Since she had lived in the U.S. as an undocumented person, she was not allowed back into the country.
LDS Membership to Church Leaders on Immigration: Take a Hike
BY DAVE BENNION
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 02, 2008 @ 08:26PM PST
Daniela Aguado was a star student at her high school in Arizona and wanted to attend college. Just one problem: she was undocumented. Acting on some dodgy legal advice, she left the country to apply for a student visa to try to qualify for a scholarship to Brigham Young University.
"And that's when they told me I couldn't receive the student visa because i have lived in the states without a student visa before. And that probably I was taking advantage of the country and the government." Daniella recalls.
And now she's stuck in Mexico.
BYU was the university I first attended after high school. The school's motto is "The World Is Our Campus," an extension of the LDS church's goal to become a global institution. With over 50,000 missionaries spread out around the world, learning the language and absorbing the culture of almost every country on the planet, the church's membership is remarkably cosmopolitan. Many of those missionaries return to the States--or come here from their homelands--to attend BYU.
But that didn't stop Republican voters in Utah County--which includes Provo and BYU--from sending diehard conservative Chris Cannon packing in the primary election earlier this year. (This was a rare victory for a restrictionist politician--the trend has run the other way for the last two years.) The main reason for Cannon's defeat at the hands of former BYU football player Jason Chaffetz: he was too conciliatory to immigrants, and had some kind words to say about Utah's Latin@ population.
From the article, I see that Daniela attended church regularly with her family before they were separated indefinitely ... planning to attend BYU ... I'll go out on a limb and guess that she's a baptized member of the LDS church.
One who now can't attend the LDS school of her choice, find an LDS spouse there, excel in a career in the U.S., or even see her family in this country.
How this advances the goals of the church to keep LDS families together and build a global organization is not clear. The church itself intervened earlier this year when the Utah state legislature was on the brink of passing an Oklahoma-style enforcement-only bill. One member of the legislature characterized the church's position as "Take a step back, be calm, and above all remember that we are dealing with human beings here." The bill that passed wasn't good. But it could have been much worse.
But the individual members of the church who voted for Chaffetz weren't thinking about Daniela or her family. They weren't even listening to the church leadership. It's one reason the institutional church's worst enemy is sometimes its own membership (passage of Prop 8 is another, though that had support from the top).