Issues related to refugees and immigrants are continually in the news. Refugees from the Middle East are overrunning the outer borders of Europe. Undocumented immigrants (as many as 12 million living in the USA) will be a major issue in the upcoming presidential election. Many of these immigrants are economic and political refugees. Additionally, countries like Uganda have to deal with refugees from the wars in surrounding troubled countries. All this is taxing the abilities of the UN and other relief agencies to respond. Many of the images shown on the news and posted on the Internet are heartbreaking.
The leaders of the LDS Church have responded to the immigrant issue in the United States:
The bedrock moral issue for the [LDS Church] is how we treat each other as children of God.
The Church supports an approach where undocumented immigrants are allowed to square themselves with the law and continue to work without this necessarily leading to citizenship.
Peggy Fletcher Stack, religion reporter for sltrib.com, has a less than positive review of the Church’s efforts:
While the LDS Church supports immigration reform that keeps families together, its leaders have not pushed that idea in worship settings where Mormons are gathered. Not has it called out those who disagree.
To counteract this lack of leadership action and inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, a group is encouraging participants of write down their Mormon identity and views on a whiteboard with #TogetherWithoutBorders and take a selfie holding the board. They then post the photo on Facebook and Twitter.
The Mormon website bycommonconsent.com has responded to the tragedy occurring in Europe (Hungary and Italy in particular) by encouraging its readers to contribute to the humanitarian organization Oxfam. Oxfam is also involved with refugees in Uganda. On a recent visit to the Rhino Refugee Camp in northwestern Uganda, I saw Oxfam latrines that were constructed for South Sudanese and Congolese refugees.
Additionally, LDS youth from the Kampala area provided toiletry packages to a refugee camp in southeastern Uganda.