The LDS immigration conundrum

Last year I published an article in The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion which shows that, after controlling for partisanship, ideology, and a host of other demographic and political control variables, Latter-day Saints are more likely to have liberal, “friendly” immigration policy preferences, generally speaking. I attributed this to the theory that members of a minority group (LDS church members) may tend to have more sympathy for members of another minority group, in this case, undocumented immigrants.

An article in today’s New York Times provides some anecdotal evidence to support this finding. The article discusses how the editorial board of the largest LDS-owned newspaper in Utah, The Deseret News,  has taken a very pro-immigrant stand in recent weeks and months, much to the chagrin of the state’s more politically conservative members who are also members of the LDS church. The article speculates that this may be another way in which the LDS church is tacitly revealing a pro-immigrant position while avoiding taking a direct “official stance” on the issue.

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