Letters to the Editor: Immigration
Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 22:02
Amnesty will not solve illegal immigration
In his January speech in Las Vegas, President Barack Obama discussed his idea for comprehensive immigration reform. In his speech, the president acknowledged that there is a difference between legal and illegal immigration. Then he agreed that immigrants who crossed the border into this country without proper documentation did, in fact, break our nation’s laws. Immediately after, Obama recommended granting illegal immigrants, who broke the law, amnesty. I agree with the president; we need comprehensive illegal immigration reform. However, I don’t believe amnesty is the answer.
Why is our government in such a rush to grant undocumented immigrants amnesty?
It is the job of Congress to propose legislation that protects the American people. The current proposals made by Obama and the so-called Senate Eight are not beneficial for the American people. These proposals have so far neglected the discussion of how amnesty will impact the millions of unemployed and low-income Americans. These proposals will extend citizenship to more than 11 million illegal immigrants. Eleven million new competitors to the work force will make it harder for you to find a job when you graduate.
As the Hispanic population increases and becomes a larger part of the voting block, both political parties are eager to court this group of voters. This is clearly a political move by the democrats as a way of securing the Hispanic vote. Republican representatives working on the comprehensive immigration bill in the Senate are desperately attempting to gain a slice of the Latino vote. Do not be fooled: their stance does not represent the views of the American people.
Elizabeth Gamboa is a senior history major and the president of Long Beach State College Republicans.
Neither party proposal is perfect
No one understands demographics better than former governor Mitt Romney and the republicans who saw the full effect of alienating Latinos in this previous November election. As a wake-up call, this event helped spur a competition of two immigration reforms between republicans and democrats. Though they are both a step in the right direction, the reality is neither proposal will really benefit illegal U.S residents.
The Gang of Eight’s proposal suggests a “probationary legal status” for undocumented immigrants but does not allow them to apply for permanent legal status until the border is secured: in other words, indefinitely.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is completely reasonable in arguing that there needs to be a “respect for the rule of law and respect for those waiting to enter this country legally.” Furthermore, Congress needs to stop making promises if the current ones can’t be kept.
Many of the illegal immigrants in the country have come here for the same reason as those coming legally: survival. The difference is their lack of resources needed to wait a year or two to apply for naturalization.
There is nothing wrong with the process to regulate the people coming into this country. The truth is there are people taking advantage of the system. The problem lies in how expensive, impossible and time consuming it has become.
Illegal immigrants don’t come with the intention of breaking the law. They do not want to be smuggled in a trunk, to cross a desert or to climb a high fence to put food on their tables.
The main criticism with the Gang of Eight proposal is the precise language as to when these individuals will ever be able to attain permanent legal status, if at all.
Placing these illegal immigrants in limbo will result in them being deported before being granted full citizenship rights.
However, Obama’s proposal might be even worse for illegal immigrants.
While his proposal will allow 11 million undocumented immigrants amnesty, it inadvertently places them behind regular citizens in the job search. It leads to the same problem: a struggle for income.
Obama’s plan does include details including the specificity of the payment of fines and criminal background checks. With more specificity, the Gang of Eight’s proposal would have a better chance as opposed to Obama’s proposal.
The reality is that having “status” in this country means nothing if it is simply a label with no benefits. Quite frankly, illegal immigrants’ current position at least allows them to make money.
Both sides are trying to pull in Latino support, but assuming that the Latinos will overlook the long-term benefits of their reform, proposals could easily damage both parties in the next election.
Nayeli Carillo is a senior journalism major and a contributing writer for the Daily 49er.
Obama must stick to his proposed plan
Elizabeth Chalme, Vanessa Gonzales, Karina Quintero, Angela Ruiz and Miriam Vitela