LDS leader’s arrest puts spotlight on immigration stand


April 30, 2011 by The Mormon Worker

An LDS Branch President in Draper and his family were arrested two weeks ago and will be deported. He fled El Salvador to come to the US years ago. Of course we know how the US-led dirty war in El Salvador decimated the country in the 1980’s. Many Salvadorans fled during that time and came to the US, both with documents and with out. They deserve our compassion and support, especially since our governments action in that country let to so many having to flee the country, not to mention the thousands who were tortured and killed by the US-backed Salvadoran military. See the Salt Lake Tribune article below:

LDS leader’s arrest puts spotlight on immigration stand

By David Montero
The Salt Lake Tribune

A local Mormon leader is being held in a Utah County jail awaiting deportation after federal authorities arrested him and his family nearly two weeks ago for being in the country illegally.

Felix Callejas, an LDS branch president in Draper, oversaw a congregation of about 100 and was picked up by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) agents April 19 after a failed attempt to obtain legal asylum from his native country of El Salvador.

The arrest, made public Friday, thrust The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints into the spotlight on an issue that has become controversial for the 14-million member faith headquartered in Salt Lake City.

Church officials would not directly answer questions about Callejas on Friday, with spokesman Scott Trotter saying, “This case reminds us all of the need to address immigration reform.” Read the rest of the article here.

11 thoughts on “LDS leader’s arrest puts spotlight on immigration stand

  1. Brooks W. Wilson says:

    I am very proud of my Church. Not so much of some of our members. I was a scheduler at the Redlands Temple for five years. I scheduled many Spanish speaking members for Temple Ordinances. It never occurred to me to ask them about citizenship. I am also against illegal immigration…but not against illegal immigrants. I wonder what Jesus would do?

    • Robert Poort says:

      Or we could ask: who would Jesus deport?
      A haunting question for those of us who have forgotten the Lord’s admonition: “Treat the foreigner as a native. Love him like one of your own. Remember you were once foreigners in Egypt” (Leviticus 19:33-34).

      • prometheus says:

        This says it all. Great comment, Robert.

      • Brooks W. Wilson says:

        Or where would he deport them to? It’s time for us to accept the fact that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is international…like the corporations that so many Mormons revere!

  2. Brittanicus says:


    THIS IS ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION THAT HAS BEEN FORCED ON US BY SPECIAL INTERESTS, BUSINESS, CORPORATE WELFARE AND PRO-OPEN BORDER LAWMAKERS FOR OVER THIRTY YEARS. THIS IS ABOUT TRESPASSING ON SOVEREIGN LAND, AND BEING REWARDED FOR IT WITH WELFARE AND SOCIAL SERVICES. WE MUST MAKE THE “RULE OF LAW” STAND FOR SOMETHING AND IMPOSES A HARSH PENALTY. NOT A CIVIL SENTENCE, BUT A FELONY CONVICTION? The Church has already poked their nose in, where it doesn’t belong; mainly the Catholic religion, as most illegal aliens from South of the border feed their treasury and keep the pews filled. Looks to most US citizens and legal residents that the Church of latter Day Saints is pushing a similar agenda, to hopefully reinforce their loss of souls.

    When our immigration laws are held in suspension by hesitant politicians because they don’t want to hurt ethnic feelings, then nothing is going to happen? IT IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE A STALEMATE. Americans should realize if we initiate Zero tolerance at the border, at airline terminals with the immense power of the federal government, to fully funding without any exceptions. That the originally designed double strength border fence (2006 Secure Fence Act), complete with deployed US patrol and military personal, we can alter the course of having to support illegal immigrant invasion. At airline entry terminals, there must be stronger control that includes entry and exit inspections by immigration, so they can trace persons after their visa expires. Amazingly it makes sense, so it halts illegal newcomers reaching America, costing billions of dollars in support. ALL STATES THAT FAIL TO ENACT POLICING LAWS WILL ADDRESS A HUGE FINANCIAL PENALTY FROM THE BOMBARDMENT OF ECONOMIC REFUGEES, LOOKING FOR A NEW HOME AFTER FLEEING FROM LESS SYMPATHETIC STATES.

    If funding is established now for whatever is required to construct the double layer fence, including internal tools such as E-Verify, Secure Communities and 287 (G) police apprehension programs, we stand a good chance of stopping this travesty. IF WE SPEND BILLIONS NOW, IN THE LONG RUN WE WILL SAVE HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS ANNUALLY. One would think the US Border Patrol would have full access to the border region, is far from the truth. They have to ask permission from the forestry commission, National Parks and Wilderness areas public managers. This is beyond belief to ask for a permit from the environmentalists to these massive areas, yet these Eco people say nothing and do little about the endless mounds of garbage littering these regions. These areas are extremely dangerous and standing signs indicate this along the highways. Because of inaccessibility of Agents to these areas are infested by criminal drug dealers and wagon trains of illegal aliens hauling dope.

    Every legal person and citizen should have a equal opportunity to work, no matter their color as long as their passage was through the Immigration paperwork and not the back way in? So as inserted in the 1986 Immigration Control and reform Act, we will have the means to inflict grave penalties on business that think they are above our laws. More than then five foreign nationals in your employ, you go to prison, simple as that. Much of this pain and suffering, loss of jobs taken by illegal aliens could be settled easily, if entry into America without papers was a felony as many other industrial nations have imposed. Any company or other entity that supports illegal immigration, has something to gain? For businesses of any category is more profit. For corporations is more money for their stockholders. For the majority of any store, factory and office or other establishment it’s about more money, more profit. With 10 million Americans and more out of work, any amnesty would be just plain insane.

    This foreign occupation hasn’t just happened; it’s taken thirty years at least. TAXPAYERS ARE MANIPULATED INTO PAYING FOR ONE WAR AFTER ANOTHER, TO FILL THE POCKETS OF THE DEFENSE CONTRACTORS AND CONTINUALLY WE HAVE NO SAY IN SUPPORTING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. This has been caused by foolhardy evasiveness to the “Rule of law.” Once we have settled this exploitation once and for all, we can then decide on a uniform, non-fraudulent Guest worker program. But farmers and the agricultural section, must be forced to pay for their workers health care and education for their children of people working the fields; not taxpayers. There should be special exceptions for the highly skilled, who should have expedited passage through the immigration preference system. Alas, we have a right not admit individuals who will have to rely on government handouts, which incorporates pregnant Mothers. This has become a myopic game of States and the federal government alike, engineering welfare programs meant for birthright Americans sick, old and retired.

    FAIR estimates there are about 363,000 children are born to illegal aliens each year. It’s a must read the report in a Pdf file “Illegal Aliens and American Medicine.” (Just Google the whole text. )Anybody have any thoughts out there; have any conception of expenditures today? Foothold children to a large extent exhaust the social welfare programs countrywide. This is serious intent to legally enter America in near full term of pregnancy, so the birthright law comes into effect. The “Anchor Baby” is an unpleasant term, but it describes with morbid accuracy, defining an offspring of an illegal immigrant or other non-citizen, who under current legal interpretation becomes a United States citizen at birth; the law is ruthlessly used in apply for welfare programs. No more special privileges for illegal foreign nationals; No Sanctuary Cities or States; No more Chain Migration; No More Immigration Reform; No more amnesties of any kind whatsoever, that also means The Dream Act. No welfare and rescind the birthright law for babies, unless the parent is a citizen.

    The female if allowed to remain, can get even more benefits, when they become pregnant again, and again and again. This insures cash payments, food stamps, free health care and federal Section 8 housing that shortly the whole extended family moves too. As our government tries to extract its way out of the 14 Trillion plus deficit, so should States that are carrying the extra burden if catering to illegal aliens. Thousands more people join the moderate conservatives in local and national TEA PARTY each day. Independents are swarming to the party, including lost Liberals and Democrats, even hard core Republicans. NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL HONEST TAXPAYERS TO CALL YOU’RE LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL POLITICIANS AND DEMAND—NOT REQUEST—THEY USE ZERO TOLERANCE IN ENFORCING OUR IMMIGRATION LAWS, ACCORDING TO THE 1986 SIMPSON/ MAZZOLI BILL? EVERY AMERICAN WHO PAYS EXORBITANT TAXES TO SUPPORT EVERY ILLEGAL FOREIGNERS, IS AT THE POINT OF NO RETURN.

    This nation is on the verge of losing its reputation, as the most powerful country in the world to Communist China. This has been forced upon us by unfair trade practices and the manipulation of currency by the Chinese. This unfair advantage has deteriorated our manufacturing base, the shutdown of thousands of companies that were making quality products, compared to the foreign countries that have imported cheap goods into this nation. The only people making huge profits are international mega corporations, which have taken US jobs offshore or across borders. The TEA PARTY will end this fallacy and tax US companies bringing cheap inferior goods. We are the greatest population of consumer buyers in the world and we have the ability to place tariffs on goods entering America, instead of this unbalanced trade policies that we have with NAFTA, CAFTA and China.

  3. Tod Robbins says:

    I think illegal immigration should remind us all that we are foreigners on this earth. Why should it matter what country you have documents from? We are all of the same origin and blessing; my belief is that God is no respecter of nationality.

  4. Gregory VanWagenen says:

    While I don’t disagree with the right of people to limit immigration, the immigration policy in the NAFTA countries is hopelessly and fatally flawed. The treaty itself has a clause known as “executive streamlining”. I saw this in practice at the YYJ airport a few years ago. Wealthy Americans got to bypass the checkpoint and waltz on through. “Executives” are not defined specifically in the treaty, of course. In practice, an “executive” is a multimillionaire.

    What immigration policy actually amounts to in North America is a policy of immigration law only applying to working people like Brother Callejas here. If he were a Canadian or Mexican drug lord or pornographer with millions of ill gotten dollars in the bank, he wouldn’t have anything to worry about. He could stay as long as he liked and no one would bother him. The borders exist merely to separate workers and farmers and to break up solidarity between the people who produce things of value, to keep them in artificial competition with one another, rather than being driven together between the bourgeois hammer and anvil.

    The bourgeoisie incites the workers of one nation against those of another in the endeavour to keep them disunited. Class-conscious workers, realising that the breakdown of all the national barriers by capitalism is inevitable and progressive, are trying to help to enlighten and organise their fellow-workers from the backward countries.

    That’s Lenin, but I believe (and history suggests) that Brigham Young would have agreed with him on this matter.

  5. edy says:

    I lived in USA for sixteen years, I was living in Utah with my wife and three beautiful litle kids, I was separated from my family by immigration.Now I am in Guatemala, five thousand miles away from my wife and my beautiful children,I don’t know what to do know! I miss them really bad I wish some body can help me to go back to see my family, they need me, please help me to go back all I want is to hug them.

  6. edy says:

    I was deported to Guatemala eight months ago, after living in USA for sixteen years, please help my wife and my three litle kids they need help,I was the only one who was working to suport my family now they are alone after imigration deported me from Utah.To Guatemala I was not a criminal, I worked for sixteen years really hard to feed my family I always paid my taxes I was not a criminal,know I am separeted from my family by USA Immigracion, my family needs help They are living in Moroni Utah.I am in Guatemala I need someone to help me I need to see my family again all I want is to hug and kiss them I love them please help me.I am in Face book look for edy gonzalez.

  7. edy says:

    I was deported to Guatemala eight months ago, after living in USA for sixteen years, please help my wife and my three litle kids they need help,I was the only one who was working to suport my family now they are alone after imigration deported me from Utah.To Guatemala I was not a criminal, I worked for sixteen years really hard to feed my family I always paid my taxes I was not a criminal,know I am separeted from my family by USA Immigration, my family needs help They are living in Moroni Utah.I am in Guatemala I need someone to help me I need to see my family again all I want is to hug and kiss them I love them please help me.I am in Face book look for edy gonzalez.

  8. Iamdavid says:

    O.K. Children, let’s go through this…again. We are the kids whom belong to the “good one”. You know, that One who gave us our free agency, rather than, that one who would rule over us with a rod of iron. Therefore, we shall have the right to travel about the globe, search out our destiny, see wherever we want when we want, (at no cost to the taxpayer), and this is our promise. The whole “terrorism” thing, was set into motion to deliver a message from the devil. It is fake and phony as the dark place from which he arises, now. Take heed. Do not believe the one/s who would have you enslaved…for anything…or you shall do just that.

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