Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Politics colors immigration debate
As the bipartisan immigration bill was breaking down in the Senate, I asked Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy, who was standing with the Republicans he had worked with, if his own Democratic party leaders had held up immigration to try to use the potent issue against the GOP during this fall's elections.

He laughed sheepishly, and then quipped, "Ask John McCain, my spokesman."

Well, earlier, Republican Sen. John McCain told me (and anyone who would listen) he did think Democratic leaders made a political calculation not to pass a bill putting millions of illegal immigrants on a path to U.S. citizenship. Why?

Because Democratic political strategists knew hundreds of thousands of people were getting ready to march across the country just three days later to express outrage at the GOP over a House bill that would make illegal immigrants felons. Republicans say Democrats didn't want to pass something marchers would like, because it could diminish the impact of the long-planned protests aimed at the GOP.

Democrats insist that's not the reason they let the Senate agreement stall, but a few told me it was an "added benefit."

There is one thing Democrats and Republicans agree on: The massive demonstrations are proof the Hispanic community has exploded into a political force to be reckoned with.

There has been bipartisan awe at what the marchers pulled off. Through Hispanic radio, churches, and word of mouth, organizers were able to stage demonstrations the likes of which veteran political operatives work their whole careers to engineer. And both sides agree the Hispanic vote, which is the fastest growing minority group, is up for grabs, and that the immigration debate will dictate where many Hispanics fall.

Grover Norquist, a Bush ally, put it in stark terms: "If the Republican Party maintains its competitive position with the Hispanic vote -- 40 percent and more -- it will govern America for the next 50 years. If it falls to a low percentage of the Hispanic vote, it won't."
Posted By Dana Bash, CNN Correspondent: 10:14 AM ET
Yes, politics played a role... but so did common sense. As an American I welcome those who are willing to come here, legally, abide by American laws, and become Americans themselves. I do NOT welcome those who come here illegally, nor do I welcome those who come legally but who make no effort to integrate into American society and become Americans themselves - those who speak only their native language and insist that we should accommodate them by providing driver's manuals, ballots, etc. in every dialect known to mankind, for example - and those who are here, legally or otherwise, who do not feel an obligation to follow our laws. As an American I resent the fact that my tax dollars are being spent to provide special services for these people, and that my health care dollars are subsidizing the cost of care for the indigent illegals who are living openly in my community. They are criminals; let them spend a year or two on a chain gang and then send them home.
Posted By Anonymous C.K. Leverett, Eatontown, New Jersey : 11:21 AM ET
Everyone seems so afraid of losing the Hispanic vote, but no one seems afraid of losing the law abiding
American Citizen's vote. The vote of people whose ancestors came to this country waiting to legally be allowed to enter. People whose ancestors faced death in their own country, but were turned back and sent back across the ocean until they could enter this country legally.

If these people are granted citizenship for breaking the law, it really sends a poor message to all the imigrants who would like to come to this country and work and are waiting to do it legally. They are being punished, because due to people who broke the law ("illegal") will get the first chance at work visa's and citizenship.
Posted By Anonymous Sara Brown, Deerfield Beach, Florida : 11:27 AM ET
Yea and while this block makes up 6% of voters the Politicians will fall all over themselves toadying up. How will this affect Middle Class America? Where is that debate? Why isn't the USA's borders secure?
Posted By Anonymous Jimi, deKalb, Illinois : 11:30 AM ET
"It's not dark yet, but it's
getting there." Thank you Bob Dylan (I think). Our government is out of control. On all sides, the fringe and in the middle where most politicians reside while pandering to anyone and everyone they think will keep them in office. Meanwhile nothing gets done. Wait, I take that back, war and tax cuts happen. I think of myself as a liberal. But the pictures of illegal immigrants who don't pay taxes yet benefit from our tax supported infrastucture and social services protesting in our streets just kills me. Go back to Mexico and protest the corruption and lack of social justice in your own country. I work in a company that employs many Mexicans and Mexican Americans. All of the Mexicans have proper documentation of their status and payrole taxes are paid every month. They are covered under our workers comp and liability insurance. So while we're doing it the legal way, other similar companies are employing illegals, paying them cash, cheating on payrole taxes, workers comp and liability costs, and at a lower wage giving them an unfair competitive edge. And could we protest our illegal status in another country? These pictures are really surreal. Especially the ones where protestors are carrying Mexican flags. Pleeeeaase ..... carry American flags for Petes sake. At least act like your an American.
Posted By Anonymous Marty, Melbourne Florida : 11:34 AM ET
All I can say is watching hundreds of thousands of people demonstrate in support of their perceived "rights" to choose which laws they want to obey ensures I'll be at the polls next election voting for politicians who are working for those of us who are law-abiding. Illegal immigrants made a choice to live in the shadows, split their families and work for below market wages. The best thing we can do now is start to enforce our immigration and labor laws, and secure our borders so migrants are motivated to look for legal options if they really want the same privileges enjoyed by those of us obeying the law. Anything else will encourage people to continue to enter illegally.
Posted By Anonymous Sue M, El Paso, TX : 11:43 AM ET
Even though I think democrats are being really phony with their attempts to be noticed by latino�s, I hope it works. This seems like the only issue that the democrats have taken up (phony or not), and it�s gonna have to do. They have so much potential with so many issues to win over the congress in November, and if they don�t start getting out there soon, the Republicans will take it again. But I hope that they don�t just talk, they need to show they are capable of actually doing something productive to help the issue. If they just continue to talk at rallies and be seen in public but not accomplish anything, it�s gonna be another issue that republicans will take against them, and this whole maneuver will backfire entirely.
Posted By Anonymous Andres - Las Cruces, NM : 11:47 AM ET
Hi Dana,
I think the post you wrote shows one thing crystal clear. The American public and Immigrants are pawns in a big political game.. That makes me very sad. Polyanna, I'm not, but I so want to believe we can have this immigration debate as calmly and adult as possible. We need to turn down the volume and reach a solution that is fair to BOTH sides of this issue. And as with any debate, the answer probably lies somewhere in the middle. Take Care
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann , Buelllton,Calif. : 11:50 AM ET
You're absolutely right. They are a force to be reckoned with...and deported.
Posted By Anonymous Ryan Thomas, Lynchburg, VA : 11:51 AM ET
I agree. All these politician's are jockeying for position with the Hispanic vote. As usual, they are looking out for themselves and NOT what is right for the country, and what is the will of the majority of the citizens of this country. The ONLY hope that we have to save this country is to band together to defeat ANY politician who "Sells" this country out by giving anmesty and "Guest Worker" priviledges to people here illegally and breaking the law. This is a fight over good and evil and we know who politician's are known to side with.
Posted By Anonymous JT, Fort Worth, Tx. : 11:53 AM ET
It's political ---- oh DUH!!!! Of course ---- and each side will try to put their spin on it to make it look like the problems are the other side's fault. Nothing new there.

What it all goes back to is this:

If you want to come into this country, do it legally, become a productive citizen and no one will have any problem with you being here. As it is, most of the border states may as well be called north Mexico. I have no problem with anyone coming here as long as it does is done properly. However, the economic drain on this country, if things are not changed SOON, is too much for legal citizens of this country to bear.

It also makes me angry that people who do come to this country legally, work, pay taxes and are productive citizens are penalized for doing things the right way. A very good friend moved here from South Africa. She came here legally, has worked and paid taxes since she got here and is married to an American citizen. Yet it took her 5 years (and thousands of dollars)to get a GREEN CARD!! When she and her husband wanted to take a vacation to Mexico, she was told by INS that if she left the country, she probably wouldn't be allowed back in. She was unable to go back to South Africa to visit because she was afraid she wouldn't be allowed back into the U.S.

Why are people like my friend treated like this? And why can't the politicians see that it is time to REALLY police our borders. We need to put time and energy into how to handle all of the people who are already in this country illegally and how to fix it. If the people in Washington think they are seeing a backlash from the Mexican community, just wait until the rest of the population starts mobilizing and using their power in the voting booth.

My advise to anyone who wants to live in this wonderful country: Opportunity abounds. It's a great place to live. Learn our language and customs, get a job, pay taxes and live happily ever after.
Posted By Anonymous Micki Nicol Santa Clarita, CA : 12:00 PM ET
It pains me to see that there is so much support for persons who enterd this country illegally, stayed and worked illegally without paying anything back to the govt.

There are thousands like me who have entered here legally, spent their hard earned money to get education, and have been paying taxes and social security etc for the past 10 yrs, and yet no word when they will get out of the temporary workers status.
Posted By Anonymous Raj, Dallas, Texas : 12:16 PM ET
What the politician fail to remember is, there are more than 280 millions American voters and only 12 million illegal immigrants that do not have a right to vote. I personally can't wait till November.
Posted By Anonymous Brenda, McKinney TX : 12:21 PM ET
African Americans are the minority of the Democratic Party, Republicans also want their own minority.
Posted By Anonymous Alma J. Beverly Hills, Michigan : 12:24 PM ET
It would be so nice to have representatives who would show concern for law abiding working middle class American citizens. Maybe it really is time for the middle class to march. You think we could get a day off and our kids could get class credit for attending?
Posted By Anonymous JK, Shelbyville, KY : 12:39 PM ET
How can you call this a fight between good and evil? I am an American citizen, born and raised in this country, and I would say that a Hispanic man trying to feed his kids and support his family by coming here and taking a job no American wants is "good," while the greedy Americans who have more than enough food and a home and a car and a white-collar job and who were born with a silver spoon in their mouth only because they were born in America are "evil." Evil, selfish and inhumane.

We, as a country, have more than enough to go around, and I think it's time we started sharing our toys with the other kids in the sandlot.
Posted By Anonymous Sarah, Baltimore, MD : 12:42 PM ET
Wake up and smell the coffee! The key word here is ILLEGAL! If they're here illegally they can't vote. I was personally offended when I watched the news in Virginia last night and during the rally in D.C. everything the spokeswoman said had to be repeated in Spanish before the crowd could even understand...and THEN they would cheer! If they can't integrate themselves legally into the AMERICAN culture (which includes speaking English, paying taxes and following the law) then the need to be deported. I would have truly appreciated it if there were INS officials at those rally's rounding people up! If we make it that easy for people to come over our borders into the US, it's only a matter of time before Individuals from terrorists groups go to the Mexican border to get in. I can't believe we aren't sending these people home and allowing the degradation of our Country, Communities and Schools to continue. I hope our Government takes a stand and upholds the law. I am a voter.
Posted By Anonymous Michelle, Norfolk, VA : 12:43 PM ET
The issue is taking care of the American people and both Dem's and Rep's are guilty of making this a "popularity" issue. We don't care WHO gets the job done but it must be done or war WILL ensue! Corporations will not win this one because at the core of this issue is the fact that we are becoming Mexico and our government is allowing it to happen. So it is left up to the American citizens to stop it! NO MORE AUTOMATIC CITIZENSHIP BY BIRTH! The world would love to come take over the U.S. and you guys are going to squabble over who is in charge! We don't care if "they just want to work and a better way of life" - NO AMENESTY - get it???
Posted By Anonymous Sylvia Richardson, Houston, Texas : 12:44 PM ET
This is sick! Let's pander for a few votes and break the U.S. immigration laws? What? Exactly how many of these marchers are actually U.S. citizens who a re legally allowed to vote? We need to 'illegally' ship Kennedy to Mexico - see how long it takes the Mexican government to ship his illegal behind back to his own country.
Posted By Anonymous Milena, Ft. Lauderdale, FL : 12:52 PM ET
Well it's Democrats against Republicans again, it's too bad that our leaders choose to have different views just to get a few votes. I bet if we allowed all the illegal immigrants to come here and put them in their neighborhood, they would think again. Or better yet how long until these illegal immigrants protest because they can't run for President, The United States is becoming a suburb for every Country, where are our rights? WE are American citizens and we have a say, Maybe we should protest! it seems to work for the ILLEGAL immigrants. The Gov't needs to enforce our laws that they made ,there cannot be seperate laws for every one, and my big question is Why are we allowing illegal immigrants (criminals) to protest on American soil, We have a great opportunity to detain thousands and send them home, as for the Spanish population why should we listen to them if they encourage this behavior, The United States of America is becoming the great suburb of Mexico, it's our Country not theirs
Posted By Anonymous Jon Seattle, WA : 12:53 PM ET
It's unbelievable that people who come here illegally feel safe enough to demonstrate in the streets and demand anything, let alone citizenship. Anyone who wants to come here legally is welcome. Those who cheated should be sent back to their country of origin. I am a liberal but I detest seeing my country treated badly by people who have not earned their place.
Posted By Anonymous Mike Youngstown, Ohio : 1:04 PM ET
The only thing important the avrage middle-class American is... that's right, the middle-class American. This is exactly the reason why we have representatives, instead of having the American public vote on many bills. The simple fact of the matter is that this bill will not affect white Americans. The racism I see on here is quite disturbing. Not ALL hispanics are illegal and need to be "deported" as one person put it. They've done some amazing things for our communities, especially in Georgia. The fact is that, especially here in Georgia, they are doing most of the high-labor low-wage jobs. I've never met more hard-working people in my life. If you want to see economic instability, try "deporting" every ilelgal immigrant in the country. Even Bush himself knows this isn't the route to take. He says that it is the sign of a strong nation when is an influx of immigrants, even if they are illegal. That's also why he's pushing the Guest Worker program instead of just deporting them. Unfortunately, it seems as though many Americans have viewed the protests as stupid and funny, like it's something to laugh about. Some parts of families came here legally; some came here illegally. If the tables were turned on middle-class Americans and their families today, they would be on the streets too, doing the exact same thing.
Posted By Anonymous Lance, Acworth, GA : 1:08 PM ET
I just have a observation - if these people are illegal immigrants that means that they don't have any papers (i.e. green card, working visa, social security card) issued by the government. They claim that they are viable citizens who give back to the community and pay taxes. How are they paying taxes if they do not have a social security number? How are they voting if they are illegal aliens? How is it they are allowed to register to vote?
Posted By Anonymous Mary, Bear, DE : 1:11 PM ET
I really wish I could have attended one of those protests. Unfortunately, like the tens of millions opposed to them, I was at work. I have to wonder of all the illegal immigrants the attended, how many were arrested and deported ? I bet not a one.
Posted By Anonymous Paul McCarthy, Brimfield, MA : 1:12 PM ET
Not that CNN will post this but earlier they had a blurb saying that a recent poll showed that 60 percent of Americans favored the current "amnesty" legislation that stalled in the senate last week. I find that laughable! The majority of the posts to this blog and the previous one are flatly against illegal immigration and amnesty. I guess that's the liberal media for you.
Posted By Anonymous Abby Chattanooga, TN : 1:19 PM ET
The real debate should be concerning a radical change to the 14th amendment which allows these illegal aliens to give birth to US citizens due to "jus solis". The majority of first world nations, including Japan, already abide by this policy.

All these proposed changes, such as making illegals learn English and forcing them to pay backtaxes would be great - if they were actually going to be enfoced. However, current immigration laws already *require* that all naturalized citizens have English proficiency. The problem is that they are granted English fluency waivers in addition to the fact that, in many locations, the English test asks simple "yes and no" questions that anyone could pass with a simple nod of the head.

Let's make a realistic change that can be easily enforced - One that would make it so citizenship can only be granted if one parent can prove their legal status at the time of the child's birth. Such a radical change would make a big dent in illegal immigration.
Posted By Anonymous Alice, San Francisco, CA : 1:21 PM ET
To all news media: these are "pro-illegal immigration protests" and you have conveniently omitted the key word "illegal" in the reporting. This land is a land of law and order, illegal is just ... well illegal
Posted By Anonymous Lee, Washington, DC : 1:25 PM ET
Having been born here, I may take things fore granted at times. Do I sympathize with their cause? Yes. Do I understand their arguments? To a certain extent I do. Do I agree with aspects of their arguments? Again, I do. Am I willing to support illegal immigration? I most certainly will not. I have no prejudice against Hispanics. What I am prejudice against is giving to those who do not earn their citizenship LEGALLY but still get free room and board. Who pays for this? We do. Not the House or the Senate. Politicians are supposed to be the voice of the people. 'The People' meaning UNITED STATES CITIZENS. As stated in the Pledge of Allegiance. Not to serve themselves. Our country has bled for over 200 hundred years. And for what? Foreigners to amend OUR Constitution to suit their needs. Having served in the military for my country was to defend and protect my family and fellow citizens. Not to have our freedoms stripped away one at a time by immigrants. And most certainly not to be ignored for 'a vote'.

I'm very passionate person about my beliefs. I am a very patriotic citizen. I take personal offense to those who will support such an act as this. Our forefathers did not give their lives to have our beliefs and sense of pride, trampled on. It is not the American way. For those who wish to become citizens and have their voice heard. I'll stand right next to them. For those who do not become citizens, I would expect to see them on the next bus or plane back to where they originated. Perhaps if they really want to live here, they can do it the right way. The legal way.
Posted By Anonymous Ryan Thierfelder - Plano, TX : 1:40 PM ET
All of this simply confirms that the elected only use the citizens as pawns in their sick games of power and greed. Little is done for our benefit--only theirs.
Posted By Anonymous Paige B., Austin, TX : 1:45 PM ET
If Congress decides to give amnesty to the illegal immigrants in the U.S., I would like to know what laws U.S. citizens are permitted to break and for what period of time. Illegal is illegal, no matter what issue you are talking about.
Posted By Anonymous Marge Bien, Ashtabula, OH : 2:11 PM ET
I agree with JT of Fort Worth. I'd also like to add, all those people marching on a normal work day, is this what we'll have to contend with, a new addition to the already defunct welfare program? Congress knows what the laws of the Untied States are concerningimmigration. They in their mandate, are charged to protect the borders of this great nation, and they have so miserably failed to do so. How can we trust them to enforce the standing laws already on the books. They wont, unless it please them.
Posted By Anonymous Daniel W, Copperas Cove, TX : 2:15 PM ET
Instead of letting the political parties debate over and over again in D.C., why don't the American citizens make the decision. It's the voice of the tax-paying, law-abiding citizens that should be heard by votes. The criminals who illegally cross the border and think that by protesting they can claim to have a "right" to stay and enjoy our social services, health care, and education can then learn that they are not welcome.
Posted By Anonymous Linda K, St. Louis, MO : 2:19 PM ET
I am a legal immigrant and will apply for citizenship later this year. I am fed up with the word immigrant being used to refer to the illegals.

These people are not immigrants. They are not undocumented. They are just plain illegal. They take jobs away from poor Americans, ruin the schools and hospitals, breed kids on welfare, and they are thick-skinned to ask for their "rights"?

If a path to citizenship is offered to these guys, I vow I will never vote for the Democrats in my lifetime.
Posted By Anonymous Min Zhou, San Jose, CA : 2:20 PM ET
Politicians are so far removed from the American mainstream. They have no idea how wonderful it is to live in an area infested with immigrants, legal or otherwise, who refuse to assimilate. They bring their filthy habits with them, will not learn English and continue to drain our resources. I challenge any politician to spend some time in any border state or around any major port of entry to see what actually goes on. Of course they would be accompanied by a huge entourage with all of their aides telling them exactly what they want to hear. It's business as usual. Pander to the illegal minority and the systematic destruction of the American middle class goes on. The current leadership of the country I fought for disgusts me.
Posted By Anonymous R. Olson, Tucson AZ : 2:23 PM ET
i have the perfect solution to the immigration dilema just make the mexicans that want to enter the u.s serve 3 years in the military that way the u.s will have enough troops to invade whatever country's that have oil uh i mean weapons of mass destruction.
Posted By Anonymous ron fraser montreal canada : 2:24 PM ET
My take on the issue, the only people who have a right to complain about immigration matters are Native Americans, most of everyone else is a descendant of an illegal immigrant.I don't recall the Native Americans giving permission to anyone to occupy their land. Where in history do you find documented pilgrims filing for work permits or work visas or anything like that? Actually, they forcefully took the land from its original inhabitants. Native Americans are the only ones with a right to say who comes in and who doesn't.So please, lets examine the logs in our eyes before we go after the specs in our neighbors'.
Posted By Anonymous Aponi Asdza, Fancy Gap, NC : 2:37 PM ET
I don't like any politician telling me that illegal immigrants - NOT you and me - are the backbone of this country!

The very people who established immigration laws are encouraging those who don't particularly care for laws to break them !
Posted By Anonymous Tina -Chicago IL : 2:39 PM ET
Politicians will invariably practice politics. Occasionally, they will create policy, but even such moments come to be through the practice of political maneuvering. Certainly the Democrats may have stalled what was a potentially a good bill, in order to keep the upcoming protests from being diminished. And to that I say kudos.

Finally, the Democrats are learning to be politicians again instead of elected activists and lobbyists. Place the average citizen at a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, and ask him to get even a mildly controversial amendment passed, and he will be shut down before he can even begin. Why? Because he does not know the ropes of politics.

The Democrats seemed to have forgotten that the power to enact policy comes from good politics. Perhaps this will be their revival. Perhaps they will finally remember that in order to get anything done, they will have to be willing to throw a few good elbows.

And who knows, in the end...if the Democrats do win out politically because of this, they may yet enact an even better Immigration Reform bill.
Posted By Anonymous Pedro Dalmau, Astoria, NY : 2:43 PM ET
The Republicans are deliberately muddying the effects of these proposals on working citizens. To give millions of "illegal" workers legitimacy of any kind strengthens unions and ultimately raises the average wage of unskilled labor in this country. And to give this important sector of our nation the potential of voting, now or in the future, threatens the future of not only big business but of the Republican party as a whole. Finally, the Catholic Church seems to be realizing that there is more to morality than sex.
Posted By Anonymous Judy Terley, Deerfield Beach, FL : 2:43 PM ET
I am tired of this Immigration Debate and with both Democrats and Republicans. The problem is that everyone is talking about the Illegal immigrants and how they are exploited. But no one has talked about the legal immigrants who , because of the broken immigration system , are being exploited by employers because it takes more than 5 years for them to get permanent residency during which they cannot change their jobs or if they do ,in most cases,they have to leave the country.
We are talking about people who pay their taxes, contribute to the economy, pay for their healthcare costs but are still worried about what is going to happen to them next. I think the first step to fix this immigration problem is to fix the legal immigration process and the border control issues
Posted By Anonymous Simon, Los angeles, CA : 3:00 PM ET
Illegal immigrants should be packed up and sent home. PERIOD! The march was the perfect opportunity to round them up. I could care less what the politicians of this country are trying to do (win more votes). They are letting all of the legal US Citizens drown in their eagerness for votes. To hell with all of them. Can anyone out there please explain what has happened to our great nation? I feel like we're floating towards a huge waterfall and no way to stop it before we go over the edge. Americans, this is our time to rise up and take control. Go to the polls when it's voting time and get the crooks out of office!
Posted By Anonymous S Hinson, Sterling, VA. : 3:01 PM ET
You know, all this debate aside, think about this: the Mexicanos coming to the United States over the past decades is one of the MOST MASSIVE MIGRATIONS OF POPULATION IN MODERN HISTORY!!! Wow!! Just think about it in historical terms!!
Posted By Anonymous Rick, Atlanta, GA : 3:40 PM ET
Personally, I think that anyone should be allowed to come in to this country if they are willing to go through the process of getting a visa and becoming a citizen. This, however, is not the case for over 11 million illegal immigrants who are residing in the United States today. One thing I do not understand is why some immigrants think they do not have to follow the laws all American citizens follow. As an American, I know that if I break a law then I must suffer the consequences. Whether it is running a stop light and getting a ticket or killing someone and being charged with murder, there are consequences for one�s actions. When people come in to this country illegally they should face consequences just like every other American. These immigrants want to work and live in the United States and they should be punished for breaking our laws just like any other American citizen. If anyone were allowed to come into the country without going through customs then we could possibly be allowing in terrorists, rapists and murderers who could bring harm to our citizens. People coming and residing here illegally are taking jobs from over 8 million unemployed American citizens. By allowing people to come in and out of the country as they please, the unemployment rate will skyrocket and the population will increase dramatically. Tax-payers will end up paying more for the millions of people unemployed and for the accommodations for all the illegal �American citizens.� Honestly, I do not even understand how this is an issue; this is America, we have laws that citizens must abide by, and if immigrants are not willing to do so, don�t come to America.
Posted By Anonymous Nicki Nicolas, Louisville, Kentucky : 3:41 PM ET
We blog in the comfort of our homes and the safety of our cyber identities. These 'illegals' have come from thousands of miles, crossing deserts and oceans, risking all to be a part of this great nation.

What manmade law did they break? the 1986 law, the 1918 law, the Sioux law, the 1105 tribal law, the Constitution?

They are following one law and one law alone - the law of nature, which is to find a better life for themselves and their children.

We should realize this and address it humanely. Put yourself in their shoes and then decide. All this hate and anger directed at these people makes me take another look and see if this is the America I've come to know and love.
Posted By Anonymous Leo Roundtree - Morton Grove, IL : 4:04 PM ET
all the debates and demonstrations are about illegal immigrants who are taking away jobs from low-skilled, less educated and high school level Americans. But what about us highly skilled, highly educated LEGAL IMMIGRANTS who are waiting for permanent resindency status? There is no initiative to speed up the labor department process to get our papers to move... where is the fairness and recognition for people who are here legally?
Posted By Anonymous Noel43, Culver City CA : 4:14 PM ET
I'm just marveling at the power of the mass protests. Think what can be done about some of our real problems like the price of gas, the war in Iraq/Iran/Afganistan. The illegalities/ immoralities of the constitutional violations of our various government folks.
On the note of Immigration we need to come to understand that if we create opportunity they will come and there is no way to fence in/out an animal as smart as a human.
When the opportunity dries up they will not come so we need to uphold the laws we have and prosecute and jail the US citizens who are fraudulently paying these illegals. If you are a business owner and you are caught paying an illegal and that makes jail time for you and deportation for him and his family. Would you hire an illegal as a nanny of gardener or harvester the problem will stop cold.
If we adopted such a plan the government could do its job and have a guest-worker program that worked, and in fact I'd be for hiring fairs at the US consulates in these countries to really remove the pressure on our borders so the agents could spend their time scrutinizing employment records and obligations of employers against the facts.
Posted By Anonymous smile meadow seattle wa : 4:28 PM ET
It seems to me that perhaps the solution to reducing the number of people living in the United States illegally would be to make citizenship easier and less expensive to attain.

Then again, to steal a quote from The Simpsons: "I'm from Canada, so they think I'm a little slow, eh!"

P.S. As a Canadian, I forgive Tom Foreman for his Manifest Destiny crack :)
Posted By Anonymous Andrea L, Stoney Creek, ON : 4:42 PM ET
I don't have a problem with "legal" immigration - but I do have a problem with "illegal" immigration. These immigrants do NOT pay income tax, are a burden on our school system and our health care system. They are not interested in "helping" America, they don't even seem interested in becomming Americans. They just want to live here as natives of their own countries and reap the same benefits as American citizens. They are not interested in learning English - and are making no effort to do so. Earlier immigrants couldn't wait to become citizens, not "guest workers".
And I'm sick and tired about hearing how they are working low paying jobs that no one else will do. The president hasn't been job hunting in Florida. $10 an hour is a GREAT paying job in Volusia County - many AMERICANS are working for a lot less! I also want to know if these illegal immigrants would enlist in our armed forces and fight for this country - or run back home? I can't believe that ILLEGAL immigrants are out in the streets protesting for rights - Wake up people - they're ILLEGAL!
Posted By Anonymous Kathy, Deltona, FL : 4:44 PM ET
I am absolutely disgusted at the debate about immigration. I am disgusted that there is even any debate. If you are not willing to enter this country legally, then why should we believe anything you are willing to do in the future will be legal. SEND THEM ALL HOME!!!!!!! These criminals exercising OUR right to free speach at these rallys would be a great place to pick them up. Breaking into any Americans house may get you killed, legally. But break into the counry and we will clothe, feed and take care of all your medical needs at the expense of the American taxpayer? Disgusting!
Posted By Anonymous Brian, Plainfield Il : 4:46 PM ET
How many of those who marched are actual voters? Why can't politicians work for Americans for once? Help American voters to become successful. The rich don't care, the poor will keep coming to America, and the middle class will have to support all of them. Being an American is a privilege, it is not a right.

I am an immigrant. My parents came here legally. It is an insult for me to hear that those criminals are lumping themselves with immigrants. Call your Congressmen and let them know that Americans would like to have a voice too. When the illegals cut work to go march, Americans are hard at work keeping the country afloat.
Posted By Anonymous DYoung, Los Angeles/CA : 4:46 PM ET
I wish this would come up on a year other than an election year. This was a real chance for some fair immigration reform. Too bad. I hope they can pull it together somehow. Our current policy is not fair. It is almost impossible for hispanics to immigrate to US through the system -- unless you play sports, have money, or are a movie star (almost). Over the wall and across the river is the only way.
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Boulder, Colorado : 4:53 PM ET
To Brandy ugly comment. I was borned and raised in New Orleans this is a great place to live. We have wonderful people down here and great food. This was not our fault that this happen. We knew that one day we would ger a big one we did. When we left here to go else where we did know we would not come back to nothing like my dad. Brandt to your fish bowl comment we know that we sit low but this is home we like where you live. This storm changed everyones lives. There are bad storms all over the United States that changes everyone lives everyday. So the people that live in Flordia should moveout they get hit bad every year. Thanks to all the people that helped the people in Louisiana and Misssissippi that lost everything.
Posted By Anonymous dianne Metairie, Louisiana : 11:02 AM ET
Politicians manipulating public opinion for their own gain? Mexicans walking off the job? Get out of town!
Posted By Anonymous Jimmy, Corpus Christi, TX : 11:46 AM ET
I do not understand how they can be a force with over 11 million illegal immigrants possibly. This is bipartisan politics, period. It has nothing to do with the votes of illegals. They are not even U.S. Citizens, unless my civics teacher was wrong, they can't even vote for the president!!! Do politicians think everybody is stupid, or just the honest taxpayers?
Posted By Anonymous Sharon L. Abner, Springtown, Texas : 12:50 PM ET
We the community that are legal citizens have also exploded into a political force to be reckoned with.
You cannot award people that break our laws. And our government must inforce our laws, not award people that come into our country illegally.

Try going into Mexico or any other country illegally....
Posted By Anonymous G.Kelly, Guntersville, AL : 12:52 PM ET
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