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My best friend, the 'illegal immigrant'

What a Peruvian-born engineer from L.A. can teach Washington state about its stalled DREAM Act.
Hugo Kugiya (bottom row, third from the left)  and his friend Tony (bottom row, very end of left side) in first grade.

Hugo Kugiya (bottom row, third from the left) and his friend Tony (bottom row, very end of left side) in first grade.

I met my first real friend in 1971 when I was five years old. He was new to the class; new to the school; new, it turned out, to the country. He was cheerful and trusting, and I thought he kind of looked like me. We became best friends immediately.

Tony was from a place called Peru, he said. Over the years and decades, I found out things, some right away, some after we grew up, some just this year.

His parents, Julio and Antonieta Rios, like the parents of a lot of kids in Los Angeles, spoke little to no English. Neither did Tony, just several months before I met him. He made a friend in his apartment complex, a daily companion who spoke English, and also spent a summer watching a lot of American television, so that by the time he started school in September, he spoke English as well as any kid in the class.

He lived with his parents in a one-bedroom apartment in Culver City, at the intersection of two major arterials, a half block from the San Diego Freeway. (He would live there until he graduated from high school.) I moved to a new town at the start of fifth grade. We kept in touch for a few years, reuniting the summer "Star Wars" came out. We saw it together. Shortly after that, we lost track of each other.

After graduating from high school, he wrote me a letter. We arranged to visit, got reacquainted, promised this time to stay in touch, but had by then become adults who were mostly strangers to each other. It was many years later, during an unplanned, serendipitous visit — I was passing through California, driving from Florida to Seattle to start a new job, and looked him up — that something permanent and unexplainable took hold and we became true friends again.

That, too, was when I found out something else I had never known: Tony was among a class of people we had come to call “illegal immigrants” a pejorative disguised as a formal definition. The label is at best imprecise. When used, it is often a lazily-reasoned, emotional reaction to fear or resentment.

Without saying so exactly, the institution of journalism agreed.

Recently, the Associated Press announced it would drop the term “illegal immigrant” from its industry-standard style guide. The Los Angeles Times did the same, upping the ante by also banning “undocumented immigrant” from standard practice. The AP’s rationale was grammatical — an act is illegal, not a person. The basis of the Times’ reasoning was accuracy — neither term consistently and accurately describes the situation of the people assigned to those labels, the paper contended.

Tony was the kind of kid the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act is intended for. He excelled in school and wanted to attend college. His parents were not of great means.

The federal DREAM Act provides conditional residency status for non-resident minors, with a path to permanent citizenship through military service or completion of a college degree. Supporters cite its potential economic and social benefits, an amnesty program for motivated immigrants who did not knowingly break any rules when they entered and stayed in the country. Opponents generally base their objections on two principles: that it rewards and encourages the circumventing of rules, and that this is not a worthwhile expenditure of scarce public resources.

About a dozen states, including Washington, have drafted their own versions of the DREAM Act, which provide for tuition assistance and other financial aid for qualified immigrants who want to go to college. For reasons that have been detailed on this website, Washington’s DREAM Act never came to a vote, missing a key deadline, and dying in committee.

Technically, the state legislature can still revive the proposal, bringing it back for a vote any time during the current session. Supporters believe that can still happen, but the current political sentiment does not favor it. Washington’s DREAM Act is in limbo and will probably remain so for the foreseeable future.


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Comments:

Posted Tue, Jun 4, 5:55 a.m. Inappropriate

Why have any laws at all Hugo?

“It never really felt wrong to me,” Tony said. “The fact is my family and I broke the law, but the laws in our minds were incorrect, and in order to preserve our family, we did what we had to do."

You are advocating the rationalization for almost any behavior because, "in our minds the laws we were breaking were incorrect."

Would it be acceptable for everyone who feels that any laws, rules or taxes that are passed or accessed by the Government, to be ignored because they didn't believe they were correct?

Cameron

Posted Tue, Jun 4, 11:12 a.m. Inappropriate

Readers - care to chime in on Cameron's premise?
Are all laws created equal? Speeding? Murder? Jaywalking? Is a rule the same thing as a law? Is Cameron missing the point?

Technically speaking, our country was formed on the belief that current laws (not all laws but certain laws) were unjust - am I overstating that?

I don't think anyone would say laws, and following them are not important, but that obvious argument seems to be too simple when discussing a complex topic like immigration.

The point of the story was not to discuss the legality or morality of Mr. Rios' actions/decisions. I would have to recuse myself from such a story, being a friend of his.

My point was to tell a simple story, one that raises philosophical questions like... paperwork aside, what is the definition of an American? Are you an American if you feel like one? If you live as one? If you deserve to be one? Who is deserving? Is "deserve" an appropriate measure? For that matter, do all Americans deserve to be Americans?

Ours is probably the most pluralistic society in the history of the world, maybe the closest thing to a global society as we have. In that context, it almost seems academic, silly, who is or is not an American citizen.

Someone else jump in here...

Posted Tue, Jun 4, 11:40 a.m. Inappropriate

"Ours is probably the most pluralistic society in the history of the world, maybe the closest thing to a global society as we have. In that context, it almost seems academic, silly, who is or is not an American citizen."

Is being an American "citizen" silly or academic? If you don't like the process you should be free to ignore it....is that really your argument Hugo? There are no restrictions on who can become an American, but if all it entails is overstaying a visa, does it really represent what it means to be an American?

Cameron

Posted Tue, Jun 4, 11:54 a.m. Inappropriate

Tony was among a class of people we had come to call “illegal immigrants” a pejorative disguised as a formal definition. The label is at best imprecise.


It's at best oxymoronic. An immigrant is a person who is in a country legally, and who has received permission to live in that country, and is generally assumed to be working towards naturalized citizenship. If you're here illegally, you're not an immigrant.

dbreneman

Posted Tue, Jun 4, 12:27 p.m. Inappropriate

Cameron - my question to you is what is truly the source of your displeasure? Often in these arguments, the debate of what is "legal" is camouflage for being upset about something else. What is that something else in your case?

Posted Tue, Jun 4, 12:29 p.m. Inappropriate

Also, if you want to be civil about this, who the heck are you? You know who I am. I don't know who you are. Please identify, Cameron...then it's a discussion...otherwise, this is just a form of graffiti.

Posted Tue, Jun 4, 4:42 p.m. Inappropriate

The United States allows more legal immigration than the rest of the nations of the world combined. The United States does not need a population of one billion people, and the United States does not need the driver of United States population gains to be immigration, legal or not.

Illegal immigrants have caused harm to United States Citizens, they are not beneficial to the Citizens who have been displaced by illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants are the equivalent of what unions call "scabs"; cheap labor brought in to lower wages, and benefits.

The nations from which illegal immigrants originate need to be billed for the costs of illegal immigrants, and if these nations do not pay, then the United States should enact sanctions against these nations, and sue them at the World Court.

Illegal immigrants reduce wages, benefits, cause unemployment, increase poverty, diminish Government resources, overtax our infrastructure, break laws, and overpopulate areas. The United States is a nation, and needs to be primarily concerned with United States Citizens; not foreign nationals, foreign nations, or "global".

So, the solution? Aggressive prosecution of those who hire illegal immigrants (including significant jail time), the outlawing of "sanctuary cities", deportation of illegal immigrants upon apprehension; and proof of legal status required for any government document, or program, including schools.

There needs to be a moratorium on legal immigration put in place for five years. The current about one million immigrants a year seems much too high. The moratorium should be for five years to allow time for
a Comprehensive Economic Impact Statement on All Immigration to the United States to be completed,
and time for a Comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement on All Immigration to the United States to be completed.

The Statements would allow immigration quotas and policy to be made based upon facts and data; and allow for direct mitigation to United States Citizens harmed, or who have been harmed, by legal immigration policy, and government encouragement and tolerance of immigration.

The current immigration policy is based on no facts and no data. The immigration reform attempt is based only upon politics, emotion, and racism on both sides. Immigration policy, and law, should be based upon facts, data, and cold logic to ensure the policy is of benefit to the United States, and all United States Citizens.

Your well written article indicates your views on immigration are based solely upon emotion; that shows you are a good hearted person. I disagree with you, because I think policy should be based on facts and data.

jhande

Posted Tue, Jun 4, 12:39 p.m. Inappropriate

In any case, I'm not trying to make a legal argument. The truth is I don't have a solid position there because I find the issue highly complex. I hoped to encourage questions...about whether citizenship is something to be earned, or given, or stolen...whether it is something to be deserved. Should we deport everyone who does NOT deserve it or who has worked to earn it? I was born an American citizen...just like I was born with black hair. Seems kind of arbitrary. I risked nothing. I earned nothing. I proved nothing. Just a thought.

Posted Tue, Jun 4, 12:51 p.m. Inappropriate

"Comprehensive Deportation Reform" and "pathway to deportation" should accompany 'self-deportation' due to 5 years of economic downturn. Begin the deportation with all non-citizen criminals, visa-overstayers, and those among the estimated 11,000,000 non-citizens who admit to not having any desire or intention of becoming a citizen. Skype, telecommunication, and "GoToMeeting.com can eliminate much of the high tech itch for special guest worker status. Case by case, day by day, stories such as Tony's can be resolved. But DREAM acts and sanctuary cities that skirt federal immigration laws should end.

animalal

Posted Tue, Jun 4, 3:25 p.m. Inappropriate

A reasonable person is capable of judging the law. If a law is just, it should be obeyed even if it's inconvenient. If a law is unjust we have a moral obligation to oppose it in whatever way makes sense for us. This was true of the fugitive slave act and true of the criminalization of immigration. There is nothing sacred about laws - they are man-made and can be good or bad. We have no obligation whatsoever to obey bad laws, only prudence depending on our own situation. Whether someone lives and works in this country is the business of that individual and the people who are willing to hire and house them. Nobody else. Passing a law that says something is wrong doesn't make it wrong.

Posted Tue, Jun 4, 9:42 p.m. Inappropriate

Very Good, I second this comment. How many laws have I broken? Good Lord, I doubt I should list them in this format. I am a good moral person, yet somehow I break laws. Isn't there a saying that good men need no laws, and laws have no meaning for bad men. Anyway, the argument these people are lawbreakers just has ZERO merit. I mean, all of America were lawbreakers when they signed the declaration of independence way back when. I sort of like to root for the conservatives, their small government arguments resonate with me, but they carry on with the anti-brown people arguments so much... A little more to add, the world is just full of people, is the politicians line on the map so important we need to hate or even deny who was born where? I know for a fact there is a guy somewhere south of the border who is a way way better person than some other guy I know north of the border. I realize about reality, but the nation state is just such an enemy of human freedom it needs saying anyway.

Posted Tue, Jun 4, 6:29 p.m. Inappropriate

I don’t believe that children should pay for the crimes of their parents. But I also don’t believe that parents should benefit by their illegal actions. It is clear from your story that besides over staying their visa’s there were other laws violated. When you isolate three individuals out of a population of 300 million plus it’s easy to make it look totally innocent with no harm to anyone. But when you are talking about a population of 11-15 million things begin to look differently. I know. My son and my family are victims of illegal immigration.
In November 2010 my son, a second year law student was killed by an unlicensed driver in San Francisco. As I have now learned there is very little enforcement of illegal aliens (btw, this is the correct legal term) who chose to break the law and drive without licenses. There are also tragic consequences. They kill at a rate 5 times higher than licensed drivers. They drive drunk at a rate 5 times higher than licensed drivers and they hit and run over 35% of the time compared to 3.7% for licensed drivers. Every year they kill over 4,000 people in traffic collisions.
Yes, we were born here but many of us have lived exemplary lives, paid taxes for years, volunteered in our communities and worked hard to raise our families. WE, the citizens of the United States made this country what it is. We have the right to decide who we want to allow to immigrate. I think the post from jhande very clearly spells out who we don’t want. That said as a wealthy generous country we should allow some immigration but we would all be much better served if we helped other countries develop their economies so they can support their own populations.
One thing that made this country so great (and I believe now is leading to our decline) is that we are a nation of laws. Yes, we had many laws that were wrong and still do but we can’t just ignore those laws we don’t like. If that’s the way you feel move to Somalia. Having immigration laws in and of themselves are entirely proper. Obviously we have dome a horrible job enforcing them, we’ve enforced them unequally and the current immigration reform bill if passed will just make everyone know that we have no intention of ever enforcing our immigration laws.
BTW, I am a very far left leaning liberal. However, the left is in as much denial about the truth of illegal immigration as the right is in denial about the facts about climate change.
If you want to read the entire story of my son’s death, my fight with the San Francisco District Attorney’s office and USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) go to www.unlicensedtokill.org.

DonR

Posted Tue, Jun 4, 6:29 p.m. Inappropriate

So basically if I don't identify myself, you will discount my opinion? You aren't really looking for a discussion of the topic, but affirmation of your opinion.

Did your friend and his family take advantage of the '86 amnesty? Or did they feel that the amnesty process was too onerous? If they did take advantage of it, why did they bother?

Certainly one could argue for reform of immigration process and quotas, but in the end the United States should have the ability to control who comes to America to become a citizen, otherwise could the United States really be considered a sovereign nation? What obligation should those who are citizens feel to continue to financially support those who come to the country, scoff at our laws and enjoy the benefits of being a citizen without accepting the responsibities that go along with citizenship?

Cameron

Posted Tue, Jun 4, 9:43 p.m. Inappropriate

"The AP’s rationale was grammatical — an act is illegal, not a person."

There's no act without a person involved. Nice try at dodging the issue.

Djinn

Posted Tue, Jun 4, 10:46 p.m. Inappropriate

I am not advocating, in this article, for or against the existing rules or laws. I do think it is easy to agree on a law that prevents bad things from happening, but what about a law that also prevents good things from happening? And what if the good it prevented equaled the bad it prevented? I'm just asking that question.

As for Cameron - I am not discounting your opinion. I've just always found the process of anonymous comments to be corrupting. When you can cast statements out without being held accountable for them (because we do not know who you are or what you are), you say things you might not ordinarily say. It's about accountability. I have it. I have to own up to my words. You don't. You're a ghost. You are, on some level, a coward. Anyone can say or do anything if they're invisible. You are invisible. That's what I'm saying. I think the practice of including anonymous comments with articles remains one of the worst ideas news organizations have had. The integrity of any statement loses value when it comes from nowhere or no one...and it also discourages civility...

By my bigger point, Cameron, is that I do truly believe that outrage over this issue speaks to something larger, something hidden. I am saying that if you feel outrage, you must feel as if someone is taking something from you, or someone is hurting someone, that someone is getting away with something that they do not deserve... You imagine thieves, rich with ill-gotten gains. That is what causes outrage. So I am asking you what is someone taking from you? What is the source of your outrage? It does not come from nothing.

Perhaps I am guilty of the ends justifying the means. Like I said, I am not advocating a position on the law. But I will say that, as it is, with people circumventing rules, taking advantage of loopholes, lying, misleading...in order to come here, stay here, live here... I simply am NOT outraged. You are. And I do wonder what that means.

Posted Tue, Jun 4, 10:54 p.m. Inappropriate

Hey Djinn - first of all, I am conveying the rationale of the AP, not mine. Second, your logic is off.

The AP's is not saying an illegal act hasn't been committed by a person. It is only saying that, if this is the case, the language needs to be more precise. There is such a thing as illegal immigration, but not an illegal immigrant.

If a plumber kills someone. He committed an illegal act. We have name for it. Murder. He is a murderer. He is not an illegal plumber.

The AP is not disputing a trespass has been committed; it just thinks 'illegal immigrant' is a lousy term to use.

Is the AP dodging the issue? Perhaps. Rather than engage people in a discussion about a complicated issue, it simply argues grammar, semantics. But I don't think that was your point.

I hope I've made the point you tried to make. You're welcome.

Posted Wed, Jun 5, 8:49 p.m. Inappropriate

Do you recall the headlines about "Joe the plumber" and some that actually said "Joe the illegal plumber". Seems that the news media that you quote can't really make up their mind.

I personally prefer Illegal alien, it is more descriptive and accurate.

The only point you've really made is that you don't believe that our immigration laws should be obeyed, especially if you like one of the law breakers.

Djinn

Posted Wed, Jun 5, 6:41 a.m. Inappropriate

"You are, on some level, a coward." So now I am a coward because I disagree with your article? Because I will not give you my identity? Thanks.

If you really have no concept of why Americans would be concerned about millions of people are here illegally, then you simply are not looking at the impacts on our society. Why should anyone respect the rule of law when they can look around them and see their tax dollars flowing to an ever growing population of those who ignore our laws?

"Perhaps I am guilty of the ends justifying the means. Like I said, I am not advocating a position on the law. But I will say that, as it is, with people circumventing rules, taking advantage of loopholes, lying, misleading...in order to come here, stay here, live here... I simply am NOT outraged." Just what are those ends? Why should it stop with immigration reform?

As the child of a legal immigrant, hearing the stories of the how long it took to get sponsored, wait their turn, make the journey, learn the language and work hard to become Americans, it is an insult to reward those consider it their "right" to be recognized and be handed citizenship becasue they have managed to break the law.

Cameron

Posted Wed, Jun 5, 8:21 a.m. Inappropriate

This sounds like Clinton arguing over what "is" is while missing fact that 100s of thousands of illegal immigrants have come to this state (because we provide rewards enabling them to do so like driver's licenses and hobbling enforcement of law)and this is clearly unsustainable. Besides the many costs created by absorbing so many poorly-educated (unlike the person in this story) people with little language capability, we are exacerbating every already unsolvable growth problem we have with pollution, congestion, and infrastructure decay. But big money demands pursuit of an assumed unlimited growth (while gaining access to profit-making cheap labor)and the press and politicians follow where the money demands.

Posted Wed, Jun 5, 11:12 a.m. Inappropriate

America was built on the backs of illegal immigrants.
And how quickly their children forget, and want to pull up that gangplank.

If you are african american, the only papers your ancestors had were bills of sale...
If you are of Chinese, or Japanese, or Filipino descent, most likely you are from illegal stock- as it was illegal for many years, in some cases almost until WW2, for most asians to legally immigrate.

There were quotas and bans on many ethnicities and nationalities for a long time- at various times, if you were Irish, or Italian, or Jewish, Polish or Hungarian, or in some cases even Norwegian or Finn, you had to sneak in.

Quotas on Jews lasted until after WW2, and we refused legal entry to many holocaust refugees- and a fair amount snuck in anyway.
My wife's side of the family smuggled her Aunt Clara across the bridge in Buffalo NY, in about 1920 or so, by someone hand carrying the one year old baby across the bridge, and handing her off- another damn illegal immigrant, in this case, a russian jew who lived her entire life in Pittsburgh.
Because, in those days, we didnt allow poor jews to become legal immigrants.

Some of my own Finn and Norwegian relatives probably snuck across the Canadian border as well, to the Five Towns in Northwest Minnesota- in the teens, Scandinavians were notorious left wing agitators, draft dodgers, anarchists, and poor to boot, and many were refused legal entry to the USA- after all, most of the Wobblies were scandahoovians.

The fact is, a huge percentage of the population of the US was not wanted here at the time they came, but they came anyway.

Ronald Reagan described the phenomenon quite well- Vote With Your Feet.
When your alternatives are poverty, disease, death squads, and no education, you do what you have to.

Ries

Posted Wed, Jun 5, 2:20 p.m. Inappropriate

So, all 6 billion people on Earth should be able to move to the United States? Or is your goal to only have enough billions to move here to turn our nation into a bankrupt third world hellhole? You make no sense. You make nothing but another nonsensical emotional plea for illegal immigration. The whole reform effort is garbage because it is all based on emotion and politics.

jhande

Posted Wed, Jun 5, 2:25 p.m. Inappropriate

I am not pleading, merely reciting all to often forgotten history.
But I am in favor of increased legal immigration, as it will help the economy, and allow law enforcement to focus on actual crimes.

Ries

Posted Thu, Jun 6, 2:18 a.m. Inappropriate

There is no data showing any economic benefit to the economy from illegal immigration. So, you would be fine with a 2 billion population in the United States? How would that benefit the United States economically?

jhande

Posted Thu, Jun 6, 9:01 p.m. Inappropriate

History is just that. It shouldn't be forgotten but it does have to be put in its place. You are correct when you state that many people who came here were not wanted. However, they quickly learned the language and quickly assimilated. As there were no social welfare programs they were never a financial burden to others. You are obviously not a resident of California which bears most of the burden of illegal immigration. If you live in Los Angeles there are very few schools you can send your kid to unless THEY speak Spanish. That doesn't mean that any of these people are bad people but it does explain why there is so much animosity towards them.

In the 1800's the country was also mostly unsettled and growing rapidly so there was a great need for more "bodies". That history is long gone. As Obama said so eloquently to Romney in their debate "we have less horses and bayonets".

If the 11-15 million illegal aliens were not here would anyone be saying to let them in to fix the economy? There is a humanitarian argument for them to stay but unless you own a business there is not a financial reason.

DonR

Posted Wed, Jun 5, 1:34 p.m. Inappropriate

If by leaving the gangplank down you sink the ship, killing all on board...what good have you done?

Cameron

Posted Wed, Jun 5, 2:23 p.m. Inappropriate

Aside from immigration, the population of the USA is actually falling.
Our standard of living is higher now than when I was born, our economy is still better than anywhere else in the world- I dont see a ship sinking. Not sure who is dying, besides grumpy old white guys, of natural causes.

But I do enjoy spectacular mexican food as a result of the increase in mexicans who live in the Skagit Valley and pick the foods that you eat. My county is now 20% Hispanic, keeps me in shape practicing my spanish.

Which reminds me of another Ronald Reagan quote- you know, that republican socialist president who passed an amnesty bill for immigrants-
A rising tide raises all ships.

Ries

Posted Thu, Jun 6, 2:27 a.m. Inappropriate

Wages in the United States have been stagnant for 40 years. Unemployment is high; poverty increases every day; the claim of some higher standard of living is ridiculous. But it is good to know you are a racist and sexist. Who would have thought a racist and sexist would find Reagan a hero?

jhande

Posted Thu, Jun 6, 9:05 p.m. Inappropriate

A rising tide raises all ships if you are lucky enough to have a ship. Otherwise you drown.

DonR

Posted Thu, Jun 6, 9:02 a.m. Inappropriate

Hugo, if someone had written an article about a struggling man who could not find work in his trade (landscaping, construction, painting for example) and could not help but notice that his trade was now dominated by immigrants, legal and otherwise, do you think you would have written that off as just one person, just a blip in our economic picture? just one more emotional pitch? It would be just that, of course. By the way, I would not object if the articles in Crosscut were anonymous.

kieth

Posted Thu, Jun 6, 1:02 p.m. Inappropriate

It is true that the population count of the U.S would be following Europe into below replacement territory were it not for immigration, legal and otherwise. Europe's population is declining even in the face of quite problematic immigration.

The entire globe is now stuck on"either/or," having lost all clue, although painfully learned, as to how to come to public judgment, the most lasting of which involves carefully sorting out either/or extremes (your way or my way) and arriving at a solid third way that features the best of both sides. Congress could well be doing that now, but hardly a soul believes it capable of doing so anymore. To give them some credit, my guess is the issue is not "getting along" but epistemic—two diametrically opposed theories of knowledge and its validity—a) restore nature's balance by sequestering human beings or b) refute the constancy of undisturbed nature as a counterproductive myth. Most likely we will continue trying to reinvent an ever-expandng economy until a new epistemology enables imagining otherwise.

Most, but not all Crosscut authors kick off needed dialogue and quite respectfully further it. This author does the first part well, but falls shy on the latter and needs to take time out, read over all those who did exactly as he asked and see if he can propose a third way for further advancement.

afreeman

Posted Thu, Jun 6, 10:21 p.m. Inappropriate

vivid story, thanks for posting. these are the stories that are changing our culture and our politics. "rule of law" is an argument that doesn't really carry much water in this context when nearly everyone agrees that are immigration system is broken. if something is broken - not working for families, for our economy, for our future - you fix it, you don't cry out "enforce those broken laws - that's America!"

demographics are shifting, too. as they always have. and washington state will be a different place 20 years from now. do we cling to policies that limit immigration and demonize people trying to pursue the American dream? well, some, like Rep. Steve King do, but the rest of us - including our GOP Congressional delegation, don't have to. pandering to the extremists will lose you the White House for the next generation. pass comprehensive immigration reform, let's fix this.

Posted Fri, Jun 7, 12:15 p.m. Inappropriate

Bruce Rodney, Hugo and those that think like them, deserve the Simpson-Mazzoli Redux being proposed. Let's vote on it. Let anyone who can run, walk, crawl, swim or fly into the country be granted benefits and social services until the next amnesty rolls around.

Cameron

Posted Fri, Jun 7, 1:01 p.m. Inappropriate

Why should a young man born in Idaho, to legal parents have to pay more to go to the UW then someone who broke laws to be here?

Thats the so called "Dream Act"

tjp

Posted Tue, Jun 11, 2:51 p.m. Inappropriate

Afreeman makes a fair point. This article might further the debate, but does not propose an answer.

I did not intend to come up with an answer - perhaps a cop-out; I'll admit to that... I don't pretend to have one.

So what is the point of the article, if it has one?

1.) The often repeated "the law is the law" argument is insufficient, incurious. Even if it was fully enforceable, I'm not convinced it will advance anyone's cause.

2.) To suggest that the uproar, the outrage, the panic, the anger, over the "illegal immigrant" problem is probably not nearly as sinister or as dire as the most outraged of us imagine. We would do better by ourselves and our country to worry about our blood sugar, mental illness, carbon emissions, relationships with our family members, oversight of our financial industry, drug-resistant viruses, and any number of topics that are truly harming us on a day-to-day level.

I'm not saying immigration is a non-issue, and should be a free-for-all, or that real harm never occurs. But that is the case for almost all aspects of life.

3.) To tell one story, of one person, I happen to know very well. When we talk about immigration laws, we are talking about him too.

Posted Wed, Jun 19, 7:23 p.m. Inappropriate

Honestly I don't know what to say to all of this needless hate on a few people..I'm guessing mostly rants to make themselves feel better.

If they are here wasting time on complaints instead of resolutions-how do they generate money to pay for the internet bills?! You'd be dirt poor to pay if "they" are ilegally taking your "hard earned" money and life.

ANYWAY,
If you want an answer and get rid of many illegal immigrants and document more people, approve the amnesty and they shall become legal and pay taxes(which most already do) to live here like most people. If one thinks that sending everyone back where they came from will solve all of their problems they are dead wrong and ignorant.
If you want a job, work to find it-if you blame the person infront of you(Regardless of race or status) then than just says alittle about yourself.
Besides if you are complaining about taxes then instead of a scapegoat of a minority of people you should consider how much you pay in taxes to your military so they can illegally occupy other countries and kill innocents.
To remove disgust, start with yourself and keep more tabs on your maybe corrupt goverment (When are they not?).
Besides 197+Billion sounds good to inject into the economy if it is approved.
Those who think the illegals are mostly druggies are wrong, but it can also be fixed-just make drugs legal and it will fix all those who try to smuggle them to the US(+fix the drug wars which also causes fear and ilegal immigration of various innocent people).. (see portugal's drug policy).
Mexicans and canadians are american too, just not with a US citizenship.

Those saying the illegals should go where they came from should ask themselves if they are natives of the land.
Also many mexicans would have to migrate to egypt, france, new mexico, california (yes some states used to be part of mexico) and etc etc..

Please re-check your hate and level of racism as it could be unhealthy and also says much about oneself.
(IIs are not 100% mexican citizens it is also made of german citizens, chinese, africans, egyptians, canadians, and non US citizens from all over the world).

Have you worth your citizenship as much as others (who may have worked harder)to obtain it?
You should worry more about your goverment doing shady things(and things that affect your life) than the status of a minority of people that barely directly affect you. If you live in the lower groups of the workforce because you never studied or looked for a better job it may affect you less than 7% in certain places (mostly just california). The percentage is much less in other states. Infact there are more people attending the football Colosseums than there are illegal immigrants.

Remember, you practically break laws everyday(look at you city's laws made by politicians too).
SO what is to say that all laws are made equal and just?
Approve the amnesty and you will won't see as many people without "documents" in the US. Because believe it or not many of them do pay taxes. But if you want to satisfy yourself go give it a green light instead of a red one.

Decadia

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