Quantcast
Opinion

In our opinion: Immigration reform is needed now, not next election cycle

Comments

Return To Article
  • dave4197 Redding, CA
    Feb. 9, 2014 12:42 a.m.

    An excellent editorial about this problem that seems to some to be complex and difficult. Simple to me, make a path for immigration and citizenship for our neighbors and friends from south of the border that is quick and possible, unlike the present maze and delay-prone "policy". This change has been needed for decades. The GOP needs to get up out of their soft seats in their country clubs and make actual progress on immigration reform, progress that will lead to a Utah Compact - like range of solutions well before the fall elections. This can only be good for the country. Delay past the election will cause me to change my voter registration, I'll no longer be able to honestly join with Repubs. I'm for increased opportunity for our friends, Bienvenidos!

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    Feb. 9, 2014 4:43 a.m.

    Finish building the fence first and then let's talk about what to do with those who are here illegally.

    Fool me once ... (Reagan era amnesty and the promise to build a fence.) ... shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    Feb. 9, 2014 4:54 a.m.

    Comprehensive Immigration Reform doesn't have to be an "all or nothing" approach. It can and should rightfully be done piecemeal, (fence first) as we carefully consider the changes that need to made.

    Let's get it right this time.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 4:53 a.m.

    "...there is no realistic way to guarantee against all unauthorized entry..."

    That's why interior enforcement is essential -- the very thing legalization would
    negate. After all, legalization is nothing less than an official refusal to enforce the
    law.

    "...there must be some avenue to attain legal status..."

    Absolutely false. They can return with their families, or be arrested.

    "We should welcome them."

    No, we shouldn't. It would be grossly unfair to millions who actually respect this nation's laws.

    "...easing and simplification of rules governing work visas for highly skilled professionals who fill our nation's employment needs."

    What this really is about is cheap foreign labor for greedy American businessmen. America has plenty of qualified STEM's who need the job.

    "...children brought illegally..."

    The "through no fault of their own" argument is a scam. Children are illegally trafficked into this country and Americans are falsely guilted into not sending them home with the parents who brought them here (notice nothing is ever mentioned about the parents?). The result is the effective dissolution of U.S. immigration law. This is why the pro-amnesty propaganda effort is focused mainly on deportation and on Dreamers.

  • md Cache, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 7:29 a.m.

    How about we enforce our existing border laws? How about we ask for identification before giving free housing, food, drivers licenses, health care and voting opportunities to ILLEGAL aliens? Enough of the PC garbage. If I don't pay my taxes for a year, I will be thrown in jail. Yet, they can come to this country and get spoon fed all the privileges without fear of being thrown out.

    Yes, let's have immigration reform. Let's send them all back to their country and streamline the immigration process so that people can come here LEGALLY.

  • Ironweed Chattanooga, TN
    Feb. 9, 2014 7:45 a.m.

    Deportations and enforcement are what is needed now.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    What about the moral hazard? I have a friend who owns a house in the area. His wife is here on a student visa and lives with his son. However, he is not allowed to work here despite being highly trained in his industry. So he works in Japan and tries to come visit his family every couple of months. My wife is an immigrant and we have numerous educated friends from here home country who would like to emigrate, but cannot get a visa.

    Why would we reward people who break the law to come here? There are millions of people waiting in line to emigrate to the U.S. Why not reward the people who are willing to abide by our laws, rather than those who are willing to break them.

  • RRB SLC, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:21 a.m.

    Our policy for the last twenty eight years has been amnesty. It's a failed policy.

    On the other hand, the 1986 and 1996 reforms included border security, interior enforcement, e-verify, more judges, and a visa entry-exit system. All were passed as laws, all were ignored. It's time for enforcement, and not just at the border.

    It's time to stop supplying business with cheap labor, over 20 million under employed American workers is a National shame, it's time to focus on them.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:40 a.m.

    After reading the previous postings and seeing the internal debate within the GOP, two things become evident.
    1) Nothing is likely to be done this year in Congress because the GOP leadership can't get a coalition within it's ranks
    2) The GOP will continue to lose national elections because their policies alienate so many within our country.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:47 a.m.

    "Arresting and deporting these productive and law-abiding individuals is neither feasible nor desirable."

    That is not true. If they are given to understand that they are in fact subject the law and that if caught, the penalty would be meaningful and they would be deported -- whereas now they basically are promised immunity at the law, which is why they are here in such vast numbers -- most would then self-deport. Thus it is not necessary to deport all of them, nor need it be done overnight.

    And a policy of deportation is desirable. This is a nation of laws. Immigration law means nothing unless backed up by a willingness to deport. Where there is no law, there is anarchy and eventually a loss of liberty and the nation itself.

    And it is specious to say they are "law-abiding" when by both by definition and in practice, they are not in fact law-abiding.

    "...malice toward none..."

    Disrespect of the sovereignty and laws and customs of this nation is an affront to its citizens.

    "Immigration reform is a matter of compassion."

    Disrespect for immigration law is a matter of NON-compassion toward the American victim of illegal immigration.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    Compassion? Love is sending people down the path of righteousness; rewarding illegal/dishonest behavior is not love.

    America has the most liberal immigration in the world. We give out over a million green cards each year, and 3.2 million work visas. That's more than the rest of the world combined. With millions of Americans out of work right now, our emphasis needs to be on them.

    Before 1976 we gave our half of what we give out now. This is the greatest wave of migration our country has ever seem. And that's not including those here illegally.

  • prelax Murray, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    Amnesty for the child is amnesty for the parents, and the business owner that employed them illegally.

  • Ajax Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 12:57 p.m.

    What earlier opened the way for negotiations on immigration reform was a softening of the Republican position on legality. They conceded that they would consider a way for qualified undocumented immigrants to attain legal status although under no circumstances citizenship.

    What they assume (and probably rightly so) is that citizenship and voting rights for the undocumented would not be to their advantage. Rather, their solution for millions of American residents is irrevocable taxation without representation, something you would think ought to trouble the tea party minded.

    Definitely what we don’t need is a political focus on childish in-your-face insults to the President and the refusal of negotiations until next year after elections when Republicans hope to be in a better position to get their way.

  • iplaydat South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 1:31 p.m.

    Yes, we've already done amnesty before, and here we are again with the PC crowd trying make everyone feel guilty for wanting people to respect the law. What is different about it this time? How much do we hear about immigrants from Canada spilling over the border? Why do we read so much about the southern border being invaded? I think instead of pushing ourselves on the middle east, we need to concentrate our assistance to helping Mexico and other countries south of the border to take back their nations from the drug dealers, organized crime and corrupt police. We can help them reach their potential as nations and a people to become great countries of goodness and prosperity! Mexico can be a place where more people want to live and visit for vacations, a place that creates a growing economy through honesty and an economy based in capitalism, and not law-breaking! So let's start here with respect for the law. That includes our own President and Attorney-General. Start with securing our country inside and out. Let's get serious about protecting the sovereignty of our country.

  • SBench Holladay, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 1:53 p.m.

    The solution to immigration related problems as well as terrorists related problems is enforcement of the laws currently on the books.

    A power substation was recently terrorized in California and since we don't know who is in our great country, and who is not, how can we locate and prosecute those responsible and how can we prevent future terrorist events?

  • Caliboy Templeton CA, CA
    Feb. 9, 2014 2:20 p.m.

    We do not need "Immigration reform " What we need is for the laws ALREADY on the books to be enforced, period.Failing to enforce the laws causes the breakdown of society. Allowing low educated government dependent people into our country only exacerbates the situation.

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    Feb. 9, 2014 2:21 p.m.

    Remember the recent rage over the "illegal" who was granted a license to practice law in California? That was actually the state responding to Federal incompetence.

    His family came into the country when he was a toddler. Everybody got a green card (legal presence) but him. How did that happen?

    It became a problem for him-- and when he was old enough as a high school senior, he applied for himself. And continued on with life. That was 20ish years ago -- and his application is still "in process". Why?

    The system is broken, and definitely needs to be fixed. There is no excuse for any bureaucratic process to be so convoluted and slow..

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 3:09 p.m.

    The editorial is spot on in that there in no need to wait. It can get done now, but for political gamesmanship. The American people want it, business wants it, the President wants it, the Senate will take care of their side of it. The sticking point? The Republicans in the House. Including Utah's own delegation. So why is this newspaper so enamored with the GOP?

  • prelax Murray, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 5:24 p.m.

    OlderGreg
    Immigration activists fought for change to our laws in 1965. Before that, we allowed immediate families. Now the law allows extended families and millions of people are sponsoring their entire extended families. There is only so many green cards to go around. If you want to stop the wait, fight for change to the law and let's return to the immidiate family only sponsorship.

    In 1986 1 million became 3 million, there is no question that it will not be amnesty for 11.5 million but 18-30 million receiving amnesty. Next time it will be even more. It has to stop somewhere, and it's better to stop it now, than let it get worse.

    The idea is to give amnesty to those who have not committed any crimes except coming here illegally. However, id theft, social security fraud, perjury (i-9) and working illegally in the country are all felonies. We are being sold a deceptive argument for amnesty. Will they be required to reimburse those who's identities have been stolen? Will business have to pay for the depressed wages their illegal hiring has caused. Illegal immigration leaves a multitude of damage and victims in it's wake.

  • Big George Humble, TX
    Feb. 9, 2014 8:02 p.m.

    I believe immigrants bring needed vitality to our country and I appreciate the desire of many people around the world to come to the USA to make a better life for them and their children.

    I have lived overseas and have many friends who have begged me to help them come to America. They have applied for visas. When they were denied, they stayed home. It is grossly unfair to them to reward those who are here in violation of the law. If you think otherwise, please tell me what I should tell my friends. That they should sneak into the country and wait for the next amnesty? What about their children? Is it fair to treat the children of those who didn't play by the rules better than the children of those who did?

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 8:33 p.m.

    Immigration laws are the only laws that are discussed in terms of how to help people who break them.

    The children are here “through no fault of their own.” How many millions of children are living in poverty in India, Africa, Haiti or other places “through no fault of their own” and would be better off living in the United States? Do all children have inherent right to live in America if they have done nothing wrong? If not, then why should the children of illegal immigrants have such a right?

    Why do the American people not have a right to the protection that immigration laws provide people in other countries around the world?

    “Comprehensive” immigration reform is part of the bad faith that has surrounded immigration issues for decades. What “comprehensive” reform means is that border control and amnesty should be voted on together in Congress. Why? Because that would be politically convenient for members of Congress, who like to be on both sides of issues, so as to minimize the backlash from the voting public.

  • American Patriot Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 9:54 p.m.

    Yes, we need immigration reform quickly. Right after we shut the border(s) down and seriously control the access to this nation. Then we need to eliminate all of the social programs that keep the illegals here so that they will no longer desire to be here. Once that is done then we can look at what needs to be addressed regarding immigration.

    We cannot continue on the path we are on regarding illegal immigration because it is costing those of US paying for all the social programs too much. We have families too and it is taking too much of a chunk of out of our hard earned money via taxes to pay for all this nonsense. This administration is nothing but a spend and tax administration looking for support from illegals, the poor, and the lazy by offering free everything. Someone has to pay for all of it and we, the American taxpayers, are tired and fed up with paying for all of it.

  • Chip45 SANDY, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:43 p.m.

    To the moderator;

    I reviewed your rules for comments and find nothing offensive that violates any of your rules.

    The point Putin makes is valid, if an immigrant wants to come to a certain country, they should adopt the culture of that country, otherwise, why immigrate. If a nation is to remain so desirable, that nation should protect the integrity of it's culture.

    If reference to Sharia law is offensive, it is just an example of how certain immigrants are not assimilating into the new culture of their adopted country.

    Likewise, the reference to speaking the language of the nation adopted. A common language is a binding force.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:48 p.m.

    Why are businesses never talked about whenever we discuss immigration reform?

    Why are businesses that blatantly hire illegals deemed innocent?

    Here's the solution to immigration: business owners who hire illegals will lose their businesses and go to jail for a minimum of 5 years.

    Boom. Our illegal immigration problem will be solved.

    There's no need to talk about securing the border or deporting families. Just take away the carrot and they'll go back home. Take away the jobs and they'll self deport.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 6:13 a.m.

    Developed nations ought to be worried about continued pressure from third world countries. In 2009 Gallup did an international poll and determined that 700 million people around the world would rather live in a developed nation.
    165 million chose the USA as their target nation.
    The pressure to move somewhere with a higher standard of living is immense. And millions are willing to break the law to do it.
    The need is for deterrence. We must enforce the law and push back against this pressure.
    We do not need large numbers of immigrants. One million Green Cards is foolishness when we have 100 million Americans not participating in the labor market.
    We ought not be importing family members of high school dropouts who will only add to our stretched social program needs.
    We really must learn to enforce our current immigration laws, or face increased pressure to admit (legally and illegally) a wave of needy people from the third world.

  • G Blake West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 6:28 a.m.

    Forget politics. Forget Republican/Democrat and all of that. Just answer these questions: What happens in the long run after two, now three generations of illegal aliens learn (and teach their children and friends) that ignoring the laws of the USA was the best thing they ever did because it got them what they have now?
    What will change in the future in terms of the way laws are obeyed here, and by those who wish to come to the USA? Will they continue to try the legal route?
    What about the illegals who DO commit felonies but haven't been caught yet- our plan is to once again go the lazy route and make them all citizens, because feds don't want to do their jobs.
    And yet, having seen the grinding inefficiency and incompetence of the federal government, Americans still voted to let them take over managing health care. Optimism? Or stupidity?

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    Feb. 10, 2014 6:33 a.m.

    More importantly, there must be some avenue to attain legal status for the millions of unauthorized immigrants who reside here.

    There is an avenue for the millions of unauthorized immigrants who reside here to obtain legal status. They need to return home and apply for legal entry. This is the same way they should have done it to begin with instead of ignoring our current laws.

    And those who you claim have only broken civil laws may also have committed felonies since it is a felony to return without authorization after being deported. However, the stories about those who are caught and are facing their 4th or 5th deportation don't make National News because it would point out that the laws aren't being enforced.

    Any reform that is going to take place should wait until our Gov't has proven over a period of years that it is fully enforcing the current laws. Otherwise there is no reason to believe that they will enforce any new ones.

  • Jefferson, Thomas Bluffdale, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 7:35 a.m.

    Just one Giant problem. Whatever 'deal' or compromise is struck with the Obama administration on immigration, we are making the huge assumption that Obama will actually enforce the law that he signs. He has shown over and over again that if he doesn't like a law, either his own or not, he will simply not enforce it. Period. What good is agreeing to anything with this administration if they will just pick and choose when, how, or if they will actually enforce it.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    Compassion does not involve destroying the respect for law that is the foundation for everything else in our country.

    If we accept the premise that rewarding lawbreakers with amnesty is the right course for our country, then let's include in this "comprehensive" bill the following:

    Amnesty for every current U.S. citizen who has, or will over the next 20 years ignore income tax laws. After all, it is just for the betterment of their family's economic conditions. So what if law abiding citizens are hurt, "it's for The Children!" and it's hard to deal with all those complicated forms and bureaucrats.

    We face two choices-
    1- Enforcement of existing laws and confirming we are indeed a nation of laws to be obeyed by all, or
    2- Anarchy and chaos where individuals or groups are free to ignore any laws they deem inconvenient or economically disadvantageous.

    You can only pick one.

    Sadly, we learned nothing from the amnesty of the Reagan years where amnesty was granted and nothing was done to stop the flood of illegals. All "comprehensive" reform does is repeat the same flawed strategy again, with pious but untrue promises that will be ignored.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 9:36 a.m.

    The whole thing sounded good to me, until they said,

    "Immigration reform is a matter of compassion. It is the right thing to do for U.S. citizens and for those law-abiding individuals who wish to be citizens".

    IF they were "law-abiding individuals"... they would not be here "illegally". Would they?

    That's what I don't get. They keep saying we need a way for these law-abiding people to become citizens. But by definition they are not law-abiding.
    -They have already knowingly circumvented our significant border security.
    -They have knowingly broken our labor laws by working here illegally.
    -Many have sought out black-market criminals to help acquire fraudulent documentation so they can work (because a valid SS# is required to be employed, buy a home, get insurance, register for school, etc).
    -Every day they live here they are breaking at least one law!

    Now.. if the people lecturing us on morality can acknowledge that, maybe rationalize it, but at least acknowledge that they CAN'T be "Law-abiding individuals"... then I could listen to the rest of their argument.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 10:31 a.m.

    DN Subscriber is right. We learned nothing from the Amnesty program we passed in the 80's.

    That program gave blanket amnesty if they would just come forward. Many didn't even come forward when given amnesty (I don't know why). But we gave 3 Million people amnesty in this country thinking that would end it... but instead 6 Million more people rushed here illegally in the next 30 years (hoping to get in on the NEXT Amnesty program).

    It doesn't work. We already tried it... and it DOESN'T WORK!

    ===

    Until we decide we are going to actually enforce our laws... Our current laws... or whatever new law we pass... whatever law we pass makes no difference (if we won't enforce it).

    After Regan's amnesty (with promised future enforcement which never happened)... we just increased the rate of illegal people coming into the United States... is THAT what we WANT?

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 11:26 a.m.

    So.....after 31 comments, I see 2-3 (depending on how you interpret them)as being "pro-amnesty" the other 28 are definitely AGAINST amnesty.

    Nationally, the percentages are about the same. The "wild card" in play here is HOW BEHOLDEN will our elected representatives be to big business lobbyists?

    They have very deep pockets and are spreading money liberally to ANY Congressperson who will go along with an amnesty proposals (sometimes disguised as a "pathway to citizenship").

    Do our Congresspersons want major campaign donations or do they want votes?
    Its' THAT simple!

  • van Saratoga Springs, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 11:57 a.m.

    At this point, the only thing that will save the Republican Party is Love, compassion,and an open mind, and the importance of solving problems for their fellow Americans.

    After the complete disaster of the self deport politics of Mitt Romney and the right last election, I thought the right would have figured it out. I guess not.

    The Republican Party is doomed until they govern off of principles like the Utah Compact and other good ideas to fix our immigration policy.

    I doubt that will happen.

  • SBench Holladay, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    The political and emotional rhetoric surrounding many issues fails to substantiate why a change in law benefits the average American citizen. So, exactly what does the average American citizen get from Immigration Reform?
    Increased safety and security?
    More or better job opportunities?
    A better educational system?
    Less competition for limited resources and services such as health care or schooling?
    Higher wages?
    A reduce the tax burden?
    A stronger economy?
    I get that politicians get more voters, businesses get more labor employee options and more customers, churches get more tithe payers, but I ask once again: What does the average American get from Immigration Reform?

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 12:57 p.m.

    immigration reform is all about adding votes for the 2014 election for democrat's. The ugly truth.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 1:27 p.m.

    Why not delay it till next cycle?

    Because Democrats may not control the Senate then?

    ===

    Why must it be passed NOW!? What's the urgency?

    I don't know if Democrats really want to pass it now. They just want to debate it now... because they know they win votes mostly from the debate and making Republicans look like Hispanic haters (which most of them aren't, but it plays well on TV and works out well for Democrats at the ballot box).

    ===

    If it was so urgent to pass it now... you would think they would be gearing up enforcement now. But the Obama Administration is doing the opposite (Suing States that enforce our current laws (like Arizona).

    ===

    The "Pass it now" cry is obviously disingenuous. Democrats don't intend to enforce whatever we pass. Just as they have no intention of enforcing our current laws. It's just a ploy to get more votes. Period.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 3:42 p.m.

    Why not wait?

    Bush's "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" bill failed. It was too much amnesty, too little enforcement, and it failed to pass... and the predicted apocalypse didn't happen.

    I doubt anything big will happen IF we don't pass it this time as well.

    It's hard to write a bill that both sides can enthusiastically support. Because both sides want to get these swing-votes, but they also want to keep their base happy.

    If the bill includes enforcement... they alienate the potential swing-votes. If they leave enforcement out... they alienate their base. They need BOTH to be happy. It's not easy to be seen as standing firmly on both sides of the issue.

    But what Republicans need to realize that these are hardly swing-votes at this point, they are firmly in the Democrat pocket.

    Do they want to give Democrats 11 million more votes now, and more each year with no enforcement provisions, by giving these folks full citizenship?

    Unless it has firm enforcement first and the path to citizenship dependent on that happening first (the opposite of Reagan's comprehensive immigration reform in which amnesty happened, but enforcement never happened).... it should fail.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 11:03 a.m.

    Illegal immigration seems to open the door to the law of unintended consequences. Illegal entry brings people into our country but not into our society. There is a legal entrance system, Byzantine in nature and scope, but legal none the less.

    Illegals tend to hang on the fringes, they do not assimilate nor integrate very well. IMO they are economic refugees in nature, and culturally loyal to their homeland where ever it may be. We need to control our borders, then address the issue of millions of uninvited people at our table.

    The issue needs more than 200 words or a 30 second sound bite by a politician seeking political leverage. It may be true that "Americans" won't do "those" jobs, for those wages. But how about raising the wages? With illegal labor unavailable the market would dictate the wage to get the job done. Also we would not take advantage of the illegal laborer by paying him/her less than the job realistically would pay.

    I venture to add that the real unemployment rate in this country is in the mid 'teens, and we really want to bring in more people?

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    Feb. 15, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    Fitness Freak,

    I'm not sure what polls you're looking at but everything I hear is the opposite.

    In any event, the polls that matter are elections. Candidates like George Allen, JD Hayworth who become shrill on the issue lose elections they should win. If hardliners hadn't nominated Sharron Angle Republicans could have ousted Harry Reid. Romney could have won if he hadn't been pushed so far to the right on immigration.

    The GOP keeps strapping the hard line stance on its back like Wile E. Coyote and wonders why it keeps losing. I wholeheartedly agree with the DN piece.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    July 24, 2014 4:53 p.m.

    @The Real Maverick:
    "Why are businesses that blatantly hire illegals deemed innocent?"

    Innocent of what? Breaking the law?

    Why is Barack Hussein Obama deemed innocent... of breaking the law? Which law, you may ask? Ans: Immigration law.

    "Boom. Our illegal immigration problem will be solved."

    And, boom. Obama and his democrat Friends would lose not only the senate but the White House as well. Obama needs the Hispanic vote to keep the Senate and hopefully gain the House. He needs Hispanics to continue crossing the border in hordes.

    This illegal immigration thing has been an issue for elections ever since the democrats noticed the huge Hispanic population. And they are bent on capitalizing on it for this mid-term election and many elections in the future.