“Church to Assist with U.S. Alien Amnesty Program,” Ensign, Aug. 1987, 79
The Church has organized a program to train its local congregations in the United States to assist members who may benefit from the U. S. Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.
Under provisions of the act, which was signed into law last November by President Ronald Reagan, Congress specified that “undocumented aliens” who qualify may apply for lawful temporary residency in the United States during a one-year amnesty period beginning 5 May 1987.
Successful applicants will be given temporary resident status for eighteen months, after which they will have one year to apply for permanent residence. The Church has developed training materials to help those seeking amnesty to gather documents and fill out forms and applications required by the U. S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
In a letter to local units, the First Presidency explained the program:
“The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 creates a one-time opportunity to establish lawful immigration status for some aliens who entered the United States before January 1, 1982, and who have remained illegally since that date. Some Church members may qualify under this act. We urge Church leaders to give support to those affected.
“Stake presidents who identify a need for the Church to provide technical help should contact their Area Presidency. Area Presidencies may authorize stake presidents and bishops to use stake and ward welfare services committees in providing help to members who may be affected by the act. Upon approval, training materials may be obtained from Welfare Services regional agents.
“Members may choose to seek help from the community or from the Church. They should be counseled to be honest in their dealings with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. If legal help is required, members should seek such help from qualified resources in the community.”