The last few years have been somewhat Dickensonian–the best and worst of times. I can cheer for the new gay marriage resolutions, but despair at the Congressman King’s anti-Muslim crusade on the Hill.
Then there are the unexpected joys, like the “Utah Way.” The immigration bill passed in the Utah state legislature, and immigration enforcement bill. The legislation includes both an enforcement provision that is a much more reasonable approach to dealing with immigrants who have committed crimes (that police say won’t make much difference) and a guest-worker program that could mark a turning point in the way Americans think about immigration, if it survives constitutional challenge. The law grants legal status to undocumented workers and allows them to live normal lives. It appears to be a one-state version of the overarching immigration reform package that Congress has repeatedly tried, and failed, to enact.
What is so encouraging about this is that the Mormon church has been such a strong moral force behind this legislation, as has the business community. Finally, conservatives have come to see the importance of immigrants to local economies and living up to their religious values. The Catholic Church could learn a few lessons from the LDS community in this regard.
The law is not perfect, but it give me hope. For that, I’m giving thanks today.