Changing the conversation on immigration

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  • azresident Mesa, AZ
    June 23, 2012 6:08 p.m.

    As I began to read this article I just shook my head. Who is kidding whom? Diane Portnoy? Elizabeth Stuart? "...she's no different..." Are you kidding me? Unless Diane Portnoy and family were stealing sewer grates, bleachers, and AC units for scrap metal, or stealing wiring from light poles for the copper, she is VERY different from the undocumented, aka illegal, immigrants we are dealing with in Mesa. Unless she and her parents knowingly went to hospitals, received medical care, and never paid the bills, she simply cannot claim that she is no different.

    Granted, AC and metal bleachers may not have even existed during her childhood. However, the difference between her status and that of many of today's illegal immigrants does exist. Please do not make a very egregious mistake and attempt to whitewash illegal immigration.

    And, I find the comparison offensive on behalf of the friends and neighbors of my childhood who came from the old country.

  • dumprake Washington, UT
    June 5, 2012 10:13 a.m.

    kargirl...if we go back far enough in time, there were no laws at all, anarchy ruled; so what's your point. Laws re usually created because there is some kind of problem that needs addressing. The U.S. has always welcomed immigrants, but when 12 million Mexicans flooded across our borders, most sane people would say, "hey, wait a minute, what's going on here? this isn't right? No other country on earth would allow such a threatening invasion. And only the U.S. is stupid enough to offer all these illegal immigrants free everything, food, housing, medical care, education...

    June 4, 2012 3:37 p.m.

    The article is transparent.

    It's the thoughtless cruel and unjust people that come here illegally, steal taxpayers money and jobs, not to mention ID's. Along with the dishonest business community and bought and paid for politicians that feel they are above the law.

    This "know-nothing" has a family that is almost half Mexican that came here legally. I dislike the personal attacks on others by those who are pro-illegal. I don't think running other people down belongs here.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    June 4, 2012 9:27 a.m.

    It is utterly dispiriting to read the "know-nothing" comments of people who do not understand that we have been encouraging illegal immigration for decades. The borders were porous for a reason. People came, worked (largely in agriculture, harvesting and helping) and went home. Everyone benefited. Some of them, usually the best of them, found longer term work. After a time some of them had babies. They are US Citizens. The family became more and more American. The kids started school. The kids did nothing wrong. But those arguing for simple legal solutions want to rip these families apart by sending parents home. Where are the rights of the children then? What good is it to tear a functioning family apart? Are you saying it is fair to send a child back to a nation he has never known? Where are his or her rights?

    The immigration system is broken. It has been broken for a long time. We cannot rely on the rule of law when the mechanism applying it is broken. It is neither just, merciful, kind or thoughtful.

    I cannot and will not ally myself with thoughtless, cruel and unjust people. Nor should any other thinking American.

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    June 4, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    Coming to the U.S. illegally and intentionally is a misdemeanor; a felony for repeat offenders. This is a large percentage of the illegal immigrant population.

    Guess what else is a misdemeanor--DUI; DUI can turn into a felony is damage is caused.

    Should we also be discussing the financial significance to our economy of those who have a DUI on their records? Given their financial importance, we really should treat our DUI offenders with much more respect. We should give them more rights, and maybe even let them keep their driver's licenses.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    June 4, 2012 8:50 a.m.

    There is nothing illegal about increasing legal work and residency visas, and there is no labor surplus if their are those willing to hire guest workers. Immigrants create more jobs than they take. They are more productive, use fewer government benefits, and are more law-abiding than U.S. citizens.

    Which leaves only one motive for keeping them out.

  • ProudUtahn St. George, Utah
    June 3, 2012 11:01 p.m.

    Interesting story! The part on how more immigrants start more businesses than current citizens.
    Do an article on all the breaks immigrants get such as no taxes for a number of years, special loans ect. If the playing field was level you would find those statistics change drasticlly.
    My daughter in-law spoke of a business back in her home state that has not paid taxes for over 20 years because as their time was running out for the releif the owner was changed to a different relative pushing it out another 7 years.
    Illegal is illegal. If they are leagal they are welcome and just because they do not speak english fluently does not matter as long as they are trying and not expect me to learn their language or provide and interpritor, I will try to help them the best I can.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    June 3, 2012 10:01 p.m.

    The bias of the media is toward all things liberal, and therefore ignoring laws against the invasion of this nation. "Human interest stories" (i.e., bleeding heart sob stories) seem to ALWAYS take priority over calls for enforcement, management, and control of human traffic into this homeland. Meanwhile, the citizen taxpayer and worker is supposed to surrender their jobs, cover uninsured medical services, pay for all public education, provide food subsidies, provide housing help and preference, etc., etc. without complaining. The only way for people to quit complaining is for them all to become misinformed and astoundingly naive.

  • Watch Dog Provo, UT
    June 3, 2012 8:16 p.m.

    This issue is not really about immigration or illegal aliens. It is about the rule of law.

    Do we have the right to say who comes across our border? Do we even have a right to have a border at all? The obvious answer to both of these questions is a clear and absolute yes, we do have these rights.

    We also have the right to say that when/if we allow them to come, they must come able to support themselves, to meet our health standards, not bring diseases that have been eradicated here for decades, honestly swear allegiance to their new home, make an honest effort at assimilation, and follow our laws. Period.

    If we do not have these rights, we don't have a country at all.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    June 3, 2012 8:12 p.m.

    The "reporter" puts an interesting spin on things. She nonchalantly s writes that less than a third of the foreign-born are here illegally. That simple fact is HUGE in this debate, yet she makes it sound like a mere annoyance.
    That IS the problem.
    But let's not stop there. Our current system favors family unification, which virtually insures more of the same in terms of skill sets and demographics. Most importantly, it will also insure the same racial/ethnic make up.
    In short, we are back to 1965 where a small group is getting most of the visas. It's just a different group this time around.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    June 3, 2012 8:11 p.m.

    "The national conversation about immigration favors restricting legal immigration and cracking down on undocumented immigrants." Really? I don't recall any conversation regarding restricting legal immigration. I've certainly not heard nor read anything. If you have evidence, please provide it.

    Better yet, why don't the Deseret News' editors show some intestinal fortitude and explain with honesty and candor why they feel it's their duty to be the chief pro-illegal immigration propogandist for the State of Utah. I think I know what the reasons are, but to this date, no one from the Deseret News has shown sufficient courage to explain it.

    Rather, we're told it's all about compassion and keeping families together and that anyone opposed to illegal immigration is a racist.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    June 3, 2012 7:12 p.m.

    Here we go again with the same old legal/illegal immigrant line. Do we put a bank robber and a customer making a withdraw in the same classification?.

    In 2010 517,000 Mexicans entered the United States as legal temporary workers, while 888,000 entered on business visas and 30,000 arrived as exchange visitors.

    At the same time, legal permanent Mexican immigration to the United States reached 160,000 (green cards). This is just one country. (Mexico was used because the full numbers are easily available). Total green cards were over 1 million. People can come here legally when they make an effort.

    Let's stop the word games an ask the pro illegal people how are you going to send the illegal temp workers home, now that there are no jobs? You made the mess, waiting for you to take care of it.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    June 3, 2012 7:02 p.m.

    Illegals should leave now. That simple. People try and make it complicated.

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    June 3, 2012 6:30 p.m.

    You folks do know there were not always anti-immigration laws, nor were there even laws regarding immigration at all at one point, and it wasn't much more than over a century ago, somewhere in the late 1800's, I believe--when the laws were first put on the books. Certainly they weren't here when Georgia--founded as a colony for criminals--was settled, and I'm sure the native American populace wasn't tickled. I am also sure there was no joy when the citizens of this country were being systematically killed off by the immigrants from Europe....oh, now I get it! Is a wee bit of a sense of history happened over the last few years?

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    June 3, 2012 6:11 p.m.

    I enjoyed seeing the comments on immigrant entrepreneurs. Both my grandfathers were, as they say, "from the old coutry"--one from England, one from Germany (brought by his parents as a young boy)...and my parents freelanced in addition to Dad's fulltime job when we were young, contionuing through many years. It is no doubt why we got to learn about his bellows camera, the darkroom procedures he used, and had so much time with him. Much of his work was done at home, and, when we were young, so was Mom's. We didn't realize until much later that they worked for money...and we learned to do it, too. Would you like a box of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts for sixy cents? Yup, we did that, family project!

  • sjgf South Jordan, UT
    June 3, 2012 5:09 p.m.


    You have a point about some laws being so injust as to be worth fighting against. Such as turning your neighbor over to the Gestapo.

    However, by bringing that particular instance up, you make is sound like you equate the rules that created the Holocaust with people south of the USA border taking advantage of the opportunities of the USA.

    I don't see that these two situations are on the same plane. I hope that I would fight against sending an innocent person to a death camp. But that doesn't mean I will support an opportunist.

  • Voice Saint George, UT
    June 3, 2012 4:41 p.m.

    To those who want to be among the "brazen brave" to harbor people, go for it. Post your addresses and the types of lawbreakers you will allows. Oops! No discrimination allowed! To be truly brave you must take all and then you won't have to worry about bureaucray and neither will they.

    Open your doors folks! Since this seems for you to be about a safe harbor and a dislike of the need to follow procedures and bureaucracy, pay cash for your guests medical bills, education costs, the food and clothing expenses. Don't forget the dental bills from the meth users who will come to your sanctuary.

    Don't want to do that? Neither do I. Right now some of my tax and charitable contributions go for to pay for such expenses. This usurping of goods and resources by law-breaking people needs to end!

    It makes no sense at all to compare illegal aliens and Jewish people from WWII. It makes no sense to compare those of who oppose illegal immigration to those who obeyed Hitler's dictates.

  • dumprake Washington, UT
    June 3, 2012 3:31 p.m.

    This is nonsense. Americans have always appreciated immigrants, and we still do today. But 12 million illegal Mexicans in the U.S. is insane. No country on earth would tolerate something like this; we can't afford them, we can't afford the free healthcare they get, the free education they get; and 70 percent of everything they make they send to Mexico--how is that any benefit to this country?

    Nobody has ever questioned immigrants coming here legally. So I am offended by this article, it is not even what the debate is about, and it judges Americans as some kind of immigrant hating isolationists; which is just pure nonsense.

  • RagnarL4 Kaysville, UT
    June 3, 2012 2:51 p.m.

    @ Voice

    You seem to be a man who cares about law. So am I. But you cannot honor law simply because it is law. Laws can be good and bad. To refer again to World War II, it was against the law to harbor Jews. But surely you do not condemn those brave few who brazenly broke that law.

    We should analyze the immigration issue, and all others, not in the narrow respect of what is currently law or not, but on whether it's a good law or not.

    Our immigration law today mostly violates freedom rather than protecting it. Yes it's illegal to come here without going through the ridiculous beauracracy. But should it be?

  • Voice Saint George, UT
    June 3, 2012 1:37 p.m.

    Why shouldn’t we care about laws, legalities, and conditions under which people have come to our country? This week’s accept people who break laws article begins with a touching story about WWII refugees and wants us to see all people who come to our country in the same warm light. Sigh.

    I look forward to next week's creative article that tells us of some other slant on why we should not care and how WRONG it is to care about laws.

    My suggestion for next week is the article needs to say how wrong it is to lock anyone up for any crime whatsoever. EVERYONE deserves freedom. The Statue of Liberty lifts her lamp to light the way. It is our right as human beings to be free. Empty the jails. Unite families. The laws they were convicted of breaking don't matter. The laws shouldn't have been made in the first place. How horrible some people are to make laws. Just Unite. Love everyone. Let freedom ring.

  • Voice Saint George, UT
    June 3, 2012 1:32 p.m.

    Your article begins, "She's fair-skinned, blonde and speaks English with a solid Boston accent." Then it gets around to saying legal or illegal doesn't matter. What if your fair-skinned, blonde and Boston accented woman was anti-illegal immigration? Would you still quote her?

    What if a dark-skinned, dark-eyed English speaking person with a Hispanic accent spoke against illegal immigration because he resents people who bypass laws to advantage themselves. He believes in honesty. Would he merit your coverage? Just wondering.

    Many law-abiding people of every race are very bothered by those who break laws.

  • Voice Saint George, UT
    June 3, 2012 12:53 p.m.

    Oh my. Now we have blonde, blue-eyed people telling us not to care about laws, leagalities, and conditions under which people have come to our country.

    I look forward to next week's creative article that tells us of some other slant on why we should not care and how WRONG it is to care about laws.

    My suggestion for next week is the article needs to say how wrong it is to lock anyone up for any crime whatsoever. EVERYONE deserves freedom. It is our right as human beings to be free. Empty the jails. Unite families. The laws they were convicted of breaking don't matter. The laws shouldn't have been made in the first place. How horrible some people are to make laws. Just Unite. Love everyone. Let freedom ring.

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    June 3, 2012 12:53 p.m.

    Once again, nobody is complaining about immigration. That's who we are and always have been. It's the illegal status of immigration that needs to be desperately dealt with.

  • sjgf South Jordan, UT
    June 3, 2012 12:49 p.m.

    "The immigration debate in the United States focuses disproportionately on illegal immigration."

    You know why? Because most of us understand that legal immigration has always been a positive part of America. What's to say?

    But when we find people taking advantage of us: people sneaking around the checkpoints, put in place to control our borders, appears to most law abiding citizens as something very wrong. Most of us were taught not to cheat in our early years. But these illegal "immigrants" were not taught that cheating is an undesirable trait, so they have developed it to a fine point.

    And so the debate does tend to center around the sneaking, lying, cheating and violence associated with the illegal activity. That's what is bothering us. It amazes me that some people can't distinguish between the illegality of the sneaking and cheating, and want to somehow blur this with those wonderful people who come here the right way -- legally.

  • Bryan Syracuse, UT
    June 3, 2012 12:43 p.m.

    This is yet another article that disregards the distinction between legal immigrants and illegal aliens. Lawful immigrants are welcome in this country. Illegal aliens are not, and need to be sent home. Period.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    June 3, 2012 9:37 a.m.

    Illegal immigrants - and the preferential treatment they receive from Americans - are a slap in the face to those of us who are legal immigrants. It's ridiculous to think that I could have saved years and thousands of dollars by simply flying to Mexico and paying a coyote to smuggle me across the border. Shame on me for being so foolish by doing it the legal way.

  • danaslc Kearns, UT
    June 3, 2012 9:28 a.m.

    The paying of Entitlements is what is killing America. There are not enough taxpayers to keep paying for those who walk in across the border and are paid to have children. The taxpayers are paying for what businesses should pay for and we are out of jobs and money. If you operate a business in America than hire an American. If you don't then we should shut down that business. If you take your company out of America, then I don't think they should sell goods to America. Internal Nafta are (illegal immigrants walking into this country to work for cheap wages and big entitlements.) Nafta takes jobs out of America. Internal Nafta allows the criminals to walk in also. That causes taxes to pay to clean up the drugs and crime rate that we now have.
    It seems that citizens know who to build and take care of America. It is those that have the money and choose to destroy it. Illegal Immigration is one more way to make America a third world country. No is left to pick up the tab.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    June 3, 2012 9:14 a.m.

    Once again the story attempts to blur the line between legal and illegal. "Changing the conversation"? Not mine. Enforce the existing laws!!!!!! Period...

  • TOO Sanpete, UT
    June 3, 2012 8:45 a.m.

    It's kind of hard to mention the words illegal, alien, immigrant, or immigration without being labeled a racist.
    That being said, this whole illegal immigration needs to stop. Close the border. Deport those who are here, punish those who hire them. Let's help them get here, but do it legally. My brother just helped a lady in the hospital with delivering her baby. She said she came here to have her baby and when she was discharged was going back to Mexico. She didn't pay for her baby. I'll let you guess who did.
    I had a patient who didn't speak English. I had to speak to her in Spanish. She said the government is paying for her care.
    This isn't right. You are not a citizen, do not use our country as your personal wallet and benefactor.

  • RagnarL4 Kaysville, UT
    June 3, 2012 8:27 a.m.

    Well, I sure appreciate the tone of this article. Indeed, immigration is good. Thank you!

    I must offer a constructive criticism.

    While positive towards immigration, this article justifies immigration's goodness based on its positive effect on society. It DOES have a positive effect on society, but that is not what makes it good.

    What makes immigration good is that men are free by their nature, not by their government. Men ought to be free to immigrate to anywhere. The role of government in this effort should be limited to checking for contagions and criminality. If no evidence can be produced for these, then they should not be denied access.

    Of course they SHOULD be denied access to government welfare services including education... but of course, so should the citizens (welfare, including education, is beyond government's proper purview).

    Speaking of welfare, this article cites a grant that Ms. Portnoy has secured to do research on this issue. I sure hope it's not a government grant. I find the the notion of the government funding the study of immigration to determine if they should stop infringing on freedom at the borders to be just a bit bizarre.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    June 3, 2012 3:09 a.m.

    I thought the days were over when we mixed illegal aliens with immigrants. Of course the majority of talk is about illegal aliens, it's against the law. And it's driven by the medias war on enforcement. The media is driven by it's advertisers and chamber of commerce. Their majority of stories encourage immigration, and contain heartbreaking stories to sway people towards accepting the law breaking.

    Lets find our honesty and morals again, shall we? Set a good example for the next generation, and pass along a sovereign nation to our children, with a strong middle class that works with business, instead of fighting for it's life against the dishonest hiring of illegal aliens.

    With over a million legal immigrants a year (highest in the world) we don't need this type of unlawful behavior. With 8.2% unemployment one has to wonder why we bring this many people in a recession when jobs are scarce.

    Are the stories about lazy Americans and this generation meant to sway us into accepting this surplus of labor? One has to question the motives of many when discussing illegal immigration, who it benefits, who it costs?

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 3, 2012 1:08 a.m.

    If we are going to have a line for people to come to this country, you can't reward those that bypass the line. They need to be sent to the back of the line. That doesn't mean you should stop treating them like people.

    While the US Constitution doesn't specify that Immigration is a federal power, any treaties and agreements with other countries are federal powers. Not only is the federal government refusing to solve this problem, it is now blocking the states from fixing it as well. That is wrong and should stop.

    I am in favor of simplifying and fixing legal immigration. It takes far too long to come to this country legally.