A letter to Mexican president Felipe Calderon requesting that visas for Mormon missionaries to Mexico be temporarily suspended looks set to rachet up further Utah's fiery rhetoric on immigration.---
The letter, written in Spanish, dated February 9 and signed "Mexican citizens based in the state of Utah," accuses senior figures in the LDS Church of "promoting a clearly racist position in relation to the immigration question." The responsibility of the church's hierarchy for "the proliferation of xenophobic and discriminatory laws against immigrants, particularly Mexicans, is here in Utah more than evident."
What seems to particularly incense the letter-writers is that the LDS Church, it says, has refused to sign the Utah Compact, a document of five principals put together by diverse religious, business and political figures, which aims to both support "family union" and stop the division of "our communities with relation to the immigration issue." That no one from the LDS Church was at an event on January 24 attended by representatives from 12 different churches, to ask Utah's political leadership not to introduce anti-constitutional state laws, the letter claimed also served as an indictment of the LDS Church's lack of commitment to human rights.
The call to suspend visas for Mormon missionaries to Mexico is because, the letter continues, if the LDS Church does not respect the basic principles of "no to the forced separation of families," then "what is the message that the mormon missionaries" take to the people of Mexico?
Next Monday, supporters of the letter's demands are expected to protest at the Mexican consulate.