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Friday, April 22, 2011

Illegal Immigrants: What Happens When the Church Deals With Individuals?

I'm getting a little tired of this issue. It seems that most commentary I read now simply further confuses the issue rather than clarifying it. My prior posts were well-researched and heartfelt.

Past Postings on Immigration Issues:

The crucial legal issues are not well-understood by most people or most commentators. I consider them the following:

1. The Constitution gives immigration jurisdiction to the federal government not the states.
2. The Church should not, and cannot, be an enforcement arm for immigration laws.
3. The Church should not be held "legally liable" for enforcing immigration laws.

Okay, so how do local Church leaders deal with illegal immigrants? I'll tell you what I know, which isn't much.

In one of my single adult congregations there was a former student who had initially entered legally on a student visa from Japan, but had since become an illegal immigrant. My roommate, a student here legally, told me he was illegal. I asked her if our local Church leader knew he was illegal. She said, "Yes."

Had the INS come to my door and asked me if I knew where he was I would have told them where he lived. Apparently, INS had approached others in the area asking for information about him. What did local Church leaders do? I have no idea. I even contemplated turning him in myself but had no idea how to do it at the time.

The only other case I knew of occurred much later in about 2002. There was a family of illegals attending our congregation. I asked the local Church leader if he knew they were illegal. He indicated that he did and it was obvious he was troubled by it. He also indicated that Church leaders were working with them. What ultimately happened? Church leaders helped this family return to Mexico, financially and logistically.

I know of no other illegal immigrants in any of my congregations in Utah or any other state I have lived in, and I'm old . . .

1 comment:

  1. The Church is being dragged into another political controversy due to some politicians willful defiance of Federal Law.

    I was stunned at how the folks at the church office building make politically correct decisions that are unlawful and that ordained church leaders never endorsed.

    You can't throw a rock in downtown Salt Lake City without hitting a lawyer, and a good percentage of them are LDS.

    If ILLEGAL entry into this country is somehow denying a person of 'rights' why aren't there any 'saints' out there to help naturalize them?

    To cap things off, what if you are from Europe and here on an expired visa? The Feds won't waste a second dragging you to the nearest airport and deporting you. Even if you leave a family behind. I've seen that happen.