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Author Topic: A Letter to Mitt
emarkp
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quote:
And it usually takes years, money, support, and often, an immigration lawyer. Things not readily available to the huddle masses I was talking about.
Then how am I to interpret the above? You're saying that the legal path is "not readily available" in a thread about Card's pathetic comments on illegal immigration. Is your statement relevant to illegal aliens or not?
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kmbboots
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You could start reading what I actually write rather than "interpreting" it. I am saying that legal immigration should be made more easily available in general and to people who are here already.
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Pete at Home
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I'm surprised and delighted to see OSC's latest World Watch. And I strongly agree with Mynnion that:

quote:
Originally posted by Mynnion:
I feel out of sorts. I actually agree with OSC. The idea of deporting a child to a country where he/she has not lived for many years is inhuman. We are a nation of laws but there is also common sense.

I might add that the allowance for common sense is spelled out in the 5th and 14th Amendment's construction of 'reasonable.'

quote:
A Letter to Mitt

Dear Mitt,

We keep getting letters from you and members of your family, inviting us to eat a meal with you. I'm so sorry that we haven't yet drawn the lucky ticket. Meanwhile, though, I'd like to tell you what I would have told you at lunch, if we'd had lunch.

President Obama has, by executive order, halted the deportation of "illegal immigrants" who were brought into the United States before they turned 16, who have lived here for at least five years, who have obeyed the law, and who graduated from high school or served in the U.S. military.

He is using this to his political advantage by warning hispanic voters that if Republicans -- you -- win the election, this policy will be reversed.

Mitt, there is only one smart, decent thing for you to do: Announce, right now, that if elected President, you will not rescind this executive order, and that you will immediately seek to regularize the status of all children who came to America as minors.

You know and I know that this is not just a political decision. It's a moral one, and it comes right from the core Mormon beliefs that you and I share. It's in the Second Article of Faith: We believe it's wrong to punish children for their parents' or ancestors' offenses. Period.

I am profoundly uncomfortable with using religious arguments on day to day secular issues. But here's one place where I draw an exception, and applaud what OSC has said to Mitt. If the Rightwads want to screw Mitt over because the LDS church has suggested kindness to illegal immigrants and their children, then so be it. God will judge them. I seem to remember some scripture about millstone necklaces and hurting the little ones.
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emarkp
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For the last several years, the number of people who have acquired permanent residence status has been more than 1,000,000 per year, which last I checked is more than most of the rest of the world combined. How many legal immigrants per year should be allowed in your view?

Which other laws should be ignored?

Which other religious principles should be enacted by law? Should we let all criminals out of jail/prison if they say they've repented? Should we tax everyone at 10% and hand it to churches? Should pornography, infidelity and fornication be illegal? Should I be forced by law to visit my home teaching families?

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Pete at Home
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Mercy and justice are religious principles, but they lie at the heart of what many non-religious people want for their government as well.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
Which other religious principles should be enacted by law? Should we let all criminals out of jail/prison if they say they've repented? Should we tax everyone at 10% and hand it to churches? Should pornography, infidelity and fornication be illegal? Should I be forced by law to visit my home teaching families?
No. And these have nothing to do with the issue at hand, except that they have been proposed by religious people.

We can still allow children of illegal immigrants to stay and not do any of those things.

quote:
In particular, it is not my job to protect, by law, the family of criminals from effects of the criminality.
What you forget is that we do that, right now.

If the sole parent of some children is arrested, and no longer able to care for them, do we throw them on the streets to care for themselves, or do we, by law, find them foster parents to protect them from the effect of their parent's criminality?

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emarkp
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So we can remove from the table the resasoning of voiding laws based on religion? Or are you just missing that line of reasoning?

Yes we take care of the children out of compassion, but we do not simply forgive the criminal his crime because he's a single parent. Nor do we let the child keep stolen goods, etc.

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jkcook
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Reply to emarkp, yes, it would be nice if it we all kept the commandments and did our duties properly.
I think it's a great idea to support children and give them a decent chance for the future by allowing them to stay here and get a good education.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by emarkp:
Nor do we let the child keep stolen goods, etc.

That depends. If someone installed a stolen artificial heart inside a child, you think they should yank it back out?

Adverse possession entitles a squatter to ownership of land in certain circumstances after only six years. If some kid's openly lived in America his whole life, without committing crimes or committing fraud, seems like he has a stronger claim to a right to residency.

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AI Wessex
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I don't know where else to stick this, but here is one British response to Romney's visit:
quote:
“Mitt Romney is perhaps the only politician who could start a trip that was supposed to be a charm offensive by being utterly devoid of charm and mildly offensive.”

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drewmie
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Wow. Reading this thread makes me realize that when a guy like OSC actually says something sensitive and sensible (e.g. his "Letter to Mitt"), there will always be people more ideologically steeped than OSC who will take up the nutball mantle.

I've said it before: look for a policy that undermines the ideologies of both idiotic party bases, and it's probably a policy I support.

P.S.- Reading OSC talk smack about the idiots and xenophobes in the Republican party was just Kafka-esque. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. Kudos OSC! (Did I just say that?)

[ July 30, 2012, 12:35 AM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

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noel c.
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"The idea of depleting a child to a country where he/she has not lived... is inhuman."...

... Yet millions of Mexican parents have done exactly that to their children in breaking U.S. immigration law. Further, fathers of lesser means, and/or character frequently leave the family in Mexico... permanently. Entire towns have been depopulated of fathers in this manner to the chagrin of the Mexican government which notes, correctly, that the Western Union checks also stop flowing across the boarder when the deadbeat dad begins a new family.

OSC is right. This is a moral issue from beginning to end. Let's begin with the dubious premise that perceived material gain trumps lawfulness. As a follow-up, I would challenge the implicit notion that a "good" life is more possible in the U.S. . It smacks of materialistic racism to me.

[ August 04, 2012, 05:38 PM: Message edited by: noel c. ]

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AI Wessex
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quote:
"The idea of depleting a child to a country where he/she has not lived... is inhuman."...

... Yet millions of Mexican parents have done exactly that to their children in breaking U.S. immigration law.

I assume "depleting" was supposed to be deporting (damned autocorrect?), but Noel's response is completely nonsensical. A family bringing their children to the US illegally on their own is worlds apart from a government deporting someone to a foreign country.

"As a follow-up, I would challenge the implicit notion that a "good" life is more possible in the U.S. . It smacks of materialistic racism to me."

Potentially better access to health care, education and food is not "good"?

[ August 05, 2012, 11:27 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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noel c.
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"A family bringing their children to the US illegally on their own is worlds apart from a government deporting someone to a foreign country."...

I suppose children might notice the difference in hiding in a car trunk, or produce shipment, and riding in an air-conditioned boarder patrol van. They may even sense a distinction in the acceptability of their parent's behavior. Other than that, the trauma of relocation (such as it is) appears identical.

"Potentially good... not good?"...

Even in purely materialist terms, you have already answered your question.

The logic that applies if your statement was true goes something like this:

It is OK to lie, cheat, and steal if I manage to better my economic status. If communicating that concept to children is not abusive, then what is it?

[ August 08, 2012, 03:13 AM: Message edited by: noel c. ]

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AI Wessex
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"I suppose children might notice the difference in hiding in a car trunk, or produce shipment, and riding in an air-conditioned boarder patrol van. They may even sense a distinction in the acceptability of their parent's behavior. Other than that, the trauma of relocation (such as it is) appears identical."

That's an extreme example of how some small children of illegal immigrants might have gotten into the US. That in no way is comparable to an adult living in fear of deportation, being arrested, spending time in jail and then being forced to go "back" to a country they have no living memory of and no connection with. The "trauma" of relocation is something that families in the US go through on average every 5 years. Most children can handle that shift, many (most?) with no lingering effects. A fair question is how many want to go "back" 5 or 10 years later?

""Potentially good... not good?"...

Even in purely materialist terms, you have already answered your question."

I'll remind you that you said:
quote:
As a follow-up, I would challenge the implicit notion that a "good" life is more possible in the U.S.
If you don't define a "good" life as providing the potential to have those benefits (health care, education and food), as most people would, what is that quality of life that you find equally possible elsewhere?

"The logic that applies if your statement was true goes something like this:

It is OK to lie, cheat, and steal if I manage to better my economic status. If communicating that concept to children is not abusive, then what is it?"

You have to twist what I said pretty hard to imagine that I think an immoral or criminal life is desirable or acceptable. Abusive? Are you sure you meant to use that word?

[ August 08, 2012, 07:52 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by noel c.:

It is OK to lie, cheat, and steal if I manage to better my economic status. If communicating that concept to children is not abusive, then what is it?

Watching them starve? Letting them die from preventable diseases?

[ August 08, 2012, 01:02 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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drewmie
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quote:
Originally posted by noel c.:
It is OK to lie, cheat, and steal if I manage to better my economic status. If communicating that concept to children is not abusive, then what is it?

This reminds me of the ideological reps in the Utah legislature who tried to pass a draconian Arizona-type bill here. The sponsors were using words like "criminal" to describe the undocumented, and sitting very high on their horse. When their own LDS church leaders sent out two press releases that clearly said they were wrong, they completely ignored them and pretended there was no problem.

Thinking of someone as a criminal because they are doing whatever it takes to protect and provide for their family is the height of ignorance and ivory tower judgementalism.

P.S.- BTW, the legislator in question is very typical. When we human beings confront cognitive dissonance — where facts and observations contradict one's beliefs — we overwhelmingly choose to ignore reality in favor of our prejudices and ideologies.

[ August 09, 2012, 08:32 PM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

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noel c.
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"When *we* human beings confront cognitive dissonance..."...

Drewme, in fairness, you must be including yourself in this.

What rationalization of language are you reading from Church leadership that excuses illegal activity, or pretends that Mexico is a country unfit to live a decent life in?

I am aware of pronouncements that seek to isolate burdens placed upon children in consequence of actions of parents, and that is a fair discussion. You, however, have gone a birdge too far.

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AI Wessex
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"What rationalization of language are you reading from Church leadership that excuses illegal activity, or pretends that Mexico is a country unfit to live a decent life in?"

Is that a universal statement about the experience of a Mexican living in Mexico? Have you lived in Mexico for an extended period in poverty or suffered from the problems that people there have had to endure?

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noel c.
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Al,

What makes you think a "universal" statement on poverty is applicable in the United States?

The one universal statement that can be made about illegal immigration is that it is illegal, and requires the theft of s.s. numbers of innocent citizens affecting credit history, medical histories, educational aid, criminal records, and unpaid tax liability.

How benevolent of you to allow such compassionate theft.

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AI Wessex
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You're welcome. Why do you think I was making a universal statement about the US?
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drewmie
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quote:
Originally posted by noel c.:
"When *we* human beings confront cognitive dissonance..."...

Drewme, in fairness, you must be including yourself in this.

Absolutely! It is a universal human trait. But we can avoid some of the down side if we are diligently aware of that universal tendency.
quote:
Originally posted by noel c.:
What rationalization of language are you reading from Church leadership that excuses illegal activity, or pretends that Mexico is a country unfit to live a decent life in?

I am aware of pronouncements that seek to isolate burdens placed upon children in consequence of actions of parents, and that is a fair discussion. You, however, have gone a birdge too far.

First, no LDS person who came here illegally or is living here illegally is denied a temple recommend if they are otherwise worthy. Some bishops have tried, and they've been admonished by church leadership. And yes, that includes people who use false Social Security numbers, false IDs, lie to the police to avoid deportation, etc. In other words, the church recognizes that making something illegal does not make it wrong by definition, something those throwing around the word "criminal" seem to miss.

Second, if you can read the following two press release from the LDS Church (released on the same day during the immigration bill debate in the Utah legislature) and still believe there's not a serious contradiction, then nothing I will say can possibly change your mind.

Immigration: Church Issues New Statement

Responsibility of Church Members: Avoiding Being Judgmental

[ August 10, 2012, 01:06 PM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

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noel c.
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Drewme,

We have been aware of "serious contradictions" at least as far back as the Edmunds-Tucker Act, and have always resolved legal conflict in favor of the 12th Article of Faith:

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

Whatever "contradiction" you are currently hanging your hat upon, the membership siding with lawful conformity to federal, and state, statue is not suffering from cognitive dissonance.

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drewmie
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quote:
Originally posted by noel c.:
Drewme,

We have been aware of "serious contradictions" at least as far back as the Edmunds-Tucker Act, and have always resolved legal conflict in favor of the 12th Article of Faith:

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

Whatever "contradiction" you are currently hanging your hat upon, the membership siding with lawful conformity to federal, and state, statue is not suffering from cognitive dissonance.

That's just factually wrong. Mormons have a strong history - especially in our early days - of specifically breaking the law or defying government authorities when it was blatantly unjust. Yes, we don't want to break laws, and we take great pains to respect the law. But there are numerous instances of breaking it when the law failed, like when Joseph Smith escaped jails when arrested on trumped-up charges, or when Mormons lied to avoid arrest, or when they faked their identities for the same reason, or the many times Utah Mormons came into direct conflict with state or federal authorities, even military ones.

We respect law and order because all too often the alternatives are widespread death and destruction or other less desirable outcomes. In other words, we'd usually rather follow imperfect laws and authorities than deal with something even worse. But when that isn't the case (i.e. when it won't be worse) there is no moral reason to follow the law.

Man-made institutions of power are inherently flawed, corruptible, and temporary. They have no inherent authority or divine mandate for respect. They only have the authority we choose to give them, and then only insofar as they serve us well, just as our Declaration of Independence says.

[ August 10, 2012, 02:20 PM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

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drewmie
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P.S. - To clarify, the item I'm calling "factually wrong" is that we "have always resolved legal conflict in favor of the 12th Article of Faith." Always? Not even close.
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noel c.
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Drewmie,

I would be the last person to deny that systematic law-breaking has occurred numerous times in our history. My actual statement was that these were ultimately resolved legally, in conformity with the 12th Article. You must have understood this when I referenced the anti-polygamy act.

To pretend that defying Federal immigration law rises to the standard of a moral imperative is just plain wrong. At least it could be said that Edmunds-Tucker violated religious principles, and marriage bonds. Modern legal opinion has drifted in precisely that direction, which is why the act was recently repealed.

Tell me that you believe mass identitity theft, with all the attendant hardship placed upon victims, will ever find historical justification in your view.

There are immense moral ramifications to your position that are not being addressed. Why do you think that the Church sought legal protection from precisely those collateral injuries?

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Pete at Home
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I would like to think that if the church had been big enough, organized enough, that it would have used its resources to protect the Jews, including but not limited to members of the church with Jewish ancestry.
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noel c.
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I agree Pete, but I am not seeing the connection to earlier posts.
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drewmie
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quote:
Originally posted by noel c.:
Drewmie,

I would be the last person to deny that systematic law-breaking has occurred numerous times in our history. My actual statement was that these were ultimately resolved legally, in conformity with the 12th Article.

I agree, just as the Church's press release states that "this issue is one that must ultimately be resolved by the federal government." But until that happens, "any state legislation that only contains enforcement provisions is likely to fall short of the high moral standard of treating each other as children of God." I'm not sure how any honest person can interpret that to mean anything but "this Utah bill is garbage and un-Christlike and needs to be dropped."
quote:
Originally posted by noel c.:
Tell me that you believe mass identitity theft, with all the attendant hardship placed upon victims, will ever find historical justification in your view.

I think I already did give you historical justification. Early Mormons did it, and the LDS Church has never intimated that their actions were anything but justified.

By the way, your position that huge damage is being done is way out of proportion with reality. But then, anti-immigration types have always taken a "sky is falling" attitude on such things. Mexican immigration has been significantly declining for years now, while Asian immigration has increased. And yet, the xenophobes are still freaking out about Mexican enforcement.

Fundamentally, we're just concerned about different things. You're concerned about the law, while I'm concerned about people. In my opinion, that's precisely the difference the LDS Church's press releases address.

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noel c.
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"You'e concerned about law, while I'm concerned about people."...

I see.

Tell me, are you concerned about the estimated 50,000 Utah children, and their families, who have had their Social Security numbers fradulently used to obtain employement, medical care, credit, and State subsidies? Does it matter to you that criminal records, medical files, tax liability, and benefit eligibility are all adversely impacted by your "concern" for people.

You see historical precident for this?

Next time that you go in for a recommend interview, just tell the Bishop that you must be fine because the sky has not fallen.

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AI Wessex
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"Tell me, are you concerned about the estimated 50,000 Utah children, and their families, who have had their Social Security numbers fradulently used to obtain employement, medical care, credit, and State subsidies? Does it matter to you that criminal records, medical files, tax liability, and benefit eligibility are all adversely impacted by your "concern" for people."

Are they being used in Utah? How would you feel if those 50,000 people who allegedly stole them were unable to get medical care? Do they deserve to suffer? Is that a Christian attitude?

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drewmie
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noel c., I honestly don't know, since I'm not sure if the benefit derived is greater than the harm caused. If so, then I'm not terribly concerned, though I do feel bad about people being inconvenienced like that.

And yes, I do see historical precedent. People in New York, Illinois, and Missouri really did have understandable reasons to hate the Mormons. Their lives really were, in many cases, being seriously affected because of Mormon immigration and culture. And when they reacted with bad and unjust laws to keep Mormons out, the Mormons often broke many laws to avoid having their property taken, being thrown in jail, and/or being forced out of the state. Sound familiar? It certainly does to me. It is what many undocumented immigrants do today.

noel c, we're never going to agree, primarily because I honestly don't care if someone breaks our stupid, unjust, xenophobic, racist, inconsistent, irrational immigration laws. You do. You seem to believe (and correct me if I'm wrong) that breaking a law is fundamentally bad except in extreme circumstances. I happen to believe that laws are good ideas that should be seriously considered and not flouted unless they aren't helpful to others (meaning I try to keep my selfish desires out of it).

[ August 12, 2012, 08:45 AM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

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noel c.
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"Laws are good ideas that should be seriously considered.(?)"...

Drewmie; a corrupted medical file could be life threatening, and in 50,000 rolls of the dice *will be*. Acquisition of a phantom criminal record can really ruin your day... and you call these and other attendant ramifications of felony criminality "inconveniences" on the order of religious arrogance?

You might want to recalibrate for cognitive dissonance.

[ August 12, 2012, 09:26 AM: Message edited by: noel c. ]

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MattP
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Where are you getting this 50,000 estimate?
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drewmie
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
Where are you getting this 50,000 estimate?

Noel C. might be getting them from factually challenged, xenophobic sources such as the Center for Immigration Studies, which has an article called The Mormon Church and Illegal Immigration. The article gives that same number, naturally with no real source or explanation.

Ironically, the article is at least honest that their position (and Noel's) is at odds with LDS policies and doctrine. It is. They throw around the word "felon" repeatedly and criticize the Mormon church for not taking a harsher stance. It's really the only honest position if you're that virulently anti-immigration.

Personally, I think the LDS Church has precisely the right attitude about it. But LDS people who are intent on being anti-immigrant have to kid themselves that their church's blatant admonitions don't contradict their callous and criminalizing views. I'm dumbfounded at how they square that circle, but there it is.

[ August 20, 2012, 11:55 PM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

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JShope
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People can be anti-illegal immigration without being anti-immigrant. The issue goes much further than buzz words.

I live in a border state, and have dealt with illegals for years. There is a problem with supporting a process that brings with it so much violence, drug-running, weapons-running, destruction of property, physical abuse and emotional abuse. Immigration must be above board to avoid this.

The secondary issue is with the abuse of the welfare programs. There is plenty of abuse by Americans, but it is compounded by the numerous others that arrive here simply to avail themselves of it.

[ September 13, 2012, 02:37 PM: Message edited by: JShope ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by emarkp:
Yes we take care of the children out of compassion, but we do not simply forgive the criminal his crime because he's a single parent. Nor do we let the child keep stolen goods, etc.

This is complete nonsense, as anyone that's show up to court to contest a ticket can easily attest to, and it's part of the entire point between having a sentencing hearing separate fro the trail itself on more serious charges. It's part why we have judges that oversee law in the first place, rather than rolling it into the duties of law enforcement. Judges have the explicit responsibility of examining the particulars of a crime and deciding whether just such extenuating circumstances are at play. Except where their authority is abrogated by minimum sentencing, three strikes laws or other such fundamentally unjust legislation, they do have the active responsibility to exercise the compassion and discernment that it takes to transform a general set of laws into a system that actually serves justice.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JShope:
The secondary issue is with the abuse of the welfare programs. There is plenty of abuse by Americans, but it is compounded by the numerous others that arrive here simply to avail themselves of it.

That's propaganda that's about as opposite of reality as it gets. They can only access the most anonymized of public resources in order to keep their risk of exposure low, while at the same time paying into local property and sales taxes, ate the very least (if not income ind FICA taxes to a generous level if they're actually using forged documentation so as not to run the risk of an audit- benefits that they can never hope to collect on) while at the same time losing significant earning potential to the active wage suppression that their condition allows.
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