’t suppose he thinks that God is a Tom Tancredo anti-immigrant type, do you?

  31. Dan on November 11, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Of course, Mark, the real reason why conservatives are so strongly against allowing illegal immigrants into the body politic is because they favor Democrats by such a large majority.

  32. Chris H. on November 11, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Mark B,

    But you have to admit… Thrasymachus had one of the coolest names ever.

  33. Dan on November 11, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Mark,

    Nice, I didn’t even read it that way. I read it as the typical tripe that liberals are atheist or something and that appealing to the creator would be like against liberal reasoning or something…I like your reading better. :)

  34. Chris H. on November 11, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Dan, it is much deeper than that.

  35. Chris H. on November 11, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    #34 is to Dan in #31.

  36. James Olsen on November 11, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Dave: we’ve got three (separate, though clearly related) things at issue here: the morality of our current immigration laws; the political feasibility of govts “enforcing” borders; and the economics involved. Unfortunately for your case, all three are working against you.

    There simply is nothing moral about the human atrocities we perpetuate against undocumented families – at a grossly disproportionate level to any (obviously minor, civil) injustice undocumented persons perpetrate against US society. Unless you reduce morality to contemporary govt legislation (which it looks like perhaps you’re doing in #24), which is a hopelessly inadequate moral position, you haven’t got a moral leg to stand on.

    And the social science data is overwhelmingly against you on the other two points. First, immigration law, however hard line, simply does not deter immigration. The hundreds of persons who have died crossing our borders this year (400 of them while in US custody) are dying not just because of our laws, but because our attempts to enforce unjust laws have included the destruction of water sources in the desert. But none of it deters them. Nor does it deter immigration in other countries, including those with much harsher laws than ours. And any economist who does immigration studies – liberal, conservative, or mainstream – will tell you that immigrants are a net boon.

  37. Dan on November 11, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Chris,

    I believe that too, but felt it would be too visceral to bring up.

  38. Chris H. on November 11, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    Dan, are you going soft? It really doesn’t need to be said. It is obvious.

  39. Reagan Republican on November 12, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Dan,

    With Marco Rubio, I think it’s safe to say that the Republicans have a great shot at locking down the Latino vote.

  40. Dan on November 12, 2010 at 1:48 am

    Reagan Republican,

    Good luck with that.

  41. Reagan Republican on November 12, 2010 at 2:50 am

    Dan,

    If I’m wrong, why did Bill Clinton try to get the Democratic candidate to quit so that the independent Charlie Christ could beat Rubio?

    The answer is that Rubio has Clinton worried that the Democrats might lose the Latino vote.

  42. Mark D. on November 12, 2010 at 3:09 am

    This is a bit of a simplification, but the Fed loves illegal immigrants because they never file for return of any of their tax withholdings and they don’t draw federal entitlements.

    I am not sure “the Fed” has a position either way. However, the federal government does spend a lot of money on illegal immigrants, usually indirectly through various subsidies to state programs like Medicaid.

    Illegal immigrants may be a boon to the economy, but they are certainly not a boon to the taxpayers, for the same reason that low wage families are not a boon to the taxpayers – low wage households don’t even come close to paying enough in taxes to cover their per-capita costs in federal and state outlays.

    Federal spending per household is currently ~$31,000 per year. The federal government currently only collects about $18,000 of that in taxes. Low wage households contribute at best half that, mostly in payroll taxes (including the share paid by their employers).

    So the general problem is the average household is contributing about $13,000 a year to the federal deficit, and a typical low wage household is contributing about $22,000 a year. Even if the latter paid twice as much federal taxes as they do now, they would still (like all the rest of us) be paying at least $13,000 less than what the federal government is currently spending on each household every year. This is not sustainable.

    At a minimum, high levels of immigration (legal or otherwise) will necessarily mean lower levels of government benefits, for low wage households in particular, unless we want to pay considerably more in the way of taxes. The net social welfare of the world might be better off though, even if the local welfare state implodes, it is hard to say.

  43. Tim on November 12, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Mark D.,
    That’s assuming people in low-paying jobs actually get paid what they’re worth. I don’t think they do.

    This LDS statement is a big deal. I won’t be surprised if some of the ultra-conservatives leave the church over this. I wish they’d repent instead, but if they refuse to repent, I say good riddance.

  44. Dan on November 12, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Reagan Republican,

    The answer is that Rubio has Clinton worried that the Democrats might lose the Latino vote.

    oh, I’m sure Floridian Cubans love their own, but last I recall, Hispanics/Latinos are not all Cubans, though Cubans are all Hispanics/Latinos. So, again, good luck with that.

  45. Christopher on November 12, 2010 at 9:24 am

    The answer is that Rubio has Clinton worried that the Democrats might lose the Latino vote.

    Between the House and the Senate there are 24 Latin American members of the U.S. congress. 21 are Democrats. 3 are Republicans. All 3 of those Republicans are from Florida, and all are Cuban Americans. Suffice it to say that the Democratic Party has little to fear in terms of losing the Latino vote simply because one more Republican Cuban American representing Florida was elected a couple of weeks ago. Very few Latin Americans from Mexico and Central America identify with Cuban Americans in any other way than linguistically.

    More likely, Clinton tried to indirectly secure a victory for Christ because Christ has moved progressively to the left over the last couple of years and it seems likely that he would have caucused with the Democratic Party.

  46. Mark B. on November 12, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Sorry, Christopher. If you’re gonna make a typo in a politician’s name, please don’t put an “H” in Charlie Crist’s surname!! : )

  47. Christopher on November 12, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Haha, yikes. My bad. I must’ve seen Reagan Republican do it in #41 and without thinking, followed suit.

  48. Mark D. on November 12, 2010 at 10:02 am

    The Church stated:

    Public officials should create and administer laws that reflect the best of our aspirations as a just and caring society. Such laws will properly balance love for neighbors, family cohesion, and the observance of just and enforceable laws.

    Needless to say, what “proper balance”, “just”, and “enforceable” are in this context is a matter of some considerable debate. If the Church wants to issue more than just platitudes on this issue, it would probably have to start taking positions on particular pieces of legislation, if not disfellowship anyone who openly disagrees.

    Perhaps the signers of the Utah Compact should start gathering signatures for a public referendum on the subject, and then the Church can strongly imply that everyone should contribute time, money, and other resources to ensure its passage.

  49. Mark D. on November 12, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I wish they’d repent instead, but if they refuse to repent, I say good riddance.

    Does that apply to opponents of Prop 8 too? Are they in need of repentance? Or is it good riddance?

  50. Steve on November 12, 2010 at 10:13 am

    This was clearly directed at a proposed bill by Rep. Stephen Sandstrom of Orem, Utah which would apply and Arizona-like law in Utah.

    Rep. Sandstrom this morning in the Salt Lake Tribune acknowledged it was directed at his bill: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/50656971-78/church-utah-compact-bill.html.csp

    So, what we have learned is that the LDS church opposes Arizona-style laws and generally favors a more liberal policy on immigration.

  51. Tim on November 12, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Mark D.,
    I think “Love your neighbor” is a far more important commandment than “support Proposition 8.” Especially for the majority of us who don’t leave anywhere near California.

    Anyone who makes the mistake of reading comments on immigration articles at Deseret News will quickly find many people alleging to be LDS who have strong feelings of hatred towards undocumented immigrants. These are the people who will be offended by the church’s stance. They forget the whole point of the New Testament and, although I’d prefer they eliminate their hatred towards undocumented immigrants, I won’t miss them if they leave the church instead.

    If those who opposed Proposition 8 also demonstrated that same level of hatred towards their fellow human beings as many in the anti-immigrant crowd do, and left the church because of the church’s stand on Proposition 8, I’d say good riddance to them too.

  52. Mark B. on November 12, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Sandstrom says he’s been getting a raft of emails telling him to ignore the Church’s statement and charge ahead with his stupid proposal. If you want to help reverse the tide, his email address is ssandstrom@utah.gov. (That’s public information from the Utah House of Representatives website.)

  53. Mark D. on November 12, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I think “Love your neighbor” is a far more important commandment than “support Proposition 8.”

    Suppose your neighbor signs up for a mortgage that is far more expensive than he can afford. Do you support the right of the bank to foreclose even though that means your neighbor’s family will have to move back in with his parent’s family in a distant state? Or is it better to make housing more unaffordable for everyone?

    Alternatively, suppose your neighbor’s business suffers dramatically and he chooses to prioritize feeding his family over paying the federal taxes due. Do you support the right of the IRS to levy his bank account and garnish his wages to collect, or should people in difficult situations be able to choose whether or not they pay taxes?

  54. Alison on November 12, 2010 at 11:32 am

    This discussion is particulary pertinent to me today. I just received a request from my son who is serving a spanish-speaking mission here in the U.S. In his area, a large number of the contacts and converts are in the states illegally. My son is now wondering if my husband and I might be able to provide lodging in our home for a few of his ward members so that they can obtain driver’s licenses in our state. Ostensibly, our state has “easier” requirements for this. I am truly conflicted about his request.

  55. wreddyornot on November 12, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Love your neighbor is for many ostensibly easy to understand and straightforward. It is not, as Mark D. and others, I believe, are trying to point out. Even with respect to levies and garnishments, there are regulations and laws to protect the truely poor from the government taking food off the table. Additionally, for the insolvent, there are offers in compromise, etc. On the immigration front, years and years of lacadaisical or worse enforcement by the U.S. and the failures of Congress to attend to sensible modifications in the laws have led to millions and millions of children who are undocumented who have been raised here with no roots anywhere else and who live on a bubble waiting for it to pop. I laud the sensitive line the Church is taking on this issue.

  56. Dave on November 12, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Mark D.

    “I’m not sure “the Fed” has a position either way. However, the federal government does spend a lot of money on illegal immigrants, usually indirectly through various subsidies to state programs like Medicaid.”

    The federal government does NOT, in fact, pay subsidies to state programs for illegal immigrants. The illegals do not receive Medicaid funds. Without fraud, they don’t receive welfare or Medicare. Every year my county-funded hospital would send a bill to Mexico for all the non-reembursed medical care it gave to Mexican indigents. Of course they never paid, so the county has set up its own system to enroll those who will pay for it, but those who don’t are funded by the county tax payers.

    Again, the states have to pay the bill while Uncle Sam gets to keep their would-be tax returns. There is a reason why the officials closer to the people tend to want better enforcement of federal immigration law–the burden is on them.

  57. Steve on November 12, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    For those who support strict action against illegals –

    Are you going to support the Church on this issue or continue to push Arizona-like laws?

  58. Dave on November 12, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    James Olsen

    “Dave: we’ve got three (separate, though clearly related) things at issue here: the morality of our current immigration laws; the political feasibility of govts “enforcing” borders; and the economics involved.”

    I agree with you there are three related issues here. I just disagree with you on the first two, certainly.

    You talk about atrocities committed against these families? By this you mean splitting families. Why do they keep coming then? If I committed fraud I would be put in prison, separating me from my wife and our children. And what about the atrocities committed against US citizens? It is not that simple.

    Enforcing the law is easy. Build a high fence. That’s a human tradition thousands of years old with pretty good success. We are paralyzed in a state vs federal government gridlock.

    The net economic, I concede is good short-term, but when I’m speaking of this I thinking in larger terms–including tax burden, cost of living, etc.–and longer time periods, i.e over decades.

    But what I find most repugnant is that wherever morality is concerned, the essence of all the arguments put forward by my liberal friends are ad hominem attacks. I’m offended that people in this forum continue to imply that conservatives are unchartable, racist, or xenophobic. In fact I can provide social science data that they are exactly the opposite.

    It is just that a nation be completely exclusive if they enact laws for such. Obvious the Church, myself, and everyone here are against that on moral grounds, because it is not “caring” as they write.

    The question is how caring are we truly able to be while maintaining justice. We need to build the fence and figure out how to get people in the right way in the volumes that are sustainable to us.

  59. Julie M. Smith on November 12, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    “Enforcing the law is easy. Build a high fence.”

    You lost whatever credibility you had in this conversation with that comment.

  60. Dave on November 12, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    FYI, Dave the commenter in this post is not Dave the T&S perm (who always links to his personal website).

  61. Alison Moore Smith on November 12, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    If you close thus thread before I get home and can respond, there will be … heck … to pay!

  62. Thomas Parkin on November 12, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    My biggest concern is that ideas blind us to human realities. The law is an abstraction; people in their circumstances cannot be abstracted without first reducing them mentally into something less than what they are. A person is more, even, than a principle, even a true principle. There are always tensions between principles, and in that tension the human realities are easily left unobserved.

    Conservative opinions on this issue can be had and argued in good faith. Unfortunately, a year in Cache Valley cured me of the illusion that basic racism hasn’t played a part in informing those opinions.

  63. Dave on November 12, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Dan #33

    So its tripe that liberals routinely belittle those who invoke principles and ideas such as “in God we trust” and the ten commandments as a framework for legislation or public expression? Liberals try to claim they have a secular foundation to their definition of morality, but what it boils down to is simply finding an issue where a group of people other than non-poor, non-white males is suffering in some way and label it as unjust. When anyone questions how we should deal with the “injustice” or whether it is unjust in the first place, they are immediately labeled as hateful, homophobic, xenophobic, racist, intolerant, and uncaring (ad hominem).

    By the way, I meant to type “liberal friends.”

  64. quandmeme on November 12, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Have you seen that poster: with Geronimo and his men with the “Homeland Security since 1492″ caption: (are links allowed?) http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTWbfr0HHXbAGjwAvvW0P6kbV7DWgTiCO9bp-JXJe7gqdIs5YKEjA

    The laws of sovereignty are bound up in the laws of conquest. I appreciate the perspective of those who acknowledge that their ancestor’s were the immigrant by force and not right not too many generations ago. I think Mormons know that best because we are more in tune with our ancestral past and have been on both ends of might makes right (i.e. Extermination Order and the settling of the Indian west).

  65. Dan on November 12, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Dave,

    #63,

    Thank you for first bringing in race in the matter. I’m personally tired of having to label conservatives racist for their constant racist policies, but I’m glad you brought it up this time. What it boils down to, Dave, is that you want brown skinned people to stay in brown skinned countries, white skinned people to stay in white skinned countries, yellow skinned people to stay in yellow skinned countries and somehow everything should work out from there. You don’t advocate a policy that fits with the reality of the world. You say we’ve gotta figure out a way to get people here the right way. Why haven’t you figured out this way yet, Dave? What if the way we figure this out is to put every single currently illegal immigrant on a path to citizenship, with the exception being those who have committed some major sort of crime (theft, drugs, rape, murder, etc). These people are already here. They’re already living among us, and they are also already paying taxes. Might as well formally welcome them into our country. What do you say to this idea, Dave? You okay with millions of Mexicans who now live here becoming US citizens? You won’t have to worry about “anchor babies” anymore. You won’t have to worry about the crimes illegal immigrants commit. You would be legitimizing their labors, as well, thus increasing their pay, increasing their taxes, and increasing overall revenue here in the country. Surely you would be okay with that. Or is there something that would keep you from accepting this plan? You don’t offer any. You say, “we gotta figure a way.” Well, here’s a way. Ronald Reagan did it. Do today’s conservatives have the courage Ronald Reagan had to face the complexities of life, or are today’s conservatives going to continue daydreaming of a fantasy world that never has, and never will exist?

  66. Dan on November 12, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    oh, and if conservatives/Republicans give this gift to those 12 some odd million Latinos here illegally, hell, conservatives might even be rewarded with them joining their ideology….

  67. Dave on November 12, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Dan #63

    You prove my point. Is that the best you have? How despicable that you sink to ad hominem, even when I pointed it out for what it is. What makes you think I’m a racist? Shame on you. What is racist about wanting my family and community protected as I’ve outlined already. Find one racist who wants tighter border security and racism then applies categorically to all others who favor that position? Nothing compels you to label conservatives as racist. It’s your own choice, perhaps driven your own bitterness. Attack my arguments not my motives. I have not said anything hateful in this discussion to anyone.

    I have not advocated a specific policy. When did I say that I was against something akin to what Ronald Reagan did? In fact I am, but only after the ongoing flow of illegal immigration is under control. When I treat someone in the ER for a gun shot wound, I focus on stopping the bleeding and stabilizing the patient before I worry about how to take the bullet out (or decide to leave it in, as the case may be). And I certainly don’t waste my time and energy arguing with another doc who has a different opinion about the bullet while the patient is bleeding on the table.

  68. Mark Brown on November 12, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    I’m offended that people in this forum continue to imply that conservatives are unchartable, racist, or xenophobic.

    LOL!

    Let’s make a deal Dave. When you can convince Br. Pearce to stop talking about “dropping anchor babies” and his urgently felt need to single out the women who commit this heinous crime; when you can convince him to stop embracing Neo-Nazis in public; and when you can convince that dumb@$$ republican congressman from Tennessee who just last week said that Mexicans breed like rats; then maybe we will be willing to listen to how charitable, non-racist, and non-xenophonic y’all are. Until then, please stop making a fool of yourself in public.

  69. Dave on November 12, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Julie M. Smith #59

    Saying build a fence is admittedly a flippant statement, but nonetheless a valid solution. As for immigration law enforcement, there were stupid laws that endangered lives later in the last century, but at least two other presidents in the first half of the 20th century curbed immigration problems in their day. Claiming we are helpless to control immigration is simply silly.

  70. Dave on November 12, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Mark Brown #68

    If those people truly said/did those things in the context you give, then I denounce them. Don’t extrapolate their sins to a whole segment of the population, most of whom have sincerely held beliefs that are untainted by racism. I don’t assume most democrats have KKK associations or make anti-semitic or racist statements. I can provide plenty of examples of democrats who have.

  71. Mark Brown on November 12, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Dave, I agree that it is possible to hold beliefs untainted by racism. But the simple fact of the matter is that the people I cited are in the mainstream. They are not the nutty outliers, they are the very leaders of the movement. When you are on the bus and realize that half the people around you are crazy, including the driver, it is safe to assume that you are on the bus to Crazytown.

  72. Dan on November 12, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Dave,

    Let me preempt you with the leader of the conservative ideology. This is par for the course dude.

    What is racist about wanting my family and community protected as I’ve outlined already.

    Your family and community are not at “threat” from anyone who wants to come here and make some money. If you choose to see them as a threat, there is something about them that makes you think of them as a threat. And frankly, I highly doubt you would see Swedish people as a threat to you, your family or your community.

    I have not said anything hateful in this discussion to anyone.

    Well, technically you did imply that liberals are atheists or something…

    I have not advocated a specific policy.

    that’s because you don’t have one. the unspoken policy among conservatives (though some are brave enough to say it) is to deport all 12 million illegal immigrants. Is it not one of two options, Dave? Either we deport all 12 million and tell them to get back in line, or we welcome them in as citizens? Your refusal to advocate one or the other sends a strong message that you would prefer to see them all deported, because you would rather have that than accept them as actual citizens at the same level as you.

    Saying build a fence is admittedly a flippant statement, but nonetheless a valid solution.

    Yeah, worked well in Berlin…

  73. jjohnsen on November 12, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    #50 “Rep. Sandstrom this morning in the Salt Lake Tribune acknowledged it was directed at his bill:”

    At that link Representative Sandstrom seems to suggest the Church should butt out of politics. I wonder if he felt that way during Prop 8?

  74. jjohnsen on November 12, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Dan, those Swedes and their lower class of pancakes would threaten the security I feel while eating at Village Inn.

  75. Reagan Republican on November 12, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Marco Rubio would make a nice dark-horse candidate for president. If he ran, he’d likely have Latinos vote for him much in the same way that Mormons voted for Romney and blacks voted for Obama.

    Considering the increasing populations of Latinos in the US, the Latino vote will be more and more important.

  76. Mark B. on November 12, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    But what about Swedish meatballs with Lingonberry jelly at Ikea? Doesn’t that redeem them?

    Dan already responded to your flip suggestion to build a fence, but it is puzzling that conservatives, who supposedly would like to reduce the cost of government, would support building something so expensive, and so ultimately worthless.

    As to the ongoing influx of immigrants–the lousy economy has done more to stop that than any barrier could. How about a new slogan for you folks: “Permanent recession NOW! It’ll keep foreigners out!” Sure, there are still some people coming in, but the number leaving is greater, and estimates are that the number of undocumented aliens in the country has dropped by about 8% since the recession began.

    So, quit talking about wasting money building a stupid barrier. That problem is over, for now. And let’s take steps to welcome those people who are here (with the criminal/terrorist exceptions) into the body politic.

    Anti-immigrant folks fail to see the big picture (or, perhaps, any picture at all): immigration is a sign that things are working here–that the economy is vibrant and growing, that people see the U.S. as a beacon of hope in a world that is sadly lacking in hope. But they want to turn it into a sort of reverse East Germany. Pitiful.

  77. Steve on November 12, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Dave,

    Let me refocus the discussion a bit. Do you support the Church’s opposition to Arizona-like laws or not?

    I keep saying statements that illegals are a threat and that it is unfair to label immigration opponents as racists, but what do you think of the Church’s position which is roughly 180 degrees opposite yours?

    I personally think the Church is frustrated. They have been trying to signal for several years that they favor less restrictions rather than more:

    * Repeated editorials in the Deseret News favoring comprehensive immigration reform (including amnesty/legalization) and direct opposition to Arizona’s law).

    * Official statements encouraging the Utah legislature to be more lenient and to reduce the rhetoric on immigration.

    * Conference talks in opposition to anything that smacks of racism.

    * When the story broke that the Church was sending illegals as missionaries using methods designed to avoid the authorities, Elder Holland defended the practice.

    * Now, when the threat is considerable that Utah will take up an Arizona-style law, encouraging a community group to oppose the effort, pushing prominent LDS political figures to oppose and submitting a statement endorsing opposition.

    Let me make it plain and simple: The LDS church doesn’t think illegal immigration is harmful and supports making immigration easier and less restrictive. They oppose efforts to crackdown on illegal immigrants and favor policies that allow family members of illegals to enter the U.S.

    I fundamentally think the Church is fed up with the rhetoric and issue discussion by LDS immigration opponents. I suspect they think it hurts missionary work, harms LDS Hispanic members directly and is inconsistent with their goals.

    Whether they are right or wrong is a different issue but I think it is clear that they are on the more liberal side of this issue — officially.

  78. Dan on November 12, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Reagan Republican,

    #75,

    It’s as if you have covered your ears and said “la la la la I can’t hear you.”

    Marco Rubio cannot bring the “Latino vote.” He can bring the Cuban American vote, but beyond that, he cannot bring other Latinos under the Republican wing.

  79. Reagan Republican on November 12, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Dan,

    Let me help you out here. Imagine it’s 2016, and Rubio’s running against Hillary. Rubio goes to East Los Angeles, and gives one pep rally in fluent Spanish. He’d carry California.

    Game over.

  80. Dan on November 12, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Reagan,

    like I said, good luck with that.

    I mean, your comment shows the vast difference between liberal leaning Americans and conservative leaning Americans. Y’all on the right are just looking for “the one”; the leader regardless of what he says. You think Rubio going to East LA and saying “I’m going to privatize your Social Security, remove the Department of Education, oh and liberals and progressives are a cancer to society” will garner him the Latino vote in East LA? I certainly didn’t vote for Barack Obama because he’s black. That would imply that conservative white voters voted for McCain because McCain was white. Content matters, and Rubio’s words work for Cuban Americans in Florida. They won’t work for all Latinos.

    Oh, and Hilary has ruled out running in 2016. But I appreciate that you give Obama the benefit of the doubt of getting reelected. :)

  81. Reagan Republican on November 12, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    By the way, to see what Ronald Reagan thought about illegal immigration, please click here.

  82. jjohnsen on November 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    After # 79 I assume RR is being sarcastic.

  83. Reagan Republican on November 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    jjohnsen,

    No I’m 100% sincere. I’m a Wall Street Journal, free-trade, open-borders, low-taxes Republican.

    With most voters, identity politics run deep. Latinos would vote for Marco Rubio.

    As a Republican, I would welcome Rubio running for president and locking down the Latino vote.

  84. Julie M. Smith on November 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Dave (#69),

    Given that roughly half of people in this country illegally got here by legally crossing the border, the fence is a foolish idea.

  85. Reagan Republican on November 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    As a Republican, I will be the first to admit that most of the people in my party have it all wrong with illegal immigration, and that many of them seem to be motivated by racism.

  86. Christopher on November 12, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Reagan Republican, you seem completely unaware of the deep fissures that exist within the Latino community at large. Let me repeat: Latinos from Central America and Mexico do not generally identify with Cuban Americans in any way, except linguistically. There is outright antagonism between Mexican Americans/Central Americans in the Southwest and the Cuban Americans in Florida. A fair-skinned Rubio speaking in East LA, South Texas, or Phoenix, AZ in Spanish would not magically win over the Latino vote.

  87. Dave on November 12, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Steve #77

    Thank you for injecting some sanity here.

    First off, in response to several others, I say again that I am not opposed to immigration! I’m also not for an arbitrary crackdown on illegals who are already here, which is what I think Steve means when he says an “Arizona-style law.” I’ve never defended that law.

    Steve, I agree with all your points and I agree with your conclusion that the Church is fed up and frustrated. I agree that the Church is in favor of less-restricted immigration and it happens I am too (as I hope I have made clear already). I do not think you can draw the conclusion that the Church believes illegal immigration is not harmful, however. It just happens that laws that previously went unenforced and now may be arbitrarily enforced is disruptive to the Church’s mission. I stand with the Church on this.

    And as for those who think the influx of new illegals is no longer a problem due to the recession, I don’t believe it and I don’t think any of you know it. That aside, what about when the economy picks up again. Say we grant universal amnesty again–we’ll be right back where we started in another decade.

    Back to the fence that many of you like to vilify. We’re not communist Russia trying to keep oppressed from escaping, so that is a false analogy and is pure demagoguery. I also don’t believe for a minute that it is prohibitively expensive. Fence or not, if we solve the border problem and then grant amnesty to those here, we would not have to have this discussion again!

    Lastly, by some of the definitions I’ve read here, most of Europe is racist as is Mexico. Why? Because they have immigration laws that are more harsh and even more restrictive than any the US has had in recent history. I maintain that someone who is against any immigration (of whom I know none) can be motivated by many things–some rational, some not. It does not make them racist. I’ll make a bold claim that I believe its un-Christ-like to accuse others of being racist like I’ve seen here.

  88. Dan on November 12, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Dave,

    Say we grant universal amnesty again–we’ll be right back where we started in another decade.

    Then we invite more people to come to America. :)

    Lastly, by some of the definitions I’ve read here, most of Europe is racist as is Mexico. Why? Because they have immigration laws that are more harsh and even more restrictive than any the US has had in recent history.

    That’s what makes America so f—ing great, Dave. We’re NOT like Europe or Mexico. We are, well, are supposed to be, more welcoming than any other nation in this world.

  89. James Olsen on November 12, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Dave: as already mentioned, your fence idea is horribly naive, particularly since much of undocumented immigrants don’t illegally cross borders. Again, the fence notion implies that it’s Mexicans – a specific ethnicity – that you’re really concerned about; it’s not helping your non-racist image. And we don’t need to talk about Russian or German (or Chinese for the most dramatic example and most dramatic failure) past actions. Israel’s a perfect contemporary example of the fantastically expensive and less effective policy that walls always are. Israel’s immigration policy is perhaps the greatest train wreck currently on display. This is a clear example of how it helps to actually consult the best of our political, sociological, and economic data before firmly making up one’s mind on the issue (again, particularly if you’re concerned about that racist image).

  90. James Olsen on November 12, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Dan: one need not swear to emphasize the point – our history does it nicely. We simply are, hands down, the most open country for immigrants (historically that is; Canada’s doing better right now).

  91. Reagan Republican on November 12, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Christopher,

    There may be animosity between different groups within the Latino bloc, but I think that animosity will melt away as soon as a dynamic candidate with a Hispanic last name runs. (Especially if that candidate is fluent in Spanish.)

    After all, Obama is quite different from the average African American. He’s half-white and his father was not a descendant of slave. But the black community rallied behind him and voted for him at a high rate.

  92. Dan on November 12, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    my apologies James, I had the Team America World Police image in my head as I was typing that. :)

  93. Dan on November 12, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Reagan Republican,

    Dude, Latinos are not like African Americans. Latinos are not monolithic like African Americans are (and African Americans are not wholly monolithic either). There really is animosity and distrust between Latino groups. Mexicans are really not that big of fans of Cubans. To think that a Mexican from, say, New Mexico, would vote for Marco Rubio simply because he’s Cuban? Really? Just look here and see that even in Florida, Marco Rubio could not get a majority of non-Cuban Latino voters, who preferred the African American candidate, Kendrick Meek. This shows you that there are a hell of a lot of Cuban voters in Florida, but that the non-Cuban Latinos in Florida still prefer a Democrat over a Cuban Latino Republican.

  94. Tim on November 12, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    #77–Awesome.
    #87–Yes, Europe is possibly more racist than the U.S. If you’ve followed the news lately, you’d know about the Roma (“Gypsies”) being deported out of France. I can assure you that Germans are as racist towards Africans, Middle Easterns, and most Eastern Europeans as Americans are towards Muslims and Mexicans. I’ve seen that racism first-hand–for example, I’ve heard a German insist that a young German boy, the son of a German friend of mine, was not German because his skin was brown (his father was from the Middle East). Despite the boy responding to him in perfect German, insisting that he was, indeed, German, the racist German man persisted. I could give numerous other examples.

    It’s ugly in Europe. But it certainly doesn’t excuse Americans behaving like bigots. And many of us are, including some so-called leaders.

  95. Reagan Republican on November 12, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Hispanics in New Mexico wouldn’t vote for Rubio because he’s Cuban. They’d vote for him because he’s Latino and speaks Spanish.

  96. Dan on November 12, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Reagan,

    You think Latinos in New Mexico are dumb?

  97. Reagan Republican on November 12, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    I think primal identity politics are powerful, and it would be very easy for a dark-haired, dynamic, Hispanic-named, Spanish-speaking, Cuban could easily portray himself as someone that Mexican-Americans would vote for.

  98. Dan on November 12, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    so we go back to it again. Good luck with that.

  99. Ardis E. Parshall on November 12, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Hispanics in New Mexico wouldn’t vote for Rubio because he’s Cuban. They’d vote for him because he’s Latino and speaks Spanish.

    Sure … and Americans everywhere wouldn’t vote for Mitt Romney because he’s Mormon. They’d vote for him because he’s white and speaks English.

  100. Reagan Republican on November 12, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Based on some of the comments on this thread, it looks like liberals are nervous about Marco Rubio.

  101. Alison Moore Smith on November 13, 2010 at 2:47 am

    I’m pretty appalled with some of the vitriolic ad hominem that’s been allowed to stand here. Anyway, I don’t even know what the compact means, practically speaking. Or at least how it’s supposed to support some side or political persuasion. Sounds like common sense as well as the stuff that we’ve talked about forever and ever.

    There are a couple of things I’d like to add: I’ve been dealing for a couple of years with the ramifications of having my identity stolen by an illegal alien. I’m not an expert on tax or immigration law, but the arguments I see don’t seem to make sense, so maybe someone can clarify. As far as I can tell, illegal aliens either:

    don’t pay taxes, while benefiting from what the government (people who do pay taxes) provides, or
    pay taxes using a stolen identity — as in my case

    A couple of years ago there was an ICE raid at a factory here in Lindon. Over *half* of the illegal aliens arrested were using stolen identities. It was said this number was typical.

    My oldest daughter — while attending and paying for college — scrimped and saved for months and month to buy a used car for cash. Within a few months it was totaled by an unlicensed, uninsured illegal alien. Almost one year to the day later, she was a passenger in a coworker’s car where the SAME thing occurred. She was also slightly injured. This is so common the police warn victims about the possibility at the scene.

    In Florida there were fairly elaborate schemes run by groups illegal aliens — some of whom were my friends who TOLD me about them — for how to “have babies for free” and how to “get the stuff your kids need for free.” (This stuff, btw, was new toys and clothes.) At the time I was told about these things I was only in my late 20′ and hadn’t really thought much about such issues, since I’d never encountered them. I did point out to my friends that what really happened was that other people paid for what they were getting. One person, newly baptized, was very upset because she had never really thought about it. She said, “Wait! I bet good Mormons don’t do that, do they?” The others (members or not) did not show any concern in my presence.

    Having been innocent victims of the conscious acts of illegal aliens multiple times, it bears noting that being here illegally isn’t a single act of stepping across a line in the sand. It requires repeated, perpetuated fraud. And there are real victims.

    Kent:

    I can’t resist pointing out that these immigrants had no voice in these laws and can’t take advantage of the procedures you suggest!

    Of course not. And non-members don’t make church policy. And women don’t dictate to the Elder’s quorum. (I won’t even get to the inequity of who makes the rules for RS.) I I don’t tell you what to eat for dinner or how to discipline your kids.

    Their ability to immigrate is controlled by those who see it as in their interest to keep them from immigrating!

    And also by those who see it in their person interest to make immigrating easy. What real alternative do you suggest? Good luck vetting legislators who have actual intelligence AND no horse in the race. But I’ll vote for that!

    In some cases that may even include legalizing things like immigration to some extent.

    It is legal to immigrate, isn’t it?

    We can accommodate many more people.

    I agree. Frankly, I’d be happy to simply open up all the borders for any/everyone as long as it didn’t just throw the burden on current citizens.

    Justice must give everyone an equal opportunity. It can’t be seen to favor some over others based on where they happened to be born — something that is beyond their control.

    What exactly did you or your family do to deserve living in the U.S.?

    Kent, how do you possibly implement “equality of opportunity” outside of what the US already provides — meaning the freedom to make choices and choose your own path and work hard? Are you giving away everything you make over the national (or better, world) average? Have you compensated (to your neighbors or others) the monetary amount equal to whatever you (your wife, your kids) have that most people in the world don’t, for the sake of “justice.”

    Frankly, any of us who have the luxury to sit around and BLOG about immigration or justice, have WAY more opportunity, time, material possessions than most people in the world. And most of that IS an “accident of birth.” If you don’t believe that accidents of birth can “keep those blessings from others” then put your money where your mouth is and give away everything you have to be “fair.” (If you don’t post again, I’ll know your computer went to some less fortunate folks! ;) )

    BTW, I would be happy if we would implement reform — my sister-in-law spent a great amount of time and money to immigrate here legally. The process was very cumbersome.

    Thanks for leaving the thread open. :) I’ll bow out now with this excessively voluminous comment.

  102. Peter LLC on November 13, 2010 at 5:23 am

    Within a few months it was totaled by an unlicensed, uninsured illegal alien.

    That’s unfortunate. My sister’s vehicle was totaled by a true blue, born and bred caucasian American. As long as the poor are among us, I think you’re going to find uninsured drivers out there.

  103. Dan on November 13, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Reagan,

    Based on some of the comments on this thread, it looks like liberals are nervous about Marco Rubio.

    What? you think I’m nervous about Rubio? You’re living in a fantasy. I keep telling you good luck with Rubio. How do you surmise that I would be nervous about Rubio if I wish you well with him? I offer you evidence that non-Cuban Latinos voted for the Democrat (an African American no less) in Rubio’s own state!

  104. Dan on November 13, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Alison,

    don’t pay taxes, while benefiting from what the government (people who do pay taxes) provides, or
    pay taxes using a stolen identity — as in my case

    Actually they do pay taxes. Furthermore, if you legalize them, there might be fewer instances of stolen identities. just sayin… that’s not to say regular citizens don’t steal identities. The identity thief in your instance happening to be an illegal immigrant doesn’t imply that all identity thieves are illegal immigrants.

    A couple of years ago there was an ICE raid at a factory here in Lindon. Over *half* of the illegal aliens arrested were using stolen identities. It was said this number was typical.

    Do you have a source for that, please.

    My oldest daughter — while attending and paying for college — scrimped and saved for months and month to buy a used car for cash. Within a few months it was totaled by an unlicensed, uninsured illegal alien.

    Because all unlicensed, uninsured drivers are illegal aliens…

    Having been innocent victims of the conscious acts of illegal aliens multiple times, it bears noting that being here illegally isn’t a single act of stepping across a line in the sand. It requires repeated, perpetuated fraud. And there are real victims.

    Then maybe, just maybe, making them legal might alleviate the problems you have been facing. As it seems only illegal aliens are causing you harm. Maybe if we make them all legal, they won’t have an incentive to do illegal activity….just sayin…

  105. Mark D. on November 13, 2010 at 11:57 am

    The LDS church doesn’t think illegal immigration is harmful and supports making immigration easier and less restrictive.

    There isn’t a case for that. There is a case to be made that the Church is opposed to the enforcement of existing immigration laws once people are in the country, although the leaders are not brave enough to actually come out and say that either. They wouldn’t even sign the Utah Compact.

    The only remotely controversial parts of the Compact are the following:

    Immigration is a federal policy issue between the U.S. government and other countries — not Utah and other countries

    Local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code

    The reason why this is controversial is that it is normal for states to assist in the enforcement of federal laws, and there is no principled reason for anyone to be opposed to them doing so that doesn’t amount to opposition to the federal laws themselves.

    So if the leaders of the Church actually want to make a difference here, they need to make an explicit statement in favor of comprehensive amnesty for illegal immigrants, or suggest some other suitably humane alternative to the law as it stands.

  106. Steve on November 13, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Mark,

    The reason I said they favored “less restrictive” immigration is the language favoring family friendly policie for those who are here. Notice that family reunification is not restricted to legal immigrants.

    The Churc didn’t sign the Compact. They just released a statement of support across all church-owned media, recruited supporters for the Compact and now will run an editorial supporting the Compact in the Deseret News.

  107. wreddyornot on November 13, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Vitriolic ad hominem allowed to stand? Hmm. Any specifics from someone who made a threat to leave the thread open or else? I’ve enjoyed the discussion and gained insight from the varying viewpoints. Talking alone though won’t cut it. Citizens with the vote have to hold their elected representatives accountable. They haven’t. We need statesmanship, not blind partisanship.

    And I’m truly sorry that anyone has their identity stolen.

    Does anyone know of the statistics that suggest the demographics of identity theft’s frequency or of its harm to victims in given scenarios? We as a citizenry have oddly contributed to the perpetuation of undocumented immigrants taking on others’ identities by exploiting the undocumented immigrants’ situations so long (especially in the feast years) and now going all ballistic when things have gotten worse with the economy here and south of the border.

    Undocumented immigrants and paying taxes:
    • Sales taxes
    • Gasoline taxes
    • Taxes and fees on utilities
    • Real estate taxes
    • The built-in taxes paid by those who rent and lease
    • Income taxes and FICA are often withheld from employees by employers and paid over; often undocumented immigrants don’t file, so even if they didn’t under the laws owe the tax or FICA, it is collected and used by the government
    • Many undocumented immigrants who are self-employed file both Federal and State income tax returns using ITINs

    Remember, many citizens don’t report their earnings, don’t file, or file fraudulently. Does that justify it for undocumenteds? No. Of course not. But unless we analyze this entire situation and accept some personal responsibility as citizens with a vote (a voice) who haven’t held our elected representatives accountable to do something sensible, what sense does it make to point the finger and get angry and mad at the millions of people who are just trying to get by? Of course we should arrest and incarcerate the drug dealers, the murderers, the thieves, the criminals among them.

    Avarice and greed, fraud and cheating, manipulation and taking advantage isn’t an exclusive trait to those who are here undocumented. Citizens are guilty too, and I believe generally with much less cause and to the same or even higher extent.

    With a little imagination and the use of one’s heart, mind, and above all, spirit, it isn’t that difficult to put one’s self into the shoes of an undocumented immigrant. Should they be dishonest? Of course not. But if your children were starving, without proper shelter over their heads, lacking in clothing, etc., what might you do? What lines would you cross to take care of your little ones? And what of the millions of kids brought here without no choice in the matter? We aren’t all where the widow was in the Gospels or the widow was with Elijah.

  108. Mark D. on November 13, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Many undocumented immigrants who are self-employed file both Federal and State income tax returns using ITINs

    The IRS then issues many of them a check, courtesy of the interesting concept of refundable tax credits. See here.

  109. Kent Larsen on November 13, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Alison (101) wrote:

    Kent, how do you possibly implement “equality of opportunity” outside of what the US already provides — meaning the freedom to make choices and choose your own path and work hard?

    How about let those who wish to come legally come?

    My point is simply that we restrict immigration so much that would-be immigrants are denied the opportunities we have here simply because of where they were born. If we’ve decided that restricting opportunity based on the color of a person’s skin is wrong, how can we justify restricting opportunity based on where they were born?

  110. Naomi on November 13, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    I think that many good points have been shared. I am in favor of making a pathway to citizenship easier in this country. Also, if people live here and pay taxes and are contributing to this country, they should have a say in the government. With that I would say that the opposite holds true whether a person is a citizen or not, if they just live off of other people’s work and don’t even try to contribute they should not have a say. Who cares which side they vote for, that should be their right. That being said, I also agree that there need to be changes in our immigration laws and as was stated, the laws that are made need to be enforceable. If no one intends to enforce the law, there is no reason to have it. Also, to those coming here illegally, when they see that a law is not enforced they probably don’t feel the same obligation to abide by it. So, is it really illegal. For example, speed limits are posted on roads, but usually you would not be pulled over unless you are going 10 mph over the limit. By doing that are we not showing that the speed limit is not really there for our protection after all. If it was really important to a person’s safety, a police officer would ticket you when you went over the speed. I think immigration is somewhat the same. I am glad that the church took a soft stance on it. It is a complex problem. But, I think that what really needs to be done is to treat fairly those who are already here and then if you want to make laws that are really enforceable that we as a country are going to hold to in the future then that is fine. But, when a law wasn’t important enough for us to enforce before, we can’t blame others for nor seeing the importance of it and then punish them for our lack of enforcement. I have to say that I also think that each state should be able to deal with things in their own way. I think where Arizona is right on the border, they have a different and more personal struggle with this federal law that is put in place. That is what the problem is with giving so mush power to the federal government. And, as far as taxes go, I say no one should have to pay federal taxes and then we could get rid of all of our federal regulated everything that we don’t need and stop putting all our money into the hands of politicians who don’t even have the country’s best interest in mind. Either that, or have a flat tax for everyone.

  111. Dan on November 13, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Naomi,

    I have to say that I also think that each state should be able to deal with things in their own way. I think where Arizona is right on the border, they have a different and more personal struggle with this federal law that is put in place. That is what the problem is with giving so mush power to the federal government.

    It is Constitutionally the role of the federal government to deal with immigration and not the states.

    And, as far as taxes go, I say no one should have to pay federal taxes and then we could get rid of all of our federal regulated everything that we don’t need and stop putting all our money into the hands of politicians who don’t even have the country’s best interest in mind. Either that, or have a flat tax for everyone.

    I gotta say, Naomi, that’s a terribly poorly written reasoning there.

    1. If no one pays federal taxes, then there is no functioning federal government. No executive branch. No legislative branch. No judiciary branch. No military. No nothing run by the federal government. If anything is against the Constitution, the Founding Fathers, the intent of the Founding Fathers, this is it right here. The desire of conservatives to do away with the federal government was scorned by the Founding Fathers. Just look at the counsel given by George Washington in his Farewell Address:

    The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth;

    The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations…

    To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliance, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced.

    Our first president implored with the citizens of this country to avoid the counsel of those who would tell us that local allegiances are of greater value than the unity of the whole.

    What is “federal regulated everything?” You mean absolutely all federal regulations? So for example, a white southerner could once again discriminate against blacks coming into his store, because after all, local folk know better what to do than someone in Washington? A banker could decide out of a whim to raise your rate simply because they can without you having any input in the matter, or any protection from abuse? I mean, talk about throwing everything out, not just the bathwater! Someone who says something like this sends a signal that he or she really does not like his or her country very much. The irony is that someone who says something like this is also one who demands patriotism from those who dare criticize the country in some manner.

    But, Naomi, you show which group of people you swear fealty to with the flat tax part. A flat tax disproportionately harms the poor whose disposable income cannot match the level of a millionaire. Take for instance a flat tax rate of 15%. Someone making $20,000 a year (right around the poverty rate in America) would thus have to pay $3000 to taxes, leaving him with a hypothetical $17,000 disposable income, all other things not accounted for. Someone making $200,000 a year would pay $30,000 a year leaving him with $170,000 disposable income. Because the other things in life are not proportional (food is the same price for everyone, rent is the same price for everyone), the mere ability to exist and survive on $20,000 a year is harsh, particularly if children are involved, and particularly since you wish to do away with Medicare (or Medicaid, I forget which) (which pays the health care for children from poor families). In the end, someone making $200,000 a year doesn’t lose much sleep over a loss of income if his tax rate goes to, say, 20%. He pays a total of $40,000 a year and still has $160,000 disposable income. But for someone barely making ends meet on $20,000, having an extra thousand or two a year helps immensely.

    I don’t want to pick on the one making $200,000 because that individual generally works very hard. But I take issue with not taxing someone making $1,000,000 or more a year at high rates. It’s not as if the person making $1,000,000 works five times harder or even has five times more impact than the person making $200,000 a year, or 50 times harder than the person making $20,000 a year. That’s just ridiculous.

  112. Bob on November 14, 2010 at 9:20 am

    @ Dan:I think a Flat Tax can be made fair by:
    0-30,000__no tax
    30,000-60,000__no tax on first 30,000__20% on second 30,000
    60,000-90,000__no tax on first 30,000__20% on second 60,000
    Etc-etc.
    You could raise or lower $30,000 floor or 20% as needed.

  113. Dan on November 14, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Bob,

    That sounds very fair. I haven’t considered the consequences, but on paper it looks like a good idea.

  114. Dave on November 14, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Dan and Bob 112, 113

    In fact, that is what every “flat tax” plan ever proposed has featured. The Steve Forbes plan way back in the 90s, crediting only for marriage and for children would have made my father’s first $50K untaxed (1 wife, four children). It makes so much since since it would take the cost of administrating tax laws down tremendously without being any more burden on the low-income.

    But this is a change of subject.

  115. Dave on November 14, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I’ve since looked some more into the issue of net contribution/consumption of public services by illegal immigrants. As I wrote before many have federal income taxes withheld and pay social security, none of which they get back. In this case they are paying the federal government without costing them anything. Through property taxes paid on own property and indirectly through rented property, one can argue they pay toward state and local services. The piece left out here is health care, however. Medicaid does not cover them and so the state and local governments are left with the bills. Health care costs have not ben factored into the analyzes I’ve seen. As I wrote before the federal government has a huge monetary incentive to keep them in illegally since they are funding federal programs without using them. Again, not that I am an advocate of the Arizona law, but I can understand Arizona’s frustration, and I don’t think anyone can simply write it off as categorical racism.

  116. Dave on November 14, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    And also for the record, the top five or six districts with the highest number of federal criminal cases happen to be the five or six districts on the southern border. I don’t take this as a statement on illegal immigrants (the people), but of unchecked illegal immigration (the process) and an unstable neighboring government.

    I looked into the fence issue, not realizing how much has been done with that since a 2006 bill was passed. Apparently both physical and virtual fences have been constructed since. Many areas have seen sharp drops in illegal crossings and have allow resources to be allocated elsewhere. It seems the jury is still out on their effectiveness, so call me naive.

    By default, I don’t like to bring in anecdotes since they do not prove larger patterns, but seeing I have been quickly dismissed as racist, I realize I don’t have to prove the reality as much as the perception of it. Let me give a few particularly poignant anecdotes that might explain to a general perception in Texas. The drug wars just past and sometimes just over the border are horrible. One case I read about involved a raping and killing of a (Mexican) woman only after they made her watch her infant being dropped into a cauldron of hot oil. A friend of a physician associate of mine was assassinated by order of a drug dealer/smuggler whose daughter died under his care (after heroic measures to save her). Many docs in south Texas are talking about buying their first gun and keeping it in their offices. People are understandably concerned for their safety. They want border security and racism has nothing to do with it.

    Now that I’ve heard the Utah side of the issue, I understand some of the comments much more. Utah, unlike Texas doesn’t have the border problem. I respect what Thomas Parkin #62 wrote about racism in Cache Valley and have no reason to doubt his impression. I’ve disappointingly been asked by non-members who have visited Utah what the deal was with the racism of whites towards blacks there. I had no answer for him until a black friend of mine moved to Utah and came back after dealing with like issues.

  117. Naomi on November 14, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    I was kind of tired when I wrote my comment. So, let me clarify a couple of things. Yes, it is the role of the federal government to be in charge of immigration. But, that being said, the federal government needs to make laws that it can deal with then. Currently the federal government has put laws in place that it is not backing in a sufficient manner and the end result is that the states are being drained of their resources. I understand why some of the states are upset with this, and like I said, especially for those border states, it is a huge burden. So, if the federal government is going to regulate immigration, let them regulate it. But, I don’t think you can blame those who live with immigrants on a day to day basis for wanting to be able to offer them jobs and being frustrated that the federal government doesn’t make allowance for that. I also can’t blame, the immigrants for being dishonest because they are here, and they can’t LEGALLY get a job and make an honest living, so they do it illegally. I think that Arizona’s laws are justified in that they are saying, our economy can’t handle all of this. We need to do something about it. I suppose they could be like California and go bankrupt…but really what are Arizona’s options. The federal government is responsible for immigration, but because they are not taking responsibility, the states are suffering, some in in different ways than others.

    With my other comment about Federal taxes, I actually meant to say the federal income tax. There could still be export and import taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, etc. (Although, I do have to say that I don’t agree with property taxes on your first home, but that is a discussion for another day.) The needed federal departments could still be funded without the extra waste. As for the military, my family is currently a part of that and it sure doesn’t need a presence in all of the countries it is in. I am for a smaller government. I don’t think the government needs to control who I give a job to, how much I pay them, how I educate my children, etc… You know if the government wasn’t so set on things like that a lot more people, including immigrants could benefit. I don’t see why a flat tax wouldn’t work anyway. Everyone pays 10% tithing in the church and it works fine.

    As I see it, there are strong feelings on both sides of immigration. I don’t call those who expect the laws to be followed racist. I think they have a good point. I also don’t have a problem with those who are sympathetic to the illegal immigrants. Both sides have their points. I think just as God is both full of justice and mercy, whatever is put into place needs to make sure that both justice and mercy are served. Many have had identity stolen and have suffered because of crimes, etc. Justice needs to be served. But, many are the victims of a system that has created unenforceable laws. Some, like the recently deported family in Utah, came legally and did things in the way they understood they should to try to follow the laws to stay legally. There are many different sides to the situation. We should do our best to keep families together. I think that the church has spoken clearly on that. Mercy needs to be served. When I read the compact and what the church has said it supports, I think that that is really what they are saying. Let’s make decisions regarding immigration that uphold the law, but also that show mercy.

  118. Dan on November 14, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Naomi,

    I think that Arizona’s laws are justified in that they are saying, our economy can’t handle all of this.

    This is not accurate. An economy loves an increase in consumers. Always has, always will. You think people who move into Arizona (illegally or not) don’t buy food? Don’t pay rent? Don’t buy clothes? Etc. Our economy can handle this, and in fact, our economy thrives on an increase in population.

    With my other comment about Federal taxes, I actually meant to say the federal income tax.

    Well, that’s part of the Constitution now. Our economy seems to have thrived quite well over the past 100 years with it in place. Frankly I don’t know why any American wishes to take America back to the days before the 1910s. Have any of you actually studied what life was like back then? It’s as if you’ve never even read the slightest amount.

    As for the military, my family is currently a part of that and it sure doesn’t need a presence in all of the countries it is in.

    All in favor. But good luck with trying to fight the military-industrial complex. There’s a reason why the Pentagon has some contractor in every single Congressional district.

    I don’t think the government needs to control who I give a job to, how much I pay them, how I educate my children, etc…

    Aside from education (because that is actually government run, I don’t know what you mean by “control who you give a job to or how much you pay them.” The government does require minimum wage, which any compassionate person ought to appreciate. Other than that, pay your people whatever you want.

    Everyone pays 10% tithing in the church and it works fine.

    I’d be curious to see statistics on how this voluntary system works between the different classes, whether the poor pay more frequently or the rich.

  119. Naomi on November 14, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Dan,
    Our economy does thrive because of consumers. But, it DOES NOT thrive when people are living off of the government. It does not thrive when illegals fill up emergency rooms or are not living the laws of the land. As I said before, I believe that the federal laws needs to be changed. But, I still hold to the fact that the way the laws are now, the states are the ones having to foot the bill and they do not have the money to do so. I say make the pathway to citizenship easier. Make it easier to get worker visas, student visas etc. But, I do not agree that the way things are now is helping the economy.

    Getting rid of the federal income tax does not mean to get rid of state taxes. Most of the programs that we are “so grateful” for that the federal government is in charge of would be better off managed at a state level. The real needs of the people in each state could be addressed and their tax money could actually go to become a benefit to their own lives. The federal government is important, yes, but the states and their individual power is another check and balance that we have to protect us from too big of a federal government.

    When I said, “I don’t think the government needs to control who I give a job to, how much I pay them, how I educate my children, etc…”, I was talking about the right I should have to employ whom I want. Should I be forced to hire certain people because of affirmative action whether people are qualified or not? Should I not be able to give a job to an illegal immigrant if I want to because I see a hard-working person that wants to provide for their family? My business should be my business. I should be able to pay what I want. If there is a contract between people and both are agreeable to the terms, what is wrong with paying someone less than minimum wage? As a business owner, I can hire two people instead of what that way, where minimum wage takes away that option. I am not saying not to pay a fair wage, but a fair wage to one person is different than to another. If someone wants to start a business or to contribute to society through producing something there are so many loopholes to jump through and so many rules to follow that well-meaning men and women cannot make it work. You have to have a business license, your business and what you produce has to follow certain regulations, etc., etc. I think a free market is what we need. A free market puts the responsibility back on the people.

    As far as a flat tax goes, it is fair. We all benefit from things like roads, schools, etc… Why shouldn’t every pay into the system?

  120. Dan on November 14, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Naomi,

    But, it DOES NOT thrive when people are living off of the government.

    Do you have statistics to back that up, because I can show you that the best use of government funds is funding food stamps and providing unemployment benefits.

    was talking about the right I should have to employ whom I want. Should I be forced to hire certain people because of affirmative action whether people are qualified or not? Should I not be able to give a job to an illegal immigrant if I want to because I see a hard-working person that wants to provide for their family? My business should be my business.

    I don’t know about your own business, Naomi, but certainly you don’t think you should be able to discriminate against someone because of their skin color, or their religion, or their physical or mental capacity (except, of course jobs that require competent physical or mental capacity). The questions you raise up, in any case, have little to do with federal regulations exclusively because any state including the one you reside in can easily set up those very same regulations.

    As a business owner, I can hire two people instead of what that way, where minimum wage takes away that option.

    heh, wow…and you know what, you could probably hire three or more people if you only have to pay them a dime an hour…yeesh!

    I am not saying not to pay a fair wage, but a fair wage to one person is different than to another.

    Actually that’s exactly what you’re saying. Previous to minimum wage laws (and child labor laws, mind you), the “market” said certain jobs were worth near nothing. That’s what you’d like to go back to. Because in those conditions, you as the owner, can reap mighty large profits off the backs of those who you would only pay a dollar or so an hour. You keep the four or five dollars you would otherwise have to give them under current law. It makes sense that you, as a business owner, would prefer to not have to pay your employees a smaller amount. It means you make a vastly larger sum of money, all for being the boss, and not because you happen to do better work.

    If someone wants to start a business or to contribute to society through producing something there are so many loopholes to jump through and so many rules to follow that well-meaning men and women cannot make it work.

    There are 26 million small businesses in America right now. It seems your point is as far from reality as possible.

    I think a free market is what we need. A free market puts the responsibility back on the people.

    Seriously Naomi, you need to read your history of the 1800s economic scene again or something. All you’re advocating is that the owners and the bosses run away with the riches off the labors of the poor.

  121. Rameumptom on November 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    I am for strong border control, for reasons of terrorism and drug trafficking (and the occasional human trafficking). I don’t think the Church would argue with that.
    Their chief concern is to treat immigrants, legal or otherwise in a Christ-like manner.
    Since they are already here, let’s give those seeking to live peacefully, an opportunity to become legal workers. Then fix the immigration code to make it easier for families to come here.

  122. Dave on November 15, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Dan, you sure have a high horse. I hope you don’t break a leg when you fall off it. (I write in context of your condescension and name-calling here.)

  123. Chris H. on November 15, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Dan, I am very proud of you.

  124. Dan on November 15, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Dave,

    I ride horses very well…except that I have only ridden one horse 23 years ago…uh…

  125. Naomi on November 15, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    As far as minimum wage goes, I don’t believe it has changed the way people view jobs. The only difference is that those jobs that people feel are worth nothing, they now pay minimum wage. I don’t see that that has put those people in a better situation at all because, when the minimum wage rises, so does the cost of everything else. It causes inflation. I am a believer in people. I believe that most people are good. Yes, there are always those who will abuse the system, but to regulate the whole system because of the abuses of a few I think is the wrong answer. I am for less regulation. In the Doctrine and Covenants it says, “For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant”. I don’t believe that we need to be “commanded” in all things. If there are problems, educate people instead of regulating them.
    Also, just for the record I don’t own a business. But, I would guess that I am one of the few people who thinks that a janitor ought to be paid as much as a surgeon. If you think about the way we look at those jobs, why would you value one less than the other? You might say that the surgeon ought to be paid more because your life is in his hands, but what is his ability worth without the janitor’s work? You might have a successful surgery and then die of an infection. A surgeon relies on a janitor. A patient relies on them both, but only one really gets compensated fairly.
    There may be 26 million small business owners, but I can name tons of people I know personally who owned small businesses and were forced to go out of business because of regulations and all of the taxes that the small business owner has to pay. They couldn’t keep up with the costs.
    I thoroughly enjoy having discussions about things that I personally care about as I am sure that all of you do. I don’t expect you to agree with everything I say. I am not one who is very good at always writing my thoughts clearly. But, I do think that everyone as well as their thoughts should be treated with respect.

  126. Dan on November 15, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Naomi,

    1. While economists have disagreed over the value of the minimum wage, one group of researchers discovered that an increase in minimum wage in New Jersey actually had an increase in employment over Pennsylvania, which did not increase its minimum wage at the same time, in 1992.

    2. No one is talking about regulating “the whole”. You don’t need to quote the D&C verse because that also refers to “all things.” I think it is important that God phrased it the way he did. “it is not meet that I should command in all things.” He leaves an out for him to be able to command in some things, just not all. And God has clearly used that loophole to command us in some matters.

    3. Re: janitor vs surgeon (or heck, baseball player), if you’re for a free market, you’ll be for whatever the free market decides to pay people for their services. In our case here in America, our free market thinks it’s fine to pay Cliff Lee $75 million dollars over five years (that’s going to be his asking price, I believe, this free agent season). And our free market is forced to pay a janitor $35,000 a year because of union laws. Our free market would not pay a janitor much money at all because our free market is not compassionate, nor caring about actual human beings, Naomi. Our free market is cold, lifeless, selfish, uncaring. Its lifeblood is money. Its overriding concern is money. Everything about its existence is in the trading of money. Human beings are “consumers” not human beings. Perish the thought, Naomi, that a free market has any concern at all over the life of a human being. Back in the days before the minimum wage laws and before child labor laws, the free market thought it was fine to have sweat shops where people were paid a pittance for work not deemed very valuable to the free market. If we listen solely to the free market, only bosses and CEOs would get paid well. Because they would know how to game the free market to their will. Thank GOD for “socialism”. I put that in quotes because what certain people consider socialism isn’t really that. Thank God that we are able to manipulate the market to OUR will so that a larger percentage of the population can actually attain a decent life. God bless the men who formed unions to force managers’ hands and break their stranglehold on money workers deserved for their labors.

    4. As for your business friends who could not get their businesses going, don’t blame regulations. Seriously. 26 million small businesses tells you that 26 million business owners figured out how to do a business. Maybe your friends suck at creating a viable business model. Maybe the downturn in the economy did them in. But the government and its regulations are not the end all be all of evil in this world.

  127. palerobber on November 16, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Dave #63

    [...] what it boils down to is simply finding an issue where a group of people other than non-poor, non-white males is suffering in some way and label it as unjust.

    i believe the victimological formulation you were reaching for is “non-poor, non-minority males”. if you say “non-white” someone might get the mistaken impression that you’re not calling liberals racist.

    Liberals try to claim they have a secular foundation to their definition of morality [...]

    everyone has a “secular foundation” to their definition of morality, yourself included, if they would be honest about it. is your moral reasoning really so weak that you cannot tell whether murder and theft are immoral without a crib sheet from God?

  128. KevinL on November 21, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    I believe Jesus was an “illegal immigrant” to Egypt for several years…..

    The policy side of this is complex, and there are no easy solutions. I read the Church’s statement as a reminder (very much in keeping with the focus of the new Handbook) to remember that the people involved in this issue are human beings, our brothers and sisters, and that any policy solution needs to acknowledge the human side of the problem as well as the political issues.

    I served a mission in Ecuador. I prayed every day to develop a love for the people. That changed my life. I am still blessed to be able to work with Latinos in my profession and it is very rewarding. I speak Spanish with the guys that are laying tile in my house, and enjoy interacting with them on a friendly, respectful level that benefits all of us.

    I am surprised that the level of foreign missionary service in the church doesn’t have more of an outward effect on the political discourse in predominantly LDS areas regarding immigration.

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