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Utah activists, religious leaders ask lawmakers to push for federal immigration reform

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  • lawenforcementfromAZ Glendale, AZ
    Jan. 24, 2011 1:12 p.m.

    As a retired law enforcement officer, I continue to ask the question: if the current laws are not enforced (they are not broken, just not enforced), how can we trust our leaders in any revisions (and promises) they may make?

  • Hawkeye79 Iowa City, IA
    Jan. 24, 2011 1:20 p.m.

    "[Rowland] suggested a path to citizenship for immigrants already living in Utah who are willing to pay a fine, undergo a criminal background check and provide proof of paying taxes."

    And what should be done about the illegal immigrants (and their families) who are aware that they will not pass a criminal background check and choose to remain in Utah without entering a path to citizenship?

    This proposal will not solve the problem.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 1:33 p.m.

    Since when do religious leaders become experts on all things immigration in Utah??

    Stick to lecturing your flock and let the business of leges be manages by those ELECTED to do so!

  • patriot vet Cedar City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 1:39 p.m.

    The dilemma that millions of our friends, neighbors and honorable families face is difficult for us Born in the USA to understand. Virtually none of our forefathers had to go through the unbearably long process that the laws now require for citizenship.

    It is time to help those millions come out of the shadows and extend a process of citizenship to them. Almost all of them have contributed to the American dream by laboring and being honorable partners with us.

    Those of us that served in war did so to provide for freedoms to the downtrodden, not to throw up bureaucratic roadblocks to keep people from bettering their lives.

    I hope the Church will join these other churches in calling for comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship for the millions of law-abiding and hard working immigrants among us.

  • sally Kearns, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 1:46 p.m.

    I have wondered how many charities associated with the pro illegal churches and individuals in this state are making money off of helping the illegals. Compassion may be used as a way to facilitate income/tax write offs from running the charities. Many of these charities may become obsolete if the illegals leave this state. Politics and money working hand in hand using compassion to sway the emotions of citizens.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 1:50 p.m.

    1) It is estimated that there are 20 million illegal immigrants in the US at this time...

    compared to an estimated 2 million in the US military, home & abroad.

    That means, if we got withdrew every military presence in the world, enlisted every firefighter, police officer and nurse to help the military...

    we would still be outnumberd compared to illegal immigrants in this country.

    2) A 'work program' is the ONLY viable solution, as physical force would fail.

    3) Some agree that the foundation for this current goverment, America, were decendents from the Pilgrims in the Mayflower.

    4) State regulation will, most likely, be as diverse as the 50 states themselves and at times may contridict each other.

    5) Some religions refuse to give the immigrant status of some of it's missionaries in the US.

    6) Once again, we see spiritual leaders try to have say on political issues.

    All without paying taxes.

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 2:19 p.m.

    Enforcing immigration laws SHOULD be a Federal issue. But good luck getting their attention! The Feds are more interested in saying what states CANT do as opposed to what they CAN do, locally, to deal with their problems.

    Why can't enforcing immigration laws be a state issue? Why couldn't states make their own laws? Utah's immigration problems are different than the immigration problems in any other state. Border states have their own local issues. And the Feds have proven to be inept at enforcing immigration laws.

  • Conservative Cedar City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 2:21 p.m.

    The interesting thing about illegal aliens is that you can't tell them apart from all the other Mexicans. At work, at church, shopping, even those that I hire to do work...I can't tell them apart.

    That's a real problem. The fact is they are as hard working and loyal and dedicated as us! It's time to do something about it. The churches are right!

  • Demisana South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 2:34 p.m.

    "All without paying taxes. " You do realize that all the individuals members of all these churches DO pay taxes? Right? And that freedom of speech applies equally to atheists and believers? Whether or not they hold positions in their various denominations?

    Why is it that no Democrat raises an eyebrow when a liberal denomination talks politically at the pulpit on a Sunday, but starts hyperventilating when a conservative church leader is quoted outside of his church?

    I think we need to go back to basic principles. That is, short of shouting "Fire!" falsely in a crowded theater, anybody can say anything they want at any time. And the rest of us can choose to listen or ignore, without having a conniption about it.

  • Anonymous Infinity American Fork, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 2:50 p.m.

    To: Conservative
    You are as they say in PC politics nowadays...inaccurate in your statements. Justifying the presence of people who have entered this country illegally as being hardworking, lawabiding, etc., etc., etc. is just plain hogwash. People don't belong in this country under current immigration laws. The United States cannot continue unenforcing immigration laws. This baloney would stop or be 90% plus curtailed by simply building an appropriate wall on our southern border, policing our coast lines and ports properly and policing the criminals and deporting all undocumented criminals when detained and identified. We see much of the serious crime being perpetrated by scumbags who are not citizens. There should be a twenty to twenty five mile stip along the border relegated to become military reservation territory to used by the military as training territory and aircraft bombing zones. This would virtually stop illegals.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 2:57 p.m.

    'You do realize that all the individuals members of all these churches DO pay taxes?' - Demisana | 2:34 p.m. Jan. 24, 2011

    Do they pay taxes on the tithing? Church building?

    Are they representing this as individuals, or as religious leaders?

    Just look at the picture for an answer:

    'Reverend Steve Klemz of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church (at podium)..'

    Or, to quote conservative:

    'The interesting thing about illegal aliens is that you can't tell them apart from all the other Mexicans.' - Conservative | 2:21 p.m. Jan. 24, 2011

    Because apparently Pilgrims...

    looked like Mexicans.

    Your claim that they pay INDIVIDUAL taxes does not take away from the fact that the ORGINIZAION they represent, religion pick one, does not.

    And who mentioned party?

    You did.

    Not me.

    You are free to have your opinion.

    However, that does not protect you from criticism.

  • Trueman Draper, Utah
    Jan. 24, 2011 3:13 p.m.

    Comprehensive reform is "code talk" for open USA boarders. Why not adopt Mexico's immigration laws, then who can complain. Further, if the World would have let their respective Churches decide world affairs in the last century, then we, minus all the Jewsish people who would have been eliminated in the world, would all be speaking German right now.

  • Emophiliac Vernal, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 3:16 p.m.

    Not even close to being a solution. The amnesty in 1986 didn't solve the illegal problem - this one won't either. Instead, just require businesses to prove they are hiring legal US citizens or residents. If businesses break that law, fine the business heavily, take away their business license for a reasonable time, or shut them down. Make following the law in the Business' best interest.

    And, yes, possibly do more on the border. However, from the couple of visits I've made in the last few months, there is a huge Border Patrol presence near the border. It would be interesting to know what they could be doing better that they aren't.

  • Demisana South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 3:53 p.m.

    @Pagan - I don't care who criticizes me. Just get irritated when you and others try to shut some people out of the discussion altogether because they don't like what they are saying - like churches. As if they aren't a legitimate part of this country (speaking of Pilgrims, among others, btw...)

    As for party - please make my day - I'll try to make sure I'm not drinking anything when you claim you aren't a liberal - wouldn't want to ruin my keyboard or monitor.

  • Anti Government Alpine, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 3:58 p.m.

    re: patriot vet

    I'm so glad you have decided that "the unbearably long" process that I recently completed is no longer necessary for the law breakers that are already here.

    Let me guess...this is "fair"?

    Myself and many others who chose to follow the law now I guess just get a "atta-boy"?

    I left the cesspool that is socialist canada and now king hussein and other liberals are busy trying to do the same. It makes my stomach turn.

    Our prisons are full of illegals. Our State and others top 10 most wanted lists are full of illegals and virtually none of them get deported,

    The liberals have one plan and this is it:

    Let as many illegals in as possible because they are generally poor. Poor people love government assistance and handouts. Liberals love to act like they are helping people by "giving" them social assistance but we have all hear the phrase "give a man a fish vs. teach a man to fish...".

    Liberals love anyone they can politically manipulate for power and that is what they see these people as...political pawns to be manipulated and used.

  • JanSan Pocatello, ID
    Jan. 24, 2011 3:59 p.m.

    Rowland said ""(Immigrants) are not so much breaking the law as they are being broken by the law," YES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! something said that I can agree on! I have NO PROBLEM with immigrants.. be them brown black white yellow red .. God Bless you! BUT ILLEAGAL aliens that is a total different story! With all of the illeagal aliens who are BREAKING THE LAW in coming here, it seem VERY PREJUDICE to me to allow them to stay, even though they broke the law to get here - and take up room that someone from Europe or Canada or wherever who is not Mexican cannot now come because there is not enough room for them. Why should we reward these people for breaking our laws just because they are Mexican.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 4:23 p.m.

    '@Pagan - I don't care who criticizes me. Just get irritated when you and others try to shut some people out of the discussion altogether because they don't like what they are saying...' - Demisana | 3:53 p.m. Jan. 24, 2011

    Demisana, I am NOT the moderator on these threads. I do not have the factual ABILITY to 'shut some people out' of the post's here.

    Please keep that in mind when you falsely accuse me of it.

    As for party, you encourage me to engage in that debate AFTER you start it yourself.

    'Why is it that no Democrat...' - Demisana | 2:34 p.m.

    'As for party - please make my day...' - Demisana | 3:53 p.m.

    Immigration does not need to be a party debate.

    Please talk to me when you can see past that.

  • Noah So Ogden, Ut
    Jan. 24, 2011 4:56 p.m.

    It is very interesting that so many want to overlook the problem of immigration as a whole. We as a Nation cannot continue to allow so many immigrants. We MUST stop illegals first, our citizens need the work illegals are taking. A new study from Northeastern University shows that between 2008 and 2010, 1.1 million newly arriving aliens gained jobs while U.S. household employment declined by 6.26 million. (Reuters, Jan. 20, 2011)

    The U.S. economy did not create enough jobs to keep up with population growth in 2010. There are 7.2 million fewer jobs today than there were in December of 2007, and it may take years to close the gap. There are fewer jobs today, with a population approaching 310 million, than there were in 2000, when U.S. population was just over 281 million. The U.S. is projected to add 30 million new residents each decade for the foreseeable future. Immigration will account for 86 percent of U.S. population growth between now and 2050.
    These statistics have received steady coverage from the press. Yet, I am still waiting for a reporter to connect the dots. Deseret News, are you listening???

  • CJ Murray, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 5:13 p.m.

    While all of you religious amnesty hacks are together why don't you get out your checkbooks and write checks to cover the costs of illegal immigrants? You are always generous with everyone else's money. You are the biggest bunch of hypocrites since the BIBLE. I never hear any of you express concern for the victims of illegals. Your crocodile tears make me sick, you all want them here for one reason; new members and new donors. That is it. You all need to shut up until you step up and open your own houses and wallets.

  • jim l West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 6:22 p.m.

    Why do we need to change the laws when they did not enforce or obey the old ones? Why does not the media understand the frustration of the american people. We dont seal the borders, illegals continue to stream across. All we hear is amnesty, amnesty, amnesty. There is no end in sight, and we have to continue to pay for their education, health care, food,etc. etc. While the Democrats look for votes and the rinos look for cheap labor for their buddies. All the while americans suffer with wage suppression, or no jobs. We cannot feed the world.

  • J. Adams Sandy, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 6:39 p.m.

    As long as comprehensive immigration reform equals comprehensive illegal deportation we are all for it.
    Otherwise, the majority of Utahns want religious leaders to pay the bill for their political activism. If they have to pay for all the illegals we will see how sincere they are.

  • Spoc Ogden, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 7:29 p.m.

    I find the whole argument that states should refuse to cooperate with federal agencies in the enforcement of federal criminal law to be odd. The Federal government has already offered local enforcement officers permission, with training, to act as extensions of Federal eyes and ears, as they have with most Federal criminal statutes. Citizens have always been encouraged to report suspicious activity to local authorities.

    Urban politicians, fearing a large ethnic populations ability to remove them from office, refuse to participate. The resulting sanctuary problems of non-enforcement are not restricted to that politician, so in Arizona suburban and rural politicians took the initiative to require statewide participation.

    The truth is that if Federal enforcement were effective, these people would still be unhappy. It has nothing to do with what level of government should be involved in enforcement. It is a red herring. They simply do not want it enforced. If that was not the case, you wouldnt also hear a plea for amnesty made by the same people. By their logic we should forbid local officers from enforcing any Federal law and offer amnesty to those who break them.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 7:54 p.m.

    patriot vet,
    thank you for your service. Law abiding immigrants are already here legally and need no change in the law. I have no problem with them. Illegal immigrants are by definition not law abiding.

    jim l,
    unfortunately by change the law they mean grant amnesty to all the illegals here. They haven't the integrity to admit it, but that's really what they're after.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 8:37 p.m.

    In the past 15 years have these clergy told people to come here legally?

    That was the time to bring people out of the shadows and stop the division in our communities.

    Not doing anything now will divide our communities even further.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Jan. 24, 2011 8:54 p.m.

    The Mexican border runs from Texas to CA. There is no feasible way to stop immigration from a country the size and population of Mexico. Calling them illegals is a way of dehumanizing them, or in other words making them less than they are. Fences, rhetoric and harsh laws will never solve an economic problem. You can't blame people for fleeing violence, corruption and poverty. A call for compassion is not an endorsement of breaking the law. A law enforcement only approach is like putting an alcoholic in jail overnight. They may sober up however they are still an alcoholic. If we continue to deport them they will find their way back. The problem will solve itself when Mexico returns to stability. How to accomplish that is for people a lot smarter and more educated than me.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 24, 2011 9:09 p.m.

    The proper role of religious leaders is to provide moral leadership on issues that they feel matter.

    Thus, these leaders are within their proper role.

    People do not give up their freedom of speech when they become religious leaders.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 24, 2011 9:13 p.m.

    Conservative,
    There are many non-Mexican undocumented immigrants in the US. In New York City possibly the largest contingent is people from the Dominican Republic but there are also large numbers of undocumented immigrants in that city from the Ivory Coast and other west African countries.

    Here in Michigan we have lots of undocumented immigrants from Albania and China.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 24, 2011 9:17 p.m.

    Pagan,
    However you are joining the chorus of claiming that religious leaders have no right to speak on political matters.

    This is a false claim. The right to speak is not limit. It is broad and open. Everyone has the freedom of speech.

  • FreeTexan San Antonio, TX
    Jan. 25, 2011 1:22 a.m.

    We are all God's children. God's children are supposed to follow the law.

    1 Peter 2:13 "Submit yourself to every ordinance of man . . . to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors."

    First they broke the law. Then they have a child. How can you be an adult parent with a child in a country illegally? That is child endangerment. Most Americans could not fathom entering another country illegally. We would expect to be sent back or jailed.

    They break the law as an adult. They are responsible for a child as an adult. The child grows up to be an adult and stays illegal. Now you have two adults breaking the law.

    If you have a warrant for a parking ticket, you get checked at a traffic stop and no one cares if it 'separates you from your family'. Simply check the immigration status at every traffic stop on everyone and it won't be profiling.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 4:36 a.m.

    "They can't go back,"

    They can so go back, and can thereby remain together as families in their home countries.

    Amnesty rewards illegal behavior, it is unfair, and these people know it.

  • patriotandmore Spanish Fork, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 7:04 a.m.

    Close the borders. Feds, do your job. God bless Arizona! Jan Brewer for President.

  • patriotandmore Spanish Fork, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 7:20 a.m.

    "Local high school students standing among the crowd, where signs such as "Who Would Jesus Deport?" Jesus would deport all who have broken the law similar to the money changers in the Temple. John 2:15, "And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple......" All law-breakers must pay the price. Drive illegal aliens home!

  • Hawkeye79 Iowa City, IA
    Jan. 25, 2011 7:22 a.m.

    NeilT, Our society has developed labels for those who violate the laws. Is it dehumanizing to call someone a speeder, thief, rapist, or murderer if they have indeed violated the applicable law? Referring to those who illegally immigrate as illegal immigrants is descriptive, not dehumanizing. It could be argued that calling them anything different would be trying to make them less than they are.

    Additionally, I would ask how you believe Mexico and other struggling nations will ever become stable if the US continues to drain them of productive citizens who want a better life? Do you think this change will occur as the percentage of criminals increases (as many are deported from the US because of their actions)? Do you believe that suffering, starvation and oppression will somehow decrease abroad when there are fewer who have the will to improve their circumstances?

    If foreign stability is truly your goal, then you may want to reconsider supporting short-sighted reforms that will help the few who make it to the US at the expense of the many who remain in their home countries.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 9:45 a.m.

    'This is a false claim. The right to speak is not limit.' - John Pack Lambert of Michigan | 9:17 p.m. Jan. 24, 2011

    Following this logic, there should be a law against shell fish.

    The 'right to speak' is limited in many ways.

    Can you yell 'fire' in a crowded room? Do you have a dress code for your job?

    If you want the 'freedom' to speak as a person fine...

    but pay taxes on the things I must as well.

    Housing, monitary bonuses, donations, etc.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 25, 2011 9:49 a.m.

    It was fun watching those Mexican women climb the border fence in 20 seconds flat. Only way to keep the rabbits out is to make the garden less attractive. I don't suppose anybody wants to do that. Let's just let 'em in with a worker card. What kind of business doesn't let the customers in the front door?

  • American Spartan Taylorsville, Utah
    Jan. 25, 2011 2:54 p.m.

    Note "Revolutionary Student Union" banner with activists, along the crowd.

    This group is Communist with a notorious presence at Utah Valley University. The 100-person crowd is nothing but Socialist. They demand amnesty and stopping deportation, which means disobedience of the law and calling for destruction.

    They are subversives, and merit no respect. The conservative lawmakers know the protesters' political alignment, and should ignore the illegal alien advocates.

    May the rule of law reign supreme in Utah, with Sandstrom's bill passed to become law. Then they can leave Utah. California is suffering from the crisis of illegal immigration among other internal problems, and Utah would favor itself to avoid California's fate as a failed state due to rampant liberalism.

  • Teafortwo salt lake city, utah
    Jan. 25, 2011 3:51 p.m.

    There is already a path to legal immigration into this country. Why on earth should those who have chosen to bypass the legal path and come here illegally be rewarded for breaking the law? Amnesty DOES NOT WORK. It was tried before and our illegal immigration problem is worse than it has ever been and gets worse every day. There should be no amnesty. Period. Instead, we need to ban all taxpayer financed benefits and services for the illegal, criminal invaders. Once these incentives are removed, they will have no choice but to leave.

  • danaslc Kearns, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 5:20 p.m.

    Right now the state is in session for 2011 making budget cuts to our poor, our disabled, our children, schools and not one word about all the welfare, housing, medical care and free cell phones to illegals? Shame on your politicians, shame on you church organizations and shame on this state for taxing me to pay for illegals. How can any of you feel good about stealing from American's and their children. This is disgusting.

  • c00kster Provo, Utah
    Jan. 25, 2011 6:55 p.m.

    I'm still promoting the plan of designating one US State--like New Mexico--as the transition location for undocumented immigrants. Rather than deport, relocate and provide adequate healthcare, education, etc., so they can come out of the shadows and work their way towards citizenship. Let the Feds pay for it and let the other 49 states divest themselves of undocumented immigrants. Levy heavy fines on employers who continue to hire undocumented laborers. This solves the problem of splitting up families when deporting the undocumented members. It certainly wouldn't be a paradise to be in the designated state, but it would likely be better than living in Mexico. If not, they can always go back across the border. This is a big country and being compassionate doesn't mean we have to give every advantage to those who take advantage of us by immigrating outside the proper channels.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 7:00 p.m.

    It doesn't matter who enforces the laws, state of federal. What matters is that they are enforced.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 11:33 p.m.

    The majority of people came here illegally before the 2007 drug cartel wars.

    We have stopped illegal immigration before, we can do it again.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Jan. 26, 2011 1:16 a.m.

    @John Pack Lambert of Michigan 9:09

    You said - "People do not give up their freedom of speech when they become religious leaders."

    Tell that to Boyd K. Packer.

    @Pagan 9:45 You said - "If you want the 'freedom' to speak as a person fine...

    but pay taxes on the things I must as well."

    Exactly where in the Consitution does it say that people's freedom of speech is conditional based upon how much taxes they pay?

  • katiefrankie Provo, UT
    Jan. 27, 2011 9:24 a.m.

    How about local religious leaders put pressure on their flocks to obey the law and come here legally?