Immigration Raids

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nationn' topic

One byproduct of the crackdown on illegal immigrants are cases like Elvira Arellano. She's the woman who holed up in a Chicago church with her son, facing deportation to Mexico. Her son, born in this country, is an American citizen. So, when Elvira was arrested on Sunday and deported, her son stayed behind with his godmother. Many of the illegal immigrants swept up in raids have been in the country for years. Some have American-born children. Does this change your mind at all about the immigration debate? Or, are laws laws and need to be enforced equally?

Comments

 

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illegal is illegal. they should be deported when possible, but everyone knows that 15 million people cant be deported. Mayor Bloomberg seems to want them though, send them to NYC.
http://tinyurl.com/yuhozs

Sent by tim | 2:09 PM | 8-22-2007

She decided to separate her family; she was free to take her son to Mexico with her.
There is no excuse for not enforcing our laws.

Sent by Arthur Schleinkofer | 2:11 PM | 8-22-2007

We think its great and about time. This is going on too long and more needs to be done. Its also annoying how the new Mexican Prsident isnt doing more to stop his citizens as well as citizens of other Central / South American countires from using his country to ilegally come into this country.

They also need to be dealing with visa overstays for which we have heard little on on NPR.

Sent by jm fay | 2:16 PM | 8-22-2007

I understand the plight of poor mMexicans to come to the USA to make a living but Mexico should, for once, take responsibility for their own. Mexico has many of the richest people in the World, they should help. What about Human Rights organizations taking e more active role inside of the horrific living situations of the majority of Mexicans?

Sent by S. Wright | 2:18 PM | 8-22-2007

Everytime there is some hideous story of families being torn apart and poor people, whose only crime is wanting to come up here to work, you can be certain that some rabid rightwing nativist who will be claiming that it is the immigrant that is to blame. It is their choice. Baloney. The Anti-Immigrant Movement does not want "reform", they want to keep people, especially hispanics, out of the country. This is the same reactionary politics that you see in Europe where Right Wing demogogues try and focus anger at immigrants for political power. The Right is trying to make immigration the "Gay Weddings" of the next election because they have nothing more to offer except War, Corruption, Sub Prime Loans and Tax Cuts for the Rich.

The question becomes: if the 12 million "illegals" leave, who is going to fill those wonderful jobs as maids, lawn mowers, bus boys, fruit pickers and dishwashers? The same crowd that is whining about illegals now will be whining about paying $20 for a burger next.

Sent by George from Oregon | 2:19 PM | 8-22-2007

There are all kinds of reasons for why the Mexican / Central American illegal immigration status quo is supported and derided.
First, let's do like many countries who used to have citizenship by birth (UK is one example) and cease granting citizenship to whoever is born in the U.S. This MUST happen as far as I'm concerned and should be a major agenda item re immigration.

Re the cases of parents being separated from their children if we deport them. I come down strongly on sending illegal immigrant parents home. If there's a rending of the families, there need not be. It's a choice - and the choice does not have to include the option for the illegal parents staying in the U.S. The parents can keep the family together by taking the kids home with them.

Sent by Jim Wright | 2:20 PM | 8-22-2007

I don't think that it is a problem for anyone to ask if people are a legal residence. This is why we need a national identification card, just like European countries. We need to model and catch up to those countries. I wouldn't mind having national identifaction card.

Sent by Jason Nelson | 2:24 PM | 8-22-2007

Elvira Arellano was arrested and deported once before and re-entered the country illegally. She was found to have used a fake Social Security number to work. It was her choice to have a child (where is the father by the way?) and her choice to be here illegally. She could have taken her child with her when she was deported rather than leave him here in what appears to be an obvious bid for compassion. I find it ironic that she said she would be working from Mexico for immigrant rights, but she is not a legal immigrant, she is a criminal illegal alien.

I would be in favor of a constitutional amendment stating that children born in the US would be automatic citizens ONLY if at least one parent is either a born-citizen or a naturalized citizen. The original premise was necessary because no one except Native Americans were citizens at the time of the American revolution. Everyone who was in America at that time was from another country and we needed a way to create American citizens.

Sent by Judi Daunell | 2:27 PM | 8-22-2007

The new name of slavery is called immigrant. The immigrant are treated as slaves. immigration is systematically making hard for immigrant for legally.

Sent by none | 2:34 PM | 8-22-2007

I am a former federal prosecutor who has both prosecuted immigration cases and watched as a highly publicized raid was carried out against Swift and Co. in December of 2006. One of the Swift's plants was in Marshalltown, IA which happens to also be my hometown. At the time of the raids much ink was spilled about the human cost of the raids, the seperation of children from parents, and in at least one case the implication that a breast feeding baby was all but ripped from her mother's chest. No one can deny that there is an extreme human toll attached to illegal immigrationm but that toll is being paid because citizens of Mexico CHOOSE to come here. Though the reasons are often economic, the parents are the ones who set up the scenerio in which their children become the victims. The undocumented families who settle in towns like Marshalltown do so with the full understanding that the sword of an immigration raid hangs over their family.

Unfortunantly the "blame" for these unfortunant, even tragic, events is often laid at the feet of the ICE agents and federal prosecutors who enforce the immigraition laws. Charges of "selective enforcement" are commonly hurled at those who are standing with their fingers in the dam. One comment that was made in my former USAO during the run up to an immigration raid was "just because some people get away with speeding, does that mean the police should stop writing tickets?" The criminal justice system cannot apprehend and prosecute everyone who violates the law, nor do I suspect that those who villify the government would want it to. Federal employees take an oath to devote their personal and professional talents to the enforcement of the laws as they exist, no matter what some (including themselves) may wish it to be.

Sent by Ben Stansberry | 2:35 PM | 8-22-2007

Regarding immigration, it is truly unjust when you have Cubans and Mexicans
getting in literally for free and all other (Polish,russian, etc) have to wait the legal way. Also, the influx in the past few years has created the job loss wages/trickle effect, hospitals, etc., I am liberally, except for immigration matters.

Sent by Uriah | 2:35 PM | 8-22-2007

Do those who want to allow more immigration want to allow everyone to move to the US? If they would have a limit, where would it be and what would be the justification?

Sent by Jonpaul | 2:39 PM | 8-22-2007

Illegal immigrants have broken the law & I have no sympathy for their U.S. citizen born children. They can take their children back to their country with them; they should have considered the consequences when they came to the U.S. illegally.
It's not true that illegal immigrants do jobs Americans won't do; it IS true that employers deliberately hire them to avoid paying prevailing or even minimum wage, and, illegals cannot complain for fear of deportation. The U.S. is not the de facto welfare system for all the poorer countries of the western hemisphere.

Sent by Rodric E. Fitzgerald | 2:41 PM | 8-22-2007

This story is a red herring for illegal sympathizers. This child should be with its father if she won't take it to Mexico with her. Mexicans are not starving or persecuted. If I commit social security fraud I would be in jail yesterday! Enforce all the laws, or let others disobey them too. The lack of enforcement of our borders is an insult to all taxpayers. I do NOT want to pay for their welfare, ie. social security, hospital visits, food stamps, etc. Congress is giving our American birthright of jobs away for votes in the next election. They care not about the future. Shame on the Democrats as the main beneficiaries of the status quo!

Sent by Nan Anderson | 2:41 PM | 8-22-2007

Conditions are so much worse than in Mexico in many areas of the world. Rather than compassion toward families of US born illegal economic immigrants, I think policy should favor people in places of real peril such as Darfur.

Sent by Ruth Becki | 2:44 PM | 8-22-2007

What a bastardization of reality. Oposition to illegal immigration is not the same as opposition to immigration. Just about everyone who violates the law has a justification or rationalization. Reasons why they should not be held accountable. People who go to jail are separated from their family, espcially in the federal system. Should they be granted freedom when it negatively impacts their children ? There is always some bleeding heart attorney or others who will raise to their defense by blaming the law or system. Its one of the things which mades this country great. Its one of the reaons our country gives more charity to the world than any other country. Unfortunately, wonder human quality is being manipulated and used against Americans. You certainly do not heard this argument in Germany, France, England, or any other Western country with a large illegal population were deportations are employed. Funny how this works in American.

Sent by Maurice Simmons | 2:48 PM | 8-22-2007

Regarding the 14th amendment,one must be subject to the jurisdiction of U.S. laws, in order to automatically become a citizen. Therefore, children, whose parents have diplomatic status, are not natural born citizens of the U.S. even though they are born in this country.

Sent by Betty J. Phillips | 2:51 PM | 8-22-2007

I hear illegal immigrants talk all the time about how they have the "right to make a better life for themselves and their families" and that they do this by coming to our country where they can make more money etc. Our Constitution does not give us the "right" to happiness or a better life, just the "pursuit of". If the grass looks so green over here it's only because Americans have worked hard to make our grass that green. Their grass would be plenty green if they stayed to water it! If the illegal immigrants put as much effort into building their own society and improving their own countries as they do breaking into ours then I'm sure that their countries would improve a grat deal in whatever way they are lacking now. Running away from their problems does not make anything any better, thing only improve with hard work. If these illegals were so sincere about it and so deserving then why do they start out their "new lives" by breaking the law? As to the issue of disrupting their families - I don't buy into it. They know the laws better than we do and they know how to play on our sympathy. If you think that just because they don't speak English very well that they are "childlike" or in some way more innocent, you are misguided. They are just as capable of manipulation as the rest of us, and that is just what they are doing- manipulating soft-hearted social do-gooders into making them the cause celebre'. I have a social slogan for you - "JUST SAY NO!"

Sent by Rebecca Vaughan | 3:05 PM | 8-22-2007

"Mexico has many of the richest people in the World". Mexico has the richest man in the world.

I am impressed that the overwhelming majority of the comments support the deportation of Elvira and oppose illegal immigration and support strong enforcement. Yet, the radio showed more of slant toward pro-illegal immigration.

This thing about the 14 Amemndment supporting unconditional automatic citizenship by borth is wrong. Think about. During the 150 years since the amendment was passed (without the southern states participating I might add) and through the Indian wars, and the Chinese exclusion, and Saco & Venzetti, and the red scare, and WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, Japanese Internment, and the Cold War, etc. do you really think the US State Dept gave a passport to every single child born on US soil regardless? Of course not. And there were 2 very large groups who were always denied this "right". Can anyone guess what I'm talking about?
The pundits on TOTN are acting like we've been living in this "utopian liberal democracy" forever.

Sent by kerthialfad | 3:07 PM | 8-22-2007

The problem is bigger than most even imagine... politicians are using the subject as a scare tactic on ignorant and uninformed people... do not call them illegals... they are for all purpose undocumented people.. the US makes all efforts to make this country attractive to the rest of the world and ruin other places where oportunity and any chance of making it become truly impossible because of it.
The authorities in charge now very well how, when and how many undocumented people are on US soil, they are made to pay taxes and get and will not get any benefit from it, they work jobs that most "citizens" will not tackle and truly the whole problem needs a different approach.
The US should have an official lenguage and stop having simple things like drivers licence test in many lenguages, this encourages migration.. and most of all the US should get out and leave other countries and cultures to fend and be themselfs.. all the resources used to try to change that around the world could be used to stablish and maintain a safe, sound and organized place to live.
remember... the more the US gets involved in other places the more people will come here legaly or not.. the problem will persist.
And yes, the guest on the show was wrong, young undocumented females try to get pregnant so they can eventualy become "legal".. I know it first hand.
Until the "citizens" of this country get informed and are aware of why people come to the US nothing will change.. infact it may get worse as the problem in the middle east worsens.
A culture of apathy will not change the problem.

Sent by Pablo | 3:07 PM | 8-22-2007

Neal,

I recently got this video of Roy Beck (Numbers USA Education & Research Foundation) concerning immigration in this country:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4094926727128068265&q=Roy

Have you looked at these numbers and more importantly, has congress?

It seems that we ought to be working feverishly to reset the quotas.

Sent by Bob Gold | 3:15 PM | 8-22-2007

I wish I had been able to get on the air this morning to remind us all how much we reflect our moment in history - and how vastly different public opinion can be on a single subject depending on our time. My example would have been the 1941 film, "Hold Back the Dawn," with Charles Boyer, Olivia de Havilland and Paulette Goddard which told the story of a pregnant Mexican woman making her way to the U.S. border for the sole purpose of giving birth in this country. The audience, of course, is expected to cheer for her to make it across the border so that her little baby will enjoy the benefits of "the land of the free and the home of the brave." Indeed, it ends with her actually getting across that border (like a fooball player barely moving into the end zone in the final seconds of the 4th quarter to score and win). Today, the audience would not be expected to cheer her victory, but instead to root for the government's efforts to keep her from entering. Ah, how times change...

Sent by Michael Kroll | 3:19 PM | 8-22-2007

Yes, Betty! Also, according to the 14th Amendment, one must be a Resident. An illegal resident is not a Resident.

Sent by kerthialfad | 3:22 PM | 8-22-2007

Many of the writers miss the point-- they are ONLY citizens because they were born here. The U.S.-born child of the Mexican mother has exactly the same rights, arising out of the U.S. Constitution, as any other U.S. citizen has. The child is a U.S. citizen, end of story. (As to whether American Indians are, that is another matter...)

Because he is a U.S. citizen, we need to look at the child's interests. Is this U.S. citizen child deprived when his mother is deported? Of course. Would it be different if the child was eighteen? Probably. Should the U.S. citizen child have to go abroad to a country with a lower standard of living? What if it was your child?

I've represented (pro bono) a woman and child who were brought over from an African country by the father. The woman, with other U.S. citizen children, was granted permission to stay (for benefit of the US citizen children.) The oldest son, born in Africa before the woman arrived in the US, was to be deported, despite living here almost his entire life, with a completely clean record, and being completely unfamiliar with the "home country." The only way this tragedy was averted was when a wise and humane immigration judge deferred his case until a more rational govt attorney agreed that the US had no desire to appeal the court's decision.

Epilogue: the young man enlisted in the U.S. military shortly thereafter...

Sent by Herbert W. Cooper | 3:22 PM | 8-22-2007

The Amnesty-Left always seem to say that it's conservatives and racist want our immigrations laws enforced. Yet all of my friends are Democrats, liberals, and very concerned about illegal immigration.

Sent by Mike Carruthers | 3:25 PM | 8-22-2007

I have a daughter, she is 12 weeks old and it was about time to have my own family. It doesn't matter if I were at Mexico or in this case here at America. Illegal Immigration is a phenomenon that is old as the time itself. I'm an illegal immigrant and let me tell you that is not easy. I have to cope with discrimination although people don't know if I'm legal or not. If the case or a deportation definitely I would take my daughter with me but if she were ten or twelve years it would be really hard for her leave everything behind. It was my chose to come here and maybe suffer discrimination but is not her case. She was born here, she is an American citizen now. In a certain way the government should think on those citizens as they do when other citizens have problems in other countries.

Sent by J.A. | 3:25 PM | 8-22-2007

Our Arizona Gov. Napolitano says the Chertoff plan to hold employers accountable was done without consulting states and that there is no federal funding to implement this program. Sounds like just another Bush plan...all talk - no planning.

Sent by Joyce in Arizona | 3:47 PM | 8-22-2007

We create a market for so called illegal immigriants and we have a responsibilty to take care of our employees regardless of which country they come from. How can we be so upset about immigriant labor and off shore so many US jobs at the same time? Is there a conspircy to increase the working poor?

Sent by Annalisa Dare | 4:13 PM | 8-22-2007

Immigrants won't come forward to pay taxes because they can't. Maybe if we quit threatening them and gave the an opportunity we would find that many would be more patriotic and supportive than those who are rich and citizens and doing everything in their power to avoid paying taxes. Please don't blame poverty on the poor. What makes you or I different? Did we decide where we were born or what sort of family we were born into or whether we were impoverished or rich at birth? Or the color of our skin. Our nation is overcome with greed. We are a nation of immigrants. Have some humility and mercy!

Sent by Brian from Utah | 4:18 PM | 8-22-2007

As an eleventh generation U.S. citizen on my father's side, and third generation U.S. citizen on my mother's side, may I suggest that many of you may not appreciate the immigration history of this country. My mom claimed "no Irish ancestry," having grown up at a time when "no Irish need apply." Her grandparents: One Welsh, one Scottish, two Irish. All legal? Who knows? Lex soli (born here - a citizen here) means that it is unimportant - particularly given that the children have grown up here in our culture, loyal to our values (and those undocumented workers, guess what - many are paying state and federal income taxes, Social Security & Medicare, assuming their employers are at least attempting to comply with the INA (requiring ID & proof of right to work))

Sent by Herbert W. Cooper | 4:33 PM | 8-22-2007

Your guest Michael Wishnie gave a very incomplete and misleading statement of U.S. citizenship law based on the 14th Amendment. The citizenship clause includes, "...and subject to the jurisdiction thereof," and the intent of the authors of the amendment, as reflected in the debate on it in the Senate, is that they understood "jurisdiction" to mean owing complete and exclusive allegiance to the United States. Pro-illegal immigration activists like Professor Wishnie like to equivocate on this word, giving it a much weaker meaning of only under the jurisdiction of the laws of the country. Prof. Wishnie as well did not comment on the fact that between the ratification of the 14th amendment and the infamous Wong Kim Ark decision of 1898, there were two notable Supreme Court cases - the Slaughterhouse Cases, and Elk v. Wilkins - in which the court explicitly acknowledged the intent of the authors in adhering to the original notion of jurisdiction. In Wong Kim Ark, however, Justice Gray, himself the author of the majority decision in Elk that got it right, suddenly and inexplicably got it wrong in holding that Wong was a citizen; he seems to have come to the irrational conclusion that, during the time Wong's parents were in the United States, they suddenly renounced their allegiance to the emperor of China and unilaterally declared allegiance to the U.S., despite the existence of a treaty between China and the U.S. that forever forbade Chinese like Wong's parents from becoming American citizens.

Prof. Wishnie also is wrong in stating that there are some number of countries who have a policy of automatic _jus soli_ birthright citizenship. In fact, among developed nations, only Canada has a policy of automatic _jus soli_ birthright citizenship, and theirs is democratically enacted by their government, unlike that in the U.S. that was imposed by six long-dead Supreme Court justices in an incoherent and wrong-headed decision. In point of further fact, many nations that once had automatic _jus soli_ birthright citizenship have renounce it in recent years, beginning with Great Britain in 1981 and including France and, most recently (2004), Ireland.

Sent by Jonathan Ball | 4:37 PM | 8-22-2007

Lets do some math here. An illegal immigrant -- Juan comes to the US. He needs a job. He can't get one legally, so he uses a false social security number. To keep it simple, lets say he makes $1000.00 per month. He pays, what is the rate 7.5%, or 75.00 to social security. Thats 900.00 per year. Let's say there are 3 million illegals doing the same thing, lets see, that's about 27 million dollars a year going into our soc. security system. Now part of the Juans are going to save their money and go back to their home country. They won't apply for social security when they turn 65. The rest -- they were working under FALSE documents, are they going to be able to draw social security? I think not. Also, they are paying (for the most part) income taxes -- yes they are withheld from their checks just like yours and mine. Some have even managed to buy homes -- guess what = property taxes. And of course there's sales tax on everything they buy. So go on, send them all home, and lets just see what happens to the AMERICAN economy -- not to mention Mexico's

Sent by Maureen in Tennessee | 4:48 PM | 8-22-2007

Silly me, I was under the impression that Neal Conen was a journalist. Well, until TODAY, that is. He made it painfully obvious that he was pro-illegal immigration. He should concentrate on conducting interviews instead of using the public's airwaves and tax dollars to spew his liberal and misguided viewpoints. BTW, I'm a moderate, so the sophomoric name-calling like "right wing demogogue" gets you nowhere here.

Sent by John Q. Public | 4:51 PM | 8-22-2007

FIRST - I agree that laws should be enforced - especially against serious offenders - and the employer who hires 50 workers without doing the legal checking is guilty of a much more serious act than the one person or family who come here illegally.

SECOND - the rights of the child born here MUST be considered. We constantly debate whether it is up to the mother whether a fetus is allowed to live ... how can we then excuse our treatment of a child who is born and living here as "her mother chose that." We hardly guarantee that the child's pursuit of happiness is met when Mama is sent away - RIGHT NOW.
THIRD - since we CAN NOT LOGISTICALLY gather up and send "home" all the adults who are here illegal - this will be an unequal enforcement of the law and I believe that is untenable.

FOURTH - this whole thing makes me want to go tear down Lady Liberty - who states one her base I believe "Send me your tired, your poor; your huddled masses yearning to breath free; the wretched refuse of your teeming shore - send these the homeless, tempest tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door.

Finally - ANY of us descended from the colonial citizens - our families first came here illegally; they STOLE the land; CHEATED its rightful owners; deported and imprisoned them and their children and their children's children.

Sent by Donna Foster Myer | 6:29 PM | 8-22-2007

How all 12 million end up here?
Who are responsible for these mess?
Have you use a service of a non documented immigrant?
Hypocrits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sent by Chris Sciaba | 7:09 PM | 8-22-2007

If they really want these raids to make an impact, they should hit all the restaurants in Washington, DC. It might get Congress to take some action once they find that all their favorite eating/drinking places will have to either close or steeply increase their prices in order to pay a living wage to legal employees (not a bad idea), if they can find them.

Sent by Richard/ St. Louis, MO | 7:37 PM | 8-22-2007

Your guest, Mark Krikorian, complained about elites wanting to revise the immigration laws; but I've seldom heard a more elitist comment than his, when he said something like "Life in Mexico isn't so bad; after all a million Americans go there for vacation every year!" This is worthy of Barbara Bush after Katrina! I'm surprised he wasn't challenged on it by Neil or the other guests. HELLO-- I don't think those American vacationers are working as dishwashers or lettuce-pickers like a good percentage of the illegal immigrants are. I'm sure Mexico is a fine place if you can afford cushy vacations, but an awful lot of US citizens are not in that category, and I don't think that people sneaking over the border in search of a better life quite fit that profile!

Sent by Richard/ St. Louis, MO | 7:45 PM | 8-22-2007

Maureen, absolutely correct. Also, they are shopping in this country, spending money at businesses large and small. They are renting or even buying houses. They are buying cars. If it's a bad thing for people to move to a place to make money and spend money, then every Chamber of Commerce in America should shut its doors right now. New citizens are new consumers, new customers. They create jobs. Sometimes by going into business for themselves, sometimes by working for others and providing customers for businesses. The people are so obsessed with how immigrants are "taking" our jobs are showing their complete lack of comprehension of how our economy -- or any economy -- works.

Sent by Michelle | 9:27 PM | 8-22-2007

Illegal immigrants have broken the law. Straight up. They have absolutely no right to be here. It is a shame that they do not want to live in their own country, but with thousands of poor American citizens who have children that go to bed hungry every night, thousands without insurance, a crumbling infastructure, schools that are substandard, war veterans who can't get proper health care upon returning from service...it is very apparent we can't even care for our own let alone millions of others.
And why should so many latinos be given legal status? We are supposed to be a diverse country. Why are immigration rights activists not lobbying for the rights of all who want in this country? Why do they only focus on latinos? If we are going to allow mass immigration then it needs to be fair and include people from a variety of countries. Why not some from war-torn Iraq, Dafar and other improverished nations? I am sure they would love a chance to enter as well. I am tired of activists who only fight for the rights of one race of people. If you want to fight for immigration rights, I think it only fair that you fight for all peoples who face despair.

Sent by kym | 12:11 AM | 8-23-2007

I honestly think that illegal immigrants are unfair to me and my family because we came here with legal papers and documents. Did this illegal immigrants know how long did me and my family wait just to get here? We waited for our papers from the Embassy for TWENTY YEARS (20 YEARS) because there are a lot of immigrant applicants that wants to have an opportunity too. I came from the Philippines and i can't imagine those people just crossing on the borders compared to us that waited for 20 years. On another hand, i believe that those illegal immigrants are claiming there land back. I heard or I somewhere read that CALIFORNIA WAS ONCE MEXICO. So, the people in Mexico wants there land back probably, that is why in their MINDS OR THINKING, IT IS JUST OK TO CROSS THE BORDER JUST LIKE THAT WITHOUT ANY LEGAL DOCUMENTATION! I know that yeah USA IS THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY, the people in MEXICO NEEDS JOBS OR SOME KIND OF FINANCIAL SECURITY. I hope this people will realize that how about those people in other country that came here legally and spent a lot of money just to come here, paid all embassy fees, plane ticket, etc.

Sent by Angela A. in Oxnard, California | 12:27 AM | 8-23-2007

There is simply no way to totally the cost of illegal immigration to the taxpayer. Who pays for "due process" Who pays for the medical costs associated with an illegal immigrant giving birth to a new American citizen" Who pays to educate these children ? Who pays to the ER visits ? Who pays to the downward pressure on wages ? Who pays to the increased housing costs due to incrased competition for low wage housing ? Who pays for auto insurance due to uninsured motorist who are here illegally ? At what point does an ethnic community become capable of shielding and employing a 100, a 1000, or 10,000 illegal immigrants ? At what point does America have the right to draw a line on illegal immigration ? 30 million, 50 million ? 100 million ?
I believe the solution is simple. The U.S. should annex Mexico. This would give legal status to every Mexican. it would solve a host of problems with Mexico. On this issue TOT clearly demonstrate a biase in favor of illegal immigration. I guess Neal and his producers are human afterall.

Sent by Maurice Simmons | 2:39 AM | 8-23-2007

For all the anti immigrant protestestors: Where did your fore fathers came from? Did they ask the Indians if they could live on the American soil? If babies who are born here by illigal aliens are not citizen of America then you are not either so every single one of you should go back to your parents homeland and leave the natives with their land. Not possible at all to do that because some of you would not know where to go since you foreparents displace your roots just like the modern immigrants are doing. The earth was made for man kind to dwell on. The earth was made for man and animal to roam and be adventurous. Live be happy or get up and go do the job. There are jobs that American really don't want. Who wants to go work in bushes planting and plucking apples and other food when we could relax and drink lemonade in the cool. Be more sensitive towards humanity. You send these people home today tomorrow your begging them to come back through guest worker program. More expense. Does that make any sense. If they are here for so long and they did not bite you then why are you concern about the biting you now.

The border should be enforce to regulate housing and jobs but meanwhile the government does the job, which should include a comprehensive reform, you people need to stop humiliating your brothers from next door. Forgive, because you wer forgiven.

Sent by Stacy Wright | 4:48 AM | 8-23-2007

I have to agree with John Q. Public. This whole discussion is based on an illegal act. One that should be enforced against first, those hiring illegal aliens (or undocumented workers), and then those who violate U.S. law by entering the country illegally or overstaying their visas. Proximity to the U.S. does not justify the right to amnesty over others trying to enter the U.S. legally. I am a liberal voter, and while I base my vote on numerous issues, I disagree with the Democratic party wholeheartedly on this matter. As for NPR, I love it, and I love Talk of The Nation, but the reporting does tend to favor the rights of illegal aliens over the legal citizens of the U.S.

Sent by Darren in Indianapolis | 11:14 AM | 8-23-2007

Under no circumstance should any child born to an illegal immigrant within our borders be given legal status as a citizen of the United States of America.

If the parents are here illegally then so are their children or any children born to them while here...this is a simple solution to the seperation of family issues. Simply send them all home together and as a group faimly when they are discovered and deported.

A comparison is that I break into your office and steal all your computers...you catch me with all the computers and arrest me and I still get to keep all computers that I stole. Even though I did a criminal act during the theft to get them,,, anything that I touched or produced illegally....I get to keep for myself.

Change the laws so they make sense...otherwise we will have illegal women getting pregnant on purpose and or arriving here illegally pregnant already...what were the Morons writing these laws ......thinking?
Obewan

Sent by Lew Orban | 3:46 PM | 8-23-2007

The people on this blog are only a little more aware of the bigger picture here. If you want to learn about it go to http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/kuer/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=1131750

Here you can find the best information anywhere on how to look at and deal with the immigration problem. It is a show from another NPR station.

Sent by Danny | 6:35 PM | 8-23-2007

Maureen in Tennessee, I agree there are favorable aspects to the current mess as you well described. But on the negative side, beside the social costs in heathcare, education, and housing, there is the phenomenon of people from abroad running up debts an committing, and then leaving the US to escape their responsibility.
This subprime mortgage meltdown, though it is not widely publicized, was heavily subscribed to by illegal immigrants. If you don't ask for documentation for income, residency, credit, etc. what you'll get are people who are undocumented. I would guess that 50% of these subprime mortgages went to illegal immigrants. I would like to know what the actual number is.

Sent by kerthialfad | 12:46 AM | 8-24-2007

Hi all. This is an immensely important issue. Unfortunately the devil is in the details. I just posted 12 pages on this on my blog, complete with research and a good compromise.

http://old-things.blogspot.com/

Sent by Adam | 5:04 AM | 8-26-2007

I must admit that I have mixed fellings towards people who immigrate here illegally to try and make a future for their family by illegal employment here. Most risk their lives to come here and may at times risk their families lives to get here. Clearly they see a greater benefit to living here than where they come from. What bothers me is that citizens here seem to have compassion for these people without thinking through the implication of their actions. I hear people say that no one in the United States would want to take the same jobs as these illegal immigrates take on and provide no proof of such a claim. I know of several cases personally of citizens who wanted to work but were replaced with the cheaper illegal immigrant because the illegals could be paid less. In other words, these illegal immigrants were exploited by a business and american citizens suffered with unemployment. The issue as I see it is not one of humanitarian neglect to these people but fair enforcement of laws. I get the impression that these well intentioned citizens look at these illegal immigrants like they do a stray puppy they want to take home and take care of. The big difference though is that they want to sacrifice my childrens future, the future of other public citizens at the taxpayer's expense, not just theirs. Also, why do companies that hire these people illegally get away with it. It can't be that hard to figure out where they are. Why is it so easy for these people to get here in the first place? Why doesn't our representative governmnet see the threat to our borders after 9/11? If these people can get through so easily, what about those who would want to do us harm? Why do citizens harbor these illegal aliens and get no punishment. Why do these people get free services with no requirement for reimbusement to American Citizens who pay for them? If these were just a few people these questions might be mute or mean spirited but we are talking about 12 million people! Their presence is basically unfair to those who obey immigration laws and the laws of this land. It is unfair to American citizens who pay for these illegal immigrants services without reimbursement. It is disgraceful that these people are held at higher place then the most humble citizen of this country. Some feable minded citizens think we must not go into outer space or be in Iraq because we must use this money to take care of our needs here. What about all the money we waist to deport, provide resources (food stamps, education, welfare services, etc.)to people who do not legally belong here and who use false id's and social secuity cards to get them. If these people want to come here, so be it, but in a legal fashion where they can contribute to our society without them being in fear of being deported or being exploited because of their illegal status. Then, in a orderly way, can all be happy, fairly treated and productive to labors performed. I am not anti-immigrant, my wife is a naturalized citizen and we worked over 7 years to make it happen at our own expense. What I am is pro-law enforcement and pro-fairness. If these bleading hearts don't like the way immigrant laws read then write their congressman, protest, get in these politicians faces, become a representative in Washington, but do so in a legal and orderly and fair way to all citizens of this country. What I suspect is that these bleading hearts don't want to take that route since it requires a lot of work, sacrifice and effort on thier part. They would rather get in fron of a TV camera and demand amnisty for these "poor souls" and take the easy way out at my, my family and other citizens expense both in the present and future.

Sent by Jeff Beasley | 11:02 AM | 8-27-2007

RE!!!!!

The new name of slavery is called immigrant. The immigrant are treated as slaves. immigration is systematically making hard for immigrant for legally.
Sent by none | 2:34 PM ET | 08-22-2007

THE difference is:
the ILLEGAL immigrants come:
OF THIER OWN FREE WILL.

Sent by JEFF | 8:31 PM | 9-1-2007

The solution to the immigration problem is "COMMON SENSE". How in the world so u send millions of people back to their countries, some of them have been in the us for many years with no families in their home countries.
The most disturbing part of all this is nobody is thinking to themselves how are these people getting into this country illigally, well guess what who do u think help get these illigal immigrants into this country, American Citizens thats who, and also all I have been hearing is about spanish speaking illigal immigrants what about the one that are not from Mexico.

Sent by Alex | 3:58 PM | 9-4-2007

Have you people thought about the military .....the military is mostly made up of mexican american men whom call this country their home, they are willing to die for their country and its usually mexican american men who are put on the front lines to fight even though they have parents that were born in mexico.......now if you take away all those mexican soldiers, all those filipino soldiers, all those soldiers that are not "american" would the US still be a world super power.

Sent by Juan Salazar | 9:36 PM | 9-6-2007

I think it is about time we do something for our country here. My son has gone to Iraq two times and my family all work; but we cannot afford healthcare. We live in Florida and when I needed healthcare i went to the hospital, no insurance, and received no help or assistance; but they stated if I was poverty and/or a illegal alien my bill would be written off. So in a understanding way I look at it as a middle class American with all American born kids if you work hard and support your own without welfare and pay your bills on time the only reward is to see others, even those not born in my country that my son, father and grandfather has fought for receive more benefits and proper healthcare before me.

Sent by ANGELA | 8:51 AM | 9-8-2007

I got 10 years in this country illegal my wife is us citizen,i got a child is 10 months old ;my father was in the vietnan war same like my grandfather he fought side by side with the american navy in the second world war;with all this roots from my family ,i don't have the oportunity to fix my paper and stay legal in this country ,WHY ? ,because the bad immigration laws we have in this country.I work every day,pay taxes since the first day i came to usa;people the think is so easy left behind you wife,you child and wait 10 year in out this country,that's crazy because i'm 32 in 10 years i will turn 42 and will cameback to usa ,to work "legally",,,, work more years and going to retire.......why not stay ,work in this country pay fines for overstayed;this is the reason people stay in usa ,because dont have another option ,is not another way to fix their status.

Thanks

Sent by manuel leon | 7:54 PM | 9-12-2007

Hi,
I'm doing a debate on immigration in school,and i was hopeing that someone would be ble to help me I need to find a sight that I can find good immigration facts.

Sent by sally | 8:47 PM | 9-22-2007

lLet's get the 14th amendment re-intrerpreted--it was passed to give the slaves citizenship--not to allow millions to come in illegally, have a child (@ taxpayer expense) & have an (in) then--this is insane!!!Our population is soaring--it'll be 400,000 ooo in short order--this over-population will DESTROY this country-think of the increased demands for water,sewer capacity, energy, OIL. SCHOOLS, HOSPITALS--THE ILLEGALS are pushing hard & the politicians are running scared! They should be--we'll throw them out of office!!

Sent by JUDITH TABAK | 2:45 PM | 9-28-2007

We would end this problem in a short period of time! How? Pay AMerican workers a decent wage for what illegls do now! Ahhh but it seems as if greed is more importaant in this country than National Security and I pray it will not be our undoing but I'm afraid that this is not the case

Sent by brenda | 11:54 AM | 9-29-2007

The problem is bigger than most even imagine... politicians are using the subject as a scare tactic on ignorant and uninformed people... do not call them illegals... they are for all purpose undocumented people.. the US makes all efforts to make this country attractive to the rest of the world and ruin other places where oportunity and any chance of making it become truly impossible because of it.
The authorities in charge know very well how, when, and how many undocumented people are on US soil, they are made to pay taxes and get and will not get any benefit from it, they work jobs that most "citizens" will not tackle and truly the whole problem needs a different approach.
The US should have an official lenguage and stop having simple things like drivers licence test in many lenguages, this encourages migration.. and most of all the US should get out and leave other countries and cultures to fend and be themselfs.. all the resources used to try to change that around the world could be used to stablish and maintain a safe, sound and organized place to live.
remember... the more the US gets involved in other places the more people will come here legaly or not.. the problem will persist.
And yes, the guest on the show was wrong, young undocumented females try to get pregnant so they can eventualy become "legal".. I know it first hand.
Until the "citizens" of this country get informed and are aware of why people come to the US nothing will change.. infact it may get worse as the problem in the middle east worsens.
A culture of apathy will not change the problem

Sent by Bob Cooper | 7:04 AM | 10-25-2007

Lets do some math here. An illegal immigrant -- Juan comes to the US. He needs a job. He can't get one legally, so he uses a false social security number. To keep it simple, lets say he makes $1000.00 per month. He pays, what is the rate 7.5%, or 75.00 to social security. Thats 900.00 per year. Let's say there are 3 million illegals doing the same thing, lets see, that's about 27 MILLION DOLLARS a year going into our soc. security system. Now part of the Juans are going to save their money and go back to their home country. They won't apply for social security when they turn 65. The rest -- they were working under FALSE documents, are they going to be able to draw social security? I think not. Also, they are paying (for the most part) income taxes -- yes they are withheld from their checks just like yours and mine. Some have even managed to buy homes -- guess what = property taxes. And of course there's sales tax on everything they buy. So go on, send them all home, and lets just see what happens to the AMERICAN economy -- not to mention Mexico's

Sent by Tim Nelson | 7:14 AM | 10-25-2007

people from other countries want to come here to the u.s and they are looking for a better life for them and their families. why should they be treated like slaves and bad things like that! You want workers for your jobs and Americans arent willing to take those jobs so the immigrants take those jobs. If you need people with this type of work ethic then stop talkin bad things about them! You need them!

Sent by None of your business! Just know that im HISPANIC! | 4:36 PM | 2-11-2008

why is the immigration laws tougher for the people from the middle east compared to the mexicans

Sent by jess | 4:00 PM | 9-7-2008