Three cheers for Dieter F. Uchtdorf, an apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for saying that the LDS Church is aligned with President Barack Obama when it comes to immigration reform.
With the statement from a prominent leader, the LDS Church is reaffirming the need for compassion to be a key component of comprehensive immigration reform. Any law should not contain components that break up solid, loving families. It's a reminder that immigration reform, designed to address what to do with roughly 10 million illegal aliens who reside in the U.S., needs to be a law that does not instill fear in otherwise law-abiding families. Also, it reminds us that we need a law that will provide illegals a way to legally work here and have a hope of eventually receiving citizenship.
The rule of law in any immigration is important, and Uchtdorf did not ignore that. More recent illegal aliens should adhere to any new laws that define comprehensive immigration reform. The results of a new law are mainly designed to assimilate those illegals who have been here a long time, worked hard, have not committed crimes and have set roots in this nation, including families for many.
Uchtdorf, who immigrated to the U.S. after being a war refugee, speaks with personal knowledge when he says that preserving an individual's dignity must be a component of immigration reform. With dignity, these immigrants can assimilate and become Americans. That's best accomplished with compassion, not harshness or hatred.
One immigration-reform provision that needs to be abandoned by Republicans is a requirement that longtime illegal aliens seeking citizenship must leave the country.
That is not only impractical for millions, but it is also the complete opposite of the compassion needed to pass a law. It targets individuals, uproots their lives and creates unnecessary hardships.
We sincerely hope that the LDS Church's agreement with the president on immigration reform will help to hasten its implementation.