Should Immigration Reforms Be Enacted?

President Obama and members of Congress are among those who have brought forth immigration reform proposals this week. Tell us who you believe has the better plans.

Immigration reform came to the forefront of the American political realm this week, with several leaders putting forth plans that could lead to citizenship for an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States.

The first move this week was made by a group of Republican and Democratic senators Monday. The Associated Press reports that the group with their plan aims to first increase the country’s borders before laying down a path to citizenship.

President Barack Obama presented the highlights of his proposals on Tuesday. While both his and the senators’ plans call for establishment of a way to allow illegal immigrants to pursue citizenship, the president is not proposing tying the citizenship component to border security. An AP analysis of the proposals shows a few more differences between them.

A bipartisan group of six U.S. House members are also preparing a similar immigration proposal expected to include a way toward legal immigration status for illegal immigrants already in the country, the AP reports.

Should the country’s illegal immigrants be given a pathway toward citizenship? Whose immigration proposals do you most agree with? Are there any stipulations or laws you would like to see implemented?

Share what’s on your mind with us, and then return here to see what your neighbors in Paulding, Douglas and Cobb have said.

Darren Wheeler February 01, 2013 at 10:28 PM
As someone who is married to someone who is going through the LEGAL immigration process, I vehemently oppose these steps which are being taken solely for the purpose of solidifying a voting bloc for political reasons. "Immigration" doesn't need to be reformed. The immigration laws which are currently in place are outstanding. They just need to be enforced, which is not what the currently politicians in control want done If these millions of illegal immigrants are granted not just amnesty but are given a pathway to citizenship, will my wife and I be refunded of our money we spent toward the LEGAL immigration process? Will my wife be afforded some type of credit toward these months and years she has been apart from her children and grandchildren, waiting for the immigration process to take place, much unlike these millions of ILLEGAL immigrants who bring their entire families into the country? I think I know the answer to these questions, and so do you.
Brian February 02, 2013 at 08:06 AM
Our immigration system is broken. It takes too long even for professionals with degrees to go through the process. There is always a waiting list. Anyone claiming that those in line waiting for legal immigration are potential victims of immigration reform are way out of line. They are already victims of a horrible immigration process that NEEDS to be reformed.
Brian February 02, 2013 at 08:12 AM
Your second paragraph describes many of the problems with the immigration process, then you say it's outstanding? You have provided even more evidence it needs to be reformed. You have a "them" and "us" attitude. You see the word immigrant and think of others, like mexicans. I hate to break it to you, but you are an immigrant. "Will my wife be afforded some type of credit toward these months and years she has been apart from her children and grandchildren, waiting for the immigration process to take place" And this is a good thing? Has the torture you have gone through been worth it? The immigration process is horrible, waiting lists are too long, and the process is just completely inefficient. There is a LOTTERY to determine who can stay on a visa when it's time for renewal. We've had to have software engineers working on software projects have to leave and work out of our foreign offices due to their visa expiring even though they attempted to get it renewed and followed the process. They just ended up in the lottery and getting unlucky. We've had others that got lucky, but just as many who haven't. In one case, we had to get a senator involved. The process is screwed up. And it's time to fix it.
Brian February 02, 2013 at 08:16 AM
Additionally, we have a lot of low-income people that feel they are too good to work and should just stay on welfare or go around squatting in and breaking into houses. They maybe grew up on housing projects and think they don't need to work. Then we have immigrants, illegal and otherwise, who are willing to work hard. I wish we could trade the lazy former housing project Americans and the vagrants for some hard-working Mexicans. However, we can't so the best we can do is invite in people that will work hard, contribute to our economy, buy homes and therefore help us turn over housing inventory. People who want a better life and are willing to work for it. Unlike some lazy Americans who feel they are too good for that.
Brian February 02, 2013 at 08:20 AM
Many of the illegals wouldn't be let in because they don't have degrees, etc. However, these guys work hard which is more than some lazy Americans who feel they are too good for a minimum wage job are willing to do. See my 3:16 comment. So if the only way they can get in is by illegal immigration, then so be it. It's just a sign our system is flawed. We should be encouraging people to come in who are willing to work hard and help our economy. I wish we could ship out the Americans who aren't willing to work.
Darren Wheeler February 04, 2013 at 02:38 PM
Brian, do you believe that the so-called "immigration reform" which is on the table is the answer to the problems you say exist within our current immigration laws? You speak of people who are in the country on work visas and the difficulties they go through. But, I know people, personally, who are here on a work visa and have been for maybe as long as 15-20 years. As the law requires, their employer has to renew the work visa every two years. That requirement is in place because a foreign citizen is inside the United States, holding a job which may otherwise be held by an American. I don't have a problem with there being work visas and foreign citizens occupying jobs within the U.S. There are legitimate situations which are good situations, and even a downright necessity. But the U.S. government has an obligation to its own citizens, therefore they don't hand out life-long work visas. They require that they be renewed every two years. I see no problem with that. But that's not what is on the table for this so-called "immigration reform" which the president wants to enact. He's wanting to give a pathway to citizenship to millions of people who are outright criminals. They are criminals because they have broken the law. There is no other way to say it. Yes, we have our fair share of lazy Americans but this very same president seems to want to keep them that way because he's not proposing "welfare reform." That just makes the presidents motives even more clear.
Brian February 05, 2013 at 06:52 AM
Yes, it's a start. Then they can add additional things in so we can attract more talent to fill unfilled skilled labor roles as a result of our education training too many liberal arts people and not enough people for areas we don't have enough people to fill the roles. Our unemployment rate is because people are not properly trained, not because there is a shortage of jobs. Being a child of hard-working immigrant or someone who came here to work hard to make a life for their family isn't a criminal. Also, you are not correct about welfare reform. Clinton already enacted welfare reform. Obama supports the existing policy enacted by Clinton. The whole argument that Obama wants to overturn Clinton's welfare reform is rhetorical garbage by the right wing in order to fear-monger. It has little basis in fact.
Darren Wheeler February 06, 2013 at 07:13 PM
There are those who disagree with you concerning Obama and welfare reform: http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-09-06/opinions/35497580_1_welfare-reform-work-requirements-tanf Back to ILLEGAL immigration and "immigration reform," we can already attract talent through legal means, and companies do it every day. Our immigration laws serve as no barrier to LEGALLY bringing someone into the country on a work visa. I will clarify, someone coming into the country on a work visa has nothing, whatsoever, to do with immigration. They're not "immigrating." They're in the country on a temporary basis for the purpose of fulfilling a job need for their employer. This is a process outside the immigration process. I disagree with you concerning the lack of training and the high level of unemployment. I know people, personally, who have a masters degree, who are told they are over-qualified. The mass exodus of manufacturing here in the U.S. is the key factor in the enormous job losses in the country. But, again, the point of the discussion concerns granting amnesty and even a pathway to citizenship to millions of people who are, yes, criminals, regardless of the method by which the law was broken. The people who are benefiting mostly from this proposed idea are not "highly skilled and highly trained" who will fulfill job vacancies which you say are vacant due to a lack of training. We know where these people work, and it isn't in highly-skilled/trained jobs.
Brian February 08, 2013 at 05:42 AM
Yes, so explain to me why one of our most important software engineers had to move back home just because he had a temporary work visa? He wanted to stay and had to go home and apply for immigration. We had to have him work remotely. He broke up with his wife because she is a citizen, married him here, and didn't want to wait through the process of getting him permanent residence or leave her country. I think you are splitting hairs by saying what "is and isn't" immigration. If we need talent, and the government is getting in the way about that, then they are a problem for us. And that isn't the only example. I have a friend who has been in love with a canadian for five years and finally married her. I went to the wedding in Canada. Now, almost 6 months later, they are still going through the process of her legally immigrating here, and have 8 months or more to go. How messed up is that? They are married. She can't even come here since she is applying. He has to drive to Canada to see her. And you say the system isn't broken. Now, as far as criminality, you are not a "criminal" by nature. Criminality is created by the government. Most people are criminals because they go faster than the speed limit. When a law is unfair, then it creates criminals where there shouldn't be any. That is Sociology 101. Now, if there were no demand for these people, they would not be coming here. As I said, most Americans are too lazy for farm labor, etc.
Brian February 08, 2013 at 05:43 AM
In fact, when GA got "tough" on immigrants, guess what happened? Farms couldn't get enough quality laborers and lost crop. Go around Atlanta and find homeless and unemployed people and ask them to go work on a farm. They'll go, "I ain't workin' on no farm." So, it may not be computer work, but mexicans are qualified for and taking jobs that lazy Americans won't take or if they did, wouldn't do a good job. They'd rather be unemployed. So just because it isn't a desk job, doesn't mean it isn't something we need.
Darren Wheeler February 08, 2013 at 02:22 PM
You won't hear me argue concerning those who don't and won't work. I am well familiar with the stories concerning the farm labor and people who were taken there to work and walked off the job. The problem isn't that they walked off the job as much as it is that they had an alternative, which led them to walking off the job. These people aren't conscientious, hard-working people who do these types of things. These are people who leech off of society, and our very own government has created an atmosphere which doesn't just allow for it to happen, but actually encourages it by their own policies. I, too, know very good, hard-working people who are in the country in a business visa and are being told they have to leave, and they absolutely do not want to leave. In fact, they want to immigrate and become citizens. They are very productive people who own a home and who pay taxes, people who contribute to society, not who are dependent upon society. Sadly, it is those people who are getting no reprieve within this supposed "immigration reform." Nothing will change for them. Those who are under consideration are the MILLIONS of people who are in the country illegally, and we're not talking about software engineers, business owners, etc. I wholeheartedly support something to be done concerning these type situations. But I am not holding my breath, waiting on this federal government to provide a remedy. They have other motives in mind, which are made clear by their actions.
Darren Wheeler February 08, 2013 at 03:54 PM
Concerning someone having married a foreign citizen and their current wait time; I, too, married a foreign citizen but the way it was done was quite different, and which provided very different results. Your description sounds as if they went to Canada and married, there, and they're currently waiting for the paperwork process to be complete. Hindsight is 20/20, but what they should have done was to bring the anticipated spouse into the country, legally, and marry while they are here, and then file immigration paperwork, and they never would have had to leave. My wife was in the country, legally, on a visa. We met and dated for a number of months. She had applied for an extension and did receive one, but only for an additional three months, which led us to the proverbial fork in the road, and we had to make a decision, which we did. Tying these stories in with the present "reform" which is on the table... I don't see that it will help either of the situations which you've described. The proposals are targeted toward millions of people who are here illegally and giving en masse citizenship. I know of no inclusion of dealing with situations like the two which you've described. The "reform" will not address those issues, at all.


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