by David Safier
Conflicting Mormon views on immigration continue to cause political ripples. The Mormon Church's acceptance of the principles in the Utah Compact and the backlash against Russell Pearce's anti-immigrant policies have been the clearest recent examples.
Here's another, a Latino Mormon movement against supporting Romney's presidential bid.
[T]wo decades after her conversion while a college student at Mississippi State, the 43-year-old [Antonella Cecilia] Packard finds herself on a new mission: defeating Mitt Romney and any Mormon politician who betrays what she sees as a basic Mormon principle of protecting immigrants.
"Yes, we are happy that we have a Mormon running for president," said Packard, a Saratoga Springs, Utah, resident and member of Somos (We are) Republicans. "But a lot of us aren't supporting him because of his stance against immigrants."
While stressing the Mormon faith's historic connection to converting immigrants, Latino Mormons point directly to immigration stories in the Book of Mormon and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' recent statements against policies targeting immigrants. They also view Romney's stance against proposals giving illegal immigrants a path to citizenship as hypocritical since Romney's great-grandfather, Miles Park Romney, who had five wives and 30 children, sought refuge in Mexico after passage of an 1882 law that barred polygamy.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not keep ethnic data on its 6 million or so members. But according to a 2011 national survey of Mormons by Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, Latinos make up 7 percent of Mormons in the U.S.