Jerry Lewis more in tune with Prophet Thomas S. Monson than State Senator Russell Pearceby President of Somos A. Bustos on Aug. 15, 2011, under Secure Borders and Reasonable Immigration Solution, The Nativist Anti-immigrant Movement
In September 2010, I wrote a letter addressed to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) despite being told by my Mormon faithful friends that the letter would probably fall on deaf ears due to the political and toxic nature of the immigration issue. I forged ahead and petitioned the LDS prophet as a desperate last attempt to stop the Latino bleeding, in the sense that thousands of families in Arizona were being forced apart and/or detained in prisons. Prisons that receive a bureaucratic and financial incentive from the federal government to jail the non-criminal minded element of the undocumented with millions in wasted taxpayer dollars. Being in the United States illegally is a civil offense, yet Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce wanted to criminalize the offense and alter the Constitution of the United States.
We petitioned the prophet and paralleled our plight with theirs – the Extermination Order signed by the Missouri Governor of 1838 was similar to how our Arizona Governor wanted voluntary mass exodus of Latino families. We were delighted to hear about the Utah Compact support by the LDS community, which showed their courage in supporting humane immigration policies. Indeed, we are grateful to the Prophet Thomas S. Monson for his compassionate heart.
One of the canons of scripture that members of the LDS Church revere is the “Doctrine and Covenants.” In that volume of scripture there is a truism that applies to humankind generally – in this case, it applies very pointedly to Russell Pearce. It says:
“We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.” §121:39.
Perhaps this passage answers the question as to why many of Russell Pearce’s former supporters are gravitating to a new candidate. Mr. Pearce’s positions on several issues reveal his abuse of power and antipathy for his fellow Arizonans.
While many of Mr. Pearce’s constituents may have long forgiven him for domestic violence toward his wife, there are continuing reminders in Mr. Pearce’s recent actions that suggest that he is more interested in himself than in the people of Arizona.
Mr. Pearce and his acolytes are well known for introducing a number of immigration-related bills. While the introduction of the bills was not surprising, his treatment of Republicans who did not march lockstep to his demands is frightening. For example, Bill Koponicki, a Republican from District 5 who was voted “Best Republican Representative for the 49th Legislature,” was one of those who dared to cross Mr. Pearce. When he refused to support Mr. Pearce on an immigration matter, Rep. Koponicki was attacked and threatened.
This five term legislator was ultimately ousted by the Republican establishment that supports Pearce. More recently, Pearce henchman, Chuck Coughlin, a well-known lobbyist and Pearce contributor, threatened any Republican who would dare run against Pearce in the recall election. Pearce feigns a love for democracy, but loves demagoguery more.
Mr. Pearce’s bullying seemingly knows no limits. His view of the Senate is that it is his fiefdom, rather than the People’s house where the good of all Arizonans is paramount. As proof of this unrighteous dominion, Mr. Pearce recently adopted a “blacklist” to bar his detractors from even entering the Senate building. Indeed, when questioned on this point, the Capitol Police confirmed that they had received such a list from Mr. Pearce, and that they had been ordered to bar certain individuals from entering the Senate building. To residents of District 18, these kinds of activities are not an affirmation of the Constitution, but rather an unimaginable negation of the Constitution. Mr. Pearce does not love the Constitution – he loves power.
Regardless of where one stands on the immigration issue, Mr. Pearce’s attack on children born in the United States has to stand as one of the most blatant attacks on the Constitution. His birthright citizenship bill would have denied citizenship to those born in the United States (“anchor babies,” as he calls them). Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution provides:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
The Constitution is clear on this point. For that reason, when your children are born in Arizona, you do not have to prove your citizenship because your citizenship is irrelevant. The Constitution says unequivocally that your newborn child is a citizen.
We hope the LDS community in Mesa will continue to hold true to their values, the United States Constitution, and the position of the prophet, when they cast their votes during the Russell Pearce special elections in November 2011. We hope they will consider voting for Jerry Lewis, who represents the true values of the Mormon Church, and we believe Lewis will protect and uphold the Constitution of the United States.