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My view: Immigration reform just makes sense, it’s time to get it done

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  • Erik Kengaard Falls Church, VA
    April 27, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    manufacturers nationwide are struggling due to a shrinking workforce? Nonsense. "If there were a farm (hotel, restaurant, meatpacking, tech industry, etc) labor shortage, we'd see the price of farm (ditto) labor rising rapidly. We just don't see that—indicating that there is no shortage at all. There is, instead, a consistent cry from the farm (hotel, tech industry, etc) lobby for policy makers to adopt policies aimed at lowering labor costs. Gannet reports, for example, that "the American Farm Bureau and other farm groups are working on a plan to present to the new Congress that would allow more migrant laborers to work legally on U.S. farms." That's what all the noise is really about: enacting policies to crush already low farm wages by allowing farmers to import more foreign workers." Quoted (more or less) from CNBC Senior Editor John Carney

  • prelax Murray, UT
    April 18, 2014 4:44 p.m.

    @wonder, that is one of the three great lies of the pro-illegal movement.

    1.Record deportations.
    "The statistics are actually a little deceptive," Obama said last month (sept 2011) during a discussion with Hispanic journalists. There has been "a much greater emphasis on criminals than non-criminals." And "with stronger border enforcement, we've been apprehending folks at the borders and sending them back. That is counted as a deportation even though they may have only been held for a day or 48 hours."

    To make it's "record deportations" claim, the administration takes cases that would have previously been counted as "returns" and counts them as "removals." Then, they compare only their removals (and returns) to the number of removals under previous administrations."

    2. Just like speeding
    Coming here illegally is misdemeanor, with fines, jail time and deportation. Social security fraud, id theft and perjury I-9 are felonies. A person with a felony cannot come here legally.

    3. Utah compact
    It cunningly erases any distinction between legal and illegal immigration, in order to subtly convey a message that there is no legal nor moral difference between the two. It implies that both should be celebrated and embraced.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    April 18, 2014 1:33 p.m.

    I can't figure out why so many of you keep saying that Obama is not enforcing immigration laws. Don't you read the news? He's in "trouble" with Hispanics because he has deported more illegal aliens than ever before. Don't they report that on Fox? Guess it doesn't fit the preconceived narrative.

  • Erik Kengaard Falls Church, VA
    April 18, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    "If there were a farm (hotel, restaurant, meatpacking, tech industry, etc) labor shortage, we'd see the price of farm (ditto) labor rising rapidly. We just don't see that—indicating that there is no shortage at all. There is, instead, a consistent cry from the farm (hotel, tech industry, etc) lobby for policy makers to adopt policies aimed at lowering labor costs. Gannet reports, for example, that "the American Farm Bureau and other farm groups are working on a plan to present to the new Congress that would allow more migrant laborers to work legally on U.S. farms." That's what all the noise is really about: enacting policies to crush already low farm wages by allowing farmers to import more foreign workers." Quoted (more or less) from CNBC Senior Editor John Carney

  • Erik Kengaard Falls Church, VA
    April 18, 2014 10:08 a.m.

    "At one time or another, acceleration of population growth . . . has been sought by militarists in need of cannon fodder, by rulers in search of hegemonic expansion, by industrialists in want of cheap and docile labor, by ecclesiastical spokesmen in search of souls, and by land and other speculators hungering for unearned increment." Joseph J Spengler

    " . . . the greatest destroyers of man's options are the growth and excessive concentration of population." Joseph J Spengler

    ". . . growth and concentration of population are processes that . . . are reversible only at very great, perhaps intolerable, cost." Joseph J Spengler

  • tenx Santa Clara, UT
    April 18, 2014 6:49 a.m.

    Seems like all but one readers comments are against giving the farm away. Maybe the readers are correct and the Chamber is wrong (again). For sure the politicians (and of course La Raza) are a bit biased. Immigration reform should INCLUDE enforcement, something none of our "leaders" will express out loud. Viva LEGAL immigration.

  • Alfred Phoenix, AZ
    April 17, 2014 8:42 p.m.

    @2 bits:
    "I wish someone would define 'Immigration Reform'... what does that mean? "

    Simply put it means amnesty and eventual citizenship for all illegals. And it means millions more to follow once a 'reform' bill becomes law... just like what happened in 1986 when Reagan signed the same sort of bill.

    @lost in DC:
    "...just legal residency but only if they meet certain requirements."

    The most practical solution... no citizenship, just reside in the US. No voting, no gov't handouts i.e., SS, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment benefits. Just imagine an illegal immigrant getting unemployment benefits when/if laid off!

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    April 17, 2014 6:52 p.m.

    @Esquire:
    "They need to govern as they were elected to do."

    If they do that, they will not get reelected. The main objective of politicians is to stay in office. They know that going against immigrants in any fashion is sear political death.

    That's why the Democrats continue to cow-tow to illegal immigrants. That's why Barack Hussein Obama gave amnesty to millions of illegal 'dreamer' Republicans would like to as well, but they've their conscience to deal with. Democrats have no conscience at all.

    @Mike Richards:
    "The solution is simple. If products or services are offshore, require that they can only be sold in America with a 25% markup."

    Won't happen. If we jacked up the tax on imports, foreign countries would simply refuse to accept US imports.

    "Penney approach. James Cash Penney bought goods, marked them up a standard percent, and built an empire."

    That was then... this is now. We now live in a global economy.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 17, 2014 4:39 p.m.

    Esquire,
    Congress, especially harry reid, just needs to act. He needs to govern as he was elected to do. Right now, he allows nothing at all but just obstructs the senate’s work.

    JoeBlow,
    I agree – we need to go after those who hire illegals – unfortunately BO has an abysmal record in that regard. And he will not deport illegals he catches in any workplace raids they do conduct.

    I do agree with your comment that we should NOT give them a path to citizenship, just legal residency – but only if they meet certain requirements.

    happy2bhere,
    I agree with most of your proposal about how to go about legalizing those here – I think it impractical to try to deport 11-12 million people, but I do not think there should be any road to citizenship – legal residency, ok, but NOT citizenship.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    April 17, 2014 3:30 p.m.

    @Mike Richards
    You're spot on. It's about greed, nothing more. There is an abudunance of cheap labor in the world and business's are exploiting it.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 17, 2014 3:00 p.m.

    George Bush's "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007" had much more Democratic support than GOP support.

    You ask "Why was it NOT time for immigration reform back then?"

    Probably the same reason as today. The GOP would block it.

    "The legislation failed to garner even a simple majority.
    Only 33 Democrats, 12 Republicans and one independent voted to advance the bill, while 15 Democrats joined 37 Republicans and one independent to block it."

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 17, 2014 2:38 p.m.

    The author appears to have a problem with math. 1000 immigrants create 46 jobs – that leaves 954 others out of work, taking jobs from someone else.

    Esquire,
    Congress, especially harry reid, needs to act. Right now, he allows nothing to happen.

    Mike,
    Please don’t go down the path the Smoot-Hawley tariffs took us.

    JoeBlow,
    There ARE penalties and punishments for those hiring illegal immigrants. BO’s enforcement of those laws is pathetic.

    But I think we have some common ground, we do not need to grant citizenship to the illegal aliens. We can devise some type of legal residency without rewarding their law-breaking by granting them citizenship.

    happy2bhere
    I agree with your proposal up and to the point of allowing them to apply for citizenship. Legal residency – ok, but not citizenship if they are here illegally

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 17, 2014 2:32 p.m.

    "The answer is easy... politics.."

    It always is.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 17, 2014 12:39 p.m.

    JoeBlow,
    George Bush's "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007" was centered around nation-wide E-Verify of citizenship as condition of employment, and a temp worker program with a path to citizenship... and Democrats opposed it... why would they oppose that??

    It included funding for 300 miles (480 km) of vehicle barriers, 105 camera and radar towers, and 20,000 more Border Patrol agents, while simultaneously restructuring visa criteria around high-skilled workers. The bill also received heated criticism from both sides of the immigration debate. The bill was introduced in the United States Senate on May 9, 2007, but was never voted on, though a series of votes on amendments and cloture took place. The last vote on cloture, on June 7, 2007, 11:59 AM, failed 34-61 effectively ending the bill's chances.

    Why was it NOT time for immigration reform back then?

    ===

    The answer is easy... politics...

    ===

    The current administration has shown they think it's more important to go easy on illegal immigration (mostly for votes from what I can tell). And what indicates FUTURE administrations will enforce what THIS administration passes??

    They won't even allow Arizona to ask about citizenship!

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 17, 2014 12:22 p.m.

    We don't need immigration reform. What we need is immigration law enforcement.

    Since the biggest problem is processing the forms from people who want to come here legally, the only reforms needed is to mandate that the Feds process the forms in a timely manner.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    April 17, 2014 12:08 p.m.

    2 bits

    My question too. Immigration reform. It is a meaningless phrase until the particulars are put in. In my case, immigration reform has the following. 1. Very secure borders, using fencing, technology, and guards to stop not only the flow of people, but drugs and gangs and weapons ect. 2. Any illegals register with the federal government and do fingerprints, DNA, and picture on a special green card ID that has bar codes and other devices, like money, to prevent easy counterfeiting. A card that can be swiped in a machine (like an ATM) and immediately the card is verified. 3 Those illegals then get in the back of the line behind all other people trying to come to America before they can apply for citizenship. Yes they can work here, but not as citizens until their time comes. 4. Hold employers accountable for hiring an illegals that aren't registered as stated above. NO excuse of "we thought he was legally here." If ignorance of the law is no excuse, then this should not be an excuse for employers either. Thing like this are my idea of immigration reform.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 17, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    The primary step to combat illegal immigration is penalties and punishments for hiring those here illegally.

    But, our politicians would rather build a fence. How much sense does that make?

    We need an easy avenue to allow workers into this country to work, not become citizens.

    We need an avenue for those that were welcomed here many years ago, to stay. They have cars, houses, businesses and kids. It makes absolutely no sense to round them up and deport 11+ million people.

    The issue is fairly easy to address is we put partisan politics aside and use common sense.

    But, alas, partisan politics and common sense are mutually exclusive.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    April 17, 2014 11:55 a.m.

    So what is the difference of businesses hiring cheap labor Hispanic immigrants,
    vs.
    businesses hiring cheap labor Indian or Chinese immigrants?

    Is this really an issue about "immigration",
    or about businesses access to cheaper foreign labor?

  • LGJHERE LOS ANGELES/USA, CA
    April 17, 2014 11:26 a.m.

    A new award-winning worldwide book/ebook by ex-Salt Laker Lane Johnson that helps explain the role, struggles, and contributions of immigrants and minorities is "What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.” It paints a revealing picture of America for anyone who will benefit from a better understanding. Endorsed by ambassadors, educators, and editors, it also informs those who want to learn more about the last remaining superpower and how we compare to other nations on many issues.
    As the book points out, they come to improve their lives and create a foundation of success for their children to build upon, as did the author’s grandparents when they landed at Ellis Island in 1899 after losing 2 children to disease on a cramped cattle car-like sailing from Europe to the Land of Opportunity and then on to Zion. Perhaps intelligent immigration reform, White House/Congress and business/labor cooperation, concerned citizens and books like this can extend a helping hand, the same unwavering hand,, lest we forget, that has been the anchor and lighthouse of American values for four hundred years.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    April 17, 2014 11:19 a.m.

    Mr. Obama has within his authority TODAY to:a) effectively close up the border, and at least SLOW DOWN the rate of new illegal immigrants, and b)raid businesses that are hiring illegal workers, and c)let local police arrest and detain illegal alien trespassers.

    He hasn't done any of those things, in fact, exactly the opposite.

    My point is: WHAT part of illegal immigration needs to be changed?

    WHY can't amnesty advocates just say what they REALLY want - cheap labor and (possible)votes?

    Might as well stop fibbing.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 17, 2014 11:08 a.m.

    I wish someone would define "Immigration Reform"... what does that mean?

    Does it mean the same thing to ALL people?

    And does it do any good to "Re-form" it... if we just don't enforce the new Re-formed Immigration policy?

    If 30 years from now this policy has done as little to help the situation as Reagan's did... I don't know if letting this "Opportunity" pass us by is such a big deal.

    I would much rather see us focus on enforcement (of existing law or this re-formed law). But when you bring up enforcement... everybody just gets REAL uncomfortable and won't say anything. Why is that??

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 17, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    2 bits,

    The solution is simple. If products or services are offshore, require that they can only be sold in America with a 25% markup. That would take away the incentive to manufacture offshore.

    I agree that we can't afford to buy $200 shirts, but with the technology that is available, robotic machines could sew clothes with little human interaction. That technology would require highly skilled people to manufacture, program and maintain. Skilled workers would be needed.

    The person I talked to yesterday works for a company that resells software for many hundreds of thousands of dollars per installation. That software costs less than $30,000 to develop . It also costs a few thousand dollars for installation, but maintenance is handled offshore at less than minimum wage.

    As a business owner, I follow the J.C. Penney approach. James Cash Penney bought goods, marked them up a standard percent, and built an empire. Today, many businesses charge all that the market will bear. To me, that is corrupt.

    Hiring aliens to work at minimum wage suppresses wages and destroys peoples' ability to buy.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 17, 2014 9:58 a.m.

    Mike Richards,
    We had this same problem back when America had a textile industry. People kept saying "Buy American" and "Look for the made in USA label" and stuff like that. But people just kept buying the cheapest products they could find, and now the USA has no textile industry to speak of.

    Maybe the same thing will eventually happen with the Software industry, It already has with the Hardware industry (very little is made in the USA).

    We can't compete in manufacturing, science, space exploration, or any of the other industries we made great back in the day. Doing it in AMERICA is just too expensive!

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 17, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    I totally disagree with the letter writer. Utah has lots of people who need work. There are able-bodied people receiving welfare that would work if they could find a job. Importing labor or exporting jobs is not the answer until every able bodied American who will work has a job.

    I just talked to someone who returned yesterday from visiting India where he checked on software projects for his company. He told me that well-qualified programmers in India work for $8,000 to $10,000 per year. That puts them in the upper middle-class in India. He said that the same job in America would cost his company 10 times more. He said that his company is prospering because it sells programs at full price to American companies while paying less than minimum wage to develop those programs. That conversation depressed me. I believe in paying people what they are worth and in keeping jobs in America if the product is being sold in America.

  • watchman Salt Lake City, UT
    April 17, 2014 9:07 a.m.

    Bingham's article on the surface kind of makes sense until you realize that the 'Comprehensive Immigration Reform' that is being talked about in DC allows wholesale legalization of thousands of illegal aliens in this country including many being able to bring more of their families from their home countries.

    A responsible and accountable method of using immigrants for workers would probably be acceptable but not without primary focus put on border control and enforcement of legal status laws.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 17, 2014 8:51 a.m.

    Of course it's "time to get it done".... it's way PAST "time to get it done"!

    The real question is... what to do??? Not whether it's time or not!

    ===

    We've been trying to get this done since Reagan's amnesty bill. And it did nothing to FIX the problem!

    Just passing ANOTHER amnesty bill will likewise NOT FIX the problem.

    We need to get serious about enforcement of ANY law that passes. And if we aren't willing to enforce the weak stuff we've already passed over the years... what makes you think we believe you are serious about enforcing whatever you pass now?? You won't (IF it's not politically to your advantage).

    It doesn't matter if you gitter done now.. if you have no intention of enforcing whatever you pass!

    And I see no indication that we are ready to allow enforcement. For example all the threats and law suits from Obama admin to prevent Arizona from enforcing existing laws...

    If we are serious about enforcement... law enforcement (meaning police, not just ICE) need to be able to ask. No more "don't ask - don't tell" on illegal immigration!

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    April 17, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    Fast and furious way to destroy an economy.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    April 17, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    The writer is generally correct. Congress, especially the Republicans, just need to act. They need to govern as they were elected to do. Right now, they do nothing at all. Truman's "do-nothing Congress" was far more active than this Congress.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    April 17, 2014 6:57 a.m.

    Mr. Bingham could have reduced the number of his words in his op/ed by just saying that he and his cronies simply want "cheap labor" for their manufacturing businesses. And gee. It only takes 40 million immigrants to create 1.8 million jobs. Wow. I guess we should let in 400 million immigrants to America and create 11 million jobs.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    April 17, 2014 5:37 a.m.

    The author is (apparentally)referring to unethical employers' constant whining for cheaper labor. In this case it is H1B visas.

    The high-tech employers have taken a page from the low-tech lobby. Namely, WHY NOT lobby for workers from India, China, Taiwan, etc., who will work for one-third the amount that American workers will?

    If YOU have 2 bachelors degrees, maybe a masters, or even a PhD do YOU think you should have to compete with a H1B visa holder from India who will work for 28,000$ per year?

    The lobbyist author doesn't do a very good job of trying to explain his position, but its' obvious that LEGAL American wages will drop under his plan.

    Just say NO!!

  • prelax Murray, UT
    April 17, 2014 3:49 a.m.

    This country had a lot of skilled people in the manufacturing field. Right up until business bailed on them, and exported their jobs. It's no wonder people are reluctant to work in those fields, as they saw what happened to parents and relatives. Now the jobs are coming back, why not hire the older workers who are fully trained? it's only fair. They comprise one of the largest groups in America that are unemployed or underemployed.

    Take some responsibility and train America's youth, so you will have the skilled workers when the older ones leave. Take responsibility for the future of your business, like America did in the past. Taking jobs overseas, training the people there, then bringing the jobs back with the foreign workers doesn't sit well with American labor (and consumers)

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    April 17, 2014 12:34 a.m.

    The notion that Utah has a labor shortage, is false.

    The truth is that the moral disease of Greed has an iron grip on this nation and on Utah especially, arguably. For this cause, many American and Utah businessmen simply do not want to deal justly with their fellow American by paying him a fair wage. They "oppress the hireling in his wages." And they want a veritable flood of foreign labor into this state, both legal and illegal, in a calculated desire to drive unemployment up, and wages down, in an utterly selfish pursuit of increased profit.

    It was the driving force of the creation of the Utah Compact -- documented to have originated with the notorious Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce.

    It was the driving force behind Utah's HB116 amnesty bill being shoved down Utahns' throats.

    "For the love of money is the root of all evil."

    "And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
    Matthew 19:24

    There are plenty of qualified, unemployed and underemployed American workers in this state, in all labor sectors.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 17, 2014 12:27 a.m.

    Well this is a hard call for me. On the one hand immigration reform will allow for much more humane treatment of currently illegal immigrants. On the other hand, the organizations with which the writer affiliates know that immigration offers the opportunity for cheaper labor. In this case domestic labor is caught in the middle. The welfare of our current labor force must be evaluated and considered. With organized labor's weakened condition, domestic labor lacks an effective voice in the debate. Others must assist that voice.

  • RRB SLC, UT
    April 17, 2014 12:20 a.m.

    Is this another con job by the Salt Lake Chamber, like the Utah Compact?

    Our u-6 unemployment rate is 12.5%, that's almost 20 million people looking for full time work. Add in 12 million people here illegally, over a million per year new immigrants on green cards, and 3.2 million work visas per year, I think business is addicted to foreign labor. There are already enough people here to fill all business needs.