Donald Trump does have a “Mormon problem,” but it is not the problem Tom Tancredo posed recently. “It is an open secret in Washington, D.C., that the Mormon church supports open borders and lax enforcement of immigration laws.” This is an outright lie.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement five years ago on June 20, 2011, concerning its position on immigration. The first four paragraphs of the statement are as follow:
“Around the world, debate on the immigration question has become intense. That is especially so in the United States. Most Americans agree that the federal government of the United States should secure its borders and sharply reduce or eliminate the flow of undocumented immigrants. Unchecked and unregulated, such a flow may destabilize society and ultimately become unsustainable.
“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.
“What to do with the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants now residing in various states within the United States is the biggest challenge in the immigration debate. The bedrock moral issue for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is how we treat each other as children of God.
“The history of mass expulsion or mistreatment of individuals or families is cause for concern especially where race, culture, or religion are involved. This should give pause to any policy that contemplates targeting any one group, particularly if that group comes mostly from one heritage.” (Emphasis added.)
Most people would agree that the above statement hardly calls for open borders. It does, however, put the responsibility of securing the borders directly on the federal government of the United States. It also states that continued illegal immigration into the United States can “destabilize” our society and that members of the Church are discouraged to enter any country illegally.
The most important issue to the Church and its members is “how we treat each other as children of God.” This is an issue that the early members of the Church dealt with over and over again. Joseph Smith and his followers were persecuted and pushed out of New York, Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois because of religious beliefs. The intolerance of other religious groups forced them to actually leave the territory of the United States and seek safety and religious freedom in the Utah Territory. This is the reason why members of the Church and the Church itself defend the religious freedom of all other people.
Many of my ancestors were among those members who were uprooted time and time again and finally established permanent homes in Utah. I am in full support of the Church’s position on immigration. I too believe that the most important issue is “how we treat each other as children of God.”