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Housing Support for Illegals

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Housing Support for Illegals

#1Postby caj36 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:10 pm

I'm a Stake Clerk in the midwest, USA. I was asked what the church policy is regarding providing housing assistance to illegal immigrants. Specifically, the use of Fast Offering funds to pay for housing. So far, I'm unable to find anything on point. There have been some in the Stake who have suggested that not only is it against church policy, but it is also against the law to provide such assistance.

If anyone can point me to policy one way or the other, I would appreciate it.
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#2Postby russellhltn » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:45 pm

I don't know as there is a set policy. I'd assume it's up to the Bishop or Stake President. However, I'd think the published policies Laws of the Land and Emigration of Members would make any support for illegal immigrants questionable.
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#3Postby allenjpl » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:28 pm

Well, looking at the Handbook, you can answer the question "When does the Church stand ready to help?"

1. When Church members are doing all they can, but
2. They cannot meet their basic needs, and
3. Family resources are either insufficient or not feasible.

You can also find out who the Church should be helping:

"[The bishop] has a divine mandate to seek out and care for the poor." (emphasis added) Thus, the bishop cannot wait idly by until the poor seek him out. If he is aware of the member's need, and deliberately ignores it based on some rationale other than what is provided for in his instructions, I think that he ignore his divine mandate. See Luke 10:32. Given the instructions already provided, I'm not sure where nationality even enters the picture.
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#4Postby russellhltn » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:44 pm

I should add, I don't think the church would ignore illegal immigrants in dire circumstances, but the program is designed for temporary assistance until they can get on their feet. The question is, would the church support a plan that is illegal?
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#5Postby johnshaw » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:39 am

Allenjpl, I tend to come down on the side you have here, I believe if we allow them to serve as missionaries (and call them specifically so their illegal status is accounted for), allow them to hold temple recommends, call them to serve and preside in wards and branches, etc... then no reason exists to question whether financial assistance can or should be given. All the same principles exist for giving assistance.
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#6Postby lajackson » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:54 am

caj36 wrote:If anyone can point me to policy one way or the other, I would appreciate it.


Your stake president will not find a written policy, other than the general guidelines that bishops use to care for the worthy poor. If he will counsel with the chairman of his coordinating council, an area seventy, and his contact in the Presidency of the Seventy, he will be given guidance that will help him teach the bishops what the Church position is on this subject and how to handle this type of situation.

He will want to seek his counsel from his priesthood leaders, and not from the members who are not aware of Church policies and legal ramifications of providing assistance to those who have entered the country without permission. While immigration status usually is considered a civil matter and not a criminal matter as far as the Church is concerned, your stake president will still want to be aware of the guidance that will be provided from his area and general authorities. The Church is very aware of the practical, political, and legalities of this issue and will provide your stake president with this information.

And he then will be able to provide most of that guidance to the bishops who administer sacred welfare funds in your stake.

caj36 wrote:Specifically, the use of Fast Offering funds to pay for housing.



From my own personal experience as a bishop, I always tried to provide enough food and assistance from the storehouse so that a member was able to pay the utilities and housing. And when appropriate, I would also provide utility assistance before I provided housing assistance. With some careful guidance from the bishop, he will rarely need to provide temporary housing costs while the member looks for a location that is within budget.

Now that is just my own personal experience. On occasion, the Spirit dictated otherwise. And ultimately, only the bishop, within the inspiration, guidelines, and instruction he has received from his stake president, will be able to make the proper determination as to how fast offering assistance should or should not be provided to bless the members of his ward.
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#7Postby nutterb » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:54 am

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#8Postby davesudweeks » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:47 am

Related:

A few years ago, members in our stake were cautioned that state law could subject them to criminal proceedings for having illegal immigrants in their vehicle (such as on a temple trip and being stopped). This can be a thorny subject so caution and understanding is advised.
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#9Postby johnshaw » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:26 pm

davesudweeks wrote:Related:

A few years ago, members in our stake were cautioned that state law could subject them to criminal proceedings for having illegal immigrants in their vehicle (such as on a temple trip and being stopped). This can be a thorny subject so caution and understanding is advised.


I hope you were given the actual information about the law like ... "A. It shall be unlawful for any person to transport, move, or attempt to transport within the United States any alien knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that the alien has come to, entered, or remained in the United States in violation of law, in furtherance of the illegal presence of the alien in the United States. B. It shall be unlawful for any person to conceal, harbor, or shelter from detection any alien in any place, including any building or means of transportation [...]"

Can we get an admin to close this thread, it can only get worse, I believe good, valid, advice has been given and there is no need for further comment. I think we should head off where this thread could be taken.
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#10Postby aebrown » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:45 pm

JohnShaw wrote:Can we get an admin to close this thread, it can only get worse, I believe good, valid, advice has been given and there is no need for further comment. I think we should head off where this thread could be taken.


This thread is now closed.

Although it can be reasonable to caution people that legal issues might be involved in a particular situation, there have been posts in this thread that come too close to the Code of Conduct's prohibition on "Legal discussions or debate." Further discussion is unlikely to be helpful.

Each leader of a unit has access to his file leaders, and also to the Church's legal department. That's where they should go for particular questions in this area.
Many questions are already answered on the LDSTech wiki. Check it out!
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