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Immigration Overhaul Campaign Takes Shape

Posted on Nov 13, 2009
AP / feetin2worlds

A protester in New York holds a sign reading “Napolitano: Don’t Put Our Communities on Ice,” a reference to Immigration and Customs Enforcement policies.

Following through on a pledge made by President Obama earlier this year, the White House has announced it will insist on measures that give legal status to an estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in a push for overhaul of the existing immigration system beginning early next year.

The New York Times:

The Obama administration will insist on measures to give legal status to an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in legislation to overhaul the immigration system that it will begin to push early next year, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Friday.

In an address at the Center for American Progress, a liberal policy group in Washington, Ms. Napolitano sought to dispel any notion that the administration — with health care, energy and other major issues crowding its agenda — might postpone the most contentious piece of an immigration overhaul until after midterm elections next November.

Laying out the administration’s bottom line, she said it will argue for a “three-legged stool” that includes tougher enforcement laws against illegal immigrants and the people who hire them and streamlining the system for legal immigration, but also what she called a “tough and fair pathway to earned legal status.”

With unemployment surging over 10 percent and Congress wrestling with health care, advocates on all sides of the immigration debate had started to doubt that President Obama would keep to his pledge to take on the divisive issue of illegal immigration in the first months of 2010.

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By ardee, November 18, 2009 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

Jim Yell, November 15 at 1:31 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

No matter how you cut it, illegal entry is illegal. It is the same as a homeless person breaking into your private home to set up house keeping.


Well, only if that homeless person was first made HOMELESS by you…..

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By gerard, November 15, 2009 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment

Oh, pulleeez!  The “American Indians” lost the country because of white immigration?  Well, in a screwy sort of way you can say that, but the fact is the whites stole the land and broke every promise they ever made.  People coming here from Mexico for work in the fields are not stealing anything—unless you think that taking care of them if they get sick is “stealing”—which is a reach!  No, the whites stole this country from the “American Indians,” who are really the original, native people well established here before they ever faced our guns and alcohol, syphillis, smallpox and t.b.
  If we were halfway fair, it would be entirely possible to pay Mexican labor a decent wage for the hard physical work they do, prevent them from getting killed as they cross the border, educate their kids, give them essential health care, and still have money left over.  All we have to do is stop fighting wars and attempting to monopolize the world’s limited resources. Buenos noches.

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By Jim Yell, November 15, 2009 at 9:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No matter how you cut it, illegal entry is illegal. It is the same as a homeless person breaking into your private home to set up house keeping. If you don’t think losing control of a countries borders is a problem than I suggest you talk to an American Indian. They know what happens when you are unsuccessful in controling emmigration.

Without being insensitive there are a lot of reasons to be concerned about this in practice unrestricted immigration. We have people who believe they may transfer their residence without honoring the laws of their host country, without learning the culture or language. It was the worst of worst that we have mandated teaching in the languages of the emmigrant. It is driving a wedge between the varous populations. It is an attack on our country.

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By Howie Bledsoe, November 15, 2009 at 5:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have a novel idea.
US mexican based fruit corporations give Mexican people 10% of its annual earnings.
CIA gives 10% of it´s cocain profits to mexican people.
US arms dealers to mexican cartels gives mexican people 10%.
US oil pumps based in Mexico give the people 10%.
Illegal immigrants would beat a trail home.

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By Poonchkie, November 14, 2009 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Deport 12 million people? Riiight. The Mexicans aren’t the problem folks, contrary to Lou Dobbs and the neocons. While Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton and Bush 2, facilitated the dismantling of our manufacturing sector with tax breaks and unfair trade agreements with China, they concurrently made scapegoats of Blacks and Mexicans who were supposedly taking jobs away from perfectly good white men. And now, after importing Mexicans to work our fields and tend our children for little pay, we want to “send them back” so they don’t compete with the unemployed Americans for shrinking social services.

The cost and logistics of rounding up 12 million people, ensuring that legal immigrants aren’t snagged in the process is greater than the cost of assimilating them into our society. Also, do we just round up Mexicans or does this effort include illegal Europeans, Africans, Asians etc?

This ball has been kicked down field from POTUS to POTUS with none of them taking a real stand on the issue. Obama inherited a mess that he will have to have the cojones to deal with. Or do the haters here really think this problem, like the economy, has just occured in the last 12 months?

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By rollzone, November 14, 2009 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

hello. the politics stinks of multiple fraudulent vote counting in the upcoming elections. purposeful neglect does not entitle amnesty ahead of legal applicants. the immigration issue need not casually be gleaned over: as if other government growth areas appear more lucrative. border safety is easily accomplished with genuine intent. illegals do not qualify to become a blanket burden upon our social infrastructure. they should all be escorted out of the country, and our system should simultaneously be updated to incorporate them more painlessly, into our lives.

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By ardee, November 14, 2009 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

Marshall, November 14 at 12:16 am #

We already have a “tough and fair pathway to earned legal status” - it’s called
applying for legal status.


What we really have is a bureaucratic nightmare, one that takes upwards of seven years to obtain an entry visa, one that is slanted to certain ethnicities and geographic areas. Tell someone whose children are hungry that they “may” gain entry in seven years….

If we enforced our borders, our current system would be working fine.

I would appreciate a suggestion as to how one controls border access along a 1969 mile stretch? Far better we deal with the way or own corporations are wrecking the economies of those nations supplying the desperate peoples seeking work here because they cannot find it there…..

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By Marshall, November 13, 2009 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

We already have a “tough and fair pathway to earned legal status” - it’s called
applying for legal status.  If we enforced our borders, our current system would
be working fine.  Obama once again goes for his familiar middle ground in
offering a free amnesty pass to 12 milliion legal offenders and encouraging more
in the process while talking tough on border enforcement.  He’s fast becoming the
namby-pamby Carter of this decade and I see the hope evaporating off him like
the steam rising from a train wreck.

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By mike112769, November 13, 2009 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

Further proof that Obama is in his own little world. The last thing we need is 12 million more people in the system. If he really wants to “change” this, he needs to get these aliens deported.

Giving these people amnesty would encourage a new wave of illegal immigrants. This is proven. That’s what happened the last time the illegals were “pardoned”. The ONLY solution is enforcing our borders.

Funny how a government so concerned about “terrorists” entering illegally, yet ANYONE can just walk through our Southern border.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all of the Latinos entering via Mexico would stay home? All of the energy they expend getting here would be better used in improving their own countries.

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By ardee, November 13, 2009 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

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By gerard, November 13, 2009 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

EEK-onomics lesson:  Capitalism worked for a while in the northern hemisphere because northerners pulled resources out of the southern hemisphere countries, processed them and sold them and kept most of the cash, “trickling down” a few pennies here and there as patronage, installing dictators,  killing priests, trafficing in drugs, or selling the south debts they could never pay.  Now capitalism is nearing the end of that line and finding out that when you hurt others you hurt yourself and eventually it’s not fun anymore because the people you hurt, hate you.

To proceed, certain reforms have to established—such as increasing economic justice, social welfare, peace on earth, good will toward men—and women—and children. To paraphrase the little guy with the sheet around his hips:  “If a kid in Bolivia or Darfur is hungry and I have more food than I need, I am a thief!”  The eye of the needle speaks plain English as well as several other international languages.

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By Fred Beloit, November 13, 2009 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Every day a new outrage. Obama seems to insist on losing the next election. Why else the fire hose of unpopular and irrational ideas?

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By Carl, November 13, 2009 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

Obama’s corporate sponsors insist on this foolishness, which the vast majority of Americans oppose. What about the millions of foreigners who have filed their papers to immigrate, taken physicals, paid fees and waited years to legally immigrate. Are they suckers?

What about the thousands that now plan to jump the fence to become legal immigrants, and then are forced to live on the streets and collect food stamps because there are no jobs? Undocumented means just that, there is no evidence of when they arrived.

If Obama wants immigration reform and wants to help bankrupt states, he should agree to take all immigrants in state custody into the federal system (which is 30% in California) Then he should certify the nation is at full employment before he allows more foreign workers.

Poor and unemployed Americans agree with me, those with nice jobs or family money may not, since they enjoy the cheap landscapers and housekeepers.

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