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Published: Thursday, May 2 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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tenx
Santa Clara, UT

Well said. And count me as one who has MORE compassion for those waiting in line at our Embassies around the world.

watchman
Salt Lake City, UT

Mark, it is my opinion that your words represent the way a majority of Utahns feel about this issue. Parts of the bill, like status verification for employment, better border security, enforcement and improving the Visa system are on the good side, but it is very difficult to justify the pathway to legalization that the bill allows for.

It sounds like Senator Hatch needs some clarification on these issues, too. According to his recent comments, after all these years in the senate, he has trouble identifying the good and the bad in this bill.

Bloodhound
Provo, UT

If the government had enforced the immigration laws on the books, we would not have a problem with illegal immigration. However, those in authority, for a variety of reasons, have done everything but enforce immigration laws. The current "comprehensive immigration reform" before Congress is nothing but a warmed over version of the 1986 amnesty. Thanks to that amnesty, 11 million illegal immigrants decided to moved to the U.S. and patiently wait for the next amnesty. No more amnesties!

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

Meanwhile, here in the real world, we have millions of people who live her, who have businesses and homes here, and who we can't deport. To shriek loudly 'They're here illegally!' does not constitute a policy. The law they broke is a misdemeanor, a less serious crime than a moving traffic violation. 'Amnesty' is just a scare word; not a policy. I don't support the current immigration bill because the pathway to citizenship it includes is much too onerous. That means I support amnesty. It's the only sensible way to proceed.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Eric,

I agree we cannot deport them (those who are not guilt of major crimes). I believe for the kids raised here, citizenship must be the answer. They didn't ask to come but this is now their home. They often have little brothers or sisters who are citizens already. They need to know they have a place in America. Otherwise we recommend them to gang or other problematic lifestyles.

For the adults, I am unsure. I think that giving them permanent resident status would be sufficient once fines and taxes are paid. Perhaps (and just perhaps) the penalty for coming and staying illegally is that they will not get citizenship - but they will be allowed to stay, work and live their lives.

Obviously (and irrespective of any wider views on immigration) the political solution must involve a truly secure border.

I am still working on this. Your thoughts?

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I'm opposed to the bill, but the very reason I'm opposed to it is the reason it will pass. The immigration bill will be a great deal for Corporate America and a lousy deal for American workers. That's a winning formula to get anything through Congress.

4601
Salt Lake City, UT

Let's pass a law saying that those who rob banks are equal with those who legally withdraw money from banks.

Brer Rabbit
Spanish Fork, UT

Mark is right. The Lady Justice Statue at the Supreme Court is blindfolded, not to show compassion, but equal justice under the law. Amnesty, now referred to as "legalization," makes some groups of people "more equal" than others. All but a small percentage of undocumented immigrants are from Mexico and Latin America. This amnesty is designed for Mexicans and Latin Americans. Legalization also puts those here illegally ahead of those who apply to enter legally. The initial goal is not citizenship, but legal status. To many "legal status" might seem to be second class citizen status, due to the political advantage that would come to Democrats, pressure for giving citizen status would come forcefully and early.

In addition to legalization, the "comprehensive immigration legislation," S.744, not only includes a possible 11 million who could get legalization, but over 22 million legal work visas that would be given out over the next 10 years, total about 33 million new workers in an already weak employment market. S.744 immigration reform, is more about globalism, cheap labor, and racism, than justice.

anti-liar
Salt Lake City, UT

"...we have millions of people who live here, who have businesses and homes here, and who we can't deport..."

That is false propaganda. One, they very much CAN be deported. Two, they mostly will self-deport -- IF they understand that they actually are subject to the law and to meaningful penalty, instead of being virtually promised, by the likes of Obama, Shurtleff, and Burbank, that they basically are EXEMPT from the law. There should be regular searches, raids, prosecutions, permanent confiscation of property, etc., as well as deportations -- whatever it takes to inspire respect for this nation and its laws, whatever it takes to encourage those already here illegally to put their affairs in order, sell their homes and businesses, self-deport, and build up their own countries.

And most of them commit more than "just" a misdemeanor in order to live and work here. And NO speeder is allowed to continue to travel 100 miles an hour on I-15 in perpetuity. Just try doing that, or try not paying your fine, and see what happens. False analogy there.

And American shouldn't have to compete with illegal aliens for available housing. It makes home ownership impossible for many.

anti-liar
Salt Lake City, UT

@Twin Lights

To say that children should be given residency because they were brought here "through no fault of their own" is like saying that if a bank robber gives the loot to his children, those children should be allowed to keep the loot since they received it "through no fault of their own." The principle is the same.

Frankly, illegal aliens have become quite cynical in this regard. Many of them know that if they can get the likes of Sen. Hatch to say, "We shouldn't punish the children," then ALL of them are HOME FREE.

Requiring families here illegally to return to their home countries is not cruel nor inhumane. In fact, it is not even a punishment. If it is an inconvenience, or a disappointment, then that is the parents' fault -- not America's fault.

Illegal aliens need to be given to understand that stealing residency and other benefits, whether for themselves or for their children, will not pay.

Children illegally trafficked here -- regardless of age -- should return to their home countries WITH their parents. Minor children born in this country should join them. The latter group may return here once they are 18, if they choose.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Anti-Liar,

The bank robber example is not on point. Money is personal property - it belongs to someone specific. Citizenship or even residency within a nation, is not a possession (we cannot sell it or transfer it to others). It is a status that we hold and, as a society, we decide on whom that status can also be bestowed.

Given your posts, I am rather surprised that you know enough illegal aliens to know whether they are becoming cynical or not. The ones I know don't seem to be so.

Requiring the adults here illegally to return to their home might not be cruel or inhumane. But it is for the kids. They often have ZERO recollection of their former country. Even mastery of the language varies. Their friends and cultural touchstones are here.

As to the children born here? They are citizens and can remain no matter what as long as someone will volunteer to care for them. They have every bit as much right to be here as someone who traces back to the Mayflower.

Curmudgeon
Salt Lake City, UT

Mr. Terran and others who think "amnesty" [synonym: forgiveness] is such an awful thing may sing a different tune when they meet their maker.

Besides, no one is proposing unconditional amnesty. One may think the conditions proposed for attaining legal status or even citizenship are too harsh or too lenient, but it is sheer demagoguery to label them amnesty.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

Twin Lights,
We're certainly in agreement about children. I think the notion of a 'truly secure' border is a chimera. Why misuse time and resources to try to accomplish what can't be accomplished? The real answer to illegal Mexican immigration is something that's essentially happened: Mexico's economy is growing, and ours is struggling, which why illegal immigration is so low compared to historical standards.

Fitness Freak
Salt Lake City, UT

IF 25 million illegal trespassers are provided amnesty; ANOTHER 25 millon will certainly follow them waiting for their amnesty. They will be employed by the SAME employers who now employ the first group of 25 million.
Employers don't want to bother with pesky things like workmans comp., payroll taxes, etc., so they will just hire the new arrivals.

BTW - don't pay much attention to the "11 million" number the amnesty advocates toss around, that number is way low! Amnesty advocates just use that number to (hopefully)minimize the opposition to amnesty. California thinks they have between 7-8 million alone.

Why should we think the "new" law will be enforced any better than the "old" law?

Fitness Freak
Salt Lake City, UT

Correction sorry - the number of illegal trespassers in the southwest INCLUDING California is estimated at between 7-8 million.

Add in the rest of the nation for the TOTAL figure.

Brer Rabbit
Spanish Fork, UT

The best way to encourage Bad behavior is to not enforce the rules, in this case the immigration laws. Legalization and non-enforcement will only make the situation much worse. This "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" only includes the Promise of enforcement. We have seen that before.

Deporting 11 million illegal aliens has not been the real issue, but only the talking points of the supporters of illegal immigration, and open borders. Opponents of illegal immigration would like to see enforcement of the immigration and border laws first. There is virtually no interior enforcement today. Opponents would like the magnets turned off that attract illegal immigrants, primarily jobs. However, politicians of each political party do not want the cheap labor, which is keeping wages down, to stop. Politicians won't even implement a mandatory E-Verify program.

There are reasonable methods to get seasonal agricultural workers, but "comprehensive immigration reform" is not about that, it is about flooding not only the agricultural and unskilled labor market, but the skilled as well. Employers are always looking for ways to keep labor costs down. Cheap foreign labor is one way, and probably the cheapest.

anti-liar
Salt Lake City, UT

@Twin Lights

"Money is personal property..."
"...residency... is not a possession (we cannot sell it or transfer it to others)."

Maybe this will help you:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. (John 10:1)

"And as a society, we have decided on whom legal residency may be bestowed."

And with solemn contempt, the nation's illegal-alien population flouted that decision.

No use denying it.

"[The kids] often have ZERO recollection of their former country."

That doesn't mean anything. A kid who grew up in Utah, who moves with his parents to North Carolina, has no familiarity with North Carolina either, nor friends there. And yet, they manage.

@Curmudgeon

"[Those] who think "amnesty" (synonym: forgiveness) is such an awful thing may sing a different tune when they meet their maker."

And their maker also said: "Repent" -- which includes making restitution. And He will bar the unrepentant from entering Heaven. You really have no right to "forgive" in behalf of society -- because you are not actually in a position to offer an equalizing atonement. Mercy cannot rob justice.

watchman
Salt Lake City, UT

Brer Rabbit, Anti-Liar and many of the others have spoken true words in support of the Mark Terran letter.

It is difficult to see any justification, beyond personal selfish wants of some employers, to allow those that have broken our laws to be given a pathway to legalization even if they must pay a penalty. It seems our Senator Hatch is having a tough time distinguishing the wrongs in this bill.

To allow this bill to pass is a large step toward eroding the value of American citizenship
and creates a mockery of all those souls who have become citizens according to the rule of law.

John C. C.
Payson, UT

People are so high and mighty when pointing fingers at the minor transgressions of others. The law that the no-amnesty folks are so worked up about is a terrible law in the first place.

May we be granted amnesty when our Creator asks us why we shut down our borders, despised the poor, and judged others unworthy of the same blessings He gave us for free.

Curmudgeon
Salt Lake City, UT

@anti-liar:

Well, if you want to quote scripture, how about these?

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. [from the Lord's prayer, something you may not be familiar with]
. . . .
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Matthew 6:12 – 15

Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.
I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.
D&C 64:9 - 10

Also, a propos repentance, the proposed immigration reform bill does require a form of repentance and restitution before forgiveness (amnesty) occurs. Read the bill. It's too bad your prejudice blinds you to the parallels.

As for mercy not robbing justice, society does have the power to dictate the terms of forgiveness for civil infractions. Society, not God, makes the laws regarding immigration, and it can rescind, amend, or waive those laws.

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