The arrest of an undocumented immigrant returning last week from his LDS mission has sparked discussion at the highest levels of the church about how to limit such exposure in the future.
"With the known realization that those risks exist, then we want to do better, or at least learn more," LDS apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, said Friday during an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune . "We want to be more precise, if we can, about how to help, how to make [a mission] the calmest, most spiritually rewarding experience for everybody...."
Sending undocumented immigrants on a mission, though, sends a mixed message, with the potential for "tragic" results for missionaries and their families, said Ron Mortensen of the Utah Coalition on Illegal Immigration.
"What the church has done is taken care of themselves and left the individual in a terrible position," Mortensen said. "They say 'We'll give you these benefits, but, oh by the way, if something happens to you, sorry.' ""
Sheena Mcfarland, Salt Lake Tribune, 27 April 2009
Updated: Wed, Apr 29th 2009 @ 2:44pm EDT