Leaders from six Western states speak as one: Fix nation's broken immigration system

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  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    May 17, 2014 11:18 p.m.

    "Our present immigration system needs change, major change."

    You and others keep say the system needs changing, but you never seem to give the specifics.

    The fact of the matter is... the change amounts to simply giving amnesty and citizenship to illegal immigrants. And citizenship supposedly is not be be given ahead of those already in line.

    Good heavens! That's what we have now. Millions have been granted amnesty. And for citizenship, all illegals need do is fill out and file citizenship papers with the government and get in line... at the back of the line.

    "...many immigrants go thru school and turn into knowledgeable people and ready to work skilled jobs."

    But the vast majority, especially from Hispanic speaking countries, take manual labor jobs such as construction.

    "...Mexicans are our friends and neighbors who by the way pre-resided us US citizens in this part of North America."

    And the Indians pre-resided the Mexicans. So what?

    "...perhaps that shaped my opinion about being neighborly..."

    Good neighbors don't invade other neighbors' land.

  • JuliannaG FPO, AP
    May 16, 2014 1:17 a.m.

    "Not a very bright spot to be in?" America right now isn't a very bright spot to be in. Having ancestors from a place doesn't entitle you to break the laws of that area and burden the people there. Super-sorry that you don't find it PC, but the argument that we should flood the nation with immigrants because of what happened centuries ago is stupid. I have ancestors from England, Poland, Germany, Finland, Scotland, France, and...the Cherokee nation. Should I demand support from all of them? At the end of the day, we have to do what is right for our people here and now, and embracing millions of people who have no regard for our laws isn't the solution. If you want to gradually allow some of those people to *legally* immigrate, go for it, but first stop letting them in illegally, penalize businesses to the tune of an annual minimum wage salary for each person they are caught hiring illegally (after all, each illegal immigrant is one more citizen who is out of work on welfare), and require that those on welfare perform full time work for benefits.

  • dave4197 Redding, CA
    May 15, 2014 12:32 p.m.

    Our present immigration system needs change, major change. Your statement that it only needs to be enforced is absolutely wrong, it ignores the facts that most immigrants do work here at an employer's will, that many immigrants go thru school and turn into knowledgeable people and ready to work skilled jobs (education is the best way out of poverty).
    But mostly you choose to ignore the central points of my comment, that Mexicans are our friends and neighbors who by the way pre-resided us US citizens in this part of North America. Your comeback that I'm altruistic, I'm guilty. Your point that we cannot afford immigrants falls on its face when you look at history. My grandparent came from London. My great grandparents came from Canada and from York, England, and one we think was a deserter from France. Haven't yet found one ancestor from south of the border. But I've lived there, perhaps that shaped my opinion about being neighborly and about sharing a level playing field in jobs and education. Whatever. You're on the wrong side of morality and history Brio. Not a very bright spot to be in.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    May 15, 2014 7:08 a.m.

    Appreciate your comments. You are right. It makes no sense to flood the labor market in the US if wages continue to be artificially inflated by minimum wage laws. A lot of immigrants can create $4 or $5 of value per hour (which is much better than 80 cents an hour in places like Haiti). But, not $7.50 or even $10 of value per hour. Raising the minimum wage is a killer of future jobs--for the average American child now in school, and not just potential immigrants.

    Your criticism of flooding the labor market assumes no change in minimum wage laws, and that we allow all immigrants to stay permanently. Get rid of minimum wage, or at least lower it, take awsy government disincentives to work, and watch employment skyrocket. With potential immigrants, the most compassionate thing to do is to have the vast majority only come to US on temporary guest worker visas, of 3 or 4 years. Then, rotate in more guest workers and allow them to build capital to take back to their home country and build homes and start businesses. Likewise, I appreciate your thoughtful comments.

  • azresident Mesa, AZ
    May 15, 2014 6:52 a.m.

    wjalden--I would add "full of laws that the government will not read but will pass." How has the leadership of this amazing country fallen to such an amazing low?

  • wjalden Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 14, 2014 10:35 p.m.

    So, they're asking us to pass a bill full of immigration laws.

    Well. We have laws. We have laws that aren't being enforced.

    For example, we have a law that says the government is *not to issue news visas to people from countries who don't accept deportees from America.* Those countries refusing to take back their deportees include Jamaica and China. And yet the State Department is still issuing visas to people from China and Jamaica...in violation of the law.

    So...we're supposed to pass a big giant 1200 page bill full of laws. Full of laws that the government will or will not enforce, as it suits them.

  • wjalden Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 14, 2014 10:18 p.m.

    We have 12 million+ illegal immigrants and still allow over 1.1 million legal immigrants each year.

    If immigration is such a boon for our economy, then why is the economy struggling?

    Why have wages been stagnant for over a decade?

    Why have the rich been getting massively richer, and the poor been getting poorer?

    Why are business profits as a share of GDP at a 60 year high, while wages as a share of GDP at a 60 year low (Google it if you don't believe me)?

    Why has the federal government been running massive deficits for a decade, including 5 straight years of trillion dollar deficits?

    Why did the economy - just barely limping along since the recession - actually shrink in the 1st quarter of this year?

    Where are all these marvelous benefits immigration is supposed to bring us?

  • Rustymommy Clovis, NM
    May 14, 2014 10:08 p.m.

    Illegal aliens should be sent back to their home country. Period. Dont break up families. Allow them to take their spouse and children with them. With ridiculously high unemployment we need jobs for citizens. With a waiting list years long to immigrate legally it isnt fair to let people sneak in. Just because theyve been here a long time doesnt make it right. I am not lacking in compassion. If they go home and apply legally they can have a fair shot like everybody else. Saw a saying that explained my position...Entering the country illegally doesnt make you a resident anymore than breaking into a house makes you a member of the family. We dont need new laws. We need to enforce the old laws..

  • wjalden Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 14, 2014 10:07 p.m.

    I lived in Wayne Niederhauser's Senate district back in 2006 when he first ran for his senate seat. He ran against Bryson Garbett and Sen. Bob Bennett's son, Jim, for the Republican nomination.

    Leading up to the primary against Garbett, Niederhauser sent out an ad claiming to oppose illegal immigration. After he won his election, he immediately set about voting against immigration enforcement bills. Niederhauser is a liar. Why would anyone trust a thing these people say?

    Everything they've said and done regarding immigration is a lie. They said the 1986 amnesty (which they actually called an amnesty then) would secure our borders. It didn't. They said the recipients of the 1986 amnesty would pay back taxes. They didn't. They said it would only cover about a million people. It covered three times that many. They said it would be the last amnesty ever brought forward. It wasn't.

    You would be a fool to trust Wayne Niederhauser, Jake "Savings & Loan Scandal" Garn, or any other proponent of amnesty.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    May 14, 2014 8:45 p.m.

    "We need comprehensive reform, we don't need little steps."

    Comprehensive reform is simply giving amnesty and eventual citizenship. We already have that. Millions of illegals within out borders are not going to be required to leave. And they can apply for citizenship by filling out and filing the required papers and getting in line... but not in front of those already in line for citizenship.

    That's all comprehensive reform will have to offer. Don't worry about securing the border. It cannot and never will be secured. We have way too much border.

  • Bob Pomeroy Bisbee, AZ
    May 14, 2014 5:32 p.m.

    dealing w/ the reality of immigration, having faith in the benefits it has been and basic kindness, will serve a better solution than diverging from those principles.

  • Noah So Ogden, Ut
    May 14, 2014 3:25 p.m.

    WHY add "as many as 100,600" guest workers to the U.S. labor market in addition to as many as 35,900 annually in subsequent years? Now tell me Congress, just HOW is America going to sustain this number of immigrants, illegals, and our own citizens who are out of work? DHS claims this is necessary(?) in order to attract & retain H-1B workers. Yet the H-1B cap is met every year while the U.S. produces more STEM graduates than there are jobs. Sen Sessions (R-AL) blasted the Obama Administration for once again changing immigration laws in a way that creates more competition for out of work Americans, further reducing wages in an already oversaturated labor market. "Fifty million working-age Americans aren't working. Research shows as many as half of new technology jobs may be going to guest workers. Yet the Administration is now going to immediately add almost 100,000 new guest workers to compete against unemployed Americans on top of the existing annual supply of approximately 700,000 guest workers & 1 million new permanent immigrant admissions. DHS estimates that this will result in as many as 106,600 spouses applying for work permits the 1st year & 35,900 each year thereafter.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    May 14, 2014 2:57 p.m.

    To "RichardB" so then is a fair wage the current minimum wage of $7.25/hr? But if immigration laws are followed, then you won't have people being paid under the table or being paid less than minimum wage, so what you say becomes moot.

    To "RRB" how do you define "fair wage"?

    Are you sure that tax payers are not subsidizing illegal immigrants by paying for school, children's nutrition, and housing? The same can be said for people that don't want to improve their skills.

  • Brio Alpine, UT
    May 14, 2014 2:48 p.m.

    @ bullet56:

    The GOP in the House would rather submit nothing to the President than submit bad legislation. And that's all the current Democratically controlled Senate is allowing. It's bottlenecking anything good and worthwhile by not allowing those bills to be voted on, such as the Keystone pipeline. Harry Reid is almost a complete obstructionist. Less is happening in the Senate right now than I can ever remember in the half century I've lived. It's extremely sad.

    And by itself, the House can do nothing. Any bills need to be passed by both parts of Congress to become law. So while waiting on the Senate, why not get to the bottom of the Benghazi scandal. It recently came to light that important information has been held back from previous investigations that effected their outcomes... or lack thereof. There remain a lot of unanswered questions that objective people would like to hear the answers to. Only the democrats are obfuscating and vitiating the issue.

    @ Esquire:

    You have it backwards. Democrats and their current policies are the instigators of societal ruination. Their current agenda is socialistic.
    And we shouldn't be bad energy bills. Kudos to the GOP.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    May 14, 2014 2:45 p.m.


    The excuse of Social security and dwindling population is incorrect. The average age of people here illegally is 35. If given citizenship, they will only work for part of their adult lives, before drawing social security. How do we pay them? Add 50 million next time? It's a pyramid scheme to get cheap labor.

    In 1970 our population was 200 million. We were told the same thing, the population was falling, so we upped the number of green cards to one million per year. By 2010 we had 300 million, someone was lying.

    Flooding our labor markets means high unemployment, and higher welfare costs. This is a greater danger than Social Security. We are already seeing the effect of to much labor, and not enough jobs in our long term high unemployment.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    May 14, 2014 2:32 p.m.

    A fair wage is the same pay an American is making doing the same job, in the same area. That's US labor law.

    What makes you think a business has a right to hire someone here illegally, when it's a felony. One of the largest groups to get amnesty, will be dishonest business owners.

  • Brio Alpine, UT
    May 14, 2014 2:20 p.m.

    @ dave4197:

    The only thing wrong with our present immigration system is that it's not being enforced. If they want to modify it, they should offer more means and teeth for enforcement and quit pandering for ethnic votes.

    Your diatribe sounds altruistic, but is very naive and simply nugatory. We simply can't allow open borders to all our "friends' from other borders around the world. Why just our southern border? There are literally billions of uneducated people in the world who would jump at the chance of coming here to improve economically. Shouldn't we "recognize the dignity" of all of them? If only a fraction came, we would soon be another third world country. You need to face reality.

    Most illegals are poorly educated and unskilled. They very much weaken the economic structure of the lower working classes of our country. On top of that, they send approximately $24 billion back to their relatives each year, which then does nothing to help our economy. And as everyone knows, our economy very much needs help right now.

    Please think your arguments through before making them. They sound nice, but have very little substance.

    May 14, 2014 2:18 p.m.

    Vernon Briggs, Cornell University labor economics professor stated:
    "The toleration of illegal immigration undermines all of our labor; it rips at the social fabric. It's a race to the bottom. The one who plays by the rules is penalized... a guest worker program guarantees wages will never go up, and there is no way American citizens can compete with guest workers."

    Our immigration laws are not written just for business, one of the purposes of immigration laws is to protect the countries workforce.

    No need to change welfare, business need to pay a fair wage to people here legally. A fair wage is what a person would make, if business had not flooded our labor markets the past 25 years.

    With more workers than jobs, wages go down, with more jobs than workers, wages go up. Simple economics. Like most people you fail to mention that jobs in this country are limited, in order for someone to work here illegally, they must take a job that a citizen should be doing. This puts the citizen's family on welfare.

    The taxpayers subsidize business use of cheap labor by paying for schooling, welfare etc of the people here illegally.

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    May 14, 2014 2:06 p.m.

    You are correct that our current policy favors one ethnicity over others. 15% of our visas go to Mexico and another 5% goes to the other Central American Nations. But 65% of illegal aliens are Mexican and another 15% are from Central America. So even though they receive more visas than other Nations it still does not satisfy the large numbers that want to come here.
    Real compassion involves the ability to say to them we can't allow too many in or we will so reduce the wages and increase the unemployed and underemployed to the point that we create another World wide Depression.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    May 14, 2014 2:01 p.m.

    To "SLars" apparently the illegals think that the wage is fair enough on the farms and hospitality and service industries.

    If you really wanted to get people to take the jobs "that American's won't do", then you will also need to reform welfare so that taking a a farm, hospitality, service, or construction job is more appealing than being on welfare.

    Before we enact a "fair" wage, I need you or one of your ilk to define what "fair" is. You need to define it in terms that are measurable, not what you feel.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    May 14, 2014 1:47 p.m.

    A dose of reality. America as we know it is in trouble. Majority of people retiring are counting on social security for retirement. The only way to shore it up is to have more people paying SS taxes. Best way to do it is through immigration (and a lot of it). The best way to get a lot of immigration is to reduce the minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage is in reality not compassionate at all. It means fewer immigrants can come to America to escape poverty, and de-motivates the current American workforce. Reducing the minimum wage means that more people are empowered to improve their skills and become more productive. For those interested, Lant Pritchett of Harvard University has the most innovative (not Democrat, Republican, conservative or liberal) and compassionate ideas on immigration (or global labor mobility as he calls it) that I have ever heard of. Oh, and by the way, in my opinion, the current US immigration practice is highly discriminatory favoring one ethnic group over all others. A very un-PC thing to say. But, a dose of reality.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    May 14, 2014 1:36 p.m.

    3.2 million work visas each year with 20 million looking for full time work tells me that more visa workers are not needed. A person will do any work, if it pays a fair wage. Only 3% of those here illegally work on farms the jobs in the cities pay better. Jobs in construction, hospitality and the service industry can't be exported. They are jobs America needs for our citizens. They are also the jobs being targeted by the pro-cheap labor groups.

    The idea of cheap labor has forced down wages, and caused high unemployment by flooding our labor market. Would business owners like it if their customers treated them the same way?

  • JackV brookline, MA
    May 14, 2014 1:13 p.m.

    We don't need more cheap labor. Any reform must involve a REDUCTION in the total levels on immigration. Within that cap there is plenty of room to move around priorities so as to fill the need for high tech workers .

  • brotherJonathan SLC, UT
    May 14, 2014 12:53 p.m.

    If Mexico wasn't operated by Criminal Enterprise their government and ours would serve the people. Drug laws cause crime, bloodshed, misery and do not serve the public good in Mexico or the USA. If 90,000 murders were here in the USA we would want to move to Canada. If we used Canada's guidelines about having some money to enter our country; the Mexican's could use the $1000.00's of dollars wasted on each illegal entry and spend it here. If they find honest work, and minimum wages are enforced "US citizens and visitors will be treated fairly." This will help both countries fix its problem with corporate rule over our laws.
    US citizens will want to accept the low paying jobs only illegals will take right now.
    Because the pay is not fair; Americans don't want those jobs.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    May 14, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    Most people get what part of the problem is. However, the problem is more than just enforcement.

    We need to also cut the amount of red tape. Look at it from a business owner's position. They can't get the locals to work either because of labor laws or because the job is beneath them, so they look to immigrants for work. They now of the choice of going through a very cumbersome process to hire a few workers or they can pick up Jose at home improvement store and get the same work done.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 14, 2014 11:48 a.m.

    Even if there was near consensus between the parties, the dems would not allow it to move forward. Look at the budget bill BO and Boehner negotiated in summer 2011 that everyone wanted, but harry reid and chuckie schumer undercut the POTUS form their own party ands would not allow a vote in the senate. dems are the ruination of this nation.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    May 14, 2014 11:08 a.m.

    Even if there was near consensus between the parties, the GOP would not allow it to move forward. Look at the energy bill that everyone wants, but the GOP is holding it hostage over other issues. Republicans will be the ruination of this nation.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    May 14, 2014 10:38 a.m.

    When looking at "immigration reform" the elephant and donkey in the room is in what form it takes place. Republicans would likely want border enforcement first before any further action on the 11 million here now. Democrats would want amnesty or a pathway to citizenship first and place border enforcement as less important. Herein lies the problem. The Republicans have a good reason to be skeptical of any Democrat/Obama plan that "promises" enforcement and no further amnesty in the future because it was supposed to happen that way back in the '86 amnesty. The amnesty happened, the enforcement did not. So, it is on the shoulders of the Democrats to this time work first for enforcement, then talk of amnesty. Otherwise we may very well have a repeat of '86. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice..............

  • dave4197 Redding, CA
    May 14, 2014 9:29 a.m.

    You amnesty thumpers need to take another look at the West. We Europeans came here, settled here, and by a de facto amnesty for ourselves, we pushed out the former residents - Native Americans (Indian tribes) and Mexicans (latinos). I for one do not subscribe to today's anxiety about amnesty; our friends from south of our border deserve more respect and deserve us to give them a level playing field in our job market. This is America, and North America includes Canada and Mexico. The US is the land of opportunity not the land of exclusion whether you use the cheap labor fear mantra or the drug dealer fear mantra. Demand employers to pay a livable wage to all, gringos and latinos. Send drug dealers to jail, gringos and latinos. Mexicans are not our enemies. Read the history of the re-unification of Germany after Reagan told Gorbachev to tear down that wall - that should be our model. Not fumbling with fences, not anxiety about amnesty.
    C'mon America wake up!

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    Illegal immigrants have a serious cultural, sociological and financial impact upon our society. Legal immigrants less so. Why?

    Illegal immigrants by in large do not nor would not qualify for entrance as legal immigrants. It could be inability to speak English, or willingness to speak English which then makes interaction in the society problematic for the legal system.

    The children enroll in our schools and struggle with a new language, which lowers test scores and stresses teachers who worry about teaching children and meeting bureaucratic score levels to keep a job.

    Illegal immigrants do not immerse themselves into society but live on the fringes and hook into the social welfare benefits for extended periods of time.

    They take the low visibility jobs that American citizens would take as entry level jobs into the work place, only they stay there and are exploited by management.

    They falsify social security cards, in effect stealing another person's identity.

    We have millions of American citizens out of work, employ them first before any immigrant.

    If we did not have the illegal immigrant, there would be a smaller labor pool, which would raise wages as employers would have to compete for labor. Econ 101.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    May 14, 2014 9:16 a.m.

    These are the usual characters from the 1986 amnesty and the six more in the 1990's, using the same arguments.

    Police that refuse to do their job, and instead want to set policy and decide what laws to enforce are losing the respect and trust of the American people in law enforcement everywhere.

    The Salt Lake chamber admitted they were behind the Utah compact, and showed the public that they have become a secret society, trying to run our immigration laws in the shadows.

    Our immigration is not broken, it's not being enforced. The only thing broken is our laws. There is already a road to lawful status, it's called legal immigration.

    Garn and Hatch voted for the 1986 amnesty, and made no effort to force enforcement provisions into being enacted. They share a part of the responsibility of the 12 million here illegally. Did Garn just say it's been 20 years and nothing has been done? Does he not know of the several amnesties in the 90's?

    Reform will not stimulate the economy, they are already here working for less money than their citizen counterparts.

    John Boehner also said Obama could not be trusted to enforce new laws.

  • bullet56 Olympia, WA
    May 14, 2014 9:02 a.m.

    The Leader of the House, John Boehner, admitted that the entire immigration bottleneck is due to his GOP house members, who are afraid to act. They are sent to legislate but don't. They are afraid of sending a bill to the presidents desk for a veto or a signature, so instead of taking care of the needs of the people, the GOP House takes care or politics. Instead of trying to solve this problem, they GOP will focus themselves on yet one more in a long stream of investigations into Benghazi. That is their priority and the GOP base must want them to do that more than secure the borders, rebuild the failing infrastructure, take care of Veterans, and a host of other important needs pending today. After the election, they can take up the next two years of time by trying like Don Quote to repeal the AHCA, aka Obama care. That way they don't have to do anything positive or risky. Shame on the House members for wasting so much of our time and money.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 14, 2014 8:56 a.m.

    No immigration reform legislation will pass until we have confidence BO and holder will actually uphold it. They have shown they have no regard for the law, even BO’s signature health insurance law, which BO disregards with the stroke of a pen on an executive order.

    I could stomach legal status for the illegal immigrants, providing they meet certain qualifications and pay fines, but NOT citizenship. Most don’t even care about that, all they want is the wage.

    Henry Drummond,
    harry reid, not Lee shut down the government.

    do-nothing house. Better to do nothing than do damage as nancy’s house did with Obamacare. I would also say preventing even MORE BO damage is good. I have no problem with the current house.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    May 14, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    The answers seem obvious and have been mentioned. Valid I.D. that shows legal status. (I think all Americans should have that.) Then punishing employers who exploit non legal workers and don't pay them the proper wage that a citizen would get. And one of the most important changes would be for the Federal Government to allow the state and local law enforcement to enforce immigration status. Up to now the Feds have told the locals to stay out of immigration violations. Immigration violations should be handled like a federal crime that the locals deal with. Bank robbery would be a good precedent. A federal crime, but state and local law enforcement roll when it happens.

  • van Saratoga Springs, UT
    May 14, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    Here is the best step by step approach for immigration reform.

    Give a Pathway to citizenship in increments. For every congressman we deport to Mexico give 250,000 hard working undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship. At least they work hard for there money.

  • prelax Murray, UT
    May 14, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    Dignity and respect are earned, you don't get it by being rewarded for breaking multiple laws.

  • prelax Murray, UT
    May 14, 2014 8:39 a.m.

    Politicians will have to choose between America's 20 million workers looking for full time work, or those here illegally. A vote for amnesty/guest workers is a vote against Americans.

    American workers make more money, and it stays in the community, they help the economy. Illegal workers make less money, and send billions of dollars to their home country. They don't help the economy, they make it worse.

    Nothing turns normal honest people dishonest faster than illegal immigration. People that think they are helping them are just setting up more problems, deaths, children brought here, separated families, id theft, social security fraud and other unlawful actions. They are creating a bigger problem down the road. But hey, the welfare kings need their cheap labor, subsidized by the US taxpayer. Start charging business for deportations and housing of their illegal workers, and watch the problems disappear overnight.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    May 14, 2014 8:37 a.m.

    Republicans will get around to immigration as well as other back burner issues like the economy, healthcare, etc., as soon as they finish the Benghazi investigation which should be some where around the mid-terms.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 14, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    Okay, if we are going to give amnesty to millions who violate our immigration laws, then we must demand the same for actual U.S. citizens. Start by ordering the IRS to quit enforcing our tax laws and let the less than 50% of the population who pay taxes to just quit paying taxes because "it is inconvenient, and would allow a better life for their families."

    The push for amnesty is nothing but a huge step toward destroying the respect for the rule of law, for opportunistic political benefit (on the part of the politicians who support it), and some quick profits by the disgusting business interests who apparently have been using illegal labor for years by disobeying the law.

    No amnesty, under whatever name! Ever! We tried it before and it has only made things worse.

    Millions of good people come here legally, so we have a system that works. What does not work, is the enforcement of our laws to apprehend, charge and convict criminals who break our laws.

    Obama's release of millions of criminal illegals back on the streets is a warning of how lawless we have become.

  • CylonesRus sunamn, IN
    May 14, 2014 8:18 a.m.

    What is broken is those who are charged with enforcement starting with the presidents going back thirty year forty years, including Reagan.

    May 14, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    Obama gave a waiver to the spouses of visa workers yesterday. It allows them to work also. The 3.2 million visa holders just increased a million or two, and they can be renewed for three years total. (9.6 million plus spouses) These are guest workers here on legal visas.

    America's workers are being sold out. If these people did not supply business with cheap labor, the laws would be enforced, America would be back to work (17 million still looking for full time work) and the taxpayer burden would be less. Try 55,000 students at $8,000 per student each year k-12. (440 million just for Utah schools each year)

    In the 1986 reform we were promised a border fence (like Mexico's south border) e-verify, interior enforcement and more judges, in the reform of 1996 we were promised a visa entry-exit system. None of it happened, and no enforcement laws under Obama will be enforced. Why pass laws when they won't be enforced?

  • U-tar Woodland Hills, UT
    May 14, 2014 7:59 a.m.

    Build a. Better wall and enforce existing law. Set workable standards for people to come here legally to be part of our great nation, not to tear it apart!

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    May 14, 2014 6:53 a.m.

    Shame on you politicians. Why must you pander for Latino votes?
    Government does a lousy job telling people NO, especially where race is involved. But that's where the law comes in. Enforce it.
    I have never seen the likes of it; politicians, preachers and police chiefs telling us to ignore existing law; apologizing for trespassers.
    And make no mistake, this isn't like a speeding ticket. Illegal aliens break the law every day when they show up at work with their fake social security number and their falsified I-9 form. Or the ones who break tax laws by working off the books.
    Let's get back to deporting people just because they are here illegally. Let's return to worksite raids. Let's establish partnerships with local police to detect and detain illegal aliens. Let's make it mandatory to use SAVE and E-Verify. Let's streamline the BIA process and deportations.
    Most of all, let's stop the politicians from selling our sovereignty for a few votes.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    May 14, 2014 6:40 a.m.

    Yes, fix the broken immigration system:

    1. Force Obama to obey the law and stop lying about how well they are doing.
    2. Stop using illegal immigrants as ponds in a scheme to stuff the ballot box. (Yes, illegal immigrants are voting here and changing the election results.)
    3. Establish a guest worker program where people can come here for limited periods of time (3 to 5 years) work and go home.
    4. Allow guest workers to travel home and come back several times a year so they can attend family events (weddings, birthdays, holidays, etc.)
    5. Make it impossible for illegal aliens to survive in the US.

    A) Offer a huge reward to anyone (including illegal aliens) to turn in employers who employ illegal aliens without making a good faith effort to screen them out. Fine guilty employers massively.

    B) Make it illegal to rent housing to illegal aliens. Landlords (or property managers) who don't make a good faith effort to screen them out will be forced to refund 100% of their rent. Every renter eventually moves and they all know who they pay their rent to.

    (set illegal aliens, their employers and landlords at each others throats)

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    May 14, 2014 6:23 a.m.

    There is currently and has been since 1986 both a path to citizenship and a path to legal residence just for the purpose of working here and returning home. The main problems with this have been:
    1. Some employers don't use it because it means that they would have to pay the same wages that they would pay a citizen.
    2. Some people in other countries won't use it because there is a limit on how many are allowed in each year.
    In 1986 Congress said we need "x" number of foreign workers each year to fill certain jobs. But "2x" to "4x" number of foreign workers want to come each year.

    At this time we have not enforced our current laws in so long that we have no data to tell us how many workers we actually need in each industry. So the only real way to fix this is to seal the borders, enforce the existing laws, and create a new database to work from. And that means we have to punish the employers who are cheating the system harshly to make them stop doing so.

  • Uncle_Fester Niskayuna, NY
    May 14, 2014 6:22 a.m.

    We don't need some reworking of the old law in order to afford "dignity and respect" to illegal immigrants, what we need is enforcement of existing law and a barrier making it extremely difficult to come here unlawfully. Such comments by politicians are an affront to every immigrant who comes here lawfully. We don't need to respect the dignity of illegals, we need people coming here who respect our laws. I don't see why we would ever want to extend citizenship to people who manifestly don't accept the rule of law.

    May 14, 2014 6:20 a.m.

    I am so tired of this fight for illegal labor. We all know amnesty will not help to enforce our laws, the enforcement part will be ignored. And more people will come without strict enforcement. It's been a never ending cycle.

    Before 1976 we averaged 500,000 people a year coming here legally. Since 1976 we are averaging over 1 million people each year (legally), plus 3.2 million visa workers. With high unemployment those numbers should be criminal. We don't need or want illegal immigration, we already let in more people than the rest of the world combined. We need to stop this madness.

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    May 14, 2014 5:53 a.m.

    "by creating a road to lawful status and citizenship" That means amnesty. The illegals will vote for more government programs if they get lawful voting status. Since we are now spending 17 billion dollars a week more than we have (our Federal defecit), more spending will just sink this Titanic a little quicker.

  • John Randolph RIDGWAY, CO
    May 14, 2014 5:30 a.m.

    Why Are Washington's Illegal Immigration And Immigration Reform Such Confounded Messes?

    The primary reason is that Washington does not tell the truth about either.

    Washington's concern with its corrupt NAFTA trading partner Mexico outweighs its concerns for illegal immigration from Mexico. 1.25 billion dollars a day in cross border trade, second largest source of oil, and US investments in Mexico (Wal-Mart) trump any of America's complaints or concerns about illegal immigration to the US.

    Washigton's corporate cronies profit from the use of undocumented labor.

    Washigton's corporate cronies simultaneously profit off undocumented labor and billions of US tax dollars pumped into ineffective crony border and interior enforcement complexes.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    May 14, 2014 12:35 a.m.

    Time to find my lantern and go looking for an honest man.

    Our laws were updated in the reform of 1996 and 2000. The laws of these "reforms" and the 1986 amnesty reform have never been enforced. People received amnesty in 1986 and 2000 (245i rolling amnesties 1994,1997,2000) but the enforcement promised never came.

    I'm tired of business and it's supporters circumventing our immigration laws. Amnesty will just bring more people here illegally, more will die in the desert, more families will be separated, and they don't seem to care. It's time business learned to love it's neighbor.

  • daveterran Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2014 12:15 a.m.

    We need immigration reform, but it won't happen with our current "do nothing" House of Representatives. Finding out who is here illegally and giving those people a path to citizenship is wanted by the majority of Americans and politicians, but the extreme minority in this country is holding this common sense reform hostage.

  • dave4197 Redding, CA
    May 14, 2014 12:01 a.m.

    Mike Lee (a Senator?) is the embodiment of the main impediment to immigration reform. We need comprehensive reform, we don't need little steps. The present policy is wrong, let alone out of date, let alone not workable, let alone immoral by separating families and stepping on the neck of the poor. The fence is a sad example of an unworkable and expensive idea. And it's a sorry emblem of our broken relationship with our friends from across that border. Mexicans are not our enemies.
    The leaders of the 6 states are right about telling legislators to step away from politics (Lee didn't get it) and work together (not splinter groups) and (a) recognize the dignity of our friends from across our southern border, (b) recognize our own ability to help - with job opportunities, with education to name 2, and (c) make it possible to immigrate within months instead of decades.
    I can always hope. Beinvenidos amigos!

  • Mr. Bean Phoenix, AZ
    May 13, 2014 10:50 p.m.

    "Fix nation's broken immigration system"

    The phrase, simply put, means... give all illegal immigrants amnesty, allow them to invite their families and friends.

    We tried that in 1986 and what happened? Illegals poured in by the millions looking for the same benefit. Expect more of the same.

    Fitness Freak:
    "You need to let your Congressperson know that they will NEVER get your vote again if they vote for (any form of) amnesty."

    Too late.

    Immigrants (mostly Hispanic) have developed a huge voting block that basically controls our political system. As it stands now, Democrats have the Hispanic vote. If Republicans hope to get the vote, they will need to promise amnesty and eventual citizenship to all illegals and their families.

  • drivebyposter Orem, UT
    May 13, 2014 10:48 p.m.

    Mike Lee was not standing in solidarity with the first pro-reform group, but was giving an opposite view. There was no proper translation to Lee's statements. Careless journalism.

    The answer is so simple but for some reason so hard politically to implement. If you don't want illegal immigration, discourage illegal immigration! This means closing the porous borders as effectively as we can. It also means creating a higher-tech ID system in this country that can't be defeated by paying a few hundred bucks to the counterfeiter around the corner.

    At the same time, if you want legal immigration,then encourage it! (I think this is a good thing, though many don't). This means lowering the maze-like bureaucratic and financial barriers to many good, decent folks who would come here and contribute to our nation. Yes, this includes humble, hard-working people who can't afford expensive lawyers in their home countries to do it all for them.

    Let's lift our lamp once again beside the golden door, but only to those who come in the front door - one that opens from both sides.

  • azresident Mesa, AZ
    May 13, 2014 10:30 p.m.

    In the late 80's, early 90's, three or four of the teenage boys who lived on my street worked part time construction of some sort. Usually they worked for a family member, friend, or friend of a friend. That is no longer the case. Those jobs go to the laborers hanging out on street corners, picked up by (?)and taken to a job site. While it is illegal to hang out on street corners looking for work, nobody enforces that law. Cheap labor is everywhere. Jobs for teens are not. This is wrong on so many levels.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    May 13, 2014 10:11 p.m.

    This is all well and good, but it appears that many of the Congressional delegations from these states are the very ones holding up the show. Mike Lee is certainly a case in point. When he's not shutting down the government he's stalling on this and many other issues.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    May 13, 2014 7:41 p.m.

    What's wrong with the "old" law - except that it doesn't get enforced?

    Folks, what you are witnessing is a complete takeover of politics by the oligarchy of business interests. The smarmy businesses that want cheap labor couldn't care less how many jobs are lost by LEGAL American citizens. All they care about is that they make more money than you!

    A "new" immigration law will bring another 30-50 million illegal alien trespassers, especially if nothing is done at the border to stop the flow (which I doubt).

    The ONLY thing rational, law-abiding Americans have is their vote. You need to let your Congressperson know that they will NEVER get your vote again if they vote for (any form of) amnesty.

    The amnesty that the chamber of commerce wants WILL result in the destruction of the middle class with: suppressed wages, higher unemployment, and ridiculously high social infrastructure costs.

    The immigration lobby is hoping they can buy their way to amnesty through "donations" to congresspersons.

    PLEASE prove them wrong.