Mormon Church Support for Immigration Reform — Naive or Mean-Spirited?

By Ronald W. Mortensen on March 22, 2013

Comments made by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the LDS (Mormon) Church's First Presidency, coupled with earlier public statements issued by the church on the subject of immigration reform, raise questions about whether Mormon leaders are exceptionally naive or simply mean-spirited and cruel.

Following a meeting with President Obama, Uchtdorf told a Salt Lake Tribune reporter that "President Barack Obama's outline for immigration reform matches the values of the Mormon faith." Later, in an interview with the Deseret News, Uchtdorf said the shared values include compassion, family cohesion, respect for law, and common sense.

The problem arises when Uchtdorf and other Mormon leaders apply these values to immigration reform and focus totally on mercy for illegal aliens while ignoring all those who have been seriously harmed by illegal aliens.

By taking this one-sided view of illegal immigration, Uchtdorf and other senior LDS officials effectively deny justice to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of innocent American children and their families who are the victims of job-related felony identity theft by illegal aliens. And they support amnesty for illegal aliens who are committing serious felonies that target innocent children.

When Uchtdorf tells the Mormon Church-owned Deseret News, "As a church, we are concerned about individuals. We care about every member who is impacted in a negative way by this [illegal immigration]. We need to be of help. We need to support in a moral way", he is talking only about illegal immigrants, not about all members.

If the Mormon Church truly cared about "every member who is impacted in a negative way by this", Uchtdorf and his fellow leaders would embrace the thousands of Utah children who are victims of illegal alien-driven, job-related identity theft. And they would extend the values of compassion, family cohesion, respect for law, and common sense to these innocent children and their families rather than limiting them to the benefit of illegal aliens.

The bottom line is that Uchtdorf and other senior Mormon leaders need to stop ignoring and start acknowledging the massive scope of illegal alien-driven, felony child identity theft.

This problem has been well known in Utah since 2005 when former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff issued a press release stating: "The ongoing investigation has uncovered an alarming new crime spree involving illegal aliens and identities stolen from victims under the age of 12." In addition, KSL-TV, which is owned by the LDS church, has carried stories about the impact of illegal alien-driven, child identity thefts on a five-year-old child and on a two-year-old child.

Mormon leaders also need to openly acknowledge that many of the illegal aliens committing child identity theft are members of their church and that they have been given positions of trust and authority. And they must acknowledge the terrible harm done to the thousands of Utah children as described by former Attorney General Shurtleff when he said:

[Illegal alien] Identity thieves are no respecters of age. They will steal your children's ID, ruin their credit, and hurt them in ways never thought possible before they can graduate from grade school. Children are vulnerable even if parents do everything right.

Uchtdorf says, "It is heartbreaking when you read some of the stories about how [illegal alien] families are impacted by this issue." However, he completely ignores the heartbreak caused by religious leaders who refuse to even acknowledge the heart-wrenching stories of families whose children are victims of illegal alien identity theft and other crimes.

When Uchdorf says, "Whether we are Christians or other faith groups, we focus on the human side. Yes, we should obey the law, but we need to take a look at how it impacts individuals and families", he is right.

Of course, we should obey the law but so should illegal aliens. Yes, we should look at how the law impacts all individuals and families, including the innocent American children and families who are routinely victimized by illegal aliens. Yes, we should do everything possible to avoid the consequences that come from selectively enforcing the law and, yes, we should put an end to the terrible harm done to the innocent victims of illegal aliens who have a right to be protected by their government and by their religious leaders.

If LDS leaders would simply acknowledge the felonies committed by illegal aliens and the harm done to their innocent child victims, they would then be able to extend the same values that they apply to illegal aliens to innocent American children and their families.

  • Compassion. True compassion would see senior Mormon leaders reaching out to the thousands of families whose children are victims of illegal alien identity theft and acknowledging their pain and suffering. LDS religious leaders would acknowledge the serious harm done to innocent American children who have their credit systematically destroyed, arrest records attached to their Social Security numbers, and have their medical records corrupted with life-threatening consequences. Finally, LDS leaders would help parents recover their children's good names and identities and they would insist that before illegal aliens are granted legal status or church membership that they end their criminal activities and make restitution to their victims.

  • Family Cohesion. Mormon officials who are truly concerned about family cohesion would acknowledge the terrible strain put on young American families when they discover that their infants and children are victims of illegal-driven identity theft. They would also recognize the serious temporal and spiritual harm that these families suffer when their religious leaders take the side of those victimizing their innocent children.

  • Respect for Law. Mormon leaders would show their respect for the law by encouraging illegal aliens to obey American laws and to stop committing felony document fraud and forgery in order to get papers required to work. They would teach illegal aliens that it is a felony to perjure themselves on I-9 forms and that it is not acceptable to destroy an innocent child's future through felony identity fraud in order to provide a better future for themselves and their families. And they would tell Mormon employers to use E-Verify, since it stops virtually all illegal-alien employment-related child identity theft.

  • Common Sense. Mormon leaders exercising common sense would immediately call on illegal aliens to 1) stop committing felonies that do great harm to innocent children and their families, regardless of how compelling the reason for their actions are; 2) repent of their crimes; and 3) make restitution to their victims, to their families, and to society. The exercise of common sense would also lead Mormon leaders to end the practice of selectively justifying and rewarding illegal behavior as long as it is committed by illegal aliens and it would have them remind Mormon employers that they have a responsibility to love and protect their neighbors' American children by using E-Verify.

Hopefully, senior Mormon officials are simply naive and once they hear and acknowledge the other side of the story, they will extend their values to the innocent victims of illegal alien-driven, child identity theft and to their families. To do anything less would be truly mean-spirited and cruel.

Topics: Mormons