Ep 341 – Infants, Immigration, and Captain EO


Posted February 6th, 2017

Who says you should avoid talking about politics and religion?  Matt and Glenn interview Melinda “Mindy” Butler, an immigration attorney for The Florence Project in Arizona, to learn more about the three recent Executive Orders on immigration.



  • Happy Hubby

    Good discussion. I didn’t have as much of the “mingled with humor”, but a good topic to dig into.

    I think it was Matt (sorry – I still don’t get the voice -> name) asked if the church had made a statement on immigration. The discussion seemed to point to the October 2015 LDS newsroom statement of http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/church-members-encouraged-assist-refugees that talks about REFUGEES.

    I do think what was thought of was a June 2011 statement on IMMIGRATION http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/immigration-church-issues-new-statement

    I think this was in the middle of the Arizona state/local police being asked to check on immigration status during things like traffic stops. I think it was also just before the Utah legislature was formulating what bill they were going to consider. Now of course there is NO correlation between the two since the LDS church does not mess in political matters (unless it is a moral issue OR it could affect baptisms).

    • Jose Galdamez

      It’s hard to tell if the last sentence above is meant to be sarcastic. If so, please forgive this post. This article posted by the Center of Immigration Studies documents several instances where church PR—behind closed doors or through public statements—quelled any possibility of anti-illegal immigration legislation in the state of Utah.


      Without question, the LDS church does get involved in political matters, especially if it deals with matters that will punish or harm its lay ministry. In this case, the LDS church appears to be looking out for the many branch presidents, bishops, stake leaders, relief society presidents, YM/YW leaders, etc. that also happen to be undocumented immigrants. I don’t blame the church. In my stake alone, deportation of all illegal immigrants would instantly eradicate at least one of our two Spanish-speaking wards and convert the remaining ward into a branch.

  • ProudHighway

    What’s your take on 8 USC §1182? Asking for a friend…

  • You mention that the countries “banned” by Trump’s order were already on Obama’s “potentially nefarious” list, but I heard somewhere that the predominantly Muslim countries that were “banned” were the ones where Trump has no business interests and that the “unbanned,” but nevertheless highly Muslim, countries are ones where he has friends, investments and investors. He said back when he first proposed the Muslim “ban” that Saudis, Kuwaitis, Dubaians(?), Abu Dabians(?), etc. (read: Arabs with money), would “of course” still be welcome. Someone else determined that of all of the professed radical Muslims and radical Muslim wannabes who have actually perpetrated mass murders and acts of terrorism in the US to date, 94% of them have come from or been born of parents from countries not effected by the “ban.” Have you guys heard anything to this effect?

    • Jason Jordan Smith

      With respect, I don’t think that business interests have anything to play in the EO. The countries listed are known to be destabilized without thorough vetting processes, and the also have potentially strong ties with ISIS. Whether or not these countries are the birth place of some of these radicals also seems irrelevant as ISIS recruits worldwide, with many of them ending up on those countries.

      • Is it really sound strategy to focus on banning travel from countries where we think terrorists should have come from rather than countries where they have actually come from? Sounds like we’re basing or strategies on Alternative Post-Truth “facts.”

        • Jason Jordan Smith

          I’m not sure I follow. I’m not sure where a lot of these terrorists are actually coming from, and I haven’t seen actual stats. But one thing I know for sure is that ISIS exists in these countries, and I have no doubt they would try to enter if they thought they could. A temporary restriction (meaning it has a moratorium) does not equate to a “ban” and stating that this has to do with his so-called business ties is nothing short extreme speculation. The more likely scenario is that the new administration is reviewing all the current policies and wants to halt anything else until they can decide what they want to do going forward. The moratorium comes in three months (a very short time), and this does not juxtapose well with business ties being Trump’s motive. For me, it just doesn’t pass Occum’s Razor (metaphorically speaking).

  • Jason Jordan Smith

    Loved the episode, guys. Here are a few thoughts I have after listening to it:

    First, I agree with Matt that this is definitely not a “Muslim ban.” I think the media really likes to through those buzzwords out there for effect, but once you take a look into it a little more it’s definitely more complicated. First, these countries are no stranger to international trouble, and they’re very much destabilized. When I heard the provision for religious minorities, I was surprised….that is, until I thought about the wording. It seems to be making a provision for minority religions in claiming refugee status (correct me if I’m wrong). While at first this appeared to be anti-Muslim, I thought of how they could possibly justify it. What I think should have been mentioned by someone in the podcast was that these minority religions “appear” to be the ones targeted mostly by ISIS, therefore there would be a greater danger to them if they did not get out (if this was mentioned, I apologize, but I don’t remember hearing it). So I suppose I could see this as giving priority not by religious association alone, but by a potentially stronger threat to them than to the rest of the population. At least I could see it being spun that way, but so far it hasn’t been. As to whether or not it can pass the muster of the courts, that remains to be seen.

    Next, the sanctuary city EO. I’m just going to throw this out there even though this is very speculative. The President has no real interest in deporting anyone in sanctuary cities….wait, please don’t throw anything at me yet! Let me explain. 🙂 What’s probably happening is that the Trump knows damn good and well that these cities will resist. If he follows through with his threat (and there’s nothing to suggest he’s bluffing) then he’ll cut whatever federal funding he can from these cities and reallocate that lump some to whatever else he wants (unless it’s funding from Congress, which he can’t touch). And with that money, he’ll advance on his campaign promises (building up the military, building a wall, working on infrastructure, etc.). The man may appear to have no class, but one thing he’s not is stupid. We really shouldn’t underestimate him. He’s worked with money all his life, and I suspect that’s the paradigm he’s operating from. Meanwhile, the rest of the country is distracted with him being a bigot and Islamaphobe. I don’t think he’s losing any sleep at all over the bad publicity. And quite frankly, I think that the far-left and the media are falling right into his trap. And they should know better. They ridiculed him during the campaign, and voila, guess who’s in the Oval Office. In fact, they may be guaranteeing him a second term (bad publicity is better than no publicity). But hey, those are just my musings. 😛 Cheers, guys!

  • Aaron

    Just saw this about the church organizing volunteer law students to help immigrants with legal services. Thought it was interesting and sorta related to this episode:

  • Dale Lowry

    Did Matt mean “partisan politics” when he was saying “identity politics”? When he elaborated on what he meant by “identity politics,” he said that you could usually predict how someone felt about one issue (e.g. gun control) based on how they felt about another issue (e.g. immigration). It’s not clear to me how that ties into identity politics, i.e. “a tendency for people of a particular religion, race, social background, etc., to form exclusive political alliances, moving away from traditional broad-based party politics,” according to my beloved Merriam-Webster dictionary.

    Obviously that’s not the only definition of identity politics, so maybe Matt’s working with another one. I’d love for him to break it down a bit more in a future episode.