Certainly, one would assume that Mitt Romney has the backing of those from the Mormon faith. It might surprise some, however, to realize that a growing number of Hispanic Mormons are fighting to ensure that he doesn’t get into office.
The issue? Romney’s stance against immigrants and what it means for Hispanic immigrants. As Antonella Cecilia Packard, a Honduran-born Mormon convert said,
“Yes, we are happy that we have a Mormon running for president. But a lot of us aren’t supporting him because of his stance against immigrants.”
Latino Mormons point to the immigration stories in the Book of Mormon to show why there shouldn’t be policies against immigrants. They also find Mr. Romney’s stance against giving illegal immigrants citizenship status hypocritical since Romney’s own great-grandfather moved to Mexico after the passage of a 1882 law that made polygamy illegal.
As Ignacio Garcia, a history professor at BYU explained,
“We view immigration as a God event. The book says no one comes to the Land unless they are brought by God.”
Growing Latino Dissent
Romney may want to listen to this growing dissent, as Hispanic Mormons are quickly gaining attention and growing in numbers. Hispanics are the fastest-growing group of Mormons in the United States. Latinos make up approximately 7% of the Mormon population in the United States and the Spanish speaking members has grown tremendously in recent years.
At the same time, ironically, most of these Latino Mormons are illegal immigrants, which means that they don’t have a voting voice against Romney. Time will tell if he is influenced by their opinion, or if he simply sees them as a nuisance on his way to the race for the White House.