‘(They) have demonstrated a capacity to serve and contribute’: LDS church releases statement on ‘Dreamers’

Stock composite image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Noting an early history filled with converted immigrants who helped build the faith, the Mormon church issued a statement Friday calling on national leaders to support “Dreamer” immigrants.

These individuals have demonstrated a capacity to serve and contribute positively in our society, and we believe they should be granted the opportunity to continue to do so,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said.

The statement comes in the wake of President Donald Trump’s telling reporters he believes there should be a path to citizenship for the nearly 2 million immigrants who were brought into the U.S. illegally while still children. It is a turnaround from the president’s previous sentiments on the matter.

Once shielded under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the future of the “Dreamers” – whom advocates noted grew up in the U.S. and know no other life – became uncertain when the Trump administration rescinded the policy last year.

However, the LDS church statement pointed to the contributions of this group.

They have built lives, pursued educational opportunities and been employed for years based on the policies that were in place,” the church stated.

And many Utah politicians agreed. Among those who broke with the administration on ending the program was Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

“I called the president last week to urge him not to rescind DACA,” Hatch said in early September, “because I believe it puts Dreamers, who were brought here as children through no fault of their own, in an extremely difficult position.”

Read more: Utah politicians respond to Trump’s dropping DACA program protecting young immigrants

Friday’s statement from the LDS church called immigration and legal status issues a “concern for many of our members,” noting that it has members spread across 188 nations.

Most of our early Church members emigrated from foreign lands to live, work and worship, blessed by the freedoms and opportunities offered in this great nation.”

The church acknowledged each nation has the right to enforce their immigration laws and keep secure borders, yet called upon lawmakers to work out solutions that “create policies that provide hope and opportunities for those, sometimes referred to as ‘Dreamers,’ who grew up here from a young age and for whom this country is their home.”

The LDS church also called for policies that will help strengthen families and help keep them together, echoing back to statements made by the church on immigration in the past.

The LDS church’s statement can be read in full below:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is established in 188 nations around the globe. Issues of immigration and legal status are of concern for many of our members. Most of our early Church members emigrated from foreign lands to live, work and worship, blessed by the freedoms and opportunities offered in this great nation.

Immigration is a complex and sometimes divisive issue. As we have stated before, we believe that our first priority is to love and care for one another as Jesus Christ taught. Each nation must determine and administer its policies related to immigration. The Church does not advocate any specific legislative or executive solution. Our hope is that, in whatever solution emerges, there is provision for strengthening families and keeping them together. We also acknowledge that every nation has the right to enforce its laws and secure its borders and that all persons subject to a nation’s laws are accountable for their acts in relation to them.

We welcome the sincere efforts of lawmakers and leaders to seek for solutions that honor these principles and extend compassion to those seeking a better life. Specifically, we call upon our national leaders to create policies that provide hope and opportunities for those, sometimes referred to as “Dreamers,” who grew up here from a young age and for whom this country is their home. They have built lives, pursued educational opportunities and been employed for years based on the policies that were in place. These individuals have demonstrated a capacity to serve and contribute positively in our society, and we believe they should be granted the opportunity to continue to do so.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

 

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Posted in NewsTagged , , , , ,

9 Comments

  • NickDanger January 26, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    For once the LDS Church and I are in full agreement. Make these kids citizens, and make it fast, I’m tired of hearing about this no-brainer issue. DACA mandates good behavior, education, and being a contributor. If the kids are in the program, and following the guidelines, then they’ve proved that – at a minimum – they possess the aptitude, desire, and temperament to lead a quiet, productive life. That’s the perfect citizen from the government’s perspective – quiet and productive.

    I suppose I’m glad the Republicans have been smart enough – up to this juncture – to use DACA as leverage against the liberals. But in the end, we must do the right thing, and we should also consider that if these kinds of initiatives can be abrogated so easily from one administration to the next, they’ll all be suspect in the future.

    This one is simple, let’s keep our word and everyone walks away happy.

  • Jim January 26, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    We believe in … obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

  • Bowlinggreen123 January 26, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Contribute that 10% and all are welcome..

  • utahdiablo January 26, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    Going to call BS on this statement from “the Church” ‘(They) have demonstrated a capacity to serve and contribute’: LDS church releases statement on ‘Dreamers’….enough of the pandering so that my tax $$$$ can go to pay for some damn illegal alien and their extended family along with giving instate tuition to illegal aliens, yet my extended American citizen family cannot come here to Utah from another state to go to college without paying more?…sorry this BS needs to end and end now

  • comments January 26, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    when it comes to tithing money, that from illegals is just as green as that from citizens……

    • HerePliggyWiggy January 27, 2018 at 8:13 am

      I thought it was %15? At any rate, LDS Church is just as power-hungry and greedy as any other government. They have to keep their numbers up as more and more are leaving the cult. DACA recipients are the perfect replacement.

  • dodgers January 27, 2018 at 7:46 am

    Need to clear up the misconception that the dreamers are kids. Many are well into their 30s and older.
    President Trump has offered up a very good framework for a plan, a solution, that would provide the dreamers with a pathway to citizenship. It would also greatly help to address the problems with our current immigration system, including allocating significant additional money for border security (including a wall), ending chain migration (limited to immediate family members only) and ending the visa lottery system. The number of dreamers has always been stated as ~800K. President Trump’s plan would allow for 1.8M. His offer is more than fair, even upsetting some of his voter base.
    The initial reaction from Dems is to blast the plan. It is quite apparent they don’t really want to solve the DACA or immigration issues, at least not under a Republican president. The Dems want open borders, no restrictions, no changes to chain migration or the current visa lottery system.
    Back to the Dreamers. If President Trump’s plan is implemented, the dreamer candidates will have to pass certain requirements and not all of them will make the grade. The plan will force all dreamer candidates out of the shadows, to formally apply for the new program and its path to citizenship. For those who do not apply or do not come out of the shadows, they should be deported.

    Hopefully, the GOP is able to put together and pass the formal bill, with the help of a few Dems who are genuinely concerned about the Dreamers, fixing our immigration system and securing our borders.

  • Jamie January 27, 2018 at 9:26 am

    If the dreamers were brought here as children, then why aren’t they held to the same standard as the naturalized citizens of their generation. To me, if these immigrants, illegal or not, were held to the same public education standards as me; ie: proficiency exams, high school credit requirements, and even a diploma, then what makes them any less of a citizen? This article is contradictory in stating they should be awarded legal status based on the fact that they are equally as hard working as true blooded Americans, without even citing a basic understanding of all the things that I feel make me a contributing member of society (not only a basic understanding of government and the responsibilities that come with democracy.). Do they want to be here for a free ride or are the here for the same reasons I am— a deep seeded moral belief in what we are doing and how we are doing it as a nation. We should be accepting them as potential diplomats or awarding work visas for those capable of contributing. After all, capacity of work ethic isn’t necessarily something recent generations have held to a standard. Maybe then, Americans would realize the impact outsourcing has on our economy, and as a people could regain the admiration held for These foreigners and the supposed contributions they have made outshining our own citizens.

    More important than a path to citizenship, I think all immigrants should be held to the same criminal standards and punishments as citizens before resulting in deportation. Either there is a basic lack of understanding in the importance of following the laws of the land, or else a blatant disregard. Here’s an idea— citizenship awarded after conviction and sentencing. Let them navigate our judicial system without the “get out of jail free” card that US citizens do not have the luxury of playing.

  • 12345 January 27, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Build the wall ! Build the wall ! Build the wall LOL !

Leave a Reply

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