Read "Immigration Vox Populi on C-SPAN, Part One"
More comments from callers to Thursday's Washington Journal:
Tracey in Long Beach, Calif., on the Republican line: My first question is what enforcement of illegal immigration laws? There is none. ... What's happened over the past 15 years is we've subsidized millions, millions of poor, illegal Mexicans, okay? And now you look at our country. You look at our budgets. You look at our schools. I mean, it's a joke. Most of the politicians that have voted to dismantle our laws should be looked at as treasonous.
Brian in New Bern, N.C., (married to an illegal immigrant) on the Independent line: She was brought here as a young child. ... I fear that many times when we speak of illegal immigrants, people speak of them as if they're animals, or they're not human beings. And when it comes to enforcement of laws and the making of laws, we've got to understand that these are people and that they have feelings. ... I've got a wife now who can't function in our country because of something that her parents did to her by bringing her as a young child. [He said that while his wife, who has trained to be a nurse, is eligible for the new program of "deferred action", she has brothers who are not eligible.]
Linda in Elmwood Park, N.J., on the Independent line: I have been an ESL teacher in Passaic, New Jersey, for many years. And I know from most of my students that 95 percent of them are illegal ... also that most of them are young women and they have about three or four kids. ... Is it no coincidence that Paterson and Passaic, New Jersey, have the highest subsidized school lunch programs because of undocumented workers or illegal people. Is it fair for the taxpayers to have to pay for that when our own people are struggling?
Fred in Omaha, Neb., (helped start a La Raza organization in Omaha) on the Republican line: What should we calculate in order to know whether or not immigrants help or hinder the overall health of the nation? ... And at the end of the calculation: Is it right to have these immigrants come in?
Harold in Catherine, Texas, on the Democratic line: Natural immigration of human beings has been turned into a prohibited and criminalized activity, when proper management and identification of people who are moving around in our nation and doing business in our nation is much more important. ... We have, because of our fear, and because of the vested interests — law enforcement and other groups — that make huge amounts of money from criminalizing people for doing things that are natural human activities, destroyed economic opportunities for the world that would make the 1990s look like nothing.
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