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Issue Clash: Illegal Immigration

Antonio Gonzalez and Chris Simcox debate how the U.S. government should approach the issue of illegal immigration. Gonzalez is President of the William C. Velasquez Institute and Simcox is the head of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.

View questions, answers, and rebuttals, then vote for a winner, and make your own arguments.

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What stance should the U.S. government take regarding the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S?

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Antonio Gonzalez: America is a nation with a deeply-rooted immigrant history, and our government should view today's undocumented through the lens of civil and human rights. They are a highly vulnerable and exploited group who work for low wages and enjoys few—if any—rights, even though they fill an important niche in the U.S. economy. The appropriate policy prescriptions for the undocumented are those measures that surface them from the shadows of our society into the rights and responsibilities of legality. America's historical experience with the undocumented clearly demonstrates that policies of inclusion towards the undocumented provide infinitely more benefits to society than do policies of exclusion.

Chris Simcox: It is against the law to enter the U.S. without authorization. Anyone discovered to be in the U.S. illegally, who has committed a crime, has stolen someone's identity, or has obtained false documents should be deported and never allowed to reenter the U.S. for any reason. The major problem we have is what to do with the children who were brought into the U.S. illegally. If they have been here since they were a child, they should be allowed to be put on a fast track to gain citizenship. Immediately declaring that the 14th Amendment does not grant automatic birthright citizenship will cut off the magnet that attracts people to take advantage of our charity.


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Antonio Gonzalez's Rebuttal: Deporting the undocumented "en masse" would result from the above criteria, since the overwhelming majority of the undocumented use false documents. Such deportation would deepen America's economic recession. Such shortsighted policies have been tried repeatedly in American history. For example the "great repatriations" of the 1930's expelled more than half of the Mexican origin population in the southwest, including tens of thousands of U.S. citizens. The resulting damage to U.S.-Mexico relations and the remnants of the Mexican-American community lasted decades. Moreover, the repatriations in the 1930's plunged the U.S. economy even deeper into depression according to reliable studies of that era. Such exclusionist logic is always counterproductive and ultimately ineffective in resolving policy dilemmas in a fair and humane way.

Chris Simcox's Rebuttal: This has nothing to do with exclusion and everything to do with inclusion. We the people of the U.S.—by granting a pledge of protection, equal rights and civil rights by way of our Constitution—welcome all peoples of the Earth. This "privilege" is granted by our Constitution to all who pledge allegiance to the U.S. Immigration must be based on a practical economic, national security, and family reunification rubric that puts the interest of the American citizen, taxpayer and our national security first. By securing our borders and enforcing our laws, we as a nation bring an end to the deaths in the desert, to border violence, to the sex slave industry, to human trafficking, to indentured servitude, to workplace raids, and to breaking up families.

President Obama says longtime undocumented immigrants should have a path to citizenship in the U.S. Do you agree?

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Antonio Gonzalez: I fully agree that legalization and eventual citizenship is the correct solution for the undocumented. The president should be as generous as possible in bringing the undocumented into legal status not only for moral and human rights reasons, but also for economic ones. Research on previous programs shows that legalizing the undocumented actually stimulates the economies in the communities where they live. Given our economy today, we should consider all measures that create jobs, income and tax revenues.

Chris Simcox: On a case-by-case basis I would agree that if someone is found to be living in the U.S. illegally, has been gainfully employed, has paid their taxes and has not committed a crime, I feel that we certainly can make an exception. But this will be the last time, and I would only accept that after our borders are secured and illegal immigration is no longer an out of control problem.


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Antonio Gonzalez's Rebuttal: Legalizing the undocumented who meet certain conditions (are employed, have no criminal record, etc.) is the number one priority for immigration reform. But it should not be tied to other conditions like border security or future migration. In fact, legalization is an economic priority since legalized workers earn more, spend more, and pay more in taxes. Furthermore, studies show that legalization programs also dissuade further undocumented migration. Legalization of the 10 to 11 million undocumented in the U.S. today would enhance all of America's security, as these new Americans would be known to our government, and allow security and police resources to be deployed against the real criminals.

Chris Simcox's Rebuttal: Another flawed and unprincipled argument. No human is illegal. Our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution and Bill of Rights set the framework for freedom, liberty and equality based on our ordered society, where justice is blind and the basic tenants of our ordered and civil society are based on our realization that we are not perfect and sometimes some ideologies are extremely flawed. Civil rights and human rights begin in the individual's home circumstances; countries of origin dictate civil and human rights. The immorality is in allowing a group of people to base their protected class on their economic value, the color of their skin, their ethnicity or their country of origin. Most of the illegal immigrants inside the U.S. have been forced into that situation, yet are now anchored and would most likely be unwilling to return to their countries of origin even though they remain staunch nativists and carry with them an allegiance to a foreign country. Our school system, the media, and ethnically based outreach groups openly teach criminals how to take advantage of our charitable society and our laws. They should be ashamed, and it is wrong and despicable in this situation for anyone to promote an argument based on civil rights or discrimination.

What should the U.S. do to prevent people from entering and staying in the country illegally?

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Antonio Gonzalez: Undocumented immigration to the U.S. is dramatically declining today due to a combination of factors. For the record, illegal migration to the U.S. is actually a construct of our dysfunctional federal immigration policies. Artificially low legal migration quotas make it practically impossible to migrate legally from countries that traditionally send migrants to the U.S. Once the American economy starts to grow again (necessitating the need for more workers than our society can provide) we should re-align our resident visa quotas so that countries that traditionally send undocumented immigrant labor can send legal immigrants instead.

Chris Simcox: We need to fully militarize both borders and continue to build fences and increase resources to allow us to screen all vehicles that enter the U.S. For all visitors, we must implement a national biometric ID that is connected to a bank account in order to keep track of all visitors and illegal aliens in the U.S. This way, we can find people when their visas have expired.


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Antonio Gonzalez's Rebuttal: America has undocumented migration for only one reason. Our laws are out of sync with our mid and long-term labor/economic needs. In other words, our laws only allow a small number of legal immigrants per year while typically (not in 2009-10 though) our economy's labor needs far outstrip our society's labor supply. Border militarization and ID cards that violate constitutional privacy protections are the wrong answer, and won't work anyway. Today, this a moot question as undocumented migration is absolutely and rapidly declining due to a combination of factors.

Chris Simcox's Rebuttal: Cesar Chavez warned us in the 1960's (by the way Chavez was the first border Minuteman) that we would enable, encourage and be an accomplice to what we are seeing now in these organizations—cartels, on the verge of toppling an entire government. We do have a system that needs an overhaul. Once we have every American back to work and off the government dole, we can then begin allowing visa workers to enter the U.S. but under a strict watchful eye. Does that mean that based on research, we should allow drug cartels to thrive freely and openly on the streets of America, because of their efforts to stimulate local economies. If they give back to their local communities to create jobs and income should we forgive bank robbers? As long as it creates jobs and stimulates the economy should we accept other forms of criminal activity?

Do you think the border fence is a good idea in the effort to keep people from entering the U.S. illegally?

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Antonio Gonzalez: The border fence is a terrible idea that is destructive to the environment, wasteful of precious tax dollars, damaging to US-Mexico relations, harmful to US border economies, ruinous to our reputation in the world, and ineffective in deterring undocumented immigration. It should be canceled forthwith.

Chris Simcox: The government and people of Mexico have left us no alternative other than to continue to build fences which have proved to be effective in deterring illegal immigration. We now need to complement the work of the fence and border patrol with National Guard and some military assets to ensure that drug smuggling, weapons smuggling, and human smuggling are no longer a problem in the U.S.


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Antonio Gonzalez's Rebuttal: The border fence is unworkable and ineffective. It is also harmful to the border environment, economy and human rights. Border fences only cause migration patterns to shift to other pathways. Deterring crimes like smuggling of weapons, drugs, and people is legitimate for police forces not for the military or National Guard, who are not trained or intended for these functions. We do need to reexamine our policy priorities since this whole "drug crime" situation is the result of U.S. drug prohibition laws. We should learn from our history of alcohol prohibition during 1919-33 which spawned the "booze mafias (ala Al Capone)" of the time. Repeal of alcohol prohibition in 1933 substantially reduced the endemic violent gangsterism of the time.

Chris Simcox's Rebuttal: This is how a democratic republic works. We elect representatives and they vote the way we tell them to regarding issues. We wanted the wall and we have no problem seeing our tax dollars spent to build the tax payer wall. The fence is already allowing environmentalists and nature groups to begin cleaning up the millions of pounds of trash and human waste left behind in our precious outdoor areas and on private property. Where we have built fences wildlife is returning and the thousands of foot trails made by millions of illegal invaders have begun growing over. The fence will save our environment from the destruction caused by millions of sets of feet trampling down our desert flora.

Should undocumented immigrants with children born in the U.S. be allowed to stay here?

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Antonio Gonzalez: Sadly, one unintended consequence of current U.S. immigration policy is the breaking up of families. There are numerous cases of parents with small children being detained and deported as their children are left unattended. This practice goes against our most cherished American values of sanctity of family and children. We should return to earlier laws that permit U.S. children who are American citizens to sponsor their parents' applications for permanent residency.

Chris Simcox: First we must immediately end automatic birthright citizenship, and then proceed on a case-by-case basis. If the child is under the age of 18, then their parents should be allowed to stay in the U.S. to seek citizenship unless they commit a crime. However, if citizenship is not processed before the child turns 18, then the parents must then self-deport.


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Antonio Gonzalez's Rebuttal: Birthright citizenship is embedded in the U.S. constitution and codifies our proud immigrant tradition. It is at the core of including new cultures, ideas, and talents into the American mainstream. Conversely, repealing this provision would set America on a path to a permanent two tiered society—one with rights, the other without. This is a recipe for disaster that we have already lived through during the times of slavery and segregation.

Chris Simcox's Rebuttal: The individuals made the choice to enter our country and break our laws. They put their children in to that situation, U.S. immigration laws did not. Personal responsibility is the key here. We are all for family reunification. Technically children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens are not citizens and we should, in the interest of supporting the family, deport the entire family unit. As it stands now, our government is involved in corruption. Elected officials should be prosecuted on the basis of violating RICO [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act] statutes. Our government officials, including our president, are nothing short of engaging in organized crime if they give amnesty. The fact is that they are now creating a protection racket for organized criminal activity, endorsing money laundering, and actually creating a protection for a class of criminals based on economics and race.

How should we crack down on employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers?

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Antonio Gonzalez: This policy, called employer sanctions, has unquestionably failed since being enacted in 1986. In practice, it has pushed the undocumented further underground. It has not deterred employment of the undocumented by low wage sector employers because not hiring the undocumented would result in catastrophic failure of certain types of businesses. Given the choice between sustaining/growing businesses or following this unworkable law, the overwhelming majority of applicable businesses have chosen the former. The best antidote to this problem is to increase enforcement of labor laws. This would penalize (and even shut down) the most exploitative and unscrupulous of employers of the undocumented (and other low wage workers).

Chris Simcox: The national E-verify system should be made mandatory and retroactive to all persons who have obtained a Social Security number or an I-9 number. Any employer caught knowingly hiring illegal aliens should suffer the loss of the employees and suffer a 10 day shutdown of their business. On the second offense, they should lose their business license. However, if we secure our borders and coastal boundaries, illegal immigration will cease to be a problem.


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Antonio Gonzalez's Rebuttal: The E-verify system has been shown to be unworkable since none of the relevant data bases are accurate. Abuses abound with this strategy to punish employers that hire the undocumented. Other methods like employer sanctions have also failed. Instead, the U.S. should intensively enforce its labor laws and target employers that abuse or mistreat workers.

Chris Simcox's Rebuttal: E-verify should be mandatory and does work. I agree that hiring managers, CEO's or business owners who are raided should also be arrested and prosecuted. Over seven million people out of work and 11 million estimated illegal aliens equals lots of jobs for U.S. workers. A recent Center for Immigration Studies report shows that U.S. citizens have lined up around the country to take jobs left open due to workplace raids. Every position held by illegal aliens as a result of the Swift Meat Packing raids has been filled with U.S. workers and the documented and wages are now on the rise again.

Has illegal immigration affected legally-residing immigrants?

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Antonio Gonzalez: Legal immigrants have great sympathies for the plight of undocumented immigrants despite experiencing modest levels of competition with them for certain types of jobs. This is because they are quite often connected through family, community and peer networks. It is also true because, sadly, our misguided laws and policies in practice cause racial profiling and other forms of discrimination against all immigrants legal or otherwise, as well as ethnic groups perceived to look like immigrants (especially Latinos and Asians, and increasingly African-Americans). It is no accident that congressional districts with the greatest support for fair and humane policies for the undocumented are those with the greatest concentration of naturalized voters.

Chris Simcox: Illegal immigration is a slap in the face of every citizen and every illegal immigrant who waited their turn and followed the rules. Immigrants are attracted to and seek citizenship in the U.S. because of our ordered society and our respect for the rule of law. Illegal immigration shows blatant contempt for ordered society, and the laws and rules of the U.S. People who sell hate and base every argument on racism have muddied the water and unfortunately have created the myth that Hispanics are synonymous with the word illegal immigration. There are millions of illegal aliens inside the U.S. from nearly every country in the world. It is not about ethnicity, race or country of origin. It's about the American people demanding order and a level playing field for businesses to operate in a fair market.


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Antonio Gonzalez's Rebuttal: Curiously, some people seem to believe that undocumented immigration is new. It is not. Did New York's Ellis Island (the legal migration entry point) accommodate all immigrants including Mexicans and Chinese in the southwest in the 19th century? Clearly no. In the 20th century the common ethnic slur of the day "wop" actually meant "without papers" an allusion to many Italian immigrants' undocumented status. My point is that America's imperfect immigration laws and giant appetite for labor has always engendered migration legal and otherwise. Our challenge today is to correct the imbalances in the system with new laws that enable rights to—and responsibilities from—the undocumented, while ensuring a workable system of legal immigrant labor supply for our economy when needed, and in doing so resolve our security concerns.

Chris Simcox's Rebuttal: I still don't understand why some Latinos take responsibility for the majority of mass illegal immigration—they readily admit it—then they scream racial profiling when we enforce our laws. There are entire Congressional districts that have been redrawn due to false census counting that includes illegal aliens. That is preposterous and the trend will continue under the Obama Administration. If you are here illegally leave, get in line, and immediately apply for citizenship if that is what you desire. I still contend that many of the Latinos who have entered illegally just want to work and have no desire to become American citizens. They should go home before they are deported and lose their chance to ever return legally to work in the U.S. While home they should petition, rally and march for reform in their country.

The opinions expressed belong solely to the participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOW, PBS, or local stations. The facts stated by the participants have not been verified by NOW.

Related NOW Reports:

Immigration on Main Street

Be Our Guest

The Border Fence

Viewer Comments

Commenter: sick of living like this
Enforcing our laws, and protecting our country and its citizens SHOULD be priority one.

We could create ten million jobs, and save countless billions of dollars to our state and federal budgets by simply doing what is RIGHT FOR AMERICA and enforcing our immigration laws immediately.

Its what the AMERICAN PEOPLE are overwhelmingly in favor of, and have been for decades now. This situation is beyond out of control, and it is inexcusable to allow this to continue.

Not to mention how many American lives would be saved by getting these illegals off of our roads, our of our communities and out of our countrie.

How many more Americans Lives have to be ruined or ended by these unwelcome, unwanted, criminal invaders before American politicians are willing to enforce the laws and the will of the AMERICAN PEOPLE.

I am disgusted that we cant count on our politicians and government to keep us safe, when that is exactly what they are supposed top be doing.

Minutemen do more than our government document the situation, and try to make a difference.

Our elected leaders need to be removed from office and charged with treason. Charge all the employers of these illegal aliens with treason as well as far as I am concerned. If you cant afford to pay your workers a decent wage, then maybe you shouldn't be in business, or better yet, do the work yourself.

It makes me sick when these scumbag business owners try to make themselves look like they have to employ illegals. its absolute B.S. and i don't feel bad for them one bit. Those employers don't live in the same neighborhoods as the rest of us that end up living with these animals.

Illegal immigrants threaten our national security, our communities, and our American society as a whole.

Roll your eyes now, how long will it be until a weapon is smuggled over the border that harms Americans. What will you say then? I bet you will still keep defending these scumbag drunk child molester rapists even then wont you........

Commenter: J.C.
I feel that Gonzales has a legitimate argument for what stance the U.S. government should take regarding the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. His main points are that the illegal immigrant fills an important niche in the U.S. economy. Moreover, past history demonstrates that inclusion provides society with more benefits than exclusion. I do think that deportation "en masse" and a policy of exclusion would deepen America's economic recession. Simcox, on the other hand, believes that anyone discovered to be in the U.S. illegally, who has committed a crime, has stolen someone's identity, or has obtained false documents should be deported and never allowed to reenter the U.S. for any reason. I believe that this is too harsh of a stance. I think that, as Gonzales points out in his introductory argument, this stance would have severe consequences on the U.S. economy. Furthermore, in reality, it is unlikely that illegal children will be put "on the fast track to gain citizenship." The current process to gain citizenship is in now ways a "fast track."

President Obama says longtime undocumented immigrants should have a path to citizenship. I do not think that absolutely every undocumented immigrant should be granted citizenship, because it is important that we do not let criminals into our nation. Thus, I am inclined to lean towards Simcox's suggestion that we only let immigrants into the U.S. on a case by case basis. However, I do not think that that we should wait until the borders are secure and illegal immigration is no longer an out of control problem. I feel that the important thing is that we start taking action now. Ideas on how to solve the immigration problem are nothing more than ideas . . . we need action. Moreover, again I feel that the process to gain citizenship should be overhauled, because otherwise a case by case basis will not improve immigration problems. If it takes too long to gain citizenship, illegal immigration will continue.

I agree with Gonzalez's point that illegal migration to the U.S. is actually a construct of our dysfunctional federal immigration policies. However, I do think that we need some security at our borders. As Simcox points out, we have a problem with cartels.

As far as the border fence: I think that the border fence is a nice idea in theory. However, I think that we need to focus more on overhauling our immigration policies and the path to citizenship. Again, we need action now. The border fence is only somewhat effective. Moreover, it has destroyed the property of those American citizens that live on the border. However, what is done is done. It does not make sense to take the fence down. I think we should have a combination of the fence and an overhaul of immigration policy / the immigration process.

I do not think that we should end automatic birthright citizenship. I think that there are major problems with Simcox's suggestion that we only let those children under 18 stay in the U.S. First of all, the process for the child to gain citizenship will take entirely too long. Second of all, this might result in an issue where illegal immigrants come to the U.S. and immediately have children, so that their family line continues in the U.S.

I think that Simcox is incorrect when he says that Americans will fill all the jobs of deported immigrant workers. Sure, Americans might fill the jobs for a meat packing job. However, there are other jobs that I feel Americans will not fill.

In Short: Action NOW! Overhaul U.S. immigration policies and the path to immigration!

Commenter: J.C.
I feel that Gonzales has a legitimate argument for what stance the U.S. government should take regarding the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. His main points are that the illegal immigrant fills an important niche in the U.S. economy. Moreover, past history demonstrates that inclusion provides society with more benefits than exclusion. I do think that deportation "en masse" and a policy of exclusion would deepen America's economic recession. Simcox, on the other hand, believes that anyone discovered to be in the U.S. illegally, who has committed a crime, has stolen someone's identity, or has obtained false documents should be deported and never allowed to reenter the U.S. for any reason. I believe that this is too harsh of a stance. I think that, as Gonzales points out in his introductory argument, this stance would have severe consequences on the U.S. economy. Furthermore, in reality, it is unlikely that illegal children will be put "on the fast track to gain citizenship." The current process to gain citizenship is in now ways a "fast track."

President Obama says longtime undocumented immigrants should have a path to citizenship. I do not think that absolutely every undocumented immigrant should be granted citizenship, because it is important that we do not let criminals into our nation. Thus, I am inclined to lean towards Simcox's suggestion that we only let immigrants into the U.S. on a case by case basis. However, I do not think that that we should wait until the borders are secure and illegal immigration is no longer an out of control problem. I feel that the important thing is that we start taking action now. Ideas on how to solve the immigration problem are nothing more than ideas . . . we need action. Moreover, again I feel that the process to gain citizenship should be overhauled, because otherwise a case by case basis will not improve immigration problems. If it takes too long to gain citizenship, illegal immigration will continue.

I agree with Gonzalez's point that illegal migration to the U.S. is actually a construct of our dysfunctional federal immigration policies. However, I do think that we need some security at our borders. As Simcox points out, we have a problem with cartels.

As far as the border fence: I think that the border fence is a nice idea in theory. However, I think that we need to focus more on overhauling our immigration policies and the path to citizenship. Again, we need action now. The border fence is only somewhat effective. Moreover, it has destroyed the property of those American citizens that live on the border. However, what is done is done. It does not make sense to take the fence down. I think we should have a combination of the fence and an overhaul of immigration policy / the immigration process.

I do not think that we should end automatic birthright citizenship. I think that there are major problems with Simcox's suggestion that we only let those children under 18 stay in the U.S. First of all, the process for the child to gain citizenship will take entirely too long. Second of all, this might result in an issue where illegal immigrants come to the U.S. and immediately have children, so that their family line continues in the U.S.

I think that Simcox is incorrect when he says that Americans will fill all the jobs of deported immigrant workers. Sure, Americans might fill the jobs for a meat packing job. However, there are other jobs that I feel Americans will not fill.

In short: Action NOW! Overhaul U.S. immigration policies and the path to citizenship!

Commenter: Ava
I find myself agreeing with a previous commenter: the two views presented above represent the polarize sides of the immigration debate. As a result, I don't find either approach to be satisfactory or feasible. Mr. Gonzalez's approach addresses immigration in an ideal world, and is far too optimistic to succeed. While some of his points are valid, especially those regarding the manner in which flawed immigration law increases illegal immigration and exacerbates the problem, many of his positions are ignorant to the more conservative, 'anti-immigration' standpoints. Similarly, Mr. Simcox's concept of the impenetrable border fence which will stop all border traffic is both short-sighted and ignorant as well. I would have liked to see less of a debate between the two men and more of a conversation, because I feel as though there are extremely valid points on both side of the conversation; points which would function successfully were they combined into a more moderate, less polarizing stance.

Commenter: CM
I feel as if America is wasting a lot of money on illegal immigration. We could be spending millions on our educational system or helping out the needy in OUR country, not others. Gonzalez makes many points about illegal and legal immigration that state they are helping our economy rather than hurting it. Doesn't anybody see where the economy has went over the past 10 years as the rate of immigrants have increased? The illegal immigrants do not need to be treated better than our own citizens that are needy too. I do not feel like deporting illegal immigrants is violating their human rights, it is the law and everyone must abide by the law.

Commenter: Josh B
A fundamental principle that needs to be addressed in this debate is this: We either need to enforce our laws, or we need to change them.

Allowing illegal aliens to live within our country is just that, illegal. This point is true, but does not address the personal and social factors involved in this debate.

The first step in resolving this issue is enforcing our current laws, because as important as this issue is, undermining our laws mutually undermines the same rights and protections that is guarantees. After we have protected our citizens, both natural born and legal aliens, from the vicissitudes that result naturally from significant illegal alien immigration.

Having restored our faith in our laws, and their ability to guide and govern our country, and to affirm and protect our rights, we can then continue this debate responsibly, and change policy where our republic decides necessary.

Some of these issues many take a long time to resolve, such as what to do with employed, tax paying aliens that have committed no crimes other than their illegal immigration. Other issues, however, we can resolve much more quickly, such as approving a more expedient path to citizenship, or a temporary citizenship program. While some of these issues may take a significant amount of debate to resolve, we certainly can enact immediate legislation to address less controversial factors in the issue.

If we do not prevent special interest groups, social activists, and rogue communities from unilaterally circumventing our law, we will be accountable for slowly eroding the process that has allowed our nation to successfully address the problems of the past that are so like our problems of today. It is imperative that we preserve the authority of our present laws in order that when illegal aliens gain citizenship, they have gained the rights for which they entered the United States.

Commenter: AD
Although I think that both Gonzalez and Simcox are coming from completely opposite ends of the spectrum concerning this argument because of their own affiliations, I found myself siding with Gonzalez in response to almost every question. I think that Simcox is seeing the issue as black and white, when in fact it is anything but that. The reality is that the undocumented immigrants are here because they need help, and as a privileged society we have a responsibility to help them on a basic human rights level. I am not saying we should grant them all amnesty immediately, but mass deportation and further militarizing the border is not the answer nor is it the image we should be projecting of ourselves to the rest of the world. Compromises have to be made, and we must take a step back and see that this may be a hole that we have dug for ourselves with certain economic policies that have been a huge detriment to Mexico's economy, mainly NAFTA. Also, I found the statement that Simcox made about ending automatic birthright citizenship to be ridiculous, especially after all his talk about protecting the laws and constitution of our country. This to me shows that people like Simcox will twist their own views to make this issue as black and white as possible, and the problem cannot be effectively solved if it is being looked at in this way.

Commenter: AJ
Both Gonzalez and Simcox have good arguments about the issue of illegal immigration. Simcox focused more on the Constitution and other legalities that run our country today. Gonzalez looks at how immigrants stimulate our economy and touches on the positive effects of having them here in the US. Although it is hard to argue with Simcox, since he does have laws and the Constitution on his side of the argument, you have to take into consideration that government laws were the same thing that were used against African Americans decades ago. When Gonzalez does mention the issue of race and discrimination when it comes to immigrants, both legal and illegal, Simcox disregards this as if race has nothing to do with the topic of immigration. Simcox is correct when he says that immigrants come from many different countries and ethnicities and are not just Hispanic, however, it is evident that we as Americans have stereotyped the average illegal immigrant as Mexican, and due to this a lot of people from Mexico are treated differently and looked down upon. I agree with Gonzalez that we should make the process of becoming a legal immigrant easier because this will decrease the amount of illegal immigrants if they see that they actually have a chance of being able to legally come to this country. Lastly, Simcox seemed to link illegal immigrants and crime together way too much. Yes, there are illegal immigrants that commit crimes but a lot of them are just coming to our country to work jobs that most Americans do not want and would not accept even if they were not taken by immigrants.

Commenter: Mike Caulder Soc 359
This debate is clearly one that is passionate on both sides. The two men arguing here represent far more than their individual feelings. they are the embodiment of the two conflicting arguments and the cultures involved with them. When it comes down to it this debate is all about location. we are in the united states. to say this means that the government of the united states controls the laws that we must abide by and one of those laws is that you need to be naturalized in order to live here. plain and simple. people may not like it or feel like the "poor" illegal immigrants are being treated without considering their civil rights. i may not like speed limits and feel it is my right to drive as fast as i see fit but i still will be punished for breaking the law. we cannot use the interpersonal lens to look at this situation, yes the illegal immigrants are people but they are not citizens and the constitution only protects citizens. i have a hard time believing it would be met well if a mass of illegal Americans in china were rallying for rights. its the same concept. the government must enforce their laws and look after their own in order to maintain equilibrium

Commenter: Gregory
I agree with Antonio Gonzalez when he states, "America is a nation with a deeply rooted immigrant history." This is why we should not turn our backs, as Americans, and deport all those without papers without lending a helping hand. Citizenship to those undocumented is definitely the correct solution; however, I think making it easier to gain citizenship might help to stimulate economic growth in a time of economic need, creating jobs, income, and tax revenues. Oppositely, if we continue to deport in masses, it will continue to hurt our already struggling economy.

Commenter: CE
As it has been previously mentioned this is a tough issue that our country has been struggling with for decades. While the United States believes it has solved the issue of illegal immigration by building a fence along the border, I do not believe this is the best method in which to solve the problem. It only disadvantages those living in the US across from the border and serves as a physical barrier which symbolizes oppression and poverty on one side of the fence and the perceived "promise land" on the other.
Antonio Gonzales makes valid points in terms of the economic benefits of having immigrants in the country, and many studies conducted by government agencies have also verified this point. Thus, changing the resident visa quotas so that countries that traditionally send undocumented immigrant labor can send legal immigrants, like Gonzales suggests, may significantly decrease the number of illegal aliens. With this said, economic factors should not be the main focus. This country prides itself on the fact that the legal system is blind, thus theoretically speaking it should not matter the ethnicity, race, gender, or reason for breaking the law. If you break the laws in order to enter the country, you should have to deal with the consequences. Undocumented immigrants are no different; there are no exceptions. This is obviously for the protection of our nation's security. Obviously there are too many undocumented immigrants to begin a mass deportation, and many are living productive lives and have begun families in this country. Our main priority should be extending citizenship for these undocumented immigrants here now. Once the majority is accounted for and has been extended the basic rights everyone in this country is guaranteed, then we can amend our immigration and visa quotas and laws.

Commenter: KW
To me Simcox seems like a total a**hole, but he does make some good points about the situation. Ex.Should undocumented immigrants with children born in the U.S. be allowed to stay here? He states that he knows it breaks families up but it is not his fault because the law did not put these immigrates in this situation, they did. They are the ones that came over here. Do I think this is right? No. These immigrates are coming over here to make a better life and pursue the American Dream. I feel like Simcox is just worried about Americans and not the human race. This type of attitude starts problems with other countries and I know Mexico is not a big threat to America, but just think, these immigrates are doing work that me and you would not do, FOR CHEAP. If we were asked to do this type of work we would sue someone. We already sue people for not putting Hot Warning labels on Hot Coffee or Cocoa.

Another topic that would be interesting to hear about is whether we are having the same problem with Canada. Seems like we are becoming more strict with the Mexico Border and just for getting the Canadian border.

Commenter: A W
On the issue of illegal immigrants, I find Gonzalez stance to be a more practical approach that works to benefit all parties involved. Simcox appeared to be an extremist. Honestly, it seems uneccessary to have borders fully militarized and force people to carry around national biometric ID cards. Also a full out deportation and so called exile of all illegals who have committed such crimes is just ridiculous. If Simcox goal is to get rid of the immigrants until our economy is better, then the mass deportation of illegals would only further delay our nation's return to such a state of economic stability.
Currently, there are 1.25 million net immigrants entering the US every year. However, the prominence of illegals has been said to be on the decline by 11% according to By the statistics and facts about immigration, it appears that some measures should be taken to retard the growth rate of immigration. I'm not so opposed to the idea of border fences. However, the fences in place now will prove to be futile efforts. A fence is only effective it is continuous and actually keeps unwanted visitiors out. I do agree with both Gonzalez and Simcox in their assertions that the naturalization process is in need of a "complete overhaul." I do advocate for the automatic birthright clause, however, there should definitely be stricter regulations regarding illegals that commit crimes as well as more practical immigration quotas.

Commenter: V.v.d.w
To cut to the heart of the matter on illegal immigration without unnecessary deviation, the most important issue in regards to illegal immigration today is not what to do with future illegals but rather what to do with the more than 12 million illegal immigrants occupying the country today. One popular approach to the issue is granting immediate amnesty to all illegal immigrants. This is the mainstream platform of the Democratic Party, most recently embodied by the immigration policies of President Barrack Obama. Based on the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) data reports however, legalizing illegal immigrants may in fact be more detrimental than simply leaving illegal immigration as it is today. CIS statistics show that the immediate legalization of illegal immigrants today would result in a dramatic rise in net fiscal costs to the federal government. The main reason for this is due to the fact that most illegal immigrants today are low-skilled and poorly educated. The fact that roughly 2/3 of illegal immigrants lack a high school degree is perhaps the biggest indicator in itself. In the long term this would mean that if illegal immigrants are granted amnesty, as unskilled labors, they would be able to access more government services (primarily Social Security, Medicare, prisons, primary and secondary education, food stamps, and cash assistance to name a few) but would still make too modest tax payments. Essentially they would take out more than they can put back in. As a matter of fact this is the current situation right now as in 2002 households headed by illegal aliens imposed more than $26.3 billion in costs on the federal government while only paying $16 billion in taxes, creating a net fiscal deficit of almost $10.4. This figure would only rise with the granting of amnesty to illegal immigrants in the future. Thus if we are to take the Obama approach into consideration his platform contains a major flaw, in the legalization of illegal immigrants. His planks of tightening border control, working with the Mexican government, and cracking down on employers to dissuade them from hiring illegal immigrants are all sound methods to combat illegal immigrants in the future, but they do not take into regard the mass of 12 million plus illegal aliens inhabiting the country today. Thus his legalization effort may in fact make or break his entire policy towards illegal immigrants. Rather than focusing on the more minor issues of crime as vocalized by Simcox, we have to look at the more important issue at larger, the fiscal impact of legalizing immigrants. My opinion is that we have to change the disproportionately under-skilled characteristics of the illegal alien demographic. I believe we have two feasible options from a fiscal standpoint at least. One, we legalize the 1/3 of illegal aliens who can be defined as moderately skilled while waiting for the 2/3 remainder of illegals to improve their economic condition enough to set up their children for greater success. Or two, we gradually legalize all illegal immigrants and, based on the findings that amnesty would increase incomes by as much as 30%, live with the temporary fiscal deficit hoping that the overall economic improvement of the aliens would allow their children to gain greater economic opportunities in the future, thus offsetting the current deficit in the future. During this entire time we must adhere to the Obama platform as regards border control and relations with employers and Mexico. This is my position from a solely fiscal point of few, as based on CIS findings.

Commenter: Zodiac
Antonio Gonzalez has some great rational points about how immigrants are important to our economy. Although I agree more with the side that Chris Simcox argued I do not like the specific points that he made because I felt like he was taking everything that was negative about immigrants to an extreme level.

One point that I do agree with that Chris argued is the fact that our tax money is funding the construction of a so called "useless" fence. However, if it will keep the high amounts of smuggling out of the country, then it should continue to be built. I definitely agree with Antonio about the fact that we should NOT split families up because there are not enough nuclear families in America anymore.

On particular point that was made was about having the quota too low for legal immigrants to migrate to America. Since the amount of free passes to America are so slim, it kind of forces people to come to this country illegally. Thinking of the situation that way makes the topic of immigration seem unfair to many foreign people. By hearing this proclamation, i now understand why there is an excessive amount of people coming to this country.

All in all I think that the actual answers to the questions were quite interesting, however the rebuttals by both sides weren't as sharp as I had expected them to be.

Commenter: BS
Illegal immigration is definitely a major issue that cannot be pushed aside on the political agenda any longer. The fact is that while immigrants are major contributors to our economic system, they threaten our national security and identity at the same time. Aside from the issue of national security, I feel that it is unfair and unethical to support illegal immigration solely for the sake of keeping undocumented workers subordinate and exploited in the workforce.

There needs to be immediate actions taken to realistically deal with the issue of illegal immigration.
1) The US needs an accelerated pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants (without a criminal history) that are currently living in the US.
2) More realistic immigration laws should be established for future immigrants.
3) There should also be an increase of guest-worker programs that allow immigrants to legally come work in the US. This will help support our economic system while providing immigrants, who come to America solely for economic benefit, with equal incentives of economic gain.

These three proposals should result in an increase of US national security because there will be more achievable ways to come into the US legally. They should also strengthen the national identity of the country as a whole, including immigrants as well, because those who truly love America will have the opportunity to become citizens, while those who just come for economic incentives will only be here temporarily while working.

Overall, I think the biggest solution to illegal immigration in the US, is the reconstruction of Mexico's political, economical and social climate; although I do not necessarily believe that it is the responsibility of the US to intervene in Mexican affairs. But Mexican reform seems highly unlikely without some sort of support from the US, as the country seems to overrun by those who corruptly maintain power.

Commenter: AL
Periodic naturalization of illegal immigrants is the solution to the problem of illegal immigration in America. The fear that this would lead to an "en masse" migration into the country is well founded, but immigration would slow down and reverse once the labor vacuum was filled, eliminating the economic pull factor for immigration.
Gonzalez's argument that laws that are unenforceable and widely ignored are not good laws makes sense, especially when he uses the example of prohibition. Simcox's argument that the 14th amendment should be altered so as not to grant citizenship as birthright is, in a way, the opposite argument. His suggestion would take a law that is widely accepted and change it in a way that would instantly create thousands of criminals. This suggestion to alter the 14th amendment is also questionable because of the way it functions to create hierarchy in society. Those whose families have been here for generations would have a firmer claim to citizenship and its associated rights than the children of recent immigrants.

Commenter: CJ
Many times during the 'debate' I found myself thinking that I have the choice between the position of naiveté or of unrealistic goals and expectations, and many times the question was not answered at all. For many of the questions in the beginning Gonzalez dismissed questions concerning the problem of increased immigration as "moot;" Simcox's statements were too idealistic and he states several times that after all American citizens have jobs and immigration laws have been reformed, etc. then we should focus on immigration (idealistic!) In the end I voted for Gonzalez because, although I was not wholeheartedly swayed by his arguments, there was more room for negotiation and came across as more practical for both the legal and illegal immigrant and the American citizen.

Commenter: AJ
Both Gonzalez and Simcox had great arguments and used different strategies to get their point across. Simcox clearly used facts from American government like laws and the Constition which is hard to argue against. However, these same laws were used to keep African Americans from having equal rights decades ago. Therefore this goes to show that you can not just go to the Constitution and use it as a rule book on how to govern our society. Simcox referred to the illegal immigrants as criminals and acted as if they are the ones bringing all of the violence and issues to America. It is obvious to tell which side each person is on through the bias in both stories. Gonzalez is obviously empathetic to the illegal immigrants here in the US, while Simcox bluntly expresses how he feels about the situation.

Commenter: CR
Deporting undocumented immigrants is the last thing we need in this economy. There is no denying that they contribute greatly to our economy. I think that Simcox is making huge exaggerations that allowing amnesty would be simply endorsing crime in the US. Crime will persist with or without illegal immigrants, and most of these immigrants work harder than most Americans to stay out of trouble because they know they could get deported if caught. Also, I agree that we should keep the automatic birthright citizenship. We have done nothing to deserve citizenship, except being circumstantially born in the US- and those children deserve the same.

I understand that America is founded on laws, and I love our country. But it is these nationalist views- that we deserve certain privileges that others don't because we live on a certain piece of land- that cause hatred and tension. I know I may be idealistic, but I hope one day we can all be able to inhabit the earth instead of seperate countries.

Commenter: CA
Gonzalez and Simcox both present great points on the issue of illegal immigration, but I believe that they were both too extreme. Gonzalez's main point is that immigrants, whether legal or illegal, stimulate our economy, and the government should be more concerned with how they are being treated than that they are taking away jobs from American citizens. He suggests that our economy would collapse and America would fall further into recession if they deported the illegal immigrants. Gonzalez does not consider the millions of American citizens that are out of work due to the bad economy and how the illegal immigrants are taking jobs away from them. In a perfect world, the government would be able to help and protect its own citizens and illegal immigrants; however, this is not a perfect world, and our government has 300 million legal citizens to worry about. Illegal immigrants' working rights just do not fit on the American agenda. Gonzalez also suggests that deporting illegal immigrants would violate their human and civil rights because they are already a highly vulnerable and exploited group. Unfortunately, some immigrants might be an exploited group, but if they came to America by choice, they put themselves in the situation in the first place. Many immigrants cite poor situations in their countries of origin as their reasons for immigration. As tragic as these situations may be, America simply cannot accommodate these illegal immigrants. Another main point that Gonzalez makes is that America needs to up its migration quotas and make the legalization process for aliens simpler. I agree that these policies need to be amended and made more accommodating for people who wish to immigrate to the US, and this is something that should be high on the government's agenda. Until the government revises these policies, it should not be accommodating to illegal immigrants because that would be breaking our own laws.

Simcox also presents some good points on the issue. He suggests that the government has begun to take a direct approach on addressing illegal immigration, but has a long way to go. For example, erecting a wall between the US and Mexico has already deterred immigrants, but that the US needs to increase its border control and deportation policies in order to be truly effective. I agree that the US should increase its border security as well as enforce deportation more strictly. The US needs to address the deportation of the 11 million illegal immigrants that already inhabit this country and adapt stricter 'tracking' policies for those who enter legally. I also believe that he overgeneralizes the criminal status of immigrants and has an overly strict attitude towards those who have committed a criminal offense (that they should never be allowed back into the country). The majority of immigrants are not criminals and have come to America to give their families better lives. He also suggests that America should repeal the birthright law and deport families as units. How many Americans are only considered American citizens because they were born here? Being born in America is what makes you an American. America needs to address the deportation of parents who have children that were born in America and create a policy that is best for the family. A compromise between these two views would present both America and possible future immigrants with a viable future. America needs to tighten its borders and address deportation, but it also needs to loosen the migration quotas and citizenship policies in order to make it easier for people to be immigrate here and succeed legally. Immigrants are a vital part of the American economy and society, but they need to be legal.

Commenter: Jennifer Hernandez
People should be outraged that we are spending millions of dollars to try and keep out illegal immigrants when we could be using the money to fund education and improve the quality of life for Americans. Many of the human beings that migrate to America illegally come out of necessity for survival. How can we build a wall and forget about the people who need our help on the other side? Canada's border is 5,525 miles long yet has limited security in comparison to the Mexico border (1, 196 miles). The hypocrisy that the U.S. exhibits is baffling. How did so many Euro Americans get to the U.S? They certainly aren't native to the land. "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." I realize that I am rambling but the topic greatly disturbs me.

Commenter: Greg
Contrary Opinion

The U.S. is running out of the most important resource essential for human habitation – water. Water shortages are chronic in many parts the U.S. and this is pitting state against state, and human needs against the needs of natural habitats, such as the Florida Everglades, as growing human populations put more and more demands on shrinking supplies. An open door immigration policy would only make water shortage problems much worst.

The British House of Lords released a report about a year ago dealing with the effects of immigration on British society (the report's finings can apply to any country). The report stated that immigration to Britain results in increased competition for available housing and employment. This has resulted in upward pressure on the cost of living and downward pressure on wages. The report did not state much in the way of advantages to immigration. If you want to see the effects of an open door immigration policy, one only has to look at what happened to the aboriginal people in the Americas in the last several hundred years with the influx of Europeans. Most are living in poverty on reservations (a few may have escaped poverty by opening casinos on the reservation).

Natural habitats in the U.S. are disappearing quickly as increasing population has resulted in more urban sprawl. An open door immigration policy would make this situation much worst, with more species becoming endangered or extinct. Urban sprawl also results in greater distances between where people live and where they work People will have to spend more and more of their non-work time commuting to and from work, increasing consumption of energy and pollution, decreasing disposable income (due to increased commuting costs) and leisure time. People will increasingly become slaves to their job as they spend most of their time either working or commuting to and from work.

Although the birth rates in industrialized nations such as the U.S. have fallen drastically in the last few decades, the population in third world countries like Mexico is still growing exponentially. This situation is the result of poverty, religious fanaticism, and sexual inequality (which all seem to always occur together). With this population increase has come more poverty and more people desperate to escape poverty. If the U.S. has an open door immigration policy then they will have to accommodate ever increasing numbers of immigrants, providing them with the essentials of housing, food, health care, and employment. This would have to be done with the same limited resources such as available water supplies, agricultural land, energy supplies, etc. as we have today. The U.S. could increase available resources to some degree by claiming more and more of the ever dwindling natural habitats for urban sprawl and agriculture but this will only go so far because these resources are themselves limited but, with a open door immigration policy, the needs will always be increasing. Competition for limited resources will become ever fiercer and quality of life for the majority of the population will deteriorate. A small minority however will actually do better with a growing population. This is the group Marx referred to as the owners of the factors of production. These are the businesses that need to workers as one of the factors of production. A large population means larger supply of labor, and the law of supply and demand dictates that an increasing supply of labor results in a lower cost per unit of labor. A lower cost of labor means increased profits for employers and a greater disparity between rich and poor and the disappearance of the middle class.

To suggest that an open door immigration policy is a good idea now because it was good over one hundred year ago is using a form of inductive reasoning. If you ask any mathematician, statistician, or philosopher they would tell you that inductive reasoning is a poor form of logic. For it to have any validity at all then the situation it is applied to must have exactly the same conditions as the situation extrapolated from. An open door immigration policy may have made sense when North America, a large continent, had a relatively small human population. Now North America has a large population with a relative high standard of living requiring a disproportionate amount of the earth's resources compared to people living in other parts of the world. The situation today is very different from the situation in the past.

Commenter: David Holland
US Immigration reform will be on the political agenda for the coming years. Most American's are concerned that illegal immigration is creating multiple economic and societal debates across the Nation. One solution is that all illegal immigrants found on US soil be monitored by government agencies and work on educating the rest of the world on easy to understand requirements to become an American citizen. Further, many Americans tend to associate illegal immigrants as being any race that is non-whites; resulting in a racial divide that stretches from state to state. This societal lack of unity creates hate and animosity and disrupts positive reform from occurring with regards to illegal immigration laws and certain ethnicities being overly discriminated against.

Commenter: sergio chavez
Undocumented workers come to this country and work here because they are needed. If this was not the case they could not survive economically in this country.

In California approximately 97% of farm workers are latinos, mostly of mexican descent. I have never seen a black person work in the fields there. About 70% of Construction workers In California are latinos. A substantial amount of them are undocumented, mostly Mexican.

Most other types of jobs which are filled by latinos are so low paying that no american,
black or white would do.

So lets stop kidding ourselves about this problem. The best thing this country to do is to legalize all of this undocumented workers who have been living in this country for at least three years. The rest should be sent back to their counrries of origin.

In addition, before receiving legal passports, their background should be checked to weed out the dishonest ones and criminals. These background checks should include possible criminal checks in their countries.

Sergio C

Commenter: Lee Harrington
Mr. Gonzalez demonstrates a ready and complete grasp of the issues and provides a logical argument for resolution.

Mr. Simcox begins well but increasingly shows his emotional investment in military and forceful control. His lack of knowledge about the laws and history of the issues becomes appalling by the end of the presentation.

One thing certain, the fence must come down. . .and will. As Reagan said to Gorbachev, "Tear down this wall." For many of us Americans, and from a world-wide perspective, it is a wall of shame in so many, many ways.

Commenter: Alyssa
I read many of the comments and I think it is not an apples to oranges comparison to say that my family emmigrated from Sweden or Germany and they assimilated. For all immigrants there is usually a first generation transitional period in a family. One personal example is that my grandfather was born here but his parents came from what is now Slovakia. His parents spoke their native language to him, but he had to learn English in school. The school even changed his name from Carol to Charles. My greatgrandmother went to mass in her native language, but eventually learned English to get by. My point is that even though immigrants speak their native language, they do all learn enough English to get by. However, in communities especially in the Southwest Spanish is already dominant so there is little need. Immigration is all about necessity, and necessity clashing with privelege.

Immigration has had high tides and low in the US due to policies and economic circumstances, and with every wave there was always backlash (like in Mr. Gonzalez's example of "wop"). Present immigrants are more discriminated against due to their skin color. I strongly believe that if current illegal immigrants were blond-haired and blue-eyed it would be a different situation. This is probably why the Minutemen don't have troops stationed along the Canadian border.

Also I think many people are ignorant to how difficult it is to come legally and more important, stay legal. Many workers come with a visa through a company, in their own name, to work in the fields. Many of these companies travel to Mexico or Central America and search out workers, promising them the American Dream, demand large sums of money to complete the paperwork, and then disappear once the immigrants are across the border with their visas. These work visas are only given for 3 months. For an immigrant, it can cost thousands of dollars to obtain a work visa, only to have it expire before they even cover the costs. Then they gamble to have it renewed or live in the shadows.

Illegal immigrants do use government funded services sometimes, but more often they avoid going to the hospital altogether to stay under the radar and avoid sky high costs without insurance.

Immigration is a touchy subject and it is so hard to debate without being emotional. I thought Mr. Gonzalez presented more valid points that weren't as emotionally loaded as those presented by Mr. Simcox.
I think we should remember too that immigrants here illegally aren't just the poor mestizos picking our tomatoes but the college educated who stayed past their student visa, the young woman looking to make extra money apart from her $300 a month teaching salary in Central America, and many others. We should remember that as a nation of immigrants, the immigrants coming now are as different from each other as we are, though it is easy for the media to categorize the large majority of them as Mexican or Hispanics.

More than anything we are priveleged to be having this argument in a country that has freedom of speech and that we live comfortably enough to afford the internet. No wonder so many people want to come here. God bless the USA!

Commenter: Michael Bueckers
It is obvious to me that illegals need to be deported. We need to enforce the laws that are on the books, and modify them to phacilitate their enforcement.
But the problem is that the businesses, and illegals benefit moniterally. And the relatives of the illegals who helped them move here and are housing them like the extra income. And the political parties and churches who benefit from these people and want them here.
We must remove all benefits of any kind and create enforceable penalties to motovate the exhisting illegals to leave now. No food, no housing, no health care, no money, no government assistance, etc. And make the penalties so great for future illegal immigrants that they won't want to move here. So this means the large movement of wealth(money and property) from the any propensity that benefits from illegals being in the US to the State or Federal Governments. And Lawyers and private american indeviduals must be allowed to gain wealth from the activity of enforcing the laws. President Obama missed his chance to stimulate the ecomony by using
the millions of lawyers and private investigators, and pay city and state governments, to evict the millions of illegals by including this in his stimulus package. The only way to get the attention of the federal government and those who benefit from illegals is to remove wealth from them. Huge fines with easy quick methods of collection are the key. A great motivator for the federal government to begin enforcing immigration law will be when there is an outbreak of a lethal sickness that gets traced back to an illegal by the center of disease control, and the lawyers of the people who died sue the illegal, and then the deep pockets of the federal government agencies responsible for immigration control and the protection of the legal american peoples health. The movement of large amounts of wealth away from the all entities who benefit from illegals is the key.

Commenter: James Pepper
I was suprised with chris simcox's statement that no human is illegal. He has compassion towards the plight of economic boundries. His opinions about our laws seem like cracked eggs. When he say's to eliminate birthright citizenship. Well, what then will determine citizenship? Seems like he want's to use your parent's criminal record before you reach the age of 18 to be a determining factor. Constitutional rights, should never be eliminated. Ya, even the one that allows us to be citizens in his country.

Commenter: mark rogers
Would those who favor illegal immigration be willing to grant it to people the world over and not require anyone to have a visa and a passport to come here? Would they be willing to grant other people the same right to come here in an uncontrolled way and do away with visa's and passports...? I think not.....we would be overrun with people who couldnt find work and would require services............we'd be broke in a would be chaos.....yet other people have contributed to our country as well as those to our south......especially the Chinese, who helped to build our Railroads, and they arent even allowed to participate in the Visa fair is that?

Commenter: mark rogers
I always wonder how people who are in favor of illegal immigration would feel if we opened the borders to all people, not just those to our south, and not require a visa or a passport, so people from all the world over could come here just by buying a plane or a boat ticket. I wonder how quickly our country would be overcrowded, but at least it would be fair and equal for ALL people....not just is unjuust and unfair to give preference and priviledges just due to proximity...afterall, even Chinese built our Railroads.....and they are not even allowed into the Visa unfair is that. I say " give equal and fair immigration to all, but Lottery only, and no the borders to all without exception and without's that would you feel if someone crowded in front of you as you were standing in a grocery line...or maybe 10 people crowded in front of you?

Commenter: Chris Johnson
I believe Mr. Ganzalez has forgotten that there are 14 million and counting unemployed in the U.S. right now. People like to argue that mass deportation is not feasible but from a logistic point of view it is entirely doable. Eight ethnic Germans were deported from the Eastern Territories in less than a year following WW II. No one is advocating that but we can begin by requiring all employers to re-advertise all of the jobs currently held by illegals offering a living wage for citizen workers and a hiring preference. If an employer can present irrefutable proof that he has made a good faith effort and has been uable to fill his jobs, then and only then should he be allowed to retain or hire any foreign workers who can pass a background check and a health exam. Employers of foreign workers should be required to offer full family health care coverage to them so that these costs are not offloaded on the unsuspecting citizens and taxpayers. Moreover, employers should be required to pay foreign workers at the same prevailing wage for the same type of job and level of experience as he pays a citizen worker. The employer might soon see that foreign workers are no bargain when he has to pay full cost instead of expecting the taxpayers to pick up the tab.

If a green card holder is interested in becoming an American citizen, he must renounce any claim to dual citizenship and surrender any foreign passports or other documents. He also needs to prove that he is socially integrated and culturally and linguistically assimilated. He must agree to support a constitutional amendment to make English the official language of the U.S..

Commenter: Gordon Johnson
Population growth is due almost entirely to legal immgrants, illegal aliens, their progeny and their higher fertility rates. Population-driven economic growth is ultimately unsustainable so we need to begin now to reduce legal immigration, stop illegal aliens from violating the borders, and end birthright citizenship. In the meantime, economists should be charged with bringing our economy into a soft landing at the same time as we strive to achieve a stable population. Almost every problem America is faced with is compounded by population growth: energy demands, the depletion of natural resources, the extinction of species and our contribution to global warming.

The "limit" of finite natural resources as population increases without bounds is zero. The more there are of us, the less there is for each of us. How much farther down that road should we allow ourselves to go? The answer is, "No mas".

Commenter: CooperG
Immigration is not a simple "lae enforcement" issue and reducing it to a black/white simplistic level does nothing to adequately discuss the problem nor find a solution. Simcox and others who share his views fail to (or simply deny) the important contribution foreign workers make on our economy. Is the system broken? Sure. Do all people who are here illegally want to stay here permanently? No. Are there simple solutions to the problem? More so than we've heard in the past or has been suggested.

I'm greatly disappointed in Obama for hiring Napolitano for the DHS gig. She was hideous as AZ Governor dealing with immigration and there is no indication she's learned a thing since she got to Washington. The only way there will be meaningful immigration reform is for it to come from the grass roots. And for that, people need to understand the facts of immigration, not the hype you hear from Simcox, FAIR, CIS or other such groups.

Commenter: kenny
I'm a roofer in florida and the illegal immigrant problem is almost at a tipping point, legitimate roofing companies are losing business and going under, in large part to being under-bid by illegal workers, who will do the roofs on the weekend when state inspectors are not working, they don't pull permits and pay taxs they don't have workmans comp or insurance, they don't have the overhead legitimate companies do and thus they can do a roof for less, they don't pay taxes on the money they earn. Yes,,, many are nice hardworking individuals, but they do not respect or follow our US laws,,, Last I heard breaking the law, is breaking the law,,, we cannot put these people in front of our own citizens or make exceptions for individual who break the law.

Commenter: Janet
I consider myself a liberal independent, but when it comes to this issue I go ballistic. The news media does not report the real impact that almost 20 million illegal immigrants are having on this society. I wouldn't feel so strongly if it were one or two million but the state of NJ is infested with them. For starters, look at what's happened to the state of California.

I doubt if it will ever make a real comeback.

I'm tired of the news jounalists saying, "well, they take jobs that Americans won't take." Hogwash. The employer pays a lower wage to the illegal and that's why Americans lose out. They're a large factor in contributing to our health care crisis and the housing crisis. And what do we Americans do, "nothing". This appears to have started with the first Bush Administration, continued with Clinton and so on down the line. After 911, you think this country would have clamped down on the Mexican border. What have they done - "nothing really."

We as Americans, not only have to contend with big corporations outsourcing our jobs, but we also have to contend with illegals taking the lower paying jobs. How are we going to survive and get out of this mess? God only knows.

Mexico is a rich country and probably has far more resources than we do at this point in time. Why isn't more pressure put on the Mexican government to take care of their own? It's my understanding, in Mexico, you're either very rich or very poor, just like what America is becoming. I have never understood why we haven't applied more pressure.

You notice how all the politicians, jounalists and even our President always talks about we're a country of the "rule of law". Well, they should rephrase that and say, "we're only a country of the rule of law when it's convenient for us." There are so many laws on the books that are not enforced when it comes to illegal immigration, it would boggle your mind.

I worked in a municipal court for ten years and I saw how our court calendars increased to 85% latinos. Driving without a license, dwi's and assaults. The court was responsible for paying for interpreters and other court costs. The attorneys loved it, because that was their meal ticket - defending them. A vicious cycle.

Have you ever worked with people who don't speak English? Well, it's pretty difficult and most frustrating.

Tell your congresspeople and the President that we're not voting for them in the up coming elections if they continue to support amnesty and illegal immigration.

I voted for Obama, but I'm beginning to have some serious doubts. I want my America back!

Commenter: Jillian
The cause of immigration reform is not helped by sugaring over the real crime statistics associated with undocumented young men. The numbers are staggering, even setting aside "identity theft" and "driving without a license", which are circular arguments, essentially saying people without papers are guilty of not having papers. But the evils perpetrated by undocumented young men are the same kind of trouble you would expect of any economically and socially marginal young men. There are two solutions to this problem -- turn them out or turn them into stake-holders.

Commenter: Sandra
No illegals. No LULAC, NO MALDIF, NO MECHA, NO LA RAZA, no more racist organization. The illegals have destroyed my nice little town in just ten years. The graffiti, gangs, trash, and crime has all become unbearable since the town has become over 30% illegal. Our American Hispanic who grew up here are embarrassed by these illegals, and I'm one of them. These are not the immigrants that came years ago with skills and a desire to become American, these are people with Mexico's agenda of reconquesta and will do Mexico's bidding. Stop this invasion.

Commenter: Benigno Pena
Is either side giving any consideration to the contributions made by the undocumented community to local economies? Is there data to indicate the dollar amount of these contributions. I have yet to see an undocumented person been asked for for immigration status to determine is taxes should not be paid. They are also taxpayers.

Commenter: Al
This debate is ultimately about the right to work. The Universal declaration of Human Rights states that every human being has the right to gainful employment. What the Free Trade agreements have done is that they have allowed Capital (see factories and Finances) to cross borders freely, but have prohibited human beings from crossing those borders. Globalization is here whether we want it or not. The challenge will be, what kind of globalization do we want? Corporate globalization (what we currently have) which only benefits Capital owners and major investors, or democratic globalization which would allow workers of all nations to benefit?

I would argue that we need the latter. The best thing we can do is give a path to legalization for the undocumented immigrants who are currently being exploited at the expense of American workers, unionize these people and fight global management so that all can have access to jobs with decent wages.

The current system punishes the weak (both undocumented workers and poor American workers) at the expense of monied interests. No wall will stop people when they are desperate to feed their families. By focusing our anger on undocumented workers, we lose the forest for the trees and fight for the scraps of the economy instead of demanding reform that will benefit the middle and working classes as well the upper class.

Commenter: Andrea
I am appalled that PBS is using the leader of a designated hate group (Chris Simcox of the Minuteman) as a rational counter-balanced opinion. Despite the fact that white supremacist groups openly recruit for Minuteman patrols and that a handful of neo-Nazis from the National Alliance and Aryan Nations did sign up for the Minuteman Project, Simcox refuses to acknowledge that vigilante border patrols are potentially a magnet for violent racists.

For more background, read:

Commenter: Jean Baptiste Truong
Illegal aliens are not immigrants, they are foreign intruders. Illegal immigration discriminates based on race and national origin, since it benefits Latin Americans 30 times more than Asians, Africans, and Europeans. Also amnestied illegal aliens displace legal immigrants by increasing their waiting times.

Anyone who supports illegal immigration supports this discrimination.

See all the details at

Commenter: Ken
Mr. Gonzales cares more about Mexicans than he does obeying the laws of the United States of America. NO AMNESTY. No reward for slapping the U.S. in the face!

Commenter: Marty
5,000 to 10,000 illegally cross our border very week who are giving birth at taxpayer expense under birthright citizenship instantly qualifying them for welfare, wic, food stamps, EITC and other benefits. Every statistician and demographer has said the largest part of our population growth can be attributed to illegal aliens pouring across the border and giving birth while illegally in this country while the population growth of Americans has remained fairly static for the past few years. Gonzalez believes that taxpayers should be forced to support the health care needs of everyone who illegally enters this country. What he doesn't mention is the fiscal and financial impact of this on Americans already losing their homes, jobs, pensions and health care who are forced to pay for the health care, welfare, education, social security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other benefits for the never flood of impoverished humanity illegally crossing our border further burdening our health care, land, food, water, energy and other LIMITED resources. What he also doesn't mention is the fact illegal aliens are receiving chemotherapy, dialysis and organ transplants at taxpayer expense and the resultant inequity to suffering Americans. An Iraq War veteran is in danger of losing his home because he suffers from traumatic brain injury forcing his wife to leave her job to take care of he and his family while an illegal alien suffering from a brain injury in a Chicago hospital received treatment at a cost of 250,000 dollars to taxpayers. A family needed a heart transplant for their daughter but couldn't afford the procedure because the hospital demanded 300,000 dollars up front while another illegal alien who gave birth while illegally in this country at taxpayer expense received a heart transplant for her child at taxpayer expense. A 9-11 rescuer developed kidney disease because of search and rescue efforts but was denied a transplant because he amassed 250,000 dollars in medical bills and couldn't afford the procedure while illegal aliens receive kidney transplant through the UCLA medical campus as with all their care funded by medicare/medicaid, already on the verge of insolvency resulting in benefits cuts to senior citizens, veterans and indigent Americans. An illegal alien in California received a liver transplant at a cost of 500,000 dollars to taxpayers while a US citizen in Oregon died of colon cancer because he couldn't afford chemotherapy. I would like to know Gonzalez why you think it is fair for Americans to be denied life saving medical care while those who violated our laws, borders, sovereignty and use stolen identities (Justice Department estimates 75 percent of illegal aliens are involved in identity theft to illegally obtain jobs and other benefits) are afforded care at our expense. The issue is one of fairness and equity to American taxpayers who need care; not those illegally here who despite your unfounded assertions DO NOT pay taxes (Labor, IRS and Social Security estimate 65 percent are paid under the table in cash) and thus don't pay a dime in taxes to support our health care, education and other social programs but receive benefits from those programs. If they pay taxes they are using stolen social security numbers resulting in identity theft to innocent Americans.
Why don't you do your job Gonzalez and act like a responsible journalist by reporting the stories of Americans affected by identity theft who lost their homes and jobs, senior citizens, veterans and disabled Americans denied care and treatment, medication, billed for taxes accumulated by illegal aliens illegally working in jobs (I have desk drawers full of stories of Americans whose lives have been ruined by illegal alien identity thieves). Tell the stories of the millions of innocent Americans victimized by illegal alien criminals as the street gang that raped 2 young girls, both were deaf and one had cerebral palsy and was in a wheel chair or the illegal alien that raped a 4 year old girl, another illegal alien that raped a 5 year old girl or the estimated 100 sex offenders border patrol says illegally crosses our border every day including the one's arrested by Sheriff Arpaio. Many are deported for previous crimes as one for weapons and assault charges but easily returned to the country and fired into a crowd celebrating a birthday party critically wounding a 3 year old boy and an 8 year old boy because of our wide open borders which Gonzalez fervently supports as he has no respect for our borders and sovereignty for which many as myself, retired military with 24 years service and disabilities from front line combat have fought and sacrificed and many died protecting, defending and preserving so Gonzalez can shamelessly sell out everything they embodied. Gonzalez supports not the rule of law which Arpaio supports but chaos and anarchy. He thinks it is racist to stop a car weaving in and out of traffic loaded with illegal aliens or a car whose driver may be illegally in this country and is under the influence of drugs and alcohol posing a danger to other motorists and pedestrians resulting in the deaths of several American pedestrians, a cyclist and other motorists involved and killed in numerous crashes with drunken illegal alien drivers running red lights, speeding or committing other offenses along with illegal aliens running identity theft rings or using stolen identities to illegally obtain jobs desperately needed by struggling unemployed Americans. Tell us about being invaded by those from third world gang ruled and lawless countries where the law of the jungle is an integral part of survival the rape and molestation of women and children is an accepted part of manhood, the age of consent is 12 and drunk driving is celebrated as a ritual and is not enforced.
Common sense and economics dictates if you want to reduce the cost of health care and other spending and revive the economy (currently 400 billion dollars are annually spent for illegal alien health care, welfare, food stamps, education and other benefits and rises as thousands illegally cross the border every week) you seal the borders and stop all birthright citizenship. Unfortunately the common sense deprived and ethically challenged Pelosi the rest of congress, the administration and open borders supporters as Gonzalez conveniently overlook this which once again illustrates this government cares only about open borders and cheap labor for their union, big labor, Chamber Of Commerce and corporate masters. The trillion dollar Ponzi scheme disguised as a stimulus is a tax payer subsidized illegal alien jobs and benefits giveaway as a payback to unions, big labor and corporate America who returned Democrats to power who will continue the open borders and cheap labor agenda. There is no e-verify to ensure only US citizens benefit from any stimulus derived jobs. All interior enforcement including raids for MS-13, identity thieves, sex offenders and other criminals has stopped. The recent nationwide sweep for sex offenders revealed 80 percent of 10,000 were illegal aliens including those previously deported for the rape and molestation of women and children along with other raids where ICE found identity thieves and other criminals). All have been stopped to ensure a continuous supply of cheap labor across the wide open border aided and abetted by open borders groups and individuals as Gonzales who care nothing about struggling and suffering Americans.
Gonzalez continuously spews the falsehood that you can't deport illegal aliens but neglects to mention the 1986 IRCA and it's 5 revisions which gives states and local governments authority for 287g under the 1996 revision which simply states prosecute employers, shut off welfare and other benefits except emergency medical care and secure the borders. Without access to these benefits (again many illegally obtained though the use of stolen identities including multiple identities to obtain multiple benefit payments) they will self deport as was illustrated in states as Arizona and Oklahoma where unemployment dropped by 2 and 3 percent along with a decrease in crime and crowding in schools and hospitals also experienced in other locations as Georgia, Mississippi and other locations resulting in almost 2 million self deportations since 2007.
Americans will do the jobs illegal aliens are doing as evidenced by raids throughout the country as the one at Harris Electrical facility where ICE arrested 558 illegal aliens out of 600 employees for using stolen identities to obtain jobs. The day following the raid in this area of high unemployment Americans including lined up outside the facility, all stating they were happy to see the raid with many stating they were fired and replaced by illegal aliens. Americans employed including Hispanic Americans clapped and cheered as illegal aliens were led out in handcuffs. The employer offered then offered higher wages and benefits. This was common in many other raids throughout the country as the DOD leather facility in MA where child labor, physical, mental and sexual abuse were common and employees were disciplined for leaving the line to use the restroom. ICE arrested 300 illegal aliens for identity theft. Again in this high unemployment area with many veterans who should have been employed at a DOD contract facility they lined up outside the facility where the employer offered higher wages and benefits. Gonzalez and other open borders proponents opposition to this raid illustrates their support for child labor and the inhumane treatment of those unable to defend themselves for fear of deportation. This was repeated again at a DOD parachute manufacturing facility in NC where illegal aliens were arrested for identity theft (why should those using stolen identities be employed at a factory supporting a critical life support system for military during a war on terror posing a danger to those relying on a critical life saving piece of equipment)? I don't know about you Gonzalez but I didn't get the warm fuzzies when illegal aliens were found using stolen identities to perform exterior facilities maintenance on a nuclear power installation. Could they have been MS-13, other criminals or even terrorists who mean to inflict massive casualties on the American people? How about an undercover government security team that successfully sneaked enough simulated fissile material (in a bag and backpack like millions of illegal aliens who use them to smuggle drugs or god only knows what else into this country) to make a nuclear device across an unguarded part of the border up to the steps of the Federal Building in Phoenix or the statement by all 16 intelligence agencies that Hezbollah, Al Qaeda and other organizations are sneaking into this country through the wide open southern border aided by Chavez, Correa and others as evidenced by uniforms with Al Qaeda patches, prayer rugs, Spanish for Dummies Books, parts of IED's, bombs, and other weapons as a stash of AK-47's found by a group of kids playing nearby. Your support for wide open borders Gonzalez in the interest of multicultural diversity and forcing taxpayers to subsidize the never ending flood of impoverished humanity into this country has trumped your concern for the well being and security of the American people.
You took an oath of citizenship Gonzalez which is an allegiance requiring you to support and uphold our laws and respect our institutions and the American people but now you undermine everything that oath embodies to aid and abet in illegality for those who demand citizenship but have violated everything embodied by it which illustrates they will not be responsible and good citizens. Your actions define you as a traitor to this country and the American people. You should be absolutely ashamed for the pain and suffering you and your fellow open borders have inflicted on the American people but to feel any shame would require a conscience which you obviously do not have.

Two new studies were released in October on the relationship between illegal immigrants and crime in the U.S. The first released October 1, 2008, by the Center for Immigration Studies deals with gang activity, and the second, released October 3, 2008, by the Maricopa County Attorneys Office in Phoenix, Arizona, details the percentage of crimes committed by border violators in the third largest county in the U.S.

"Taking Back the Streets: ICE and Local Law Enforcement Target Immigrant Gangs" is the Center for Immigration Studies report that offers these highlights:

The Forgotten Issue: Illegal Immigration and Crime - PART 2

# Transnational immigrant gangs have been spreading rapidly and sprouting in suburban and rural areas where communities are not always equipped to deal with them.

# A very large share of immigrant gang members are illegal aliens and removable aliens. Federal sources estimate that 60 to 90 percent of the members of MS-13, the most notorious immigrant gang, are illegal aliens. In one jurisdiction studied, Northern Virginia, 30 to 40 percent of the gang task force case load were removable aliens.

# MS-13 activity was found in 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

1/6/2009 2:15:52 PM

The Forgotten Issue: Illegal Immigration and Crime - PART 3

# The immigrant gangsters arrested were a significant menace to the public. About 80 percent had committed serious crimes in addition to their immigration violations and 40 percent were violent criminals.

# While immigration law enforcement is a federal responsibility, ICE cannot do the job effectively without assistance from state and local law enforcement, particularly when it comes to immigrant gangs.

# Failure to adequately control the U.S.-Mexico border and to deter illegal settlement in general undermines the progress ICE and local law enforcement agencies have made in disrupting criminal immigrant street gangs

The Forgotten Issue: Illegal Immigration and Crime - PART 4

The MCAO report from County Attorney Andrew Thomas features these startling numbers for prosecuted felony cases in Maricopa County, Arizona:

In 2007, illegal immigrants accounted for:

10% of sex crimes convictions
11% of murders convictions
13% of stolen cars convictions
13% of aggravated assaults convictions
17% of those sentenced for violent crimes
19% of those sentenced for property crimes
20% of those sentenced for felony DUI.
21% of crimes committed with weapons
34% of those sentenced for the manufacture, sale or transport of drugs
36% of those sentenced for kidnapping
44% of forgeries
50% of those sentenced for crimes related to "chop shops"
85% of false ID convictions
96% of smuggling convictions

The Forgotten Issue: Illegal Immigration and Crime - PART 5

Illegal immigrants make up 19 percent of those convicted of crimes in Maricopa County and 21 percent of those in county jails.

Illegal immigrants only make up an estimated 9 percent of the county's population.

It is estimated that each violent crime cost citizens $20,000, and each property crime cost citizens $4363 per offense.

All the more a concern is research that finds the likelihood of an illegal immigrant being incarcerated grows with longer residence in the United States and that the U.S. born children (considered citizens) of illegal immigrants are dramatically more likely to be involved in crime than their illegal immigrant parents. For instance, native born Hispanic male high school dropouts are eleven times more likely to be incarcerated than their foreign born counterparts.

In addition illegal alien incarceration costs taxpayers 6 billion dollars annually and the cost continues to rise as more pour across the wide open border because of lobbying efforts of LaRaza, LULAC, MALDEF and other pro open borders anarchists.

Commenter: alice
Many say illegals do jobs Americans won't do. Now a days there are probalby few jobs Americans won't do, but how many times do you go apply for a job and they won't give it to you beacuse you are "over qualified'. Many say you shouldn't arrest them because they havn't committed a serious crime. Excuse me, they did when they came here illegaly. Too many steal others SS#s and if you have ever had your id stolen it is a bitch to get it straigtened out. It took my mon six months and sometimes it has taken people alot longer. You should always check your SS benefits every once in a while because if someone else is using your number, neither one of you will get benefits if it isn't caught in time.
Idenity theft is a growing concern to the American people and it is ususally created by someone not being in this country legaly.

Commenter: Dave
Manuel Castillo
Kudos to Maria Hinojosa for allowing this bully to intimidate her. Sheriff Arpagio is human rights violator and a clown that uses the anti-inmigration sentiment of non-thinking voters to be re-elected as the dysfunctional law-enforcer of a great American community.
I wonder when righ-wind Americans are going to realize that they are "taking out their two eyes in exchange for one of their perceived enemy's eye...the inmigrants.
They should remember that, with the exception of the Apache, Navajos, Hopis, etc, everybody else is an inmigrant-descendant.
Keep the good journalism alive.


Since you obviously love illegals so much, why don't you house and feed them yourself? Let me guess, it's the American taxpayers resonsibility. Why is it that anytime you see a hispanic name attatched to a comment, 95% of the time they are FOR illegal immigrants. What is your REAL agenda here? As long as "La Raza" (the race) is taken care of, no matter how many Americans are being laid off, everything is ok, right? Americans have laws to follow, the same goes with your illegal buddies. As you can easily tell with the comments, you are in the 20% that wants illegal law breakers to have citizenship. The other 80% wants illegals gone. You are a traitor and do not deserve to be in America. Go home.

Commenter: Dave
I am a liberal and have supported PBS programming for years. With that being said I am a HUGE supporter of any and all anti-illegal immigration bills. My great great grandparent came here from Germany....LEGALLY. They learned English, and my great grandparents learned English as a result of not being exposed to German on a constant basis. Now, we have a race of people that not only do they obviously hate America (they marched in the streets with the Mexican flag, not the American flag) but me, as an English speaking American has to assimilate to Latin culture? What? Since when do illegals get to be above the law? If I break the law, I get punished, yet illegals have all the rights in the world, including the ability to break multiple laws and get away with it. DEPORT ALL ILLEGALS NOW!!

Commenter: legalatina
As a daughter of naturalized U.S. citizens who immigrated to this country LEGALLY over 50 years ago from Latin America and whose parents respect this nation of laws.....we expect all immigrants and would-be immigrants to respect our immigration laws regardless of their nation of origin. American families of all colors, creeds, ethnicities and socio-economic status are hurting right now....we have to take care of our own. Illegal aliens need to go American business or individual should be employing any illegal aliens at all right now. No states or local municipalities should be wasting eroding public resources on foreign nationals living here illegally, when there are so many Americans that need assistance...through no fault of their own. Social safety nets need to be reserved for our own most vulnerable citizens in time of dire necessity,..not for illegal aliens. Law enforcement has to place the safety, health and welfare of law-abiding citizens above the interests of criminal aliens, their supporters and advocates, the criminal enterprises that promote, encourage human trafficking, drug smuggling and all the other criminal alien organizations terrorizing our nation such as the transational gangs from Central America and the MExican narco-terrorist drug cartels.

While American families are seeing their college savings evaporate into thin air....OBAMA, Pelosi, REID think American families should reward illegal aliens with in-state tuition discounts, citizenship, and eligibility to compete with U.S. citizen students for a ever-decreasing amount of financial aid. Absurd. What a betrayal to the American people.

Commenter: Jeff
Now calls this debate "Immigration" even though it was about illegal immigration. That kind of intentional blurring of the distinction between legal and illegal immigration is unfortunately very common in the liberal media along with casting it as an ethnic issue and attributing the desire for enforcing the law to animosity against certain racial and ethnic populations. That latter trend is exacerbated by the elevation of ethnic advocacy groups like the William C. Velasquez Institute to the forefront of the debate.

The reality is that large majorities of voters have consistently indicated that they want immigration limited, either not increased or reduced. We already admit more people legally than any other country in the world. But you can't limit immigration without enforcing the laws against illegal immigration. It's perfectly understandable why people would want to come regardless of the law and they certainly will come without legal sanction if allowed to by the government this country.

And that's exactly what has happened in response to a government that has largely ignored its duty to enforce the law. Over two decades after the 1986 amnesty, the federal government still doesn't require employers to use the E-verify system, ignoring what was offering in exchange for amnesty. Yet what honest expert on illegal immigration doesn't acknowledge that workplace verification is the cornerstone of the controlling illegal immigration? That will reduce the need for deportation although deportations will be still important. As the late Barbara Jordan, chair of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, testified, "[D]eportation is crucial. Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."

Commenter: paulweber
Why don't these people just come in legally. I don't have a problem if they just come in legally. My family came over from Germany but they came her legally. THat is all I ask. THANKS

Commenter: Desideria
Mexicans are born in the Westren Hemisphere, and until 1964 there were no quotas for people from the Americas. This has changed. The situation of illegal immigrants is about Mexicans, who compose the largest group of undocumented residents in this country. Why do we forget that they are our neigbors? They do not come from far away. We have used their resources, in terms of growing our ecomomy on their labor. They are our migrant workers, our maids, our cooks, our nannies. And the way we show our gratitude for their work is by what?? Militarizing the border. What? Is it right that we are shipping weapons over to them, or that we have moved our manufactoring industry to the borders and not given their workers a living wage. And then we deny them the right to be in this country. Well then, can we stop sending our troubles over to them. In other words could we stop using the drugs, after all we are the largest users, or can we stop shipping over our weapons, or can we think about giving the Mexican workers a labor contract. In other words, can we stop taking advantage of the Mexicans, or rather the poor, indigant Mexicans. I thinks the problem of immigration, in regard to the Mexicans, must be addressed differently. After all, they are our neigbors. And we should not forget, that before the Mexican American War, they were part of us. They are Americans. Oh, and by the way, as far as I can recall, is it not true that before we got all worried about alcohol, we didn't even worry about who crossed the Border. In other words, there was no Border Patrol.

Commenter: Scott Hayes
Illegal immigration is a huge problem in this country. Our politicians are selling out the American people in favor of the Latino Vote. Millions of US Citizens have lost their jobs while our elected leaders keep handing out billions of dollars in aid to these millions of criminals. by law, anyone that knowingly assists someone that has committed a crime is an accomplis to the crime. Therefor, any politician that takes part in giving aid to an illegal immigrant should be charged with a crime as well as be deported and lose their citizenship. No one in this country should put an illegal alien above our own citizens. Nancy Pelosi says it's unamerican to kick illegals out but very patriotic to allow them to stay. I say Ms. Pelosi has her priorities backwards and needs to be put out of office.

Commenter: Lohren
The problem with people is that either their memories are too short or they are too young to know facts which occurred in the past. Our government asked its citizens over twenty years ago to allow illegal aliens a path to citizenship. We were told that if we agreed to this ONE TIME, we would not be asked to do it again --- what a lie!! Foolishly, we made the mistake of believing the word of our politicians, just as former Attorney General Janet Reno unfortunately believed the FBI when they told her they could take the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX without casualties.

If people are here illegally, they should be repatriated back to their countries of origin. The politicians who are favoring amnesty have been obviously purchased by corporate America. The vast majority of Americans DO NOT WANT AN AMNESTY PROGRAM FOR PEOPLE WHO ENTERED THIS COUNTRY ILLEGALLY. The folks in Washington need to get a clue.

Commenter: christine
Are we a nation of laws or not? One of our top leaders, Nancy Pelosi, recently said it is un American to enforce our laws regarding illegal immigration. Should we pick and choose which laws to enforce? Who gets to choose? When Repubs are in control, we'll enforce the laws that they like and when Dems are in control, we'll enforce the laws that they like? In the last week, I've heard Homeland Security Napolitano and Treasury Secretary Geithner say we are a nation of laws; contrast that to Pelosi's statement and her efforts to stop ICE from enforcing the law. This is not right. My Mama and Daddy, hardworking Democrats till the day they died, brought me up to obey the law and I did the same with my children and they do the same with their children. If our government had enforced current immigration law, we would not have the mess we now have. CA is bankrupt because it pays for such high levels of free social benefits for non citizens while cutting services to our citizens. My state of WA is 9 BILLION dollars in deficit because we have a large non citizen population; our children's school programs are being cut 40% and our class size is 47th in the nation due to free services to non citizens. In 2007, we paid $23 million for citizen children's medical care and $25 million for illegal alien's children. If someone can tell me how that is fair, I'll eat my words. I love the job the Obamas are doing. I just hope he continues to show good common sense when he does deal with illegal immigration. He of all people should know the anger and resentment that grows when there is disparity in the way people are treated. Citizens are now put in second place in our own country and non citizens are allowed to break our law and get away with it. Where is MY sanctuary city? Pelosi, Reid, Kennedy, and my own worthless Senators and governor have turned this lifelong Democrat into an Independant. They have allowed this issue to be framed by the pro amnesty crowd as a racial issue just like Bush framed the Iraq War issue into if we questioned the wisdom of it we were unpatriotic. I support legal immigration but I do not and never will support breaking our laws. We all have sympathy for the poor unfortunate people in Mexico but there has to be better ways of helping them. And don't get me started on the 2 million tons of trash on the border left by illegals as they enter the country ILLEGALLY. What part of illegal does our elected officials not understand.

Commenter: proud american
antonio gonzalez is not a true american when he cheers for the illegal hispanics when he views them thru lens of civil rights. they have no legal rights. my parents emmigrated legally from sweden. they never asked for any free as they were too proud. after marriage and receiving their citizenship, seven children were born. four boys earned their rights by serving proudly in the service during world war two. later became teachers,mechanics, salesman, district justice, and police officers. they earned and paid for their own education. hispanics use the minority way for freebys and they think that this country owes them a living. i can't believe you, gonzalez, and the rest of your ethnic group that became legal wouldn't turn people into the law that are here illegally. instead your people hold street rallys displaying their mexican flags. if they like that flaf so much i suggest they go back to where they came from. you won't be missed.

Commenter: Faye
Antonio Gonzalez makes his arguments based on the fact that "America is a nation with a deeply-rooted immigrant history, and our government should view today's undocumented through the lens of civil and human rights." What he doesn't understand is that illegal immigrants are not just undocumented they are ILLEGAL! They have no rights! Civil laws need to be obeyed and those who do not comply with them have no rights. While he and those he represents want the rights that are offered to citizens the fact is they need to apply for it and be accepted before they can expect these rights.

Mr. Gonzalez says "They are a highly vulnerable and exploited group who work for low wages and enjoy few—if any—rights, even though they fill an important niche in the U.S. economy." Once again he overlooks the laws that govern these affairs. As far as filling an important niche in our economy they demostrate the failure of our government to supervised employers who hire illegal workers and for developing this second tier status. On the other hand Mexico has a much more strict policy for dealing with illegals.

While we foolishly listen to people like Mr. Gonzalez who doesn't understand or support our Constitution we forget what makes America a great place to live. If he and others who hold his views are allowed to develop policy we will ALL lose the rights we have earned and enjoy.

Commenter: Wes
It's sad to see the media siding with illegal immigrants. It's also sad to see our legislators leaving this problem unsolved. America is quickly losing her status and wealth in the world's market place while we overlook laws dealing with ILLEGAL immigrants. America is made up primarily by immigrants who are legal and have complied to the laws which govern immigration. Without these laws and complying to them we will soon become a third world country and our standard of living will be reduced as such.

Isn't the fact that they are "ILLEGAL" enough to determine how to deal with them?

Commenter: debcurl17
This is not a complicated issue. People here illegally should not be able to exploit our resources, i.e. social security, county hospitals, free lunch programs at school, etc. The entire family should be returned to their homeland. These people do not want to become citizens, they want to make money and send that money back to their families in Mexico. Even the legals send their money back!

Commenter: Bill Jennings
USA #1. We do need nor want any illegal anything here in America. Speak American. Be American. America- love it or leave it.

Commenter: John Lyon
I think the only way to end illegal immigration is to start putting border jumpers in jail for six months, and then deporting them. Employers will always be able to claim that they didn't know the people they hired were illegal. The responsibility needs to fall on the people who made the decision to cross our border without permission.

I agree with Mr. Simcox. I feel sorry for the children of illegal aliens, but I didn't ask them to come here, and I didn't ask them to have kids. They need to take their kids and go home.

Commenter: Sebastian Olena
For me it is very difficult to say if an immigration reform would be a good thing or a bad thing because I have lived here all of my life, I love our country, but I don't have legal status. I would not want people like drug dealers, or rapists to get citizenship or gain legal status, but I would love to become a citizen, by first obtaining legal status, and be able to obtain my MD and have the ability to help other people, and eventually have a family without the fear that I have now. Some people say that I would be taking the place of a U.S. citizen in a class room, but even now, in my community college courses, there are many empty seats, and classes are too often canceled because not enough people enroll. I take to heart what people say, and when there has been a full class, even though I have already been added, I drop it so that I don't take anyone's place. There is a transfer agreement at my college for people that one to transfer to a U.C., which means that they would be automatically accepted, that list in October was not filled so they had to drop the GPA requirement from 2.9 to 2.5, so I wonder how sure they are that those people that now qualified, will stay in college. I have a 3.859 GPA, and I want to go to Medical School but I cannot, I cannot even go to a university but I would love to continue my education and become a contributing citizen. I wonder the ways that other people smarter than me, without resources turn to, maybe it is them that turn to working with drug dealers.

Commenter: Robin
I wholeheartedly agree with Chris Simcox and giving him a standing ovation for TELLING IT LIKE IT IS. The point that is overlooked is the US is considered to need immigration reform LARGELY because it is seeking to control the flow of people coming from one country, Mexico. Conversely, and quite hypocritically, Mexico is allowed to retain her sovereign rights to withhold entry from whomever she sees fit. But, she requires no reform.

The US is now seen as been hostile towards immigrants and unaware of its "immigrant history". Every country on the face of the earth has an "immigrant history" - including Mexico. Some immigrants to a land fair better than others - but all have a much better chance if they take on the customs, language, and mindset of the country they are entering. And a far better chance if they show it LOYALTY.

I find it preposterous that all of these lame, unmerited, nonsensical arguments are being made on behalf of people who have shown a staunch loyalty to what should be called an enemy nation, are racist and violence towards many segments of Americans, are advancing an intentional invasion of the American populace, and systematic dismantling of our country. Do we very wisely react with all available resources to remove them from our country? No, we hold out free citizenship to people who largely have no desire to be citizens. Which in a nutshell is the problem.

There are millions of people all over the earth - including Arab countries - who already speak English, would bring much needed SKILLS to the country (not just increasing our population), and believe fervently in the ideals upon which our way of life is built. But they are give scarcely any chance to enter because of the abuses by Mexico (nor could they enter Mexico).

And as to the so-called economic collapse of our country if millions of illegal Mexican aliens are removed - I just said we can bring in millions to replace them from other lands.

The fact that Mexico and Mexicans feel so much pride about their hostile acts towards the US, while ignoring their inability to solve their own problems should be enough to end this debate on that point alone. Would this behavior be allowed by Arab immigrants? I think not. African immigrants? I KNOW not. Eastern bloc immigrants? Again, a BIG FAT NO.

Wake up America! You have the right to protect your country! Do it!!

Commenter: Tim Bluma
I agree whole heartedly with Chris. The sooner we do something about ileagals the better. If I break the law I'm fined or punished or both, so why should anyone else breaking the law be excludeded simply because they cry racial profiling?

Commenter: Jon-Taylor Lawton
I lived in Phoenix for 7 years. I still have familt there. Several of our family members are hispanic. Our family is unanimous in itys feeling about this attempted "hit piece" on the Sherrif....Thank God for Joe Arpaio and God bless his department's officers. My family has witnessed with horror the resultys of immigration criminals, my Grandmopther's term,.she came to the USA from Mexico 13 years ago - LEGALLY!!!!!!

Commenter: Tired of the lies!
I just watched your biased propaganda disguised as news. You self proclaimed elites just don't get it. Supplying this uneducated permanent underclass of cheap labor for big business burdens the tax base, destroys the educational system, destroys the medical system, destroys social security for the post baby boomer generations, further destabilizes the culture, and is leading to the Balkanization of America. While companies benefit from paying minimum wage, the middle class is paying the huge costs of these workers. This used to be the United States of America, a nation of laws. The People's Sheriff gets my vote. Chris Simcox is a patriot who like me is not giving up OUR COUNTRY without a fight!

Commenter: Roseanne Laan
We need to enforce our laws, but we also need to respect people. This country thrives on cheap labor at what ever the cost. This whole thing is getting worse. Ask me anything, cheap labor and lies is what rules the upper class, in any country. This whole arguement is mute!!!!!!! Please send illegals home with decency and respect unless they have committed a serious crime, then they need to be punished and held accountable. Good fences make good neighbors. No laws, no respect that goes both ways. Now we have kaos. This is our fault as much as theirs.

Commenter: CooperG
No one really questions the assumptions people make about immigrants and no one active in the current debate seems to have taken any time to look at what happened prior to the 1986 law that created this morass in the first place. Maybe a little history lesson would be good for everyone.

I'm not going to give that lesson here, but the bottom line is people who came here to work generally went home. In fact 80% went home. They don't want to stay here. Their families are elsewhere. Their homes are elsewhere. Why would they want to stay if everything they knew and loved is elsewhere else?

The inconvenient truth is most would go home if it were easier to be able to come back and work when they needed to. That would require a smart immigration and jobs program that Republicans and xenophobes like Simcox and Dobbs and Arpaio won't support.

Amnesty only matters if they want to stay. If you assume they don't (which is the right answer) then amnesty is unnecessary. Put job and immigration centers on the border to match workers to jobs and clear people in to work in weeks versus years. We can grant asylum in 48 hours, why does it take years to clear people to work? Charge them $1,500 to speed up the process and use that money to fund operations. Charge them a little more for health insurance. This has the added benefit of making coming to the US to work generate the money to handle them, adds money to accounts for health insurance, and give them the ability to work out in the open and not in the dark.

C'mon America. This ain't hard.

Commenter: Michael Hoenig
I am tired of all these experts and their opinions. None of them including Mr Gonsalez and Mr Simcox have a clue what the problems are. Let the people decide what they want for their country for immigration control. My parents entered the country under a quota system.

Commenter: Judith
On November 24, 2008, ABC affiliate television station WHAS, in Louisville, Kentucky, had was a story about Kentucky being third in the nation for illegal immigration. Hundreds come here each year, many from Mexico. The costs of these illegals are estimated to be $100 million a year. While most people are not lawbreakers, other than to come here illegally, some have direct ties to deadly gangs and even the Mexican mafia.

WHAS spotlighted our county, Shelby County, which has one of the largest populations of illegals in the state. Shane Suttor is a Shelbyville city councilman. He says a growing number of illegal immigrants aren't here to share in the quality of life, but to threaten it.

Costs to us include the building of three new schools to accommodate the influx of immigrants. Plus we now have 21 instructors to teach English. The cost just to teach English to the illegals is $7,000 per person, for a total of $6.4 million a year

As far as housing, where landlords agree to house illegals, a deputy sheriff, Jeff Tinnell, says that there are about 10 to 12 cars parked at each rental unit illegals, and he estimates that there are between 12 to 18 people to a unit. There are broken windows, mold growing inside the buildings and trash which requires dumpsters rather than individual garbage cans like adjoining neighbors use. What effect does this have on surrounding home values?

We have many problems with people driving under the influence, without driver's licenses or insurance. We have had to build a new jail and health department to accommodate these immigrants. They make up nearly 20% of the jail's population on any given day. They cost us more than a thousand dollars a day to keep in jail.

Police say that the Latin Kings, Surenos and MS-13 gang, all with ties to the Mexican Mafia, are operating criminal enterprises in Kentucky. Cells have been identified in Shelbyville, Louisville and Lexington. Their motto? "Matta, Viola, Controla" (Kill, Rape, Control). (Article with photos, in the Shelby County Sentinel, July 4, 2008).

A narcotics officer said that some illegals have wired up to $15,000. a week for months to cartels in Mexico.

Suttor says "We don't have a swat team or gang task forcetask force. We're just a small town preparing for a siege."

Agents from the FBI say they have investigated reports of gang initiations involving murder. The MS-13's weapon of choice is the machete. The FBI has compared MS-12 to the old "Cosa nostra", or Italian Mafia. MS-13 is active in 42 states, including Indiana and Kentucky. They are highly organized, with trained business people in their top ranks. They operate counterfeit check rings, steal identities, strip cars, run guns and traffic drugs.

The latest report by the National Drug Intelligence Center reports drug cartel activity involving the Federation Cartel in Louisville and the rival Gulf Coast Cartel in Lexington. Authorities fear violence in the future as these two groups begin to fight over territory here in Kentucky."

It is bad enough that we must bear the burden of the costs of having illegals, but the danger from the lawbreakers and, much more frightening, Mexican mafia are surely more than any community anywhere in the United States should have to bear.

Why fight terrorism off shore when we have it right here in River City?

Commenter: patti kelly
I had worked for an agency as a NYS Medicaid Applications Rep and made contact with a patient who was back in the USA from a South American country on an expired visa. He had had open heart surgery costing $100000 and was back for more FREE medical treatments. One of his relatives or friends gave him an address to use but he violated the Medicaid laws as he had no intention of staying here. When I asked him why he was doing this, he said he cannot afford medical treatment in his country, yet he could not afford it here, but we pay for it without checking anything. This is why our hospitals are closing..I would like to see all the people who want to give all the illegals citizenship pay the associated costs these illegals are piling up. Plus they bring their relatives

Commenter: Renee Bode
Chris Simcox won this debate. His ideas and view of immigration law are correct. I especially liked the use of RICO laws to force our politicians to enforce our laws instead of working against them. Those politicians who refuse to obey our immigration laws need to be removed. Our experience with illegal immigrants occured as follows: My husband's aunt was killed my a drunked illegal who hit her head-on on a narrow bridge. My husband's brother and his son lost cement contractor jobs to illegals underbidding them. My niece was in a double hospital room with an illegal from Honduras. She and her husband paid off their Dr. and hospital bill and it took about 5 months. The illegal walked away without paying a penny. All of this is unfair to legal taxpaying citizens of this country.

Commenter: sam davidson
Open borders, which their advocates flaunt so contemptuously, will prove to be extremely detrimental to the United fact it has already proven to be so. Mexico is apparently a failed economy, with 10% of its population living illegally in the U.S. The open borders advocates should direct their energies toward improving Mexico, an oligopolistic society, rather than adding to this country's staggering macroeconomic problems.

Commenter: JG
Calling an illegal immigrant an undocumented immigrant is the same as calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist

Commenter: Manuel Castillo
Kudos to Maria Hinojosa for allowing this bully to intimidate her. Sheriff Arpagio is human rights violator and a clown that uses the anti-inmigration sentiment of non-thinking voters to be re-elected as the dysfunctional law-enforcer of a great American community.
I wonder when righ-wind Americans are going to realize that they are "taking out their two eyes in exchange for one of their perceived enemy's eye...the inmigrants.
They should remember that, with the exception of the Apache, Navajos, Hopis, etc, everybody else is an inmigrant-descendant.
Keep the good journalism alive.

Commenter: Jay
I am deeply concerned that you would put a delusional racist (Cris Simcox) on you show which I admire very much. This is not "fair and balanced" it is giving voice to a very sick dangerous man. Please read the following before you air your show:

Commenter: Profiler2009
Americans just see what they want to see. The economy is bad? Who cares! Let's go to Wal-Mart and buy everything cheap...from China! It is the same with undocumented workers. They don't have papers? Then live the country! Like that will be so easy. What americans don't see is that the economy of this country needs this cheap labor to continue its prosperity and control inflation! Not nice right? But unfortunately it is true! They are breaking the law, I ackowledge that, but just because bureaucracy doesn't allow these people an easy way to enter this country. They are the ones doing the jobs that americans don't need to do because americans have better education. But somebody needs to wash the dishes, pick the fruit and vegetables, clean the houses and offices, and so many more mundanes jobs. Yes, americans can do those jobs but at the same pay? I don't thing so. Imaging how much money you need to pay a college gradute to perform those same jobs, and now imaging how inflation will explode! If the owner of a restaurant needs to pay a dishwasher 30 dollars an hour instead of 7.25 dollars, who do you think is going to pay the difference? The consumer, of curse! now instead of a 5 dollars salad you are going to pay 15 dollars or more for the same salad. Imaging that! Let's stop the bickering of the illegal immigration issue and do the best for this country. Let's pass a new and complete immigration reform and give these undocumented workers the respect that they deserve. It would be for the benefit of everybody!

Commenter: Martin Dodge
This is a very muddy issue regarding which each side is fundamentally right and both make assumptions about people coming across the border.

Let's face it. These illegals -- most of them -- are escaping a hopeless and tragic situation. Decades of dysfunction in Mexico have led to industrial growth that, through greed and corruption, has further enriched the top 5% while crippling what there is of the middle class and rendering the poor ever poorer.

The illegals would much prefer to stay in their home country, no matter how badly governed it is, and they know they can do that if they can just find a job that generates some income. Until recently, the only place they could find those kinds of jobs were in the United States.

Right now, the illegals are losing their jobs along with those who are citizens of the USA. They are going back home to face unemployment in friendlier surroundings. But some have found different employment in another Mexican industry, organized crime. They do the grunt work of providing drugs to gringos on the other side of the border and holding people of wealth for ransom.

While we have been occupying ourselves with the border issue, we have done nothing to affect the cause: a criminally corrupt federal government in Mexico. Our porous border has been one effect of that corruption: a relief valve. A federal pamphlet printed and distributed by the Mexican government even advises illegals on the safest way to cross broad desert areas.

The USA has provided millions of dollars of relief to Mexico over the years, but most of that ended up in the pockets of the wealthy. We can end that kind of "help."

But I don't know what we could do to help the people of Mexico get what they fervently want: a government and a government bureaucracy by the people, of the people, and for the people. That would be some kind of revolution that will possibly take some kind of revolution to achieve.

Commenter: Firetwirler
The point everyone seems to miss is that, as a favor to their corporate buddies, our government intentionally permits immigrants to come into this county to serve as a cheap labor force. The employers want the immigrant workers' status to remain "illegal" so they can be exploited, underpaid, made to work longer hours, and kept living in fear of being deported. It is wrong to villainize the immigrants. This sameful exploitation should be stopped. If we need immigrants to join our workforce, allow them to come here legally; pay them appropriately; and stop harassing and intimidating them!

Commenter: chowlady
On question # 3 I think the USA should have the same immigration laws Mexico has and the same penalties and enforcement.

Commenter: RitaLouise
This is a complicated issue. However, the bottom line should be upholding our laws. A law is a law. If we can circumvent one, what value has all the rest? Yes, there are sincere, good, and respectable folks who are here illegally. However, two areas that cannot be tolerated are: stealing identity, and gangs. How does Mexico treat 'illegals' who enter their country? Also, to gain a foothold by having a child here, making it more complicated with bleeding heart issues, is unconscionable and difficult to sort out as to quiet families living and working here, against those who conspire to gain citizenship via the children. As I said, it is a very complicated issue, the above being the tip of the iceberg. Congress appears to be the culprit as usual. Making the laws, and not enforcing because of political pressure. That is where it lies, and that is where they need to finally step up to the plate and get this resolved. It will hurt and disrupt many, but the guilt lies with them primarily, and secondarily with the employers and scammers providing them with false ID. When the issue gets so deep, digging out is painful. But what other answer is there?

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