Monday, April 10, 2006
Irish still coming to America
Imagine not being able to get a driver's license, or not having a valid Social Security number, or worrying that any day in the United States could be your last.

That is life for millions of illegal immigrants living in this country, including about 50,000 illegal Irish immigrants. Half of those illegal Irish immigrants live in the New York area, including Brian M. (he asked us not to use his last name).

Brian has been living in the Unites States for 10 years, after first coming here on a tourist visa that has long since expired.

He owns a plumbing company and a home with his wife in Yonkers, New York. He also pays taxes through a special tax identification number, because he doesn't have a Social Security number. He says he's a NASCAR fan and an avid hunter. Yet he lives in the shadows of American society.

For tonight's show, we spent some time with Brian and watched how he struggles daily because of his status as an illegal immigrant. He can't get a driver's license, but works six days a week, so he hired someone just to drive him to and from work.

Until they got married in New York last October, Brian and his wife hadn't seen their families in seven years. Travel, and the risk of being detained at an airport, is just too risky for them.

Brian thinks it's important to put a face on immigration, so he is traveling around the country speaking at any rally he can. He wants illegal immigrants like himself to be granted the same rights as their forefathers. And like the tens of thousands of people demonstrating today across the United States, he wants his voice to be heard.
Posted By Randi Kaye, CNN Correspondent: 5:08 PM ET
  65 Comments
How many of these illegals are paying tax into the system and not taxing the system? We wonder why our health costs continue to rise. Are illegals part of the reason?
Posted By Anonymous O. Fleming, Bloomington, IL : 5:18 PM ET
All I have to say is, "Its the economy stupid". Getting rid of all of the illegal immigration in this country would cause a devostating problem within the United States. And as unfortunate as it sounds, all of the people who complain about illegal immigration, would be the same people complaining when they had to work all of the jobs no one else wanted to work.
Posted By Anonymous Brandon, Chicago, IL : 5:29 PM ET
Maybe I'm underestimating the immigration process, but why hasn't Brian become a legal immigrant? Obviously he is responsible and not afraid of hard work, or paperwork, as shown by owning his own business and home. I don't have any experience in the process, but can not understand why someone who goes out of his way to pay taxes and is obviously proud of his life would not want to make his status here legal. Is there some part of the immigration process that I am not aware of that makes it so unappealing?
[By the way, I am in favor of encouraging all immigrants to become legal citizens, giving them the benefits (medical assistance, etc.) and responsibilities (paying taxes, etc.).]
Posted By Anonymous Betsy, Lake Crystal, Minnesota : 5:34 PM ET
Illegal immigration is 'illegal'. Anyone wanting to become a citizen of the United States needs to apply for citizenship and wait like anyone else who has gone through the 'legal' process. There can be NO exception to this policy, regardless of their color, race, creed, religion, or nationality.
Posted By Anonymous robert j. Lakeland, Florida : 5:42 PM ET
I am a pro-legal immigration advocate. My wife is a recent immigrant from Japan who came here legally, spending thousands of $ on legal fees, physicals and vaccinations. I have frinds that would like to come here from other countries, but connot get a visa. However they respect our laws and do not trespass illegally into the Unitied States. I would like you to show the other side of illegal immigration. How about a piece interviewing an illegal alien who came to this county and committed a felony and is in prison that we are paying for. Over 25% of those incarcerated in California where I used to live are illegal aliens. Why don't you tell that story. Someone who breaks into your house and uses your kitchen and takes a shower is not an undoucumented house guest. They are breaking the law and are criminals, even if they clean up the kitchen when they are done.
Posted By Anonymous Paul, Wheaton IL : 5:43 PM ET
I too am Irish but was born here in America. I think that it has been said that they are going to allow those that have been here for more than five years to stay in America.
But I think that it is important to stop immigrant from coming here illegally. Many have said that "they do the work that Americans don't want to do...", I think that if they weren't here America's unemployment rate would go down. It would open many opportunities for those that are out of work now.
I want to thank those that have put this into motion. It's about time we take a stand against illegal immigration and start protecting our borders.
We welcome opportunity in America, but legally.
Posted By Anonymous Shannon, Fredericksburg, VA. : 5:44 PM ET
Illegal immigrants are just plain and simple illegal and should not have any rights. We have to stop this influx of illegal immigrants now. The United States has a process to legally immigrate into the United States and it should be followed. I am most concerned about my children's future. The children of illegal immigrants get a free education at my expense and they will be competing with my children for the desirable jobs in the future. Brian needs to fold up his plumbing business now and go home before he has children and I have to pay for his children's education.
Posted By Anonymous Cathy, Minneapolis, Minnesota : 5:47 PM ET
Maybe the problem would not be so huge if there weren't so many loopholes, like being able to pay taxes and buy a house (obviously obtaining credit)with a tax I.D. number. These loopholes probably exist for the rich and others who try to do business under the table. Now, immigrants are able to exploit these loopholes and live in the shadows. This whole issue will not be resolved as long as the lawmakers allow corporate greed and exploitation of the laws.
Posted By Anonymous Paige B., Austin, TX : 5:48 PM ET
I play by the rules, Brian must play by the rules, too. If he loves this country so much, how much "trouble" is "too much trouble" to go through to properly register and be able to call himself a proud AMERICAN ?
Posted By Anonymous Tina Chicago IL : 5:49 PM ET
"He wants illegal immigrants like himself to be granted the same rights as their forefathers." If by this you mean his "forefathers" who came through Ellis Island during past waves of Irish immigration, correct me if I'm wrong but wouldn't they have been legal immigrants? I have absolutely nothing against legal immigration or immigrants, I am first generation myself, but I do have a problem with people who willfully break our laws and then demand "that their voices be heard."
Posted By Anonymous Bob, Minneapolis MN : 5:54 PM ET
its unfair that people looking for a better life and working hard for their families get a life in America whitout rewards and with discrimination.
Posted By Anonymous Rooney, Guadalajara, Mexico : 5:55 PM ET
And how about the hard working Americans who lose bids to this SOB? Don't they deserve your heart breaking story?
Posted By Anonymous Bill Walker, Bland, MO : 5:59 PM ET
If Brian is an illegal immigrant, how is it that he is able to own a plumbing company? How was he able to get married? Wouldn't he have to provide some form of identification to open the business?
This makes no sense - if the company he is running is legitimate, he would have had to go through the government to obtain the needed licenses to operate, and despite him being illegal, he was able to do this... HOW?
Posted By Anonymous Heather, Sparks Nevada : 6:00 PM ET
I'm looking forward to the show tonight. I hope we won't be seeing Brian waving an Irish tricolor and making demands like our friends across the Texas border. I emigrated from Ireland in the late eighties and had to wait five years to get my green card through the Donnelly lottery visa program. Then I was allowed come here. I think the opportunity for the Irish illegals in the new proposed bill will benefit them greatly as most of tem are here more than five years. The majority of them are here from the late eighties, early ninties and left Ireland when the opportunities and the chances of employment were very slim. Today Ireland is one of the leading economies in the world and the employers are offering fantastic packages for those who left to come back. A lot of the Irish have married Americans and have made America their new home. Being illigal has prevented them from returning to visit their families they left behind. I hope the bill is passed soon and that all the Irish Illegal immigrants will become documented and get legal status.
Posted By Anonymous Ron Houston : 6:00 PM ET
Rather than the plight of an illegal alien, I would direct your attention to the roofer, the concrete worker, thre painter, and the brick layer, all of whom lost their job because some illegal, usually paid "under the table", was willing to work for a wage that wouldn't even allow the American to feed his family. I would direct your attention to the sheep herder ("A Job No American Will Take"), my own uncle, who recently passed away and supported and housed his wife and two daughters doing. I would direct your attention to the 20% of Amercian engineers who are unemployed beasue the market is glutted with cheap workers from Indian and China on H1B and L1 visa's. I would direct your attention to the fact that 50% or more of the engineering and science majors in ourt public colleges and universities are foreign and in EVERY ONE of those cases a qualfied American citizen was turned down. Why? Because public schools receive nearly four times the tuition and fees from a foreign student as they do from a resident student. In the end it is all about money - cheap labor, universities finding an easy way to increase funding. It is also about our exporting the crown jewels of our technology, rendering us helpless before our enemies now and in the future. To be sure, India and China are our "friends" as long as we ship them monye and jobs by the boatload. You have to ask, however, what is going to happen when we run out of money? They have access to every American's health care records, our credit records and criminal history, our emergency response plans, our telephone, cellular, electrical, and water infrastructure, much of our military technological secrets, and quite a bit more. I submit, immigration, both legal and illegal, is a bomb that threatens the very existence of this country. It demands a careful and sober analysis, free from the political hysteria, the power politics, and outright greed that currently forms the basis for this debate.
Posted By Anonymous Mike Brooks, Coburg, Oregon : 6:01 PM ET
and I want Brian to leave and come back legally. He must enter this country just as my grandparents did, legally. If Brian wants what our forefathers got, he has to do what they did and enter this country legally!!!!! It is taking me months, and piles of documentation and money to bring my bride to this county, I have NO SYMPATHY for the illegals.
Posted By Anonymous David Funk, Spring, Texas : 6:05 PM ET
I think many of the anti-immigration protesters wouldn't have a problem with Brian. They would see a hard working man who pays his taxes trying to make a go of the American dream. The difference would be that Brian is white, speaks English and since a good proportion of white America sees themselves as coming from Irish immigrants, so he would be 'different' from those who are coming across the Mexican border. They would associate his experience with those of their own ancestors.
I think a large proportion of the issue many have with Latin American immigrants is that they're 'different' and the speak a different language. That makes it easier to lump them into one group and assume they're social leeches living off the state and just here to take take take.
Posted By Anonymous Jenni, Houston, Texas : 6:05 PM ET
People compare breaking the law by being an illegal alien with breaking the speed limit or something equally innoculous. I can go 85 mph all day long and, regardless of how many tickets I get, I'll still be a US citizen. Heck, I can kill someone and still be a US citizen, although I might lose the right to vote. But there is no way that breaking the law by being in the US illegally can make one a legal citizen. Unless, of course, the Senate gives them amnesty. Hopefully the Senate will be deadlocked long enough to vote all the incumbents out.
Posted By Anonymous Paul, Vernal, UT : 6:11 PM ET
Illegal immigration exists because businesses and wealthy individuals continue to lobby against tighter controls. Where else will they find indigent workers to pick their strawberries, clean their pools, weed their gardens and scrub their toilets for sub-survival wages. I thought slavery had been abolished in this country. Let's enact and enforce laws requiring decent minimum wages and benefits...and apply those to illegals as well as citizens. Then see how long it takes to settle the immigration issue.
Posted By Anonymous RD Griffith, Peoria, IL : 6:11 PM ET
This country is in dire distress. No one has ever beat us in war but unless we act soon, we will be defeated without a shot ever having been fired (except by the criminals current policy brings us.) This is the only protest I know how to make since we are all wimps and don't counter-demonstrate. What's happened to America?

Under current conditions, my guess is a rapid downhill slide into ruin in about 25 years or less. There will be no middle class, only the ruling, rich, elites and the dirt poor! Just like most of the western hemisphere south of the Rio Grande! Then where will the hordes go? Why don't they fix their own country instead of ruining ours?
Posted By Anonymous Jack M., Naples, FL : 6:13 PM ET
I grew up with kids who were illegal immigrants. I don't think the average american understands the day to day struggle these people face! I think we need to develop empathy for illegal immigrants! They are people- they should be afforded the same human rights as every other person. Most american citizens just don't realize how good we have it!
Posted By Anonymous Nicole, Joliet IL : 6:14 PM ET
we need to direct our energies against NAFTA, which directly resulted in millions of Mexican and central American farmers being driven off their land due to cheap Iowa corn flooding their market. It is only because the USA caused this poverty that it should pay to solve the problem of poverty. However, not everyone wants to move and learn a new language. Adding agricultural product tariffs would allow thousands of rural poor to get jobs.
Posted By Anonymous Christine, Watsonville, CA : 6:16 PM ET
Ive stated before the problem comes from playing favorites. Cubans are pretty much automatically given citizenship when they hit our shores but everyone else has to go through lengthy (and expensive) barriers to become citizens. Why should they get preferential treatment over anyone else? They need to make it more fair for a person to become a citizen, not just one group.
Posted By Anonymous Melissa Swanner, Portsmouth, Ohio : 6:20 PM ET
It is incredibly difficult to legally immigrate to the United States, more than you may realize. It can take up to ten years to go through the process and there are no guarantees that citizenship will be granted.

It kills me to hear people talking about how this country, built by immigrants should do something to stop the immigration problem. All of our ancestors came here seeking a better life. And they didn't have to go through ten years and thousands of dollars of red tape to do it.

I think we should continue the great American tradition of immigration, and welcome anyone who is willing to come here and work hard to succeed.
Posted By Anonymous Laura, Sutter Creek, CA : 6:30 PM ET
What's wrong with following the legal course of action to becoming a citizen? Our legal process is easier than other countries processes! (I speak from experience.) The problem lies with the home country of these illegal aliens not making a better life for their citizens. Why should America be expected to just open it's doors and support everyone? I speak as someone who was an immigrant when I lived in Europe. Every country I lived in was super strict on who they allowed into their country and held fast to the rules. Illegal aliens should be made to go home. As for the Irish plumber, my heart goes out to him but Ireland was a country I used to live in and Ireland would not let me continue to live there, regardless of my proven heritage and records.
Posted By Anonymous Jack in Minneapolis, MN : 6:35 PM ET
For those who are trying to do it "legal", they must hire an Immigration Attorney who will not talk
to them unless $5,000 is paid "up front". Have you ever tried to call
Immigration to ask a question? I spent almost an entire day, getting a
constant busy signal; or recording suggesting a call in the evening would
be easier. Never did I find a live person. The next day I went on the
internet to Chicago Immigration, asking
for an alternate number (only the Neb.
office could be contacted from the Midwest). I was informed there was only
the one number that could be used. How
is someone supposed to deal with this
kind of difficulty when trying to make
an honest living and feed a family and
still save up $5,000 in cash for an
attorney 150 miles away? We exported a lot of mfg. jobs to Mexico, only to
then have those jobs exported to China
and India for lower wages by the same
US companies. Perhaps Big Business
shares some of the blame???
Posted By Anonymous Amos, Marshall, MN : 6:36 PM ET
Sorry, there are conseqences for "illegal" acts. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.
Posted By Anonymous linda, bella vista, ar : 6:38 PM ET
Brian, I've heard your voice... NOW GET OUT! Yeesh - illegal means illegal. You want to be here and be a citizen, go get in line like everyone else! It's not about being a hard worker, a family man - if we let every hard working family man in, we'd have the population density (and the poverty) of the poorest slums of India!

I don't see why people think we should play favorites, let alone play favorites by preferring those willing to come here illegally to those who wait in line to enter legally. What kind of system gives criminals preferential treatment to those who abide by the laws?
Posted By Anonymous Lisa Henderson, Bothell, WA : 6:42 PM ET
In 1986 I arrived here from Ireland on a tourist visa and took a job. I had a college degree in finance, but worked in construction, first as a laborer, then as a stone-mason. I married a fellow-illegal Irish woman who also worked "off-the-books". In 1992, after 7 years in the shadows, we got visas via lottery - the so-called "Morrison" visas. Five years later we became US citizens. We own our home, work hard, pay our taxes and raise our two kids as good Irish-American kids. We are grateful for the opportunities we got. No risk, no reward.
Posted By Anonymous Martin, New York : 6:42 PM ET
I am curious that how many illegal immigrant indeed paid tax like Brian. Anyhow, I know quite a few "legal" residents who have been waiting for their green cards for quite a few years. From what I heard, the fed (FBI) just didn't have the bandwidth to do the crime record check. Their applications were literally stalled in the last 2 years just for the FBI. If the fed can't deal with the existing applications now, how can they process a few millions more. Besides, if I were those falling into the <= 2 years, I would continue to be illegal and hide in the city. In short, nothing will be changed - those can apply for legal status will step forward, those can't will remain behind the scene!!!! IMHO. this bill doesn't really solve the situation, it is purely political and doesn't really beneficial to all ethic groups.
FWIW, I am an immigrant and waited for 7 years legally for my country's quota to come!! I have to voice for those who are waiting and waiting legally .....
Posted By Anonymous Meng, San Francisco, CA. : 6:42 PM ET
Most people that come to the US come for an opportunity to live a better life. Been able to put a roof over their family, food in the table and a chance to live in peace. Do you think that its very nice when your 5 year old ask you for a piece of bread and you can not provide to them, or fixing up a pair of old shoes that the older brother had grow out and now the small brother have too wear them because there is no money to buy him a new pair. It is not about legal or illegal it is about survival and willingness to provide for our families. Yes, it is not your problem if other governments cannot help their people but think of this. If you and your family are in the desert thirsty and hungry, and no matter how hard you try you cannot get water out off the rocks, but at the other side of the hill you know that there is a river and fruit trees and crossing the hill is illegal. Would you cross it? On the other hand, let your family suffer and may be die? I can guarantee you that people would not come here if they could find fruit trees in there home land.
Posted By Anonymous Carlos, San Jose, CA : 6:49 PM ET
Brian needs to file the appropriate paperwork and become a legal citizen. Why does he not do that? Is it because he doesn't want to fight for our country overseas, pay income tax, state tax, federal taxes, or is it because he can underbid any job that a legal citizen would bid on!
Posted By Anonymous Ryan, Clarks Summit, PA : 7:18 PM ET
I'm 100% Irish American, so I sympathize with Brian- but America is a land of laws and Irish Nationals should not be taking jobs away from American citizens.

Plumbing is not a job Americans won't do, nor is it a skill that is so hard to find. Brian and the 50,000 Irish living in this country should go home.
Ireland is a beautiful country with a booming economy.

America needs to look after their own first rather than taking in 11+ million foreign nationals that thumb their noses at US laws. If immigrants wanted to live comfortably in the US, they should follow the law, then they could drive, pay their taxes, and not live in fear of deportation. People who chose to ignor the law should fear the condequences of that decision.
Posted By Anonymous Kathleen Robbins Simi Valley, CA : 7:27 PM ET
I congratulate immigrants such as Brian for his invaluable contribution to America. I also commend those of you who are in favor of fully living the true creed of America: "...all men(and women) are created equal and that they are endowed with certain inaliable rights by their creator that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Immigrants come to America just to do that: to protect their life, to find liberty and to achieve happiness. Immigrants such as Brian are doing exactly that and at the same time he is contributing and enriching his communitty with his work and contributions (notice how he didn't take any American job... He made the job for himself and probably for some fellow American citizen). . Unjust laws (laws that don't agree with the laws of God) must be revoked. We all can get work together for just immigration laws, immigrants and native Americans (born in the U.S.), and make this United States the envy of the world!
Posted By Anonymous Jorge, Los Angeles, California : 7:31 PM ET
What part of "illegal" don't we get!?!?
Posted By Anonymous Bronwyn, Los Angeles, CA : 7:40 PM ET
I am a U.S. citizen immigrating to Mexico. The Mexican government makes me get the visas, pay the fees, be here for at least five years legally, etc. before they consider me immigrated (not a citizen, which I am not asking for). The U.S. should expect nothing less out of its immigrants--no matter where they come from.
Posted By Anonymous Gypsy, Mexico : 7:45 PM ET
Going to the Moon is easier than having a response from Immigration. That is the real problem, for those that don't know. Please ask a Legal Immigrant like me how difficult it is to finally receive some decent response from immigration. I have been in this country for 4 years, and still don't know what is going to happen with me... The last thing I did was beg to the Department of Labor for a response. Here attached the e-mail I sent:
"I had to ask the Human Resource at my Company today again to check if she had received so far any information from the Department of Labor (response on the form 9089 that is required for immigration). My form was received by the DOL on Jan 06, 2006.

She did ask me as to for how long she should wait and what their regulation says...I couldn't feel more helpless, for her and for me...this is really getting ridiculous. I have been waiting for 90 days so far and I have no way to know if my form is in process on not.
My Husband is American and my brother, who is American, just left this afternoon to serve in Iraq for 1 year. I pay my taxes, own 2 homes.(Just paid $11,000.00) My immigration papers are getting due because I have no response from the DOL. Is all this suffering really needed for a legal worker that have ALWAYS followed the rules????? Please could somebody answer me?

I really appreciate and deserve a professional and common sense response on my situation. Remember, you are dealing with people, not packages. Some decency please.
Posted By Anonymous Cecilia, Vineland, NJ : 7:45 PM ET
What does the current law say about the illegal immigrants? Since the term illegal has been applied, I presume the current law says that they cannot stay here. So before a new law is made why not follow the existing laws. If not, then what guarantee is there that the new law will be followed.
Posted By Anonymous Neal, South Park, West Virginia. : 7:48 PM ET
With all these public protests going on in just about every big city and many, many ILLEGAL immigrants attending, why aren't the boarder patrol agents there in droves? Are we afraid of offending these people who have no legal right to be in this country? Make it a felony for any idividual to hire an illegal alien, and have serious sactions placed on businesses that hire illegals...if they can't get a job, they very well may pick up the proper documents and get in legally.
Posted By Anonymous B.Goodrich, San Dieg, CA : 7:50 PM ET
ok to you all, im an illegal alien.
i'll explain how it works:
i arrived in the united in 1986, about 20 years ago,i was granted a tourist visa which i over stated. i arrived in queens to my friend's house who got me an illegal SS number which he said was "good".
SS had my name on it and i bought his story i paid 100 dollars for it.
my first job was at a leather factory on 27th st in nyc, after that i started working in parking lots, in nyc being a parking lot attendant, to do this i needed a driver's license which i got at the time legally because i had a valid drivers licence from my country,and i just had to surrender my country's and pass a written test, which i pass, i must add the test was in spanish,
after parking lot attendant i landed a job as an auto mechanic helper, by this time i moved to nj,in nj i met a girl, and to make long story short we married, her father had some trucks which i started driving in order for me to drive in nj i needed a drivers licence which i got surrendering the new york licence, at the time was legal to do this,ok i drove trucks for about 10 years in all this 10 years i paid taxes and never filed at the end of the year because i was afraid of repercussion so if i was owed some money by the irs , i never got it back (i bet thats how millions do it. never claim the returns youre suppose to be entiled to) ok the answer to heather of how you can start a company being an illegal alien or undocumented person which ever you wanna call it is this:
brian has an itin # which is provided by the irs for people that dont qualify for SS, with this number you can start a company.
going back to my wife we divorced and i didnt get the chance to apply for my green card even though she had them and could help me out.
i remarried this time with another illegal alien we have 3 american children.
and the only time we used the system was for the prenatal care and delivery,we have never applied for welfare ,because we dont want to and thank god we dont need it, but let me clarify something for MR. dobbs in CNN and many unninformed people:
you cant get welfare benefits unless you have valid green card or citizenship,you cant apply for welfare with the kind of SS i have.

second food stamps is the same thing, voting dont even think about it.
thank god i have never use your emergency rooms or hospitals.
now my kids is another story, they entiled to everything their nation can give them even medicaid which they use now,nor me or my wife have medicaid WE DONT QUALIFY.
im not saying im never gonna use an emergency room in america but by the time i do so the goverment already have my taxes and returns i never filed for.
so for those who say illegal aliens use welfare and food stamps and vote that is a lie.
if an illegal alien can get those things, the american people in charge of aprooving that should be fired.
im not saying all illegal aliens are good but theres bad people everywhere.
so today im still an illegal alien but let me tell you I lOVE AMERICA and ill fight to stay in your country.
i also would like to thank america and all its good people that helped me when i needed it.
at the time i own a computer repair shop out of my house, and im sorry if i make you guys unconforatble.
GOD BLESS AMERICA.

(sorry for the gram errors)
Posted By Anonymous illegal,cape may nj : 8:01 PM ET
I have no problem with immigration. The issue is people having access to government programs and public schools without having to pay taxes. You can enjoy the freedom of this country but you should be required to pay taxes and abide by laws, just like the rest of us.
Posted By Anonymous Ashley, Jacksonville, FL : 8:01 PM ET
let me just ask everyone this question...if your family is starving, would you just go "stand in line" for the legal way to enter this country, or would you just go through and come to this country so you could feed them?
and don't let your views on immigration interfeer in this question. If you have any logic then you will go for the second option. I know i would...
Posted By Anonymous Edward S.-Carlsbad, California : 8:09 PM ET
It is not fair to the the rest of the Mexico's population (about 100 mln) that ONLY 11 mln who can swim well / jump the fence will be able to stay in US.
That is a real discrimination against the oldest and less nimble Mexicans.
Either all can come, or NONE!
Posted By Anonymous Theresa Aulig Downers Grove, IL : 8:10 PM ET
Two years ago in our western North Carolina community, a French mother and her children were not allowed to re-enter the U.S. after returning to France to visit relatives over Easter. They had originally come on her husband's professional-status visa. After more than a decade of paying taxes, building a life, attending schools, having an American-born baby, the husband was killed in an accident, and they were not allowed to stay. ONLY after scores and scores of letters and calls pleading for Congressional help, was the 17-year-old, a classmate of my son, allowed to return to graduate from high school that May -- without her mother and family. She had been in public schools here since kindergarten; her younger sister was in elementary school. No amount of official help allowed this mother, a teacher, back into the U.S., despite the many years of having been a highly-visible, contributing member of our society. The lack of fairness in this issue of Mexican illegals BLOWS MY MIND. I have always considered myself a xenophile, but I have to tell you, I feel affronted by the fact that our government has turned its backs while illegals have poured through our borders, and now are planning to grant amnesty to forgive and forget that laws were broken. I simply DO NOT UNDERSTAND. But I do vote, in each and every election.
Posted By Anonymous pat, hickory, north carolina : 8:13 PM ET
I am so tired of this debate, what does the word illegal mean. I don't believe that illegal immigrants are taking jobs Americans don't want. I believe they are driving down wages in jobs that used to be middle class American jobs. We need to start punishing the employer, and the problem would be self correcting. If the employer faced big fines, they would not be employing people who were here illegally. There should be no amnesty, and we should let our represenatives know that we will vote against anyone who votes for it.
Posted By Anonymous Marie, Anoka, MN : 8:14 PM ET
Yep. Not all immigrants are part of the "evil illegal horde coming across the Mexican border to kill our families, rape our women, and steal our jobs". Interestingly enough, your show is one of the few I�ve come across that is not focusing on promoting a negative image of Mexican and Hispanic immigrants. Thanks for being objective and reporting on different sides of the story.
Posted By Anonymous Jorge Solano, Fremont, CA : 8:17 PM ET
I was reading some of the comments posted by some people,and I couldn"t helped to notice how ignorants and racist some people are,we need to understand that people would do anything to get a better life and that illegal people usually work very hard,pay taxes that they can claim at the end of the year,where that money go,...to the goverment
Posted By Anonymous miguel, nyc, NY : 9:11 PM ET
Good going Brian. How does it feel to be the dupe trying to put a white face on the illegal immigration story? As an illegal plumber, do you charge five bucks an hour of your customers? I'll bet not. But wait, you have a plumbing license. Now I'm confused. Or is it your tail of woe that is confused?
Posted By Anonymous Jim, Huntington,Nuevo York : 9:57 PM ET
What Brian forgets is his forefathers came here as LEGAL immigrants. Why do people from other countries think we should roll over about our laws because it serves them. If Brian broke any other law does he think it shouldn't apply to him? If he gets robbed should we not enforce the law. Instead of saying let me in why isn't saying let all of world come and go as they please. But he's not because he knows that would be chaos. Without laws anarchy reins.
Posted By Anonymous Kirk C. Gudenau, Upland, CA : 10:19 PM ET
Why was it so difficult for my ancestors to come to this country in the ealy 1900's . ? Were the laws stricter then? My grandmother has two sons and a husband in this country during the late 1940's and early 1950's . My grandfather faught for american's WWI and my unclse fought in WWII. Still it took years for her to get a visa to enter this country. SEAL the borders first, then let's comcentrate on the illegals that are here.. All the time we are debating more and more are coming in. It is mindless that we CONTINUE to allow this .
Posted By Anonymous mary texas : 11:06 AM ET
Remember the inter-ethnic conflict in Yugoslavia ? The same think will happen here in 10 years. The country is boiling ! The question is who profits from this situation ? Could it be the same ones that changed the immigration law in 1965 that favors non-whites ? Think about it.
Posted By Anonymous Adrian Popescu, Sunnyside, New York : 12:37 PM ET
is logic escaping some? If the illegal immigrants had the time and money to get here legally they would come legally and not try to enter and possibly dying in the desert or in the Pacific Ocean don't you think? Also, roughly 40% of "illegal/undocumented" entered LEGALLY and only about 40% enter completely illegaly through the Mexican border.
Posted By Anonymous Sera NY, NY : 12:53 PM ET
The illegals are nothing more than another "gang" no different than MS-13. They gathered in mobs, struting through American streets like a scene out of a 1950's Marlan Brando movie. We should give them a "gang" name other than illegals, round them up and treat them as we would a member of MS-13. Given the new name, perhaps those among us who don;t understand the word "illegal" would finally GET IT !!
Posted By Anonymous Margaret DeSimone Alexandrfia Va. : 12:55 PM ET
Brian is not living in shadows- the shadow people were on the streets yesterday in plain daylight.
Why does no one suggest putting the National Guard on the borders- I guess its more imporant to use their services overseas to protect those people. let us take care of our people (US Citzens) first.
What part of breaking the law these people do not understand. If they would lean English & the Flag code and not disgrace our Flag by dragging on the ground & wraping it around their body. Right there, that shows you how dumb they are about the proper use of US Flag rules.
I am so tired of the government doing nothing because it may affend feelings of others. What about our feelings- my ancestors were the Colonists in 1600's they came here to have a life in small ships & hard times.
The ILLEGALES want everything free, college,medical health care, jobs etc. All without learning our langage- I have no feelings for these folks- if they worry so much about their familes then they haven't learned what cause babies. They keep on having babies & brag about the little ones are US citizens- where is birth control.
Send them back to Mexico & let their president Fox take care of them.
I had to show my passport NINE times before getting on acruise ship- where is their passport ???
Posted By Anonymous Patty Harris,Huntington Beach, CA : 1:05 PM ET
Today we are so stupid to tolerate illegal immigrants, tomorrow should we accept illegal marriage, illegal income, etc?

All illegal actions should be out of USA.

God Bless America!


A Legal Immigrant from China
Posted By Anonymous L Huang, Belmont, MA : 1:35 PM ET
"Toward a More Perfect Union"

These words from centuries ago will be the words for all time.

The 'aliens' who came here in 2006 or 1506 (the year America was named) risked life, limb and possesions to pursue a better life and future for themselves and their families. They left behind their loved ones.. family, friends and relative safety of their native land. They will keep coming at whatever the cost or peril for one reason, and one reason alone - survival. It will not matter where the source of this magnet lies, be it the U.S.,Canada, Italy or Saudi Arabia (in this day and age) or who knows China, India, Brazil or Antarctica (in the distant future), immigrants will come crossing oceans, climbing fences or digging tunnels.

A pragmatic, albeit politically incorrect view is that we want the illegal immigrants here to stay, we need their ambition and drive, and most of all we should admire their commitment to make better lives for themselves - for they would better America. At the rate the current waiting time goes, the 'legal' immigrants waiting their turn, will be arriving here in their late 50's (just in time to be wards of the State).


We should take this historic opportunity to be cognizant and go beyond the noise that are Jon Kyl, Lou Dobbs, Jim Sessenbrenner, Tom Tancredo, Jeff Sessions whose myopic and xenophobic visions will actually undermine America's future.

Immigration is primordial, like water finding the underground river or air carving mountains, there is no stopping this force of nature because life will find a way. It will be the greatest test of wisdom for our leaders on how they will go about addressing this 'problem'. We should lead the world by example and courageous legislation. Mankind is looking at you now.

Many years from now we will all be One or we will all be Gone !!
Posted By Anonymous Richard Baum - Chicago, IL : 2:12 PM ET
Since when did immigrants run our country. Why do we even let them protest!
Posted By Anonymous Gordon, Boca Raton, FL : 2:14 PM ET
people fail to realize the amount of taxes are latino brothers and sisters pay into our system. many pay taxes and support our services. taking advantage of the system, I don't think so!
Posted By Anonymous gary, chicago, ILL : 2:25 PM ET
We have seen so much corruptions in California already. Those Hispanic Politicians offer free welfares, free medicals, free food-stamps and free housing assistance for hispanic ballots... This is totally insane!
Why spending our hard earned tax dollar on these illegals!!
Posted By Anonymous Paul, San Jose, CA : 2:56 PM ET
Well everybody, we should realize that we enjoy the current level of 'not so pricy' stuffs because of illegal immigrants. Once those millions people deported, we have to pay higher landscaping services, more expensive food and probably $5 per cup of coffee! Don't think American people are ready to take low-paying jobs. So, it's gonna be expensive for your households, folks!
Posted By Anonymous Grace Kelly, Magnolia, TX : 3:41 PM ET
The immigration debate is far more than just about Hispanics (though they make up a large portion of illegal immigrants to the country). This story is great for addressing others effected. As for the argument about illegals not paying taxes, consider that if we changed our immigration standards (keeping security precautions such as considering criminal history, health factors, organizational ties, etc.) and allowed those coming here to be part of the American Dream, we would have more tax paying citizens. The government already has shown its inept at collecting taxes. How about we legitimize those coming here for the right reasons. The American Dream was defined by immigrants.
Posted By Anonymous Sean, New Orleans, LA : 11:27 AM ET
Regardless of whether or not Illegals pay taxes or not the bottom line is that they are illegal. Nothing they say may change that fact.

There is already a existing process for migrating legally to the USA. Should Brian or any other Illegals wish to get legalized they should do what all other Legal Immigrants do. Apply from their country of origin, or find an employer in the US who will petition them.

We can go on and on but definitely there are people who apply the legal way and endure family separation while waiting for the immigrant visa. I know because my wife and son are still waiting for their immigrant visas despite my filing the petition back in 2003.

The law applies to all.
Posted By Anonymous Alfredo, Mangilao, Guam USA : 12:44 PM ET
I think many of you really do not have any idea of the process of immigrating to this country. It's not as simple as it was when your families immigrated here. You don't just fill out some forms and become a citizen. If people had any real chance of immigrating here legally they would.
Posted By Anonymous Michelle, Washing DC : 12:53 PM ET
In the state of California it costs about 11 thousand dollars per year/per student to be enrolled in the school system. If the illegal alien spends 2 thousand dollars per year in taxes he would meet his financial libility by the time he is 70 years old (provided he only has one child). I being a tax payer do not mind paying taxes for those who are LEGAL, however paying for ILLEGAL is another matter.
Posted By Anonymous Judy, San Bernardino, CA : 1:48 PM ET
You Americans are IGNORANT, ARROGANT, and RACIST. I still don't understand how you can call yourself a "Nation under God." So you can have it but the next can not? Selfish. No wonder the world hates you. The economy is still decent because of the poor immigrants that work themselves to the bone and the rich immigrants who bring money in. I'll take my money to Cancun before even dreaming of going to your nasty beaches.
Posted By Anonymous Lars, Sydney - Australia : 9:05 PM ET
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