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.

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.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

Here is a thought – Follow the law. This country was built from people migrating to the USA to make a better life for themselves. I support this completely and believe that we need to have clear comprehensive requirements to come to USA either to work or live. But I tired of being referred to as someone who hate Hispanics because I want the law enforced. It is not hatred, it’s the law. People broke the law and this bothers me, when it is a law that you don’t agree with its okay just ignore it. I say deport anyone who is in the country illegally. Not because I hate them but because that is the Law. I am sick of this debate like there is an option on whether or not to enforce the law this is the law follow it, to all the people who wine about it I understand where you are coming from, but smoking in a bar is illegal now and it’s the law so if I own a bar don’t follow the law and let people smoke will you look the other way and let me do what I believe is okay or will you force me to follow the LAW and want my business license revoked? That is my problem with the whole debate. Enforce the law evenly and justly and lets secure the border, put a system in place that helps everyone and move on.

Posted by JAFOINMN | Report as abusive

You do not have to deport them. Just make it impossible for them work while illegally in the USA and they will have to leave on their own!

If they can not work or get welfare here, then they will be poorer here then they would be in Mexico!

Posted by HeatherGirl | Report as abusive

Illegal immigrants is some what a form of wage slavery,the fact you think it’s appropriate for people to take advantage is awful.We can’t absorb all the world poor,we are not that rich.fences won’t keep all illegals out but it will keep out many.And if we can secure borders for foreign nation like Iraq and Afghanistan,we can for ourselves.Mexico dumps it’s poor on our nation so they aren’t a burden to the rich and middle class in Mexico,one of the world richest nations.The more legal and illegal skilled and unskilled that come here lower wages all Americans workers.Why are you more concerned with illegals than American citizens who are going broke being used by politicians and Corporations.Want to help others than work for a universal minimum wage so people aren’t exploited by governments and corporations.

Posted by faeyth | Report as abusive

Anyone who enters a country illegally is a criminal and should be treated as such. Every country in the world does this. No one has the right to illegally enter a country not of his birth. America is no different.

If you enter the USA illegally you are a terrorist according to the Patriot Act. So Mexicans and any other nationality should be tried as terrorist. They are enemies of our country as they have entered illegally.

That is why immigration was invented. If you cannot read English too bad. Go to school like everyone else and then do the paper work and get legal entrance into the country. If you cannot get an education, you have no value to our country stay out. We don’t need you.

I live in a foreign country not of my birth. Took me 3 days to do the paper work and waiting another month. So if I can do it, so can the illegal aliens.

The other thing that needs to be done it that Americans that harbor illegal aliens should be put in prison for up the 20 years as traitors. The police need to put out rewards up to $1000 for information leading to the arrest of Americans using illegals in their place of business. Where the business directors and officers are fined up to $1,000,000 and 40 years in prison for hiring illegal aliens, with minimum fines of $500,000 and 2 years in prison. This alone would cut half of the problems right away. Because these guys are the ones producing the demand. They are no different than drug lords. Case in Point the board of directors and CEO of Wall-Mart who hire illegal aliens. Make them or some one like them an example and a lot of the problem will be solved.


Posted by eddd | Report as abusive

Also embedding RFID trackers into the blood stream of illegal aliens will allow police to find repeats more easily. This should be mandatory. The more we tag the more we can find. Perhaps even putting WI-FI GPS trackers into the blood stream may also prove beneficial, as we can get a signal as soon as they near our border.

We have done it to animals for years, people are not different. Should be no trouble at all. Proven technology. It will keep our country safe.


Posted by eddd | Report as abusive

So we let you in (10 million), and don’t secure the boarder. Five years from now 5 million more sneak in, when does it end? When everyone in Mexico lives here?

No country in the world including Mexico would tolerate that. A fence won’t work, once you cross it. So we need to make it impossible from them to make a living here.

In protest of California, I propose we stop tipping all Hispanics, we are just subsidizing their income. Once the money dries up, they will leave. Maybe they will fix their country, and the last one out, please turn off the lights.

Posted by mikew194 | Report as abusive

“Anyone who enters a country illegally is a criminal and should be treated as such.”

Unless, of course, the law of that country do not treat it as a crime – or even better, unless that country lets anybody enter legally (case in point: the Vatican)

“No one has the right to illegally enter a country not of his birth.”

Birth is just one criterion among many others. One may have legal “right of abode” in a country without being born there. One may also be a citizen of a country without being born there.

“America is no different”

Actuelly, America is different in the fact that it grants citizenship to almost everybody (the exception being for children of diplomats) born on its territory.


Also, please note that being here illegally is only a “civil violation”, not a crime. Some may enter legally but may be here “out of status” – and would not be criminals.

“If you cannot get an education, you have no value to our country stay out. We don’t need you.”

I was thinking the exact same thing when reading your post.

Posted by olwagner | Report as abusive

It saddens me to read many of these posts. There are many uneducated and scared people who now have a voice provided by the internet. I would think that those uneducated individuals might try to educate themselves given the massive amount of information readily available at their fingertips. Those of you who think being in this country without legal status is the equivalent of committing a felony, please research the actual penalty. I realize many of you want to be the next coming of Hannity, Beck or O’Reiley. I don’t begrudge you your dreams, but please do some research before you post. It might add some credibility to your positions.

Posted by indieinfla | Report as abusive

Whether it be a civil violation, misdemeanor, or felony, the illegal crossing of frontiers implies non-recognition of the target country’s borders, as does non-enforcement on the part of the target country’s government.

No enforcement = no borders. No borders = no nation.

Posted by Mega | Report as abusive

I grew up in California at a time that Hispanics out number the rest of us. Why? In part because California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Texas used to be part of Mexico and in part because we encouraged farm labor to come to the US when we needed them but tried to kick them out when we didn’t. I have three nephews who are Hispanic on their father’s side, a family that has been in the U.S. since before it became the U.S. They have complained about being stopped for “driving while Mexican.” (If the police don’t find a reason to give them a ticket, there is no record of profiling.) And now someone wants to cheat a Hispanic waiter out of the tip he has earned to force them to go “home.” Sounds more like being a cheapskate since they are home.

Posted by BocaBob | Report as abusive

Well, well well. I see our liberal and ILLEGAL aliens are at it again. First of all, it is NOT a MYTH that our border with mexico can be secured. We may not be able to stop every single one, however we CAN stop MILLIONS from coming across our border every year.Put up a fence that would actually be an obstacle. Increase the number of ARMED Border patrol agents on the border and if the shoot an illegal who is throwing rocks or bottles at them, to bad. The Constitution gives the government the job of securing the border as do laws passed by the legislature. These are FEDERAL laws. Violation is a FEDERAL offense. If it isn’t already a FELONY, make it one. As far as the same old dead argument that this area USED to be mexcian, well you are right, it USED to be. Notice PAST TENSE!It is time our “leaders” DID THEIR JOB and ENFORCED the law. Another excuse I hear is that they only do jobs the rest of us won’t do. Really, which jobs are those. Construction, warehouse, manufacturing, restaurant (both fast food and sit-down),landscaping or any of hundreds of other jobs taken by illegal aliens. I know you all like to use the old bs one of working the fields only. That is NOT employing over 40 million ILLEGAL aliens in this country. I know for a fact that in Allentown, PA, a big auto parts store built a huge warehouse. when they hired when they first opened, 95% of those hired were hispanic. After all the shelves were filled, all non-hispanics were left go. Gee, I wonder how many of those working there are here ILLEGALLY. Driving while hispanic. That is laughable. That was stolen right out of the civil rights movement of the 60′s and 70′s. At least be original. I know you ILLEGALS want to turn this into a “civil right” thing, however you forget ONE thing, YOU ARE HERE ILLEGALLY. Our Constitution does not grant all citizens of the world OUR rights and freedoms. Heck you guys protest not only the law, now you want NO enforcement what-so-ever. You don’t want police used to enforce the law, you want a stop to ALL raids at places of employment, stop ALL raids on homes etc. What you want is a free ride. Well, REAL Americans are getting fed up. You ILLEGALS come here, KILL our citizens (like the rancher in AZ for starts) and expect no consequences. Well, guess what, WE’VE had enough. Sooner rather than later, the CITIZENS are going to start shooting, not just Border Agents. Then what? If you don’t like our “racist” country, you are free to GET THE HELL OUT! GO HOME!

Posted by PaleriderUSMC | Report as abusive

“The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and NOTHING in this Constitution shall be construed as to Prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular State.” US Constitution Article IV section 3
“The United States shall GUARANTEE to EVERY State in this Union a Republican form of government, AND SHALL PROTECT EACH OF THEM AGAINST INVASION; and on application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.” US Constitution Article IV section 4 How’s that for an educated post INDIEINFLA.

Posted by PaleriderUSMC | Report as abusive

Arizona is doing the right thing. However it has little chance of spreading.
Just ask Mr. Obama and George W. Bush about the “North American Union”.
If you do not know about, you had better look it up… today !

Posted by G1abc2b2 | Report as abusive

Totally agree with paleriderUSMC. To indieinfla, it ‘saddens’ ME that appaently YOU don’t live in the real world. Example: I’m a painter. Low skill? Not really. In industrial apps. there are many skills that need to be learned through an apprenticeship. Also been a railroader for 20 yrs. 3 year training for that, too. 15 yrs. ago, I made $10.00/hr. on a non union job. Today? $6.00/hr. It’s okay, since gas and food and housing prices have fallen so much in THE REAL WORLD. My guess is that you must work in ‘education’, probably a state university. This is where you’ll usually find the ‘saddened’ and holier, sorry, ‘better educated’ than thou.

Posted by othimus | Report as abusive

My my my, how ‘history matters’ does go on. Illegals here because WE ‘stole’ their land’….really??? And who did THEY ‘steal’ it from?? Indians? Indiginous peoples? The reality is, we are, where we are. Accept it, or get over it.

Posted by othimus | Report as abusive

The *REAL* question comes from the ethnic/racial majority of the USA not having control of the country and which is in fear of being even more excluded.

Yes, white protestant Christian-heritage people.

They are also stupid and do not know their only real friends here are the Mexicans coming north. The only way to break the stranglehold of the “Two Party System”, which cannot be distinguished from a *ONE* Party system in most ways, is to form a common cause with Mexican Hispanics. They do not like our Bosses any more than we do. Together we can get rid of them.

They are our only hope, they are not a threat.

Posted by txgadfly | Report as abusive

Great job cutting and pasting parts of the constitution into a post PaleriderUSMC. Still doesn’t prove your point, if you have one. Your first “quoted” section has nothing to do with the discussion. Not even close on that one. The second part refers to armed invasion and insurrection. Missed on that one, too. Once again, you think you know what you’re talking about, but you’re just pulling a Beck. I give you an “A” for effort but an “F” for relevance. You actually solidified my point that educating yourself should be a priority, not going off half-cocked.
Othimus, the reason your $10/hour non-union painting job went to $6/hour is because it’s non union. I’m willing to bet you live in a “right to work” state (more like no right to work). Unions are there to ensure you get paid a fair wage for a fair days work. You guys bust on the unions for being corrupt then complain about not getting paid a fair wage. Thank Reagan and his pals for busting up the unions and getting legislation in place to ensure employers can hire non-union labor and those without authorization to work in the US. I work in sales. I bust my rear to make a good living. Your assertion that I must be an academic or work at a state university shows your prejudice towards intelligent people or those you perceive to be intelligent. It’s not my fault you either couldn’t get into college or didn’t apply yourself. Maybe if you go to night school you can get a better job. You mentioned an apprenticeship. Only in the unions do you go through one, my friend. It’s a long process, but union labor is, more often than not, the best labor out there. I’m saddened that people like you and PaleriderUSMC feel so strongly about something without knowing exactly why you feel the way you do. I’d be willing to bet you’d give up your freedoms if it meant keeping some brown people out of “your” country. Wake up. You’ve been lied to for so long you can’t see the truth when it’s right in front of your face. Your “conservative” heroes do not care about you or this country. They want to ensure their way of life is protected and keep their profits up. Don’t believe the hype that they want to close the borders. Who do you think fuels their profit machine? Cheap, illegal workers. Not you. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We need skilled tradesman here in the US. The only way to ensure that is through trade unions. Carpenters, painters, masons, ironworkers. Those are the people who need union representation. It’s too bad that the people who could be helped the most by unions think they’re bad. Sad state of affairs. It’s like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Posted by indieinfla | Report as abusive

Over population is a world problem. Less and less resources and more and more people create the conditions for poor, starving people who will do almost anything to improve their lot. It’s not hard to understand why the Mexicans as well as Central and South Americans migrate illegally to the US. For the most part, they are desparate and seek a better life for themselves and their families. If the roles were reversed I’m sure many of us would do the same, or maybe better said “but for the grace of God, go I”.
If we continue to ignore the real problem, we will never fix the immediate problem. And, it will only get worse before it get’s better. I’m not sure what the solution is, but I think we need to tackle the big problem (over population) before we will ever be able to resolve the resultant problems.
Just my 2 cents worth.

Posted by Avatar666 | Report as abusive

I would like to note, for the benefit of those that cite Wikipedia as an authorative source… defines itself as:

“Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.”

If you value accuracy in your information, you might keep that in mind.

Posted by Avatar666 | Report as abusive

Here’s a thought for those who complain so vociferously of the illegal immigrants being criminals. What of the people who knowingly hire them? Why, in all these endless debates, does no one ever bring up the idea that we ought to enforce the laws against hiring illegal immigrants? Why, while the right-wingers are shrieking as ever about the destruction of the fabric of the country, do they never raise a voice about the thousands of restaurateurs, agribusiness owners, janitorial service companies, canners, hoteliers, etc. who knowingly HIRE these people?

The reason is simple: we want to have our cake and eat it too. The massive level of intellectual dishonesty from the right in this “debate” is so overwhelming that no debate can ever take place.

These people come here to WORK. If we enforce the laws against hiring them, they will stop coming. Alas, that is clearly not what we want. And so the shrieking will continue, and our nation will be undermined further – precisely in keeping with the agenda of the fringe-right.

Posted by JackMack | Report as abusive

Here is a thought, iam Puerto Rican, born and raise in P.R., we are U.S. citizens by birth. I support the law, i gave 22 yrs of my life to defend this country in peace and war times. I believe that a border will not keep illegals out but by preventing them from welfare,schools and other benefits will make them return. Right now they use stolen ID’s to access schools and hospital services.That is totally illegal. I heard someone suggesting not to tip hispanics, now that is wrong, hispanics got nothing to do with this people, we have illegals from all sorts of colors and sizes, chinese,russians,mexicans ,peruvians,eastern europeans,etc. The media is making this a hispanic issue which is not. Pretty soon hatred will show and make it a crime just to speak a foreign language in your home in this country. That is not the route we want to go believe me. Lets ask from our government that these rules need to be enforced and we must begin with the basics like schools and health services and better security on our id systems like social security cards etc. Why not use a passport with all its security features as the only way to access schools,hopitals etc?
I patrolled the German border for 8 years and is the most difficult job to do on an open border.

Posted by rsierra33 | Report as abusive

I must agree with eddd here:

“I live in a foreign country not of my birth. Took me 3 days to do the paper work and waiting another month. So if I can do it, so can the illegal aliens.”

I also live in a foreign country (and rather than assume that I don’t like American – ask me why) and it literally took me MONTHS to jump through the hoops in this country. Between multiple trips to the countries immigration office, them encouraging me to pay bribes, a number of government officials playing games with me (imagine!) and what not – it was a nightmare.

And all that for a country for which I am NOT getting ANY financial gain!

I also agree with him in part here…

“The other thing that needs to be done it that Americans that harbor illegal aliens should be put in prison for up the 20 years as traitors.”

However – I would lessen the sentence and regard them as what they really are — namely lawbreakers.

Tell me… when did it become right and just and true to break the law for subjective reasons. I recently heard (a statistic) from someone who visited prison undercover that over 75% of female inmates are there because they fought against an abusive husband/boyfriend. If so many of them can go to prison (and many of them have my sympathy) for doing what – objectively – we regard as wrong, certainly nothing but “politics” is hindering that from occuring in these instances.

As American’s many of you often wax eloquent about how bad our country is. Well, I now live in a country which is marked (world-wide) as the #2 place where corruption florishes. Having been here for a year and a half, you can’t imagine how it is to live in a place where lawlessness is the norm.

You can’t imagine it… but one day.

You won’t have to… Instead corruption and lawlessness will become the norm at home and, one day, we may find ourselves waking up to a country which is all but unrecognizable.

Having lived in several countries thus far (and appreciated America all the more) these are things to sorrow over. :’(

Laws are supposed to be made for the good of the nation.

Laws ignored and/or subjectified – are useless.

Posted by Bella77 | Report as abusive

Other contries in the world requires you to have a trade and a job just to get in the country, check out Australias and Arubas requirement to move and live in those places, which means with no job lined up you can’t get in and if you do you wind up in jail, simple as that.

Posted by rsierra33 | Report as abusive

I am a citizen of the United States Of America, I was immigrated legally to the United States Of America over three decades ago. Our country is been build on the principals of immigrants whether legal or illegal. We as Americans give an equal opportunity to all people. We are the icon and an example of Democracy. However our Federal Government instead of looking the matter in an open mind the penalise not only this group of illegal people but us also as citizens. Some of those people want to endure our freedoms and a selected group of illegals want to destroyed it for their personal agenda. I say to our government officials; tight our borders don’t jail our citizens or law enforcement personnel for doing their job and do a real reform of immigration that will ease all tensions around. After all our great philosophers had the answer years ago we just need to follow it. Socrates once said “I am not Greek, neither am I an Athenian but I am a citizen of the word” that’s a true democracy and if we are the icon of democracy lets show to the world that we do what we preach as a nation and show our democratic values instead of speaking of them. And to you all illegals respect our culture values and laws and if you don’t want to respect our culture, laws and our constitution then you do not have the right or privilege to be called an American.

Posted by Moshogiannis | Report as abusive

I find the arguments of both side simply disingenuous at best.

The argument that building a fence and policing it won’t work is absurd. Will people still be able to slip-in – of course. But if we are able to greatly reduce the flow and provide multiple layers of “defense” slipping in will be made very hard.

The fact that something doesn’t work 100% doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work at all and we shouldn’t try it. Do anti-viruses catch 100% of viruses? Do firewalls keep all hackers out? Are all locks always impenetrable? Does the police find all the thieves? Of course not! Does it mean we should just resign and that’s it.

Posted by dantisa | Report as abusive

1. These are CRIMINAL ALIENS. Criminals. Law breakers. What’s so hard to understand?

2. Hundreds of thousands of Americans died for this county. It infuriates me that so many politicians and mentally deranged liberals want to GIVE AWAY THE COUNTRY to those who’s first act in America is to BREAK THE LAW.

3. The vast majority come from the cr@p-hole called Mexico. These criminal aliens BAILED OUT and left the cr@p hole country they created. And now they bring their diseases and their inbred corruption here. What is to come of this country if we don’t become, in part or whole, just another cr@p-hole Mexico?!

And until you’ve had your 10 your old child exposed to TUBERCULOSIS by a CRIMINAL ALIEN, then shut your mouth. I’ve been there.

If there were actually any patriots left in this country, we’d do something about this with whatever tools we had at hand. But it won’t happen until the country’s gone.

Posted by Jones2371 | Report as abusive

indieinfla – Your arguments get an “I” for incomplete and incongruous. You confuse republicans with conservatives. These are two different people. Second, you ignore basic lawes of macroeconomics. The non-union paiting job went to $6/hr due to an over supply of painters. Nothing to do with unions. Unions disrupt the basic laws of economics by restricting supply and bastardizing the process. Apples and oranges in your statemtent.

Apprenticeships are only one way to get a reqarding techincal job. Try a certification program at a college. No unions required. It works just fine here in Texas wehre unemployment rates are the lowest in the nation. Oh yea, and we’re a right to work state.

Posted by Jones2371 | Report as abusive

How dump is this?

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

Did ever occur to the geniuses who wrote this piece of nonsense that you don’t have to deport all of the illegals on one day.

Say you took 1000 days (less than 3 year). That would be 200 buses. Could the United States perhaps find 200 buses somewhere? You tell me.

Moreover, the vast majority of illegals will simply leave when the welcome mat is taken away. Say 80% leave on their own. Now we are down to 40 buses a day.

What a strain that would be…

Posted by pschaeffer | Report as abusive

“Here’s a thought for those who complain so vociferously of the illegal immigrants being criminals. What of the people who knowingly hire them? Why, in all these endless debates, does no one ever bring up the idea that we ought to enforce the laws against hiring illegal immigrants?”

The immigration reform movement strongly supports employer sanctions. Go to any reform web site (NumbersUSA, CAPS, ALIPAC, Fair, etc.) and see for yourself.

Predictably the Open Borders crowd opposes them.

Posted by pschaeffer | Report as abusive


I did like the “George W. Obama” tag. It is so true. Bush refused to enforce our laws and the country went down the drain. Rather than securing the border and deporting illegals, he conjured up a housing bubble to make Hispanics think they were joining the American Dream without giving them decent wages (why have immigrants if you can’t exploit them – Karl Rove).

How well did that work out?

Obama can’t inflate a new housing bubble. However, his debt bubble will do even more damage to our nation.

Both Bush and Obama were/are elite globalists dedicated to destroying ordinary Americans on behalf of their cronies. Bush’s presidency failed as a consequence. Obama isn’t just walking down the same road, he is running.

Posted by pschaeffer | Report as abusive

We are not responsible for other countries. People need to wake up. Why are Americans so worried about illegals? Americans are suffering. Immigration was something needed when the country was new (200 years ago give or take) Now we need to focus on America. If we sent the 10.8 million illegals home that would create 10.8 million jobs for Americans. America needs to fix its own problems and become strong again, before inviting people from other countries and there problems. The government needs to give Americans the benefits it offers people from other countries to Americans. We cant help anybody if we are weak. Our government has become corrupt, and its people to comfortable. Americans are to blame. We let the government do as it wishes with no accountability. 200 years ago States would not put up with this, it would mean war…It is time to impeach the current government and re-elect people with morals, that care about America and its citizens, and less about what they can do for themselves. People complain and yet do nothing. What is wrong with closing the borders for a few years to take care of America.

Posted by lenardra | Report as abusive

If most of the immigration problem is coming from the healthcare expenses, then just grab them as soon as they have to go the the hospital. If any illegal immigrants need medical treatment of any kind, they are deported. They still get treated obviously, but at least this way they have to cross the boarder again.

Everytime an illegal immigrant is forced back to their country, it makes it harder and harder for them to ever become a citizen. Eventually the chance to become a citizen will be removed completely.

Posted by Darkly37 | Report as abusive

Napalitano is a joke as head of homeland security. You can stop all immigration by putting the Army on the border. Eisenhower stopped illegals in the early 1950′s using the Army. We also have Muslim terrorists walking over the border. What a joke this country is. Israel put a fence around their country, and no one gets in. The illegals are placing a huge burden on taxpayers. We pay $10,000 each year to educate the children of illegals. Hospitals in the Southwest are closing because of the expense of treating illegals. U.S. citizens are being murdered by some of these illegals. People in my town have been victims of illegals and are now dead. Thanks to our Congressmen and President, we are now facing this huge problem. The American people do not want these illegals to gain citizenship. They came here one at a time, and that’s the way they’ll leave. Congress will feel our wrath on immigration in November.

Posted by SilverGhost | Report as abusive

I’m an Arizona citizen. Over the years illegal immigrants have placed an unsustainable strain on our hospital and health care and welfare systems. We have far too much crime occurring as a result of human and drug trafficking many of the illegals are engaged in. There is some truth to the fact that a first time offense for crossing the border illegally is regarded as a misdemeanor, however, second offenses are considered a felony and a vast number of illegals have been caught several times and have returned to the US. They do keep wages suppressed in many sectors of the labor market and the vast majority manage to stay under the radar in avoiding paying taxes including the fact that approximately $20 billion is sent back to Mexico alone every year. We’ve had enough of this. I am well aware of the fact that many Mexican people here in the US are honest and hardworking people and there should be some way of encouraging them to step up to the plate and become citizens of this country. Our law regarding granting citizenship to people born here has been greatly abused by illegals using their children as “anchor babies” and this problem needs to be addressed as well. I realize it would be difficult to deport a family who’s children were born and raised here. But, there needs to be a limit placed on the length of time they’ve been here. Many families have been broken up simply due to he fact that the fathers have either left them or are incarcerated in our prisons. We not only end up paying for the family’s welfare as well as the costs of incarceration for a prison population that consists of almost 30% illegals.
Yes, America is a country of immigrants but the vast majority of them came here legally and there have been many times during our history where the flood of immigration has had be be slowed down due to overpopulation of urban areas and the crime that comes with that due to too much competition for limited work opportunities.

We’re tired of constantly having the race card thrown at us for simply wanting better control and protection of our borders and demanding that our federal immigration laws are enforced. Our new SB1070 law is basically no different from the federal law, including the fact that it places more restrictions that will greatly curtail the possibility of racial profiling. Regardless of our ethnicity or race, we all have to show proper identification if we are detained for a traffic violation or are under suspicion for committing some other civil offense. Immigration laws in most other countries are far more draconian then they are here.

Posted by roland60 | Report as abusive

Something can be done. Simple,quoting Eli Wallach in ‘The good,the bad and the ugly’,
shoot,don’t talk. This invasion started in earnest around 1960. HEAVILY FINE EMPLOYERS. DOUBLE THE FINE FOR SECOND OFFENSE DOUBLE THE FIND FOR EACH NEW OFFENSE.

Posted by 1uncle | Report as abusive

Vote only for people who will uphold the Constitution, all of it, not just the parts that has no effect on the political party.

Posted by 1uncle | Report as abusive

Can’t stop the illegals. A coward says that. Sure you can: post guards on the Border with orders to shoot smugglers, drug cartel thugs, and any other illegals who step one foot in the U.S.
Drastic? Sure is. But it drastic also to learn that farmers cannot work their fields in Southern Arizona after dark because the runners and drug cartels need the right of way.
Just wait until the cartel comes to your city. Then we can speak on equal terms.

Posted by Longdrycreek | Report as abusive

I love these comments of “let’s get the employer…”
I’d LOVE to. How?
Unless laws are enabled by the states to ALLOW investigation of immigration status, it’s left to the feds…AGAIN.
At least now in Az, the cops CAN ask in the performance of their duties. Now they CAN arrest the immigrants, they CAN arrest the employers..
With that law,the cops now KNOW who, after investigating, who is illegal, where they are working, who is employing them, what schools are in use.. and more.
Until your state enacts a law that ENABLES these investigatory powers… trying to get the employers is a wasted task. How much info is given back to state agencies when “la migra” makes a good sized bust at a poultry plant, construction site, warehouse etc.. so the state can prosecute?
How many have seen the fed prosecute?
start thinking…

Posted by Erik_Eriksen | Report as abusive

I am glad this is happening, it is true illegals are breaking the law, illegal immigration is wrong and the Mexican goverment should do something to improve Mexico`s economy.
I see that many americans need a scapegoat for their own mistakes.

History shows the US stole Mexico`s northern states, history shows the americans are unwilling to admitt that was wrong, but i know even if we control the US Mexico border, the US will still remain a nation demanding drugs if not from Mexico, from other countries, so i hope in Mexico the goverment can give to all the Mexicans a better country so we do not need to beg a little money and even being treated as Criminals just for doing honest jobs. i hope mexico can stop the flow of drugs so the US stop blaming us from their own addictions and no Mexicans need to die for drug addicts in other countries.

I hope Mexicans study hard so they do not need to go a nation where we are treated as Criminals even when we pick up their food and clean their cities.

We should look to South america for commerce, to Europe for trade and technology, to Asia for commerce and technology, in fact we should stop exporting people and start exporting technology.

We should love our country, and stay in Mexico so you in the US stop blaming us for your own mistakes, you are the ones who can not control drug use and who hire illegals, you are not even taking responsability for the flow of guns to mexico that are used by mexican criminals.

We should not go to the US, we should stay in Mexico and stop thinking your country is a paradise, because it is not, Europe, Japan and other countries can give us more trade and technology and South america is a market we have not exploited.

So my friends i hope Mexico stops sending illegals, and we can stop all the criminals in Mexico who are destroying our country with that drug war that currently has killed more than 17000 mexican people.

Your vices are not worthed to die for, and your society is no paradise, we should do a better one in Mexico.

Posted by mexico2 | Report as abusive

it is v good topic and i put it as acopy in my site

Posted by ELGOHARY32 | Report as abusive

In the end nothing will get done until someone in charge grows the balls to do anything. For or against immigration it doesnt really matter this whole arguement is gonna stay at a stand still for another fifty years until they start really cracking down or just give up. Personally, I think they should tighten up immigration. My grandmother was an immigrant (from Scotland) and I feel that it was great a country provided the opportunity for immigration. However, it has been a long time and just because we did something once does not mean it should always continue. We have too many people and not enough jobs in this country and there is a solution. No one seems to want to do it though.

Posted by ndohertyjr | Report as abusive

First of all,everyone with the exception of native americans are children of illegal immigrants. Everyone is fighting over land that none created.The world belongs to everyone,get over the illusion of being special,you’re not.

The only Americans in this country today is the Federal government and the Cooperations,the rest of you are feudal vassals.

Posted by purplechaios | Report as abusive

Obama could not follow in the foot steps of Bush. Obama is a complete idiot, where Bush with his faults was a leader.

With regard to the immigration we should totally stand behind getting these ILLEGAL WORKERS/DEPENDANT PRODUCING SYSTEM SUCKERS out of this country. Obama doesn’t want to support this because he himself and members of his related family are not american citizens. Only after his passing will the truth come out. It will take 35 years after his passing to declassify some of the information about how Obama came to Office and how our troops are having to serve a country that doesn’t respect their efforts by supporting a Foreigner as Commander and Chief.

Posted by Jtruth | Report as abusive

First of all, i would like to clarify a few points not all Mexican whoa re illegal are taking any advantage of the US system, they are illegal so they can not get wealfare, they have to work, they recieve no taxes unless they pay them but being illegal there is no way to pay taxes.

Second Illegals have worked in the Us agriculture, construction and manufacturing industries for lower salaries and no legal rights.

Who are really profiting is the US big business, now many people in the US are balming ilegals for what is wrong in your own country, but you have a problem with drug use, you are flooding mexico with weapons that are bought in the US and used by mexican gangsters.

Now most americans who think stopping illegals is going to improve your economy lack a realistic perspective, the US industry will continue to move to Mexico and China as long as salaries are cheaper there, as long as Salaries in mexico are cheaper Mexican people will try to go to the US, putting the military will not stop a thing as long as you continue having a huge demands for drugs, so basicly calling for killing illegal mexican also is a very illegal way, illegal people have rights, no one can kill a person without a trial, specially those who are not violent, the solution for illegal immigrantion, is not violance, but a common currrency and common set of goals for Mexico and the US, such as increasing education in Mexico and increasing productivity in both the US and Mexico.

For the US and Mexico, drug violance only creates unstability in terms of investment and industrial productivity.

instead of trying to fix with violence and hate and racism, i suggest you as a Mexican national my self, understand the problems between Mexico and the US requiere the resposability of both nations, by Mexico improving the economy and education, by the US admitting teh big responsability in drug demand, the explotation of illegals by US business, the resposability in selling weapons to mexican drug dealers, and the real fact we need common laboral laws where a common salary can be pay in North america where both sides can profit and Mexican workers earn at least salaries that allow them to live at least in mexico.

Most US business go to mexico to pay really low salaries and these has as result most mexican workers do not want to live in mexico but in the US where the same companies pay more.

We need in north america a common Market as in Europe, with a common currency, violence won`t generate any change either in the US and Mexico and at the end we will need to acknowledge we are neighbours and we need to live in peace.

Posted by amigodeMexico | Report as abusive

Having now read through a number of comments, I am always saddened that what could be (in fact, should be) an objective exchange amongst self-respecting individuals so often deteriorates into mud-slinging. I have shaken my head at many of these comments but was stopped in my tracks strongly enough to enquire (and comment) on this one:

“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….”

“…more and more… It’s just a repeat of the Hitler scenario of the 1930’s in Germany…”

Why is it, edgyinchina, that you presume things such as these? To presume that most ‘wall supporters’ are uneducated, Caucasian and hold this position because of fear is to (logically) presume that non-‘wall supporters’ are mostly educated, female minorities who have (because of the downfall of the white male) now assumed some power and wish to freely share it with the world.

Also, having been thoroughly “intrigued” for years (even as an 11 year old child) by what took place in Germany during Hitler’s reign, done much reading, and lived in Germany, there is no real correlation between what is going on now and what took place in Germany at that time.

What took place in Germany was brought about by jealousy and racial hatred. Throughout history, lawfully abiding Jews have been expelled from many nations. Sadly, Germany simply decided to employ a more permanent solution.

However, this issue involves illegal aliens (unlawfully abiding inhabitants) and (in many cases) jealousy and racial hatred are not what is driving those on the opposite side.

Unrelated to what you wrote, the questions (as related to this issue) remain. Do the citizens of Arizona have the right to exercise some control over who crosses their border? Should they have any say over where their tax dollars are spent?

If the answers to any of these are “no” (and for WHATEVER reason) than we are no longer America!!!

Are many in danger of becoming a nation where many of our citizens become the hate mongers many envision us as currently being?

To edgyinchina’s credit, of course we are!!!

When the wishes of lawfully abiding citizens are purposely ignored…
When states are made to bear the financial burden for those who have not entered through the right doors…
When the federal government (time and time and time again) refuses to lawfully deal with the matter (there are laws in place to punish employers who hire illegals, they are not stringent enough to those U.S. lawbreakers and, in many places across America, simply NOT enforced!) and then faults individual states for taking action…
And when those who oppose those actions can do little but name call (not referring to edgyinchina here), what is the option?

To run the risk of becoming (in part) a nation of hate mongers in order to protect itself.

While that is the way of cowards – given the nature of this debate, it would be foolish to assume that we will never find ourselves in this position.

However, those who oppose executing the laws (as they now stand), should cease from making it sound as though they are taking the high ground. In the end, if the current laws are not enforced and this problem ignored, as Americans, WE WILL ALL BECOME LOSERS!!!

Finally, if more of us could comprehend the sheer numbers of people who want to live on American soil (for me, it has become staggering – and amazing) and the means whereby they will attempt to achieve it (lawfully, unlawfully – they don’t care; scores of them would marry you for a dime if it would get them to the U.S.), you might tremble in your socks and understand the threat that this (and other related issues) present. This article really only addresses the border between the U.S. and Mexico… but there are hundreds of thousands of illegals in the U.S. who have never ever set foot on Mexican soil and who are as much at fault as those coming illegally from Mexico.

Having stated that, this is a serious matter which (with all fortitude) we should attempt to handle objectively. In so doing, we might want to take seriously that “a house” (and a people) “divided against itself cannot stand.”

In closing, I am a non-Caucasian, non-male, educated (sometimes), “wall supporter,” who is a lawful citizen of America and believes that solutions to this problem can be found if we will first use what we have – the systems we already have in place and our brains. :)

Thank you (all) for your time.

Posted by Bella77 | Report as abusive

Coolidge, FDR, & Ike all three exported all illegal aliens when they were presidents. It worked then and will work now!! the reason for the actions they took was to create more jobs for US citizens.
It is plain and simple, you break the law you pay the price.

Posted by Fredneal | Report as abusive

Coolidge, FDR, & Ike all three exported all illegal aliens when they were presidents. It worked then and will work now!! the reason for the actions they took was to create more jobs for US citizens.
It is plain and simple, you break the law you pay the price.

PS: Go Arizona

Posted by Fredneal | Report as abusive

Hey, Napolitana, I think the DMZ is about as secure as they get. I have never heard of many people getting through that border.

There is a difference of a few getting through and millions getting through. I will accept a few versus millions. DAHHHH!

Posted by fatcat44 | Report as abusive

The US needs a prosperous Mexico if you want to succeed as a Nation, you need a peaceful Mexico so the US investmenst are safe and productivity is high, the US needs to increase productivity and technological innovation, in fact it is absurb proposing even the wall on the border, that border is the most active in the world in terms of people and commerce, illegal immigration only will stop when you control those US business profiting from illegal workers, who do not pay taxes, you will stop illegal immigration to the US when Mexican workers are paid salaries if not equal to those in the US at least that let them live in Mexico, you will stop the flow of drugs when you do not have millions of americans using them, in few words killing non violent illegals workers won`t solve the problem, solutions have to be taken as two nations in good will, the US relation with Mexico is seen in latin america as the real way NAFTA works, and many south american nations do not want to sign treaties with the US because they see a negative impact on Mexico and that includes the treatment of illegal workers by the US border patrol, and they see the US business use illegal workers as a way to reduce salaries and costs, if you want your nation to live better you have to export more and that means better products with more competitive prices, if you want Mexico to buy your products means mexicans need money to buy them, most illegal workers send their money home so their families can buy american goods too, most people here claimng violance will help the US economy do not see the fact that for the US to survive economically it needs buyers of US products, that means mexicans and latin american people that can afford them.
In mexico we need changes but in the US you need constructive attitudes not calling for violance and hate, we need to help each other we do not need hate each other.

Posted by amigodeMexico | Report as abusive


I am very opposed to illegal immigration and am for the arizona law. I am for the arizona law, because I feel latinos are using race as a way to benefit in the US, which tries to tackle race problems with reverse racism against whites. In fact, most latinos in the US are racist, and the recent protests by illegal immigrants show that most latinos are willing to break our laws and come to the US trying to change our way of life to theirs. The arizona law is the last draw against what I see as a racist latino movement in the US. I hope more states make such laws before the south west is colonized by illegals (if we are not already too late).

However, I do agree with you. The US should help mexico develop to a point where they don’t have to cross the border just to make money for their family to buy something to eat. We don’t need to give mexico any aid money, but I think the US would benefit from using NAFTA to help mexico develop as well as helping US businesses grow. You are right that when you say if Mexico is rich, safe, and an ally, the US is all the more stronger. The problem is that most of Mexico’s development is up to Mexicans. Mexicans have to stay home and start changing their country for the better. Mexicans need to start protesting against drug gangs that are taking over their country. Mexicans need to start talking with their chilren and keeping them out of gangs and away from drugs. The same needs to happen in the US as well.

But, as long as we have a racist latino movement in the US that is trying to take over the US government with their racist ideas, Americans are not going to stand for any cooperation with Mexico. Actually, i have met many Americans who once supported illegal mexicans, but after the recent protests where illegals demanded their rights in the US, most of these people are now against illegal immigrants. You can’t go to a foreign country illegally and demand rights. The response you will get it “get out.” After all, look at what happens in Mexico to illegal guatamalans. It is easy to see mexicans hypocritical racism when they do the same thing to illegals entering their country.

If Mexico fails to clean up their own act, they should request the US military to go in and take out the drug gangs. Mexicos military is already corrupt. The US can take them all out with droons. If this doesn’t happen, then I would hope that the military is at least sent to the border to keep our borders safe.

Posted by Thenonaligned | Report as abusive