Interfaith Statement on Immigration


As members of different faiths in Utah, we respect each other’s differences and embrace our shared values. Our common roots in the teachings of Scripture guide us to certain universal truths. Thus:

We believe that every person has value and must be granted basic human rights. One of our basic rights is to emigrate to escape from poverty, political strife, or any other life or dignity-threatening circumstance.

We believe individuals and families should be treated with dignity, not taken advantage of or called criminals because they seek food, clothing, shelter, and education.

We believe in providing rational, reasonable opportunities for immigrants to become full participants in our nation.

We believe we have a moral obligation to not just greedily accept the contributions of our immigrant neighbors, but to open paths to citizenship for immigrants seeking full legal status, with all of the rights, responsibilities, and protections that entails.

We believe immigration reform must begin at the federal level and must ensure that families are united, rather than separated.

We believe a basic principle of a civilized society must be that we will not tolerate inhumane treatment, exploitation, or the creation of shadow societies where people are used for their labor, then left to live in fear.

We believe in the value immigrant workers, students, and families provide to our country and our moral obligation to work for the common good of our neighbors across the street and around the globe.

In faith,

Jean Hill, Government Liaison, Catholic Diocese

Rev. Eun-Sang Lee, First United Methodist Church

Rev. Steve Klemz, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Rev. David Nichols, Mt. Tabor ELCA

Rev. Libby Hunter, Deacon, The Cathedral Church of St. Mark

Fr. Ken Vialpando, St. Joseph Catholic Parish

Rev Mary S. Janda, All Saints Episcopal

Fr. Elias Kuocos, Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox

Rev. Jerrod Lowry, Community of Grace Presbyterian

Rev. Curtis Price, First Baptist Church, SLC

Rev. Tom Goldsmith, First Unitarian, SLC

Rev. Yvonne Lee, Centenary UMC

Rev. Dr. David Henry, Presbyterian, retired


I am sure this statement that I received 12/18/12 will be torn apart by those on the far side of one of the political parties. The LDS Church here in Utah has also signed the Utah Compact which has similar verbiage. The LDS Church has encouraged legislators to be more compassionate when drafting laws that can affect the treatment of all people whether they are here lawfully or not. The fact that coming over the border without permission is a crime if you are caught and is not considered criminal if you are not caught but only CIVIL also has bearing on the matter. Does this statement above in fact justify breaking the law unjust or not in order to seek a better life? Do we as Americans take advantage of the cheep labor in order to keep the prices down on hotel stays, food and construction? The answer is obvious because without this cheep labor all of our prices would be higher. The fact that they paid over 10 billion into just the social security mismatched funds last year alone also is a factor and they may be why combined with all the taxes collected such as taxes from false social security cards and property taxes that the US is turning a blind eye to this. Even the US Supreme Court in 2009 ruled that if they are working using false ID it may not be considered identity theft as long as they were not using the ID to take out loads or commit fraud. Is it wrong to break the law and come over without permission when so many people are in line legally? Is this the question we are debating? Is it legally wrong? Is it morally wrong? When you make $60 per month in your country and the cost of living is $600 is it wrong to come across the border and work in order to put food on your families table? Others argue that you can't be a religious person and say you support the laws and still be breaking them. Others like the people that signed the document above think differently and feel that we can't be religious and stand by and let these families be separated when all that many of these people were doing was working.