Man claims to report LDS father to ICE, delights in family deportation, Twitter responds
(KUTV) — A Twitter account, claiming to be from an LDS member in upstate New York, has stirred up controversy regarding the LDS Church and immigration.
In what he later said was a hoax Michael Crook — @TheMikeCrook on Twitter — claimed to have called ICE agents on what he said was "an illegal dad in my Mormon church."
The Tweet set off a firestorm on Twitter, most of it critical of Crook, who also writes on a blog, linked from his Twitter profile.
Contacted by KUTV, Crook declined to comment.
Immigration and ICE is a social issue in Albany and upstate New York, where New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently condemned an ICE raid on a farm that he called reckless and unconstitutional.
The ICE controversy with Crook started with a May 9 tweet that read:
It was my pleasure to report a family with an illegal dad in my Mormon church. I just found out ICE tossed their home and he is in detention, bound for Mexico. You're welcome.
It picked up responses quickly on Friday, from people claiming ties to the LDS Church, Christians and others condemning his actions and using logic, emotion and scripture to claim that he was wrong. He was unapologetic for his actions and his tweets and later said the entire family that was reported was detained.
Other tweets from the same account suggest the man taken by ICE was a congregational leader of the church at either a ward or stake level. The account also said he was asked by the local LDS church leaders to stay away from a service project and was asked to speak with a local leader about the tweets.
Unbeknownst to me, the whole family was illegal, so husband, wife, kids are, to the best of my knowledge all in detention at this moment in time.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, through its media website MormonNewsroom, issued an official statement in 2011 on immigration. It stated that discourages its members from entering any country without legal documentation but also said the Church supports an approach where undocumented immigrants are allowed to square themselves with the law and continue to work without this necessarily leading to citizenship.
"The bedrock moral issue for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is how we treat each other as children of God. "
Later in the statement reads:
The Church supports an approach where undocumented immigrants are allowed to square themselves with the law and continue to work without this necessarily leading to citizenship.
The response to Crook's account, with 38 followers, was growing quickly Friday. The number of responses tripled ina couple of hours. Late Friday the tweets disappeared from the account. It was not confirmed that the raid took place.
Crook seemed to court controversy in the past with positions against soldiers and even appeared on TV with Sean Hannity. The owner of the Twitter account told KUTV he was the same person who appeared on Hannity.
He tweeted Saturday that he deleted the Tweet and said doing so was not out of cowardice, but because the troll is over.
"The ULTIMATE troll. KUTV, a SINclair station in Salt Lake, took the bait as did thousands of gullible idiots," he Tweeted.
Hoaxes.org called the ForsakeourTrops webiste, the topic of the Hannity interview, phoney.
On Crook's blog,his stated beliefs include:
- Drinking alcohol, using tobacco or using illicit drugs violates basic decency
- The Second Amendment should be repealed
- The LDS Church is the only true church
- Apologies are worthless
- He supports the deportation of illegals, regardless of its impact on "counterfeit families"