Given the tremendous amount of rhetoric begin thrown about by every side possible, I have been thinking about it from the context of Mormonism. I am pretty confident in my stake (which has 1 Spanish Ward, 2 Spanish Branches and 1 Portueguese Branch) that we have a lot of illegal immigrants – I know several who are doing “under the table” jobs for other members. I would guess this is not dissimilar from many other language units (and even English units) throughout the US. The question I have been thinking about is “Am I supporting “law breakers” and not being “honest in my dealings with my fellow men” by not reporting these people to the ICE?” Am I upholding the laws of the land if I hire an illegal alien and have them clean my house?
Personally, I really don’t care what someone’s legal status is, as the vast majority of illegal aliens are law abiding and contributing citizens who just happen to be illegally here. Interestingly, I have not heard a peep from the Church leaders on this issue – probably given the sensitive nature of the topic and that there are probably thousands of illegal aliens who are members. However, I have heard some very prejudice comments from Mormons, particularly in Utah about the Mexican immigrants. This prejudice was further drawn out when I heard an interview on NPR from this woman who was representing some anti-immigration group in Arizona. She said something to the effect that it is too bad that illegals are from poor countries, but that they should come here legally (if it was that easy they would do it) and not take jobs from Americans. Easy for her to say from her little white picket fenced house and comfy middle class standard of living. I think that the immigrants (legal or otherwise) provide valuable labor to us in the US for jobs many Americans won’t do – it is not like the teens in my ward are clamoring to clean people’s houses. It seems to me that Bush has the immigration thing right (frightening that I agree with him for once) and we should give these illegals the ability to be here legally and not waste our time and resources deporting hard working people and breaking up families as happened in Massachussets recently. ICE raided a facotry and deported parents leaving the kids here in social services custody. I think there are a lot more problems with the inner cities and the Americans who live there – why not spend the time and resources trying to improve the lives of the working poor and fighting the increasing violence in the cities, instead of harming those who are hard working family types. Why not deport our criminals instead? We could deport them to Iraq and have them serve in the Iraqi police…