Comments about ‘Robert Bennett: Immigration reform should demonstrate 'love of neighbor'’

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Published: Monday, April 21 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

"In addition to being good policy, such a system [law reform] would also demonstrate the “love of neighbor” of which President Uchtdorf spoke so eloquently when visiting President Barack Obama."

I agree with Senator Bennett. What it comes down to is this: if I knew an illegal family was living next door, but they were nice people with good kids, could I turn them in to the Feds to have them kicked out of the country? I couldn't do it. I just can't harm people without an overt reason, i.e. directly harming my property or person.

So if I couldn't turn them in, I have to advocate for changing the law. To get a position on this, we have to personalize it.

Provo, UT

Funny, I remember the Churches website tells people to come here legally, and that it is right for governments to enforce their laws.

How about enforcing the laws, and demanding that people follow them?

With the majority of people here illegally having committed id theft, social security fraud, perjury and tax evasion, Mr. Bennett's idea would apply to very few people here illegally. It would also give amnesty to business owners that commit felonies by hiring people here illegally.

We have followed Mr. Bennett's ideas seven times in the last 30 years, it's only made the problem worse.

Murray, UT

Senator Bennett voted for amnesty in 1986, and the six amnesties in the 90's. At no time did he attempt to pass laws that would of enforced the border, e-verify/interior enforcement, more judges and law clerks. (all passed with the 1986 amnesty, but never enforced). He also did nothing to forward a visa entry-exit system (passed in the reform of 1996). Senator Bennett was part of the problem, his current ideas want to continue the failed policies.
I don't think rewarding illegal behavior is compassion, it's more of a guilt trip on America's giving nature. I see enforcement as more compassionate, and it would serve as a deterrent to stop the lawbreaking. No more separated families, no more people dying in the desert, and no more business breaking the law.

Last year we were told 11.5 million were here illegally, now Senator Bennett says 12-13 million. It looks like the border is still porous (and ICE agrees, people are still crossing it).


Making it legal to come here without permission, and then making it apply to those already here is not a solution. It's open borders and giving up this countries sovereignty.

Salt Lake City, UT

The notion that retroactive legalization is merely "changing the law," is specious. What "changing the law" actually would do is signify that the law never meant anything to begin with, doesn't mean anything now, and will not mean anything in the future. Like that other obfuscative euphemism for rewarding lawbreaking -- "immigration reform" -- "changing the law" would be nothing less than an abandonment of the rule of law and also an abdication of U.S. sovereignty.

Not only are border breaches hardly a "trickle," Mr. Bennett also fails to acknowledge visa violations and the fact that enforcement of immigration law in the nation's interior is virtually non-existent today.

And if the rate of illegal immigration today is not as high as it could be, this is due in substantial part because rampant illegal immigration has in fact harmed this nation's economy to a point where even would-be illegal aliens themselves are unimpressed by the prospects and are remaining home -- at least until such time as the nation is able to rebuild it; then they do come in illegally.

Salt Lake City, UT

Also disingenuous is Bennett's implication that all illegal aliens would need to be deported overnight and that there would be no attrition factor. First of all, it actually COULD be done, practically speaking, contrary to Bennett's claim that immigration law is "unenforceable" (i.e., that deportation is impossible). And it would only cost a fraction of what illegal immigration costs this nation on a perpetual basis.

But surely Bennett knows that we need only serve notice to this nation's illegal aliens that they are in fact SUBJECT to the law and to meaningful penalty if caught in this country illegally and that most would then self-deport.

It is time for a little "love thy neighbor" in the direction of American families who suffer in a wide variety of ways as a direct result of illegal immigration, and in the direction of hundreds of millions around the world who suffer far, far more than this nation's illegal aliens and who, in contrast, actually respect this nation and its laws. Where is the "love thy neighbor" for these?

There is only one way to "love" ALL of these parties: personal agency, equality at the law, and accountability.

Far East USA, SC

Mr Bennett has done a good job of detailing out the challenges of the immigration problem.

It is easy to say "round up and deport all the illegals". That seems to be the go to, feel good solution to many.

But is it practical? Or even doable?

We have a real world situation. We need real world solutions.

While many will blast Mr Bennett, how about you take specific exceptions to what he wrote, and provide an alternative, real world, practical solution.

Kaysville, UT

You make some very good points. Thank you for the article. Now I hope those strong arguements can persuade some "ship them all back at all cost" proponents.

Saint George, UT

Without undocumented immigrants, the country would have imploded. Rounding up all of them and sending them back is the most absurd idea of them all! They are here because America is the last best chance for freedom in the world. However, rewarded Republican or Democratic politicians for promoting the welfare state, disobedience to law, and their crony capitalist friends is what I can't tolerate, which is exactly what most of them have done! Disengaging from Socialism, requiring all Americans to obey the law, including illegal immigrants, and returning to God will change America!

Saint George, UT

Marist: Since you are an advocate of Marx, you are not allowed to speak on anything that resembles freedom, including commenting on a neighbor that is infringing upon your "property," something that doesn't exist under Marxism! Integrity of thought and action requires you to admit what you believe!


Deporting 12 million, according to a government study done in 2007 by the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency put the cost at 94 billion. This is a one time cost, that does not include self deportation. The Federation for American Immigration Reform puts the cost of illegal immigration at $113 billion per year. When you add in the boost to our economy from putting millions of Americans back to work in non agriculture jobs, we can't afford not to.

Our leaders have known for decades just how easy it would be. E-verify and social security number matching would eliminate most by not letting them work. Strong interior enforcement and tough employer sanctions would force them back to their own country. This is why the border\everify\interior enforcement\more judges\and a visa entry & exit system were never enacted after being passed in previous reforms. Business should pay the cost of deportations.

We know exactly how to solve the problem, and it's not amnesty which just makes things worse.

Far East USA, SC

10 years ago, there was a town where I lived that built a "day workers plaza". This was done so that those looking for work had a place to safely wait and to safely be picked up by those needing workers.

And I would have bet my car that 95+% of them were illegal.

The point is that for many many years, illegal immigration was completely accepted and sometimes encouraged. The laws were not enforced. No by Bush, Bush, Clinton, Carter, or Obama.

The reason is that both R and D parties and their contributors have never really wanted enforcement.
There was no political gain. For the most part, there still isn't.

On a side note, many take the stance of ILLEGAL IS ILLEGAL. Enforce the law.

Until we look at Bundy. Then it seems that everything changes.

Think for a minute if we had a group of Hispanic American Citizens who banded together as an armed militia to stop the deportation of some of their friends.

How many who support Bundy, would support this group? And vice versa.

Just food for thought.


Bundy should pay the grazing fee's. The people were there to stop the BLM from over reacting and selling his property (cattle). It would be much like ICE selling the property of those here illegally.

Is this lack of failure to obey the laws a result of lack of immigration enforcement? The American people want the laws enforced and it's time has come. Think for a minute about the Bundy reaction aimed at those here illegally. Either group taking up arms is scary, but it's only going to get worse until we start enforcing our laws.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I will be glad to love my neighbor, as long as they obey the laws.

When if someone steals my car, sells drugs to kids, or robs my bank, then I will not love them.

Every legal immigrant is welcome, and our laws allow for orderly legal migration. By the same token, those who chose to break our laws and come here illegally are not welcome, and we MUST not reward them with amnesty.

I am afraid I don't have much love for those who chose to aid law breakers rather than those who obey laws. Be they in the media, rejected former politicians, or anyone else.

Federal Way, WA

Who really advocates rounding up every illegal alien? What i think most people want is to have "immigration reform" that puts hard limits on the type of people who come into this country (education level, skills, country of orgin, family association etc) along with very strick visa and work e-verify protections and followup. You dont even have to address the current iliegals although I would be willing to support some level of dream act for children of these people in exchange for hte visa and work e verify systems.

When the resolution that you are proposing ( forgiveness) has been done mulitple times and all it has done is encourge more people to come here iliegally so that they can wait for the next act of forgiveness, then you dont do it again. Perhaps ever.

Layton, UT

There is certainly a lot of 'Justice' being discussed in these comments, but not much 'mercy'. I'm grateful that the ultimate authority is better at balancing those two principles, then most of the comments here.

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

Laws exist to settle the question. Mr. Bennett knows how it works. He swore to uphold EXISTING law passed by his predecessors in Congress. That's the way it works.
Enforcement is lacking. When one studies the blue ribbon commissions (going back to 1981, 1994 and 1997) they are all similar in their recommendations:
-Secure the border
-Control the Visa process
-Validate work authorization
-Enforce ID theft laws
-Apprehend, detain and deport those who are here illegally.

Of course, Washington has failed to do that. Instead they court activists, labor unions and Chamber interests.
The end result is that ONE THIRD of all foreign-born are here illegally.
When will Congress act in the interest of the citizens of the United States, rather than their petty campaign needs?

Fitness Freak
Salt Lake City, UT

"GaryO" Obama COULD strengthen border security tomorrow. He ALREADY has the authority to do that. No need for new legislation.

The folks who advocate for "immigration reform" are REALLY just talking open borders. Most of them are simply elitists who want cheap labor, either for them or their friends.

The United States southern border is as porous as ever. Just ask ANY border patrol agent.

Somehow.......I'm inclined to believe them before I believe Bob Bennett.


Exactly what is the legal immigration process for residents coming here from Mexico?

Does anybody know?

How long is the wait?

I'd like to see a well-written and researched article on that.

Maybe then we can base our opinions armed with some facts and a more thorough understanding.

Cedar Hills, UT

Reagan attempted the amnesty option already. It was intended to only involve about 3 million people if I recall correctly. The unintended consequence of Reagan's amnesty was the message it sent to the rest of the world that the USA doesn't really enforce its laws nor care about its sovereignty. The result was an INCREASE in illegal immigration. In summary: Good intentions often don't translate into good policy and "immigration reform" (amnesty) had negative consequences when previously attempted.

The answer is to actually control the border first, enforce existing laws, and then once we have real control of the situation we can discuss adapting the laws allowing people to immigrate to the USA.

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