I've heard a few people buzzing lately about what Elder M. Russell Ballard said recently about illegal immigration in Utah. It sounds like they're ALMOST wondering if the LDS Church is advocating breaking existing law...
On a winter day in 2004, the Utah legislature was considering restricting illegal immigrants altogether from receiving in-state college tuition. That same evening, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints spoke about a program "specifically to work with and serve the Hispanic community."
Elder Ballard is a member of Utah's "Alliance for Unity", which recently issued a statement opposing House Bill 224, which would, again 3 years later, remove the in-state tuition benefit for illegals. The LDS Church itself has officially not taken a position on the pending bill.
I agreed with Alliance for Unity that we should
I see it as fortunate that the bill has recently failed.
So what did Elder Ballard say? Did he advocate illegal immigration? No. I think he just signed a document.
But here's what he said in 2004:
Elder Ballard laid out "the praise and vision of how these (Latinos) are our brethren and we must love them." Diaz remembers someone saying it "is no accident that they are here, but (it's) by the hand of the Lord that they are."
Holly Mullen had a couple of nice quips about Elder Ballard and the Utah Legislature:
I’ve always thought LDS leaders do their finest work when they rally members to act with love, kindness, charity and gratitude. It’s an even stronger message when the leadership can apply that sermon to specifics in the real world — relationships with spouses, neighbors, and anyone else who looks, acts, believes differently than the rest of “us.”
Donnelson and his supporters stand on a platform that all laws must be obeyed and upheld. The 2002 law was drafted specifically to permit the exception for undocumented students with their high school diploma. It IS the law. And this miniscule group — kids who deserve a resident-tuition funded education — has been following it exactly as written.
I agree. Don't arrest me!