April 28, 2011 by The Mormon Worker
Thanks to Forest for translating the last post from Spanish. See below:
Fighting for the Rights of Immigrants
FRANCIA BENSON, EL OBSERVADOR de utah
Published: Tuesday 19 April 2011
United For Social Justice is a non-profit organization that seeks for the legalization of undocumented residents in Utah, defends respect for human rights, workers rights, and equity in pay, work, education, and health regardless of race, immigration status, or social status.
William Van Wagenen, current president of the organization gives his opinion concerning the immigration debate.
Question: Should the undocumented be legalized?
Answer: Yes, that is the position of United for Social Justice. There are many problems that need to be resolved; much exploitation on the part of employers, families that are being separated, and much deportation. The solution is to legalize all of these people so that they can work legally, pay taxes, and organize unions. We think that is a better solution than trying to deport so many millions of undocumented people who are in reality productive, hard workers.
Would more immigrants come here after such a legalization?
They’ll come if there’s work but not if there is no work. The economy is the determining factor; if it goes sour, they won’t come, even if legalized, because they would not be able to work. Furthermore, not everybody wants to come.
Should the LDS Church step in?
I believe that in this case it should, because it is the right thing. If the laws under consideration pass, they would negatively affect undocumented church members. It is the responsibility of the Church to defend the rights of its members. People need to understand that not just Mormons are affected, but also Catholics and people of other religions. For that reason the churches should get together to protect their members from racism and unjust laws.
Could these laws incite hate crimes?
It’s hard to say how much of a connection exists between what a politician says and hate crimes committed by someone else. But when a politician tells the public that it is necessary to approve laws because undocumented workers are robbing their work, which is untrue, or that they bring with them all kinds of crime, which is not true either, it makes people think that undocumented immigrants are ruining our country, and this could incite somebody to violence.
The organization is preparing to march in the May Day March on Saturday the 1st of May at 1:00 p.m. beginning at 400 South and State Street in support of legalization of the undocumented.