Opinion

The Great Debate

George W. Obama and immigration fantasies

By Bernd Debusmann
June 4, 2010

In the waning days of his presidency, George W. Bush listed the failure of immigration reform as one of his biggest disappointments and deplored the tone of the immigration debate. It had, he said in December 2008, undermined “the true greatness of America which is that we welcome people who want to work”.

The way things look a year and a half into the administration of Barack Obama, he too may end his presidency deploring the failure to fix America’s dysfunctional immigration system. The tone of the debate is even more rancorous now than it was when Bush pushed reform and it features the same arguments, including the fantasy that you can fully control the frontier between the U.S. and Mexico, the world’s busiest border.

That illusory target was set in the Secure Fence Act of 2006, signed into law by George W. Bush on October 26 of that year. It provided a definition of the term “operational control”, one of the most frequently used buzz phrases of the debate. (The other is “securing the border”). Under the letter of the law, operational control means “the prevention of all unlawful U.S. entries, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband.”

Note the word “all”. Then contrast it with what is at stake: almost 7,500 miles of land borders (with Mexico and Canada), 12,300 miles of coastline and a vast network of airports, seaports and land crossings. In the long-running debate, sound bites alone could fill a library and one of the best came from Janet Napolitano when she was governor of Arizona: “Show me a 50-foot wall and I show you a 51-foot ladder.”

That quote has history on its side. There has never been an impenetrable border. Not the Great Wall of China, the 5,500-mile mother of all walls, not the Berlin Wall, not the Iron Curtain, the lethal system of walls, fences, minefields and watch towers manned by guards with shoot-to-kill orders that sliced 2,500 miles through Europe.

Napolitano, now head of the Department of Homeland Security, the 160,000-strong bureaucratic behemoth charged with ensuring “operational control”, no longer uses the wall-and-ladder simile. Instead, she talks of the need for “comprehensive immigration reform”, as does her boss, Barack Obama, and as did George W. Bush.

Bush’s attempt to push through a reform addressing all aspects of the complex, emotion-laden issue fell through because he could not convince legislators in his own Republican party that there should be a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the United States. Obama does not have enough votes in the Senate for a reform bill.

And leading Republicans insist that there must be a sequence in any changes to what everybody agrees is a broken system. “First…we have to secure the border. If you want to enact other reforms, how can that be effective when you have a porous border,” says John McCain, the Arizona senator who once championed an all-encompassing package.

OBAMA IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF BUSH
He and others have not explained what exactly they mean by “secure border”. If that stands for keeping “all” illegal crossers out, it’s difficult to see how there could ever be reform. Largely symbolic gestures, such as Obama’s decision in May to send 1,200 National Guard troops to the border with Mexico, will make little difference on the ground.

By ordering the troops’ deployment, Obama trod in the footsteps of Bush, who dispatched 6,000 National Guard troops to the border in 2006 to back up the Border Patrol and help build several hundred miles of walls and fences. In both cases, the measures were meant to win bi-partisan support for overall reform.

That would need to include figuring out a way to keep track of people who enter the U.S. on valid visas and stay behind when they expire. With attention focused on the border, visa overstayers rarely figure in the debate but they are estimated to make up around 40 percent of the population of illegal immigrants.

How to handle them has been the thorniest problem of all, with conservatives decrying as “amnesty” proposals to work out a way to legal status. Public attitudes are somewhat schizophrenic, judging from opinion polls.

A poll late in May by the Opinion Research Corporation, for example, showed 80 percent in favor of a program that would allow illegal immigrants who have already lived in the U.S. for several years to apply for legal status if they had a job and paid any taxes owed. But in response to a differently-phrased question, 60 percent supported deporting illegal immigrants already in the country.

Last year, according to government figures, the U.S. deported 387,790 illegal immigrants — an average of more than 1,000 a day and a tiny fraction of the undocumented population. Wholesale deportation of all of it belongs as much in the world of fantasy as the idea that “all unlawful entries” could be stopped.

To show how unrealistic the notion of mass deportation is, the Center for American Progress, a liberal Washington think tank, crunched some numbers in a recent report on immigration. Assuming that they could all be tracked down, how many buses would it take to ferry out all illegal immigrants?

Around 200,000. Placed bumper-to-bumper, the buses would stretch 1,800 miles.

Comments
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The Great Debate» See all analysis and opinion George W. Obama and immigration fantasies
Jun 4, 2010 09:38 EDT
Bernd Debusmann | George W. Bush | immigration | Obama
What is Bernd proposed solution?
We have, if official figures are correct twelve million II’s running around in this country.
If they are all given some legal status, the probability is, their employers will import another twelve million, after all if they have no legal status they cannot sue their employer and the employer has no legal responsibility to the employee.

Posted by The1eyedman | Report as abusive
 

No doubt that mass deportation isn’t feasible, but then neither is turning a blind eye and knowingly assuming the burden of providing tax funded services to people who aren’t part of the tax rolls. That’s not even taking into consideration the problems created by forcing schools to offer Spanish-only curriculum or bilingual government services. Because after all, we wouldn’t want to offend the person who is here illegally. Shame on us.

Posted by Stopthemadness | Report as abusive
 

there’s really just one question we all have to consider: just how well did ‘the great wall of china’ work for the ‘chinese’?

it seems to have worked well enough to hold off the manchus for about 44 years. is that as long as we’d like ‘the great wall of america’ to work? no, we want something more permanent, right?

so, if we’re going to build a great wall (and i’d highly suggest it just for the jobs it would create) we should build it big! much bigger than the great wall of china! big enough for a major roadway to run across the top of it. big enough to house a number of hotels and malls with great views of the mexican desert. and long enough to stretch out into the sea for twenty miles on each end.

but, then the question becomes: who’d actually do the work on such a wall and then who’d actually keep the hotels and malls running in the wall…hmmm, now let me think: they should live within easy commuting distance and they probably shouldn’t want much more than minimum wage!

so…let’s think. who does that leave…?

oh, well, it’s just an idea.

Posted by jborrow | Report as abusive
 

To simply state that the US cannot control its own borders is ludicrous. We can and should. Any reasonable state must be able to do that. We simply lack the political will, not the engineering expertise.

Perhaps my memory is somewhat different than yours about the success of the Berlin wall, but it certainly seemed to deter a lot of traffic that would otherwise have simply gone through unimpeded.

Perhaps also, we might consider bringing in Israeli wall experts. They seem to have the requisite knowledge to handle the task under extremely adverse conditions.

The bottom line is your argument is not based on physical fact, but an unwillingness to do what is necessary to close our borders to those who would harm us — all for the benefit of a relatively small group of individuals in this country who benefit from keeping our borders open.

If we solve that problem first, I am sure the other will follow quite easily.

Gordon

Posted by Gordon2352 | Report as abusive
 

another question: what would it look like to force 12,000,000 people across the border at gun point? didn’t we bomb up a country trying to do that?

Posted by jborrow | Report as abusive
 

I’m sure any sized wall could do the intended job, if there was enough will power in place to enforce it.

Arizona realized that BHusseinO and CORPWashDC wasn’t doing their job under our immigration laws, so they moved to correct the problem that is destroying their land, murdering their citizens, and bringing in all manner of dangerous people and items.

Good luck to Arizona. Stick to your guns (pun intended), and stop the encroachment on your land.

Posted by truesearch37 | Report as abusive
 

gordon…didn’t a ‘great man’ once say: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

well i say: Mr. Gordon, tear down that wall (in your mind)…because, your notion of ‘border’ is probably bereft of any deep historical consideration of how it got there and your notion of ‘political will’ is probably more a parody of the ‘triumph of the will’ of another ‘great man’ who had a willingness to do what was necessary to rid his country of “a relatively small group of individuals”. as you say: “If we solve that problem first, I am sure the other will follow quite easily.”

Posted by jborrow | Report as abusive
 

if any of you know the history of arizona, you’ll know why it has its current law.

“Starting in 1853, the entirety of present-day Arizona was part of the New Mexico Territory. During the Civil War, on March 16, 1861, southern New Mexico Territory around Mesilla (now in New Mexico) and Tucson declared itself independent from the United States to join the Confederacy. Confederate Territory of Arizona (CSA) was regarded as a valuable route for possible access to the Pacific Ocean, with the specific intention of joining southern California to the Confederacy (In 1860, Southern California had cleared all legal hurdles for secession from the rest of California and was waiting reorganization as a new U.S. territory, which never materialized. At that time, sparsely populated Southern California was a hotbed of Southern-sympathizers.)”
see wikipedia

Posted by jborrow | Report as abusive
 

to see what it looks like to expell 12,000,000 people; see the wikipeida article on: Deportation.

Posted by jborrow | Report as abusive
 

The US should fence and mine the strip of land it owns along the border. That should stop illegal crossings and a low chain link fence will keep animals out of the mine field.

Posted by BBJJ | Report as abusive
 

border security is important and the legalization for undocumented workers who have been living in this country for years or even decades is important too. The thing is that the illegal migration will not stop as long as those people will be able to get hired here. If we prevent our employers from breaking the laws by hiring those people and give certain tools to the employers who really did not realize that the person they were hiring was in the country illegally (biometric SS and IDs, E-verify etc.), than the flow of illegal migrants will stop or at least significantly slow down. I agree with the author of this article that the wall won’t stop the immigrants. There is always some way that they will be able to get to the US. To control the problem we also need a fair visa program. The recent visa program is not working properly. For example, when we bring a person from another country on H1B and this person brings wife/husband that gets H4 on which he/she can not work for several years, what do you think will happened. Of course that person will work, because who would like to be supported (especially if we are talking about man) by his/hers significant other? That unfair visa system and inability to change visa types to keep legal status and work permit, forces many immigrants to become illegal in this country. That needs to be fixed if we won’t to keep track of who is here. Without comprehensive immigration reform nothing will work. Those who are here already often come from mix-status families, and I don’t think that it would be fair and humane to deport them and ruin their lives and their families. Yes, those people broke the law, but it’s not like they killed someone. So, making them to pay back taxes, learning English, paying fine for breaking the law and giving them legal status is fair. They payed already for years by not being able to see their families often for decades, not being able to go to their parents funerals or their siblings weddings. That is the worse punishment that no one deserves. So, let’s be Americans, let’s give those people chance and let’s reform the law the way that people will not have to overstay their visas (give them chance to change their visas), will not have to jump the wall to work on a farm (give them temporary work permits and make sure that whoever hires them will be held responsible if they overstay don’t leave after work is completed). There are for sure better solution than hate, discrimination, bullying and inhumane treatment.

Posted by Amy07 | Report as abusive
 

obama will remain in the footsteps of bush because he is a conservative democrat, just like his good buddy and bag man: clinton. these guys are all graduates of the ‘harvard-princeton-yale club’ and they know which way their bread is buttered.

as for the rest of us. half of us are still in the thrall of the values of the ‘solid south’. the other half of us is a disorganized lot of tweedy intellectuals, socialists, gays, dopers, and basically happy and satisfied people. unfortunately, with such a split in the society at large and having only a two party system, there’s nothing that can be done, politically, to shake things up in a way that would take us down ‘a better road’.

those on the right would shake things up in such a way that we would ended up in a parody of the 1950s, with all of its comforts and looming problems. those of us on to the ‘left’ of right (or what’s left of ‘the left’) have lost our focus in a haze of good smoke and good times with good intentions. our main goal of near equal rights was achieved with losses taken in the war to end wars and war to preserve our ecology.

however, with this in mind, even though obama remains in the foothills of the bush revolution, obama has no successor.

Posted by jborrow | Report as abusive
 

Borders are nothing but de-liberating Big Government anachronisms, held over from feudal days for small-minded Joe The Plumber types to get excited about when they’ve run low on viagra.

Until what seriously matters is how equitably a country can function within its frontiers, it’s a delusional waste of time pretending to have any.

Posted by HBC | Report as abusive
 

hey BBJJ, i thought of a better one than mining and fensing! how bout we set off a chain of really dirty nukes along the border, thus making the land unliveable for the next, let’s say, 10,000 years. we’d only lose about 500 hundred miles of land on each side of the ‘border’. far enough back for ya?

Posted by jborrow | Report as abusive
 

Article 18 of the United Nations’ Draft Code of Crimes Against the Peace and Security of Mankind declares “large scale” arbitrary or forcible deportation to be a crime against humanity.

That’s from wikipedia…

Posted by Amy07 | Report as abusive
 

right on HBC! who knows when the next good idea will cross ‘the border’!

Posted by jborrow | Report as abusive
 

nice find Amy07…wish i’d known that…

Posted by jborrow | Report as abusive
 

It sounds like most of the ‘wall supporters’ are just uneducated white people who are loosing their grip on power, and want to return to the days when whatever a white man said, was the law…. It’s that sense of loss of power that is driving these people to hate more and more….
It’s just a repeat of the Hitler scenario of the 1930′s in Germany…. Get schooled, its educational.

Posted by edgyinchina | Report as abusive
 

You sound exceptionally educated edgyinchina. How about the fact that the “white man” is getting taken advantage of by the illegal immigrants crossing the border. If you’re so educated, how about you recommend a sound solution to the problem?

By the way, in the context you’re using “its educational”.. it should be it’s with the apostrophe.

Brilliant, have a nice day!

Posted by jayinlosangeles | Report as abusive
 

I’ve seen this argument in many similar forms for years. It’s always silly:

“Assuming that they could all be tracked down, how many buses would it take to ferry out all illegal immigrants?

Around 200,000. Placed bumper-to-bumper, the buses would stretch 1,800 miles.”

According to US Government data (not including air travel) there were almost 300 million border crossings between the U.S. and Mexico in 1999 (the peak year). If the facilities exist to move 300 million people in a normal year, then obviously the transport facilities exist to deport 4% of that. If the process were spread over 3 years, it would be the equivalent of about 1% of normal traffic.

That is the relevant metric. Such a deportation would represent a small increment of normal travel. It’s a shame that the Center for American Progress would sell such drivel and that Mr. Debusmann would buy it.

Posted by Mr.Anonymous | Report as abusive
 

It amazes me that we are a capitalist country and so many of our uneducated citizens dont understand supply and demand. If there is demand for low cost labor then the workers and jobs will match at the right price point – its as simple as that. If we somehow fence the border, the market will still attract labor – it might be from tourist visa’s, it might be US underage children, it might be sending the jobs overseas. If it ends up costing more to pick strawberries than selling them then might as well grow them in Thailand. We are a nation based on trade and economics teaches us that the best system is free movement of products, capital and labor. A system to allow Mexicans to come in to be our low cost jobs protects us in the long term from losing thousands of more jobs to India, China, Brazil, etc, etc.

Its already happening; In my area, a local New York Jewish market used to buy from a plant in Iowa which had a lot of Mexican labor. The whole process created a lot of tax money for this small town in Iowa. I’ve just learned due to INS crackdowns, the cooperative is now sourcing Kosher products from Israel and China. This will be happen over and over as the cost for unsubsidized agriculture and meat processing becomes too high. We will in the end only produce subsidized food like corn or sugar which of course increases our national debt. Great – lost jobs, no tax, more subsidies, and lots of corn.

Sometimes I wish these people actually get what they wish for – at least urban economies are diversified enough to where we dont have to worry about sourcing food from abroad – it would only hurt the agricultural area’s of the country.

Posted by John2244 | Report as abusive
 

Read about “operation wetback”. It’s been done before, we badly need to do it again. No argument.

Posted by Hammer1966 | Report as abusive
 

John2244 wrote:

“It amazes me that we are a capitalist country and so many of our uneducated citizens dont understand supply and demand. If there is demand for low cost labor then the workers and jobs will match at the right price point – its as simple as that.”

It amazes me that so many people like John2244 think that they understand supply and demand.

“If there is demand for low cost labor” — then the price still depends on the supply of labor as well.

If the supply is effectively restricted by immigration enforcement, then it will no longer be “low cost labor.” Those workers will earn a decent living. That is (in my mind, at least) the purpose of immigration enforcement.

If we do not have effective immigration enforcement and we have an unlimited supply of impoverished workers coming here, desperate for work, then that is the REASON THAT WE HAVE LOW COST LABOR. It keeps American workers in poverty too. That is the reason that the Chamber of Commerce wants open borders — so that they can be richer by making their employees poorer.

If you understand supply and demand, you can understand the immigration debate. If you are John 2244, you just think you understand supply and demand.

Posted by Mr.Anonymous | Report as abusive
 

B.D. writes: “Bush’s attempt to push through a reform addressing all aspects of the complex, emotion-laden issue fell through because he could not convince legislators in his own Republican party that there should be a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the United States.”

Correction: the Republicans, after quite a bit of push from Dubya, passed the bill. It was the Democrats who first said yes, then killed it because the elections were close and they didn’t want Republicans to take all the glory.

Posted by shqipo | Report as abusive
 

“The bottom line is your argument is not based on physical fact, but an unwillingness to do what is necessary to close our borders to those who would harm us”

Those who would harm us? How’d you manage to slide that phrase into the discussion, Gordon2352? Do you honestly believe that illegal immigrants are terrorists at heart?

Quit spouting hate and get a real life. You would probably enjoy walking around without all those painful paranoid delusions.

Posted by dratman | Report as abusive
 

jayinlosangles left out a comma.
bobby99

Posted by BOBBY99 | Report as abusive
 

It’s a given that Bush, Napolitano and Obama are correct in calling for a complete rethink but it’s either naivety or hubris to suppose this was not done many times before.
What the French did: Decades ago the French accepted they had innundations of Spanish etc emigre’ transients and laborers, over whom they had effectively no control. Franco made sure the flow continued, regardless. The solution was to issue emigre’ transients with Identity Papers. These Papers of Passage were not true Passports but did accurately identify the Holder and established that Identity had been confirmed in FRANCE! Voila! Why not issue all those Latino laborers, servants and etc., with Papers of Passage. ID holders, anywhere, contribute to the labor force, taxes, consumerism and the like.
Nominal and customary screening would apply as it always does – criminal history etc.
They remain forever citizens of their country of Origin but have Universally acceptable Papers for Identification purposes. Those subsequently seeking Citizenship in ANY country must still apply, as any foreign national must, through the normal chanels.
We live in a Global Community “Honey! I shrunk the World!”
France was forced for a while to think outside the box. I knew Spanish girls with French papers working in London legally as au pairs (sp) in the 60s.
The Principle could be readilly redefined and shaped for USA application and subsequently Global Application – so these can skill themselves and ‘move on’.
The title Emigre’ is nothing to be ashamed of.
Those of us who refuse to emigrate stand in the two-way shooting gallery, right?
Guran Walker

Posted by guranw | Report as abusive
 

The debate about immigration is pointless without the bigger context of a population policy. What size population do policy-makers and economists believe would best serve the U.S.? Should we have 1.2 billion people like China or India? Should we have 9 billion people, raising our density to that of Bangladesh? Will that improve our economy, reduce unemployment, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and help to cut our carbon emissions by 80% by 2050? If so, then let’s throw the borders open, let everyone in and get it over with.

If, on the other hand, we’d be better-served with a population stabilized at a sustainable level, then we need to make immediate and large cuts to both legal and illegal immigration, reducing overall immigration to the rate of emigration, removing immigration as a factor in population growth.

Posted by Pete_Murphy | Report as abusive
 

The border can be controlled and illegal immigration and the flow of illegal goods (like drugs) must be stopped. Only someone in favor of illegal immigration would say it cannot be stopped. The border crossings themselves are the problem – there are companies with permission granted to NOT have their shipments inspected when moving back and forth across the border. These are the shipments where the bulk of illegal activity is taking place – so – it is not that the border cannot be controlled – it is that it is NOT being controlled. Pay a fee – get a pass.

Posted by cranston | Report as abusive
 

shqipo: The most vocal opposition to Bush’s comprehensive reform came from Republicans crying “asylum.” In the Senate vote on June 28,2007, that sank the bill, only 12 (out of 49) Republican senators sided with Bush.

Posted by BDebusmann | Report as abusive
 

it would indeed be possible to Deport the entire illegal population within the united states …

First of all , there’s no magic rush where we have to round up everyone in 24 hours …

The plan would go something like this … first we would instutie SB 1070 all over the nation , then we would require new national ID cards that can’t be faked or stolen … Next we strongly enforce employer sanction laws …then we end anchor baby citizenship ..cut off ALL welfare benfits , and arrest anyone in a local E.R after they have gotten treatment if their in the country illegally … these measures alone would most likely drive out half of the illegal population , say 10 million …After that we could hunt down and deport 1 million people a year for ten years and then our problem is solved .

Posted by marquis | Report as abusive
 

I think the most surprising thing in this article is Bernd’s implication he thinks Obama will only get one term. If he was going to be in office for 8 years, lack of action in the first year and a half wouldn’t be such an issue.

Posted by drewbie | Report as abusive
 

All the current debate concerning immigration often makes reference to ‘the problem of…’. There does exist many legal and existing channels to be in America for many reasons, including work. Obviously America has more opportunity for individuals than many other countries, more ‘bang for your buck’ if you will and it is why my wife and I moved here in 1995. We have been fingerprinted, photographed and are required to carry current documentation at all times that is only renewed by our being present outside of the U.S. each time in order to be readmitted. The total cost incurred is major, from actual to loss of business while away but IT IS THE LAW.
Unfortunately despite our having fulfilled all civic duties and responsibilities it is virtually impossible for us to petition the government for residence status. Furthermore all the current propositions seem to lean only towards those that are illegal. Therefore does my wife and I have to allow our Visas to run out in order to be allowed to get full immigrant status?
Now we are the problem people as we don’t believe in breaking the law. Are there any politicians out there that favour the small businesses run by foreigners. After all both parties tout small business as the backbone of America and we too are bringing skills and a willingness to work otherwise we would not have brought ourselves and assets here nor would have been allowed to by the U.S. government unless we could prove we qualified.
So what hope is there for us and other legal entities that have built up a business here? More of the same?

Posted by I.Kennedy | Report as abusive
 

All the current debates concerning immigration often makes reference to ‘the problem of…’. There does exist many legal and existing channels to be in America for many reasons, including work. Obviously America has more opportunity for individuals than many other countries, more ‘bang for your buck’ if you will and it is why my wife and I moved here in 1995. We have been fingerprinted, photographed and are required to carry current documentation at all times that is only renewed by our being present outside of the U.S. each time in order to be readmitted. The total cost incurred is major, from actual to loss of business while away but IT IS THE LAW.
Unfortunately despite our having fulfilled all civic duties and responsibilities it is virtually impossible for us to petition the government for residence status. Furthermore all the current propositions seem to lean only towards those that are illegal. Therefore does my wife and I have to allow our Visas to run out in order to be allowed to try for full immigrant status?
Now we are the problem people as we don’t believe in breaking the law. Are there any politicians out there that favour the small businesses run by foreigners. After all both parties tout small business as the backbone of America and we too are bringing skills and a willingness to work otherwise we would not have brought ourselves and assets here nor would we have been allowed to by the U.S. government unless we could prove we qualified. It is a stringent process each time.
So what hope is there for us and other legal entities that have built up a business here? More of the same?

Posted by I.Kennedy | Report as abusive
 

Tomorrow is the 66 anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 1944.
Allied troops had landed on beaches of Normandy in France to put an end to Nazi occupied Europe. The free
world depended on the valor and courage of thousands allied soldiers to do their duty and perhaps sacrifice their lives. We need to ask ourselves where will the
next generations of soldiers come from willingly to
sacrifice their lives for the sake of freedom. Those
brave American soldiers of Woral War II were the sons
and daughters of the first and second generation of
the immigrants who came through Ellis Island in New York
during great migration to this country. The only thing
those immigrants had to do was buy a ticket on a boat and
arrive on the shores of New York City. Once here they
were processed, registered and allow to enter USA as legal citizens without taxes, fees or penalties. Now
we have the technology and know-how to document the
illegal immigrant who has over-stayed his or her visa,
enter the country illegally, etc. And guess what the illegals are paying taxes, contributing to the economy, as consumers and in some cases allowed to enlist in the
military. This is a great country for many reasons
but immigration has been the main contributing factor
which added the diversity of people and their culture
to the American society which we know and enjoy today.
Perhaps there may be another Albert Einstein who was born in Germany and emigrated to USA in 1933, among those 12 or 15 millions illegals currently residing in
this country and waiting to make a contribution. We
need to recognize that a close society offers no growth toward peaceful innovation or economic prosperity.
Immigration and manufacturing is what made this country the greatest developed nation in the world.

Posted by CUNY | Report as abusive
 

For the nth time, folks, it ain’t 12 million. It’s well over twice that.

As for the futility of a wall, I agree. Land mines, drones and gunships would do much better. Bring the troops home, and put them where they’re really needed.

Posted by Mega | Report as abusive
 

Illegal aliens issues will decline as income taxes go up. e.g. – There are few illegal aliens in Canada as high taxes do not make it worth the while for an employer to pay someone illegally without being able to claim the tax break.

Posted by Butch_from_PA | Report as abusive
 

It’s easy enough to get these illegals to deport themselves. Stop providing them with gov benefits. The 14th amendment clearly states that children born on US soil to foreign visitors are exempt. Enforce the 14th amendment and stop giving citizenship to anchor babies, that qualify illegals for welfare, free medical, food stamps and sec 8 housing. Stop allowing illegals into our gov funded colleges. Implement a system that verifies legal work status and fine the companies that hire undocumented workers. Create seasonal contracts for immigrants where their labor is in our best interest. They will stop invading us and go home if we stop with the anchor baby welfare and jobs.

Posted by Cindy1000 | Report as abusive
 

Who cares how far the busses will stretch? The illegals would stretch 11,450 miles if placed end to end, assuming an average illegal is 5’6″… Whatever! I do not want to pay for them!

Posted by djrich1944 | Report as abusive
 

I am surprised to find that jborrow thinks of BHusseinO as a conservative democrat. I’d hate to see his/her version of a liberal democrat. And it seems that edgyinchina thinks opinions can be color coded. I agree with cindy1000 and djrich1944. We are making it too easy for them and rewarding them for being “undocumented”. After all, who wants to leave a warm bed? Thank goodness for those like I.Kennedy who have taken a legal path into the Land of Opportunity. Our border crossers are entering under a different perspective of the same – with opportunity meaning free government handouts, including medical & educational, and all you have to do is have a baby while you are here to keep it coming in, all at the multi-colored taxpayer’s expense. And those immigrants that came through Ellis Island didn’t get the street signs relabeld in their languages. I’m sick of it.

Posted by coveredinoil | Report as abusive
 

It appears to me that the Democrats are already implementing their version of immigration reform. If they continue to tax, regulate and and move toward a command economy, America will no longer be the “land of opportunity” and nobody will want to come here – legally or illegally.

Posted by K-Bay | Report as abusive
 

After reading over several of these highly motivated and passionate debates over illegal immigration, I would like to add that after speaking with many friends and family on this issue, the concenous appears to be the same….we “white” people (and not every1 in my family in white) don’t want the immigrants to be mistreated and/or separated from their families. They desire a better life (as we all do) and obviously are not able to achieve that in their own country so who wouldn’t want to try and achieve the “American Dream”. Afterall that dream is just within their reach and albiet frustating to be so close, yet so far. There are no clear solutions to the problem but a step in the right direction is long overdue. Our own government is creating the animosity amongst it’s people and the immigrants because of their lack of finding a plausible solution. Whatever happened to holding the employers who hire them being held accountable. I personally worked for a company that had over 180 spanish workers and my job was to verify their “legal” status, i.e., social security numbers. Out of those 180, only 2 had ssn that could be verified yet we had to agree not to fire them, only bring it to their attention. After reporting this to the owner of the company…his solution..don’t worry about it, they will just go and get hired elsewhere. Of course, he was only paying them min. wage and was raking in the profits. The illegals were claiming all their dependents back in Mexico (that couldn’t be confirmed) so they weren’t paying any federal taxes. Wanna fix the national deficit? Start with demanding proof of dependents and collect all the back taxes owed. The resentment is building and it’s not because we “white people” don’t like immigrants. If you desire a better life and want to live and work in America, then do as the rest of “Americans” have to. Pay your taxes, become legal, etc., etc., If you are here legally, I welcome you. If you are not, go home and come back when you can contribute to the American Dream, not steal it away. There are no jobs left, because you have them all, there is no help from the states for the ones who have lived here all of the lives, because you are receiving the help that was meant for the taxpayers. The bottom line is we welcome anyone with open arms that will have the ability to contribute to our country, not milk it dry.

Posted by chenoa7z7 | Report as abusive
 

If a fence is not needed at the border, then take the one around the White House down. Come to America because you love what she stands for, not to over-run our laws to get what you want! Many came before us and died for the right to make the laws we have on our books. These laws should be enforced until acceptable reform can be debated and voted into law!

Posted by obeyourlaws | Report as abusive
 

I find it ironic and quite funny that those who decry Obama as a socialist call for national ID cards, the restriction of free trade and population control. These things are the tools of totalitarian governments, not the USA. I’d be willing to bet many of those calling for such measures call themselves conservatives. We are a nation of laws, but we have proven time and again that unjust laws should not be followed. Illegal border crossings would be relegated to actual criminals if our immigration laws were not so ridiculous and restrictive. Open the borders to those who wish to come here for work and they will enter our country through the proper entry points. Then we will know who the enemy truly is.

Posted by indieinfla | Report as abusive
 

Hello Bernd,

1. Every civilized country struggles to eliminate own mobs. Low income, uneducated mobs are the most vulnerable part of population. The share of social benefits that goes to them eclipses any of their contribution many times over. They slow to adjust to ever changing society. As result they prone to social unrest and tend to create subcultures that hard to integrate back to mainstream society
(1980-90′s Riots by Turks in Germany, 2000′s – Riots by Arabs in France, History Blacks and Latinos in USA).

Now you are advocating take responsibility for another 12,000,000 of them?

Here why your arguments don’t hold water:

1. 12,000,000 Illegals found way in. Once US will make their employment impossible most of them will find way out.

2. 200,000 Buses in 1800 mile line. I ride bus every morning – 1000′s buses rush over 500,000′s passengers from suburbs to NYC and back every day. In 2 weeks they would ferry all 12,000,000 just give them a chance.

3. in 1986 reagan gave amnesty to 3,000,000 illegals now USA has 12,000,000. Do we need 36,000,000 in another 20 yrs?

Posted by sk_usa | Report as abusive
 

Maybe the US should never have started a war with Mexico and stolen half of their territory. Then this wouldn’t be a problem….
Isn’t history a bitch when it bites you in the ass?

Posted by HistoryMatters | Report as abusive
 

The problem with US immigration laws are two: First, the laws are being ignored, primarily by Mexican Nationals, and second, by the Obama Administration which is not enforcing US Immigration Law. Thank you Sheriff Joe!

The vast majority of the American people do not want ILLEGAL immigrants in the US because they know that it costs them more than $500 BILLION dollars every year to support them. 45% of ALL hispanic families recieve some sort of federal or state financial assistance.

More than ONE MILLION sex crimes have been perpetrated since 1999 by ILLEGALS. 35% of those crimes have been against children, and 24% of those crimes have been rapes. On average, 12 Americans every year are killed by ILLEGALS who have INFILTRATED every nook and cranny in the USA, aided and abetted by St Mary’s Food Bank Alliance which has more than 500 food banks scattered across America to funnel free food to ILLEGALS. They must go home.

The US Chamber of Commerce supports ILLEGALS because they want to exploit these people at the expense of the US worker and Taxpayer for the benefit of their member corporations. Wages are a function of the demand and supply of labor. American jobs for American workers!

Recently, Ranch Markets in Phoenix had to fire 300 workers because they were ILLEGAL. 300 American citizens now have jobs. When 30 million ILLEGALS leave America, American workers will receive a living wage again.

This INVASION has been designed and implemented by a Satanic Catholic Priesthood who desire a Catholic Empire from Pole to Pole, to fill the pews and coffers that white catholics have vacated, and to develop new generations of children to sodomize.

Those that support these INVADERS the most are the same individuals, organizations, and groups that exploit these people the most; either for sex, money, or political power.

30 million Nationals of a Foreign Power, must go home! American Sovereignty is at stake!

Posted by zukadu | Report as abusive
 

I don’t understand the problem with this issue…In fact, it is very simple. The author misses a very fundamental point..America has alwasy welcomed people who work hard but it also welcomed people who got here LEGALLY….duhhh remember Ellis Island. They sent tons of people back to their original countries because they didn’t want them here. Now all of a sudden, we can’t do that…Please.

First, find a way to really punish employers who hire workers that are in the country illegally. Second, give local police the authority to arrest anyone who is discovered to be in the country illegally…Before anyone says anything about race, I want to say that i don’t care if they are chinese, cambodian Mexican or Canadian….if they are found to be here illegally….SEND THEM HOME… Every other country in the freakin world does that. Why can’t we? Third, set up a work visa program for people who want to come here to work because their own country is too economically weak to support the number of people it has. I mean seriously…America is the only country in the world where people can get away with calling someone a racist because they want their borders secure…Come one people! This is an easy problem to fix if you don’t inflame it with rhetoric that has nothing to do with the issue.

Call me racist…call me whatever..but if I go to Mexico without a passport, they will send my butt back lickety split and probably throw me in some Mexican jail in the process until it is all worked out.

Posted by robotman2009 | Report as abusive
 

I desperately need your help because I wanted to deepen my computer science, but I have a problem because I do not have your own computer, so please help your hand to my account number on behalf GHOSALI 6518-01-011463-53-7 BRI. no matter how small your help means a lot to me

Posted by ghosalisuli | Report as abusive
 

if we all decide to use mexicans as a pone whos next , its all politcal joke , see what next . let do whats right,
Use them to help stop injustice. We have Good and bad in all type of people ,education is the key to resolve problems. (Food and shelter). Watch the $. And stop the hate

Posted by peoplefirst | Report as abusive
 

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