Families divided by immigration enforcement call for 'humane reforms'

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  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Dec. 15, 2012 12:06 p.m.

    The laws need to be changed. What we are doing today is completely inappropriate.

  • AmberDru Xenia, OH
    Dec. 14, 2012 10:05 p.m.

    The parents ignored a deportation order in 1997!

    What nerve.
    Go home and be with the rest of your family; who is stopping them? They can go where they have even more family!

    Legal foreign workers go home when their visas expire and/or their job ends; and they didn't even break the law.

    Have a feliz navidad in your own country this year.
    You are not above the law.

  • Bomar Roberts, ID
    Dec. 14, 2012 11:57 a.m.

    Cry me a river. The US government doesn't even deport convicted felons in many cases and the felons continue to live a life of crime. How many felons have murdered someone in the last few years, who were not deported or returned after deportation. One prime example is Ruben Chavez-Reyes who killed the deputy near Delta, a convicted felon who returned. I can't believe that law enforcement was not aware of his presence and did nothing. He is one of several examples of this.

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2012 7:50 a.m.

    I love the irony that it's the people who ARE breaking the LAW whining that it needs to be fixed. What other laws should be changed to accomodate the people who are breaking it? I agree that our immigration system could use some tweaking, but NONE of these people would have the issues they're yelling about if they had just done everything legally to begin with!!!

  • Mr. Bean Ogden, UT
    Dec. 14, 2012 12:36 a.m.

    @Twin Lights:
    "For those from Mexico and Central America there is virtually no option to do so unless they are wealthy or have advanced training."

    If immigrants are looking for work, they should migrate to China where American jobs are being shipped. Oh, wait. China has strict immigration laws. They couldn't get in.

    "For decades we have had an incoherent immigration policy."

    What's so incoherent about requiring immigrants to enter legally?

    "We don’t offer any viable legal means to immigrate but we are desperate for them to fill the menial jobs in our economy."

    Too funny! There is a viable way to come here... fill out the papers and get in line.

    "And please, let’s be realistic. Yes, they all have broken some laws..."

    That's right... ID theft, which is a felony.

    "Let’s make the good families here pay the requisite fines and taxes. If they came as adults, perhaps they never get citizenship, just residency."

    That's all most want, and it's called amnesty.

  • Alfred Ogden, UT
    Dec. 14, 2012 12:24 a.m.

    @From Ted's Head:
    "Then, there is a hue and a cry when the law is enforced."

    Illegal immigrants are becoming less and less worried about deportation.... since Obama got in the US White House.

    Furthermore, we can see from the last election that Hispanics are starting to have a significant influence on our national elections and thus, our immigration laws.

    "There are more humane and compassionate ways to deal with this, than deportation."

    If illegals don't leave, for whatever reason, they have amnesty. Most don't care for citizenship. All they wish to do is live here and take some American worker's job.

  • prelax Murray, UT
    Dec. 14, 2012 12:11 a.m.

    We have had seven amnesties.
    •The one in 1986 for 2.7 million aliens, the amnesty to end all amnesties.
    •section 245(i) rolling amnesty of 400,000 in 1994
    •section 245(i) extension in 1997
    •Central American Relief Act that gave one million Central Americans amnesty 1997
    •Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act a amnesty for Haitians 125,000 in1998
    •Late amnesty an amnesty for 400,000 that claimed they should of been included in the 1986 act. California courts were back up for years by the claims, finally we gave up. 2000
    •Life act amnesty a continuation in 2000 of the 245(i) act 900,000 (approx)
    All totaled 6-7 million in seven amnesties. Today 7 million non-farm jobs are being worked illegally while more than 23 million citizens and legal immigrant workers can't find full-time employment. Amnesty has proved seven times it does not work, it's time for enforcement.

  • wrz Ogden, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 11:39 p.m.

    "... about the need for immigration reform and the broken system's impact on families."

    The system is not broken. Our immigration laws are designed to control how many and who comes into this country. Without immigration laws we have no country. Illegal immigrants skirt and thus, essentially negate our laws. This is unacceptable.

    "I hope President Obama can do something for families so they're not separated like mine..."

    The way to not separate families is to take them with you when you get deported and leave.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 5:47 p.m.

    I agree on Humane Reforms. Enforce our laws swiftly and surely and remove the perps quickly. That would be a reform I could endorse.

    Dec. 13, 2012 4:47 p.m.


    Do you really think that illegally entering a country (misdearmeanor) and stealing id's, social security numbers and committing perjury is the same as speeding? The consequences of breaking a law is relative to the severity. The consequences of breaking a law are relevant to the law.

    People have to pull up roots to move like you all the time. Moving back to your home country so you can come here legally is no different.

  • Badger55 Nibley, Ut
    Dec. 13, 2012 2:17 p.m.

    The number one problem in today's society...NO accountability. It is always someone else's fault. Should a thief be able to avoid prosecution because of the fact that he may go to jail and it will most certainly split up his family. It makes absolutely no sense.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 12:21 p.m.

    @Twin Lights
    So the Homeland Security Annual Flow Report from April of 2012 is incorrect?
    It says that 688,089 (or 64.8%) of the Green Cards issued in 2011 were to Family-sponsored Immigrants.
    Do tell how that number is incorrect.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 10:15 a.m.

    1conservative: I've moved three times since I've been married to my wife--always to find employment. Clearly moving to find employment hardly makes you a criminal or nefarious or evil or untrustworthy--it just shows you're willing to go anywhere to support your family.

    Fwiw, the "illegal" in my neighborhood who is best friends with my daughter has lived in their house much longer than I have in mine and if the government wants to know if my neighbor is worthy of citizenship, then let me stand up and witness to their good character and stability in our community. They are fine contributors who share their lives with ours and we depend on them, and they on us.

    We can do better. The unknown can be scary, but I trust that this country was founded on faith in the face of the unknown. We believe in freedom, not in government control of who is allowed to live where? I don't want to be tracked to make me safe. I want to live in a country that allows us freedom to trust one another.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Dec. 13, 2012 10:14 a.m.

    Say No to BO

    Check the article in Forbes (hardly Mother Jones) titled "The Myth of Chain Migration".

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 10:08 a.m.

    Dektal: If your wife is in labor, do you break the speed limit to get her to the hospital?

    For those that fall into this category, these are brave and courageous pioneers who face their bleak circumstances with hard work and sacrifice all for their family and the dream of a better life.

    Yes, there's poverty all over the world. Give us time, we'll solve that problem too... but these are our neighbors, and we should do more.

    And How much more capable of controlling the drug trade, gang violence, and even better language skills would we be if we had closer/more open and trusting ties to our immigrants?

    What cop puts the driver of the speeding car in a penitentiary while his wife is still in the car delivering a baby? No, the compassionate thing to do is provide a police escort, and help the ailing woman to deliver another fine citizen of our country.

    We can make our neighbors our friends if we stop treating them like enemies. Many of us get this already. We see that our freedoms are to be shared, not kept out by armed guards.

  • Honesty4444 ,
    Dec. 13, 2012 10:02 a.m.

    So many of you don't get it. Put yourself and family in a position where you can't feel safe. You barely make enough for your most basic needs. Your children will get a sub standard education. Your telling me you wouldn't try to come to America. No you would wait in line for years with little chance of actually making it. Quit saying invaders they aren't coming to destroy America they want the same thing that by the grace of god you were able to be born into.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 9:56 a.m.

    "...broken immigration system..."

    What's that supposed to mean, Marjorie Cortez? All that is is an obfuscative phrase. It means nothing in itself.

    The truth is that the immigration system is NOT broken. What is broken is, first, respect for this country, its sovereignty, its borders and its laws, on the part of 11 million to 30 million illegal aliens in this country. The other thing broken is uniform, earnest enforcement of the law.

    The solution therefore is, first, foreign nationals showing a smidgen of respect for this nation and its people by not illegally entering and stealing from it in the first place; and second, enforcing the law by meaningfully punishing those unwilling to show such respect.

    The notion that enforcement of the law breaks up families, is a lie.

    And it is a shame that this lie is being passed from mother to child, from one generation to the next.

    The TRUTH is that these people break up THEIR OWN families, by either willfully violating the law and reaping the consequences of doing so, or by willfully refusing to reunite with their extended families in their home countries, or both, as in the case of these Avelar sisters.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 9:51 a.m.

    "raybies" @ 6:24

    The ONLY way we can accomplish what you want is through legal monitored and regulated immigration.

    HOW do you propose to identify families who are here working hard to support their families (even though they are breaking the law merely with their presence).

    I live all around illegal families. MANY are hardworking, that doesn't make what they are doing right. BTW - they are very nomadic. They tend to move at least every 6 months. They are all experts at "getting what's coming to them"; (they know how to "game" the system quite well).

    "Third try screen name" is actually quite right in his post. Most of them are quite fine with things as they are. IF they became legal they would be subject to all the things that most of us have to pay for that we are just used to like taxes, stability, learning english, etc.

    I really don't think they're all that interested in the responsibilities that accompany citizenship.

    Good citizenship skills START with obeying the laws, even the ones we don't like.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 9:33 a.m.

    I love the analogy about speeding. But it makes no sense.
    If I am caught speeding I get a ticket, pay a fine and the mark is on my record.
    In other words, I take resposibility for my actions.
    I don't have politicians and preachers lining up to get me out of the ticket.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 9:29 a.m.

    @Twin Lights
    Please check your information. Chain migration (aka Family Unification) accounts for 65% of immigration, NOT skills-based entry.
    So, who you are related to is the main factor for getting in.
    It has nothing to do with wealth or skills.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 9:28 a.m.

    The current President and for the next four years made this a definite politically motivated topic when he got votes he needed to win the election. He didn't help the process in the long run. He made an end run with this topic and since his naturalized or birth certificate is still in question, he knew he could making a political gain with votes.

    The real situation is enforcement of the laws that exist and have existed for years and decades. We cannot stand by and not have the laws be enforced that are on the books. Having lived in El Paso and in Arizona, it is hard for those people to have the flow of southern traffic every day and not feel secure with people of unknown backgrounds who have not committed to the pathway of citizenship.

    When people make a commitment toward citizenship, they agree to principles of law and order. When they don't commit to those few principles, then we have a nation that is of unknown origin and people who may not be abiding by our laws and order and of citizenship.

    We want people to be a part of our nation, legally.

  • Dektol Powell, OH
    Dec. 13, 2012 9:10 a.m.

    Criminals crying because they are caught? Have your family get togethers and celebrations where you are LEGAL folks. It is just that simple. Either jump through the hoops to become legal citizens or visitors or leave. Many of our families did it so why can't you?

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Dec. 13, 2012 8:44 a.m.

    Ah yes. Go back. Get in line. Do what you need to do and come back legally. Simple as that, right?


    For those from Mexico and Central America there is virtually no option to do so unless they are wealthy or have advanced training.

    US immigration laws are not what they were a generation ago. I know a family who were all here on green cards – doing it the right way. They all got sent back. So we send the message - don’t bother doing it the right way.

    For decades we have had an incoherent immigration policy. We don’t offer any viable legal means to immigrate but we are desperate for them to fill the menial jobs in our economy.

    And please, let’s be realistic. Yes, they all have broken some laws but the vast majority does so only in the pursuit of employment and trying to better themselves.

    Let’s make the good families here pay the requisite fines and taxes. If they came as adults, perhaps they never get citizenship, just residency. But we need to do better for the kids who have no recollection of their home country.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 8:13 a.m.

    RRB: By that logic you're a criminal for driving over the speed limit. There are more humane and compassionate ways to deal with this, than deportation. If they are already self-sufficient, and are contributing to society, they should have a path to citizenship. We should do our best to support their work ethic, not penalizing them for trying to do the best for their families. These are courageous people who know they are taking risks, but weigh the risks of living in abject poverty and hellacious conditions in Mexico, or coming to the Promised Land and trying to make a better life for their families. That's the American Dream, and we are killing it by tearing apart families. You did nothing other than be born in this country to gain citizenship.

    I say provide a legitimate way for them to achieve the American Dream, and reward their initiative and courage. I'm not opposed to them paying a fee of somesort if that helps. I would like to see the laws change to support families, especially those that have children born here. Freedom is sharing, not locking it up behind barbedwire.

    Dec. 13, 2012 8:04 a.m.

    It's time they took responsibility for their actions.

    As far as getting rid of just the criminals. If they worked here, they committed multiple felonies. They are all criminals. And it was their choice to break the laws.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 7:01 a.m.

    I'm not sure they want to keep their families together.
    Take the 2008 ICE program, Operation: Scheduled Departure.
    People here illegally were invited to report to ICE. They would then be given six months to get ready to leave. We would return them to the airport nearest their home at our expense. They would not be prosecuted for defying their run letter. They could take their families with them.
    Of the 450,000 illegals eligible only EIGHT people showed up.
    Methinks they don't want to obey the law, even when given a chance to make things right.

  • jim l West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 6:45 a.m.

    These people are here patially due to the greed of some employers. They want cheap labor. They ask the rest of us to pick up the tab for their free health care, education, rent, and food. The Salt lake chamber of commerce supports all of this. Thats why i buy nothing in or stay away from the city (one reason).

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 6:24 a.m.

    Laws can change, and should change to accomodate the stable families who are here, are stable, care for children, and put in an legitimate effort to contribute to the society in which they live. Solid families are not our nation's trouble, and should not be targetted by immigration forces. Eliminate the destructive and corruptive influences like drugs, violence, and gangs, but allow honest families working for the wellbeing of their children to stay and continue to share their stability with the folks here that think it's okay to stay in mommy's basement until they're 35, are addicted to porn, have a live-in partner, and three kids but no job--not because they can't qualify for them, but because it would interfere with their online gaming. If you want to deport a menace to society, deport those who abuse children through rotating-door relationships and repeat-offender divorcees who wreck their families to pursue selfish and destructive life-styles.

    By robbing children in this country of their parents, we are setting up the next generation of hoodlums--when we could be welcoming them and encouraging their hard-working ethos.

  • Chris B, Jr. Saint George, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 6:22 a.m.

    SImple solution...don't break the law.

  • Loganhistorian Hyrum, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 6:11 a.m.

    They chose this when they left their country of origin. Didn't they leave their families then? Now, they encourage their now illegal families who have come here ... to protest something they had control over ... and now wine about it? I have no empathy. Sorry!

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Dec. 13, 2012 6:10 a.m.

    They are the reason the family is split. Not the government. It takes that many years to deport after the order? The rest of the family can go to the parents country.

  • Albert Maslar CPA (Retired) Absecon, NJ
    Dec. 13, 2012 6:06 a.m.

    Those caught in events without holding a ticket are escorted out or required to purchase a ticket. Illegal aliens want USA citizen rights under the Constitution but they actually STOLE benefits, food, education, housing, medical, and other taxpayer funded services. How about RESTITUTION, paying back the value of stolen services as a pre-condition for any kind of amnesty-type solutions? Pay up or get out should be the order of the day. Criminal Court requires admission of guilt and a plan of restitution so how can illegal aliens expect to get a free pass, a free get out of jail free card? Not only that but illegals publicly protest and even riot to gain acceptance, even resorting to boldly voting illegally, a hard earned right of American patriots and citizens. How wonderful that illegals are held in such high esteem by our enabling politicians who thrive on the backing of illegals. "Illegal" means what it says, "ILLEGAL." Yes there should be a humane plan to deal with illegal aliens but admission of guilt is necessary to get forgiveness.

  • adamgale La Verkin, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 2:19 a.m.

    I don't understand how you can blame the United States for breaking up families. Isn't it the illegal aliens that have CHOSEN to violate our laws, thus causing the separation in their families? I find this article intellectually dishonest by implying that it is anyone but the criminals fault that they are suffering problems.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 11:40 p.m.

    It's not the laws fault, it's caused by bad decisions on your part.

    Stop looking to others to solve your problems, and apologize to those that your illegal actions have hurt. Then do it the right way.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 11:28 p.m.

    Agreed, humane reforms are necessary!

    That means that people contemplating entering the U.S. illegally should change their plans and instead get in line to enter in accordance with the law. Very easy to change that, and not a single new law or dollar of government money is needed to implement it.

    There is no need for parents and children to be separated, and when the law is obey, they will not be.

    If already in the U.S. illegally, then head back to your native land and get in line.

    See how easy that was?

    By the way, LEGAL immigrants are welcome to come here.

  • Sqweebie Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 10:31 p.m.

    boohoo cry me a river. Yes families are meant to be together but if a parent is being deported no one is forcing them to leave their children here. The children can and must go with them regardless of whether or not they were born in this country.

  • Straitpath PROVO, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 10:26 p.m.

    These families can be together, but perhaps not in the United States.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 10:08 p.m.

    "Humane reforms"?

    Certainly. Lets have the 12 million illegal trespassers already here head home to their country of origin.

    When we get through writing the new "reforms" we'll notify you and you can start the immigration process in an orderly fashion.

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 9:50 p.m.

    Order. Structure. Rules intended to protect us. How often does one read an article about an auto accident where the occupants weren't wearing seat belts? Did they understand the risks involved? Yet they chose to drive in violation of a law and suffered the consequences. Because so many people get away with it the risks seem small. Undocumented immigrants run a risk when they arrive here with their children and because so few have been deported the risks seem small. Then, there is a hue and a cry when the law is enforced. I rarely hear people who are complaining about immigration policy first admit that they are in this country without proper documentation and some of them illegally. Could they please confess that they were hoping to bypass the rules, order and structure of this country to benefit themselves...and they go caught? Could they ask for leniency before demanding reform? No excuses, no ifs ands or buts...just a plain "Yes...I shouldn't be here" would go a lot further towards opening hearts than the sense of entitlement that seems to accompany all the green red and white flag waving.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 9:51 p.m.

    Families are meant to be together...in their country of legal residence.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 9:35 p.m.

    I'm all for humane reforms - just not out right amnesty. There is a way to obey the law and help those illegals who want to gain citizenship. Sometimes when you butt in line you have to go to the back of the line but eventually you will get your turn in front.