"Are you an Illegal Immigrant?"

Rexburg, Idaho
November 6, 2010


Apparently, there were some concerns among LDS communities that feel that it's outrageous that illegal immigrants are able to get baptize, go to the temple, or go to missions.

In the 1970s, the LDS church controversial decision to accept African American men as priests and allow them to get baptize and officiate at ceremonies, or sending American young missionaries to serve missions in Japan (that was still fresh in the mind of many WWII American veterans) created a huge revolt among Mormons who flooded the headquarters of the LDS Church's mail offices in Salt Lake City with letters of "concern".

Today, once again, the church is in the middle of a few controversies so there is no surprise to hear the official letter from the first presidency to all its members reminding that it's no appropriate to send letters of "concern" to the the Church's headquarters in Salt Lake City.

Click in the image to see Estimated number of Illegal Immigrants in the US (by State)

(I can only assume that, with the same-sex marriages issues, the views of homosexuality, and now, the "Where does the Church stands about illegal immigrants" issue, the headquarters of the Church might have a lot of mail coming in.)

That's why my [Religion-humanities-and-sociology class] professor started talking about illegals immigrants to the class. And perhaps because I was the only "brown" kid in the class, he directed the issue to me asking "Hernan, are you an illegal Immigrant?"

I wasn't expecting that question from him, so found that question funny and absurd, and a little ridiculous and inappropriate... so my answer was as such, "Yes, I am."

Some timid laughs were heard in the class room.

For a few seconds I thought I was able to hear the other students thoughts, "Is he serious?" "is he kidding?" "He shouldn't be here."

"Well, this is awkward" I said.

International Student's rules

Someone from behind undermined my answer saying: "He can't be an illegal immigrant because he is here, at the University... Illegal immigrants can't come to BYU-Idaho," she assured.

The fact is that International Student's rules are very strict, not only at Brigham Young University - Idaho, but in all Universities in the United States.

And they are getting tougher:

University of Utah was in the news when trying to deny In-State tuition for undocumented kids who studied high School in the United States.

Brigham Young University (in Provo, Utah) new International Student Policy requires a deposit of $4000 that students can use when they start attending school, plus another $4000.- that can't be used until after graduation.

Click in the image to see Estimated number of Illegal Immigrants in the US (by State per capita)
"Students planning transfer to BYU prior this new policy had to change their plans. Either go somewhere else, or return to their home countries with an associate’s degree, which some countries do not recognize as a valid diploma."

Illegal Immigrants policy (according to me)

My [Religion-humanities-and-sociology class] professor asked the class to write what we think should be the LDS Church's policy about Illegal Immigrants.

So this is my version of what the official statement of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should be:


"Lately the LDS church had been receiving petitions, demands, letters, and exhortations, suggesting changes in its policies and practices, to accommodate them to laws, cultures and socially accepted views and/or practices.

This “exhortations” usually come from people who might not fully understand the nature of this Church. But a big part of these demands comes from LDS Church’s members that are some how affected by certain issues.


It's important to remember and never forget who is the one leading the Church. The head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is, as the name suggests, Jesus Christ.

No matter what the human law says, we are under the will of our Heavenly Father.

The LDS Church cannot make decisions based on peoples will. Cultures might change; people might grow to be more tolerant, or intolerant of things, but The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be always subject to Heavenly Father’s will over all things.

Some children can think parents are unfair because they can’t play with scissors or watch too much TV. They can disagree, and cry, and object, but a good parent would know better. Children don’t understand that parents do what they do because they love them, and they wish to protect them from potential harm.

As His children, we can disagree with Heavenly Father, but we mustn’t forget that He truly loves us, and wishes us to trust Him, since He sees things beyond our own comprehension.


We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. (1)

The complex issues surrounding immigration are a matter of increasing concern and debate for all in this country. (2)

Elected individuals have the primary responsibility to find solutions in the best interests of all whose lives will be impacted by their actions.(2)

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men…(1)

We repeat our appeal for careful reflection and civil discourse when addressing immigration issues. (1)

Finding a successful resolution will require the best thinking and goodwill of all across the political spectrum, the highest levels of statesmanship, and the strongest desire to do what is best for all of God's children.(2)


We are indeed astonished for the division that this issue is causing among our neighbors.

Many of us are descendants of Mormon pioneers, who fled the Midwest in the mid-19th century hoping to provide more opportunities for their families and their posterity- That’s us.

We should be a community of good neighbors, with love and understanding, and always be willing to provide a hand to those who needs it.

If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. (1)

Let God, Be God, and trouble no more.

*Though direct quotation from The Article of Faith The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and official LDS Church’s statements about Illegal immigrants is being used in this post, this article is in no way a transcription nor an official statement of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints policy about any issue or topic.

(1) Official Statement of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints given on July 19th, 2010 @ 5:51pm

(2) The Article of Faith The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Articles 12 and 13.

He dicho

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