Opinion: The fierce immigration debate continues in Mormon communities

In my column last week, I condemned the hateful rhetoric and inexcusable behavior that has permeated the debate surrounding illegal immigration, particularly in Mormon communities.

The debate has been especially fierce in these communities since last week, when government employees leaked a list of 1,300 alleged illegal immigrants, causing widespread fear within Utah's Latino community and prompting some extremists to threaten and harass people they believed to be undocumented.

I received roughly 100 e-mails in response to my column, which was unsurprising given the timeliness of this already controversial issue. What did surprise me, though, was the number of people who wrote only to express agreement and support. The vast majority of the e-mails I received – at least 80 of them, by my count – were written by people who shared my frustration with the tone of the immigration debate. (This is especially significant since it is almost always reversed: the people who disagree with me are usually the quickest to respond, while those who agree are more likely to stay silent.)

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