My view: We are a nation of immigrants, and they make our nation strong


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  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 7, 2014 2:24 p.m.

    We are not a "nation of immigrants." We are a nation of immigrants *and* of the descendants of immigrants.

    You can't ignore the second half of that equation. Immigration brings a certain vitality and spice to national life. But the descendants of immigrants bring something, too.

    As a nation, we have decided to try and keep the ratio between those two groups, and the respective cost-benefit packages each brings to the tble, at a certain level, by allowing what is frankly quite a generous level of immigration. This is no different from how a city may properly decide to approve a certain number of new developments, and no more -- in order to prevent new arrivals from overstraining local schools, parks, roads and services.

    Democrats have no problem with limiting development. They need to ask themselves exactly why they favor what is effectively unlimited immigration.

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    Salt Lake City, UT
    Aw, come on, Mr. Corroon. Surely you see a difference between those who play by the rules & pay the fees, & so on, & others who show up & expect to be welcomed in without meeting any criteria whatsoever. Don't we as a sovereign nation have the right to expect certain obligations to be met? How about us taxpayers who get to foot the bills for the schooling & medical care for these folks? Since when is a desire to live in the U.S. the only thing that determines whether somebody gets to come & stay or not?

    Well said, Littlebit.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 7:23 p.m.


    The ship your referring to was a ship of German Jewish refugees. They were turned away by many nations. We turned them away because we were not at war yet (it was 1939), and did not want to get involved. Same with the other nations. That's not a good comparison.

    Watch the movie "Voyage of the Damned". It has nothing to do with illegal immigration.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 7:07 p.m.

    Compassion? How do we reward illegal behavior and call it compassion? Compassion is making everyone follow the same set of rules. If a child does something wrong do you reward them? What would that teach them? That bad behavior was rewarded in this society? Not to mention encouraging more of the same behavior. Over a million people come here legally each year for a better life for them and their family. Breaking the law, living in fear, stealing id's, social security numbers, and perjury (I-9) is not asking for a better life. The lessons taught to their children almost ensure a worse life in my opinion.

    Why do you want to reward illegal behavior, and punish the honest legal immigrant?

    I don't like my honest ancestors from Ireland compared to those who chose to break our laws and come here illegally. They wanted the better life, and chose the right path for them and their children.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    Aug. 6, 2014 2:24 p.m.

    It's not often that I would agree with a Democratic party chair but I agree with the gist of this piece.

    Some illegal immigrants have made a decision many of us would have made in their shoes. I don't support open borders. I believe we need to tighten up border security and should have an orderly immigration system. But there are some situations which call for compassion.

    We turned away a ship full of refugees (is that better DN?? - I have no idea why my comment was denied} fleeing Nazi Germany during WWII because they didn't have the proper documentation and there was a similar furor over illegal immigration. There are exceptions to every rule.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 6, 2014 11:49 a.m.


    "You're making excuses to justify illegal behavior by business and those coming here illegally by things."

    That's your spin on what I'm saying but it's not even close to what I said.

  • prelax Murray, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 10:57 a.m.

    @Craig Clark

    Same arguments were used to push through the 1986 amnesty, and the six that Clinton gave during his Presidency. You can't discourage bad behavior by rewarding people. It just makes the problem worse.

    I miss typed in my statement above, from 1976 to now, we have averaged over on million per year coming here legally. Although those numbers were high for having 9-10% unemployment for a few years, I heard few complaints about coming here legally. That's not the case with illegal immigration.

    You're making excuses to justify illegal behavior by business and those coming here illegally by things.

    The immigrants before 1965 had to stand on their own two feet, and make it here on their own. There were no food stamps, no government handouts, and 20% went back home because they couldn't make it here. Those were the good old days. People standing in line to be documented, half the legal immigration of today, immediate family only, and no illegal immigration.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 6, 2014 8:56 a.m.

    Immigration is a political and social issue as old as the Republic itself. It’s been opposed in every era under one guise after another. Nativism seems to be the one facet of the issue that few are willing to consider or talk about.

  • prelax Murray, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 4:56 a.m.

    People using the Irish as an excuse need to do some genealogy. You'll find out that people who came here from Ireland and most of Europe had to have "permission to disembark" letters from the U.S. government. If they did not have them, they had to return to their country at the ship captains expense. Needless to say, few tried to come here illegally, and even fewer were allowed on the boat.

    Port of entry records show many were barred from entering the country, for one reason or another, and we limited legal immigration to 500,000 per year from 1776-1996. Now we allow in over a million per year, and we allow people with green cards to sponsor extended families. Before 1965 we allowed only immediate families to come here. Parents and children.

    It's much more liberal today than it was when the Irish came here. In the 60 years of the Irish immigration we had 2.8 million come here legally.

    Something is fishy here, it's the concept that there is no difference between legal and illegal. Breaking the law should never be an acceptable practice, by any group.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 5, 2014 9:39 a.m.

    A lot noise is being made here on the legal vs. illegal issue and a lot of noise is all it is. Immigration has always been a thorny issue going back to the Presidency of John Adams when there was a swell of opposition to the influx of immigration from France.

    In the mid-1880s, the Irish were not greeted with open arms. Nor were the Polish, the Italians, nor immigrants from Eastern Europe in general. Some of those immigrants would have been ‘illegals’ under the more stringent immigration laws we have today. When I hear todays vocal opponents to immigration staking their arguments on legal vs. illegal, I start to smell the unmistakeable stench of a red herring in the air.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 2:19 p.m.

    What would happen if ONE THIRD of us ignored traffic lights? Or didn't pay our property taxes? Or crashed the gate at the baseball games?
    And yet our politicians are completely comfortable with the fact that at least ONE THIRD of all the foreign-born are here illegally.
    Their solution? Legalize them.
    Go figure.

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 11:20 a.m.

    As immigrants came to America through the New York harbor, they did not first stop at the Statue of Liberty - instead, they went to Ellis Island, where they became documented and began the process of immigration. No body is arguing that immigration needs to stop. Instead, the rational thought argues that documentation needs to be part of the process.

    Please stop trying to blur the distinction.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 10:31 a.m.

    I hear ya, brother.
    I use the 165 million people from the third world who want to live here because I can document that. Gallup did a poll, released in 2009 that indicated 700 million people who would rather live somewhere else. The USA was the top destination at 165 million.
    Pew had a similar poll regarding Mexico. They reported that 36 million Mexicans would rather live in the USA - 18 million of them said they would be willing to break the law to do it.
    Your estimate of 3 BILLION is not out of the question, especially if we telegraph to the world that the borders are open.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 11:38 p.m.

    what does citizenship mean anymore? If anyone can come now and get free health care + welfare + food stamps+ cell phones then what is the point of spending all that hastle becoming a citizen if you get all that stuff for free anyway? All sarcasam aside-most common sense people are going to take the easy road right? Then I ask the question what does citizenship mean? illeagals can work here - go to college here and do everyting a citizen can so WHY become a citizen? Seems like a waste of time. So if citizenship means nothing then just disolve our borders and let anyone come in and get them on the free-bee welfare roles. They don't even have to work because they get monthly checks in the mail upwards of $3500 to support them. Then why work? If you get free money then why bust your hump to make $9 an hour? See where this is going? When does the money run out? Ask Greece. They found out that the money does indeed run out. Then what? Just raise taxes on the rich? The rich - with any common sense - have left the country. So now what Democrats???

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 11:26 p.m.

    every one of my ancestors who came to America from Denmark or Germany received NO hand outs or welfare or food stamps or free cell phone or free health care or free disability ......

    No my ancestors came with NOTHING but strong hands and hearts and a fierce self reliance and that is all they had and that is all they got - just a recongnition that IF you are willing to work hard - really hard then America can be a land of opportunity and NOT a land of free-bees.

    Today the Democrat party and Mr Caroon seem to think our obligation is to be the Santa Clause nation giving free stuff to all who come. Would you want your own children to stay in your basement for 35 years recieving free food-shelter-car-cell phone - gym pass etc and not working... What parent wants that? NO PARENT!!! Then WHY is that the policy of the Democrat party for illegal immigrants? One reason - the Democrats have selfish power reasons for wanting these people. Illegals - 85% will vote Democrat. Get the picture now? This is poltitical self preservation at its worst. Pretty simple to see. Pretty disgusting.

  • tenx Santa Clara, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 7:17 p.m.

    @LDS liberal. You forgot to put LEGAL in front of immigrants.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 5:35 p.m.

    Does the mayor only have compassion for those who cross the border illegally? There are hundreds of thousands who live in South Chicago, Memphis, Newark, South LA and other US cities who are not receiving proper support. They should be first on our compassion list.

  • tenx Santa Clara, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 3:33 p.m.

    @the open border crowd. I worked 30 years abroad in many countries, side by side, elbow to elbow with the common ordinary man, swapping stories in a tent by candle light in the jungles of Colombia, sat on the ground in the desert of Iran eating eggplant out of a can with unleven bread, talking about their lives, etc. MY estimate of the number who want to come here is 3.0 billion. Not a few hundred thousand, nor the hundred some million mentioned in the post above. All they need is transportation to the border and of course some politician inviting them to come with promise of amnesty and handouts. If you can handle 3.0 billion "immigrants" keep up the talk. They will soon hear you!

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 2:36 p.m.

    If you were born in America... you're not an "Immigrant".

    People who immigrate to another nation and are "naturalized" and granted Citizenship, are "immigrants". Their children and all future generations are NOT "immigrants".

    You are not an "Immigrant" just because generations back someone in your family tree immigrated to the US.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 2:20 p.m.

    "Immigration makes" us stronger... ILLEGAL-Immigration doesn't.

    The type of people who knowingly break laws and come to a country illegally... are NOT they type of people who make America better.


    In LEGAL Immigration... we can make sure we know who is coming to America. Make sure they don't have a criminal record. We know they have an education and the resources needed to support themselves and their families in America. We know they don't have communicable diseases, and that they aren't involved in ILLEGAL trades (like drugs, human trafficking, identity theft, document mills, organized crime, terrorist organizations, etc).

    ILLEGAL Immigration... we DON'T know who they are, what their criminal record is. What they will do for a job when they get here. Can they afford to register their children for school, or feed them for that matter. Do they have education and marketable skills... or will they need to be employed in some way by the black market???

    This is NOT what builds America in to a better nation... this is what turns America in to North Mexico.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 1:08 p.m.

    The ignorance and hate filling so many comments here are appalling.

  • Littlebit Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 12:45 p.m.

    Aw, come on, Mr. Corroon. Surely you see a difference between those who play by the rules & pay the fees, & so on, & others who show up & expect to be welcomed in without meeting any criteria whatsoever. Don't we as a sovereign nation have the right to expect certain obligations to be met? How about us taxpayers who get to foot the bills for the schooling & medical care for these folks? Since when is a desire to live in the U.S. the only thing that determines whether somebody gets to come & stay or not?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 12:19 p.m.

    MOST Mormon Pioneers - who settled this land and who we revere and honor - were all Immigrants.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Aug. 3, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    The author clearly stipulates his opinion that historically the immigration laws arose from fear or prejudice. If the legal limitations did not exist, then all immigrants would "enter at the door", be properly documented and integrated into our society through personal sacrifice and hard work. Those from each nation would learn to cooperate to build up each other. English classes should be readily available and highly encouraged.

    If these workers were contributing to Social Security and Medicare, these programs would be sufficiently funded in spite of the aging and dwindling of our native-born population. We should be happy to help these immigrants achieve citizenship after a sufficient lapse of years proving that they are law-abiding contributors to our nation.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 11:15 a.m.

    Mr. Corroon,
    LEGAL immigrants are very welcome. Illegal immigrants, those who show no respect for our laws, are not. Executives who do not believe in upholding our laws are not fit for office. Please resign your county executive position so you can be the full-time advocate for illegal aliens that you want to be and not violate your oath of office.

    Your description of why Chaffetz should be ashamed fits perfectly the situation surrounding the passage of Obamacare – no, I take that back, Obamacare was worse because it included political payoffs like the LA purchase, Florida flim-flam, etc.

    But since it was something with which liberals agree, no matter the skullduggery involved passing it, it is totally acceptable. Further proof the world does not make sense without the liberal double standard

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    Aug. 3, 2014 10:55 a.m.

    About Guatemala, Peter Corroon, the economy here appears to be very up beat and thriving. New car dealerships, high-rise buildings going up everywhere and businesses good. There are people begging in the streets but the USA has the same thing. Here is your education about Guatemala. This is a very laid back society of people. They will not do a thing unless they have too. Our biggest challenge is getting them to show up to work on time. Second challenge is getting them motivated to listen and perform a reasonable days work. So get it out of your head that these people are the hardest working people because they are not. It takes five of them to do the work of two Americans, FACT!!

    These people are sending their kids to America because they are unwanted or they are looking at their future income. I didn´t say these people are not smart because they are. Smart enough to know Americans have a big heart, big wallets and will take in an unwanted child. Of course there are genuine cases but the majority are from lazy parents who should not have or should have known better

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    Aug. 3, 2014 10:51 a.m.

    Peter Corroon allow me to educate you. I am an Expat or Expatriate (one who works out of country) and I work in Guatemala. I make comments to Deseret News to pass time on my off hours. Working in places in much different than taking a vacation there. I have worked in NYC, LA, San Francisco, Alaska and half of the states in between. I understand and share your heart felt sympathy for people but on the other hand there is the behind the scenes you ignor. First not all illegal's are of dark skin and come from South America, India, China or the Midlist. There is a huge population of white Europeans in NYC that go completely ignored. They need to be deported as well. These people also sneak their kids into America to live with relatives. The children become slaves to their family members. So these illegal's need to be address as well.
    No double standards because they are Irish, English, Canadian, Swedish or German.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 10:47 a.m.

    "Between 1820 and 1880, political and economic conditions brought over 2.8 million Irish immigrants to the United States"

    From 1776, to 1976 we averaged 500,000 people a year. Since 1976 we have averaged over one million people a year here legally. This is the greatest legal migration this country has ever seen.

    I can't believe people are still mixing legal and illegal immigration, and condemning those who want the laws enforced by using that old argument. Also the parents sent their children here for Obama's amnesty. These lies and half truths about immigration are getting old.

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 10:23 a.m.

    Superb article. And no, the 'illegal/legal distinction some of you obsess over is utterly unimportant, given the realities of the situation.

  • prelax Murray, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    Why pick on Rep Jason Chaffetz? Stewart and Bishop both chose to fight for the American worker and the children of Central America. By not allowing them to stay, millions more might be saved this journey over the next 10 years. The law passed by the House is the only one that addresses the cause of this mess, Obama's DACA waiver amnesty. The Senate bill has no enforcement provisions without loopholes and exceptions. Just like the 1986 amnesty it would only make things worse.

    Matheson should be the one chided for wanting to encourage more to come here illegally. Why would someone want to encourage people to break the law?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    Amen Peter Corroon, Amen!

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    Actually it is the Americans that make our nation strong. While it is true that immigrants often make the good Americans, mostly it is when they lose their immigrant nature that they become good Americans.

    In most cases immigrants are fleeing a hard and unfair life and have a predisposition of extreme competitiveness which sometimes causes them to band together in gangs and other improper associations.

    If we would help them become good Americans, we would draw them out of their previous philosophy and into the common good of all.

  • watchman Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 9:30 a.m.

    I can sympathize with Peter's comments on we being a 'nation of immigrants' as a first generation immigrant myself. Countless immigrants have helped make this country great. It is good that we are able to take impoverished and threatened people from other countries into our midst and offer them a shot at "The American Dream", and we have been doing this for many years in an organized way under the laws of the land, whether it be as refugees, those seeking asylum, or as legal and naturalized citizens.

    And, undoubtedly we will continue to do this as long as America remains the stable and strong country that it has been, but when we stray from our laws and orderly procedures on immigration, as our present administration has done, the integrity and health of our country begins to erode and we will cease to be able to offer "The American Dream".

    Peter's cab driver in New York who lost his good job at Phizer and was forced to seek a job at much lower pay, is a good example of what non-enforcement of existing immigration laws can help bring about.

  • tenx Santa Clara, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    One more time, read carefully. Immigrants go through a legal process called Immigration. Illegals sneak into a country illegally across a border or overstay a temporary visa. There is a vast, vast difference. Legal Immigration is good. Illegal immigration is bad and laws are broken by them in numerous ways. Viva LEGAL immigration.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    If I had a violin I would have played while I read this. Once again a liberal does their best to blur or obliterate the line between legal and illegal.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Aug. 3, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    The Cab Driver came here legally few people are against those that come here legally. It is those that are here illegally we worry about. Conditions may be bad in Central America, however people need to go through the system or improve it in there area.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 8:00 a.m.

    Let us have separate debates about immigrants and illegal aliens. They are NOT the same.
    Let us debate how many immigrants we should allow each year. Which ones should get green cards? Right now the emphasis is on family members. Some countries focus on those with skills that could benefit our nation. Let's discuss that.
    Now, how many? Right now we accept about ONE MILLION a year, despite a recession and unemployment problems among our own. I wonder what Mr. Corroon's number would be? (Remember, there are 165 million people around the world who would rather live here.)
    Is Mr. Corroon suggesting open borders? After gazing upon the Statue of Liberty is he suggesting that our immigration criteria is simply that the applicant is tired, poor and yearning for freedom?
    I know Mr. Corroon to be an intelligent man who knows all about writing laws and enforcing them. Surely he sees the folly in his own suggestions. And surely he sees the mess that our lack of enforcement has created.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 7:34 a.m.

    Of course we are a nation of immigrants with a rich tradition of welcoming people from all around the world. That is why we allow something like a million LEGAL immigrants to enter this country every single year. We want hard working people with dreams for a better life to come and join us in making America great.

    What we don't want is an open border where tens of millions ignore our immigration laws and come for a free handout. Not everyone crossing our border just wants to get on welfare or commit crimes, but many do. How do we separate those out without any enforcement of our borders or laws?

  • prelax Murray, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 7:11 a.m.

    The mayor knows the difference between legal and illegal. This argument makes no sense as he uses legal immigration to justify illegal immigration. It doesn't and never will.

  • ThornBirds St.George, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 7:10 a.m.

    We all have seen that Jason's record of success is not going so well.
    This will be more of the same.
    I wonder if Jason has ever thought that his family might have been deported if not for a different mindset on immigration in the past?

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    Aug. 3, 2014 7:07 a.m.

    Rep Chaffetz ought to be ashamed of himself for supporting the legislation recently passed in the US Congress. Note, this legislation passed in the middle of the night at the eleventh hour on a virtually partisan basis. It is wildly at odds with the Senate's bi-partisan bill (note, the Senate can get a bill through that both parties find acceptable) and the bill would never be signed by the President. It was an exercise in political grandstanding.

    Rep Chaffetz engaged in showmanship for his Tea Party fan club. I don't know his heart, and I don't know if he truly believes we ought to cruelly deport a bunch of kids back to a murderous, criminal environment. However, I do know that his action have no benefit to the country, to those kids or to any ideals upon which the country is founded. I also know that by this action, Rep Chaffetz has placed himself clearly in the lockstep obedience to Tea Party politics which in no way add to the good governance of this country. The Tea Party now stands for nothing, legislates nothing, and is solely interested in collection of power and influence.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 6:15 a.m.

    "We are a nation of immigrants. They make our nation strong."

    A myth. We are nation of natives, born to native-born parents, primarily.

    It is UNITY in commitment to important values upon which the nation was founded -- including respect for the rule of law -- that makes the nation strong.

    "This immigrant, like many others, do all they can to support their children."

    All American parents do, typically. This is not exclusive to immigrants.

    "... thousands of Central American families who have decided to risk everything to make sure their children can survive."

    Bank robbers and shoplifters do essentially the same. This does not make it right. We are a nation of laws.

    The fruits of Freedom are not here merely for the pickin'. They have been purchased with a price.

    Part of that price is respect for the rule of law. Those who come here simply to enjoy the fruits who are not willing to pay the price of respect for the rule of law -- which includes respect for this nation's boundaries and immigration laws -- are in fact thieves, and are teaching their children to be thieves.

    Let's not turn our backs on American victims of the invasion.

    Aug. 3, 2014 1:15 a.m.

    Only the first generation that comes here are immigrants, those born here are native to this land. Emma Lazarus poem on the State of Liberty welcomed legal immigrants. Why can't so many see the difference between the two? People in the Central American countries do not have a long wait to come here legally like Mexico. The money paid by their parents could easily help them afford a lawyer.

    I challenge everyone to learn there is a difference between legal and illegal. Putting these children through this, when they could come here legally is wrong. And rewarding the bad behavior of their parents will only encourage more of this mess.