While Mitt Romney has taken a hard stance when it comes to the issue of immigration in the United States, the position of the Mormon Church, to which he belongs, has a more understanding approach. In fact, the church has played a key role in Utah backing policies in the best interest of immigrants, including one passed last year that presents illegal immigrants holding jobs with “guest worker” permits that allow them to stay in the United States according to The New York Times.
Another policy in which the church has played an instrumental role is the Utah Compact that requires humane treatment for immigrants and supports the family dynamic by condemning deportation policies that tear them apart.
Ronald Mortensen, a Mormon and co-founder of the Utah Coalition on Illegal Immigration, said of the church, “They were the defining factor in passing that immigration legislation. It was probably the most obvious intervention by the Mormon Church on any piece of legislation up here for years. They’re usually a lot more subtle.”
Utah Mormons who feel friendly toward immigrants have taken offense to Romney’s position on the subject. Romney has stated that he will veto the Dream Act that would allow young illegal immigrants who serve in the military or have earned a college degree the ability to remain in the United States as a legal citizen. This stance he later modified deciding that he would grant legal status to those who serve in the military.
Though Romney’s main rival Newt Gingrich holds a similar position when it comes to the Dream Act, he is not keeping with his own Roman Catholic Church, either. While the Catholic Church supports the proposed legislation along with widespread immigration alteration, Gingrich too only supports the half of the Dream Act that grants legal status to those who serve in the military.