November 12, 2010 by The Mormon Worker
By David Montero
The Salt Lake Tribune
Rep. Stephen Sandstrom said the LDS Church’s position on immigration announced Thursday was directed squarely at his enforcement-only bill and suggested the church should leave the issue to lawmakers.
“I kind of wish I’d been given more of a heads-up because it is taking aim at the bill I’m doing,” Sandstrom lamented Thursday. “My other thought was that I thought the church’s no-position was the best way to go and to let this be the purview of government.”
The LDS position came on the heels of a broad coalition of religious and political leaders signing the Utah Compact at a public ceremony at the State Capitol. The compact was set up as an immigration policy document designed to reduce angry rhetoric and emphasize empathy and economic contributions made by undocumented workers within the state.
The compact declares immigration a federal issue, not one that should be handled by Utah. It also says scarce law enforcement resources should focus on crime, not on civil violations, such as illegal immigration.
Though not an official signer of the policy statement, the LDS Church threw its support behind the compact and said it is “consistent with important principles” within the faith. Up until this point, the church been more reticent to jump forcefully into the hot-button issue.
“We recognize an ever-present need to strengthen families,” the statement read in part. “Families are meant to be together. Forced separation of working parents from their children weakens families and damages society.”
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