Comments about ‘Immigration debate draws cheers, jeers from crowd’

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Published: Saturday, Jan. 22 2011 1:00 a.m. MST

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Salt Lake City, UT

The feds may be charged with enforcing these laws but the impacts of non-enforcement are felt right here in our communities and neighbourhoods.

The longer we wait in protecting our citizens and the very integrity of our society, the more illegals will come and the larger the problem will become.

It appears to me that the Sandstrom bill carries with it the same compassion and sensitivity to enforce illegal alien laws as laws that are enforced against illegal acts of citizens. This incorporates the intent of the so-called 'Compact'.

salt lake city, utah

Illegal immigrants are criminals. Period. If they will not leave voluntarily, they should be tried for their crimes. Do not be confused by the rhetoric that they are just committing "little crimes". If you were caught doing the same things that illegals do on a regular basis, you would be in trouble at least and quite possibly sent to prison at worst. Amnesty is NOT a viable option. It was tried before and obviously failed. Had it been successful, we would not currently have 12,000,000 foreign criminals living in this country illegally.
If we make the mistake of granting amnesty for a second time, we will undoubtedly send the message that our immigration laws are meaningless and our borders are open.....

casual observer
Salt Lake City, UT

My grandmother came to this country legally. If we circumvent the legal immigration policy for those here now, what do we do with the next wave of illegals? We might as well have open borders if we ignore our own laws.

Mr. Bean
SLC, Utah

@Gentile 6:43 a.m.:

"It is a federal isssue."

If so, I have an answer... since it's a federal issue, round up all illegals and bus them to the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.). That's federal property. States should have the right to control the property within the state and to decide who will cross state borders.

"Utah can send some money to the federal govt. (instead being a welfare state) with a request that the feds do more in illegal immigration control."

I think you've got it backwards. The federal government should be sending money to the states since illegals cost the states billions in education, welfare, and healthcare. law enforcement, etc. Furthermore the fed is doing nothing about illegal immigration (they need the Latino vote) so there is no need to send more tax money... to do nothing.

hispanic from AF
American Fork, UT

Good debate! Informative and civilized! The low point??? when two panelists introduced the 'Mormon' prophets quotations in an infantile and below-the-belt effort to makes us, LDS people, be ashamed for pushing for the implementation of the laws of the land! Imagine that!! It is, after all, commanded in the 12th Article of Faith. SUSTAINING THE LAW... it does not matter what the vague instructions 'du jour' are. A lawsless country will not benefit the illegals either. They fled those nations. Where will we all go next? China?

jim l
West Jordan, UT

Mark S. came up to a scouting event a few years ago and gave a great speech about camelot and obeying the law. He ought to re-read his talk and put it into play. Illegals need to go home. We need to seal the border. If they continue to come across the border and use the system and suck up all the benefits we will go bankrupt and America will disappear.

Salt Lake City, UT


"It is apparent that racism is rampant in Utah".

No, it is not apparent. Before flapping your gums about it, perhaps you should find out if their were any other groups loitering around (and loitering is illegal); if the ones that were asked to leave were the only ones doing it, that is the issue, not singling someone out for their "race" (you can't single someone out if they're the only ones).

"But it is not lawful for the state of Utah to create a law that lies in the purview of the Federal government".

Yes, the primary purview does lie with the federal government. But what recourse do we have when those tasked with enforcing it don't? Should we just ignore the problem completely? Don't individual States have the right to protect their citizenry?

"It is blatantly unconstitutional for a state to enforce Federal law".

Really? Where in the Constitution -specifically - is that outlined? Again, if the feds don't enforce their own laws, who will?

"When will Utah stop being a rebellious state?"

Rebellious? Are you serious? Are you going all the way back to the 1850's for references? Get real.

SLC, Utah

@DixieAggie 7:02 a.m.:

"It is apparent that racism is rampant in Utah."

You must be talking about State Senator Luz Robles.

"I am Latino and I very much understand the rule of law."

If you are in this country and not a citizen, you apparently don't understand the law well enough to obey it.

"But it is not lawful for the state of Utah to create a law that lies in the purview of the Federal government."

There are many federal laws that states are required to enforce/implement, medicare and intended medicaid come to mind.

"To do so is an affront to the Founding Fathers and the Constitution itself."

The founding fathers intended federal powers to be limited and that the states and the people retain most of the power. That's not happening.

@When will Utah stop being a rebellious state?"

When illegals leave and go home.

SLC, Utah

@Tom 9:12 a.m.:

"This has been created by 40 years of not dealing with the problem of having jobs that need to be filled to expand the U.S. economy and not allowing enough individuals to enter legally."

Not so. It has been created by imported workers staying after their visas run out. Fully forty percent of today's illegals overstay their visas.

"...some people say that if we got rid of undocumented people unemployed Americans would take their jobs but there have not been many unemployed computer programmers willing to move their families to sparsely populated areas of Utah to shear sheep..."

Very few fake documented immigrants shear sheep. They work in building trades and many other lines of work that unemployed computer programmers would gladly take. Especially when unemployment runs out and they need food for their families.

For those who want to see the effects of uncontrolled immigration, watch 'Immigration Gumballs' in YouTube.

salt lake city, utah

Yes, illegals are people. Yes, we must treat them humanely. But that being said, lets not pretend like they were dragged here, kicking & screaming, against their will. Nothing could be further from the truth. They came of their own free will and for their own benefit and they broke the law to do it.
The fact they want "a better life" is not a legitimate excuse. Most people want a better life. Most people also understand that they do not have a right to acuire by illegal means those things that are difficult to acquire by legal means. And they certainly don't have a right to do it in a foreign country. All illegals must be sent home. Anything less will just encourage more illegal immigration.

Provo, UT

Paul Mero says "We have no authority or power to deport people". True, But we can dry up the jobs Illegals hold with mandatory E-Verify statewide. We can also cut off all freebies given to Illegals by the state. Wake up People flood your Legislator with calls and Emails or we are going to still be paying for Illegals. Let's put any Legislator who supports Illegals over Americans out of office. Speak now or things will remain the same!

Orem, UT

The most important part of the debate are the millions of children of illegal immigrants who are American citizens. Kicking them out of their own country is wrong and immoral. They have the right to grow up in their own country, get free education and have access to all the oportunities that their country can offer them. Besides their country needs them, not only their talents and contributions but also their new blood. Who is going to pay for all of you who in 15-30 years will be retiring? The size of retired Americans will be much larger than the size of workers who will be paying for them. We want these kids and we definetly NEED them.

Braking the law is wrong, even a civil offense. Braking a MORAL law is worse.

What the Nazis did was legal. Segregation was legal. What the US founding fathers did was illegal. What Dr King did was illegal. What Rosa Parks did was illegal. On moral grounds we know who was right and who was wrong.

Orem, UT

These people came here because the jobs were waiting for them here. Employers were hiring them because they could not find other workers (Americans).

The economy was doing great, unemployment was very low. We as a society (law enforcement, immigration, and consumers) turned a blind eye to this issue
and freely used illegal immigrants services (in fast food, restaurants, schools, retailers, hospitals, hotels, construction, etc). Where were all those who now decry illegal immigrantion? Enjoying freely of their services.

I'm all for securing the border. We have that right. But that's for now and the future. These families are already here. Their American children are already here.

As a country we need to do the right thing. Throwing out of their own country MILLIONS of American children and deprive them of their rights and opportunities is wrong. Breaking up families and depriving these children of their parents and siblings is wrong.

The illegal immigration issue is less about breaking a civil offense and more about doing the right thing, the MORAL thing.

Houston, TX

If it is blatantly unconstutional for any body but the federal
govt to enforce federal laws then local police should not
interfere with bank roberies or drug trafficing.

Houston, TX

"Many good citizens have not read the constitution"
I have read the constitution.
No where in the constitution does it say that immigration
is exclusively the right of the federal govt to control.
In fact the word immigration is not even in the constitution.
The word naturaization is in the constitution but it
only gives the federal govt the exclusive right to grant citizenship.

salt lake city, utah

Christine- Whether or not children born in this country to illegal, criminal invaders are citizens is debateable. What is not debateable, is the fact that children should NOT be allowed to benefit from the criminal activities of their parents. Do I have to explain why?

Brer Rabbit
Spanish Fork, UT

The following statement is Deseret News hyperbole. The audience was actually fairly quiet considering the issue. From the DesNews, "Depending which side spoke, multiple people in the crowd numbering nearly 700 would stand, cheer, boo, or jeer, despite the moderator's earlier plea to keep it civil and refrain from boisterous outbursts."

The audience did spontaneously murmur and groan when Paul Mero, the president of the Sutherland Institute, said that those that supported enforcement were no different than those that supported Jim Crow Laws. I don't think that most of those in audience liked being referred to as bigots.

Orleans, IN

When talking about spiraling taxes, when governors are looking for more revenue, they have not the backbone to explain that large portions of taxpayers money is being siphoned off to support birthright citizenship of babies, specifically in Arizona, California, Texas and New Mexico.The children of illegal alien parents are another astronomical cost for taxpayers. But then every state today is exposed to illegal immigrants being transported throughout our country. Once here the county hospitals are bombarded with new arrivals in the emergency rooms with obviously no insurance and placing the whole financial measure on taxpayers. Emergency rooms are inundated with illegal people with sore throats and carrying flue germs and not such things as appendicitis or serious injuries. Let me repeat these web-pages at Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 10 Number 1 Spring 2005 (the report on Illegal Aliens and American medicine) defines the issue as a monolithic concern for hospitals across the United States. Read this Health Care report and start spitting blood and bile.

Mapleton, UT

Curiously, several of the provisions in Stephen Sandstrom's immigration bill seem to be targeted against the LDS Church, despite the claim of church exemption.

At issue in the Sandstrom bill is to be able to prosecute anyone as a felon who 1) transports an undocumented immigrant over any distance and for almost any reason and 2) knowingly or otherwise encourages an undocumented immigrant to live in Utah.

Would LDS missionaries be excluded? And what about Home Teachers and Visiting Teachers? Are they all exempted from Sandstrom's felony law by church affiliation? Could you be taken to court for giving an undocumented person a ride, say as a home teaching companion? Might a smile or a helping hand qualify as encouragement to live in Utah? Would members of a church congregation be guilty of a felony by association if they knowingly assist undocumented immigrants among them?

The issue of undocumented Hispanic immigration is certainly complex, and a vigorous debate over solutions is expected. But not drawing the line on provisions that are so clearly unprincipled and ruthlessly oppressive--church exemption or not--threatens the human dignity and freedom of us all.

Mapleton, UT

Am I alone in seeing an ity bity problem with the constant clamor for being subject to kings, presidents, etc. and the thorough going insurrection by these same people against your president and mine, Barak Obama?

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