• http://twitter.com/APHumanGeog Seth Dixon

    As both a Mormon and Latino, I found this article insightful and hits at the core of a political conundrum many of us feel (but I don’t seek to speak for all Mormon Latinos). I have family members on both sides of the border with diverse legal status’. I’ve helped people cross the border and housed some people without legal documentation to reside in the country; not out of a political agenda, but because they were people that I cared out that were family by blood or by association. Yes, I believe in the ‘rule of law’ but I also understand the economic pressures that played a key role in their migration decisions.

    Geographically speaking (yes I’m a geography professor), the LDS church has it’s strength in the west, where Latino immigration is a lightning rod topic. However, I think that many that use an anti-immigration stance are literally living in the 80s and 90s. The demographic data shows that Mexican migration (for example) now represents no net population growth in the United States as more Mexicans are choosing to state home than would have in the past and many are returning. The USA is no longer that great magnet it was and Mexico is changing so that staying is a more viable option. I think that playing the anti-immigration card doesn’t speak to economic realities but plays on cultural fears. I don’t totally fault Romney though because is beholden to his constituency which (by and large) is anti-immigration. Personally I live a very socially conservative life as prescribed by my personal moral code, but don’t feel that my personal choices should be compulsory for all citizens and my social conservativism doesn’t equate with political conservativism. So I politically end up not feeling well-represented by either Democrats or Republicans.

  • Peta

    Seth,
    Thanks for your insightful comment below and you obviously speak from personal experience as both a Mormon and Latino.

    I’m am neither so what struck me as a bit surprising as I was writing this was not that Mormons were putting compassion for illegal immigrants above the “rule of the law” that the LDS church seemingly upholds, but rather the willingness to excuse Romney for his comments assuming that once he became president he would fall back on his Mormon roots and exercise a more compassionate policy with immigrants. Many of the Mormons I spoke with, some of whom were Latino, felt he just had to speak this rhetoric and take the stands he was taking in order to get elected, and that was okay as long as when he got elected to the presidency, he changed his ways.