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on Jun 23, 2011
Meaning what exactly? What is the endgame? To make all immigration to America legal? Who believes that is a sustainable philosophy? Is any regard whatsoever given to the concept that concentrating all of the most independent and industrious people in one place may have a devestating effect on the rest of the world?
I don't think the legitimate illegal immigration debate is centered around the idea that illegal immigrants are unintelligent or less than capable human beings, as is seemingly implied by this article, so much as the operational difficulties and inefficiencies created by ignoring process. No one likes bureaucracy, or waiting in line for that matter, but these laws exist for a reason. Every country on the planet has immigration laws, it's not a coincidence.
You might be surprised. If emigration out of the US were easier, it might even out more than you'd expect.
I agree with Spaghetti, the real issue with illegal immigration isn't whether these people are smarter or less intelligent than the average person, or if they will achieve great things or become criminals.
The issue is process, and the rule of law.
For every immigrant that comes here illegally, there is one that is still waiting in line to get here legally. We can debate the amount and specifics on how to admit immigrants, but there should be no argument that a defined process should be followed to allow immigrants to become citizens.
Smart, optimistic, successful young people like Mr. Vargas are the future of our country. Our country is much stronger with them than without them. We should not be suppressing them through out-dated immigration laws.
The DREAM Act was originally supported by many Republicans, but has now languished as the Republicans try to shut down everything associated with Obama. Can't they realize that this sort of political nonsense hurts the whole country more than it hurts the President?
Vargas would not qualify for the 2010 version of the proposed DREAM act since he is over the age limit of 29.
@Spaghetti Freddie - here's some info on the DREAM act - Web Link
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. If Vargas, the illegal citizen, wasn't admitted to a college, a space would have been open to another equally or more deserving legal citizen. Same with the jobs he applied for and got. Same with the Pulitzer prize even, in theory. The next runner up would have gotten it. There would not have been some void left open. The amount of awe and special attention and treatment given to illegals denies such awe and special attention and treatment to our own citizens. There are millions of smart, optimistic, successful in the world. Is the solution to let them all into the US to overshadow our own? What promise do their countries of origin lose out on? Vargas should go back to the Philipines and contribute to his country. He's been knowingly breaking laws for years and should be held accountable.
vargas story would make a great movie. I don't hate Vargas but he violated the law. It is understandable that He might have been innocent at younger age like 16 and not realizing what had happened. I applaud for this confession. It would be wise for him to leave on his own instead of being thrown out officially. I am not sure if he can go back to Phillipines because his phillipines passport may not be valid any longer.
To Pat and Rich, let us say if vargas turned out to be a rogue and a gangster and killed someone or raped someone..How would you feel? YOu two violated the law of the land irrespective of how Vargas turned out.
So according to Vargas and others here, if you can sneak an illegal kid into the US, and get them to complete some type of university education in the US, this should be a viewed as a legitimate way to get citizenship in spite of our laws? That's a fantastic solution! Brilliant! Our embassies and consulates overseas should start broadcasting this information widely. Meanwhile, deserving US citizens looking to complete a university education should just deal with the fact that they have worldwide competition to deal with and pay taxes to educate. What am I missing? That he was kid when his parents broke immigration laws? Fine. This is not a lose, lose situation for him or his parents. He got a first rate education and job experience. Now go back to your country. This reminds me of the Indian student (and LAHS grad) at UC Davis premed student who is about to be deported for the same immigration violations along with her father. They break the laws, get a subsidized education on the taxpayers' backs and then complain they are being victimized? Legal US citizens are the victims here.
I think he will not get deported. Think about it, to him, America is him home. Why would he want to go anywhere else other than the place that gave him his values? Sure they brought him over when he was young, but any reasonable person would object to throwing him out on the count that he violated the law unwillingly at age 16.
But in either way, the bigger issue when immigration reform is takes shape, is to decide who stays and who gets to go. I KNOW for a fact that 12 million people will not get deported, the man power to do this will cost more than going to war with Iran . So hmm let me think, can we afford another war, can we afford to spend money on anything due to the economic situation of the U.S....quick is answer is NO. So my conclusion is simple, lets close borders, lets make drugs legal and lets start talking to each other and integrate our society because as of know America keeps segregating itself. ( I fear that maybe just maybe the U.S. is on the decline but I hope its not true. I believe we still got a lot of fight in ourselves)
Once he knew of his status: every act involving phony documents, every lie he told to stay here, every lie he told to get into school, evey lie he told to gain employment...
A previous comment: "Smart, optimistic, successful young people like Mr. Vargas are the future of our country. Our country is much stronger with them than without them. We should not be suppressing them through out-dated immigration laws."
What about all the smart, optimistic, successful young Americans who don't aren't being given opportunities they too deserve because our country is spreading those resources to illegal immigrants.
Just because he is a success doesn't make his situation right or legal.
I'm not impressed with the actions of the teacher, superintendent and principal referenced in this article.
There has to be a creative way to 'solve' the immigration situation. I wish that people didn't believe they were so morally right about their opinions. It gets in the way of finding a better way. We forget that almost all of us are immigrants to this country, and that 'we' stole it from others who were here before us. Yet, we're comfortable and righteous about shutting others out. I've never understood that. And yes, I get that we have laws. But there's a bigger nugget of truth here - a lot of the 'illegal immigrants' that we re talking about these days have a better claim on this land than the europeans do. I wonder if anyone else sees irony in this?
is anyone else tired of this arguement:
"We forget that almost all of us are immigrants to this country"
OK, its a given that vargas lied, cheated, violated,etc...He needs to leave and come back legally if that can happen. I doubt that he can come back. I hear that there are lot of Irish immigrants in this country who are here illegally especially in Massachusetts..
I think the real truth behind is just pure racism. if Vargas had been a white person, he would get lot of sympathy, period. I just don't like the racism part of this whole outburst.
I'm not so concerned about illegal immigrants taking away opportunities from Americans. After all, if this were indeed the problem, one could suggest we permit no immigration, legal or otherwise, to allow all opportunities to go to current citizens exclusively.
More relevant, is what illegal immigrants take away from those immigrants who have chosen to abide by the rules and regulations established in this country for legal residence. It is no less an injustice for a person to enter this country illegally, ahead of an individual who has applied for legal residence, than it is for someone to cut ahead of you in line.
Of course, there are always extenuating circumstances that may justify a fast track for an immigrant (political asylum, refugee status, etc....), but in the main, the rule of law should stand.
Observer is right. This great country isn't about hard work, initiative or boot-strapping ones self. Its about MEMBERSHIP! Land of the Certified, Home of the Lucky! God Bless our paperwork!
Although I think its wrong for teachers, administrators, and others to lie and break immigration laws, I do understand the conflict they are struggling with. On one hand, they are sworn to uphold the laws of this country, and on the other, they recognize the potential in individuals, which is irrespective of their citizenship status. Indeed, having talented people like Mr. Vargas in the US helps our country to be more prosperous.
The problems we are seeing should underline the root cause and main issue at hand: immigration reform is needed, and a path to citizenship for those already here illegally, that is fair and equitable for illegal immigrants, legal immigrants, and citizens.
Not abandonment of existing laws because they are imperfect, nor extreme enforcement of them because they are the current law of the land. Rather, let's take what is currently broken, and spend the necessary energy and political willpower to improve what exists.
So if the teachers and administrators are struggling with conflict and eventually allowing students who should not be in their schools to remain, I do not feel sorry for them when they complain about low pay and overcrowded classrooms, aren't they just adding to the problem?
It's not racism from a lot of us, white, black, mexican, spanish, australian, asian, russian, english, irish, french, dutch - none of them should be here illegally, i would have no sympathy for any of these people if they too were in the same situation.
Actually, the people that contribute the most to this problem are those who are taking extreme views, left or right, on this issue, ignoring that even though this is an issue of law, it is also an issue that concerns people, or vice versa.
Its easy to not have a conflict on this issue, if you have no personal stake in it. For example, if Mr. Vargas were a close friend or relative, that would "complicate" one's view of this issue, would you agree?
I don't support illegal immigration, but in my opinion, any solution that is going to work will need to consider 2 elements in this issue: respect for the rule of law, and respect for people.
Agreed - we need a solution. But those who don't respect the laws of my country won't get my respect. That is how I feel and I'm sure those who break the law could really care less about how I feel.
Thanks for making such a simple and succinct point Rene. I love it.
But what is your point eric? We have laws and paperwork for a reason. Our laws have helped shape our great society and in many ways have promoted and channeled hard work, initiative and boot-strapping while protecting one's rights to the fruit of their labor in the process. In many other societies, with laws not as codified or grounded in society as ours, such hard work, initiative or boot-strapping usually ends up being the subject or cause of exploitation. I said the same thing a while back when people started harping about we were all immigrants at one time. Fine. No dispute their. But the immigrants that carved the most success and equal rights and protections from the land are the ones that are responsible for our current laws. Close to 200 years ago California was governed by Spanish Imperial law that didn't take kindly to illegal immigrants either. Spanish imperial law is based on Roman Law which didn't treat foreigners well at all. Study your history. California and the United States has not been a wild, lawless frontier for several centuries now. Your freedom of speech, access to jobs, education, libraries, government, pretty good roads, available food, etc., is all based on the codification of laws, albeit the U.S. system is based more on English common law. We can only be thankful that the legacy of Spanish Imperial law is mostly found south of the border and in Vargas' home land of the Philipines where you don't readily find these freedoms. So, I guess I miss your point if you ever had one. And please don't call me a rascist. I'm a legalist having recognized the hypocritical nature of humans.
Ok, I am a native MV resident, and natural-born US citizen. I consider myself a Liberal-leaning person. Peace marches, etc. But this really hits a nerve with me. There is nothing nebulous, Mr Vargas, about the definition of what defines a legal American citizen. It is clear and well-understood. Persons who wait in line and legally go through the immigration process, and eventually gain their citizenship ARE Americans.
I find it ironic that someone who is here admittedly illegally, is trying to re-define this for us, just so he magically can calll himself an American. I find it hard to feel pity for those persons who are in the US illegally trying to tell us to DEFINE AMERICAN. It is pretty clear, you are American by the luck of where you are born or by LEGALLY going through the process to become an American citizen. When, as an adult, you find you are here illegally, a good citizen would go through the process to become a legal citizen, instead of continuing the charade.
Continuing to issue fake documentation, lying to schools, landlords, employers, doctors, etc. does NOTmake a good American. It makes a person a criminal. Sneaking in from the Northern Border, the Southern border, across one of the many oceans or bodies of water and eluding detection for 5, 10 15, 20 or more years does NOT make someone an AMERICAN. It makes them a criminal.
It is time to enforce our immigration laws, deport each offender, and if they REALLY feel they are AMERICAN, they can abide by AMERICAN laws, get at the back of the line, and come into citizenship legally. I would be happy to welcome each and every one of the people who comes in via this process.
The other NON- American illegal immigrants are not welcome, are a drain on our resources, take up monies in our schools that should be used to educate our CITIZENS, and insist on getting rights that are not due to them.
Mr Vargas, if you have any honor, you should leave American and return via the appropriate and legal channels. Until then, you are not welcome to jump in front of the line of tens of thousands of other foreigners who have done just that.
Bottom line on this issue as well as many other issues lately:
YOUR CHOICE: RULE OF LAW OR NO RULE OF LAW...
Why should I even bother to RESPECT ANY LAW in the City of Mountain View?
It would have made life much easier if I was able to pick and choose the laws I wanted to obey....
Don't like that cop who wanted to issue a right turn on red ticket? ( It happened in MV,BTW )
Just blow it away.
Repercussions? Just carry enough firepower to enforce YOUR laws!
Because that is what the issue boils down to in many other countries....
AND IS THE PROBLEM at our Southern Border!
So think hard about supporting lawbreakers..because YOU are breaking the law too.
BTW, morality based arguments are based on MORAL RELATIVITY and are straw man arguments at best, pandering to ILLEGAL BEHAVIORS at worst.
Do you have any idea how tedious and long the process is to come to America legally? You also have to pay a lot of expensive fees to the USCIS/NVC. It's unfair that some people can get here bypassing the whole process that I have gone through, without waiting in line, wihtout being deported and become a legal resident/citizen. You let that happen you encourage people to come to this country illegally, plain and simple!
@ American citizen:
"Smart, optimistic, successful young people like Mr. Vargas are the future of our country. Our country is much stronger with them than without them. We should not be suppressing them through out-dated immigration laws."
You fail to realize that the US government has been actively promoting the LEGAL immigration of smart, optimistic, successful young people for many years. Just go down to a local college and university or to a high-tech firm in Silicon Valley. The smart, optimistic, successful young immigrant people you will find there all immigrated LEGALLY. So what are you talking about?
Columbus was the first to without authorization!!
Columbus didn't need authorization, he brought it with him in the name of the king and queen of Spain, as there was no codified law of the land. If there was, please cite your sources. And while you are at it, name one nation or place on earth that does not today define itself through codified laws and treaties.
Using Disneyland as a metaphor for the State of California, I submit you this: Let's say that Disneyland had a secret gate that let in one third of its average daily visitors, free of charge. Once passing through the secret gate, those park guests were given free meals and were also allowed to stay at the Disneyland Hotel for a price of only one third of the going rate. These secret gate visitors will participate in all of the parks activities and amusements amongst all the paying guests who waited in line to get in and paid full price to enjoy the same benefits as the non-paying guests. The question I have for you is how long do you think Disneyland would remain in business?
I have a feeling that previous contributors are done with this by now, but I would still like to remind those reading that Vargas was brought here against his will by his grandparents. At age 16 you have pretty much already adapted to your settings, and what 16-year-old can afford to resettle in a 3rd world country where they don't understand the culture and have no opportunities for advancement whatsoever? That would just be suicide.
We absolutely need a middle path that acknowledges that illegals have no other home yet provides a similarly cumbersome series of hoops to jump through to gain legal citizenship. It's a shame that we do not have many leaders in power right now who are interested in founding new ideas like this.
But anyway, whining about illegals on the internet all day long will get you nowhere so please stop. You are wasting our country's valuable resources.
Jose Vargas's premise is that because he is top American journalist the United States immigration laws do not apply to him. He believes that it is O.K. to disobey our laws and flout your disobeyance if you are an illegal immigrant. he paces himself, and all otehr illegal immiigrants, above tose who are here legally.
There are actually several issues that need addressing, as it pertains to illegal immigration:
1. Prevention: Securing the borders and enforcement against those who violate immigration laws.
2. Reconciliation: Finding a path to citizenship for those illegal immigrants already in this country, which should encompass those who have arrived recently, and those like Mr. Vargas who have lived here longer. Because the US has allowed this problem to fester and ingrain itself into our social fabric and economy, it will not be as simple as deporting everyone, without having negative repercussions to the country.
3. Revision: Reviewing existing immigration law and processes to ensure they are fair and relevant for the current day issues and needs of the US, and are sustainable and enforceable.
What we have now is the worst of all possible scenarios: an immigration policy that has not been enforced, no political consensus on how to deal with the existing population of illegal immigrants, and no political consensus on how to overhaul the current system.
What we have are diametric opposing forces trying to solve what they see as the problem: volunteer "militias" policing the border vs. teachers and administrators floating US law.
Not sure what's your basis for this statement
"teachers and administrators floating US law."
Thee teachers, administrators and districts teach all children residing in their district regardless of their gender, race, religious belief or nationality.
By doing so they are actually following the US law; see See Plyler vs. Doe Web Link
...but there was no escaping the central conflict in my life," Vargas writes. "Maintaining a deception for so long distorts your sense of self. You start wondering who you've become, and why."
When you came to the age of realization, Vargas, why did you not seek a way to obtain legal status via legal green card, student visa, work visa or other legal method rather than continuing along the illegal deceptive path you took? Also, you chose to entrap a few other persons in your deceptive web whereby they now are at odds with the Rule of Law! It is time for you to acquire an honest approach to resolve your predicament by voluntarily returning to your native country and then seek admittance to the USA. In this way perhaps you can save more people legal grief when they defend you. I admire what you have accomplished HOwEVER you did it illegally, entrapped others and deprived deserving citizens of the opportunities they might have had--which you usurped.
why don,t we just open the gates and throw the keys away?
Either illegal or legal immigration, the majority of people that are coming are not from Europe, hence i will stereotype, white people are not migrating to the US.
If you look at the statistics provided by Dept of Homeland Security, illegal immigration south of the border is mainly Mexicans and of other Latin countries. Legal immigrants mainly came from 3 far away countries and they are: India, China, and the Philippines.
In conclusion you either can hide from the truth or embrace but America is on the decline. The startlight is fading fast. hope yall luck.
Love the Disneyland analogy and love the term legalist (versus racist). Thanks ya'll!
Fine, Mr. Vargas. You're illegal. You are breaking the law. Now get the hell out. It's the law. How many times do we need to say this, so that the sadly ignorant will understand and truly comprehend?
Illegal immigrants are breaking the law. Those who support them support breaking the law, and are therefore scofflaws. If they are scofflaws, their opinions simply...don't...count.
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, jobs, 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 and/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 worldÂ…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.
Thank you to the people who've stated clearly the laws of the this great country. If Jose Vargas is so talented, he can take his skills and be successful in the Philippines.
Btw, there are two or more threads/blogs/stories of the same topic in the MV-Voice website. I challenge the MV-Voice 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.
@ say what!?!:
About the duplicate discussion threads: readers start the threads, not anyone on the staff of the Voice.
If there are duplicate threads, it's not an evil plot, it's simply that two people found the story in two difference places on our site (main news page and in the online version of the print edition, for instance) and each one started a discussion thread. We try to shut down the least active thread when we notice this is happening. Feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you spot a duplicate thread.
Reading the bulk of the comments, I am nauseated by the realization that we are a nation of greedy, loss-focused, fear-obsessed, selfish, and entitledly righteous buffoons. Frankly, I'm surprised that people still want to come here, knowing they have to live among racist idiots who look at them with hate in their minds.
I'm not going to comment on legality and illegality. We can all see that today, laws are made by those with the money, not for the benefit of the nation or its people. So "illegal" ends up being little more than taking a position that authority doesn't like. And I can see a lot of you mindlessly and slavishly kowtow to authority, not matter whether it's legitimate or not.
The truth is that "opportunity" goes to those who seek it, and eliminating immigration will simply eliminate opportunity, since it comes with them. If you want opportunity, get out from behind your television set and create it. And if our government gets in your way, change it. And if the corporations get in your way - and that's who's really running the show - then stop feeding them with your money.
It's really simple, actually. Only people who have become to lazy or helpless to claim their personal power are whining about illegal immigrants. Those who know how to direct their lives and accomplish what they want aren't bothered by statistics about other people who they know can't affect their lives.
It's not time to send the illegals home, it's time to deport the whiners.
In response to DL's "Disneyland" Analogy.
DL: you forgot that the 1/3 of your Disneyland's visitors that were let in for free also stayed up after hours cleaning the place, replanting the shrubbery, and cooking the food for tomorrow. After that, they got table scraps as their "free" meal.
America is not Disneyland. And if you think so, you're clearly out of touch and an elitist.
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