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The Immigration Debate

David Montgomery's story Sunday about how the photo of 2-year-old Tomasa Mendez came to be an iconic image in the immigration debate generated strong reaction. Tomasa's parents are illegal immigrants but she was born in the United States and is therefore a
U.S. citizen. Her father was detained in an immigration raid and she misses him.

With an immigration bill about to come before the Senate, emotions on this subject have run very high, and one of the major concerns is that strong enforcement will break up families. Many of the comments from our readers were negative about the specifics of Tomasa's plight and angry about the immigration situation in general. Others were more sympathetic.

A typical exchange:

ubiq wrote:
Yes, the child is cute and appealing. Why did her parents choose to come here? Were they unaware of the potential for deportation? Did they fail to appreciate the effect repatriation might have on their child? The resposibility is theirs, not ours. I'm sure that growers, manufacturers and people who can`t live without cheap maid service are pleased with the prospect of amnesty. But the people who actually bear the cost- clogged roads, crowded classrooms, long waits at the emergency room and decreasing wages resulting from the influx of cheap foreign labor have had enough. Charity begins with our own.

And magdalena replied:
I agree that all immigrants should learn how to speak English and learn and abide the laws of this country. But being an illegal immigrant doesn't make you a cockroach or subhuman. The amount of hatred and ill will on the posts so far is really appalling. We are all immigrants. Where are the original inhabitants of this country? Did the people on the Mayflower have a passport or visa? I agree that if a person is here illegally they shouldn't have any rights to welfare or health care or anything else that we the people who work and pay taxes can barely afford to have ourselves. But the blanket statements (they are all drunks, criminals, breed like cockroaches) are really uncalled for. And the idea that they take jobs from hard working Americans is laughable. How many of today's young people do you know who are willing to do the work this people do for the pay they get? Not too many. Why don't we instead force the government to enforce the law so businesses don't hire them and get the proper punishment if they do? Use your VOTE.


MA00 summed up nicely:
Tomasa was born in the U.S. and is a legal citizen. However, her parents are not. This is a problem that many illegal families face and not an easy one to solve. Granting resident status to families like her who are willing to pay a fine is hard to accept for many but offers a solution.

Meanwhile, as Darryl Fears reported today, the proposed legislation has a long list of opponents from grass-roots organizations, and that article has generated another long string of comments, the majority apparently in opposition to the proposed legislation, but not all for the same reason.

And Fareed Zakaria, in a Newsweek column, recalls Ronald Reagan's 1977 comments on the subject, which take a somewhat more tolerant view than that expressed by many Republicans today.

As the immigration debate continues, this page has collected the relevant articles and other information on the subject.

By Doug Feaver  |  May 20, 2007; 4:32 PM ET
 
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Next: Wolfowitz: It's About Payback

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Posted by: Bill | May 31, 2007 3:36 AM | Report abuse

What is at issue here is our nation's laws. We have our family members fighting and dying in another country for their belief in this nation. Part of that belief is in this nation's laws. An individual that has bypassed the process of entry into this country has broken the laws of this nation. Someone previously brought up Collection and Enforcement agencies. They act swiftly against the singular American should they break the law. They move to lock up, seize assets or punish the American citizen, should they break the law. We've put American citizens in jail because they committed a crime.

This government for 50 + years has done nothing to solve this issue. They have created now a quagmire. By doing so, as in nothing but pander, blame and look the other way, the political arm of this country has let this issue fester. It has burdened every other system in this nation. Now the emotional marketing machine is out at the hour of action attempting instill fear and remorse. Pushing for more laws to "now" enforce and given business what it wants and more voters it wants.

In typical government fashion, instead of dealing with the most pressing issue first - they have to coagulate everything into one big ball of bad and toss it to the America citizen and say "its comprehensive, it ain't the best; it's not in your best interest; deal with it." There are three piles of dung. One has no smell. One has a true stench and finally the third stinks to high heaven and is steaming. Which do you pick? Guess what, its all dung.

Please don't bring irrelevant pieces of historical precedence to inflate your emotive diatribe of this country. Since

Some one brought up Ukranians, I wonder if the Southern Poverty Law Center or the misnomer ACLU, will sue to protect the Bulgarians recently indicted in the False Marriage ring?

Proud should be every American citizen that has stood up and shaken their fist at this travesty. Ashamed should be every elected official. Sadly, a system built on the foundations of Rome suffers its same sins.

Posted by: Achilles | May 23, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

MC, the top ten countries of origin for legal immigrants are Mexico, India, China, the Philippines, Cuba, Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, Korea, Colombia, and Ukraine, yet you claim the law is racist. Apparently you will only be satisfied when we shut the door on the Ukrainians and make the list completely non-white and non-European.

Posted by: Artemus | May 22, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Pardon the spelling errors, etc. in the previous post. This may make a bit more sense:

The debate over illegal immigration and Z visas has become swept up in emotional arguments. I may not personally agree with everything Senator Sessions does, but when he points out that 11 million people applied for 50,000 green cards through our lottery system it become painfully clear that we cannot let in everyone who wants to come. That being true, what do we do?

It makes sense that we use some sort of system that allows black and white measurements to be used, to keep emotion from playing too large a role. A points-based system allows the US to do this. Keep in mind that the bill would only prevent future applications from non-nuclear family members of immigrants. Those who have already applied will still have their application considered, with the US taking 8 years to clean up the current backlog.

Only after the backlog is removed will the points-based system go into full effect (note that its full effect is slated to bring employment-based immigration to a whopping 30%, only 8% higher than now and still half of what Canada and Britain have managed to find).

Illegal immigrants are called that for one very good reason, they are here illegally. Understanding that the US immigration system has problems, least of which is a huge backlog, there are still millions (at least 11 million) that apply through legal means each year. Forget the impact on the economy of illegal workers, they are circumventing the system that others patiently wait for, make their efforts seem foolish and promote further illegal actions by their example.

Americans themselves present a myriad of inconsistencies further complicating the issue. Each side of the debate touts America's immigrant history, but it is funny how that translates to strangely isolationist tendencies from some of those same individuals. Supporters of illegal immigrants argue that we need their work to keep prices low and because they are good workers. No offense, but of course they will be good workers, they have to be or else they would not be worth the risks of using illegal employees as opposed to legal workers.

What supporters of that argument are missing is that it is not about keeping American prices low. Like it or not, America is a part of the global environment. This means that those people who think that minority jobs are lost to immigrants, (legal or illegal), perhaps minorities need to find a work environment (here or elsewhere) where their skills are in demand, or learn new skills through higher education. American wages are artificially high, and once we fully integrate into a global economy, I have a feeling some people are going to be in for a shock. Immigrants do bring in skills and individuals who say they do work for artificially low wages need to recognize that as long as immigrants continue to work for those prices, employers will keep hiragana them. What seems more likely, that employers will pay illegal workers more (or legal immigrants for that matter) or that individuals who really want the jobs and to work will eventually take lower wages?

America's real problem is not immigrants of either the legal or the illegal kind; it is with the status of its educational system (and not because it's "hampered by an influx of illegal immigrant students that take up time in the classroom). We have progressed too far economically in the world market and with our own standard of living for individuals to be able to live off the market wages for low-skilled work. We now face the dual challenges of improving our education (thus our skills) or improving our location (finding a country where those low-skills would pay enough for an individual to live...

I'm no genius, just a guy with some thoughts...

Posted by: Josh | May 22, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

The debate over illegal immigration and Z visas has become swept up in emotional arguments. I may not personally agree with everything Senator Sessions does, but when he points out that 11 million people applied for 50,000 green cards through our lottery system it become painfully clear that we cannot let in eveyrone who wants to come. That being true, what do we do?

It makes sense that we use some sort of system that allows for black and white measurements to be used, to keep emotion from playing too large a role. A points-based system allows the US to do this. Kepe in mind that the bill would only prvent future applications from non-nuclear family members of immigrants. Those who have already applied will still havetheir application considered, with the US taking 8 years to clean up the current backlog.

Only after the backlog is removed will the points-based system go into full effect (note that its full effect is slated to bring emplyoment-based immigration to a whopping 30%, only 8% higher than now and still half of what Canada and Britain have managed to find).

Illegal immigrants are called that for one very good reason, they are here illegally. Understanding that the US immigration system has problems, least of which is a huge backlog, there are still millions (at least 11 million) that apply through legal means each year. Forget the impact on the economy of illegal workers, they are circumventing the system that others patiently wait for,make their efforts seem foolish and promote further illegal actions by their example.

Americans themselves present a myriad of inconsistencies further complicating the issue. Each side of the debate touts America's immigrant history, but it's funny how that translates to stragely isolationist tendencies from some of those same individuals. Supporters of illegal immigrants argue that we need their work to keep prices low and because they are good workers. No offense, but of course they will be good workers, they have to be or else they would not be worth the risks of using illegal employees as opposed to legal workers.

What supporters of that argument are missing is that it is not about keeping American prices low. Like it or not, America is a part of the global environment. This means that those people who think that minority jobs are lost to immigrants, (legal or illegal), perhaps minorities need to find a work environment (here or elsewhere) where their skills are in demand, or learn new skills through higher education. American wages are artificially high, and once we fully integrate into a global economy, I have a feeling some people are going to be in for a shock. Immigrants do bring in skills and individuals who say they do work for artificially low wages need to recognize that as long as immigrants continue to work for those prices, employers will keep hirigin them. What seems more likely, that emplyoers will pay illegal workers (or legal immigrants for that matter) or that individuals who really wnat the jobs and to work will eventually take lower wages?

America's real problem is not immigrants of either the legal or illegal kind, it's with the status of its educational system (and not becuase it's "hampered by an influx of illegal immigrant studnets that take up time in the classroom). We have progressed too far economically in the world market and with our own standard of living for indiviudals to be able to live off the market wages for low-skilled work. We now face the dual cahllaenges of improving our eduacation (thus our skills) or improving our location (finding a country where those low-skills woudl pay enough for an individual to live...

I'm no genius, just a guy with some thoughts...

Posted by: Josh | May 22, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Seriously, what is wrong with you people? It's like Children of the Corn or something.

"Don't make this a race issue; it's an issue of following the law." I think the point people are trying to make is that the law is racist.

"MC, the weed you are smoking is better than you hippie parents." My parents aren't hippies by any stretch of the imagination. They're conservative, Christian, and middle class. What I'm seeing is that all the values they taught me aren't being practiced by those in power, they're being reduced to talking points and billy clubs. I see a supposedly conservative party mouthing the words, but rotting at the core.

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The guy who was using West Virginia as an example of why Mexicans are better than whites was absolutely hilarious. The only place in North America worse than West Virginia is...Mexico. It kind of blows his whole argument.

It does raise an interesting point, however. West Virginia is backwards for the same reasons Mexico is backwards - corrupt absentee control of natural resources coupled with a history of treating employees like serfs. It sounds a lot like the vision Bush has for America as a whole. He's so in love with the idea of a docile, dirt-poor labor force, he ought to trade jobs with Mexico's president.

Posted by: Artemus | May 21, 2007 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry about MC. He's not going to hold his breath until whenever. He'll grow up.

Posted by: Joe | May 21, 2007 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I don't normally bother responding to certain people's blather about immigration but M.C. made some remarks that are just too dangerous to ignore.

"I actually spent my summers in Jr. and Sr. High School working on a farm with immigrant laborers, for the same wages."

I draw one of two conclusions from this: either immigrants do, in fact, depress wages, or, as you later argue, they don't get paid enough. Or both.

"Your hipocracy is almost unanimously turning the youth of my generation against you (think about your own revolution in the 60s, but with the internet). It's not even that we don't respect conservative values. Heck, I tried my best tow the line until a few months ago, when all of it just got to be too much to bear."

Nonsense. I have seen absolutely no indication of such a unanimous tide of opinion among youths. Everywhere I have ever lived kids are at least as anti-immigration as their parents.

"You preach the sanctity of life on the topic of unborn white fetuses, but talk about entire families of poor latinos like they're not human. That's not the way you raised us, and we're not buying it."

There is absolutely no one in the world in the mainstream who preaches the sanctity of life for white fetuses only. You're just making this up as a convenient sop for your belief that anyone who opposes a bad immigration policy crafted by extremists like you is a racist.

And abortion has approximately bagel to do with immigration. Philosophical consistency does not matter. Let me repeat myself: philosophical consistency does not matter. Good policy matters. If good policy means keeping immigrants out of the country, then we do it.

"I've worked with them, and I know them."

This doesn't give your opinion any extra value. All of us are effected by immigrants in some way.

"They want more money, the same way we all do, but there isn't crap they can do about it, because they're all illegals."

Absolutely irrelevant. They may want money, but we are under no obligation to give it to them.

"Who is going to be pumping money into the economy then, proping up social security and paying your medical bills?"

The same people who did it before. You know why people complain that Social Security is going to go bankrupt? Because birth rates are declining. But declining birth rates means we're spending less money on kids - which means more money's available to spend on old folks.

Even if what you're saying is true (and it isn't), your solution to the Social Security problem (bring in more immigrants) still basically amounts to running the whole system like a pyramid scheme.

"Why are we afraid of them?"

No one's afraid of them (except the several hundreds of thousands involves in crime). They're just not us. Not our language, not our culture, not our way of life, period. Nothing wrong with them, they're just not us. Not to mention all the population growth-related problems they contribute to.

"Basically, if you keep acting like a bunch of ass-backward racists, you're going to drive away your children, and split this country in half."

Again, nonsense, and you should be ashamed of yourself for injecting race into this issue and then using it as a basis for criticizing your opponents of racism. What you're peddling is not any substantial policy, and you're not even using legitimate reasons to argue for it; you're hawking some crude racial identity politics on the basis that it makes you and a mythical generation of kids angry. Whoop-de-doo.

Worry about kids when they're in charge; for now, let the adults make the policies they want.

Posted by: evecon12 | May 21, 2007 8:03 PM | Report abuse

To those of you who support this plan and illegal immigration: I just hope that, with all honesty, you soon suffer the misery that I and 12 million of my fellow Americans feel today from the sting of illegal immigration. Someone will steal your Social Security number. Then you will lose your credit, lose your clearance, never be able to buy a house, never be able to collect unemployment, have the authorities and the IRS knocking on your door, never have a secure investment or bank account, and be told that your hopes for retirement are shot because you cannot collect Social Security or your 401k. The nice thing about this bill: It will perpetuate illegal immigration so those currently committing the crimes may get a taste of their own medicine! It doesn't matter where you come from, if you are willing to bend one law, what is three or four more? You are just doing it to get a better life, right? The problem is, someone like me (and hopefully you) pays the price for their crimes.

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This is to MC and Karl: As I mentioned before, Cesar Chavez was against illegal immigration. Do you know who he was? If you don't I suggest you google the name. My point is that being against this bill does not mean a person is a bigot. But you both seem to be bigoted against your fellow Americans, especially the poor and middle class ones. You don't seem to care what will happen to your fellow citizens if their wages disappear or shrink even more than they already have.

Posted by: Elizabeth | May 21, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

"unborn white fetuses"

ummm, you are either racist or ignorant yourself. The main people who are against abortion are Catholics, which support hispanics. Please don't make this a race issue, for most people it is an issue of the law. You sound naive and worse yet, uninformed. So you worked with them, so what. You now know all 12 million of them. Do you know the one who hit my friend with his car, got away with and then sued her because she was mean to him. What about the one who drove drunk and took the life of two girls in VA beach? Oh, I know they were white people so it doesn't matter, right?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Knock on the door ... don't smash the basement window.

Posted by: Patriot | May 21, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

If the Congress gives amnesty to 12 million or more illegal immigrants, they make a mockery of legal immigration. Many of us legal immigrants would not appreciate it very much.

Posted by: Hans Nahme | May 21, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

MC, the weed you are smoking is better than you hippie parents. How trite to regurgitate the talking points of main street businesses that rely on cheap labor.

Hey buddy, the per capita income in cheap to live in Mexico is about $10K: completely adequate for a nice living. Blame white Mexican Castellano dictators for illegals problems, not white Americans middle class folk.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

One angle people have not looked at is: The undocumented population, is becoming an underground population ... with no access to education or skills.

Whatever view we profess, we must understand that those who are undocumented or out of status, will inevitably some day become US citizens.

It is not to the US' advantage to purposely rob future Americans of fair and equitable education, of the opportunity to advance in the economic ladder, give their children the opportunity to go to college, and to start contributing to our social security funds.

Shorsightedness ... is not the name of the game .... this is a long term issue we must deal with.

I am a Hispanic american ... and it causes me great sadness to see so many folks that are running scared. I don't know what we are really doing as a nation.

If we use a long-term view ... we will see clearly ... let's not get lost in the trees....that we forget to see the forest.

Posted by: Catherine | May 21, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I am unaware of any legal impediment that would prevent illegal parents from taking their children with them if they are deported. The only way I can see this as "breaking up a family" is that immigrant parents are unwilling to "give up their ill-gotten gains", the "tax payer funded education and health care benefits their children enjoy" that are magnets attracting illegal aliens to the United States. Indeed, were we to eliminate entirely the jobs and benefits magnet, this might never have become such an emotional issue. I would note, that no similar concern seems to exist for the children of other law breakers who are incarcerated rather than deported. The fact remains that it is not unreasonable to require that immigration to this country be legal, nor is it unrealistic to suggest that a stable population, and limited growth based on our population, isn't a good solution to overcrowding, congestion, pollution, diminishing resources and vanishing green space that threaten our quality of life.

Posted by: Ed Weirdness | May 21, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm 25 years old. I live in rural Michigan. I actually spent my summers in Jr. and Sr. High School working on a farm with immigrant laborers, for the same wages.

I want to warn you now, if you're old enough to be my parents you're in for a firestorm in the next few years. Your hipocracy is almost unanimously turning the youth of my generation against you (think about your own revolution in the 60s, but with the internet). It's not even that we don't respect conservative values. Heck, I tried my best tow the line until a few months ago, when all of it just got to be too much to bear.

You preach the sanctity of life on the topic of unborn white fetuses, but talk about entire families of poor latinos like they're not human. That's not the way you raised us, and we're not buying it.

I've worked with them, and I know them. They want more money, the same way we all do, but there isn't crap they can do about it, because they're all illegals. It's not like they just randomly chose the U.S. either. Business owners here are actively encouraging their immigration.

If they were legal, they would be entitled to a legal minimum wage, and they would be able to persue legal action to get it. You don't think they'd want more money if they'd be legally entitled to it? If they were on an equal playing field pay-wise, I can tell you they have nothing on Americans when it comes to spending way too much time at work. We beat ourselves up, but I've spent time in Japan, and we even make them look lazy.

If you look at demographics, immigrant labor might be a necessity as all of you start to retire. Within a decade a huge number of you are goign to be retired. Who is going to be pumping money into the economy then, proping up social security and paying your medical bills? If they're legal and registerd workers, we can tax them effectively. That's going to be money in YOUR pocket.

Why are we afraid of them? They're poor? They speak a different language? You think they don't want to change both? Immigrants make sure their kids learn English, because it's the only way they're going to get anywhere in our society; the only way they're going to stop being poor. Forcing the matter is just a slap in the face.

Basically, if you keep acting like a bunch of ass-backward racists, you're going to drive away your children, and split this country in half.

Posted by: M.C. | May 21, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

i know it hurts some americans when they see people come here from places they wouldnt even imagine spending an hour, only to acheive success from the opportunities provided here, the same opportunities they passed on or take for granted. i thank all those that support the legalizing of illegal immigrants and for those who want them to just leave...get over yourselves...its not happening.

Posted by: karl | May 21, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Pete Wyckoff: FYI, you're proposing repeal of Article 1 of the 14th Amendment, which would itself require an amendment to the Constitution. Good luck.

Posted by: CT | May 21, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Laws are meant to protect individuals but there is also the human face of law; that which upholds the dignity of all human beings. If you are a US citizen, met and fall in love with someone that happens to have entered the US illegaly, are you going to stop loving that person? Under the present law, that undocumented person has to return to their home country and be barred from entering the US for 10 years if you get married and have children with that person. There are also women that left their home countries and children to come to the US so they can work underground and send money to the children and their own parents to feed and pay for rents. They sacrifice seeing and raising their children while they toil for low wages in the US. Their other option is abject poverty in their home country with no hope for the future.

It is human nature to find better ways to survive, and majority of the people opposing the conscious effort to reform the present bill need only put themselves in the illegal immigrants' shoes. Coming into the US illegally in the first place was wrong but you have to treat them with decency and dignity as well, especially if they are making honest living to survive. This is one nation under God and we should see ourselves as our brothers' keepers. The true spirit of a citizen is entrenched in giving courage and support. This is what makes an American and I am a proud citizen in this regard.

Posted by: Suave | May 21, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The clear and obvious solution to the immigration debate is already law: the REAL ID Act of 2007. Requiring the use of only REAL-ID-compliant IDs for filling out the Form I-9 "right to work" form, and requiring instant no-cost online verification would make sure that no employer could claim "I couldn't tell their documents were forged or stolen". Thus employers would face extremely steep fines with no way to evade prosecution and sentencing. They would stop hiring illegals, and only hire legal applicants. With almost no hope of ever being hired, most illegals would never come, and those who are here already would be packing for home because they couldn't get or keep a job.

Really, there is no decent excuse for breaking the law to sneak into the country and there is no decent excuse for employing illegal aliens. There are lots of excuses and lots of arguments and rhetorical tacks people can take, but it's only about one thing: is the USA a society with Rule of Law, or are we descending into anarchy.

Posted by: klaatu | May 21, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Them not being born in the US is not the problem. It is the fact, they came over here illegally. My great great grandfather immigrated the the US. But what do you know, I can see his naturalization papers making him legal. I am simply tired of paying more taxes to take care of their schooling, medical costs, welfare, and whatever else I am stuck paying for. Not to mention the rest of us American Citizens have to pay those little things called taxes, social security, and medicare. If you are here illegally, your most likely getting paid under the table. And before you stand on the curve protesting your illegal status, don't come to the US and change our National Anthem to meet your language. Protesting is something US citizens have the right to do because of our freedom of speech. I think that would have been the best place to go on a raid. Then the illegals would have come to them in one big gathering. If I went to Mexico (or whereever else your immigrating from) I would be expected to learn your language so do us the favor and do the same. I remember growing up in South Texas. There were illegals getting wel-fare and whatever else (how they got those benefits I don't know) driving brand new vehicles. Not to mention by the time I graduated High School we have a spanish-english interpreter. Thats just not right. I also have to agree with those that say just because they have a kid over here, that should not make the kid legal. You here all these sob stories about how the parent was deported and the kid either had to fend for themselves or go back with the parents. Guess what, that should not be our problem. I feel bad for the kid but it is their parents fault they were in the situation. They knew there was a chance of being caught and deported. You have to learn there are consiciences to your actions.

Posted by: darc | May 21, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

This is just so complicated, there are so many issues. From racism, to complying with laws, to past amnesty mistakes, to comprehensive humane reform, to unworkable deportation, to spinning words around. I think on this issue most of us stand on where ever it affects us, and its ok for those Americans somehow affected to defend their interests, and a comprehensive reform bill would never change the mind of that person somehow affected or bothered by an illegal alien for what ever reason they are being affected. For me the bottom line is that if we don't reform the system, I'm thinking what's next?, nothing, just ignore the problem again for who knows how many more years, or just start deporting 20 million people, that's chaos, and just crazy to think about. I mean what other solution is there, enforce our laws, common, never been done, we are not going to start now - the solution is to legalize these people, get rid of the criminals, let them earn their residency, everyone talks about citizenship which is important, but do you know how hard it will be for them to just apply for Residency, after having to meet all requirements and having to pay all those fines and fees?
I don't see any other way, and unfortunately, its all business and politics for some, for others, those who actually broke the law, those criminals who all they do is go to work and live just like you and me, their lives depend on what is going on in the senate, can you imagine, having your life on the hands of these senators, waiting and hoping they come up with a solution so that you can begin to live your life, no you cant, because you were born here, because your ancestors got here first, that is the only difference between you and them, and continue to defend your interests I don't blame you for that, but please look at all perspectives and what it means for everyone not only yourself. And sure you will say they put themselves in that position, they came here knowing that they could be deported at any minute, they are responsible for having kids, they are also responsible for wanting to better themselves and wanting to just live, THAT IS THE CRIME MOST OF YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. We should all be in jail.

Posted by: Frank | May 21, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Alcohol and tabacco cause thousands of deaths as well, they're still around, aren't they?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Illegal immigrants cause the death of 10,000 Americans annually from homicides and vehicle accidents.

Is cheap labor worth all that.

Posted by: Here legally | May 21, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Her parents should join the military. Isn't that how a lot of people are getting citizenship these days? yes, one or both might die, but at least they can prove their loyalty and respect for our country.

Posted by: D | May 21, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

As a retired person, I am able to spend several hours a day surfing the Web and political blogs. Wow! This issue of the immigration bill and what to do about illegal aliens is everywhere! And the comments and responses grow every day. There is a lot of feeling out there against illegal immigration. Some of it (maybe 25%) is openly ignorant and racist--this we should ignore. But the majority is thoughtful and concerned--and intense. This seems to be one issue that really is uniting broad areas of the population--broad and deep. It is yet to be determined whether the government will take notice. I suspect that it will have to as the chorus of disapproval of this bill becomes deafening. We shall see if the voice of the people has any impact. Maybe not. In which case, we will wait for Nov 08. If the powers-that-be think all this will be forgotten by then, better they think again.

Posted by: M. A. George | May 21, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

You put the cart before the horse when you say that the idea immigrants are taking jobs from Americans is laughable. They are, in fact, by lowering wages to the point that certain jobs become worhthless since they won't permit a person to meet basic expenses. Why do you think so many corporations want the flood of illegals to continue? Their CEOs and lobbyists just happen to have a thing about Latin culture? And how do they outcompete the American worker? - by living ten or fifteen to an apartment. I'm a former restaurant manager and I know what I'm talking about.

Posted by: John | May 21, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting to see how a lot of these posts just generalize and put all illegals in the same box. According to some of these pots, all illegals live in houses that 15 or more occupy, they're all living off welfare, or each family has more than 5 kids a piece; these obvious stereotypes and blanket statements are either written are out anger or ignorance because not all illegals live in those conditions. I believe that stricter social services policies need to be put into place if we are ever going to get all of these folks to contribute more to our society and "pay their dues." Demanding our government to send them all back home is an extremely unrealistic request that is not going to take place; so we need to find a way to work with what we have, otherwise we're just spinning our wheels.

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Posted by: fioricet | May 21, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

If This Law is passed in its current form, It simply sends a massage to every one, And that is, if you are legal in the USA, it is better and faster to be illegal because every 15 years there will be an amnesty. why play by the rules, go through all that legal, security, educational, skill tests . when at the end the goverment reword those that Do not follow the laws. Its not about white, brown or what ever. it really is simple. laws are there to creat some form of a level playing field. Amnesty breaks the rules, laws and encouage law bracking in the long run. 15 years from now, we will talk about this again. individuals who lack in their language and labor skills will get legalized, while well educated skilled workers who are the power house of this Great nation are unable to. So Who ever said crime doesn't pay, Should revisit that concept.

Posted by: david | May 21, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Send the girl home with her parents. This isn't even an issue. She would be an unaccompanied minor here if her illegal parents were deported. She should go home with them until she becomes an adult and then she can return with her full citizenship status. This country should not bear the burden of raising this child, considering her parents have paid no debts to this society. These politicians had better start listening to the people who actually vote--the one right that CITIZENS still have. We do not want amnesty and we want these illegals deported. We want our neighborhoods back. We want our culture and language back. If people want to come to America, they need to do it the right way--like my father did. This is not about racism or bigotry. It is about economics and culture. Americans are suffering under the onslaught of millions of illegals invading our neighborhoods and lowering our wages. The government must act to stop this and it must act NOW!

Posted by: C-dog | May 21, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Who cleans your office? Probably built your house? And in some cases even raises our great American babies?

My mother cleans offices, my cousins build houses, and a bunch of white and black girls watch my daughter.

It's too bad that the illegal immigrants will sooner or later force them out of these jobs.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

There is astonishing ignorance on both the pro-massive immigration and the no-immigration idiots around here.

Posted by: joe | May 21, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

The Republic of Ireland passed a law that just because someone was born in Ireland, it doesn't mean they are citizens. Women were flying in and giving birth and then bringing in the whole family. Everyone must know that women from south of the border do the same thing here. Then they bring in everyone with connecting DNA and their spouses. All of our systems are failing from the overload.

Someone has to draw the line. If the existing laws were enforced, it would be a step in the right direction, but they have to have the funding to do the job.

The Mexican Government depends on the American dollars illegal immigrants send back to Mexico. It's part of their yearly budget. Mexico needs to solve their own problems and we need to keep the dollars in this country.

Posted by: Lucille | May 21, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I hope they send your illegal wife back and if you can live on 40K a year more power to you, but I didn't bust my a$$ in school to live 20 to a house so you and your family could live off me.

This isn't socialism people.

Posted by: to robert | May 21, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

to the teacher who implied that amnesty opponents are ignorant bigots incapable of learning another language: I can read French, Italian, Spanish, and sometimes Russian, so you are wrong. I enjoy multicultural environments - California, New Mexico, Arizona, Miami. But this bill could destroy the balance between cultures in some states, first of all. A huge influx of population could and probably will destroy the environment. And a huge influx of workers from all over the world, will drive down wages for all workers in the US. That is why the Chamber of Commerce is for it. That is their goal.

Posted by: replying to others | May 21, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I work for a company that has mexicans for morjority of the work force. The reason for this is we have tried to work whites and colored people they are to lazy they won,t everything given to them for nothing. We also have our people on INS wish is a service for visa's. They are legal for 9 months. We also take taxes out of everyone. I don't think we should have to carry insurance for them or there relatives. If they get in trouble they should never be able to come back.

Posted by: Sheila | May 21, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I work for a company that has mexicans for morjority of the work force. The reason for this is we have tried to work whites and colored people they are to lazy they won,t everything given to them for nothing. We also have our people on INS wish is a service for visa's. They are legal for 9 months. We also take taxes out of everyone. I don't think we should have to carry insurance for them or there relatives. If they get in trouble they should never be able to come back.

Posted by: Sheila | May 21, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Fareed Zakaria, Hillary, Paul Wolfowitz and George Bush.

WAKE UP !!!! We want a modest, less than we have now, no lawyer tax, employer doesn't hold the visa, front door only immigration system.

Not a labor arbitrage, MBA types beat up on the middle class, overwhelming immigration system.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I am a Naturalized Citizen of the USA and have lived here and paid taxes for 50 years -and counting-. My priorities on immigration are:1) secure the borders (both North & South;2) enforce current Laws that include the deportation of all illegals (not just Mexicans;& yes, it is NOT IMPOSSIBLE);3) impose severe monetary penalties on any person/ industry hiring illegals;4) adjust current Laws to favor the immigration of educated individuals vs relatives(especially not immediate relatives);5) issue secure ID cards to every person in this Country.

Posted by: Gabor F Dobay | May 21, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

How would everyone feel if the indians came back and pushed us to the side instead of helping or whatnot? The indians helped the pilgrims farm, hunt, fish etc... If it weren't for the indians helping the pilgrims who stabbed them in the back and moved them on to the desert, you wouldn't even be here. I have 2 children with an illegal immigrant. They're US Citizens, i'm a US Citizen, and as far as i'm concerned, she is too. So let's get this immigration reform on the roll and not grant amnesty, but take into consideration the other families in my situation. All you have to do is put yourself into someone elses' shoes for a day to understand. I lived in mexico for 6 years, it's not fun living with a corrupt government and have to pay off police officers to stop them from taking your car just because you drove on a friday (Mexico City) when your license plate ends in a 9. So i think that some of the nay-sayers should go live in a 3rd world country just for a few months with the same mentality they have now. You wouldn't survive. The only reason you have survived now, is because your mommy and daddy raised you here and helped you all your life. Imagine someone who is here without their family, making minimum wage, and yet, they can afford to get a house or apartment, pay their bills, buy a car and still send money to their family every week. You're all too spoiled wanting to make 40k + a year. It's not because of the illegal immigrants that wages are going down. It's because of people being greedy.

Posted by: Robert | May 21, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I have a very black and white answer to this problem. If the people are here illegally (undocumented) they should be asked to leave and come back when they want to come in legally.

In the meantime, once the very cheap labor is out of the fields and gets replaced by more expensive labor, then maybe the cost of food would go up high enough to put an end to both Adult and Child obesity.

In the end this can go a long way to solving two problems.

Posted by: Richard K Newman III | May 21, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Why are children of illegal immigrants citizens? According to the 14th amendment:
Section 1.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
The way I see it is that children born to illegals are NOT subject to the juristiction [of the United States]thereof; they are subject to the juristiction of their HOME COUNTRY, not this country.
Thererore, they are NOT citizens, just because they are born here!
This amendment came about to ensure the freed slaves were all granted citizenship.

Posted by: PAcitizen | May 21, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Spanish is a fine language, just like French or Chinese or anything else. If people are speaking Spanish in public it does not mean that they hate the United States or want to invade or any other thing any more than my speaking English in a foreign country means I want to invade it. In my experience, an immigrant's fluency in English most closely reflects their educational level. The average U.S. student who has taken up to 3 years of a foreign language shrinks in terror if called upon to actually speak it. I work with high school students so I know what I'm talking about. The average American refuses to even attempt to practice what they so piously preach.

People also assume that all Hispanic looking people, especially indigenous looking people, are undocumented. That too is an absurd and even dangerous assumption. Likewise, people assume that everybody in the immigrant rights marches are illegal. Again, not true--people without papers generally avoid calling attention to themselves in such a way. People assume that everyone toiling in fields, doing backbreaking labor and being exposed to pesticides for insanely low wages, are illegal. Again, that is a facile assumption.

The whole Azatlan-means-invasion thing is a repugnant urban legend designed to justify hate crimes and racism.

This is basically a labor-rights issue. Our market has come to rely on a workforce that has been terrorized into accepting ridiculously low wages. The harsher we make our immigration laws, the more employers can abuse this class of employees--to everybody's detriment.

The antebellum South used racism to justify an economic system that was addicted to unpaid labor. The Civil War, and then later the Civil Rights movement, forced the South to treat its class of workers---in this case African-Americans--like everybody else (Or at least that was the goal.) The reasoning was that slavery was so odious an institution that it had to be abolished, no matter the economic consequences. A lot of plantation owners suffered as a result. Should we then have kept the slave system?

What will it take for people to see that a brown-skinned, indigenous-looking person who speaks a non-English tongue is still a human being?

Posted by: Deli Korkmaz | May 21, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

President Bush's goal has been from the first day in office to turn the USA in a third world banana republic modeled on Mexican. He has aided, abided, encourage and Collaborated with a foreign government to not only ignore Article IV Section IV of our Constitution but to subvert our Constitution. This is more than an impeachment offense it is treason pure and simple! Appointing Alberto R. Gonzales as head Bandito and A.G he had the top law enforcer in the Nation to assist and help in destroying our Constitution and Immigration laws. Alberto R Gonzales has worked with Sutton to punish Border parole agents and reward Drug Dealers and Illegal Aliens! The intent is to turn this Nation into a Spanish speaking Third World Cesspool of Crime, Corruption, Drugs, Poverty and Misery for the masses but a paradise for the Rich, Powerful, and Corrupt!

Posted by: BL | May 21, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

President Bush's goal has been from the first day in office to turn the USA in a third world banana republic modeled on Mexican. He has aided, abided, encourage and Collaborated with a foreign government to not only ignore Article IV Section IV of our Constitution but to subvert our Constitution. This is more than an impeachment offense it is treason pure and simple! Appointing Alberto R. Gonzales as head Bandito and A.G he had the top law enforcer in the Nation to assist and help in destroying our Constitution and Immigration laws. Alberto R Gonzales has worked with Sutton to punish Border parole agents and reward Drug Dealers and Illegal Aliens! The intent is to turn this Nation into a Spanish speaking Third World Cesspool of Crime, Corruption, Drugs, Poverty and Misery for the masses but a paradise for the Rich, Powerful, and Corrupt!

Posted by: BL | May 21, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

If USA would end the WAGE (which is slavery) & say that ALL people on earth OWN all things on earth, then this Problem wouldn't exist! And then we could automate all farms! And all people could work part-time 10 (or 5) hrs a week building beautiful 100-story live/work/play Tower Cities connected to maglev Trains worldwide. And we could build fast spaceships which would help save the Earth for future generations! Folks, admit USA did everything wrong to keep the world IN SLAVERY for wages (causing famines, crimes & wars) instead of setting people free!

Posted by: Sandy B | May 21, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Come to Centreville, VA. I live there and in the past 5 years it is starting to look just awful. I have seen several mexican families move in and then out real quick...HMMM, but they do not obey any laws what so ever. The lawns are unkept, garbage everywhere, beer bottles just left in the street, little children left unattended walking around the neighborhood and the list goes on and on. I cannot go to a store and get service unless I speak mexican or latino. My friends tell me that in school these kids harras thiers and do not study or even care to. I had things stolen from my yard by an 8 year old whom I caught in the act and he told me that his own mother told him to take the items cause I was a rich white guy and would just buy another. I am sick of it. I am a 20 year veteran and love my country, but what is going to be left of it if we let 12-20 million criminal in for free. And YES they are CRIMINALS since they entered here ILLEGALY

Posted by: Fred | May 21, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Looks to roots. Illigals are welcome by people who needs cheap workforce. They paid fraction because they came from poor countries, uneducated and have not protection. IT IS IMMORAL TO ABUSE SOMEBODY IN NEEDS. ILLIGAL IMMIGRANTS ARE SLAVES OF 21 century. I am an immigrant. There is defences between guy who barley speaks English and vs. somebody with degree in Science. US society quickly evolves. Illegals with low education cannot adjust and becoming another unhappy minority. If US needs reduce cost in agriculture, construction - innovate, build new machines, new materials, technology, think about robots (like Japan does), but do not bring-in cheap workforce. It suffocates local population by reducing earning and halts innovation. I am ready to pay more in stores and housing to see America moving forward, Are about to cheat on own future?

Posted by: SKV | May 21, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Most of the posts and news reflect emotions stirred by a few cases. Some express concern that if too many are allowed to enter the country and work here american wages will go down, which is a very limited way to look at such a broad issue.

Suppose US somehow drives all illegal immigrants home. Then try to calculate the new prices for the affected industries (agriculture, services...) wouldn't increased prices have the effect of reduced wages?

Then think about foreigners who come here to work in IT. It drives IT salaries down, sure, but how many jobs have already been exported to India? Do we want to export more? Microsoft said recently they have 7000 jobs to fill and they can't. Should we tell Microsoft to just go to India and do the job there? And if so - where are these workers going to spend their money and pay their taxes?

How about supporting talent? Are all jobs and skills born equal? Communist countries had that kind of economy 15 years ago: a professor would get almost as much as the garbage-truck driver. We saw how did that go. A man with knowledge can affect the lives of millions. An invention can be patented here and be sold around the world, or the other way around. A well educated specialist can pay taxes here, or elsewhere. The job will be done either way, the invention will be patented either way, the advances will be achieved either way, the only question is where would the benefits go: here or abroad?

I would suggest we should stop looking at cute pictures to decide what to do, and start analyzing the economical picture in a global frame.

Posted by: Sten G | May 21, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

How hard it is for people and politicians to understand that when people come into this country without permission constitutes an illegal entry. Therefore, allowing these 12 or 15 million of illegal aliens to remain working and living inside of this country while they are waiting to fix their legal status constitutes and AMNESTY LAW, it couldn't be simpler than that. Amnesty is the gratification to people for violating our immigration laws. This Congress is making the same mistake of 1986. This new fiasco of amnesty law constitutes discrimination for people who are waiting outside of this country waiting to come in LEGALLY. What this U.S. Congress is WRONG and betrays its constituencies and the rule of law. This new Pseudo-Amnesty Law will bring even more millions of illegal aliens into this country. Simple solutions to this problem: (1) Enforce the 1986 Law. (2) Crack down and increase penalties for those employers who hire illegal people. (3) Increased Border Security with sophisticated equipment and built the fence along the border. (4) Working Visas to qualify or needed workers with no path to legalization OK. (5) NO to the ACHOR BABY. American people (U.S. Citizens and Legal Aliens) need to write, phone and send faxes to their respective Representatives and Senators to OPPOSED to this fiasco and to march and protest this insanity and ambition from certain U.S. Senators.

Posted by: Peito | May 21, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

This land belongs to the citizens of the United States. La Raza and the concept of Azatlan refers to the removal and genocide of all non-latin peoples from southern states. The illegal immigrant is a part of a vast underground gangland economy waging war against US culture, it's citizens and it's standard of living. I know - I see them in their gangs collecting tribute from the exploited undocumented worker in my county. The drop-out rate and gang statistics at hispanic schoold alone is enough to tell citizens of the US that we are being dragged down to the level of the 3rd world.

If this were not the case with Mexicans, then explain why the Vietnamese community have stepped up to the plate and accepted their role as Americans, rather than wrapping themselves in their flag and dragging US neighborhoods to 3rd world status. Go to Little Saigon and see how true lawful immigrants accept and beautify their new home in one generation!!!

Mexico is not an ally of the US - never have they stood by us in a time of war, they claim they are 'taking California back' and they are like a coiling snake.

We live in and teach in these neighborhoods - it's absolutely real.

The gangs are infiltrating more and more neighborhoods; they are trashing; they are exploiting this great nation.

WAKE-UP!!!

Posted by: Randal | May 21, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Looks to roots. Immigrants are welcome by people who need cheap workforce. I am an immigrant. But there is diffenrce between guy who berly can speek Enlish and vs. somebody with 2 degrees in Hard science. US society is quicky evolves, in Metro areas even American have hard time to keep up with pace. Illigals with low education finaly will be left behind and become one more unhappy minority. IT IS IMMORAL TO ABUSE SOMEBODY IN NEEDS. ILLIGAL IMMIGRANTS ARE SLAVES OF 21 century. US needs reduce cost in agricalture - innovate, build new machnies, think about robots (like Japann does), but do not bring-in cheap workforce. It will soffocate local population by reducing earning.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

When child is born in the US they are an American Citizen automatically. I say the US should be like many other countries in the world eg. United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia. If the parents are not in the US legally, if they on a visitors, student or work visa and they have a child in the US that child should Not be given American citizenship.

I know more foreigners than I know American and the tricks that they do are amazing to me. One person I know (her husband is a medical doctor in a major hospital) is here legally. They own several apartment buildings. She has Medicaid, 29 other people are using that card each person going to a different medical center. This person had a baby and two weeks later her sister had a baby on the same Medicaid card but in a different hospital. When I mentioned to her that Medicaid was for poor persons and that she had medical insurance. She told me how stupid Americans are and she wanted the free milk that WICS gave.

When I talk to friends that work in admitting in different hospitals in different states they all tell me people come give a name, wrong addresses (saying they moved), right city, claiming they have a Medicaid card.

Someone else I know has several children, owns a home yet she is getting much government help. Her husband has a cash business and sends over $150,000 a year overseas.

I am also against the yearly lottery of giving a green card. One lady I know was very proud of the fact that she was a virgin. Yet she filled out 5 different lottery applications complete with husband and children all under a different names. She said I can always get a passport issued in what name I want.

A friend went to school, obtained her degree and then declared bankruptcy so she would not have to pay for her education. She told me that education should be free. She and her husband have a cash business that makes almost 1 million a year.

I thought the immigration bill that was passed in the 1980's was supposed to remedy the illegal immigration question. I feel that the powers 'that be' want cheap labor or labor that do not know their rights or will not complain of treatment.

I know males (who are married and have families in their home country) who have married American women for a green card. These men later bring their wives and families into the US once they become American citizens.

Many people I know are coming into the US pregnant having a child and then leaving. One lady I know her husband is a pilot, she came to the US with over $20,000 yet she got free pre-natal care nor did she pay a penny for her delivery. Others I know bring their elderly parents in and obtain SSI for them.

Something has to be done.

Posted by: Mona | May 21, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Immigration Reform unfair to the legal high-skilled, says ImmigrationVoice

May 20th, 2007.ImmigrationVoice, an organization representing legal-skilled professionals, which has a membership of nearly 12000, has serious reservations with the proposed Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007.

We are always told, "Break the law, and you will be in trouble". But, the recent "Immigration Reform Grand bargain" proposes to send a message that is precisely the opposite.

We are being told that no undocumented immigrant will get ahead of those in backlog. While the backlog of Family-based petitions has been highly publicized, the petitions of individuals (engineers, scientists, doctors and other professionals) are being left in legal and bureaucratic limbo. About half-a-million highly qualified professionals and their families have put their faith in the legal immigration system and due process of the United States, while working to enhance the US economy. These people have pending petitions either with the Department of Labor, or with the CIS, the final adjudication of which will enable them to work with a US employer, with consequent ripple effect on the US economy.

In the old system, employment-based petitions were limited to 140,000 per year, but the proposed system, 'in order to reduce backlog', reduces them to 90,000 per year only! On the contrary, Family-based cases used to be limited to similar numbers, but now have been increased to 567,000 per year! In addition, close to 100,000 of these applicants with pending petitions are being asked to start from scratch in the new system. In effect, it is similar to changing the 'rules' or rather, the 'Laws' after the fact! Innocent high-skilled prospective immigrants are being penalized due to bureaucratic delay in the DOL.

Highly skilled doctors, scientists, engineers, and computer professionals have been stuck in backlogs since the last 3-4 years. They had hoped to get relief from the "Immigration Reform", but have been let down badly. They are being forced to renew their H-1Bs yearly now, while the old system allowed 3-yr incremental renewals while their Green Card petition was pending. Seems like a fitting reward for following the Laws, isn't it?

A Merit-based system which has been proposed by the US Senate has been widely criticized for allegedly favoring skilled individuals. A review actually reveals it being skewed the other way! As an example, an agriculture worker can earn 25 points for working 100 days a year for 5 years, while a skilled individual will get 10 points for working the same number of years! Economic contribution by the undocumented is recognized by awarding points for property ownership but not for people working legally!

Individuals who have played by the rules, need to be treated fairly even though their actual numbers are much less when compared to the undocumented. There needs to be a timely process to resolve all pending employment-based petitions within a reasonable time frame. Immigration Reform is sorely needed. But, the present compromise is very unwieldy, and unworkable for high-skilled individuals.

Give high-skilled legal immigrants a fair deal! That is all we are asking for!

Immigration Voice (www.immigrationvoice.org) is a non-profit national grassroots organization committed to feasible solutions to a broken employment-based immigration process. Immigration Voice is advocating for technical changes that will improve the quality of life of several individuals that are stuck in the backlogs/delays, and help the system to work as it was intended.

Posted by: TS | May 21, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

As I pointed out in a post that wasn't displayed, Cesar Chavez was against illegal and excessive immigration. Was he a racist? To the person who waxed rhapsodic about amber waves of grain, etc: what will happen to the environment if the population here approaches a billion? Or even half a billion? Which could happen pretty quickly. Finally, have any of you heard of the law of supply and demand? It states that when there is an excess in a commodity (like workers)then the value goes down. In the case of workers, their bargaining power goes down.

Posted by: trying again | May 21, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Amazing! this is a really sensitive issue as I see a lot of responses spanning the entire spectrum (extreme to liberal)!!!
I guess this middle-ground Bill which has been proposed is quite enticing and maybe if implemented carefully with enough room for it to settle in (test it!) - it should be good (else we could always scrap it or amend it depending on the situation).
All i know is that there is a definite need for reform or changes.
The realization that I have by now, is that no group will be totally satisfied - hence this 'middle-ground' option as i said, is really enticing.
(and yeah, i'm pro legal migration)

Posted by: gigi philip | May 21, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm getting the worst of both worlds on this issue. I'm an American citizen by birth (and lived there 28 years), but I live in a third world country with my spouse. Why? Because I had the bad luck to be born the gender I am and so my marriage won't be recognized by the US government, so he's not allowed to move there with me. And before people go fingering Bush for that one, the Defense of Marriage Act was passed under Clinton's watch.

I'd very much like to have him legally immigrate, and he's always wanted to move to the states. We're not wrechedly poor unskilled people looking for handouts, we're both junior editors of some of the largest magazines in this country. But how do we get over there?

On one side it infuriates me that people just walk across the border and that's it. I wish I could do that. On the other side, people scream to deport anyone who wasn't born there, and raise the bar for entry which we can't even get over now. We make roughly $12k a year each, which over here is enough for a reasonable apartment and keeping an old car running, we're not in squalor. But the expectations the embassy throws out for people to move are ridiculously over that. Unless of course you happen to be a particularly desirable color to meet certain quotas, you don't really stand a chance.

What exactly are we supposed to do?

Posted by: Toby Hudon | May 21, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

the process of assimilation, which i believe many of the comments written here are referring to, is a long road that cannot and will not be rushed by current assimilated people. the thought of america being a xenophobic nation is laughable, because this country was made by a motley mix of peoples (including Catholics who, then as today, were fiercely discriminated against) but the uninformed masses in this country have it wrong in thinking we can pick and choose who comes to live here. We were and are today a bastion of hope to oppressed and distraught peoples. America is not Japan, where over 95% of the population is ethnic Japanese, and those who wish to believe this status can be achieved are misguided and in for a very, very long wait. And good luck finding cheap produce without illegal residents, or a housekeeper, or kitchen staff. Are these menial jobs? Yes. Do the immigrants from Central and South America fill the majority of these jobs? Yes. Does even the most impoverished blue-collar family in this nation want to see their baby boy or girl grow up to pick grapefruits 13 hours a day? NO. Wake up, whiners! You are fighting against the tide. No wall will stop illegal immigrants, no legislation will be so all-encompassing that both employers and the applicants will be dissuaded. And by the way, as a Massachusetts resident I take particular offense to those ridiculous Minutemen border patrols. Your xenophobia is infuriating and your goals are...well, beyond lofty. Do not soil the name with your racism and fanaticism. Remember: God blesses those who love others unconditionally, not those who slam doors in faces and build fences of spite and intolerance.

Posted by: patrick | May 21, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I've lived in a small town in MN for 10 yrs and in the last 5 yrs it has been overrun by illegals, the town is run down, dirty, U can't go anywhere in this town without having to listen to Spanish--it's pathetic... My daughter has to learn how to speak Spanish in our school system is just horrible...
And can someone explain to me how they can come into a town and get financial assistance to open up a restaurant, or store, when the person who has lived here for years can't!!!! Wheres the justice??
Our gov't is a joke on this subject... I agree with everybody else about our school systems being run down, having to pay for somebody elses medical and dental, etc, etc.. I have a hard enough time trying to support my own family yet alone a bunch of illegal familys..
And by the way, Hormel foods is company that has ruined this town!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: sad citizen | May 21, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

We continually hear this garbage about how we 'can't' deport 12 million illegals. Number 1 how would we know that we 'can't' - we never tried. We are in this position because the politicians didn't enforce the laws in the first place. Places where a modicum of effort has been made to enforce the laws has resulted in illegals leaving the area. Number 2: if we can't deport 12 million, how are we going to deport 50 million. The Bush/Kennedy/McCain amnesty lets all of these people bring over their parents, children and extended families. What happens when, just as now, we have massive amounts of these people and their families who refuse to pay their fines and follow the law. The same thing that is happening now: amnesty.
Note how happy the press is with this 'bipartisan' deal. They know full well that this is a handout to the Democratic party. The vast majority of these people belong to minority group and have no compunction about screaming 'racism' (think la raza and cair). More victims, more entitlements and more taxes. The clueless corporatist Republicans are too stupid to see beyond the dictates of their corporate masters for cheap labor. This is a demographic timebomb which will destroy the Republican party.
For all you people who think this all great, you may want to take a look at Paris where the muslims riot and loot on a regular basis or England where the muslims openly espouse hatred towards their 'home' country or perhaps Los Angeles which is now run by Mexicans, for Mexican. Welcome to Azatlan.

Posted by: Jeff B | May 21, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

We continually hear this garbage about how we 'can't' deport 12 million illegals. Number 1 how would we know that we 'can't' - we never tried. We are in this position because the politicians didn't enforce the laws in the first place. Places where a modicum of effort has been made to enforce the laws has resulted in illegals leaving the area. Number 2: if we can't deport 12 million, how are we going to deport 50 million. The Bush/Kennedy/McCain amnesty lets all of these people bring over their parents, children and extended families. What happens when, just as now, we have massive amounts of these people and their families who refuse to pay their fines and follow the law. The same thing that is happening now: amnesty.
Note how happy the press is with this 'bipartisan' deal. They know full well that this is a handout to the Democratic party. The vast majority of these people belong to minority group and have no compunction about screaming 'racism' (think la raza and cair). More victims, more entitlements and more taxes. The clueless corporatist Republicans are too stupid to see beyond the dictates of their corporate masters for cheap labor. This is a demographic timebomb which will destroy the Republican party.
For all you people who think this all great, you may want to take a look at Paris where the muslims riot and loot on a regular basis or England where the muslims openly espouse hatred towards their 'home' country or perhaps Los Angeles which is now run by Mexicans, for Mexican. Welcome to Azatlan.

Posted by: Jeff B | May 21, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

We are no different! so why do u treat us as if we are, sure on some levels we might be like that we are naturaly brown and you are brown by fake and bake, and that we are hard workers and not racist!! Let me ask you something, why do u think that we come here? For a better life! We got Families to support to you know!!! you think that we come here with nothing but happenies? You know when one comes here, he/she leaves behind a lot, he/she comes here with nothing but what they have on there backs, they leave behind everything, there family, friends, there home, all tehre personal/favorite belongings. imagine you leaving with nothing with no family, friends, nothing. you know when one comes here, he/she comes here with lotz of hope and fear!Where would you be without us? You think that you are so much better and don't need us, then let me ask you something? why do you want to be like us? why do want to/speak spanish, why do you want to be tanned/brown? You say that u are proud to be an american, but why? i know that i am an american, i was born and rasied here in the U.S. my dad is mexican and my ma is indian, and i can proudly say that i am not proud to be an american. You all think that This is your land and you can do as u please, but i got news for you, this ain't your land, this belongs to those of the indians!!! So think twice about what You are really doing!! What ever happened to the 2 sayings in the pledge of alligience "with justice for all" "one nation under god" and the saying in the national antheme, "land of the free." Now look this is coming from a 17 year old girl, and i am still young and take one good look at what this is doing to me, how much it is crushing and hurting me, can u just imagine what it is doing to everybody? So think twice about what you are doing, and remember that god is watching you!

Posted by: Allie | May 21, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

We are no different! so why do u treat us as if we are, sure on some levels we might be like that we are naturaly brown and you are brown by fake and bake, and that we are hard workers and not racist!! Let me ask you something, why do u think that we come here? For a better life! We got Families to support to you know!!! you think that we come here with nothing but happenies? You know when one comes here, he/she leaves behind a lot, he/she comes here with nothing but what they have on there backs, they leave behind everything, there family, friends, there home, all tehre personal/favorite belongings. imagine you leaving with nothing with no family, friends, nothing. you know when one comes here, he/she comes here with lotz of hope and fear!Where would you be without us? You think that you are so much better and don't need us, then let me ask you something? why do you want to be like us? why do want to/speak spanish, why do you want to be tanned/brown? You say that u are proud to be an american, but why? i know that i am an american, i was born and rasied here in the U.S. my dad is mexican and my ma is indian, and i can proudly say that i am not proud to be an american. You all think that This is your land and you can do as u please, but i got news for you, this ain't your land, this belongs to those of the indians!!! So think twice about what You are really doing!! What ever happened to the 2 sayings in the pledge of alligience "with justice for all" "one nation under god" and the saying in the national antheme, "land of the free." Now look this is coming from a 17 year old girl, and i am still young and take one good look at what this is doing to me, how much it is crushing and hurting me, can u just imagine what it is doing to everybody? So think twice about what you are doing, and remember that god is watching you!

Posted by: Allie | May 21, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

We are no different! so why do u treat us as if we are, sure on some levels we might be like that we are naturaly brown and you are brown by fake and bake, and that we are hard workers and not racist!! Let me ask you something, why do u think that we come here? For a better life! We got Families to support to you know!!! you think that we come here with nothing but happenies? You know when one comes here, he/she leaves behind a lot, he/she comes here with nothing but what they have on there backs, they leave behind everything, there family, friends, there home, all tehre personal/favorite belongings. imagine you leaving with nothing with no family, friends, nothing. you know when one comes here, he/she comes here with lotz of hope and fear!Where would you be without us? You think that you are so much better and don't need us, then let me ask you something? why do you want to be like us? why do want to/speak spanish, why do you want to be tanned/brown? You say that u are proud to be an american, but why? i know that i am an american, i was born and rasied here in the U.S. my dad is mexican and my ma is indian, and i can proudly say that i am not proud to be an american. You all think that This is your land and you can do as u please, but i got news for you, this ain't your land, this belongs to those of the indians!!! So think twice about what You are really doing!! What ever happened to the 2 sayings in the pledge of alligience "with justice for all" "one nation under god" and the saying in the national antheme, "land of the free." Now look this is coming from a 17 year old girl, and i am still young and take one good look at what this is doing to me, how much it is crushing and hurting me, can u just imagine what it is doing to everybody? So think twice about what you are doing, and remember that god is watching you!

Posted by: Allie | May 21, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

The immigration plan now being touted as the great compromise to solve a devisive issue within the United States is neither representative of the citizens or the historical processes of this nation.

First and foremost, the United States is a land governed by laws and this bill as it exists today rewards one for cheating the process. There are rules and regulations now in place which clearly delineate the process by which a foreign citizen enters this country and the 12 million illegal aliens now within are borders are clearly in violation of this process and in effect not only a threat to our security but simple criminals in every sense of the word. If those now illegally within our borders wish to become citizens they should first return home and go through the process of becoming a citizen correctly.

Secondly, the myth that this country would fall apart without illegal aliens is clearly that, a myth. What would happen is that the cost of labor would increase but that is price one pays for a free market economy. What exists today is a shadow economy that benefits the owners of production at the expense of the American worker. What one does not see and goes unreported is the consequences of illegal immigration which is the use of resources by those who do not pay their fair share and in effect cheat the rest of the citizenary.

Finally, the statement by our President that illegals only do the jobs Americans will not or cannot perform is insulting to not only the American people in general but more importantly every hard working person in the labor force. President Bush clearly demonstates his contempt for his fellow citizens by a statement such as this and his elitist mentality.

It is a sad day when America's excuse to pass legislation is based on political expediency and the simple lack of will to do the right thing.

Politicians in Washington need to begin to put America first instead of their own selfish grab for votes in the case of Democrats and cheap labor in the case of Republicans.

Posted by: Mark | May 21, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Trade and business relations between Mexico, the US and global investors trump the political will of the power base in the US.

Mex has agreed to allow private investment in PEMEX, it's state controlled oil company as of 2005.

The trade-off? No real immigration reform, no mass deportation flooding Mexico and the money being wired from undocumented workers in the US to Mex will keep flowing

Republicans' had control of Congress and the Executive and could have stopped immigrant and drug cartels from crossing the border and deported undocumented workers, but then V.Fox would have inturn refused to allow private investment in to Pemex.

We've all been sold out.

The people who profit most from these arrangements don't have to live with the 3rd world environment this creates. It's the middle-class of the US who have to deal with the 3rd world culture being brought to our neighborhoods.

You want out of those neighborhoods? You'll have to move to a place where the combined income of 8+ illegal immigrants (including wellfare checks for anchor babies) still won't pay the rent or shady mortgage.

We have been SOLD OUT!!!

Posted by: Randal | May 21, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The first act comitted by these people in this Country is illegal. These People have displayed their true colors, by showing total disregard for our laws to improve their lifestyle. This same group of self-seeking individuals, has rallied and voiced their opinions asking that we reform our Immigration Laws. If these same people would have rallied and voiced their opinions in their own Country they could possibly reform their own Government and would not need to be here in the first place.

Posted by: Ron Nix | May 21, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I left the DC area for a couple of reasons, the cost of living and the amount of gangs. I lived in Centreville, growing up this was the "boonies." I moved to the Midwest last year and would not trade it for the world.

Living here has advantages, my commute 10 miles is 10 mins. A "gang" is a group of kids skateboarding together.

And most shocking of all... If you say "we have an immigration issue" people look at you funny and say "I do not see the big deal."

I have no problem with us taking in people that want to follow the process; I welcome them. I have issues with those that want to take advantage of our system, our taxes, our school, and hospitals.

Maybe I am looking to far out of the box, or maybe it is a dumb idea but I think we should set some ground rules.

You want to live here, you can pass a 3rd grade English test. There should be 100 different versions of the test, no memorizing and cheating to pass. IDs should be confirmed at the door so no sending your friend in to take it for you.

Want to be an American, join the military. Any non college degreed, non English speaking person should have to join the Armed Forces for a 2 year stint. Great way to learn about the country and learn the language. And yes, this would apply to men and women alike.

Also, laws should be changed. Citizenship should be based on the citizenship of the parents. You had a child here, great. Here is your medical bill, and when you get back to your country make sure you report your child to your gov't. Heck, we can send paperwork informing them of the birth for you.

And lastly....if someone has my SSN, why is it so tough for ME to get that person off my taxes? Shouldn't there be a set of checks and balances that employers need to go through to hire someone. If that employer hires someone with a bad SSN there should be a whopper of a fine.

For those that do not see a problem with illegal immigration.... Go to DC, drive out into Northern VA, maybe the Sterling/Herndon area. Now ask someone for directions back into DC... 1. you will not understand the reply. 2. You will get shot by the MS13 gang member.

Posted by: Jay | May 21, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

What happens when you have an underclass with no political representation? Historically it has resulted in violence.

just keep that in mind when you make right wing policy.

Posted by: dan | May 21, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

It is so sad to realize how many ignorant people are walking around thinking that immigrants are a burden. Immigrants just like everybody else pay taxes, the majority of which are not reconciled at the end of each year. Who do you think ads to the surplus the IRS has been carrying for years?
It made me laugh to read that the US would not crumble with out immigrants. In what kind of la la land are you living? Look around you, who do you think harvest the veggies that sit on top of your big Mac? Who cleans your office? Probably built your house? And in some cases even raises our great American babies?
Comparing immigrants for criminals is beyond cruelty. Is going over the speed limit the same as drunk-driving and killing an innocent bystander?
Yes, they have broken the law, but are not criminals. And the assumptions that they are all thieves, gang members, etc is plain dumb, generalizations like that could be said about just about any race/ethnicity.
Instead of focusing on all "bad" that immigration has created, think about the good, the hard work, the booming cities, the cheaper items that you have been enjoying for years.
The laws need to change, must change for everybody's sake, not just the illegal immigrants, but for everybody- we will all benefit from it.

Posted by: Shocked | May 21, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Immigration solution - maybe. All illegals, who want to obtain legal American citizenship, much submit an application for legal status. All applicants must be screened "carefully". Passed screened applicants much learn our English language, pay back taxes and a $5,000 fine within a five year period. They would be given the "X" card during this five year trial period, which would permit them to drive and become "temporary" legal citizens. All who have not applied for legal citizenship by a given date, and those who do not pass the trial period, would be arrested and sent back to their Country. Employers, who hire illegals not signed up to become legal, should be also arrested.

Posted by: bhroberta@pstel.net | May 21, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Immigration solution - maybe. All illegals, who want to obtain legal American citizenship, much submit an application for legal status. All applicants must be screened "carefully". Passed screened applicants much learn our English language, pay back taxes and a $5,000 fine within a five year period. They would be given the "X" card during this five year trial period, which would permit them to drive and become "temporary" legal citizens. All who have not applied for legal citizenship by a given date, and those who do not pass the trial period, would be arrested and sent back to their Country. Employers, who hire illegals not signed up to become legal, should be also arrested.

Posted by: bhroberta@pstel.net | May 21, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Placing a "face" on immigration is pandering to the lowest level. While children of LEGAL IMMIGRANTS and LEGAL CITIZENS are having to do without; there's no sympathy for illegal aliens. Also, the law which makes children of illegal immigrants should be done away with. Problem solved. Plus, if the illegal immigrants truly want a better life, then change their own country. Quit using our's as a welfare system. If ICE can't do the deportation job, then get someone who can. So, support and enforce the laws we already have, and stop trying to fool the American people by snow jobs from Ted Kennedy.

Posted by: VALady | May 21, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Hey fred,

If you are white then you should just suck it up and let them have whatever they want. They are disadvantaged you know and you by virtue of being white are not.

Get used to it that is what is going to be coming in the next 20 years.
.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

It is hard to work up sentiment for mass deportations. That's because the illegal immigrants themselves are nearly all sympathetic people like the Mendezes. They are the "Juan" and "Rosalita" of Woody Guthrie's immortal song, "Deportees."

Still, there is something in the American psyche that resents line-jumpers. Imagine, for a moment, how "comprehensive ticket reform" would work at the ball park. The game has started, and there are 500 people waiting in line to buy tickets. An usher catches a group of people inside the park who have jumped the fence. Here's what he tells them: "You have to go to the back of the line to buy your tickets. There are 500 people outside waiting, so your numbers start with 501. However, while you are waiting for your numbers to be called to buy your tickets -- you can all stay inside the park and watch the game!" There is no way that this is going to seem fair to Americans.

Similarly, the "Z-visas" under the proposed immigration law are not available to applicants who have been patiently waiting in their home countries for permission to come live and work in the United States. The Z-visas are available only to those who have jumped our border, or who have come in as tourists or students and overstayed their visas. In other words, the Z-visas are rewards available only to those who have broken the law. Those who have "played by the rules" are suckers, waiting in line outside while the fence-jumpers get to watch the game.

Because the illegals themselves are sympathetic people, and because government, whether Republican or Democratic, looks out first and foremost for the interests of business, we cannot expect government to do much against the employers of illegal aliens. Rather, we should go after those employers with the most-feared force in the business world, namely, trial lawyers.

Here's how it would work: Anyone -- a rival employer, a union, a town council, a legal resident -- could file a civil suit against an employer, charging the employer with violating the law by employing undocumented aliens. The employer's only defense would be that every one of his employee is, in fact, legally entitled to work in the United States. The burden of proof would be on the employer to show that he checked with the Federal Government and the Government authorized him to hire the employee. To protect the employer from being caught between immigration law and equal opportunity employment law, employers would be immune from lawsuits for refusing to hire anyone whose legal immigration status the employer cannot positively verify.

What would be the measure of damages for employers found to have violated the law? How about $20,000 liquidated damages per illegal employee? And, best of all, the law would provide that the plaintiff's attorney is entitled to fifty percent of whatever the employer is found liable to pay. A meat-packing plant or a fishery with 100 illegal aliens would wind up paying $2 million in liquidated damages, while the plaintiff's lawyer would collect $1 million for the case. That would provide plenty of incentive for plaintiffs and lawyers to sue, plenty of incentive for legal workers to register with the Government to avoid getting fired, and plenty of incentive for employers to shun unverifiable workers who are not registered with the Government.

Let's try this kind of civil enforcement for ten years or so, and see what happens to our pool of 12 million illegal aliens when the jobs dry up.

Posted by: Republican | May 21, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Sorry I forgot the Chinese. They were right there with the Irish on the railroads.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I live in Northern Va, Fairfax. I am sick of what I see in my once nice neighborhood. I am constantly watching around my home, due to the fact we had an Hispanic clan move in and they imeediatly stole my solar light to my walk way and put them on their own. I called the police and they retireved them for me, doing nothing to them. Their garbage is all over there unkept lawn and they race up and down the streets. I am sick of it SEND THEM HOME!

Posted by: fred | May 21, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I live in Northern Va, Fairfax. I am sick of what I see in my once nice neighborhood. I am constantly watching around my home, due to the fact we had an Hispanic clan move in and they imeediatly stole my solar light to my walk way and put them on their own. I called the police and they retireved them for me, doing nothing to them. Their garbage is all over there unkept lawn and they race up and down the streets. I am sick of it SEND THEM HOME!

Posted by: fred | May 21, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I live in Northern Va, Fairfax. I am sick of what I see in my once nice neighborhood. I am constantly watching around my home, due to the fact we had an Hispanic clan move in and they imeediatly stole my solar light to my walk way and pu them on their own. I called the police and they retireved them for me, doing nothing to them. Their garbage is all over there unkept lawn and they race up and down the streets. I am sick of it SEND THEM HOME!

Posted by: fred | May 21, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

First, get over this breaking a law business. Laws are written, then they are broken, then they get rewritten or amended. Look at Prohibition and how many people were willing to give up alcohol? Immigration to the USA is a fact of life. As long as we have a social and economic standard much better than in Mexico or central America, there will be economic refugees. Much of the Chinese immigration in the 1800's (and we certainly were not slouches or a bunch of scam artists as some of the postings suggest) was due to famine and starvation in China, same thing with the Irish and the potato blight in Ireland. It would be better to accept the realities and achieve immigration reform that will humanely provide for those who are already here and also allow homeland security at the borders to improve. This nation has spacious skies, purple mountains, and amber fields of grain, and it is by no means even close to being crowded yet.

Posted by: madampomphret | May 21, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

The backbone of this land is the Irish, Italians, Germans, Jews, and African Americans who built this country with their bare hands, assimilated and never, ever ask for anything but the right to live free in return. Go hop back over the border if you don't like us, but if you want this country you are going to have to take and we will not go down without a fight.

There is a war going on, so if they are the backbone then we should send them all over there to fight for the country they love so much.

Legal immigrants are welcome, illegals are not.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Our public discourse is being inundated with isolationist propaganda and plain falsehoods. Nowhere is this more evident than the debate surrounding the immigration crisis. I can understand how the average person can be misled, but it is unconscionable for any elected official to cite blatant distortions or racist rhetoric as the basis for public policy decisions.

The US job market demands nearly a half-million additional workers each year to meet labor shortages, yet current policy allows barely 100,000 workers to enter legally. As recently reported by ABC News, many service-oriented small businesses cannot obtain work permission for the number laborers needed and face almost certain bankruptcy due to the crackdown on hiring practices. Without foreign-born workers willing to fill remaining vacancies, our economic fabric would be in tatters. Undocumented workers should not be criminalized but provided means for legal participation in the workforce- and applauded for their critical role in keeping the US economy strong and growing.

Many undocumented workers pay Social Security and Medicare through payroll deductions but do not receive benefits. Contributions from foreign-born workers are subsidizing these programs - not "draining the system." The IRS has collected billions from undocumented workers who don't seek refunds and many have IRS taxpayer numbers to meet tax obligations. Immigrants, regardless of status, will pay on average $80,000 per capita more in taxes than they use in government services. The Social Security Administrations holds over $420 billion from undocumented workers ineligible for benefits. Without the contributions from foreign-born workers, our cherished entitlement programs would be even less solvent.

A large percentage of undocumented persons in the United States entered our county legally with valid visas and passed through regulated points of entry. Many have US children and deep roots in communities across our land. Inflexible immigration policy has landed them in bureaucratic limbo by prohibiting any change of status or visa renewal in country. Most face severe penalties and certain deportation should they come out of the shadows. Uprooting communities and separating parents from their American children is not in line with our family values.

Declaring that "anything less than forced deportation is amnesty" is akin to making dismemberment the only acceptable punishment for taking extra Post-it Notes for the office supply closet. "Gestapo" strategies are not acceptable approaches to the immigration crisis. Small fines can be meaningful punishment for those who may have skirted deficient immigration policies, but rounding up every undocumented person or otherwise forcing them to flee the country is simply not realistic or in line with any sense of moral or social justice we share as a nation.

Faith teaches us that, "when an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born" and reminds us that "we are all aliens sent out to help other aliens find a place of safety in this world." Congress should support a rational, moral, and comprehensive response to the immigration crisis and reject the "Gestapo" tactics of extreme penalties and excessive fines that force mass deportation.

Posted by: Pasifikawv | May 21, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

If the father is deported to Mexico, he would be returned to the third richest country in the western hemisphere.

Posted by: Kenneth | May 21, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

My friend was hit by a car load of mexicans while she was walking on the street with her little boy. She called the cops, they could do nothing. Then two weeks later the ACLU sued her because she was mean to them. Luckily, we are in the Midwest and the judge threw it out.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

IT IS INDEED STUPID TO EVEN SAY DEPORTATION FOR 12 MILLION PEOPLE.AND THE HUGE FINES AND FEES ARE OUTRAGEOUS TOO,BUT SO BE IT.THE BACK BONE OF THIS LAND IS IMMIGRANTS AND THE AMERICAN CITIZENS NEED TO BE FAR MORE ACCEPTING OF IMMIGRANTS

Posted by: EMILE | May 21, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I love how they say they are helping the economy, bla,bla,bla. Let me tell you how they 'helped' me. I lived in a house for 30 years and a group of mexican illegals moved in next door and one day one of those 'hard workers' must of been relaxing with a few beers and drove home. He proceeded to hit 3 cars on my street and then run.. the cops caught him and told me there was nothing they could do to an illegal "no one will come get them". So in order to get paid I went to the person who the car was registered to. In the state they can revoke their license and send them a letter to pay up.. well they must of had fake documentation becasue the state dropped it and told me that the information I had provided was wrong - no further explanation. So I went back to the police station, filled out of the info again and the state came back with the "the is something wrong, we cannot follow up" and refused to tell me what was wrong, or how to fix it.
So I had to pay to fix my car.. yeah the "hardworking mexicans helped me". NOT!

Posted by: Frank Castle | May 21, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone else disgusted with both the democrats and the republicans?

Posted by: get real | May 21, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I think the law is the law. If people broke the law, they should be deported. The little girl's situation is unfortunate, but as I see it the parents have two choices. If they're really as concerned as they profess to be about keeping the family together, they should all go back to Guatemala. When the child becomes 18 she, as an American citizen, is perfectly welcome to return here to attend college, get a job, or whatever.

If the parents are concerned about getting the child a better life here, they should go back to Guatemala, and leave her with a (hopefully legal) relative or friend, or put her up for adoption.

Immigrants seem to be concerned about keeping families together right up to, but not beyond, the point at which someone is to be deported. If the mother was really that concerned about it, she would willingly report herself and be deported with her husband, rather than have him deported alone. Of course, she won't do this because it's just an excuse to try to evade the consequences of the law.

Posted by: Pete | May 21, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I don't want to pay for these kids' medical bills, and I don't want to have to learn Spanish, and I don't want his father stealing a car because "they had to, to get by". They just sealed up a tunnel from the Tijana that was built by a cartel for smuggling DRUGS into the US! Blanket statements!!??? -whatever. They as a whole pose a problem. Individuals who do not profile with "the whole" should enter legally. BTW when the Mayflower came - they didn't have VISA's - because this was not our country until we kicked out the English flag wavers in the revolutionary war. What would you have us do with the Mexican flag wavers??? Theodore Roosevelt (1907) said:"...it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Posted by: JimiHat | May 21, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

If the people who don't have children in the public schools knew how much money and wasted time it is costing them they would march on city hall. New immigrant kids show up virtually everyday, with no records, no transcrips, and nothing more than someone claiming to be a parent. Whether it be October or May they are there and the school must accept them. The teacher is then presented with a kid, who has missed almost the entire semester, and by law has to be educated. The teacher must then try to cram seven months of learning into one month so the kid will pass a standardized test. Also included are benifits such as free lunch, free breakfast, information (in their language of course) about where to go for free medical care and legal advice in case they need it. This is costing the taxpayers millions in virutally every school system in the country.

Posted by: The real deal | May 21, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

First of all, it is such a cheap argument to accuse all anti-illegal immigration people as racist. It is logical to oppose illegal immigration on economic and legal arguments.

In theory, all illegal aliens should be deported immediately for breaking the law. However, since everyone seems to think that is impossible (even for a nation which took over a foreign country in days), then we should first secure the border.

Then we immediately deport those illegals with felony or multiple misdemeanor offenses.

Next we get very tough on businesses who employ illegals through increased fines and jail time.

We allow the remainder of the illegals to self deport over a 10 year period and finally, we try addressing the root causes in the source countries and make our economic aid work for effectively so the source countries can improve the quality of life and economy which will deter their people from wanting to leave in mass quantities.

To address the issue of children missing their parents..would we call for drug dealers to be released from prison because their children miss them? Are drug dealers not cheating to get themselves ahead in the same way that illegals are? Both are inconsiderate of the effects caused by their illegality and are looking out only for themselves. Is it not right that we law abiding citizens look out for ourselves and oppose their actions and demand equal treatment.

Posted by: fighterDC | May 21, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I am tired of seeing illegal immigrants using kids as shields to prevent them from being deported or to grant them legal status. The law does not say that a person can be on the way to American citizenship simply by giving birth to a child on US soil. I understand that its no fault of the child but that does not mean that the parents who are here illegally should get a free pass.

This so called comprehensive immigration bill is nothing but a sell out to open border groups and businesses who want cheap labor. Can someone please explain to me how this bill is going to prevent the same thing from happening again? Illegal immigrants are still going to find a way to cross the border or they are going to come here on valid visas but overstay them. Once here they are going to find work with businesses that are more than happy to hire them at below average rates. They are going to have kids and since they can't afford health insurance they will end up in emergency rooms forcing the tax payers to foot the bill. From here the illegal parent have a great reason to prevent them from being deported plus it's the tax payers who are going to foot the bill for the kid's welfare, free public school and even health care. Sweet deal for the parents.
And in another 15-20 years we are going to find ourselves in the exact same mess. The solution to illegal immigration is not more border patrol agents at the border or more miles of fences. The only solution is to get businesses to stop hiring illegal immigrants, stop landlords from renting to them, stop them from having access to any free public or emergency services but MOST importantly to stop giving automatic American citizenship to kids who are born to illegal immigrants.

Posted by: AF | May 21, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"Take a drive out to West Virginia. Where there are only our white people - 99%. The construction is done by White people. The lawn mowing, the home building, the road work, etc. etc. Do you know what it is like to drive or live in WVA. It is worse then a third world country. They have been building a itty bitty bridge for 10 years now! They have never finished a road they planned back in 1996. When I drive by them they work like there is no deadline or plan to get things done. They take one hour lunches and immediately leave work 10 minutes before 5pm. They get there at 8am and take about an hour to start working."

This is a lie. Those people that you are talking about built this whole country and they did it without their hands outstretched for hand outs. How dare you say that they are not hard working because they are white and poor? F-you and we don't want you in West Virginia when the illegals start overrunning your schools and hospitals.

I came from Ohio and I can guarantee you that any of the workers there can work circles around the illegals. Don't make this a race issue; it's an issue of following the law.

Posted by: get real | May 21, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

People are expected to feel sorry for American citizen children separated from illegal alien parents detained or deported for breaking the law but nobody feels sorry for American citizen children separated from their parents imprisoned for breaking other laws. Why the breathtaking hypocrisy? There is an obvious political agenda here.

Posted by: NN | May 21, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

When they move into neighborhoods and pack the house with 15 people, don't pick up their trash, don't mow the grass and completely trash the house. I would be more willing to accept them if they were more willing to accept our values. But if they continue to disregard our laws and values of what founded this country, I will have no sympathy for their plight.

Posted by: American Values | May 21, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Please allow me to express my dissatisfaction with the powers that be. My dissatisfaction is on a subject that is less likely to be familiar with most of your readers. It is not given the coverage in mainstream media it deserves. It is the subject of legal immigration. That is not a typo. I do not want to talk about illegal immigration, the cause of so much controversy, but rather its less evil and more law-abiding twin.


On the one hand, I wish legal immigration would cause its own controversy. At least that would create some form of discussion and debate around it. It would give me and my other green card applicants-in-arms something to hang a morsel of hope on, instead of being relegated to the state of oblivion it is now.

Legal immigrants fall into various categories but, generally, follow the same course. We are allowed into the United States on some kind of temporary visa and, in time, we apply for a change in status (i.e., a green card) that will allow us to stay in the country indefinitely and with far more freedoms. This green card application is reviewed, as it should be, to make sure that the applicant is worthy of permanent residency status. Does the applicant provide a valuable contribution to the country or would he or she be a burden to the U.S. economy? Have they obeyed the law or are they a threat to national security?

The frustration sets in with the process that is set in place. The word process implies movement. It suggests that your paperwork will progress through the various stages. The word process puts a far-too-optimistic outlook on our plight. We need another word. What word could better describe this situation? Stagnant. And circuitous. Heartbreakingly endless. Shrouded in mystery. Dispiriting to tens of thousands.

Who are these tens of thousands? They range in age, ethnicity, background, and values. You can consider them a mini-melting pot within the already existing cauldron. All of them, however, have certain things in common with each other as well as with Americans. Like all law-abiding Americans, they pay taxes. Like all hardworking Americans, they provide valuable contributions to American companies. And just like their American counterparts, they give the best of themselves each and every day. They adapt to American culture by learning English, if they did not already have an excellent command of the language. They help fill the gap in engineering and science that American high schools and colleges cannot. This is a trend that is so worrisome to parents, teachers and politicians that there are several initiatives in place to get the United States back on track. In the meantime, it is the legal immigrants that help American companies to remain competitive in the global economy.

Applicants can wait up to seven to eight or more years before being granted a green card. In the meantime? They are limited as to who they can work for. If they change employers, this will require the process to start over again. They are limited as far as how far they can get promoted. If their promotion leads them to be categorized differently, it may mean that they have to start the process all over again. They are limited to where in the country they can work. A change in address can also be cause to restart the process. Generally, spouses of applicants are not allowed to work until a green card is granted.

The picture that I hope I am painting is one in which lives are on hold -- for years. Time is not the only sacrifice, though. There are lost career opportunities, lost earnings, indefinitely delayed life decisions.

The entire process needs to be thrust into the light and revamped to be more efficient, so that immigrants who work hard, obey the law and pay taxes are rewarded appropriately, instead of being punished by endless wait times.

The picture that I do not want to paint is that of an ingrate. This is truly a great country to make a life in. It takes hardworking, honest, dedicated, smart, ambitious people to make it run. Every legal immigrant I know fits the bill.

Posted by: Sanjay Bharadwaj | May 21, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Illegals broke the law and should be punished rather than rewarded.

Businesses who have broken the law should be punished even harder.

Children of convicted drug dealers miss their parents too but you don't see a huge call to release them from prison do you? It is reverse racism to give such illogical pity to people who are breaking the law (cheating) to get ahead. How is that different from stealing or dealing drugs?

This country will not crumble without illegal workers. Consumer prices may increase slightly but our long term tax burder should improve as will our quality of life. If deporting 12 million is impossible, we should deport as many as we can, prioritizing illegals who have committed additional felonies first. Then get tough on businesses so the other 15 million self-deport over the next 10-20 years.

I'm just not understanding how securing the border and deporting slowly over time is a bad idea.

Posted by: fighterDC | May 21, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Americans are fed up with S. American illegals, they are now one of the most despised groups illegally living in America! No one seems to be complaining about any other group except mexicans and s americans. These Illegal immigrants use their children for food stamps, welfare, free school lunches, free anything and guess who picks up the tab? Where are the HARD WORKING illegals? I see so many living off the system. The U.S. TAXPAYER is being SCAMMED by this 3rd world culture. we need STRICT ENFORCEMNT in all areas.. employment, benefits, etc. Why are we allowing the children to be born in America? Why don't we build hospitals in Mexico so the children will not be American citizens. The money saved would be enormous!!1

Posted by: illegal imm=scam | May 21, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Tell me what will happpen to the USA when all these able hands are sent home? What?

Some courses in Economics and you will see that the reason you and I are enjoying this boom is because of the symbiotic relationship we have with them.

What would america look like without them? I will tell you:

Take a drive out to West Virginia. Where there are only our white people - 99%. The construction is done by White people. The lawn mowing, the home building, the road work, etc. etc. Do you know what it is like to drive or live in WVA. It is worse then a third world country. They have been building a itty bitty bridge for 10 years now! They have never finished a road they planned back in 1996. When I drive by them they work like there is no deadline or plan to get things done. They take one hour lunches and immediately leave work 10 minutes before 5pm. They get there at 8am and take about an hour to start working.

But many americans don't see any of this because they live in communities where there is a large portion of illegal immigrants who tehy leech off of. Our nice highways and manicured lawns. Great services and Restaurants. Can't we see you are dependent on these people. Do we want to cut your own hand off? What would happen to our economy? Think about it 12million able hands no longer picking our vegetables, or working our factories, or building our bridges. Look on route 28 how many bridges have been built in the span of 6 years, like 8. All by latinos.

Latinos usually arrive to work before 5am to the construction sites. They are extremely hard workers. Barely eat lunch, get right back to work. And usually finish after 7pm. This is done straight for 6 days in a row.

Have you every seen a bustling, thriving city without Immigrants, especially latinos? As yo u can see all the major cities are a direct result of the symbiotic relationship you and I hold with these illegal immigrants. If they go, our way of life goes. Our productivity and growth would come to a screeching halt.

I can see afar off, so can our leaders, and our farmers. What our extreme, draconian, and unrealistic stupidity would do to my way of life and your way of life is - DESTROY IT.

Some people think that by deporting all these people our cities would continue to thrive? This isn't Wizard of Oz and Emerald City. Our production would come to a screeching halt.

Another point is how can we suggest to deport 12million people. Do we understand that NUMBER. We don't even send a third of that number to fight wars. What we are saying is completely unrealistic. It is telling pigs to fly. Can you imagine the unrest and tension this will cause within communities. All for what? These people can be taught, educated, helped.

HAUL 12 million people out is ludacris. THAT IS INSANE. Someone even saying this can only be drunk with the stupor of their racism and fear.

We are talking about 12million people. This is not possible even by peaceful means. And it wouldn't stay peaceful. I for one want to live in peace. I don't want live a civil war.

Posted by: dexter | May 21, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I am not against legal immigration. Both of my parents came to this country on that basis. They learned the English language immediately and only spoke their native language at home. It is not "racist" to believe that people coming here illegally should not be allowed to stay. Mexico has strict laws about illegal immigration. Our country should take heed. Children cannot attend their schools unless they can speak Spanish. Not so in the U.S. If the people coming here illegally are so unhappy in Mexico, then they should seek to make changes, even if it takes a revolution on their part. The U.S. revolted against England's rule in the 1700s, and we were ultimately successful. The Mexican people need to make changes in their country so that they do not have to cross our borders illegally. I have no tolerance in watching them use our country to their advantage and then waving their Mexican flag showing loyalty to a country that they feel forced to leave because of the poor conditions. If U.S. citizens were to behave in this manner in Mexico, they would be kicked out of Mexico or worse yet, shot.

Posted by: pcalderon | May 21, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

If NO ONE paid attention to the Immigration Laws already on the books.....do you REALLY think Americans are "buying" that the new LAWS will be followed?

NO to the new deal.....! ENFORCE OUR CURRENT LAWS!!! TAXPAYING AMERICANS ARE FED UP!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: mightymouse | May 21, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

The people on the Mayflower came and built a country based on obedience to law. They did not come to a country already built with an efficient justice system, running water, weekly garbage pickup, elections, roads and highways, power plants, vast network of public schools, great universities, etc. Illegal immigrants are breaking this principle. They come bringing no great principle that appliy to all of mankind like freedom of religon, nor great technology which may enrich this country; but just a desire to earn more money which they cannot do in their own badly run countries.

Posted by: asean | May 21, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Give me a break. The law that makes children
of illegal immigrants citizens should be abolished. The sadness of the situation is the responsibility of the child's parents. Go back to your own country and try to improve it. If you can't do that why would we want you here. We now own this land it's up to us to govern ourselves until someone kicks us out. I pay property taxes. Because of illegal immigrants my child will probably have less because they don't pay taxes and their children are stressing the school systems. Not to mention hospitals and jails. I don't see anyone feeling bad about my son having less school books or riding a cramped school bus, or not having enough chairs in his class room. They know they're not supposed to be here send them back!

Posted by: Pete Wyckoff | May 21, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

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