While Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney may have a large percentage of the backing from those of the Mormon faith, many Hispanic Mormons do not support the GOP presidential candidate, and some are even out to stop him.
According to The Associated Press, several Hispanic Mormons have been working to use their faith’s teaching to persuade other Mormons not to vote for Romney. Many Hispanic’s main stance against the presidential hopeful is his stance on immigration, including naturalization services.
While the number of Mormons with Hispanic backgrounds continues to be small, the ethnic group is among the fastest-growing sects of the church. According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the number of Spanish-speaking units in the faith has almost doubled in the past decade, from 403 units in 2011 to nearly 800 in 2011.
Romney has widely been criticized for his anti-immigration stance. In the Iowa primaries, Romney had a near-immediate fall out with many of his Hispanic supporters when he announced that he would veto the DREAM Act, a bill that provides a unique path toward U.S. citizenship for undocumented children who enter the military or attend college.
Many have additionally called Romney a hypocrite for his stance because of his background. Romney’s grandfather, who had five wives and 30 children, brought his family to Mexico to escape U.S. laws barring polygamy. Several of Romney’s relatives continue to reside in the country.
Even the Somos Republicans, the United States’ largest Latino republican group, has sided against Romney for his actions, choosing to back candidate Newt Gingrich for the 2012 election.
“Yes, we are happy that we have a Mormon running for president,” said Antonella Cecilia Packard, a Saratoga Springs, Utah, resident, follower of the Mormon faith and member of Somos Republicans, to The Associated Press. “But a lot of us aren’t supporting him because of his stance against immigrants.”