Social Question

john65pennington's avatar

Do you agree with President Obamas intentions to naturalize illegal immigrants already in the United States?

Asked by john65pennington (29187points) May 3rd, 2010

I am for anyone coming to America to be a citizen. this is the foundation for which America and the Constitution was designed. but, is nationlizing illegal immigrants, already in the United States, a good idea? or, does giving a “blanket” citizenship to undocumented people really mean giving a form of amnesty to criminals from other countries? will this “blanket” amnesty be just another incentive for the illegals to continue to cross the border? if there is no personal documentation, then how can amnesty be justified? i personally do not agree with the presidents proposal for amnesty for undocumented workers now in America. this proposal is too vague and opens “Pandoras Box” to a multitude of future problems for the legal citizens of America. this situation was proven true, when my state gave driver license to illegal immigrants, without documenting their validity. fraud and law violations were abundant and still are. Question: should President Obama give U.S. citizenship to undocumented people, already living in the United States?

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99 Answers

plethora's avatar

Absolutely not. You summarize the case against it in your question details.

CMaz's avatar

I see it as a compromise. There are soooo many in this country. Deporting them would be a big hassle on all sides. So it is easier to just make them a citizen.

Easy, but a cop-put.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I think we should give them citizenship, but they should be checked out first to be sure they aren’t a felon on the run from their original country. If we make them citizens and give them social security numbers, then hopefully the next step would be that they are paying taxes like the rest of us and helping with the economy in that way.

ragingloli's avatar

It probably would only be a temporary fix unless the number of incoming fugitives from mexico is diminished.
But consider this: Would you rather spend countless millions/billions on mass deportation/incarceration plus hurting the economy, or would you want millions more people paying income taxes, adding more revenue for the country?

sleepdoc's avatar

I have an extrememly biased opinion and so I know there is going to be a whole host of those who disagree with me. My grandfather was an immagrant. He came to the US and worked to “earn” his US citizenship. And was proud for having done it. When he came here he didn’t speak english, but he made and effort to learn. And even though he always had an accent he got to the point where he was fluent. I am not sure if it was because he had to put forth effort or what but he was very proud to be a US citizen. I think that giving that status to people on the basis of where they are now standing is not right. Unless I am mistaken the US is not saying that they don’t want people to come here and become citizens. They have always just said to do it through the means that are set out. Not just find a way across the border and as long as you get here you will get to be a citizen of this nation. Does the US have agreements like that with other countries. If a US citizen just decided to take residence in a country would they be granted citizenship?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@sleepdoc As far as I know, if a US citizen went to any other country they would not immediately be granted citizenship, instead they would have to apply for it and pass whatever the requirements are for that country.

sleepdoc's avatar

@Seaofclouds I guess I was meaning that somewhat rhetorically. In other words why should we be willing to do this when others don’t to it either.

ragingloli's avatar

@sleepdoc
since when does the US care what other countries do?

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Source please.

Val123's avatar

My grand parents were immigrants from Holland. My husband’s grandfather was from Greece.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@sleepdoc I don’t think other countries are in the position we are in. I completely get what you are saying, but as others have said with the amount of time, effort, and money it would take to force them all to leave, we could just as easily give them citizenship (which I’m not saying to just hand over without a check and stuff) and get them to contribute towards our government/country.

CMaz's avatar

And in the process, start handing the country over to them. Easy people.

Reason why I say that is because I go to San Diego and it is like an Americanizes Mexico.

la jolla California and south to the border, I am the minority.

mattbrowne's avatar

Don’t forget it’s the conservative predatory capitalists who exploit illegal immigrants as cheap laborers.

sleepdoc's avatar

@Seaofcoulds If you really belive that other coutries (especially european) don’t have problems with non-citizens residing in their borders you are mistaken.

jfos's avatar

I do not think that illegal Mexican aliens are strictly damaging to the economy. The lack of tax-paying is bad, because it means we are missing out on a significant revenue as a country.

I don’t mean to be stereotypical, but every illegal Mexican I’ve ever worked with was an extremely hard worker. I think this is good, because it raises the standard for a worker. More productive workers = more production.

I hate that white Americans have this fear of Mexicans and the Spanish language. It wouldn’t hurt to learn something new.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@sleepdoc I’m sure other countries do have it happen as well. I’ve never heard any other country talk about it the way the US does though.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@jfos It wouldn’t hurt to learn something new, but it also wouldn’t hurt for them to do the right thing and apply for citizenship and start paying taxes since most of the time, they benefit from government programs and healthcare anyway.

sleepdoc's avatar

@jfos I hope you didn’t take what I said to mean I was speaking strictly about spanish speaking individuals. I was simply meaning that if you want to be part of a country and what it is (not just as a visitor or a tourist) your make and effort to learn to communicate in their native language. This is the last comment I am going to make on this though, because national language is a different topic entirely.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Stereotype time:
“When you see a pickup truck with 8 guys in back, they probably Mexicans. They’re probably also going to work.”
-Unknown comedian

wonderingwhy's avatar

There are legal ways to become a US citizen, there are legal ways to work in the US without becoming a citizen, there are legal ways to hold dual citizenship (though not for everyone, depending on what country your from if I recall correctly). So long as that’s the case, I fail to see the purpose in accepting and overlooking illegal behavior – if that’s what you’re going to do, then change the law to match. So in direct answer to your question, no.

wilma's avatar

No.
As many have said, follow the legal path that is already there.
Everyone should follow the laws.

aprilsimnel's avatar

When I think of how crappy, dangerous and hard the work is, and how low the pay is to be a day labourer, or a vegetable picker, or gardener, and then I think about how much people in this country blame these poor people for problems inherent in the system that forces them to look for work here, I have to ask:

What the hell is going on in Mexico and in other countries in Central and South America that their citizens are doing better by working in such horrid conditions with such venom released towards them here in the US? Why are the economic and political conditions in these places not being addressed? Aren’t those the real problems after all? If there were better conditions in their own countries they wouldn’t be here. Why are the poor being blamed, as if they’re maliciously seeking to destroy the US by doing low-paid, filthy and dangerous work that our citizens won’t do unless they’re paid a great deal of money? Why would these people risk such a thing unless they were broke?

I mean, seriously, who wants to be a busboy or a dishwasher at a restaurant? Who wants to pick lettuce in the hot sun? Who wants to be called a bunch of names and called illegal? Who wants to be snuck to do work in someone’s garden or nanny some rich person’s kids and then have those rich people go on TV and call them names? Who wants that? Things must be pretty bad for them where they’re from in order for them to put up with the anger, exploitation and fear they encounter in the US, or any rich country. Put yourselves in their shoes for a minute and then ask yourselves what choice you’d make if your family’s survival were on the line. All this talk, and no one’s asked the people being talked about anything. Aren’t they part of the solution as well? Don’t they get to make their voices heard regarding their own futures? Damn, they’re not feral animals terrorizing the streets, they’re human beings.

sleepdoc's avatar

@aprilsimnel More importantly, shame on us for allowing employers here in the US to treat any of the employees in these was and tolerating it.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@aprilsimnel If they were legal, they would be required to be paid minimum wage in most of the jobs they are doing. Because they do not choose to take the legal path, employers can get away with paying them below minimum wage. That is where some of the anger about them “taking our jobs” comes from. If these employers tried to pay someone else less than minimum wage, the person could complain and have legal standing to do so. So instead of hiring citizens that they would have to pay more, they hire the illegals that aren’t going to “rock the boat” so to speak.

I’m all for people coming over and getting away from a bad situation, they should do it legally though.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I don’t think giving carte blanche to illegal immigrants is the way to go but clearly what we’re doing isn’t working.

There are millions of illegal immigrants in the US and local law enforcement doesn’t have the resources to round them up and ship them back to Mexico so that’s not a reasonable option.

Systematically harassing latinos isn’t much of an option either. Seriously, how many Arizona residents can tell a US citizen from Guatemala versus an illegal immigrant from Mexico? I bet not many.

The main concern Americans have over illegal immigration is the theory that illegal immigrants have a negative impact on the nationwide economy.

So what’s the answer to undocumented workers who don’t pay taxes?
Document them and make them pay taxes.

That means, the practice of hiring undocumented workers needs to go away immediately. Fine people who hire undocumented workers and fine them hard.
There is no supply when there is no demand.

There’s people who have been playing by the rules trying to become American citizens for 10 years or more. The idea that you can come in illegally and get full citizenship is a slap in the face to them.
Making illegal immigrants full citizens will only exacerbate the problem because it rewards the behavior we’re trying to reduce.

Factotum's avatar

The US has naturalized huge groups of Mexican illegals before, always with a sort of ‘this is the last time’ promise coupled with policing the border.

Predictably, the border doesn’t get strengthened and more illegals come, partly in hopes of winning the naturalization lottery the next time it comes around.

And those who try to become citizens legally have to wonder if they are idiots.

@jfos I have no fear of Mexicans and no more fear of Spanish than I do of any other language I don’t speak (they’re all talking about me, I just know it!).

I truly want to increase the number of Mexican immigrants to the US. Only I want them to come in the front door, not sneak in the back.

gemiwing's avatar

I think we should relax the number allowed to enter legally- just open the gate a bit wider and streamline the process a bit if they meet certain requirements while they hold their visa.

I truly feel there has to be a middle ground. No- okay you made it so you’re in; no- no mexicahns in ur ‘merica! either.

Factotum's avatar

I think it is worth noting that American border states are full of legal Mexican immigrants (we call them Americans). It is also worth noting that not all Americans of Mexican extraction are wild for naturalizing huge amounts of Mexicans either.

mrentropy's avatar

I was married to an Australian once. She came to the US and went through all the hassles of becoming a citizen. She would get in line at 3:00am in Newark, NJ to get into the INS offices when she had to, fill out the paperwork, and do everything that is required to be done to become naturalized.

Then they had an amnesty thing and she got pissed. She felt she had totally wasted her time when she could have just come into the country illegally and gave a big F. U. to the authorities until she was granted amnesty.

Another case of trying to do things the right way, and properly, and getting screwed for it.

plethora's avatar

@sleepdoc You could not have stated the case any better. This is truly a black and white issue. My apologies to all the bleeding hearts. @sleepdoc is exactly on target

shilolo's avatar

Hey, let’s all bury our heads in the sand and hope the problem goes away. Ok, that won’t work.

Let’s round up and deport them all!!!! Well, that isn’t feasible either, for economical and social reasons.

Let’s try to find a compromise solution. Oh, that won’t “work” either, because a significant group of people don’t recognize that compromise is the only way. Indeed, one racially diverse (A Fox News link; I cannot be accused of picking and choosing) ~ party is diametrically opposed to compromise on this and other issues (take a wild guess). Too bad there is a failure of real leadership (otherwise known as cojones) in that aforementioned party.

CaptainHarley's avatar

No I do not! That’s simply rewarding people for violating the law. The only way that makes any sense at all is that the democrats want them to become good little party-line voters.

alive's avatar

you framed this as Obama’s idea….

actually the first amnesty program was under the Regan administration in 1986, then some amnesty laws under Clinton (but for Nicaraguans and Haitians), and George W. Bush was actually a big proponent of amnesty (though the conservative party did not broadcast it as such…) mostly calling is “immigration reform”—cuz Bush was from a boarder state and this was one issue that he actually did have experience with. but claiming that it is obama is incorrect. it is actually taken directly from one of the Bush administrations primary domestic policies.

years when amnesty bills were passed (this website is obviously bias, and the numbers are inflated, but at least the years and a short summary seem accurate)

one quote in regards to bush’s proposal: ” The biggest obstacle was to convince conservatives that the path to citizenship for illegal aliens is not Amnesty. ” (taken from the bottom of the page where it says “Amnesty Bill Update ” (ha, ironic)

“Bush Seeks Unlimited Immigration And Amnesty For Illegals” By Phil Kent and J.L. Woodruff Middle American News February 2004 Issue – link

anyways, americans don’t realize that if you are from a rich country you can go anywhere you want often with NO visa, (or a guaranteed visa i.e. if you apply you will get it). rich countries are so afraid of people from poor countries that it could take you a lifetime to get legal entrance into a rich country if you an unskilled laborer.

people that are here illegally are not violent criminals. they are simply people that have moved from their old place to a new one and they happened to cross a certain portion of the earth that one government has deemed a “boarder”.

if my neighbors with a couple kids were here illegally, and they got amnesty, that would be good. i don’t i really don’t see a problem with that. they are already working here and sending their kids to school and shopping at the grocery store and so on… now they can do that without having to worry that they might suddenly be kicked out and become homeless.

YoBob's avatar

@alive

> they are simply people that have moved from their old place to a new one and they happened to cross a certain portion of the earth that one government has deemed a “boarder”.

I wonder if you would feel the same way if you had neighbors who come into your house without permission to use your bathroom because it is easier to use yours than to fix their own, then proceed to take advantage of other “services” such as the food in your refrigerator and your pay per view television channels.

It is not an arbitrary point on Earth that one government has deemed their border. It is a property line that was agreed upon by treaty and is internationally recognized.

shilolo's avatar

@YoBob To use your analogy, if I had a problem with my direct neighbor, I would try to work it out sensibly and via negotiation and compromise rather than putting up an electric fence and doing everything possible to harass said neighbor. We all have realize that this is our current reality, and no amount of fantastic, wishful thinking that illegals will simply disappear or be harassed enough to “go home” will be effective. What we need is a concerted, bipartisan effort to come to a reasonable solution to the problem. What we are getting instead is obfuscation and obstinance.

alive's avatar

@YoBob if my neighbor knocked and said “out bathroom isn’t working, can i borrow yours, i’d probably say yes.

further, in this anology, if i was a plumber and had the power to help, i’d probably also help them get their problem fixed instead of being a jerk.

i’m glad i’m not your neighbor.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Dealing with our “current reality” involves the law. Remember that? Those are things passed by our lawmakers. One of those things establishes a method for entering the US as an immigrant. Entering without going through the legal procedure is thus… guess what? ... against the law! I will maintain to my dying breath that entering the Country illegaly is no way to begin a new life.

alive's avatar

@CaptainHarley there is a difference between violent crimes and non violent crimes. if you were born in mexico and couldn’t sustain your family on your wages there, i wouldn’t blame you for wanting to move to the US.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@alive

AND NEITHER WOULD I BLAME SOMEONE FOR DOING THAT… LEGALLY!

jfos's avatar

@CaptainHarley How did your ancestors come to be in America?

YoBob's avatar

@shilolo and @alive

Of course, when your neighbor knocks on your door and says “can I borrow your bathroom” you try to do everything you can to help. What happens when you do everything you can to help, but in spite of that your neighbor all but moves into your house rather than working with you to fix the problem in their own home?

There comes a time when it does not make you a jerk to say “get the #$!@#! out!”. IMHO, we have long passed that point with our current illegal immigration problems.

YoBob's avatar

PS: @alive FWIW, I happen to be an excellent neighbor.

jfos's avatar

What if your neighbors were using your bathroom, but also spending 12–14 hours a day in your yard doing labor for a very small wage because it is better than living at their house? On top of that, your neighbors bring their 4 hungry children that, at their house, they could hardly feed. With the small wages earned in your yard, they are able to feed their children, and the children begin learning English. It happens that one of the children is extremely gifted, but cannot prosper due to a lack of education/opportunity at their old house. There comes a time when ”get the #$!@#! out!” is not the responsible course of action.

CMaz's avatar

Hypercritical reasoning, I love that.

And those neighbors that were using your bathroom. Prevented your child from getting to their job interview on time. loosing that job. And one of those hungry children (that, your neighbors bring over) gets hurt and now you are sued. It’s now not just about the cheep labor but the insurance increase because you allowed them to come and work in your yard. You might not even be able to now get insurance.
Also, dangling that carrot of a good future that their child will not get due to a lack of education/opportunity the parents of this child decide to rob you or worse yet off you.

YoBob's avatar

@jofos

> but also spending 12–14 hours a day in your yard doing labor for a very small wage because it is better than living at their house

Then that would make one a virtual slave owner who uses the excuse that they allowing them to use the bathroom in a “fair exchange” for labor and further pat themselves on the back for saving the children from starvation.

By all means, help make your neighbor’s home livable. Help them find “work at home” opportunities that offer a longer term benefits. “You can live at my place instead of fixing your own” is not a solution.

jfos's avatar

@ChazMaz I’m not sure if you’re calling my reasoning hypercritical, but it seems that yours certainly is. Just as I picked out a few positive aspects, you picked out strictly negative ones.

@YoBob I agree! But saying “Get the fuck out” is not helping to ”make your neighbor’s home livable”. Nor is it helping ”them find “work at home” opportunities”.

CMaz's avatar

Ooops, my bad.

I meant Hypothetical.

And your “few positive aspects” were just a sugar coated road to a tummy ache. :-)

YoBob's avatar

@jofs

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

There is no motivation to fix their own home when you seem perfectly willing to let them continue living in yours. Letting somebody borrow your bathroom because theirs is not working is being a good neighbor. Allowing them to sleep on your couch, eat your food, and watch pay-per-view instead of fixing their problem is acting as an enabler. Letting them know that they have overstepped the bounds of your hospitality and telling them in no uncertain terms that it is time to go home is the first step to a longer term solution.

YoBob's avatar

Dang… can’t seem to type this morning.

@jfos

There…

shilolo's avatar

@YoBob Everyone that is currently living in the USA, citizen or not, came originally from somewhere else. Likewise, immigrant backlash is nothing new in the USA. Irish immigrants in the 1800s faced a nativist backlash (immortalized in the film, Gangs of New York) similar to the one faced by Mexican immigrants today. Italian immigrants and Jewish immigrants in the later part of the 19th and early 20th century were no different. The “natives” resent the immigrants who in general are poor but hardworking, uneducated and speak a different language. Predictably, strife ensues. The later part of the 20th century is essentially a Mexican migration (illegal though it may be). What happened to the USA being a melting pot?

Also, for all those people expressing anti-immigrant tones, what is your practical solution to the problem. Really, I want to know, because rounding up and kicking out millions of people just isn’t going to happen (neither Bush nor Obama were/are in favor of this, and I would venture to say that a majority of Americans would reject that too.)

CMaz's avatar

You can’t compare Mexican immigration to all other immigration.

Except for Mexico (and Canada), everyone else came from a non bordering country.
They had to follow the rules mandated in order to get into this country and to become a citizen.
The effort that it took to become a citizen was/is taken VERY seriously.
And a sense of loyalty manifested from it.

The “casual” act of crossing the border has become a game more then an obligation or privilege
Sort of like leaving the pie to cool on the window sill only to have it taken.
There is no need to follow the rules or respect our laws, when it is “easy” enough to just cross over.

This act of disrespect I think is the bottom line, and it has gotten out of control..
No one is saying we don’t want them here, good people. But it is about time they did it the same way our relatives did and the rest of the world does it.

jfos's avatar

@ChazMaz Absolutely. They should bring disease here and violently decimate the natives. Wait…

wilma's avatar

I agree with you @ChazMaz .
My grandparents came through Ellis Island, followed the rules, and became English speaking, hard working tax paying, citizens.
Those Mexicans who are doing it the lawful way are really getting the bum deal, I feel sorry for them, not those doing it illegally.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@jfos

How did my ancestors come to this Country? Legally!

YoBob's avatar

@shilolo

> Everyone that is currently living in the USA, citizen or not, came originally from somewhere else.

Not entirely true. I have ancestors who where here long before Columbus stumbled across the place. Of course, like most Americans I am a mutt and am rather proud of my diverse heritage. The difference, however, between the largely European immigrant population from which most of us stem and the problem with our Southern neighbors is that the earlier crop followed the established immigration and naturalization process whereas the current illegal immigrants have been simply ignoring the border for decades and screaming racism when anyone calls them on it.

You asked for a practical solution, here it is. We need to offer a reasonable path to citizenship for both those who are here illegally as well as those who wish to become citizens. I suggest military service. If you wish to become a citizen and serve this country honorably for 4 years you get full citizenship plus all of the usual ex-military benefits, and yes, you will be able to speak English by the time you are finished. All of the able bodied of age will be treated no differently than other new recruits. Those with physical handicaps or outside the established age parameters can serve in a variety of capacities. There are plenty of job openings ranging from laundry to paper work.

Those that do not choose to avail themselves of this excellent employment opportunity will be promptly returned to their own country of origin.

CMaz's avatar

@YoBob – I am with you on that idea. But when we have hit our quota of (qualifying) Mexicans joining the military for citizenship. We are back to border crossing again.

YoBob's avatar

@ChazMaz – I agree. I was only addressing what to do with the current illegal immigrant population as well as future immigrants who want a clear path to citizenship. Until we take the necessary steps to secure our borders we will continue to have problems with drug runners and general scumbags who simply choose not to obey the law.

Factotum's avatar

As it happens, serving in the US military is already a path to US citizenship for people in several countries.

YoBob's avatar

@Factotum – Excellent! Then we already have established procedures that we can offer to our neighbors to the South.

shilolo's avatar

@YoBob While I’m not sure mandatory military service is the best solution, I applaud you for suggesting something. This is exactly the kind of discussion we should be having at the national level, but we’re not. Organizing a legitimate path to citizenship for those already here, combined with a guest worker program and stricter application of current laws seems like a great way to start, but of course, the Republican party is obstructing this debate.

Also, for those that say “this time it’s different”, you need to recognize that in the 1800s and 1900s, there was little to no vetting of incoming immigrants. If you were on a boat, and you arrived at Ellis Island, you were good to go. That open door policy is long gone.

CMaz's avatar

“there was little to no vetting of incoming immigrants. ”
Ah the good old days. When people did what ever it took to put food on the table.
And there was always work to be found because of that.

“That open door policy is long gone.”
Epically when overpopulation is an issue.

shilolo's avatar

@ChazMaz “When people did what ever it took to put food on the table.” Precisely the situation today for many immigrants from impoverished countries. Ask yourself what you would do if you were born and raised in Mexico under the same conditions. Would you allow yourself and your family to live a life of abject poverty, or try your best to provide for your family?

CMaz's avatar

“or try your best to provide”
I understand that. I have a problem with how “try your best” is being applied.

Factotum's avatar

@Shilo Far from being ‘good to go’, people were turned away for illness, for race, (the Naturalization Act of 1790 speaks of ‘free white’ immigrants – no idea what Mexicans were considered at the time – and at other times no Asians other than Japanese were allowed), and people with certain skills were also not allowed to immigrate – rank protectionism.

I, and most people here, don’t think it is unreasonable or evil or anything similar for some Mexicans to try to cheat the system. We just want to prevent it because we understand that the US can only take in so many immigrants in a given year and that because we are a country we get to determine who comes across our borders and how long they stay. Just like every other country.

Factotum's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy While rounding them all up and sending them back is not feasible, rounding some of them up and sending them back both makes a dent in the current population and dissuades some of those who might otherwise come in.

shilolo's avatar

@Factotum That already happens if illegal immigrants are identified by the INS. The fact is, illegal immigrants perform vital functions in this country (migrant farm workers, landscaping, construction, restaurants, etc.) that in many cases occur out in the open. Large corporations and individual homeowners (i.e. the parking lot at Home Depot) frequently make use of illegal immigrants, and we all benefit economically from their low wages. I think this is the reason why neither the government nor big business nor a majority of Americans want to kick them all out. It is not feasible or practical, but also will likely be detrimental to the economics of the country.

@ChazMaz “Try your best” to me means “do whatever it takes” (i.e. sneak across the border to pick strawberries and artichokes because it pays better than whatever I can do in Mexico) to feed my family. What does it mean to you?

YoBob's avatar

FWIW:

From this website: http://www.ansarilawfirm.com/index.cfm/hurl/obj=321/ApplyingforUSCitizenshipNaturalizationThroughMilitaryServiceAustinTexasimmigrationandcitizenshiplawyer.cfm

“Applying for U.S. Citizenship During Time of War

Any immigrant who enlists with the United States Armed Forces can apply for expedited naturalization. Because the United States is in a time of war, an immigrant—documented or undocumented—who serves in active-duty status may apply for expedited naturalization through military service. Immigrants who enlist during a time of war can apply for naturalization after only one day of service and have the citizenship application fee waived.”

And from this site: http://usmilitary.about.com/od/theorderlyroom/a/citizenship.htm

“Service During Hostilities : By Executive Order Number 13269, dated July 3, 2002, President Bush declared that all those persons serving honorably in active-duty status in the Armed Forces of the United States at any time on or after September 11, 2001 until a date to be announced, are eligible to apply for naturalization in accordance with the service during hostilities statutory exception in Section 329 of the INA to the naturalization requirements. This means that individuals with even one day of honorable active duty service can apply for citizenship, regardless of how long they have been a resident. Note: Under this provision, individuals who apply for citizenship after discharge must present a DD Form 214, with service characterized as “Honorable,” or “General.” Those with other characterizations (including Entry Level Separation), are not eligible.”

Ron_C's avatar

What are we going to do, deport 12 million people? Governments policy of not enforcing the boarder has created this problem. Reagan developed the amnesty program and at least three million people became citizens. He and subsequent presidents failed to control the boarder and even gave companies incentives to hire illegal worker.

Amnesty without boarder control is only a fast track to citizenship. I guarantee that if we successfully repatriate 12 million Mexican and south Americans, we will precipitate a rash of revolutions in those countries. We will then have the problem of keeping opposing armies from attacking eachother from across our border.

What Arizona did was reprehensible but the good side is that it is bringing the immigration to the forefront. What we really need is fair and legal governments south of our border. We have to stop funding and supporting oligarchies and dictatorships.

augustlan's avatar

One thing I notice that people often times overlook is that many illegal immigrants are working real jobs, earning real paychecks (lower than what you’d do the job for, but still at or above minimum wage), and paying real taxes. False documents are not that hard to obtain (apparently), and I’m sure the companies that hire them don’t look too closely. So, many already pay taxes but will never get the full benefits of those taxes. When they retire, they aren’t going to get Social Security benefits, even though they’ve paid in for years. They’re terrified to ask for any social services, since a more than cursory look at their documentation will out them as illegals. So we get to collect those taxes, without the full burden of paying out in benefits.

To answer the actual question, I don’t think instant amnesty is the answer, but I would definitely like to see the path to citizenship (and/or legal ‘worker’ status) eased up considerably. Make it easy to become legal, and people will do it.

Ron_C's avatar

Employing illegal immigrants is tantamount to slavery and is in effect shipping jobs out of the country. Sure they may pay payroll taxes but they buy very little in our country. In fact they are a major contributor to the Mexican economy. The reason they have to work at slave wages is that their own country is owned and operated by the same people that are in the process of taking over our country. Ronald Reagen would have loved this situation. It all started with him and his hate for government and unions.

The middle class is shrinking and there is no way that our owners will let cheap labor leave their country.

Ron_C's avatar

@YoBob great, they found a way to outsource illegal wars too. What a wonderful idea! All the immigrant had to do is bleed or die for his new country. Of course they aren’t officers so we get bodies for minimum wage.

Factotum's avatar

@Ron_C I don’t think illegals pay payroll taxes – nor do citizens. Businesses pay payroll taxes for the privilege of being allowed to hire people in the US. Or that is how I understand things anyway.

As for foreign people being officers in the military I suspect you are right and they wouldn’t be allowed. But the amount of foreign people in our military is extremely small and not likely to increase to the degree we could accurately consider wars outsourced.

Ron_C's avatar

I looked at my paycheck. I pay state, federal, city, social security, medicare, and some other taxes that I can’t identify. Unless the illegal is “off the books” he pays the same as I, especially if he has a fake social security number.

The only tax the company pays is half the social security tax, and workmans comp. insurance.

YoBob's avatar

The issue of whether illegals pay taxes is just as much of a red herring as the race issue. At the end of the day those illegals are occupying jobs that should be held by American citizens.

And, before somebody pulls out the old “Americans don’t want to do those jobs” argument, every single day I pass people at almost every major intersection in my city holding “Will work for food” signs. While I’m sure that some of them prefer begging to actual employment, there is no shortage of Americans who would prefer any job to being reduced to begging on street corners.

CMaz's avatar

It does not matter what they are doing.
They are not following the laws that this country operates on.

Neither are the people that employ them. Most of the time they know they are in this country illegally. Taking advantage of cheep labor.

wilma's avatar

Also to the argument that “Americans won’t do those jobs.”
I live in an area where there are very few illegal immigrants. They don’t last very long here, everyone knows everyone else, they stick out like a sore thumb.( And most of them they don’t like our weather.)
Who do you think is doing those jobs where I live?
Picking fruits and vegetables, pollinating corn, cleaning hotel rooms, washing cars, mowing lawns, trimming hedges, digging in the dirt, cleaning toilets, scrubbing floors, washing dishes, hoeing fields, bussing tables.
Americans ( of every skin shade and age) do those jobs, and are grateful to have a job in this economy.

alive's avatar

if we are living with “illegals” here now, then why can’t they just be legals? they are already part of our population and our economy. so why do we continue to alienate them? all the problems that people are talking about like tax money. that would be solved if those people were legal. they would have to pay taxes (p.s. they already pay forms of taxes that are build into products, i.e. grocers tax)

i feel that the political turmoil isn’t caused by illegals, it is cause by the people who think they get to decide other people’s fate.

if an average somebody puts in an application to becaome a citizen, why are they not being granted citizenship?

in all honesty and earnestness i do not understand why the US is anti-immigrant.

if i wanted to move to another country and they told me no, i would probably be pretty shocked and appalled. luckily i can gripe to a lawyer or my own government both of which would probably secure me a place in whatever country i am asking to move to. however, not everyone can afford a lawyer, and not everyone was born into a powerful nation.

alive's avatar

on jobs: the more people, the more demand in markets. the more demand in markets creates more jobs.

even if some of their money goes back to mexico (as someone already mentioned) not all of it does (sometimes whole families not just a wage earner lives here. they have to buy day to day items, food, shelter etc)

people are not out of jobs from migrant workers, they are out of jobs because our government deregulated the stock market and allowed to basically gamble with people [sub-prime] loans and the economy crashed (read as our gov put people out of jobs, not illegals)

@YoBob per ‘military service’ gay people can’t serve. i know the policy is that gays can serve if they “don’t ask don’t tell,” but you can still be personally threatened/attacked even if you don’t tell. so what about gay immigrants? there is a very large percentage of immigrants who come to the US to escape their own country’s bigotry (and mexico is much more anti-gay than the US). can trans people serve? it seems like it would be more dangerous for a trans person than a gay person in the military.

YoBob's avatar

@alive Why are you whispering and diverting the conversation from illegal immigration to homosexuality?

As for jobs, perhaps the next time you see a guy standing on the street corner with a “will work for food” sign you can explain to him why a person who is in this country illegally is gainfully employed while he is sleeping under a bridge.

Val123's avatar

The guy sleeping under the bridge can certainly go get the same work, for the same wages, as an illegal immigrant. So why doesn’t he do that, rather than sleep under a bridge?

alive's avatar

i whispered that because i knew it was slightly off topic…

Seaofclouds's avatar

@alive Some states don’t have sales tax, so in those states, illegal immigrants that work under the table without paying taxes don’t contribute to any of the taxes in those states (since their purchases don’t contribute).

CMaz's avatar

“in all honesty and earnestness i do not understand why the US is anti-immigrant.”

I think we had a great run. Glad we were able to bring plenty on board. But this ark needs to shut its doors.

We have had plenty of immigration here. Don’t ya think it is time to take care of the ones that got in. In general. Before we open the door again.

The problem is that the great open country of yesterday is an over populated country today.
I say we STOP ALL immigration till we get it all figured out.

Val123's avatar

@Seaofclouds All states have sales tax. Some states don’t have people pay state income tax, but they still have to pay federal income tax. Some states don’t have property tax either. Oklahoma, right next door, is one of those. And they have the crappiest roads in the world.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Val123 Delaware does not have sales tax. When you go shopping, there is no sales tax added on to your purchase. The residents in Delaware pay a higher state tax out of their wages because of this. So an illegal immigrant that does not report wages does not end up paying state taxes (through wages or sales tax). Proof To be exact, “Sales taxes are assessed by every state except Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon.”

Val123's avatar

@Seaofclouds Yes, I see. Interesting.

alive's avatar

@ChazMaz some places are “over populated” some aren’t

but my point about “amnesty” is that they are already here, how does it negatively affect the US if we change their status from “illegal” to “legal”?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@alive I believe the concern is that if we do it now, others will expect the same when they come over illegally as well. Not to mention the ill feelings of those that worked hard to do it the legal way just to watch us hand it over to someone that did it the illegal way. Punishing bad behavior can have long term effects.

alive's avatar

@Seaofclouds i don’t think mexicans would hold it against other mexicans, because they know how difficult the application process is. as for rewarding bad behavior… just because something is “illegal” doesn’t automatically mean it is “bad”.

Val123's avatar

OK, to the subject at hand. In previous generations people worked to become American Citizens. It wasn’t just handed to them. I think the idea of just handing over citizenship is another symptom of the “I deserve everything even though I haven’t done anything,” mentality that’s really undermining our country and especially our young adults and kids.

alive's avatar

but if you apply and don’t get it…. then what?

Val123's avatar

@alive Apply again. I don’t know the rules for applying, and I don’t know what kinds of things would prevent a person from getting approved.

alive's avatar

@Val123 people are usually denied because there is a waiting list. we use a ‘modern’ form of the very archaic quota system. it is my understanding that currently the waiting list for a mexican applying with no ‘sponsor’ (i.e. relative, or employer, spouse etc.) is ten years long. if somebody applies and meets the requirements i don’t see why they shouldn’t be granted.

Val123's avatar

How many people can this country sustain?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@alive Do you know anyone that has gone through the process of becoming a citizen? I do and while they may not hold anything against fellow Mexicans for getting in the illegal way, they may hold it against the government for making them do it the legal way while letting others get in for “free” (so to speak). Since 1995, the average number of yearly naturalizations has surpassed 650,000, so if those 650,000 people can do it, the rest can to. In 1986 Reagan gave amnesty to 3 million illegal immigrants. (Source) If we continue to do this (even every 20 years or so), it will be expected again in the future. I’m not against doing something, but I think there needs to be a better way than just saying “here ya go”.

alive's avatar

@Seaofclouds yes i do know mexicans that got their papers, but they did it through marriage. even that was a hassle and took several years to complete.

a lot of ppl get married only for papers. a lot of people will do a lot of things to get papers. my point is there isn’t really a reason to deny ppl. 3 million people getting amnesty sounds like a lot of people but it is only 0.9% of the population

Seaofclouds's avatar

@alive But how do you choose which ones to give it to. I’m not saying it was a lot, I’m saying we’ve done it once before and if we do it again and again, it will be expected. There is a process and quotas for a reason, I don’t know the reasoning behind it (never looked) but I imagine it has something to do with the size of an influx our country can handle at one time. We only have so many resources available. That’s part of the reason the census is so important. We have a limited number of schools for children to attend, limited numbers of hospital beds for patients to occupy, and limited numbers of nursing home to provide care for our elderly when they need it. We are already facing a potential crisis with getting in to see a doctor as it is. We don’t have regulations on our reproduction (like China), so we need to have some control over the number coming in at one time.

Factotum's avatar

@alive 3 million people came here illegally and were granted instant citizenship just for showing up. Reagan gave them citizenship.

We have in the neighborhood of 12 million new ones since then.

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