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Comments about ‘My view: Balanced coverage of immigration needed in media’

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Published: Friday, Dec. 14 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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WestGranger
West Valley City, Utah

The problem is our broken immigration system and our failure to secure the border. Our system allows us to exploit these undocumented workers. The irresponsibility of our politicians has hurt everyone. The undocumented workers aren't the problem. Most of these people come from situations that are much more desperate than the average American can comprehend. The situation is now so out of hand that we need to bring them out from the shadows. It would be beneficial to our national security and crime rates. Those with criminal records could be easier weeded out. We would be able to better control the influx of workers. If a man or woman is no longer an "illegal" person, they will be much less likely to accept extremely low wages.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Here is another story.

In many places, it is illegal to leave your keys in the car. Why? Well of course, it makes it too tempting to steal the car. One may agree or disagree with those laws, but certainly you can understand why they exist.

When I lived in Texas, I saw a city build a "day-labor plaza" where workers would congregate and those needing labor would drive up and pick up the people they needed. There was no doubt in anyones mind that virtually everyone there looking for work was illegal.

Not only was hiring illegals not prosecuted, but it was encouraged. Kind of like leaving your keys in the car.

Illegals come here for jobs. Until we get serious about finding and penalizing business who hire illegals, the problem will NOT GO AWAY.

Secondly

People constantly say - Illegal is Illegal.

I get it. But lets look at reality.

Scenario 1
Guy gets caught last week crossing the border illegally to pick lettuce. Send him back. No issues.

Scenario 2

Guy came illegally(was virtually welcomed) 30 years ago. Still illegal but with family and house.

You want to deport him? That makes sense?

Janalee? Thoughts?

Fozz Moo
Herriman, UT

WestGranger commented: "Most of these people come from situations that are much more desperate than the average American can comprehend."

While it may be true that most Americans would have a difficult time comprehending the lives of people living in Mexico and Latin America, the facts still stand that Mexico, in particular, is among the richest nations in the world. People in Mexico live better than most of the rest of the world. Those that choose to come to America illegally do so, perhaps, because they want a better life for themselves and their family. There's nothing wrong with that and I think most of us applaud that desire because it is significant component of the American Dream. But they need to do it legally and through a proper framework.

Fozz Moo
Herriman, UT

JoeBlow makes a good point about the immigrant who has been in the US illegally for years. This is a problem we've faced time and time again. We tried to deal with this once and for all in 1986 during the Reagan administration when we granted blanket amnesty to all those who were in the country illegally.

Why didn't it solve the problem? Because measures were not put in place then to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the country. Hiring of illegal labor was not penalized or discouraged. Government benefits and entitlements have continued to attract as well.

Before we can discuss legal acclimation of people who have been here for X years, we need to put processes in place to prevent us from returning to this same exact spot years in the future.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Fozz Moo,

Mexico has a significant economy - about the 14th largest in the world. But it also has a huge population. The best measure of relative wealth and income is GDP per capita. On that basis, Mexico is about 85th in the world. So, despite the size of its economy, it's people are not (on average) well off at all but are, in fact, relatively poor.

Also, wealth and income are not evenly distributed. So there are many areas more poor than the average (which again, is not good).

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"we need to put processes in place to prevent us from returning to this same exact spot years in the future."

Agree Fozz.

And I think that after we deal with the "long-timers" we need strict hiring laws with penalties, strict Citizen only education, and any illegal needing govt services (emergency health care) knows that they will be immediately deported. We HAVE to make it less attractive to be in the US as an illegal than it is to stay home.

I believe that fences would not work.

watchman
Salt Lake City, UT

Janalee Tobias understands the illegal immigrant situation as well or better than most people on the Utah Commission on Immigration and has demonstrated that in her actions on the commission and her undying involvement with this issue for several years.

Her letter reflects the frustrations felt by many citizens who almost daily see media stories that appear to be attempting to draw sympathy for "undocumented" who have come to this country illegally and then wonder why they draw troubles for themselves and their families.

There are very few stories about the citizens and neighborhoods that have been negatively affected by these intruders that come into our communties illegally.

Commendations to Tobias and others who continually expend personal time and effort to protect and defend the values of American citizenship.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

"I put together what I believe was a minor miracle: Unions and non-union members in the same room, all testifying that cheap labor is destroying hope for the future of America." Then the writer is shocked at the lack of coverage in Utah. Janalee, the problem is Utahs' and the Republican party's "commitment" to cheap labor. Until you have a society that believes and an economy that supports the concept that labor deserves to paid at a level that is life supporting all the fences, all the everifys' in the world won't stop the flow of workers to fill the void.

As long as executives make 500 times what a worker makes, as long as you have people on this thread who brag about paying $15 an hour with no benefits, as long the country has a medical system that excludes 40,000,000, you are going to have a major part of your work force that can live in the shadows and manipulate the system for survival.

anti-liar
Salt Lake City, UT

The author is correct, of course. There are persons in this state who, though they were taught better in Sunday School class as children, are dishonestly seeking to deceive their fellow man by subtly but ever so intently implying that there is no difference between legal and illegal immigration. The Utah Compact is a shining example of this.

They bear false witness against their neighbor, by falsely insinuating that those opposed to illegal immigration and its damaging consequences are unchristian, immoral, "extreme," and racist.

They also do pervert the right way of the Lord, by implying that to show compassion and to love one's neighbor is to endorse and look the other way at illegality. Jesus said: Repent, and sin no more -- which, in the case of illegal immigration, can only mean taking one's children, returning to one's home country, and there living lives of honesty, honor, and respect for one's fellow man. Anything else is rationalization.

The hard truth is that illegal immigration in Utah is a matter of greed, covetousness, corruption, and disrespect for America on the part of businesses, churches, radical progressives, various racist and "Reconquista" groups, and the illegal aliens themselves.

anti-liar
Salt Lake City, UT

@WestGranger

"The undocumented workers aren't the problem. Most of these people come from situations that are much more desperate than the average American can comprehend."

It is this kind of rationalization that has enabled illegal immigration on such a massive scale in this country. The exact same rationalization could be applied to shoplifting and bank robbery. Allowing someone to steal -- and to cause someone else's child to go hungry in the process -- is not compassion. It also is immoral and unfair.

@JoeBlow

If uniform enforcement and meaningful punishment would deter businesses from hiring illegally, then so would uniform enforcement and meaningful punishment deter persons from being in the country illegally in the first place. The fact is, both groups are partners in crime. Both should be held accountable.

"Guy came illegally (was virtually welcomed) 30 years ago. Still illegal but with family and house."

First, unscrupulous groups or individuals may have welcomed them. But America did not. Second, there is no valid reason why the passage of time should grant automatic, retroactive legal residency. Arguably, those who have lived lives of illegally in this country for 30 years ought to receive 30 times the punishment. How about that.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Arguably, those who have lived lives of illegally in this country for 30 years ought to receive 30 times the punishment. How about that.

You must have been absolutely LIVID when Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to those millions of illegals.

Were you demonstrating in the streets?

Brer Rabbit
Spanish Fork, UT

As long as the benefits for being in the United States illegally outweigh staying in Mexico or even poorer countries, illegal immigration will not be preventable. Since there is no punishment other than being deported what is there to lose by violating U.S. immigration law? Enforceable E-Verify would be a big step forward. Utah's E-Verify law is unforced, and therefore only pretend.

Tobias is correct in believing that the Utah media is biased in favor of illegal aliens. The problem is that the sympathy of the Utah media actually creates the problem and makes it worse, by pretending that the citizens of Utah feel the same way. The media lacks logic because they fail to understand that if you want bad behavior, all that you have to do is reward it. Talk of "amnesty" only encourages bad behavior.

anti-liar
Salt Lake City, UT

"Arguably, those who have lived lives of illegality in this country for 30 years ought to receive 30 times the punishment."

The 1986 amnesty eventually came to be recognized -- even by Ronald Reagan himself -- as a colossal mistake.

And why didn't it work?

Well, first of all, it didn't necessarily change the hearts of those who had shown such contempt for this nation's borders, customs, and laws in the first place. Not having truly assimilated American values themselves, nor having truly discarded old ones, many of them taught their American-born children accordingly.

The other problem was that there was no commitment to earnestly enforce the law after that.

Arguably, these two things lay at the root of the ruin of California today.

Which brings us to the topic of amnesty today. Some ask, "What do we do with the 11 million illegal aliens already here?" In part I would answer that question with another question: If we were to grant all of them amnesty today and, due to lack of enforcement, 11 million MORE were to subsequently enter the country, what should we do then? Grant amnesty again?

The answer, as always, is earnest, uniform enforcement, and meaningful punishment.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "JoeBlow" imagine you have a neighbor who robbed a bank 30 years ago. He used that money for various charities and community development. Does it make sense to put him in jail now? Why or why not?

Why does it matter what they have done with their ill-gotten goods? Would you allow a person who molested kids, and was never caught to live next door to you? Would you allow an unconvicted con artist to remain in your neighborhood?

Would you tolerate an illegal immigrant taking $2700/yr from your family? That is what each illegal immigrant family costs the US. Why tolerate keeping illegal immigrants here when they take resources away from the poor US citizens?

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

You are right. Lets round up 12 million ILLEGALS living in the United States and drag their keisters back across the border.

I suppose that we can confiscate their "ill-gotten goods also - their property - houses, cars, land and businesses. Heck, we can grab their stocks and bank accounts also.

Maybe we can put it all towards that deficit.

Tell me SPECIFICALLY, which parts of my plan you would NOT do and why

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

I have an even better idea. Open our borders.
Every peer-reviewed study of immigration concludes that immigrants are a net economic plus for our country. More Hispanic immigrants become entrepreneurs than non-Hispanic immigrants. We have plenty of room. Let 'em in. Stop demonizing them. Anyone who doesn't have a criminal record in their home country should be allowed to come to our country.

anti-liar
Salt Lake City, UT

@JoeBlow

"Tell me SPECIFICALLY, which parts of my plan you would NOT do and why."

Probably I would not "round up" 12 million -- not because it would be impossible, as is frequently and INCORRECTLY alleged, but because doing so would be unnecessary.

Why?

The doctrine of Attrition (and Deterrence) through Uniform Enforcement and Meaningful Punishment.

Meaningful punishment is NOT a free airline trip, complete with meal, snacks, and orange juice, whereby an illegal alien may visit friends and relatives whereupon he can merely re-enter the country again.

In fact, you yourself have provided a fine example of meaningful punishment: permanent confiscation of property. And once word got out that all 12 million are in fact subject to the law, that ANY ONE OF THEM, at any time, and in any place, could be arrested and face such a sanction, and once word got out that such enforcement were in fact taking place, it wouldn't be necessary to "round up" 12 million; they largely would self-deport on their own (AND they wouldn't come back).

Absolutely they should be deported, every last one of them. Remember it only is because they disrespect this nation that such enforcement is necessary.

Brer Rabbit
Spanish Fork, UT

Presently enforcement of U.S. immigration law is for all practical purpose non-existent, unless the illegal alien is taken in for a felony. Then in many cases the illegal alien is released early and deported to save money for state prisons.

Jo Blow is like my wife, by saying that you can't deport 12 million illegal aliens, and so don't do anything. If I don't agree with my wife, on something, she will just say, let's do nothing then! We don't need to deport 12 million illegal aliens in a single day or even a single year.

Using E-Verify against employers that hire illegal aliens would slow the flow and cause many to return, due to not being able to find a job. Law enforcement could start enforcing the law causing even more to leave. We have to start somewhere other than just saying "we can't deport 12 million illegal aliens," which would be like saying that there is no sense trying to prevent crime because we can't stop ALL crime.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The difference between legal and illegal immigration doesn’t have any thing to do with the problems of jobs for the American people of the worker class. Legal immigrants who will work for less money will take American jobs and displace the American worker just the same as the illegal.

Illegal immigration is not the problem, it is just a symptom of the failure of our economic system to change to fit the needs of today and not 200 years ago. Technology, automation, machines and better tools have reduced the amount of human labor at the same time as the number of humans has increased greatly.

The difficult decisions are about changing the way we share, distribute and recycle the wealth of our being humans. Else we’ve got to kill a lot of people to get back to the balance of people versus resources.

As for expecting the media to be fair and balanced, forget it, they’re not part of the group that’s hurting.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If it wasn't for the jobs problem, we would love to have more Americans.

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