Vai's View: A legal immigrant's take on immigration

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Kitenoa Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2011 7:57 a.m.

    @CWEB Feb 1 2011, 11:27 AM.

    I agree with your assessment of the illegal immigration situation. The USA and Mexican Governments both contributed greatly to the environment that encouraged illegal entry into the United States across the southern boarders.

    When we consider the political and socio-economic push and pull factors on either side of the southern boarders, Mexican nationals are pushed out of their miserable living conditions in Mexico and pulled into the US in hope of finding a better life for their families. Crossing the boarder into the US is the only choice left. Something a normal person would do for his loved ones under such political or economic oppressions.

    To stop the illegal crossing and exploitation of the Mexican people and US citizens, we must identify the root causes of these problems.

    The unresponsive Governments of Mexico and the US Congress are the main causes. Don't blame anyone else, for your reckless disregard of human lives.

  • h3tec Ogden, UT
    Feb. 7, 2011 9:39 a.m.

    I am 5th generation American. My family came from Europe. They came here because there was absolutely no hope or opportunity in Europe. That is what our America is all about. I don't care about legal or illegal. I care about moral. What is the right thing to do ? I don't know? I know too many good Mexican nationals not to say they will make great Americans.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    Feb. 6, 2011 5:31 a.m.

    We have been told by most faiths including the LDS and Catholic, to follow the law, and let government enforce it's laws.

    Mexico has the 12th best economy in the world. There are opportunities there. Many US companies are still moving some of their operations there.

    ITIN numbers are for non citizens (businessmen and property owners etc) to pay taxes. They do not give legal permission to be here. Some use them as a backdoor, like Senator Brambles drivers privilege cards.

    Mexico and Central America's problem lies in the fact that they can be irresponsible and blame it on the US. Then ask for Foreign aid after making us feel guilty.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    Feb. 4, 2011 10:09 p.m.

    mountain man, if they are not here illegally they can apply.

    Screwdriver, your point that some will break the law is understood. That's why we need enforcement. However the majority of the people will follow the law.

    In that same thought, how should an American react when his kids are hungry, and his illegal neighbor is working? Does he have the same right to break whatever law he deems necessary?

  • mountain man Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 3, 2011 7:39 a.m.

    I suppose I put the cart before the horse. There is no way for an illegal Mexican to
    File the forms and pay the fees to become a citizen.
    It is not allowed. Even if they had great English and thousands of dollars in the bank-- we will not allow them to submit anything to uscis.
    This is a very difficult problem. Especially when you consider that most of their children are probably us citizens. How do you stop the future flow of illegal immigrants.
    What do you do with the millions here who can't legally pay taxes.
    I hope our leaders can draft some legislation that will be fair and allow those who could stay-- a chance for a life here.

  • liberate Sandy, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 10:25 p.m.

    While I appreciate the article and the thoughtful commentary, I was sort of left feeling that Vai is trying to straddle both sides of the fence on this one.

    For what it's worth, here are my thoughts. Close the borders, enforce the law, and make adjustments going forward to address the needs of employers and temporary workers. BUT rounding up 11 million illegal immigrants and sending them to Mexico would be as bad an approach as pulling over every woman in labor on her way to the hospital who is exceeding the speed limit. Are they committing a crime? Yes. Are they trying to hurt anybody? No. They are only trying to put food on their tables through an honest day's work. Since the country turned a blind eye to this for so long, it's not only inhumane but wrong to one day decide to enforce the law retroactively. Sure, send those back who commit have committed a crime, but make the rest pay a fine, pay taxes, learn the pledge of allegiance, etc. and then move forward. Very simple and fair solution.

    Feb. 2, 2011 9:57 p.m.

    I think the solution lies in overhauling immigration laws and making it feasible for an individual to become a citizen. As long as this country is a land of dreams, where individuals can better themselves, feed their families, get an education, and create a safe environment for their loved ones, individuals are going to immigrate, whether legally or illegally. The answer is making the path of legal immigration a much more desirable option than an illegal option. If it is much easier to immigrate legally, with reasonable wait time and fees and full rights and privileges (and responsibilities), they will choose that avenue, thus solving the problem. In addition, if they also realize that the penalties for being here illegally are so not worth the risk, meaning that they have to be pretty harsh once immigration laws are overhauled, making becoming a citizen legally doable, then that path will become virtually extinct.

  • facts_r_stubborn Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 8:42 a.m.

    @ Screwdriver

    Your point is well taken. That's why effective policies need to consider the human element. George Washington was successful in winning the revolutionary war despite a vastly out manned and out gunned Continental Army in part because he did not pillage supplies from patriots or loyalists as did the British army. He understood that in the long run fair treatment would do as much to win the war as bullets ever could.

    It's important that we focus on the biggest drivers of illegal immigration first, and quit the talk of amending the Constitution when much more effective policies are available. Having a baby in the U.S. is not the primary driver of illegal immigration. Remove that path to citizenship for parents and it becomes a very minor driver at worst.

    We can have reasonable policies that identify and have no mercy for violent criminals, that allow guest workers who do not displace U.S. citizen jobs, that make it easier and faster for legal residents to gain citizenship. We can better defend the border.

    In short we can understand the immigrant history of this country, and learn from it. There are reasonable and effective solutions.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Feb. 2, 2011 7:40 a.m.

    It's almost worse for me to hear a "legal" immigrant talk about having done things right and legal to be here and all those illegals are making them look bad. Your family was blessed, that's great. You had connections and money to move to another country and time to wait out the process.

    If my kids were hungry and I could make 10 times as much in Canada washing dishes I would jump the border too and so would most of you. Have you even seen your kid hungry and not had any food to give them? Me neither but at least I can see that the border and the current situation is against natural and God's laws.

    Change the man made laws and stop wringing your fists about people comming here to clean and cook for you.

  • facts_r_stubborn Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 7:02 a.m.

    Thanks Vai, for your personal experiences on this issue, and your thoughtful analysis. Immigration, both legal and illegal is a very complicated issue, and there is no silver bullet. Your well reasoned approach leaves the door open for constructive problem solving.

    On the other hand, the knee jerk 100,000 foot level generalizations and grandiose statements of so many in this debate won't solve the problems that face us.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 12:09 a.m.

    As a child of immigrants and having family that came here from Mexico, I don't think you can't reward illegal behavior, and expect it to solve the problem. It's sweeping the problem under the rug, until someone discovers it again.

    Being civil doesn't mean we can't enforce our laws, just the opposite. Allowing the mess we have now hurts everyone, it much more responsible to all concerned to enforce laws equally.

    The Utah compact is nothing more that a political ploy to confuse people by mixing legal and illegal immigrants into the same group, and opening the border for further violations of our laws.

    My legal family members from Mexico have to compete with those here illegally. It's not fair, and it's high time someone spoke for them and protected their rights.

  • Kathy. Provo, Ut
    Feb. 1, 2011 7:18 p.m.

    Brian H
    Who is attacking their children?

    Challenging the defacto history of awarding citizenship or commonly called birthright citizenship.

    Closing the loophole of workplace enforcement.

    And denial of all benefits except life saving medical treatment is taking our country back from the law breakers.

    By the way welcome mat is out for all those that follow the laws.

  • Kathy. Provo, Ut
    Feb. 1, 2011 7:03 p.m.

    Brian H

    We have had a defacto rewarding of illegal immigration with citizenship of their children. That is about to be challenged in the courts. No one is separating them from their children. The children are free to go with their parents and in this current defacto application of citizenship they are free to return. They are not punished at all. Unless of course their parents have committed crimes-just imagine that! income tax evasion, identity theft, falsifying federal documents, you get the drift.
    I might add it seems like that is one of the first things female illegals do is have a child to anchor her here.

  • Brian H. Provo, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 5:24 p.m.

    I M LDS 2 | 3:01 p.m. Feb. 1, 2011
    "Many illegals come here because Americans have the money to spend on illegal drugs...
    And then there are a handful of illegals who are coming to pick lettuce -- the real kind."

    Actually, all of the research I've read indicates that a vast majority of illegal immigrants come here for work, and only a handful come to sell drugs or commit other crimes.

    In fact, crime rates for first-generation immigrants are statistically significantly lower than crime rates for the second-generation (children of immigrants). Second-generation immigrants are similarly less likely to commit crimes than the third-generation, and only in the third generation do crime rates reach 4th or greater native-born crime levels - statistically equivalent to the US average.

    These people are doing a much better job of obeying the law than we are, statistically, other than their illegal status.

  • Brian H. Provo, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 5:14 p.m.

    Kathy. | 9:47 p.m. Jan. 31, 2011

    How is attacking their children civil? Punishments for the parents? Sure. Punishments for US born children? Absolutely not. The constitution says they are citizens (this interpretation has been supported by the courts). If we're really concerned about the rule of law, we can't justify stripping their children of rights that they are legally entitled to.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 3:01 p.m.


    "Imigration is an economic not a law enforecement problem. ...poverty, drug wars, violence, gov't corruption. Illegal immigrants feel hopeless, that is why most come here."

    Well, you are half right.

    Many illegals come here because Americans have the money to spend on illegal drugs. They can't sell the smack on the streets of Mexico for even a fraction of what they can get on the streets of Salt Lake City.

    The corruption in Mexico was created in large part by the drug cartels buying off politicians, military leaders, and businessmen.

    But it does not good to make lots of drugs cheaply unless you can get those drugs to a lucrative market: the affluent teenagers in America!

    And then there are a handful of illegals who are coming to pick lettuce -- the real kind.

  • Teafortwo salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 1, 2011 2:31 p.m.

    CWEB @ 11:27 - Illegal immigration is a complete and total economic, social and cultural disaster. Most rational people would conclude that is the reason no other country on earth allows it.

  • JanSan Pocatello, ID
    Feb. 1, 2011 1:50 p.m.

    I recently had couple from my ward return from a trip to Mexico. They loved it! had no problems. I remember a few years back I went to a border town on the Mexican side and I was shell shocked by the poverty and filth that I saw there. I know that time are hard in Mexico, but I think that mostly deals with the border towns and not all of Mexico. I know I get REALLY frustrated when I read about illeagals here getting upset over kids wearing shirts with American flags on it or having a flag on their bike. I get frustrated with those who are determined to remain "Mexican" in culture, language, etc and dispise anything American. I don't understand if they love their country so much as to try to make over America to their liking then why not stay there and immagrate future into the country of Mexico where things are not so bad?

  • Kathy. Provo, Ut
    Feb. 1, 2011 1:29 p.m.

    Justice and mercy have their demands.

    If you had your social security number stolen and your identity trashed, I think I know who the justice and mercy belongs to and it is not the thief.

    California, Arizona and other states are drowning in the situation created by all the mercy demanding illegals.

    If they were obeying the laws then all immigration procedures could be done in an orderly fashion. Plenty of notice for family matters to be taken care of. But they have already shown their contempt for all things legal and have left us without options. Kind of like all other criminals.

    I am a first generation American. I hope a solution can be found. For me no amnesty should ever be considered.
    Amnesty rewards criminal activity, kind of like telling the income tax evaders---oh never mind--how much tax do you think they would collect in the future?

    Don't reward illegals children with citizenship.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 12:45 p.m.

    A few on here seem to get it. Imigration is an economic not a law enforecement problem. Vai never once mentioned the conditions in Mexico, poverty, drug wars, violence, gov't corruption. Illegal immigrants feel hopeless, that is why most come here. It is easy to sit back and enjoy the affluence America offers and turn our back on the rest of the world. After all why should they be our problem? Most hard liners want them to go away because they are a stark reminder that we have the highest standard of living in the world and most of them have nothing. I observe many Hispanic people in my employment. The majority come across as humble, teachable, family oriented, good parents and a strong work ethic. The hard liners view them all as criminals, lazy, freeloaders, and just here to take advantage of our generosity. Some may fit that description, however many do not. The hard line approach ignores reality. Many may want the problem to go away, unfortunately it won't. Their are two solutions, economic growth in Mexico and immigration reform in the United States.

  • mammalou Somewhere in the USA, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 12:30 p.m.

    The problem with open amnesty for those already here is that other's will follow in years to come based on hope of a future amesty program, as it the case right now. Most who are here illegally now, believed when they left their country that one day there would be amnesty so it would be worth it to get here and wait. If we repeat the past, the future will have the same problem. That does not make one racists, angry or bigioted, in makes one logical.

  • BillyMays Wellsville, Utah
    Feb. 1, 2011 12:15 p.m.

    Good article Vai. I think you make some good points, but all of my LDS friends believe that the General Authorities are wrong on the Utah Compact. Yes, we should show compassion, but to give the illegals amnesty is rewarding illegal behavior. We need to repeal the birthright citizenship loophole that brings so many illegals here to soak our tax dollars for freebies, crack down on crooked employers who hire illegals, and end all entitlements to illegals, and most of them will go home.

    We simply cannot afford to make Utah a sanctuary state like California, because California has completely tanked under the burden of what the illegal leechers have done to that state. I know, I used to live there.

  • CWEB Orem, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 11:27 a.m.

    1. The US Government is 100% responsible for the current state of illegal immigration.

    Why? They say no illegal immigration, yet handed out ITIN numbers to collect taxes from illegals who were not supposed to work, but with a wink, they allowed them to work for many years.

    The US Federal Government knows, as most citizens wish to ignore, that immigrants (legal and illegal) are a boon to our economy. MANY pay taxes. They pay taxes when they work, buy food, buy cars, buy clothing, start businesses, on and on.

    Bot Texas and Arizona did extensive studies that show both states come out in the black, not the red when considering ALL aspects of illegal immigration.

    2. US Federal Government has created the corruption of most of the Governments of Mexico and Central and South America through its support of dictators, and corruption...US Foreign policy has contributed greatly to their unrest--thus people fleeing for their lives.

    Blame ourselves for the current situation. Don't take it out on US business owners who follow the lead of our government, nor on the people who are trying to survive. You already HAVE more than THEY will ever dream of!

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 10:43 a.m.

    Brer Rabbit, if six billion people wanted to be US citizens, we could easily make room. We'd just annex the rest of the world's dry land.

  • hamberg Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 10:35 a.m.

    I grew up in Harlingen, a city in south Texas 20 miles from the Mexican border. Illegal aliens aren't coming to the US for jobs but are fleeing a country that is corruption is rampant and their government hampers economic development.

    Ask yourselves why economic opportunities exist in American and not south of the border? They have the labor force! They have the resources. Pure and simple it has been those countries governments that the people have been fleeing.

    Many of the illegal immigrants still consider Mexico their home and would leave if the job opportunities in Mexico existed. Ask yourself with all the businesses that located south of the border why are people still coming to the US?

    Think people! It has never been about jobs it's about governments.

  • tiger1 New York, NY
    Feb. 1, 2011 10:19 a.m.

    JBrady, You are not being duped for showing compassion. We have been admonished by higher authorities to be magnanimous in this debate, taking into account that we are dealing with human beings, but there are so many hypocrits who just want the undocumented to go away.
    We cannot expel millions of people, that is absurd. Many have found a way of life to provide for their children.
    Like Vai says, the visa process, as it stands now, is impossible to get one, whether you are applying here or abroad. What we need to do is ask our reps to find a way for these people to normalize their status. Make the undocumented pay fines, backtaxes, have a sponsor, show language proficiency and show good citizenship behavior for them to earn a visa. This is asking more than a person who is applying at an embassy. The police report comes from here, and they will pay fines and fees, so this is not free.

  • unaffiliated_person Saratoga Springs, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 10:07 a.m.

    Mountain Man,
    INS has not been "INS" in many years ( I think 8 years). It is USCIS and BCIS before that. Anyway, I also went through the process. Yes, it was painful, expensive and needs to be reformed. However, we did it, you did it, and thousands more do it every year. It is still functional (although it does need to be streamlined significantly). What gives others the right to skip the step those of us responsible people did? I wanted things to be done the right way and applaud others who have navigated the legal immigration mess we have now.

  • Teafortwo salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 1, 2011 9:37 a.m.

    Patrick Henry @ 8:37

    Do you really think it makes sense for one branch of the government to go after the people who hire illegals while other branches of the government provide illegals with welfare, food stamps and education for their children? People could not hire illegals if they weren't here in the first place.

  • Teafortwo salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 1, 2011 9:25 a.m.

    Stop and think. Does it make any sense at all for one branch of the government to spend millions, if not billions, on border security to keep illegal immigrants out while other branches of the government spend billions to provide illegals with welfare, food stamps and education for their children?

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 9:16 a.m.

    It was Harold B lee who coined the phrase No other success can compensate for failure in the home....and how can you follow the cousel of the GA's when even they are split on the issue.....this is not a matter for us to be looking for the Prophet for guidance....its a matter that we as a free society have to make to keep our nation FREE!

  • JBrady Murray, Ut
    Feb. 1, 2011 8:41 a.m.

    mountain man, the US has let in more people than the rest of the world combined since 2006 (legally). Most of the people I know who chose to come here legally, feel being an American is worth the effort.

    Screwdriver, it's a good thing the billions of starving people in the world don't feel the same way. It is a question of honesty, not necessarily poverty.

  • Patrick Henry West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 8:37 a.m.

    The effective way to be both fair,just, and affordable is to simply remove the incentive for the illegals to be here.

    How will we do that? It's quite simple. Require every single business to reverify the legal status of all their employees. Make it prison time for anyone who knowingly employs illegals. Increase the fines to crippling levels. If you employ illegals you are only an American citizen in name- you are certainly not a true citizen of this country. Where does your true allegiance rest?

    If we make it very difficult for the businesses to keep illegals then guess what will happen....The illegals are let go and most of them go back to their country of origin.

  • Tom Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 8:26 a.m.

    Thanks Val for you well written article. Those who have similar sympathies don't forget to read and sign the Utah Compact. Thanks.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Feb. 1, 2011 6:51 a.m.

    If my kids were going to bed hungry every night, my parents are old and only have that old fashoned retirement of thier kids helping them out - the coice would be easy to take an under the table job offered to me. There are higher laws to be considered.

    So when I here people talking about following the law I just wonder which set of laws they value more?

  • mountain man Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 2:37 a.m.

    Hanging in our living room is the flag my wife received when she got her citizenship in the U.S. about 3 years ago. We are both college educated.
    Good jobs. The process was very difficult. And it was very expensive.
    I spent many hours talking to INS customer service people. Usually have to call back 2 or 3 times to see what answer is the most consistent. When you talk to 2 INS people, you usually get 2 different answers.
    I had to wait 9 months for a visa that allowed my wife to enter the U.S. legally.
    The immigration process is too expensive. It is too complicated. It is too difficult. Especially for non-native speakers. And it is not going to get "easier" any time soon. The best option is to enter the country illegally. Don't worry about all the paper work and fees. As long as the immigration process stays this difficult and expensive...we will always have thousands of people entering illegally. I'm a black and white person but on this I have to side with the illegals....

  • JBrady Murray, Ut
    Jan. 31, 2011 10:39 p.m.

    tann0475, they do not deport right after catching someone, even if they have previous deportation notices. There are hearings, appeals etc. then the deportation order.

    The birthright children, if adults are not notified, it's her responsibility to do that while awaiting her hearing. If they are minor children, she has the right to arrange for them to stay with relatives who are citizens, or take them home with her. They can return at 18 years of age.

    Illegal immigrants know what they are doing to themselves and their families when they come here illegally. They know they can be caught and deported. It's their decision to possibly divide or disrupt their families through their actions. Society cannot be responsible for their bad choices, otherwise they will take advantage of our compassion and recklessly endanger their family unit, expecting us to fix their lives for them.

    Compassion is one thing, setting us up to be duped is another.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Jan. 31, 2011 10:29 p.m.

    A relative by marriage went from Canada to the US with his wife and children. He went to work and stayed but applied using a Canadian address, after a couple of years or so they went a US consulate in Canada for and interview (they traveled from the US for it)

    They arrived in a waiting room, and were called first of about 250 people, for an interview. Six blue eyed blonds, the adults of which, as a test of English were asked to spell their names. The green (pink) cards were prepared and they went on their way. The interviewer mentioned the name of the California town where he was living.

    There were a lot of Hispanics and Asians who were turned away that day.

  • Kathy. Provo, Ut
    Jan. 31, 2011 9:47 p.m.

    Vai, We won't have to deport them once their children are denied citizenship and benefits. Along with workplace enforcement they will be running home.

    I am also a first generation American the legal way and we have a similar story of work and waiting. My family waited in line.

    tann0475 the family drama you mention is a moot point-they shouldn't be here to begin with and they have caused all their own circumstances. Sort of like any other criminal caught in the act. It is a universal truth that children are blessed and cursed by the the acts of their parents.

    It should be easy for a non citizen birth certificates. You either have a copy of your birth certificate or other documents or bring them back within a certain amount of time or you do not receive a citizen birth certificate.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Jan. 31, 2011 9:40 p.m.

    I can see both sides for the illegals and my "letter of the law" says, send them back, but my "spirit of the law" says, figure something out. In reading the replies I started to think about universities and how they are "weighted". So if you get a degree from Harvard, it is going to be more respected then a place like Dixie college. I think Dixie is a great school, but this is reality. Why not have a "weight" system for illegals and look at the give and take. Measure what they put in or what they take out of the system. Look at how their children have done in school. Look how they have contributed in their churches and community, and of course look at crime records. Have crimes weighted also, murder, rape and felonies. Those are big negatives, but a speeding ticket, that would be a minor negative.

    So then say 75 points and above, are here in the USA on a probation for five years. 50-75 probation for ten years and get their weighted numbers up. Under 50, return back to their countries. Those who stay would work with a "probation" person.

  • granolagirl Draper, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 9:34 p.m.

    Vai is right that we can't just round up 12 million people that are here illegally and deport them; however, we can remove all the incentives that bring them here, and they will self-deport themselves back home, on their own.

    We saw proof that this worked when Gov. Brewer signed SB 1070 into law last April. What happened? There was a MASS exodus of illegals that either went back to their home countries, or fled to surrounding states that were more lenient on illegal immigration.

    Just because we can't deport them doesn't mean we should slam the door, saying "Oh well, I guess we'll have to let them stay". Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water!

  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 9:32 p.m.

    Vai Sikahema I loved it when you played football for BYU. Go Cougars!!

    Your writing covered the issue of why it is so hard to deal with. We all like to think that we are empathetic to others, but if we are not careful we become enablers. As a teacher I learned that the best way to encourage bad behavior was to tolerate it. Would Coach Edwards tolerate bad behavior from you on the football field?

    Amnesty is not the way to go, because it will only encourage more illegal immigration. It is also impossible to seal the border, unless we are willing to place machine guns along it and be willing to use them.

    It has taken over 40 years to get into this mess, and it will take a decade to get out, once we start dealing with it effectively.

    There isn't room in the country form 6 billion people that would like to come here. That is why the legal immigration process is so long and difficult.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 9:26 p.m.

    Perhaps the misunderstood word here is "civility."
    As long as I am civil about it, the church cannot be critical about my opinion that we must not grant amnesty and should deport any who are here illegally.
    Somehow we tend to believe that any point-of-view that does not include legalization is not civil. That is simply not the case.

  • JBrady Murray, Ut
    Jan. 31, 2011 9:01 p.m.

    I have relatives that immigrated legally, and neighbors who were brought here illegally, and returned home at 18 to return legally.

    I've seen our system work, and be fair to all nationalities, if people follow the law. I've also seen it fail when people come here illegally and demand citizenship and our social services.

    Amnesty should never be an answer. It has caused this problem. The 1986 amnesty was a welcome sign at our border. With 20 million people out of work, and 12-20 million here illegally working at reduced wages, it's a hot button issue that could get out of hand easily. We must be civil, but we also must prove that no means no. Any other course of action, just prolongs the situation, and encourages the next wave.

  • tann0475 Twin Falls, Idaho
    Jan. 31, 2011 8:34 p.m.


    Thank you for your article. It is one of the best I have read. For this reason I have chosen to comment for the first time. As an immigration attorney I recognize arguments on both sides.

    Because I deal with an immense amount suffering on a daily basis, I also can't help but sympathize with immigrants-whether it is the immigrant mother who gets snatched for not having a driver's license and then thrown in jail and deported, leaving her U.S. citizen children behind without notice, or the high school student who has lived almost his entire life in the United States, who is then deported and attempts to return home to his family and his classes. These situations happen every week.

    Immigration is not only a legal, economical and international problem, it's also a human problem, which is why I appreciated your article. Most of what I read is yelling at immigrants. I appreciate your moderate, reasoned and compassionate approach. Thank you.

  • Hawkeye79 Iowa City, IA
    Jan. 31, 2011 7:24 p.m.

    Thanks Vai. Your opinion was well-expressed and the temperament with which you did so is exactly what our country needs.

  • CJ Murray, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 7:22 p.m.

    Some very good points in this article, for once the DN is allowing a different veiwpoint other than the standard amnesty nonsense. I do not agree with the argument that we "can't round them up",, we don't need to. Three Presidents have ordered illegals out of the country with the threat of severe consequences, we can do the same. We can also make it so they can't work here and that will lead many of them to leave on their own. That is what needs to happen. The process his family went through is a great argument against amnesty in any form. Rewarding those here illegally with any kind of amnesty is the wrong message and will only lead to more of the same. Allowing illegals to obtain citizenship through anything less than going home and coming here the correct way is an affront to all legal immigrants who did it the right way.