Immigration continues to a hot topic in the United States right now, and will likely continue to be as we move into the 2012 presidential campaign over the next several months.
While The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints maintains a position of political neutrality (meaning that it never endorses any one political party or candidate), it also exercises its right to take a stand on certain issues.
Immigration is one of those issues.
The Church has written several articles on the topic of immigration in the past. (See the following articles: “Immigration” — “A Principle-Based Approach to Immigration” — “Immigration Response” — “Church Supports Principles of Utah Compact on Immigration” — “Presiding Bishop Attends Signing of Immigration Bills”
Yesterday, it issued another statement, further explaining its position. The Church discourages state immigration legislation that focus only on enforcement, stating that such an approach is “likely to fall short of the high moral standard of treating each other as children of God.”
Note also that “As a matter of policy, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints discourages its members from entering any country without legal documentation, and from deliberately overstaying legal travel visas.” [Link in original.]
But obviously, as the statement notes, the most tension on this issue comes with what to do about the millions of undocumented workers in the country.
How should decisions be made about immigration reform? I hear the Church reiterating principles that could guide lawmakers and politicians as they seek for comprehensive solutions to a complicated issue. The Church “supports a balanced and civil approach to a challenging problem, fully consistent with its tradition of compassion, its reverence for family, and its commitment to law.” (Read more about those three guiding principles in this LDS Newsroom article.)
I encourage you to read the entire article and the other links above to understand more about these guiding principles for comprehensive immigration reform.
And what principle should guide Church members the most? This brief statement provides an answer to that question:
Responsibility of Church Members: Avoiding Being Judgmental