Mormon Church Defends Stance on Immigration

Thursday, 21 Apr 2011 01:14 PM

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which was instrumental in Utah lawmakers passing a controversial immigration reform law in the state, stood by the measure Tuesday as it has come under attack by conservative groups, ABC 4 News in Salt Lake City reported Wednesday.

The recently passed law includes provision to allow illegal immigrants to pay a fine and obtain a work permit in the state. The church praised the law.

“The church has spoken a number of times about the issue of immigration,” it said in a statement.” Specifically, it has spoken in support of the Utah Compact and has described the package of bills passed by the Utah Legislature, taken together, as ‘a responsible approach’ to the difficult question of immigration reform."

The church said the new law supports the basic ideals of the commandment to “love thy neighbor,” the importance of keeping families intact and the federal government’s obligation to secure its borders.

Congressional leaders are calling for the Obama administration to step in and sue Utah over the immigration law as it has done in Arizona, which passed tough immigration enforcement laws last year.

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