Comments about ‘Vai's View: A legal immigrant's take on immigration’

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Published: Monday, Jan. 31 2011 6:00 p.m. MST

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Murray, UT

Some very good points in this article, for once the DN is allowing a different veiwpoint other than the standard amnesty nonsense. I do not agree with the argument that we "can't round them up",, we don't need to. Three Presidents have ordered illegals out of the country with the threat of severe consequences, we can do the same. We can also make it so they can't work here and that will lead many of them to leave on their own. That is what needs to happen. The process his family went through is a great argument against amnesty in any form. Rewarding those here illegally with any kind of amnesty is the wrong message and will only lead to more of the same. Allowing illegals to obtain citizenship through anything less than going home and coming here the correct way is an affront to all legal immigrants who did it the right way.

Iowa City, IA

Thanks Vai. Your opinion was well-expressed and the temperament with which you did so is exactly what our country needs.

Twin Falls, Idaho


Thank you for your article. It is one of the best I have read. For this reason I have chosen to comment for the first time. As an immigration attorney I recognize arguments on both sides.

Because I deal with an immense amount suffering on a daily basis, I also can't help but sympathize with immigrants-whether it is the immigrant mother who gets snatched for not having a driver's license and then thrown in jail and deported, leaving her U.S. citizen children behind without notice, or the high school student who has lived almost his entire life in the United States, who is then deported and attempts to return home to his family and his classes. These situations happen every week.

Immigration is not only a legal, economical and international problem, it's also a human problem, which is why I appreciated your article. Most of what I read is yelling at immigrants. I appreciate your moderate, reasoned and compassionate approach. Thank you.

Murray, Ut

I have relatives that immigrated legally, and neighbors who were brought here illegally, and returned home at 18 to return legally.

I've seen our system work, and be fair to all nationalities, if people follow the law. I've also seen it fail when people come here illegally and demand citizenship and our social services.

Amnesty should never be an answer. It has caused this problem. The 1986 amnesty was a welcome sign at our border. With 20 million people out of work, and 12-20 million here illegally working at reduced wages, it's a hot button issue that could get out of hand easily. We must be civil, but we also must prove that no means no. Any other course of action, just prolongs the situation, and encourages the next wave.

Third try screen name
Mapleton, UT

Perhaps the misunderstood word here is "civility."
As long as I am civil about it, the church cannot be critical about my opinion that we must not grant amnesty and should deport any who are here illegally.
Somehow we tend to believe that any point-of-view that does not include legalization is not civil. That is simply not the case.

Brer Rabbit
Spanish Fork, UT

Vai Sikahema I loved it when you played football for BYU. Go Cougars!!

Your writing covered the issue of why it is so hard to deal with. We all like to think that we are empathetic to others, but if we are not careful we become enablers. As a teacher I learned that the best way to encourage bad behavior was to tolerate it. Would Coach Edwards tolerate bad behavior from you on the football field?

Amnesty is not the way to go, because it will only encourage more illegal immigration. It is also impossible to seal the border, unless we are willing to place machine guns along it and be willing to use them.

It has taken over 40 years to get into this mess, and it will take a decade to get out, once we start dealing with it effectively.

There isn't room in the country form 6 billion people that would like to come here. That is why the legal immigration process is so long and difficult.

Draper, UT

Vai is right that we can't just round up 12 million people that are here illegally and deport them; however, we can remove all the incentives that bring them here, and they will self-deport themselves back home, on their own.

We saw proof that this worked when Gov. Brewer signed SB 1070 into law last April. What happened? There was a MASS exodus of illegals that either went back to their home countries, or fled to surrounding states that were more lenient on illegal immigration.

Just because we can't deport them doesn't mean we should slam the door, saying "Oh well, I guess we'll have to let them stay". Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water!

Florissant, MO

I can see both sides for the illegals and my "letter of the law" says, send them back, but my "spirit of the law" says, figure something out. In reading the replies I started to think about universities and how they are "weighted". So if you get a degree from Harvard, it is going to be more respected then a place like Dixie college. I think Dixie is a great school, but this is reality. Why not have a "weight" system for illegals and look at the give and take. Measure what they put in or what they take out of the system. Look at how their children have done in school. Look how they have contributed in their churches and community, and of course look at crime records. Have crimes weighted also, murder, rape and felonies. Those are big negatives, but a speeding ticket, that would be a minor negative.

So then say 75 points and above, are here in the USA on a probation for five years. 50-75 probation for ten years and get their weighted numbers up. Under 50, return back to their countries. Those who stay would work with a "probation" person.

Provo, Ut

Vai, We won't have to deport them once their children are denied citizenship and benefits. Along with workplace enforcement they will be running home.

I am also a first generation American the legal way and we have a similar story of work and waiting. My family waited in line.

tann0475 the family drama you mention is a moot point-they shouldn't be here to begin with and they have caused all their own circumstances. Sort of like any other criminal caught in the act. It is a universal truth that children are blessed and cursed by the the acts of their parents.

It should be easy for a non citizen birth certificates. You either have a copy of your birth certificate or other documents or bring them back within a certain amount of time or you do not receive a citizen birth certificate.

Port Alice, B.C.

A relative by marriage went from Canada to the US with his wife and children. He went to work and stayed but applied using a Canadian address, after a couple of years or so they went a US consulate in Canada for and interview (they traveled from the US for it)

They arrived in a waiting room, and were called first of about 250 people, for an interview. Six blue eyed blonds, the adults of which, as a test of English were asked to spell their names. The green (pink) cards were prepared and they went on their way. The interviewer mentioned the name of the California town where he was living.

There were a lot of Hispanics and Asians who were turned away that day.

Murray, Ut

tann0475, they do not deport right after catching someone, even if they have previous deportation notices. There are hearings, appeals etc. then the deportation order.

The birthright children, if adults are not notified, it's her responsibility to do that while awaiting her hearing. If they are minor children, she has the right to arrange for them to stay with relatives who are citizens, or take them home with her. They can return at 18 years of age.

Illegal immigrants know what they are doing to themselves and their families when they come here illegally. They know they can be caught and deported. It's their decision to possibly divide or disrupt their families through their actions. Society cannot be responsible for their bad choices, otherwise they will take advantage of our compassion and recklessly endanger their family unit, expecting us to fix their lives for them.

Compassion is one thing, setting us up to be duped is another.

mountain man
Salt Lake City, UT

Hanging in our living room is the flag my wife received when she got her citizenship in the U.S. about 3 years ago. We are both college educated.
Good jobs. The process was very difficult. And it was very expensive.
I spent many hours talking to INS customer service people. Usually have to call back 2 or 3 times to see what answer is the most consistent. When you talk to 2 INS people, you usually get 2 different answers.
I had to wait 9 months for a visa that allowed my wife to enter the U.S. legally.
The immigration process is too expensive. It is too complicated. It is too difficult. Especially for non-native speakers. And it is not going to get "easier" any time soon. The best option is to enter the country illegally. Don't worry about all the paper work and fees. As long as the immigration process stays this difficult and expensive...we will always have thousands of people entering illegally. I'm a black and white person but on this I have to side with the illegals....

Casa Grande, AZ

If my kids were going to bed hungry every night, my parents are old and only have that old fashoned retirement of thier kids helping them out - the coice would be easy to take an under the table job offered to me. There are higher laws to be considered.

So when I here people talking about following the law I just wonder which set of laws they value more?

Cottonwood Heights, UT

Thanks Val for you well written article. Those who have similar sympathies don't forget to read and sign the Utah Compact. Thanks.

Patrick Henry
West Jordan, UT

The effective way to be both fair,just, and affordable is to simply remove the incentive for the illegals to be here.

How will we do that? It's quite simple. Require every single business to reverify the legal status of all their employees. Make it prison time for anyone who knowingly employs illegals. Increase the fines to crippling levels. If you employ illegals you are only an American citizen in name- you are certainly not a true citizen of this country. Where does your true allegiance rest?

If we make it very difficult for the businesses to keep illegals then guess what will happen....The illegals are let go and most of them go back to their country of origin.

Murray, Ut

mountain man, the US has let in more people than the rest of the world combined since 2006 (legally). Most of the people I know who chose to come here legally, feel being an American is worth the effort.

Screwdriver, it's a good thing the billions of starving people in the world don't feel the same way. It is a question of honesty, not necessarily poverty.

Salt Lake City, UT

It was Harold B lee who coined the phrase No other success can compensate for failure in the home....and how can you follow the cousel of the GA's when even they are split on the issue.....this is not a matter for us to be looking for the Prophet for guidance....its a matter that we as a free society have to make to keep our nation FREE!

salt lake city, utah

Stop and think. Does it make any sense at all for one branch of the government to spend millions, if not billions, on border security to keep illegal immigrants out while other branches of the government spend billions to provide illegals with welfare, food stamps and education for their children?

salt lake city, utah

Patrick Henry @ 8:37

Do you really think it makes sense for one branch of the government to go after the people who hire illegals while other branches of the government provide illegals with welfare, food stamps and education for their children? People could not hire illegals if they weren't here in the first place.

Saratoga Springs, UT

Mountain Man,
INS has not been "INS" in many years ( I think 8 years). It is USCIS and BCIS before that. Anyway, I also went through the process. Yes, it was painful, expensive and needs to be reformed. However, we did it, you did it, and thousands more do it every year. It is still functional (although it does need to be streamlined significantly). What gives others the right to skip the step those of us responsible people did? I wanted things to be done the right way and applaud others who have navigated the legal immigration mess we have now.

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