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Calderón's rep will review request to suspend LDS missionary visas

Published February 17, 2011 9:57 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The office of Felipe Calderón has acknowledged receipt of a Latino activist's letter urging Mexico's president to suspend visas to missionaries until The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints takes a stronger public stance against enforcement-only immigration legislation.

Raul Lopez-Vargas received two letters, both dated Feb. 15.

One sent from Mexico's national palace and signed by representative Juan Manuel Llera Blanco acknowledges Calderón's staff received the letter signed by 39 people. It says the letter will be forwarded to the appropriate government official.

The second, sent by Llera to foreign-relations Secretary Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, asks her to review the matter and respond quickly to Lopez-Vargas on Calderón's behalf.

Lopez-Vargas delivered his letter Monday to Jose Umberto Gutierrez at the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City. Gutierrez said he forwarded it to Calderón immediately.

The activist said he intended the letter to pressure the LDS Church to sign the Utah Compact — a document signed by more than 3,300 people who favor a compassionate approach toward illegal immigration. The church has endorsed, but not signed, the compact.

Lopez-Vargas also sent the letter in response to state Rep. Stephen Sandstrom's enforcement-only immigration bill, which cleared a committee Friday in a 9-3 vote.

That measure, asking local police to enforce immigration law, has been a hot-button issue. The Orem Republican changed the language last week to no longer require that local police question the legal status under "reasonable suspicion" of people pulled over for Class B or C misdemeanors.




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