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LDS Church calls for unity, compassion in new statement on immigration

The Church released a statement on Monday afternoon, June 18, expressing the need for immigration reform that supports families.

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has long expressed its position that immigration reform should strengthen families and keep them together," the Church said. "The forced separation of children from their parents now occurring at the U.S.-Mexico border is harmful to families, especially to young children. We are deeply troubled by the aggressive and insensitive treatment of these families."

According to figures from the Department of Homeland Security obtained by the Associated Press, nearly 2,000 minors were separated from their families at the U.S. border due to illegal entries from April 19 through May 31.

"Under a 'zero tolerance' policy announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Department of Homeland Security officials are now referring all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution," reported the Associated Press. "U.S. protocol prohibits detaining children with their parents because the children are not charged with a crime and the parents are."

The Church continued by encouraging leaders with political influence to search for solutions on the issue with speed and empathy.

"While we recognize the right of all nations to enforce their laws and secure their borders, we encourage our national leaders to take swift action to correct this situation and seek for rational, compassionate solutions," according to the Church statement.

Read the full statement below:

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has long expressed its position that immigration reform should strengthen families and keep them together. The forced separation of children from their parents now occurring at the U.S.-Mexico border is harmful to families, especially to young children. We are deeply troubled by the aggressive and insensitive treatment of these families. While we recognize the right of all nations to enforce their laws and secure their borders, we encourage our national leaders to take swift action to correct this situation and seek for rational, compassionate solutions."