Town Square

Post a New Topic

Pulitzer Prize winner from MV outs his illegal status

Original post made on Jun 22, 2011

Jose Vargas, former Mountain View High school student and top American journalist, has outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in a stirring article in The New York Times magazine.




Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 22, 2011, 5:22 PM

Comments (84)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by great job
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Great job, Mr. Vargas. You are a role model for so many American kids.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 22, 2011 at 6:41 pm

How is this surprising or inspiring. The feds, state and city do little to nothing about illegal immigration, so they are all to blame for scenarios like this developing. For every job or education or award an illegal gets a citizen loses out on.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by blind justice
a resident of Castro City
on Jun 24, 2011 at 2:50 pm

right under their noses......what's next?9


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jj
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 24, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I hear Arizona has the right idea.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by andrea
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 25, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Did any of the above commenters actually read Vargas' article in the NY Times? He moved here as a child and didn't know his green card was a fake until he applied for a driver's license when he turned 16. And then he worked his butt off to do great things for our country (which, btw, just happens to be the American ideal, the heroic story our country was founded on). Does that sound like a story of a criminal? Or something a bit more tricky to pin down?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by No more illegal immigration
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 26, 2011 at 8:21 pm

In 1986, the US gave amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants on the condition that we would never do this again. When people come to the US illegally, even if they are children, they do it at their own peril. The parents know if they get caught there might be heavy consequences to pay. We will never end illegal immigration as long as illegal immigrants know that once they arrive they will get all the benefits and protection of citizenship and more.

It is unfair for illegal immigrants to jump ahead of the legal immigrants who wait for their turn and who follow our laws. We either have laws that we enforce or we become a lawless, borderless society.

Jose was 16 when he learned he was an illegal immigrant. He could have done the right thing at 16, but he chose to continue breaking the law. We charge people as young as 14 as adults, so why give Jose a pass? Why didn't Jose's grandparents sponsor him for a green card? Why didn't he go back to the Philippines to live with his mom? Furthermore, if my mom sent me to live with relatives when I was 12, I would want to know why and why my mom did not come too. I think Jose knew he was illegal from the get go.

In addition to coming to this country illegally Jose could be charged with falsifying documents to work, forging documents to get a Social Security number, making false statements on an I-9 form, making false statements to get a driver's license, etc. The laws Jose broke have penalties of 5-15 years as well as fines of $250,000. Which one of the laws that Jose broke is not serious?

Jose's mom wanted him to have a better life, but with the enormous numbers of illegal immigrants coming to this country, who steal education and health care resources, benefits, and jobs, they have severely affected US citizens whose lives have gotten worse. Why does an illegal immigrants right to a better life trump the right of US citizens to a better life?

The cost of educating an illegal immigrant from K-12, assuming $10,000 per student annually, is $130,000. There are approximately 65,000 illegals (very conservative estimate) who graduate annually, which means it costs $8.4 billion dollars to educate illegal immigrants. We could pay for every US citizen to get a college degree and have money left over to invest in research, infrastructure, etc., if we were not paying so much to educate illegal immigrants.

Some people argue we have already invested in the illegals K-12 education, so why not pay for college too? If it costs $130,000 to educate a student from K-12, then what happens if the illegal immigrant drops out, joins a gang, does drugs, gets pregnant, etc? Should we continue to fund them so we don't lose our investment? We should send the K-12 bill to the countries the illegal immigrants are from and deport the students and families.

We currently ask students to provide proof of residency, so why not ask of proof of citizenship? If the student is illegal, then report them to ICE. If a student is illegal and in a gang or causing problems, then report them to ICE. ICE should be able to investigate the entire gangbanger's family and if they are here illegally, then deport them.

There would be no overcrowding at our schools, we would have more resources, better behavior, and our test scores would be higher if we enforced our immigration laws.

Another argument is that it is unfair to punish the children. But, if your dad robs a bank does the family get to keep the proceeds because we do not want the children to be denied? If a parent has been embezzling money for 20 years do we allow the parents to continue to embezzle the money because the family is "use to that lifestyle?"

Jose Vargas and Mandeep Chahal make for "feel good" news stories, but they are not typical illegal immigrants. For every Jose or Mandeep there are hundreds of thousands of illegals who are in special ed, high school dropouts, in gangs, drug dealers and addicts, prisoners, and/or burdens on our health care system, etc. Jose and Mandeep are the exception.

The US cannot afford the massive costs of illegal immigration. Illegally immigrants are overwhelming our schools, hospitals and health care systems, housing, food banks, prisons, etc. Illegal immigrants are taking resources and jobs from US citizens who desperately need those resources and jobs. For example, if we deported all of the illegal immigrants in the US, then our K-12 schools would no longer be in crisis; we would tremendously reduce our costs for prisons; and our gang problems would be dramatically reduced, which would make our neighborhoods cleaner and safer, and fewer people would be unemployed.

The US taxpayer, especially the elderly, cannot afford to pay for benefits for illegal immigrants. Many illegal immigrants (like Obama's aunt who came here illegally) get on Medicaid, Medicare, disability, Supplemental Social Security, Section 8 Housing, etc. Immigrants get on our welfare programs (with forged documents) and take money away from our elderly and our children, and then immigrants send money to relatives in the counties they are from. Remittances to foreign countries cost the US almost $400 billion annually. The US taxpayer cannot support the world…we cannot even support ourselves!

We have one of the most generous immigration policies and it is wrong and unfair to let someone break our laws and jump ahead of others. We will never end illegal immigration as long as illegal immigrants know that once they arrive they will get all the benefits and protection of citizenship and much more.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dee
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 27, 2011 at 2:11 pm

No more illegal immigration,
Thank you for stating this so well.

Andrea,
By being here illegally he is a criminal.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by James Thurber
a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Jose Vargas has proven to be a contributing, valuable member of our community and should be granted American citizenship - no waiting - no charges. America might be getting crowded but this young man has proven himself beyond any reasonable doubt. I hope we can all stand together and say: Jose . . . welcome!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dear Voice
a resident of Willowgate
on Jun 27, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I posted something a couple of days ago here, and it wasn't offensive, and it was removed. I bet there was a reason, but I wonder what it was.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by narnia
a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Dee,
your citizenship entitles you to ignorance, prejudice and the blind hatred that I perceive in your post, but it doesn't entitle you to your own facts. This is not a forum about immigration (a really complex issue) or about the fact that it is not a crime. (Section 1325 [of Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter II, Part VIII, U.S. Code ). This discussion is about Antonio Jose Vargas, born in the Philipines and brought as a child to the US where he grew up in the same way as any American does except smarter and more capable than the average. I echo james Thurber and expect that the provisions of the law for exceptions will be applied in this case and Jose Vargas continue to do us proud (unlike some other whose contribution to society is peppered with hostility, venom and lack of constructive views)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jupiterk
a resident of Gemello
on Jun 27, 2011 at 3:16 pm

If Vargas had obtained a driver's license and killed someone in an accident, especially someone related to the folks in this forum who like him so much, I wonder how they would feel? Would they still consider Vargas a role model or a giant inspiration? For every successful illegal vargas, there are 100 violent and criminals illegals out there. If someone thinks 1 successful illegl out of 100 illegal is good for them, may be they need to get rid of US citizenship and move to Phillipines or Mexico or Guatemala.

illegal immigration is against the law. Now what part of that you don't understand? no comprendo?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by narnia
a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2011 at 3:50 pm

j(upit)erk?


Aren't you bright , clever and enterprising? Just the kind of person we need over here.

How many times is it necessary to point out that this forum is not about immigration but about Antonio Jose Vargas accomplishments despite his undocumented status?
what is it about your comprehension that it is difficult for you to be focused on the subject matter?

Illegal Immigration is in fact a civil offense (not a crime) committed by irish, polish, scots, indians and every other nationality. Your disgust seems to be directed to south americans, whom you call mexicans (except when we need their services :then we are all a big family.....)
Are you sure that some those engineers who made the Valley weren't at one time undocumented?

In the meanwhile tell us what have you done for your country that you should be proud of.
Just being born is really not enough.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dee
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 27, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Hi Narnia,

We are all entitled to our views. I stated my you stated yours.

I agree with jupiterk
"illegal immigration is against the law. Now what part of that you don't understand? no comprendo?"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by narnia
a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2011 at 8:17 pm

  Entering illegally is in fact a criminal matter, so Vargas is not a criminal because he committed no criminal offense, since he was a child when he entered . Once you are in the country and you were not of age when you came in you pay civil fines.
But what would you do if you suddenly discover that you are not the american citizen legally that you thought you were and that the facto you are and you feel you are ? It has happened to american citizens born of one or both american parents... What would you do? If you are the patriot you say you are you would fight for it and would avail yourself of the remedies of the law.
Vargas is no different from you. (the only thing is that maybe is that he is better than most of us and unlike some on this forum he means well. Btw, skip the clumsy attempt to write spanish. I don't know any and Vargas is probably is a native tagalog speaker (not spanish).
I hope he succeeds in becoming a legal resident.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by say what?!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Narnia this thread/blog/discussion is about "Jose Vargas, former Mountain View High school student and top American journalist, has outed himself as an undocumented immigrant", aka being in this country as an illegal immigrant. Please read the intro on the top of this page, if you haven't done so. Narnia the real world the rest of us live do not believe in a talking lion who will someday come to save our country.

Thank you to the people who've stated clearly the laws of the this great country.

Btw, there are two or more threads/blogs/stories of the same topic in the MV-Voice website. I challenge the MV-Voice again to please stop trying to confuse readers. This tactic was practiced in the past but with a different editor. Have some journalistic integrity MV-Voice editors.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by hosesay
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 27, 2011 at 11:12 pm

I agree with jupiterk

"illegal immigration is against the law. Now what part of that you don't understand? no comprendo?"



If you cross the North Korean border illegally, you get 12 years hard labor.
If you cross the Iranian border illegally, you are detained indefinitely.
If you cross the Afghan border illegally, you get shot.
If you cross the Saudi Arabian border illegally, you will be jailed.
If you cross the Chinese border illegally, you may never be heard from again.
If you cross the Venezuelan border illegally, you will be branded a spy and your fate will be sealed.
If you cross the Mexican border illegally, you will be jailed for two years.
If you cross the Cuban border illegally, you will be thrown into political prison to rot.
If you cross the United States border illegally, you get:
1 - A job
2 - A driver's license
3 - A Social Security card
4 - Welfare
5 - Food stamps
6 - Credit cards
7 - Subsidized rent or a loan to buy a house
8 - Free education
9 - Free health care
10 - A lobbyist in Washington
11 - Billions of dollars in public documents printed in your language
12 - Millions of servicemen and women who are willing to, and do die for your right to the ways and means of our constitution
13 - And the right to carry the flag of your country the one you walked out on while you call America racist and protest that you don't get enough respect


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Home Depot
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Deport him. It's only right.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 28, 2011 at 2:52 pm

This issue isn't just about Mr. Vargas.

It is a commentary on illegal immigration as a whole. Even Mr. Vargas understands that, and it embarking on a mission to represent other illegal immigrants in this country.

The rule of law is clear: there is an established route to legal citizenship. The question becomes how to treat illegal immigrants, and I believe that the answer lies in multiple approaches, depending on the aspects of each situation. How we deal with a drug dealer that crossed the border today, compared to an individual like Mr. Vargas should be different, but that does not alter either of these individual's status as an illegal immigrant.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 28, 2011 at 3:41 pm

hosesay - It's infuriating, isn't it? I don't know why/how people don't see this as a problem. American residents of Sunnyvale or San Jose can not attend a school in the superior Mountain Veiw / Los Altos School District, but the Voice article makes teachers and administrators at MVHS out to be heroes for accommodating the illegal immigrant who is taking up one of those coveted spaces at MVHS. They make students prove residence w/in a city, but don't make them prove citizenship. A mother who illegally put her kid in a superior school district was sentenced to jail time, but mothers of illegals are free to continue the fraud on our school systems. Where's the fairness in that? We're paying higher and higher property taxes, for what? To support illegals from apartments who don't pay PTs or their "fair share" of education costs to the various school foundations.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 28, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Excellent point, neighbor. Just be careful since you will now be labeled a racist even though it has nothing to do with your legalist argument.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Plyler v. Doe
a resident of another community
on Jun 29, 2011 at 8:16 am

@Neighbor @Observer

The teachers, administrators and districts teach all K-12 children residing in their district regardless of their gender, race, religious belief or nationality.

By doing so they are actually following the US law as affirmed by the US Supreme Court: See Plyler vs. Doe
Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 29, 2011 at 8:59 am

Mr. Vargas violated the laws of the US, probably more times than can be counted. By DEFINITION he is a criminal. It's irrelevent when he learned of his status, He for sure knew at 16. Everything after that was pure deception.
His school system accomplices also need to be held accountable. How sad...his classmates got screwed out of a once-in-a lifetime trip to Japan because an instructor joined the scam. From the quote in the article, it seemed like he was completely uncaring of the cost to his friends.
Some believe he should be allowed to stay because he is a high achiever. I believe the US needs fewer criminals, and he should be incarcerated and/or deported.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by I like Narnia's tone
a resident of Willowgate
on Jun 29, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I just wanted to say that I like what Narnia has to say. I wanted to get that out there, since most of the posters here are very critical of Narnia's posts.

I think that it's very easy to view the world as black and white - it makes logical arguments very easy. But it doesn't make them valid or realistic. Immigration and fairness in schools are both complex problems that none of us seems to have the answer to. We're supposed to elect people to take on the job of figuring these things out. I think we should direct our frustration at them and not some guy who came in with his family when he was a child, and has basically done everything right, and now is taking a risk, being honest and shedding some light on the issue in order to push things closer to some sort of change.

On the subject of schools, the bigger question isn't 'why are illegal immigrants allowed in the superior schools of Mountain View", it is "why is there such a huge difference in funding between districts, and even within a district."

Anyway, at least Narnia is showing some compassion and willingness to try to understand some details of the subject. The way I look at it, I would rather have compassion as a fault than cheapness and narcissism.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jupiterk
a resident of Gemello
on Jun 29, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Narnia:

The reason we are discussing about Vargas is because of his illegal status . So it is about illegal immigration. If he were not illegal , we would perhaps praising his talent in journalism.

I am trying to inject some objectivity. Law is the law. Justice is supposed to be blind. You don't bend your laws just because some one is smart or blond or good looking or disabled or tall,etc..

Get my point.

Hosesay: Your comments are just too perfect. I can't figure out why the stupid liberals can't seem to understand basic law.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Thom
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jun 29, 2011 at 2:44 pm

From anchor baby to this. Awesome! I don't buy into arguements that he excelled. So what? Point is he and his family are here with illegal documents. Point is he is still a criminal. Until the people we vote in understand the problem and do something Americans will continue to pay higher prices for everything. Yes, I said everything.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 29, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Dear Plyler v. Doe,
So, basically what you're saying is that school districts and illegal immigrants get to pick and choose which laws they obey. Interesting argument. I'd like to see how accommodating you would be if one of those illegals took up the last space in a classroom and your kids either couldn't get into his neighborhood school (or local college) or couldn't get the class he needed to graduate (or get into a more competitive college).
I know - let's just increase taxes for the "wealthy." As if they're not supporting liberal programs enough.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Plyler v. Doe
a resident of another community
on Jun 29, 2011 at 3:15 pm

@Neighbor

You're certainly free to your opinions and to dislike the Supreme Court decision I quoted.

My point was simply that you shouldn't blame teachers/districts and administrations for actually following the law when it comes to K-12 admissions.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 29, 2011 at 3:33 pm

The apparent conflict between court decisions and current immigration laws outlines the inconsistency and incoherency immigration policy is currently in. States, as evidenced by Arizona and others, are taking individual mandates, because there has been no leadership on the Federal level to disentangle the mess this has become.

I agree this issue is not as simple as black and white, and as I've stated before, real solutions will come from a respect for the rule of law, balanced with a respect for people. This is the core value that America has demonstrated in the past, and should continue to do so, to maintain freedom, tolerance, and order.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 29, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Since most folks who favor aggressive prosecution of undocumented residents also favor smaller, cheaper, more limited government, which agencies would you suggest go out on a funding limb with more enforcement, so that schools and other agencies can save money? If the federal government is to do more, where in the current deficit talks would you suggest additional cuts?

If the Arizona law ever takes effect, watch for many wrongful arrest lawsuits as those not carrying proper documents are pulled over and detained wrongfully.

Or since comprehensive reform had bi-partisan support under Bush, just get Boehner and McConnell to get their caucuses back on track.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 30, 2011 at 10:46 am

From the smaller government perspective, it's completely logical to support increased funding for agecies protecting the rule of law. It's bound to be a net saving if we no longer need to fund programs supporting people here in violation of those laws.
And more bad news: Law IS black and white, clearly defined and printed in books, so it can be evenly enforced. If the law is unpopular, we have our legislators change it. Until then, it is STILL black and white, and people violating it are STILL criminals.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Conservative View
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 30, 2011 at 11:07 am

Steve -
Can you say entitlements?
Honestly, there are so many non-essentail gov't programs - I don't even know where to start.
Education spending on legal residents should be a lot more than it currently is and most other things should be reduced or completely eliminated.
If we didn't provide free education (and health care/emergency medical attention, auto insurance to cover unlicensed/uninsured, etc.) to illegals, there would be a lot more to go around for legal residents.

"For society as a whole, nothing comes as a 'right' to which we are 'entitled'... The more things are provided as rights, the less the recipients have to work and the more the providers have to carry the load." Thomas Sowell, quoted in Forbes and Reader's Digest.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 30, 2011 at 11:38 am

Folks who say there are so many non-essential government programs they don't know where to start are hiding in my opinion. If we had no ag labor shortage, we would not have a problem. If we paid more for ag labor, we would not have a labor shortage, but we would pay higher food prices.

Schools would indeed save money, but law enforcement or someone has to spend money to identify undocumenteds, determine status, and follow up. Penalties are civil rather than criminal, and believe it or not, deportation is expensive to process. We have many laws we don't pay to enforce on the line -- like the speed limit would save money and lives if CHP could write every ticket earned...but we don't choose to invest those resources, so this is just a different version of the same choice, since presumably the small government types don't want to pay to double the law enforcement resource just to enforce traffic laws.

A "Provider" in today's world is two weeks notice from being a "recipient", or is independently wealthy and perhaps could afford to share...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by James Thurber
a resident of another community
on Jun 30, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Here's a thought. How about if, in exchange for full citizenship, Mr. Vargas agrees to serve four years in the U.S. armed forces - any branch would be fine.

How would that sit with everyone? Since he has a college degree he could be an officer, except any U.S. Military Officer is automatically a citizen. We could kill two birds with one stone, n'est ce pas?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Army Officer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 30, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Your comment is pretty condescending toward the military. Military officers must be US citizens and be free of criminal records. What makes you think we would want him? The military is not some sort of washing machine for society. We are a body of professional warriors. How about making him a Wall Street CEO instead, or better yet, a corporate lawyer? He would fit right in. If not, how about a computer engineer in Silicon Valley? I'm sure some company could figure out how to convince ICE just how rare and valuable his skills are in the market compared to any legal citizen.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by James Thurber
a resident of another community
on Jun 30, 2011 at 2:57 pm

I'm a retired LCDR - Navy Pilot. The query was meant as a (potential) offer to Mr. Vargas to exchange four years of Government Service for citizenship.

Agreed, the military is not (or shouldn't be) a washing machine, especially the officer corps. But we're looking at a professional, well educated young man who had the misfortune of being lied to by his parents when he was 12. That was his crime. What was he supposed to do when he learned he wasn't legal, stand up and yell, "Deport me!"

Personally I wouldn't have any problem serving alongside him in the Navy.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Conservative View
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 30, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Steve,
I'm not "hiding" from anything. Here's a few ideas for where to cut back so that more funds can be allocated to EDUCATION and ENFORCING our Immigration Policy...

THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
If there's a big enough benefit to studying it - free enterprise will pick up the tab. Look at Google mapping the ocean floor. No tax dollars required. Yeah!

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Stop enforcing rules that protect endangered animals.

DEPT OF ENERGY
Reduce/eliminate loan guarantees to renewable energy, electric power transmission systems and biofuels projects.

THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT & OTHER FINANCIAL SERVICES
Eliminate some of the administration "czars" and their responsibilities under current related Departments: AIDS Czar, Bird Flu Czar (move to CDC?), Ethics/Transparency Czar (not doing much to improve that situation!), Great Lakes Czar, Climate Change Czar, Car Czar and Urban Affairs Czar, Science Czar, War Czar, Weaopons Czar...

THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
Manage yourselves w/ less, just like businesses are having to do.

THE DEPARTMENT
From a fund that aims to prepare workers for new green jobs.

Workforce investment program that uses federal money to create state and local services in literacy, vocational education and welfare-to-work strategies for adults, young people and laid off workers... many of them likely illegal immigrants or the descendants of illegals.

FACT...
It is a fact that immigrants who come here legally are considerably more successful than those who do not. They place a much higher value on education, learning English, and making an effort to be successful in business.

Reducing illegal entry and the crimes that are associated w/ illegals (including educating them, training them, and housing them in our prisons), would more than make up for the cost of enforcing our current immigration laws.

I would much rather pay more the produce I choose (or do not choose) to buy w/ my hard earned money, than to have the gov't think it is their right to take my money to support people who are living illegally in this country.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Plyler is a moot point
a resident of another community
on Jun 30, 2011 at 8:35 pm

I do not know why someone keeps posting Plyler v. Doe. It is a moot point since no one is demanding that we deny an education to K-12 illegal immigrants. What people are upset at is that Jose Vargas (like many illegal immigrants) come here illegally, and use forged documents to get all sorts of benefits including a college scholarship, Social Security number, jobs, drivers licenses, etc.

Just to be clear, the Supreme Court ruled that we cannot deny illegal immigrants a K-12 education, but nothing prohibits schools from requiring proof of citizenship and/or legal status at the time of registration. Schools currently check proof of residency, so why not proof of legal status? K-12 schools would not deny entry or an education to illegal immigrants, but schools should be required to report them to ICE. ICE should investigate and if the students is illegal, then the student as well as all illegal family members should be deported.

It is ridiculous that we charge the parents of children, who bring children from outside the US to the US legally via visas, for the cost of their K-12 education, but if you bring your children here illegally then you get a free K-12 education.

It is ridiculous that you can be illegal under federal law, but legal for K-12 enrollment and take seats away from US citizens. When a homeless woman forged documents to get her daughter into a better school she was charged with several felonies for receiving benefits she was not entitled to. The school wants her to repay them for educating her child. When US citizens forged documents to receive benefits they were not entitled to from the San Bruno pipeline explosion, they were arrested and charged with felonies. When a student at Paly High School (in the 1990s) forged documents to not only run track for the high school, but run for Princeton University on a track scholarship, he was charged with a felonies and was given a prison sentence. The courts charged him with using a false identity and forged documents to receive benefits he was not entitled to and he had to repay the money/benefits too. So why do we allow illegal immigrants who forge documents to receive benefits (jobs, health care, college scholarships, Medicaid, MediCAL, Medicare, Social Security, Supplemental Social Security, disability, food stamps, Section 8 housing, drivers licenses, etc?) they are not entitled to? Why aren't illegal immigrants being charged with felonies and then deported?

Pat Hyland and Rich Fisher went way beyond providing an education. They aided and abetted felonies in getting a scholarship, drivers license, Social Security number, jobs, etc., under false pretenses and with forged documents. They should be charged with felonies along with Jose. I still do not understand why Jose Vargas' grandparents did not help him gain legal status unless they are here illegally too.

Illegal immigrants should not be able to get jobs, drive cars, receive benefits with forged documents, etc. At every level we should be enforcing our immigration laws. I do not know why Mountain View police do not impound cars of unlicensed drivers. The police should detain any unlicensed driver until the police can ascertain their identity. If the unlicensed driver is illegal, then they should have to wear a GPS ankle bracelet until ICE can deport them.

The Mountain View police should have turned over the illegal immigrant, who was involved in the recent kidnapping, to ICE. Instead, the police arrested the smuggler/kidnapper and let the illegal immigrant go free.

Why are sanctuary cities (which violate federal immigration laws) okay, but enforcing our immigration laws (which are in compliance with federal law) are not?

The pundits say that immigration, health care, and the economy will be the focus of the presidential elections in 2012. If we enforce our immigration laws then we will fix our economy and health care. It really is that easy.

As long as illegal immigrants know that once they break into the amusement park they can enjoy all of the rides for free, they will continue breaking into the amusement park.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dura lex sed lex
a resident of another community
on Jun 30, 2011 at 10:20 pm

@Plyler is a moot point

As it stands, residency is the only thing schools have to check and by doing so, they're just following the law.

If you want Schools to check kid's citzenship or status, then change the law .... but then be ready to live in a society where everybody (including children) will need to carry ID at any time.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alfie
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 1, 2011 at 7:10 am

We basically do live in a society where everybody carries an ID card. Try driving a car, using a credit card, buying a house, going to college etc, without one. Even Vargas needed multiple ID cards to perpetuate his fraud. So what are you talking about?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by re: IDs
a resident of another community
on Jul 1, 2011 at 9:35 am

@Alife

None of the IDs you mentioned prove citizenship or immigration status which is what "Plyer is a moot point" suggested our schools start to ask for.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 1, 2011 at 10:13 am

Since no federal universal ID currently exists, such would need to be developed and made counterfeit proof. No chance repubs in present Congress would go for such a thing, particularly paying for it or its infringement on the rights of white midwesterners to go and come as they please with only a driver's license. If one kid has to carry it to go to school, all 350 million of us need to be issued one.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 1, 2011 at 2:34 pm

It would seem those that are advocating Plyler vs. Doe as a precedent for illegal immigration are more interested in finding a loop hole to justify their position, than provide a solution that addresses the many conflicts and problems that arise by allowing illegal immigrants the same rights and access to benefits that legal immigrants and citizens are afforded.

Let's face it, trying to hide behind a single case of law with a very specific mandate, or dodging the requirements for proper documentation proving residency is just goosestepping around the spirit and intent of the law. Its what children do to try to get their way, by doing the bare minimum to stay clear of egregious blame.

None of these machinations does anything to solve the real problems that having illegal immigrants in this country is causing, nor the incentive it provides for others to continue to enter illegal, ahead of those who are waiting in line. In fact, they do more harm by allowing the problem to fester and grow.

Real progress will be made in this issue when we focus balancing the two opposing ideals in this argument: the rule of law, and respect for people.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 1, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Thank you, Mtn View Voice for providing this forum, that we may speak our minds without being shouted down. It is quite informative to hear all the diverse opinions, and see the different degrees of logic and deductive reasoning available in our neighbors.
One comment: We do have a national identity card, the Social Security card. Can't legally do squat without one.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by SSN not an ID card
a resident of another community
on Jul 1, 2011 at 5:17 pm

@Steve

SSN is not a proof of citizenship or immigration status. It also has no picture .... and is probably the easiest document to forge (just look at all the cases of identity theft :) ). It also has does not display any sort of expiry date.

@Hardin

Plyer vs. Doe is merely quoted to re-assert that schools have to admit every one in K-12 regardless of nationality since some posters seemed confused as to the role K-12 schools play or should play. The quote was just for that, nothing more nothing less.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by e-verify for everything
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Require e-verify for jobs, schools, welfare, food stamps, Section 8 housing, Medicare, Social Security, disability, etc.

Plyler v. Doe is silent regarding what schools can or cannot require. Schools could easily implement e-verify and report discrepancies to ICE.

If we enforce our immigration laws at every level then Plyler v. Doe will be a non-issue.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 1, 2011 at 10:20 pm

"I'm a retired LCDR - Navy Pilot. The query was meant as a (potential) offer to Mr. Vargas to exchange four years of Government Service for citizenship.

Agreed, the military is not (or shouldn't be) a washing machine, especially the officer corps. But we're looking at a professional, well educated young man who had the misfortune of being lied to by his parents when he was 12. That was his crime. What was he supposed to do when he learned he wasn't legal, stand up and yell, "Deport me!"

Personally I wouldn't have any problem serving alongside him in the Navy."

-----------

Intriguing. I think this suggestion is going down the right path for addressing how to deal with illegal immigrants already residing in the US. I'm not referring to military service, specifically, but rather that illegal immigrants should be required to meet certain requirements to gain legal citizenship that should be more onerous than those required for legal immigrants.

And before someone blows a fuse, the reason for this is not punishment, malice, or prejudice. Rather, it is reasonable to expect those who have violated current law to pay restitution, AND more importantly, it must be made more difficult and costly to get into this country illegally, rather than legally.

That is the main problem with the situation as it stands: the consequences for coming here illegally are still less than the cost of coming here legally.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 3, 2011 at 6:13 pm

@Hardin

"but rather that illegal immigrants should be required to meet certain requirements to gain legal citizenship that should be more onerous than those required for legal immigrants"

This is already in place. They are required to leave the country for ten years, and then reapply. Vargas knew this and ignored it.

"the consequences for coming here illegally are still less than the cost of coming here legally"

This is somewhat incorrect. The consequences for coming here illegally *and not getting caught and prosecuted* are less than the cost of coming here legally. If one is caught and prosecuted, they will be deported and cannot apply for entry for ten years. The problem is that very few are caught and prosecuted.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm

@James Thurber

'What was he supposed to do when he learned he wasn't legal, stand up and yell, "Deport me!"'

Imagine that at some point you learn that you have underpaid your income tax. What do you do? Ignore it and hope to not get caught? No, you take action to remedy the situation - and accept the penalties. That action would be to leave the country for ten years, then apply for an immigration visa. This may have been difficult, but he has only his parents and grandparents to blame.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 4, 2011 at 11:58 am

Though I agree that enforcement is a necessary requirement for any effective immigration policy, the solution to force people to leave the country as the ONLY solution, especially those that have been here for years is a lose/lose for both the individual and this country.

By requiring restitution, we provide a path for those who desire to be a responsible, productive citizens to achieve that, albeit at a cost of more time/money/resources than it would have taken to enter legally . We retain talented individuals, like Mr. Vargas, that can add value to society. At the same time, it removes the incentive to enter illegally, if the costs in doing so are greater than entering legally.

As can be seen in the current state of affairs, there is no one solution, and I don't see either of the extreme positions on this issue offering anything that remotely provides a balance between the rule of law and respect for people.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by DL
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 5, 2011 at 12:12 am

How many times did Vargas vote in USA elections? Does your vote count? Does Vargas's vote cancel your vote?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Read the Whole Story
a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 5, 2011 at 10:47 am

I read the whole NY Times Mag piece. What struck me is Vargas is obviously an unusual multi-talented person and people who benefited from his abilities constantly enabled him to continue staying in the USA. Frankly, by the time he went to work full time, I think he was spoiled. In the NYT article he also said he consulted a lawyer who told him he had to return to the Philippines for at least 10 years before trying to come back. I'm not a lawyer but I'd bet there are alternatives. Average adults have trouble understanding complex legal issues without help, no less a teenager. If anyone is to blame, it's his grandfather. A child will trust the adult taking care of him, especially after being abandoned by his mother and sent to another country. I really hope Mr. Vargas is penalized for not resolving his status sooner but finds a way to stay here. I think he's now a brave man.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 5, 2011 at 11:11 am

Based on your suggestion (which I think is that he find himself another lawyer), are you suggesting to him that such a solutions is what being an American is all about... do something wrong, and if you have enough success, fame or money, just find a lawyer to get yourself out of trouble. What's next? Is he going to go into rehab? I'm surprised he hasn't pulled the gay card out yet for his immigration problems.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Des
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 6, 2011 at 1:39 am


WOW!

Well, I suppose at some level I should applaud the passion seen here. Clearly this is something you all have thought quite a lot about and feel very strongly about. I can only hope the opinions expressed here both in support of this person and against are mirrored and backed up and cached properly so in 60yrs we can still enjoy their vivid color.

I can also take some comfort in the fact that I can assume based on the comments that most of those expressing such closed minded views of the world are old (good for you! The Internet is amazing isn't it?) And therefore I just have to wait till you all kill over leave this lovely planet to the rest of us.

So please enjoy your fast food, liquer, cigarettes, and other healthy behaviors.

And remember there is really only one constant on this planet.

Each generation is _always_ more open-minded and liberal than the last =)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PH
a resident of another community
on Jul 6, 2011 at 7:54 am

Remember the teacher at Mtn. View Academy that was deported, seperating her from her family? Does any one know what the end to her story is? The woman was said to be a wonderful teacher and good person, but she had to go. So why would Jose Vargas be any different? Our system is flawed and these two cases point out the potential problems encountered by those who are caught in the middle. The law should probably be enforced as it doesn't help to only apply it when you feel like it. We simply need to find better solutions and for now to work within the law. We need to be very careful about our actions concerning such large issues because the courts will ultimately end up deciding what to do based on the treatment given to those affected. Can we just keep burying our heads in the sand or do we need to obey the law and deal with the consequences? As ordinary citizens we have the option to see things in our own way, but those sworn to uphold the law don't have this luxury. They should do their job and hope the problems are solved at a higher level. If you are doing something illegal they should enforce the law while remaining blind to any ethnic or cultural factors. We cannot afford to break down the system at the lowest levels any more or just let things go. Those who are charged with enforcing the law have a duty to act without regard to public opinion. Our duty as ordinary citizens is to decide what we want those laws to be and push our legislators to make law accordingly. We must remember that we need to ask for laws that will be constitutionaly correct and will show compassion when needed. For now the law should be enforced and if necessary it means the arrest and deportation of any and all illegal aliens regardless of their stature or relevance to society. For the good ignoring the law does at times, there will be many bad things that are allowed to happen because of the sensitivity to certain issues that ignoring the law will let happen. I do not believe we should bend the law because certain groups claim they are victimized by it, but those who enforce the law should be fair and careful in its application. The facts should guide enforcement, not social sensitivities. Each case is different and that is the reason we need to let the legal system work it out. We often have no idea as to the facts in a case other than those we read and hear from the media and they have their own agenda and may not be teling telling the story accurately. Let the system deal with things and change the law if we need to, but obey the law in the mean time. If this means Jose Vargas gets deported then that's the way it has to be. Our nation is based on the rule of law with ways to change what needs to be, but it requires us to enforce the laws we have until the changes are made.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 6, 2011 at 10:20 am

"Each generation is _always_ more open-minded and liberal than the last =)"

------------

Judging from the prejudice, stereotyping, and animosity you appear to have against "old people" in your post, I'd say your statement is patently false.

The problem with fighting fire with fire, or bias against bias in this case, is that it renders the antagonist a hypocrite.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 6, 2011 at 10:38 am

"Each generation is _always_ more open-minded and liberal than the last =)"

---------

You're probably too young to realize this yet, but it's also true that a person's liberal bent tends to moderate as they age. That is, bleeding heart liberals will embrace more conservative ideas during the course of their lifetimes.

Web Link

Why this is the case?

1. If I were a pessimist, I'd say that that as you grow older, you grow wiser, and find out the liberal ideals, though nice in theory, have implications that haven't been thought out very thoroughly, and suffer from poor execution.

2. If I were an optimist, I'd say that as you grow older, you begin to realize that "all white" can be just as bad as "all black", and vice versa, when taking a position.

Need proof? Consider this: a lot of those folks that were into flower power and free love in the 70's are now the same folks you are calling "old".

Yep, you'll get there too...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Eddie
a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 6, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Why is it that Vargas and his supporters are all looking at this as a glass-half-empty scenario rather than a glass-half-full scenario? He benefited immensely from his time here as an illegal immigrant. He does not walk away empty handed, yet he appears to be appealing for sympathy as if he is getting a raw deal. This is not legally his country and he has no right to legal citizenship by law. He should go back to the Philippines and spread everything he learned that was great about America there. He has a powerful resume in hand with the Pulitzer. What is his problem? I hate to sound like all the pessimists and conservatives here, but he truly made out really well on our dime. Go forward now and help the Philippines advance toward modernity. Get a job at a Filipino University or something. No one can tell me that country is not in need of some enlightened thinking. Ironically, he will no doubt have to face even more illegal behavior and corruption than he did here, but he is a high profile figure and can do a lot of good.

On another note, if any Filipinos DESERVE citizenship, its those that fought along US troops during the Second World War.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by HAPPY
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jul 6, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Veering of the SUBJECT another good reason to open a Medicinal Marijuana Club , Way too much HATEN & alot of holes in our SECURITY I'm HAPPY this man has shown us or remind us that WE REMAIN BLIND to our own FREEDOM.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Des
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 6, 2011 at 7:15 pm


Thank you, hopefully the bait tasted good

I AM one of the "old" people. I just suppose I haven't been scared an intimidated enough yet to give up my core values and beliefs and become...well let's just say I am a very happy and proud bleeding heart liberal and have been for many moons.

Vargus did right. He did his best to make the most of a very bad situation. He's a better American today than many who were born that way.

Instead of enjoying his accomplishment, people have taken this down a dark path, the same dark path that resulted in the Red Scare and Japanese internment camps.

However to be honest it doesn't matter what you or I think. Look around. Who is having the most children? Who is building the biggest families and Communities of families?

In 50 years this country will have a nice tan and we'll be notes in the margin of history.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 6, 2011 at 9:32 pm

You misunderstand:

1. At issue is not Vargus' accomplishments, its his status as an illegal alien and his subsequent decision to continue flouting US law by trying to "change the subject", as opposed to addressing his personal situation. In fact, he'd have more legitimacy and credibility as an agent of change if he had first taken the necessary steps to become a legal immigrant, before taking up a movement against current laws.

2. Red Scare and the Japanese internment? Please elaborate how these historical scenarios share anything remotely resembling the illegal immigration debate, bearing in mind that in both these instances, the peoples in question were LEGAL CITIZENS who suffered unjust prejudice and treatment by their government.

3. I disagree with you, it matters greatly what you and I think, and do. The heart of a great democracy is an informed/involved citizenry. Those who resign themselves to go with the apparent flow, or accept factoids without proof or critical thinking are no better than cattle being led to the slaughterhouse.

4. As I've stated, and is shown in the link I've posted, there is a TENDENCY towards moderation of liberal ideals over time. There will of course, be outliers, like yourself.

And as seeing that you have no compunction about misleading others with disinformation and baiting, it leaves the rest of us to decide which parts of what you're saying is true, and what is false, what is said in sincerity, and what is said in jest.

In summary, I don't see you suggesting a solution. Rather, you're posing this as a war of opposing classes, where there is a winner and a loser. This issue doesn't have to be struggle between the left or right, between conservative or liberal ideals.

There is an alternative, that requires compromise, and as I've stated before requires a balance between respecting the rule of law and respect for people. I would rather pursue that option, than butt heads on ideology.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 6, 2011 at 11:38 pm

@Read

"he consulted a lawyer who told him he had to return to the Philippines for at least 10 years before trying to come back. I'm not a lawyer but I'd bet there are alternatives."

Nope. The only alternative would be to lie about being in the US illegally on a visa application.

The problem boils down to the risk of getting caught and the punishment are not a deterrent to millions upon millions of illegal immigrants.

The sole reason that Vargas wants to become a US citizen is not because it is a great thing to be a US citizen - if that was the case, he'd happily wait the ten years, then return. The reason he wants to become a US citizen is because he's tired of being afraid of getting caught.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Des
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 7, 2011 at 1:04 am

Hardin,

First off, you sound like a very reasonable person. And in light of my inflammatory comments I find it further impressive your level tone. Furthermore you actually seem like to want to have an intelligent conversation, so I will try to do the same.

1.) While I agree a society cannot encourage ignoring the law, I think expecting him to do anything but what he did he just misunderstanding of human behavior. While he was not a US citizen, he was an American. He grew up watching American TV, cartoons, learning the laws, the politics, and the culture. And learning it as his own believing he WAS a US Citizen. Ask or expect someone at 16, 18, 24 or on to go back to the Philippines, seriously? He would be as much of an outcast there as I am. If we really want to solve this problem we have to be realistic. US Citizen is a legal status. Being American is a state of mind. Americans need to have a chance to become Citizens.

2.) Fear. Looking at a group of people that share physical characteristics, or lack a characteristic and assume based on this information that they will behave in a certain way. It's a lazy way of dealing with people. Each person is different. Judge them that way. Someone above responded "Comprendo?" That is fear. That is stereotyping. That is just wrong. We don't teach our kids to judge and label and make hurtful comments, so why is it suddenly ok to do so online? So while yes, they were in some cases citizens, and were in all but a few cases legally here, it's the idea of pointing at group of people and saying "There! Over there is the problem! Grab your pitch forks and torches and lets get'um". We are better than that. Or I want us to better than that.

3.) No you are right, this is just what I tell myself to get over my sadness over what I am seeing in this country. Ever done any family research? I do, a lot. Go back a very few number of generations and we are all immigrants. I do have one line that got here in 1607, but most came here in the last 100-150yrs. The difference? Then we welcomed them. "Our huddled masses yearning to be free". Now the rules have changed. Basically if you are rich you can get US citizenship. If you can afford the lawyers and the bribes and whatever other hoops they makd you go through you can come here legally. The number of Chinese, Indian and other engineers we bring over here on H1Bs. ItÕs amazing. However if you are living 50miles from south of Arizona, have no future, no hope, and no money you arenÕt welcome. You are tired of being shot at, scared, seeing your friends and family die. You can't go 75 miles and compete for a better life? That makes me sick. American is great because of our mix. Sun, Intel, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Harvard, MIT, Stanford etc are the result of diversity. We are the best of the best. If you are the best engineer in Silicon Valley, you are not just the best there, or in California, or in the US, you are very likely one of the best in the world. Why? Because you are competing with the entire World and not just the locals. That competitions is what it makes it great. People that don't want more people here seem me to be scared of that competition. And it makes me sad. Makes me think we are loosing ourselves. Loosing what made us who we are. Lets face it; the only Natives around here are Native Americans.

4.) It was a very interesting read. And to be very honest, I think that people that compromise or change their values when resources become less abundant, or hope becomes dimmed are flawed and weak. Bad people? No of course not, it's a very human trait. But if you felt that way at 17 when you had everything you wanted and the entire future ahead of you, but now want a protectionist conservative world because suddenly you want to protect the stash of nuts in your tree? What is that? It's compromising your values due to local circumstances. To me that is character flaw. And while yes I will agree that conversations and learning are valuable for citizens of any age, I once again retreat to the of "we don't matter" because based on the views I have seen here, I don't WANT us to matter. Because I know I am in the minority in the country in my open minded views, but I really thought the Bay Area was make up of more people like me. And instead I see the same anger and fear and ugliness I see in more rural settings. And it makes me very very sad.

I consider the immigration problem to be just as insane as the drug problem. ItÕs about DEMAND and not about supply. Illegal immigrants come here because we hire them. In one state, Alabama if memory serves, had tough anti immigration law even tried to exclude domestic workers. Really? So they canÕt compete for my job but itÕs ok for them to clean my house and raise my kids? Or why arenÕt we arresting every single person that picks up a guy from Home Depot? Why are we doing after the people who are just coming here to seek a better live instead of the people who are offering them that life? We are going after the supply and not the demand. As long as the demand is there, supply will come from somewhere.

So until I see a bunch of guys loosing their jobs, homes, family and freedom from using Home Depot parking lot labor or a Senator being jailed for having illegal help in his home, I really see this as theater for the 24hr news. When the resulting fall out is so many people from Mountain View sounding so angry, and mad, and hateful it just really depresses me, and so I lashed out. For that I do apologize.

And so I just have to deal with the fact that my belief that you can never punish someone for trying to find a better life is somehow "wrong" in these times. That my beliefs that every illegal that gets a degree or an honorable military discharge should just become citizens automatically will be met with distain and disgust.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 7, 2011 at 9:19 am

"The problem boils down to the risk of getting caught and the punishment are not a deterrent to millions upon millions of illegal immigrants. "

------------

This suggests that having a remediation program for illegal immigrants who have resided in this country for years, would make a lot of sense.

Regarding Mr. Vargas, faced with a choice of either continuing to lie about his status, or be deported for 10 years before being able to apply for citizenship, is really not a choice that favors doing the right thing. Consider that in Mr. Vargas' case, and many other individuals who were raised in the US as children, this country is more familiar to them than the country their parents came from. To "return" them to their country of origin is really a misnomer, as they grew up here. Their friends, family, and work are here. For these folks, it makes sense to offer a path to citizenship that lies somewhere between being deported and waiting 10 years to reapply, or staying in this country and continuing to lie about their status. Of course, this process would not be available to those who have entered this country illegally recently.

The key will be to develop a remediation process that is more onerous than applying for legal citizenship outright, so that this continues to be the first choice for people considering immigration to the US.

As I see it, the current system is flawed, and encourages abuse and doing the wrong thing, rather than doing the right thing. The carrot is a better motivational tool, than the stick.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 7, 2011 at 9:39 am

"This suggests that having a remediation program for illegal immigrants who have resided in this country for years, would make a lot of sense"

There is already a remediation program - leave the country for ten years and apply for immigration.

Are you suggesting that there be an easier remediation? A reward for law breakers and their parents? That would simply encourage more illegal immigration. The incentive for illegal immigration needs to be removed. It should be almost impossible for an illegal immigrant to live in the US - the first step would be to prosecute those who employ immigrants without checking if they have the right to work in the US. The second step would be to prosecute those who help illegal immigrants (the grandparents, in this case) - revoking their permanent residence status would be a good start.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 7, 2011 at 10:50 am

As I've said before, the carrot is a better motivational tool than the stick.

The "remediation" program you are advocating does not encourage long time resident illegal immigrants to choose a route different than they already have: to stay hidden.

The advantage to using this carrot as opposed to your stick is several fold:

1. The remediation solution I advocate would serve the same function as the legal immigration process, providing a set of standards that would naturally qualify and/or disqualify persons from becoming citizens. At the same time, by providing a higher bar than legal immigration, it would encourage others to utilize the legal process as their first and easiest choice for entering this country.

Without this process, we are stuck with the same dismal results we have already. Your 10 year "stick" has been in effect, and has not provided the results required to fix the current problems.

2. Which brings us to benefit #2 - ease of enforcement. By providing a remediation path that does not require them to cut all ties from the current world they know, there will be many of those who will voluntarily sign up, without the need of active policing to root them out. Such policing action is costly, both in terms of dollars and in bad will generated by the breaking up of families and social bonds.

In other words, my carrot would be no different than the IRS offering amnesty to tax evaders before bringing down the hammer on those who opt not to take advantage of the offer.

1. It provides a costly, yet not unreasonable cost for becoming legal.
2. It closes a loophole and addresses the problem of the long term illegal immigrants now in this country.
3. It reduces the need for policing, and allows those resources to focus on preventing others from entering illegally now. That is where policing is most effective and appropriate. I'd rather have ICE policing the borders, rather than raiding homes and businesses.

Most importantly, it represents a solution that both respects the rule of law, while respecting people.

I'm sure there are other carrots that can be put in place, but the main point I'm trying to make is that using sticks is really not the smartest or most cost effective way to achieve compliance.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 7, 2011 at 12:14 pm

@ Des

1. There is no distinction between being called an American and being a citizen of this country. The two are synonymous, for the most part. We don't call expats who live and work in France, French, and likewise, it makes no sense to call an illegal immigrant an American just because they live and work here. The defining point in being an American is being a citizen. More specifically, citizens are afforded certain rights, privileges and responsibilities that non-citizens are not. The fact that illegal immigrants gain these rights and privileges, while not excepting the responsibilities that go along with them, is one of the problems. I understand the plight long term illegal immigrants like Mr. Vargas face, and that's why I propose a remediation process to provide them an opportunity to become citizens, but that does not change the fact that they are currently in the country illegally, and are not currently citizens.

2. Fear is unfortunately a condition all humans possess. And in this case, it isn't accurate to assign all blame to fear as the reason for anti illegal immigrant sentiment. There are plenty of issues raised concerning illegal immigration that have nothing to do with fear: utilization of finite resources in education, healthcare, and absence of taxes, the injustice against individuals who are legally applying for citizenship, violation of the rule of law, etc. So while you may be correct that there are people motivated by fear in this debate, that does not in anyway discount the actual problems and issues that are generated by having a subset of our population that does not follow the same rules as everyone else, but still takes from the general coffers.

3. You might be surprised how similar the comments were back when the Irish, Italians, and Chinese were immigrants coming to this country, and they were doing so legally. Stripped of emotional phraseology, the purpose of a country's immigration policy is to provide for the needs at the time. When our country was young, we needed large numbers of immigrants to perform the manual work of running the factories and growing manufacturing during our Industrial Age. Today, this country's needs have changed. We are now in the Informational Age, where brain power and ideas, not hands and bodies are needed to power the economy. It is absolutely predictable, and acceptable that immigration policy change to adapt to this new need. Facebook, Google, Stanford, and all the other places you've mentioned are blossoming because this country allows foreign nationals with the appropriate brain power and high tech skills to immigrate to this country, through legal processes like the H1B visa program. It is not because of illegal immigration.

In short, it isn't wrong to want a better life. But it is wrong to break the law to try to achieve it. I could not justify crossing a border illegally, any more than I can justify robbing a bank.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mandy
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm

@ Hardin

Just as I was about to soften my heart to my firm stance that we need to lock down our borders against those that claim residency in America illegally, you mentioned in one of your points..."Lets face it; the only Natives around here are Native Americans."

My daughter is a card carrying, enrolled tribal member. She is 1/2 native American. Like you, we have also looked at her family history, and the records Native Americans keep are astounding compared to what your average American can boast to have. As we trace her ancenstors backwards through time, 'americanized' names fall away from the list, last names eventually don't exist and pa-haw-ta-no-me-ek-s-la-bo-inda-o is the last name you can pronounce of the remaining generations. My daughters family records date back HUDREDS of years(and yes, Indians kept record of themselves long before the Government came and stole everything from them).

My point is, even with THAT much history and physical documentation that she comes from a long line of true American blood........I still could not, as a single, low-income family, after waiting on 'the list' for 10 years, get ANY subsidation assistance with her child care expenses.

Why, because there is no money left after illegals suck up the resources.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 7, 2011 at 3:42 pm

I'm so tired of the argument of who came here first or before whom. "Who" came here when and before whom makes no difference in this case because the "who" and "when" if they are from anywhere else means equally as little. We are all victims of that fact. If people are going to claim that their people have more of a right to be in a place over another group in a once ungoverned and lawless territory, then an extension of that argument would mean that all the groups that are then excluded from here have an equal right to be, or belong to, or to appropriate from where ever their people once hailed. However, we all now that that is hardly a likelihood anymore, unless you hold dual citizenship. There are many pioneer Hispanic families and descendants in this area that have hereditary ties to territories in Mexico and Spain, but in reality have absolutely no right or claim to their rights or citizenship in those countries many centuries later. It is all irrelevant. If people have a problem with immigration laws then they must also have a problem with law and order and the system of nation states that currently governs the world. Native Americans are even believed to have hailed from somewhere in Asia before crossing the land bridge over the Bering straits many millenium ago. So what is a logical point of departure? The only thing that is now relevant are the laws that now govern our society since the birth of our nation state. Our legalistic society was born with our constitution, based on common law, and all the laws that have flowed from it since. Any one who argues the contrary is an advocate of chaos, similar to the chaos that has been a result of illegal immigration. Like it or not, the constitution and the laws surrounding it form the basis of who is deemed legal within our territories. And its the same for the rest of the world now made up nation states governed by laws in one form or another. Wars have been fought to make this a reality. Many struggled, sacrificed and fought and died for the creation of our nation state and for the ideal it represented. Over the last few centuries, some even paid for the right to define what makes our nation by paying for it with their lives. (A fact that may ring hollow for many simpletons.) They didn't just show up and squat. That said, the US government made treaties with the Native Americans of the territory and those treaties that have evolved over the years are legally binding.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm

@Hardin

The ten year exit before applying for a visa is not "my" plan. It's the law. I'm not advocating it, I'm just stating what the law is.

So you have a plan that would allow illegal immigrants to become legal, that would not force them to leave the country, but is more difficult than the legal route? So what would that be? A $100k fine? Illegal immigrants (and their parents) will just keep doing what they do now.

"Your 10 year "stick" has been in effect, and has not provided the results required to fix the current problems"

There has never been a serious effort to prevent illegal immigrants from living and working in the US. For example, the Washington Post hires illegal immigrants, and does so without getting caught. The employer is supposed to verify on an I-9 that their employees are authorized to work, but they didn't. The IRS could have easily checked that Vargas' SSN was not valid for work, but they didn't. So you have the employer and the IRS taking pains not to notice that their employee is not authorized to work.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ned
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm

And then there is the interesting comparison with the illegal immigrant from Mexico that the state of Texas executed on Tuesday. He was brought to the country illegally at the age of two. He had no problem being an American until he was convicted of a crime and faced death. And then he finds out what it really means to be an American (that is, respectful of others and the law or else). All of a sudden he wants to be a Mexican again. Ironic.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sally
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 8, 2011 at 8:05 am

The U.S. employment picture went from bad to ugly last month as employers added almost no new net jobs and the unemployment rate edged up for the third straight month, to 9.2% and will raise fresh questions about the sustainability of the recovery, now technically starting its third year.

Vargas needs to be deported along with all the other illegals. Give his job to and unemployed citizen. The standards for journalism aren't that high anyway.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 8, 2011 at 9:37 am

@ Steve

"The ten year exit before applying for a visa is not "my" plan. It's the law. I'm not advocating it, I'm just stating what the law is."

--------------

Oh come now, let's call a spade a spade. Its evident from your posts that you place an emphasis on strict adhereance to the law, in absence of any consideration of the current state of affairs, and the consequences to people.

"I believe the US needs fewer criminals, and he should be incarcerated and/or deported."

"Law IS black and white, clearly defined and printed in books, so it can be evenly enforced. If the law is unpopular, we have our legislators change it. Until then, it is STILL black and white, and people violating it are STILL criminals."

"The incentive for illegal immigration needs to be removed. It should be almost impossible for an illegal immigrant to live in the US - the first step would be to prosecute those who employ immigrants without checking if they have the right to work in the US. The second step would be to prosecute those who help illegal immigrants (the grandparents, in this case) - revoking their permanent residence status would be a good start."

Though I agree with you that the rule of law must be followed, and that the incentive to enter the country illegally needs to be removed, that does not preclude us from changing the law to adapt it to current conditions. Deportation of illegal immigrants who enter the country is a standard practice in most countries, but what you are advocating is strong enforcement of that specific standard on a generation of people whose only fault is to be children of illegal immigrants.

To maintain the rule of law, requiring them to perform a more rigorous naturalization process than legal immigrants removes the incentive to enter the country illegally, provides reasonable restitution, and eliminates the monetary costs and unnecessary human suffering of mass deportations.

Leaving the human aspect out of the picture for the moment, how do you propose to implement the enforcement you are insisting on? What you describe is fairly common in autocratic, despotic nations, but you'll be hard pressed to find any 1st world democratic country that has executed immigration enforcement to the level you are advocating. Enforcement takes money, political will, and feet on the ground, which probably explains why it hasn't happened as effectively as you would like. Even law enforcement agencies in states like Arizona are resistant to the level of enforcement passed into law, as they see the negative ramifications of destroying community ties that assist in controlling crime.

And what does strong enforcement really buy you, that a remediation plan does not? The only thing I see, is a pound of flesh.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 8, 2011 at 9:53 am

@Sally

"The U.S. employment picture went from bad to ugly last month as employers added almost no new net jobs and the unemployment rate edged up for the third straight month, to 9.2% and will raise fresh questions about the sustainability of the recovery, now technically starting its third year.

Vargas needs to be deported along with all the other illegals. Give his job to and unemployed citizen. The standards for journalism aren't that high anyway."

---------------

I understand your point here, but I don't think your suggestion would solve anything for a couple of reasons:

In order for the jobs problem to be corrected, you need a couple of things: Companies that are offering jobs, qualified candidates, people willing to work, and the public willing to spend money on products and services.

So,

1. Of the jobs that illegal immigrants perform in this country, how many of them are jobs that Americans would be WILLING to perform at the current wage levels?

2. Of the jobs that illegal immigrants perform in this country, how many of them are jobs that Americans are QUALIFIED to perform, at the current wage levels? Bear in mind, being overqualified is just as bad as being underqualified, since overqualified employees tend not to be long term employees.

3. If wage levels were increased to alleviate the problems posed in questions #1 and #2, how many jobs would be eliminated by companies because of cost control?

4. If wage levels were increased, and companies still offered the same number of jobs, will the public continue to buy goods and services when prices go up?

As you can see, its really not as simple as you make it out to be.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by response to Hardin
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 10, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Illegal immigrants work as police officers, firefighters, writers for newspapers, tech employees, administrators, doctors, nurses, teachers, gardeners, landscapers, janitors, bus drivers, fast food workers, small business owners, plumbers, taxi drivers, hotel workers, many blue collar and white collar workers, etc.

Over 100,000 people applied for McDonald's jobs a few months ago, so yes, US citizens want and will do many of the jobs illegals currently do.

When the Super Bowl was held in San Diego in 2002 (security was very tight because of 9/11) background checks were required of employees and mismatches (illegal immigrants working) were happening all over the place. Instead of reporting the mismatches to ICE the government did not do anything because of the outcry from immigrants' rights groups.

The immigrants' rights groups always claim that illegal immigrants just want better lives, jobs, and to take care of their families, etc. Don't we all? But, the illegal immigrants are depriving many legal residents and US citizens from a better life, a job, and to take care of their families.

Why can't Jose go back to the Philippines and work to make the Philippines better? Jose could be the Thomas Jefferson of the Philippines.

Why is the answer to the world problems to come to the US? If it were not so easy for Mexicans to come to the US illegally, then maybe there would be more pressure to fix Mexico. Furthermore, if illegals are such an asset for the US, then why can't they be an asset and/or successful in their own countries? It would help their countries, the United States, and the world if illegal immigrants would stay home and work to improve their own countries.

The US is drowning in debt as well as other problems and the US needs to help people legally in this country. We have too many of our own problems and we do not have the money or resources to try to fix the world. It is bankrupting us.

When the 1986 amnesty law was passed, employers, law enforcement, the president, Congress, government officials, etc., promised that immigration laws would be strictly enforced. So, what happened? Why aren't people illegally in this country being deported? Why aren't we using e-verify for jobs, welfare, food stamps, Section 8 housing, Medicare, Social Security, disability, voting etc. It is quick, easy, and very accurate.

There are many jobs that many US citizens and legal residents want that are currently taken by illegals. As Jose Vargas has proven, many of these jobs are white collar jobs.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 10, 2011 at 11:18 pm

"illegal immigrants work as police officers, firefighters, writers for newspapers, tech employees, administrators, doctors, nurses, teachers, gardeners, landscapers, janitors, bus drivers, fast food workers, small business owners, plumbers, taxi drivers, hotel workers, many blue collar and white collar workers, etc.

Over 100,000 people applied for McDonald's jobs a few months ago, so yes, US citizens want and will do many of the jobs illegals currently do."

---------------

These statements would be all better for proof, if you can cite specific sources and data that justify how many jobs are taken by illegal immigrants that Americans would be willing to do, at the wage rates illegals are paid.

Regarding the San Diego Superbowl checks, your statement that illegal immigrants were working "all over the place" leaves a lot to be desired.

Web Link

According to the New York Times article on the subject, over 15,500 immigrant employment verification forms were reviewed to find that a grand total of 69 individuals were in the country illegally.

Also, contrary to what you stated, the federal government did take action against those individuals that were found in violation, even though rights groups raised a stink about it.

Bear in mind the jobs these individuals had were as cab drivers and private security staff, not higher paid blue collar or white collar workers you suggest that are taking away jobs from Americans.

In light of these facts, I don't see proof that illegal immigrants are the main cause for joblessness in America. They may not pay taxes, and they may consume limited resources funded by our tax dollars, but you haven't convinced me the guy running across the Mexican border is the same guy that keeps the newly unemployed in this country out of work. Our "irrational exuberance", and desire for zero down loans is more to blame, than anything else on that score.

Does the illegal immigrant problem need to be addressed? Absolutely. But trying to paint kicking out immigrants as the idee fixe for joblessness in America is missing the forest for the trees.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MV Resident
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 11, 2011 at 12:56 pm

To Des,

"Because I know I am in the minority in the country in my open minded views,..."

You can't possibly be serious about this? Conservative minded people have to listen to the news through your "minority" point of view every day. Thank God for capitalism and Fox News.

Here's my thought:
If the gov't stopped giving hard working American tax dollars to people who feel they are "entitled" to a handout (even if they are capable of working) and/or have no intention of working (even if jobs are made available), (ex./ many in inner city Chicago and Los Angeles), then maybe they would be more interested in doing the lower paying jobs that people come over the border to take (to improve their lives).

The easier liberals have made life for the poor Americans, the more they have come to take and expect. I honestly believe that liberals think they're doing the right thing. Unfortunately, giving and giving has resulted in the unintended consequence of people who do not take responsibility for themselves and expect others to take care of them. Certainly, there are exceptions (disabilities, mental illness, etc.), and exceptional times (the current economy has made it difficult for many hard working Americans to find the work they would normally be willing to do), but overall - there are entirely too many handouts to too many able bodied Americans who don't take personal responsibility for providing for themselves and their families.

Even the economy, to some extent, is a result of this unfounded sense of entitlement. People feeling entitled to home ownership, even if they can't afford the house they're buying. Give me a break on these loans. When we moved up there from So. CA we wanted a nicer house in Los Altos or LAH and our realtor was angry when we didn't agree to a balloon loan to purchase one. But, we knew we were the ones who needed to be RESPONSIBLE for PAYING OUR LOAN, so we were only going to buy a home and take a loan out for what we knew we could afford.
If more people had acted responsibly, we wouldn't have had so many loan failures/foreclosures.




 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 11, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Clarification: My comments are being mixed with Steve's from Shoreline west.
I stand by my comments about the law being black and white, and Mr. Vargas being a criminal who needs deporting.
The main point is enforcing laws equally, and not making exceptions for 'special' people. That rule of law is one really big difference between the US and third world countries. Bribery and corruption are not the norm here. It's ironic that people come here seeking a better life, but pollute that life by sneaking in with their old familiar attitudes. It's equally ironic that for Mr. Vargas to demonstrate his readiness for citizenship, he must first demonstrate his respect for our laws and get in line with the honorable immagrants.
I agree, our immigration policies need review. Until that happens, enforce the laws as they're written. That's the 'American' way.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Another Steve joining the fray (again). Enforcing the law equally is what has our state budget in a bind, since we spend more per prisoner than we do per college student. What about traffic rules? Let's solve our budget by writing more tickets=). Mr. Vargas is subject to civil penalties, and I suspect deportation if he refused or could not pay. Is he really the guy you want the law enforcement and judicial resources of the federal government expended to deport? What kind of example does that set? How hard would it make the job of local law enforcement in Latino communities if no one ever came forward as a witness?

Oh I've got an idea, let's end the wars, suspend posse commitas so that the Army and the Marines can go shoulder to shoulder with the border patrol, and then roar with laughter as the NRA and the immigrant rights groups join together to protest the usurpation of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Or we could get our Republican Senators and Representatives to revisit the immigration reform they all favored when GWB was President but won't discuss now for fear of giving BHO a political victory. In any case, Mr. Vargas should just be allowed to pay up and get on with life.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 11, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Republican Senators and Representatives were all for immigration reform when GWB was President but that all ended with 911 when the reality of not enforcing immigration came to light. So study your history and your facts. It had absolutely nothing to do with the fear of giving BHO a political victory.

And the only president to grant amnesty was a republican. Believe it or not, most democrats are against granting anything to illegal immigrants but a ticket out of the country.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 12, 2011 at 10:06 am

I don't oppose adherence to the rule of law. What concerns me is when adherence to the rule of law is emphasized in a vacuum. Nazi Germany also showed great adherence and efficiency to their rule of law...that is not sufficient.

The key to this issue, is to find solutions that both adhere to the principles of the rule of law, while executing them in such a fashion that they are in line with American principles of fairness, justice, and decency. It is the balance between these two elements, that make American democracy unique and desirable.

In this case, HOW we go about addressing this issue, is just as important was WHAT we do. Mass deportations of illegal immigrants, many of whom have lived in this country for decades, is arguably not something we would want reflected in the history books for our era. Reasons for this situation will vary widely, depending on opinion, but I don't think this country will win any awards or recognition for being a civil society if the only consideration we made was to kick people out of the country.

The solution to this issue needs to be far more nuanced, and just like the budget battle currently going on, require the fringe ideologies of this debate to sacrifice some, to reach a middle ground so that the country and move forward in progress.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 12, 2011 at 6:42 pm

We vote (at least only legal citizens, I hope), politicians are elected who pass laws, those laws are signed by an executive and become law. The courts rule on any misapplication of them. You are basically advocating a more nuanced approach. Fine. Explain how it works within some form of the rule of law and the democratic process rather than some universal liberal decree. And then explain how such a nuanced approach might apply to tax law, criminal law, business law, estate law, etc. From my perspective, I have found that within our legal system, the American principles of fairness, justice, and decency are very much the in place for these many categories of law. It's people who violate and abuse the law that are make a mess of our system.

As you might say, "Reasons for [any] situation dealing with [substitute any type] of law will vary widely, depending on opinion, but I don't think this country will win any awards or recognition for being a civil society. While I disagree with you on the last point, although I understand the intent of your approach, I just can't see how it could ever work. And its quite a fetch to come close to labeling those who are for enforcing immigration laws as Fascists. Laws in Nazi Germany were by dictatorial decree in many instances and not a product of a legislative process.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 12, 2011 at 9:22 pm

The law is not perfect. It is not a flawless representation of American fairness, justice, and decency, as you contend it is. If it were, there would be no Amendments, and no need for the amendment process. There would be no need for the judicial or legislative branches of government, just an executive branch to execute and enforce the original Constitution.

Obviously, the forefathers never expected the original draft to be the be-all and end-all law of land. They built in provisions to modify the constitution, to adapt it to changing conditions with the passing of time.

And that's what is needed now. Not a full rewrite of what an illegal immigrant is, as Mr. Vargus is promoting, and not blind adherence to the existing law just because "its always been that way", but a nuanced, intelligent revision that reflects the current trends and conditions existing in the republic at present.

Immigration law, as it stands today, was designed back when the country was young, and didn't have a problem with keeping immigrants out. On the contrary, we were trying to attract them in. Times have changed, and we now find ourselves in the position where we have a contingent of illegal immigrants, who have lived in this country for an extended period of time. There is nothing in the existing immigration law that addresses this condition specifically. Following existing law would be knocking a square peg in a round hole.

In short, American Law was never designed as a finished product. Our forefathers did that on purpose. Finished products are for decadent minds, because people who want finished products assume no improvements can be made. It is constant refinement that we should be striving for, constant comparison of existing law with current day issues and long held values, that ensures the law stays relevant and fair.

You ask for details of what this should look like. I've provided a general outline of what it could be, not liberal gushing and not right wing rhetoric. But its not up to me to serve you a finished piece, its up to all of us to contribute some, and agree enough to ensure it comes to fruition. That's a living democracy.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 13, 2011 at 6:36 am

Oh please! Amend the Consitution?!? Our immigration laws are pretty clear and basic. They are similar to our basic criminal laws. For example, in our society it's still illegal to walk into a store and steal a loaf of bread no matter what the justification. It's illegal to squat on private property. It's illegal to forge documents. It's illegal to not pay your taxes. There have been no Amendments to the Constitution to address any of these illegalities. Why? Because effects of violating them are clearly detrimental to our society. And the paths to legal immigration are already clearly spelled out in a clear and a fair format. If anything, the only amendment that would have a chance of passing, based on your logic and approach, is the one regarding citizenship by birthright for illegals, which I would guess you are against, but which ironically who fulfill your criteria.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 13, 2011 at 9:58 am

You are being superficial with regards to amendments. It didn't take an amendment for the IRS to offer an amnesty program to rich tax evaders, and it should not take one for this issue either. And like all amnesty programs, we're talking about a one shot deal, with no expectation such an offer will happen again.

You are assuming the law is immutable, which it is not. However clear and basic it may appear to you, application of it to these particular circumstances is anything but.

Its one thing to spout law and order, and leave the dirty work of its application and execution to others, but my guess is that the results will be far from positive, and will still not achieve the desired outcomes you expect.

Computers run on 0's and 1's. People and societies do not. Black and white certainly makes for a much simpler color spectrum, but it misses the vagaries of color that you seem so dismissive of.

I support adherence to current law for individuals caught entering the country now. I do not support strict interpretation/execution of it on individuals who have been here an extended time illegally, or have been born into this mess. Like it or not, the US bears some responsibility for not catching them earlier, or allowing the problem to fester indefinitely.

And regarding your suggestion for providing citizenship by birthright, this would be absolutely the wrong thing to do, as it would still provide an incentive for people to come here illegally, and does nothing in the form of restitution for breaking the law.

It will be interesting to see how this issue plays out. My guess would be that unless folks on both sides of this issue loosen up their ideologies enough to get something workable, things won't change, just like the majority of this forum's conversation.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Mixx, Scott's Seafood replacement, opens in Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 14 comments | 3,337 views

To Cambodia With Love
By Laura Stec | 4 comments | 2,490 views

Ten Steps to Get Started with Financial Aid
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 2 comments | 2,365 views

All Parking Permits Should Have a Fee
By Steve Levy | 23 comments | 1,783 views

Life in fast forward
By Jessica T | 3 comments | 1,351 views