Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

The Senate this week made serious efforts to work out a deal on immigration reform. Today, Senator Reid postponed the vote to end the negotiations until Monday.

Immigration is a thorny issue. It is probably wise for congress to take as much time as they need to get things hammered out as best they can. I can’t say that I think the developing bill will be great, but it looks like it will turn out a lot better than what we might expect from some of the more draconian conservatives.

Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform have come up with an agenda on immigration reform which is very consistent with my own beliefs on the issue. Lets hope they can work on congress to make sure that our immigration laws are consistent with moral principles—and lets do our part to persuade our legislators to support this vision.

21 Responses to “Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform”

  1. Allie Says:

    Nearly anything would be a step in the right direction.

  2. Derek Staffanson Says:

    Given that many of the more conservative legislators balk at anything that smells like amnesty to them, and would love to have all the illegals thrown out on their ears, I’m less hopeful…

  3. Bigcasedaddy Says:

    It’s kind of an awkward situation. I see the immigration problem torn between the 12th and 13th articles of faith. If we were to sustain and honor the law, our responsibility would be to deem these people criminals for breaking the law, and take them back to where they came from (And its just not Mexico, either). But we also believe in doing good to all men.

    There’s a right way and a wrong way of doing things. I am a descendant of immigrants from Denmark, Norway, and Germany. They came here with prospects of creating families and living in good conditions where they can have their freedoms. They worked hard and endured many struggles to be able to live here. But they also worked hard on going through the process of becoming an “American.” They got their legal status. They worked very hard to learn the language, and become woven into society. Its an insult to those people, and the millions of others who struggled for the same things, to have people enter into this country illegally and give complete disregard for our order of laws and government.

    If a crime is comitted here, people want justice. A man steals a car, assaults someone, rapes someone, etc. Do we give them amnesty? What if he stole the car to sell and buy food for his family? Do we give amnesty for that? You cannot have justice without robbing mercy, and you cannot have mercy without robbing justice. Without law and order, there is chaos. These laws should have been sustained and followed years ago. Now we have potential chaos to contend with. (Not that the President hasn’t helped that along in other ways already)

    12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

    13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

    Anyway, just a few thoughts. (From a Mormon, Democratic, Union worker, Liberal point of view.)

  4. Wordsfromhome Says:

    Bigcasedaddy, When I consider honoring,obeying, and sustaining, I think that also means working toward fair and effective laws. So we have had a bunch of idiots in congress over the past 20 years that have not been willing or able to address an immigration system that is clearly ineffective. Economics both here and the the third world countries who have the labor surpluses will drive immigration. Lack of effective immigration law to keep track of immigrants and give them legal status for the jobs we need them to do is what is causing the chaos. If we are in agreement with #13, then we should push to fix the broken law and there will be no difficulty with #12.
    Besides, what kind of immigration law did we have 100 years ago? Registration at Ellis Island or some other point of entry. There was not a limitation on how many could come from any one country, nor did it require extensive applications and waiting for years for one’s “legal” opportunity. These are modern inventions. Going back even further, the pilgrims did not ask permission of the indians. What about Lehi and Nephi and their families? Any copies of their immigration papers in the Book of Mormon?

  5. Emily Says:


    Thank you! You’ve solved a quandery for me! The immigration laws *are* broken and congress has done nothing about it for years and years and years. We need to fix the broken laws, you are absolutely right.

  6. Bigcasedaddy Says:


    I wasn’t really trying to create a negative environment here, just an open discussion. So bear with me as I see a different point of view than it seems you guys have.

    I do believe that we should be constantly working on improving the laws we have. I would say for the most part, the conservative right has been ignoring these laws for some time, because they primarily benefit from it the most. (i.e. cheap labor) I always find it amusing that lefties want to help all of these people coming over here illegally. Especially ones that are LDS and keeping the laws of the church, and the laws of the land. And even more amused by middle or lower class people that defend them, because I think they are the most hurt by them.

    Let me try and address your statements in the order you listed them:

    Third world countries do have a surplus of labor which is a shame. Our country which exports our corporations and work to those countries exploit that surplus of labor, and really doesn’t help them because they still work for pennies a day, and at the same time hurts us because we lost jobs to foreign soil. They even receive tax incentives to screw us over even more. If we exported our companies worldwide and paid the laborers more of a fair wage, it would help the workers, which in turn would help their economy, which in turn lowers their labor surplus. Hence would keep them from trying to receive work here, which would drive our labor cost up, and we would make a decent living here as well. It would improve our cost of living. Have you ever thought that why our income rates and cost of living allowances have fallen flat for the last several years may be because of illegal labor driving wages downward here? I keep hearing the same stupid argument that “they’re taking the jobs that Americans won’t do.” That is a crock. Americans would do that work if they received a decent wage to do it.

    This is simple economics. This is supply and demand. There is a massive supply of workers (or Labor) here. The demand is falling short because we have 12-20 million illegals contributing to our workforce. The Demand side can pick and choose. Workers are a dime a dozen. (No pun intended) It drives everyones wages down, and keeps them down. If a guy won’t work for $5 an hour, they find another illegal that will. Which reminds me of another issue. Those people getting paid th $5 an hour also perpetuate these wages by working several jobs at all hours of the day to make a living. Their kids don’t have parents to come home to because they’re working all the time, so they find things to do to occupy their time, and with out their parents home to supervise, a lot of the time is spent negatively. They end up in jail and create more of a burden on our society.

    100 years ago? Yeah they went though Ellis Island or some other port of entry legally. It was honorable. They wanted to take an opportunity to create a new life here. Some came because of unfair laws or famine in their own countries. They severed their allegiance to the country they came from, and committed themselves to this one. They signed papers and gave an oath to their allegiance to this country. They would and did serve in wars. They could be called to go to war, and they did proudly because they knew it was for the country they could thrive in. These people coming over now could care less about this country as long as it serves their needs. The people from Mexico still have allegiance, (for the most part) to Mexico. But we needed the labor then as well. It was required at the time. If you want to quote 100 years ago, with all that labor coming in, you have a economic downturn, and you get the Depression. Lots of people, no work.

    Our law is not “broken.” There are people “breaking” the law. There is a huge difference. You cant go travelling down a highway going 100mph because you feel as though the law is unfair or unjust, until they change the law. That’s ridiculous. You cant pick and choose which laws to follow. (I mean, you have the agency to do so, but there are consequences to your actions.)

    I have more……BBL

  7. Derek Staffanson Says:

    Thanks for the feedback. Interesting thoughts. Bigdaddycase, I respect your thoughts, and agree with many of your points regarding the problems caused by corporate globalization.

    However, I do not think the solution is to become even more restrictive on immigration or to penalize those who are just seeking a decent life, and for whom there are few provisions to allow them to immigrate legally.

    I think it is not insignificant to note that your immigrant ancestors which you mentioned were of Northern European origin. I have little doubt that the fact that the modern wave of immigrants are Latin American (ie, non-wasp) has something to do with the worries about immigration for many people. Were the immigrants still coming from Northern Europe, I doubt the concern would be as great.

    While the immigrants are technically lawbreakers and criminals, I would note that the harlot brought before Christ by the Pharisees was also a criminal according to their law code. But Christ wasn’t concerned with her legal standing (He picked and chose which laws he preferred to ignore). He was concerned with her welfare, both physically and spiritually. I think that we as Christians and disciples of a God who is God of all nations, kindreds tongues and people, of a God who is no respecter of persons or nations, should take the same attitude towards our poor immigrant brothers and sisters, be they legal or not.

    More on my philosophy regarding immigration here, here, and here.

    Sorry I’ve been a little quiet lately. I’m writing a couple of big things. Hopefully the fruit of my labors will be up in the next couple of days.

  8. Derek Staffanson Says:

    Words from Home, your comments were very astute.

  9. Wordsfromhome Says:

    Bigdaddycase, I can respect your views, but you have your facts wrong. The minimum wage is something aroud $5.15 or a little more. I have lost track, because you can’t hire anyone for that anymore. Our business starts untrained laborers at $10. We have tried to get people for less, but there are no takers of any ethnic group. Even fast food joints advertise that they are paying $7.50 to $8 per hour and you see signs everywhere. We still have a shortage of labor, not a surplus, and there is not any “driving down” of wages in this economy.

  10. jennifer Says:

    I ask who benefits by our broken laws? Who benefits by having “illegals” perform labor? Who benefits when companies exploit workers who have no legal recourse against their employer (payroll discrepancies, working conditions, labor laws, immigrant travel scams, safety issues, etc.). This is, in my opinion, is the essence of the problem.
    I believe that our country would benefit by offering citizenship to people already here – and by revising immigration laws to be more reasonable and enforceable. That way, people could vote, call for justice, obtain higher education, and participate fully in our society. By marginalizing their legitimacy, we are not allowing them to fully contribute and cannot hold them fully accountable for other issues which might arise. Amnesty is the first step to holding people responsible for other offenses (robbery, drug use or whatever) – yet it rewards those immigrant families who simply want to work and raise their children in a safe and happy place.
    My ancestors came here too, and if the current laws were in place they would not be able to. There is a scripture in the Book of Mormon which describes our continent as being a blessed land – which is set aside for freedom-loving, peace-loving people. Further it states that no one comes here except by the hand of God. Do we believe that? Does God have a hand in immigration? Does the promised land include people who have different languages or skin color? I believe that the only people who have legitimate immigration complaints are the Native Tribes. Then we’d all be illegals, right?
    My two cents – –

  11. Cstanford Says:

    Jennifer, I appreciate your comment on 2 Nephi 1:6-7. I’m glad to see the thoughtful debate between the other comment-posters (commentators?) too. The question of legality is valid, but I find it wearying that people will compare the breaking of immigration law, with its volatile changes and arbitrariness, to breaking more severe laws against rape or theft.

    As to the allegiance and language questions: you can still see a lot of unamerican nationalistic fervor every St. Patrick’s Day. Irish and Italian immigrants were seen then as Mexican & Central Americans are now. Of course, now people like to go to the colorful ethnic neighborhoods, formed by immigrants who persisted in settling with their own people. Now if the Bloomfield neighborhood in Pittsburgh wants to have its annual Little Italy festival it’s now perfectly acceptable. Now descendents of immigrants are trying to re-learn the languages that their forbears were pressured to give up. Go to a Chinatown and see how much English you hear. But the anti-Chinese crusade of the 1900s has mostly been replaced by another.

    God never ordained that America must keep English as its official, let alone national language. If things had gone differently, it might have been German, but there’s nothing in scripture that says America needs to keep a single national tongue, whatever it turned out to be. Sure, a single official language is more convenient – and we Americans love our convenience. I for one wish that the process of assimilation wasn’t so Anglo-centric. I wish that the richest country in the world had more citizens whose minds boasted a comparative richness of understanding more than one language.

    To expand on Jennifer’s post: if that scripture is still in effect, then what is there to stop us from seeing illegal immigrants as being brought into the land by the Lord? Well:

    1. You could hold that the promised land is all of the Americas, and that therefore the immigrants from Mexico and Central America aren’t really coming to the promised land but rather just moving around in it.

    2. You could say: “God wouldn’t have people break the laws of the land to do His will.” And you’d be wrong. The Declaration of Independence was not only illegal, it was treasonous, seditious and rebellious (see Doc&Cov 134:5). If I can be allowed to toot my own horn, I’ve reflected a bit on Gideon’s rebellion against king Noah on my blog ( God does use law-breaking for His purposes – He just tends to use people in this way who haven’t yet made covenants in the fullness of the Gospel yet. But not always: I think Abinadi’s actions were pretty solidly illegal within the existing regime!

    But I think the 1st point above focuses too much on literal (yet still speculative) geography and ignores the broader principles that the Book of Mormon shows at work, for example in 1 Nephi 17:
    ” 35 Behold, the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one; he that is righteous is favored of God. But behold, this people [the Canaanites] had rejected every word of God, and they were ripe in iniquity; and the fulness of the wrath of God was upon them; and the Lord did curse the land against them, and bless it unto our fathers; yea, he did curse it against them unto their destruction, and he did bless it unto our fathers unto their obtaining power over it.
    36 Behold, the Lord hath created the earth that it should be inhabited; and he hath created his children that they should possess it.
    37 And he raiseth up a righteous nation, and destroyeth the nations of the wicked.
    38 And he leadeth away the righteous into precious lands, and the wicked he destroyeth, and curseth the land unto them for their sakes.”

    Is the United States a precious land? Many people still believe so, both within and without. How well are its current inhabitants serving God? Do we dare consider that many of these illegal immigrants might be more righteous than many of the current US inhabitants?

    I have been leery of trying to assign neat parallels between the Book of Mormon civilizations and modern America. But I do see a pattern repeating itself: an affluent and complacent white northern population tending towards worldly sophistication and decadence, and a dark-skinned southern population who are frequently despised by the northerners but whose simple faith brings them the promises for future blessings at the same time as the northerners are cursed for their pride.

  12. jennifer Says:

    CStanford – your point about specific nation borders is important. People have been immigrating to both north and south America for centuries, as well as moving about within the continents. I agree that comparing “illegal” immigration to violent crime is not valid – because I believe that many (not all) of our immigration laws and the resultant enforcement quagmires exist to benefit those who would exploit and oppress.

  13. Cstanford Says:

    Jennifer, I agree with you about who the immigration laws are designed to benefit.

  14. memo Says:


    I am Mexican.

    Part of my family lives in USA, part of my family is in Mexico. Some of my uncles fought in the Second World War. A cousin of mine went to VietNam. One of my nephews has been to Irak (twice). Other nephew is presently in Afghanistan. Both of my nephews belong to the Marine Corps.

    Some of you:
    Why do you hate us so much, why do you want to harm us? We are not terrorists.? Do you believe in God? Do you have a religion?

    Why are you claiming the rule of law against people that came here to work? Work that many of you don’t want to perform.

    “Rule of law” means enforcing laws that are capable of enforcement, otherwise people merely learn disrespect for the law. Obviously, immigration laws that refuse to recognize the inevitable attraction of a lack of unskilled labor on one side of the border and a lack of employment for unskilled labor on the other is not workable no matter how much of the taxpayers’ billions get poured down a rathole of “enhanced enforcement

    Did you know that President carter gave pardon for those that did not join the war in Vietnam? Many went to Canada, and others flew to Mexico.

    You sure know that President Ford Gave full pardon to Nixon because of the Watergate scandal.
    And according to what it is known, Nixon violated blatantly the law in many issues and in a great scale. This does not mean that therefore, others must violate the law. But what I am saying is that in your own history there are some examples of amnesty or whatever you want to call it.

    What does it prove to the valuable and strained military resources to round up all the indocumentados if radical Muslims manage to pull off another 9-11 or worse?. Let me remind you that some of the terrorists and all failed attempts came through Canada not through Mexico. Let’s concentrate in chasing our real enemies. Not us.

    Canada is changing and becoming more accepting and tolerant of the Islamic culture, which not always but sometimes does include violent extremes which we have seen far too often. In Canada there are greater concentration of Islam followers than in all the countries together south of the border.

    Let me also point out that our countries in north and South America belong to the only continent in the world, besides Europe, with common origins in religion and cultural heritage. No other continent in the world has such homogeneity. Our countries are not in war against neighboring countries. There are no conflicts because of religious differences. But, one thing is sure, we are not your enemies, we are not terrorists. As a matter of fact, down the road, we are your only potential allies against international terrorism.

    I do not understand why you cannot see who our common enemy is, nor why you would have us waste time and effort chasing down immigrant workers, instead of chasing terrorists, such as the Fundamental/ radical Islam followers that hate the West, us included.

    Please do not forget what happened with Hitler and Jews in Europe.

    Your arguments sound familiar. Similar to the attacks made to Jews that escalated until deport them to concentration camps and exterminate a great deal of innocent people. All based in hate. Hate against other race. Hate against other people.

    Not so long ago, the biggest dictator on earth came to power driven by anger and hate.
    Everything started little by little in Germany. Jews started to be blamed for everything. Just take a look to some of the movies made by Hitler about Jews. In these films, they are depicted as criminals, thieves, a disgrace to Germany, they are filthy, they bring diseases, they are greedy, they should be removed, they should be deported, etc.

    America had to go and rescue Europe from Hitler and his fanatics. Maybe some of your relatives fought abroad. Maybe some or many died in this fight against hate.

    The hate against Jews made Hitler to climb to his actual position. As a result of his ascent and silence and approval of the German population, the killings and destruction were countless. This is also what the Ku Klux Klan tried to do against African Americans in USA, luckily without success. The white supremacists, Nazis, and the KKK are closely related.

    Perhaps unknowingly or unwittingly you are helping them.

    Don’t make the mistake that Germans made with Hitler.

    “We lead the world because, unique among nations, we draw our people — our strength — from every country and every corner of the world… Thanks to each wave of new arrivals to this land of opportunity, we’re a nation forever young, forever bursting with energy and new ideas, and always on the cutting edge, always leading the world to the next frontier.”
    – Ronald Reagan

    God bless America as a country and as a continent!!!

  15. jennifer Says:

    Hi Memo – Thanks for writing your thoughts – your perspectives. I don’t hate Mexicans or other immigrants. I think we can all benefit from immigrants from many countries – Immigrants make our country unique and interesting. Sometimes people want someone to blame, or a scapegoat, as you say. Personally, I think they are not the threat that some people claim.

  16. Bigcasedaddy Says:


    I am glad you brought up the fact that you are Mexican. Because your comments line up with the typical Mexican comments that I have heard so often, I’ve grown sick and tired of them. Don’t flatter yourself. Although the Mexican people might make up the majority of the illegals coming into this once “great ” land, It’s ALL Nations illegals coming in. And like the typical Mexican response, you are going to play the race card once more. I don’t really care if you are Mexican, Russian, German, Iranian, Australian, African, Chinese, Norwegian or any other nationality that comes here illegally. It’s all supposedly “illegal”. Your country happens to have a majority of a Latin-American people. There are white Mexicans, Black Mexicans and everything in between. This is NOT a race issue! You, and people like you are making this a race issue. Quit trying to come up with insane crap to try and justify whatever law-breaking taking place here. You remind me of the people I see on COPS saying that the police are racist when they get caught with a few pounds of contraband in their trunk. They try and make a race issue out of their own law breaking to bamboozle the law. Please.

    Unlike yourself, I am AMERICAN. My race is unimportant. My loyalty lies with the United States of America, whatever race I am. I think that the hyphonization of all nationalities contributes to separation of races and promotes segregation. (i.e. African-American, Mexican-American, etc.) I don’t refer to myself as Danish-American, because that is just stupid. I am an American of Danish descent. Was there a whole crapload of other nationalities in that bloodline.?..You bet there is, Just like I’m sure there is in all of Mexico and Latin America. By birthright I am American. My ancestors gave me a great gift, which I respect them for greatly. They came here and became legal citizens. If I move to Canada legally and stay there, guess what??? I’m Canadian!!! I severed my ties and loyalty to the country I was born! Just like my ancestry did when they came over from the Netherlands.

    So I guess in conclusion, I would like to add some points:

    1. Congratulations on having relatives that sound like they went through the legalization process, they should and deserve to be an inspiration to many.

    2. If you don’t know, this is (or claims to be) a Mormon based website. We believe in God, and our religion is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

    3. If you are allies against terrorism, perhaps your brethren should be looking to become legal and signing up for military service instead of mudding and taping thousands of construction sites, or waiting for the next person in need of cheap illegal labor in front of a local Home Depot.

    4. Don’t come in here and starting shouting racism. I find that most people to so quickly makes claims of racism, typically have their own struggles with it. (Don’t point out the splinter in my eye when there is a tree trunk in your own)

    Outside of that, most everything else you said….I still disagree with. I wish you the best with your endeavors and hopefully everything will work out for you and your family. I urge you to look into the LDS faith. Hopefully you may find peace there.

    Thanks memo, and have a nice day.

  17. Derek Staffanson Says:

    This site doesn’t claim to be anything more than an exploration/defense of liberalism from an LDS perspective. Whether that makes it an “LDS” site or not doesn’t matter to me. In any case, I welcome the perspectives and thoughts of thoughtful people regardless of their relationship to the Church (“If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things”).

    Race may not make a difference to you specifically, Big Case Daddy, I think it very likely that it is a factor among the general movement seeking to curb illegal immigration. You’re sick and tired of people “using the race card?” I’m sick and tired of race being a de facto issue. I’m not going to take it out on the messenger.

    Refute Memo’s claims of racism if you can, Big Case Daddy. But please, do not tell him what he can and cannot claim. This is my blog, and I’ll decide what he or anyone else can come in here “shouting.”

    I don’t see any reason to demand that immigrants, legal or otherwise, “severe all ties” to the land of their birth. Much like the Gospel, the principles of the U.S. are not about taking something away from who you are–the U.S. is about adding something.

    Memo, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. I would caution not to get caught up in the rhetoric and believe in the terrorist witch hunt. I agree, the Latin Americans are not some terrible threat which many (especially in Provo, apparently…) think they are. But neither are most Muslims. Both are used as scapegoats, like Jennifer suggested. Don’t play the same game.

    And while I am in favor of much less restrictive immigration laws, I would be hesitant to portray the Latin American immigrants so strongly as martyrs. After all, your situation isn’t the same as that of the Jews under the Nazis. The Jews were longtime legal residents. While U.S. immigration law is far too restrictive, the fact remains that it currently is the law.

  18. Allie Says:

    Not to be nit picky or anything, but if any of us moved to Canada, we’d still be Americans. Same with Mexico.

    (USAians just doesn’t have the same ring does it?)

  19. Derek Staffanson Says:

    Yes, Allie, USAians has far to high a vowel to consonant ratio for English.

    I think your point is a fair one. That is why I always refer to our nation as the U.S.A. rather than “America,” and try to avoid calling it citizens “Americans.” Its a bit prideful to think we have some special claim to the term, much like so many U.S. Mormons seem to believe that the Promised Land of the Book of Mormon is somehow restricted to the the U.S. borders. The entire mass of the twin continents are the promised land and can make a claim to the term “America.”

  20. Bigcasedaddy Says:

    All I’m trying to refute is the insinuation I’m racist by memo. I take offense to that. I beleive I am the only one in here that seems to disagree with your opinions on this subject. Please feel free to have your website “Dictatorship” I don’t want to take that away from you. If this an open forum then I guess I can have my opinion. (Unless somehow you would like to rescind my opinions, and sterilize this place to a “Derek Staffanson State”). I, in no way am trying to interfere with what you say or do here, just defending myself to the accusations of racism.

    Allie, yes, we would be Americans if we were not citizens there. And to be nit picky we would still be North Americans regardless of any status.

    Derek, it should be prideful to be called Americans, (After Bush entered office, it has been far less so) and it would be a little naive to think that we shouldn’t mainly because oh….the whole world pretty much recognizes us as “Americans”. What we should and shouldn’t be called is kind of a moot point. I am frankly a little embarrassed to be an “American” in this current state of government. I would like to see a Canadian call himself an “American” because he would be laughed at all the way past the 49th Parallel. Mexicans have pretty much helped themselves to the term “American” whenever it has been convenient, so thats really not a big stretch there. I’ve said my peace, and grown tired of this whole subject. I think I may respond to another subject in here, and maybe take another whack at a beehive. :O)

  21. TL Winslow Says:

    The age-old pesky U.S.-Mexico border problem has taxed the resources of both countries, led to long lists of injustices, and appears to be heading only for worse troubles in the future. Guess what? The border problem can never be solved. Why? Because the border IS the problem! It’s time for a paradigm change.

    Never fear, a satisfying, comprehensive solution is within reach: the Megamerge Dissolution Solution. Simply dissolve the border along with the failed Mexican government, and megamerge the two countries under U.S. law, with mass free 2-way migration eventually equalizing the development and opportunities permanently, with justice and without racism, and without threatening U.S. sovereignty or basic principles.

    Take the time to click the url and study the details of the new paradigm for the U.S. and Mexico.

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