Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Laws? What laws?

The position of the Mormon church is that one should obey the laws of the nation in which one resides. In fact, holding (at least most, maybe even any) callings generally requires that one is not currently in a state of breaking local laws. However, the church makes it a point to not inquire into immigration status—so if someone is a resident of a place but they are breaking the law by not holding a legally valid residency status (i.e., citizenship or some other sort of residency permit), they can still hold a calling. In fact, i have known people who did not hold legal residence status in their country of residence but still received callings as full-time missionaries.

I figure that a number of people find this either good or bad,* but i simply find it interesting that the church has effectively decided to ignore one statutory part of the nature of national borders.

* And note that if there are any comments that seem to me to be even remotely a rant about immigration policy and enforcement, no matter how cogent they might be, will be summarily deleted.


Michelle said...

This is true. One of my counselors in Primary while we were in Belgium was not a legal Belgian resident. She was from Burkina Faso and had lived in Belgium for a few years, but had been unable to obtain legal status (which, by the way, made her unable to access any of the Belgian medical care without paying a fortune). She was able to serve in a calling in the Ward, but not able to submit papers to serve a mission without legal status.

Heather the Mama Duk said...

My best friend has mentioned how there are quite a few illegals in the Salt Lake area and the church is very careful to have a don't ask, don't tell policy with them.

I wonder if there will be illegals in San Antonio. Not likely in the part where we'll be I suppose (much more likely in the stake that includes downtown San Antonio and the southside of the city) and a little less likely because of the distance to the border and the 500 mile CBP jurisdiction thing. Many illegals like to either live right on the border or outside of the CBP range.