President Barack Obama

About 800,000 undocumented immigrants got good news on Friday, when President Obama announced a new policy that looks like a vestige of the Dream Act. The change means that some immigrants age 30 or younger who came to the U.S. before they turned 16 will be given work visas and no longer face the threat of deportation. We discuss the policy shift with supporters and critics.

Guests:
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies and author of "How Obama is Transforming America Through Immigration and The New Case Against Immigration, Both Legal and Illegal"
Michael Tan, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, Immigrants' Rights Project (IRP)
Michael Doyle, reporter for the Washington Bureau of McClatchy newspapers
Laura, graduate of UC Santa Cruz and volunteer at Educators for Fair Consideration, which offers scholarships, legal services, internships and networking to undocumented students

  • USARunByCrooks

    This is a simple case of vote buying. He’s helping some kids in order to get the buy of an entire community. It’s a simple technique Obama picked up in Chicago that displays his corruption. I normally wouldn’t vote Republican but a cynical move like this is repugnant, although not nearly as repugnant as his not prosecuting bankers for their numerous felonies.

    • USARunByCrooks

       Typo fixed:
      This is a simple case of vote buying. He’s helping some kids in order to byy the votes of an entire community. It’s a simple technique Obama picked up in Chicago that displays his corruption. I normally wouldn’t vote Republican but a cynical move like this is repugnant, although not nearly as repugnant as his not prosecuting bankers for their numerous felonies.

    • Except that the Republicans in congress are doing the exact same thing as I type. The Right decries the lack of jobs and how government is stifling their creation. Yet the Congress is stalling several public-works/infrastructure bills that would put MANY Americans to work TOMORROW, thus improving our economy by expanding the tax base–exactly how the Republicans want! However, in addition to putting many Americans to work tomorrow, these pieces of legislation would also make the Dems look good, so in an election year, real, potentially hard-working Americans can be guaranteed that nothing will be done on their behalf. Republicans are holding the entire country hostage simply to appease their far-right “base.”

      So, I’ll certainly entertain the possibility that Obama timed this announcement for greatest political expediency, but in our current post-“Citizen’s United” landscape, this is called “Politics.” If morality is to be judged according  to the baseness of the political stunt one side plays against the other — and I’m not suggesting it should — then I’ll throw my lot in with those who are trying to expand freedom to others — like the many smart, hard-working, undocumented youth.

      • USARunByCrooks

        The USA is bankrupt. Maybe if Bush & Obama hadn’t ended up spending so much on useless wars, or had nationalized the banks that are run by crooks, we would be in better shape today. At this point, the country is held hostage by the banker crooks who control the Fed and Congress.

    • Bizthe

      I don’t get to choose between President Obama and Abraham Lincoln or Franklin Delano Roosevelt or Dwight D. Eisenhower when I vote in November. I have to choose between President Obama and Mitt Romney.

      I’m dead set against this move by President Obama. On illegal immigration I’m well to the right of the GOP in fact. However, if you stop comparing Obama’s morality with some sort of saint and start comparing his level of corruption (also known as pragmatism) with Mitt Romney, who will run this country exclusively for the benefit of a few thousand hyper-wealthy individuals…well, I fail to see how President Obama’s shortcomings rise to even the foothills of the GOP’s Everest of Corruption.

      • Calipenguin

        Any corruption by the GOP pales in comparison to the unholy alliance between Democrats, unions, fantasy green job providers, and Wall Street bailout recipients.

        • IMHO-553

          Jesse Ventura, among others have said,

          Original principle: “One man, one vote”
          Current principle: “One dollar, one vote”

          =======
          The corruption by the GOP is historically important because in Ronald Reagan we have the first fantasy President.

          Ronald Reagan discovered you actually could fool all the people all the time.  It required the same skills he used to create B movies: simple ideas and familiar but emotionally compelling themes.

          When Ronald Reagan combined these two elements with his political career, he discovered fundamental reality was no longer important.

    • IMHO-553

      Romney has indicated (at the risk of alienating the populist conservatives) that he would follow a similar direction. 

      I don’t like Obama taking this sensible direction now instead of taking it earlier.  It shows he is not quick enough to see the correct direction. 

      Romney is hampered in what he can do now, but his kowtowing to populists is not encouraging. He really needs to discredit the populist conservatives and he is not laying the groundwork for it. 

  • Rhet

    Obama made the immigration announcement so that the news organizations would ignore the far more important developing news about TPP.

    It appears that Obama has actually committed treason by leading the effort to form an international “treaty” called TPP that would NULLIFY U.S. SOVEREIGNTY. It’s not a treaty, that’s a diversion. It’s an agreement that hands over total control of the USA to international corporations, and elevates corporations to the level of governments.
    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/06/international-treaty-negotiated-in-secret/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
    http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/14/breaking_08_pledge_leaked_trade_doc

  • jurgispilis

    What concerns me is adding so many more workers to the labor pool will contnue to keep American unemployment rate down, since these foreign workers will compete directly with American workers for jobs in America. Will there be a cap on this? 800k is a big pill to swallow. 8 million is even bigger.

    • IMHO-553

      Unemployment is due to skills not matching job needs, and it is due to populist politics that misinforms and oversimplifies.

      No, the size of the labor pool has never been an issue.  Your common sense is contradicted by facts. 

      Show me a single chart and accompanying study that backs up your statement.

      • Kerthialfad

         Here’s my study, where’s yours?
        http://www.cis.org/kammer/post-questions-displacement-american-workers-swt

        So, you think unemployment is due to populist politics! I totally don’t understand that one.

        Unemployment is a supply and demand dynamic, not a skills mismatch, because a worker can always be trained.  We’re not talking rocket science here.

  • Chemist150

    As a libertarian, I have no issue with allowing the young educated stay.  However, I’m opposed to allowing them in the military.  I’m confused about both sides saying they should serve in the military and I’m worried about it.  Given the current gross mismanagement by the Federal government, our economy is depressed. Given the accuracy of the Reinhart/Rogoff paper on the drop in 1% growth in GDP and coupled with the current rate of debt growth, the US is on track to be a high risk of default within the next decade.  
     
    When it’s so difficult figure out what to do with a tiny country like Greece on the fiscal cliff, who’s going to bail out the worlds largest economy?  What happens if the mismanagement is not taken into control?  With non-nationals in the military, could it be possible to end up in a Libya situation where the military will fire on citizens when asked because of they are getting paid way better than if they were sent back to where they’re from or fear being deported from their home because they came over when they were 3?  I don’t want it to get to that point but what if the destruction of the economy takes us there?
     
    Let them stay and give them work permits so they can be taxed and add to the economy because the economy needs to support everyone whether they’re legal or not.  “legal” status is irrelevant given the greater issues driving the economy down.  Why do both parties seriously push allow them in the military?

  • All due respect to Mr. Kirkorian, the only American demographic affected by illegal immigrants, in terms of jobs, are high school dropouts. Seems to me, in a world where China graduates more honor students than America graduates any students, the “immigrants steal jobs” meme is a bit of a red herring.

    • USARunByCrooks

      Aren’t high school dropouts kind of expensive when the end up in prison? $50,000 per year or so?

      • IMHO-553

        I assume your solution is to pressure illegal immigrants to leave American. 

        Do you think that by some miracle that the American economy is not going to hurt by losing these workers?  There is not a single study that shows we do not need them. (Take that as a challenge.)

        Your policy would hurt the American economy and make fewer jobs available to American high school dropouts. Thus, your policy will actually increase the number of American high school dropouts that end up in prison because of personal economic desperation.

        Finally, it is probably not true that personal economic desperation is at the root of ordinary criminal behavior.  It is much more complicated than that. There are many other factors; not the least of which is a culture of depression endemic in high crime-rate communities.

    • Bizthe

      First, that’s remarkably callous. You assume that people dropped out of high school because they’re lazy jerks, and thus we get to not care what happens to them. Marie Antoinette woulda loved you.

      The wages of American unskilled laborers have been driven down 5-25% from competition by illegal aliens, putting them below the poverty line. Are you seriously saying that doesn’t matter just because it doesn’t affect you personally? How do you shave in the morning?

      Second, the President’s amnesty isn’t for most illegal aliens–it’s for the high-achieving ones with high school or even college degrees who are in fact competing for jobs with “our sort.”

    • IMHO-553

      Only to a small extent do American high school dropouts feel the competition from illegal immigrants.

      American high school dropout are simply not qualified for many jobs filled by illegal immigrants.

      Farm labor jobs are in rural areas where there are not very many American citizens, let along young healthy high school dropouts capable of this physically difficult job. The fact is American high school dropouts are much older than the younger and not as healthy as the average illegal immigrant.

      Carpentry jobs are filled by people with carpentry skills whether illegal or not. It is physically demanding and the younger workers are much more productive. Very few American high school dropouts have any carpentry skills.

      In many jobs filled by illegal immigrants, the illegal immigrants use the job as a step to higher skills job partly because they are younger and partly because they are more ambitious.  We have a deficiency in this country for the higher skills they will bring to the economy.

      • Bizthe

        You’ve concisely stated the rationale given by those who regularly employ illegal aliens.

        However, that’s precisely what it is: a rationale. There is no job category with lots of illegal immigrants that doesn’t also have lots of American citizens in that same category.
        It is true that the lack of a social safety net makes illegals work harder–but the real reason for hiring them is that the employer can pay them less money, mistreat them with impunity, and fire them–often without paying them–without worrying about legal challenges.

        Arguments similar to yours were routinely used by antebellum Southerners arguing for the necessity of their “peculiar institution.”

        I’d prefer to pay a dime more for a head of lettuce to than achieve personal economies that were based on the latest version of slave labor.

        • IMHO-553

          You simply will not be able buy lettuce grown in America.  The lettuce farmers will be out of business.

          There are not enough American citizens to fill job categories because of the following reasons: (1) too old, (2) live in the wrong areas, (3) not skilled in the job category.

          Furthermore,  your position is anti-competitive and inefficient. The illegals would not be here if it were not for the economic opportunity.  They work for minimum wage and are not slaves in any sense of the word. Where do you get that crazy notion? 

          They contribute to the health of the American economy and like all immigrants their second and third generations will be sources of economic growth.

          • RegularListener

            If low-paid work were such an engine of economic growth then India, and other coutries with large populations of extremely poor people would be far wealthier than the high-wage developed ones. Low paid workers don’t do so much for economic growth because they cant’ afford to buy much. The experience of America from 1945-75 proves this. This was the ONLY time in US history that immigration levels were quite low relative to the native population. Did the economy collapse? Was the economy stagnant? No, on the contrary, US had best economic growth ever, & for first time a large middle class was created because it was not being undercut by an endless labor supply, which had been the case for the free population ever since the end of the Civil War. Why was gorwth so good? Because well-paid workers were able to buy far than their poorly paid parents & grandparents. Unlike now, such jobs as meat-packing paid middle class wages then, which allowed them to buy houses, pay for college etc. (Yes, meat was slightly more expensive then, but rental housing, by far a bigger portion of the average person’s budget, was significantly lower because it wasn’t under constant price pressure by unlimited growth in the working age population). Manufacturing jobs can be outsourced to cheaper countries, but some jobs will always need to be done in person, : paying people in these jobs enough to live on is better for the economy than paying them so little that they need all sorts of taxpayer subsidies to survive, which is the case for stoop farm laborers & many others.

      • I mostly agree with your sentiments here, but there are a whole slew of studies by the likes of RAND, The Brookings Institute, and the US Dept. of Labor that come to the conclusion of my earlier assertion: immigration, both legal and non, most negatively impacts high school drop-outs and folks with only a high school education. 
        http://www.cis.org/ImmigrationImpactLaborMarket
        They infer different societal impacts based on this conclusion, but they all do come to this conclusion. I agree that we have a deficiency in this country of highly-skilled workers. One of the things that has always “made America great” is the degree to which we have allowed people from other countries to come here. The Right Wing decries the diminution of the concept of “American Exceptionalism” within the current American zeitgeist. I don’t share this sentiment; however, I would assert that one of the very things that made America exceptional is the degree to which we have always seen other non-Americans as “potential Americans.” America would not have become the “world power” that it is today without a liberal immigration policy to encouraged smart people elsewhere to come here and put their smarts to use for America. I’m sure Sergey Brin and Jerry Yang would agree with me. And to the extent that we slam that door shut today, we shoot ourselves in the collective foot.

        Back to my initial  comment: China and India each graduate more honor students than America graduates any students. Our collective resources would be put to much better use if we were to put a fraction of the energy spend on “immigration reform” toward improving our schools. I live in Oakland. Illegal immigration is NOT the reason that over half of the black boys in my town drop out of high school each year, yet this is a problem that negatively impacts my community every single day. It’d be great if one of those nice smart undocumented college graduates can come to my town and help convince the black boys in my community that staying in school is a worthwhile endeavor.

        • IMHO-553

           It is difficult to know where to start when we have so many problems and so few predictable remedies.

          Education by itself won’t work.

          How many people will be successful in getting the degrees and jobs and how fast will their success trickle down?  And will it trickle down without much higher economic growth?  And can it work at all if you don’t address the underlying depression (or pessimism) that these deprived neighborhoods feel and prevents the vast majority from getting the discipline needed “to do the impossible.”

        • RegualarListerner

          India & China each has 4 times the population as the US, so the claim that they have “more honor students” is meaningless. As for your remarks about Oakland, both India & China have their “underclass” too, which Americans ignore because they can’t easily immigrate here. India’s “underclass” is far, far worse off than America’s: much higher illiteracy rates than here & most countries in the world, & plenty of violence too, though it takes different forms: there is much worse violence against women there, even if there may be less “street crime.”  In any case, honor students do not necessarily become “engines of growth” or high earners. I was an honor student all my life, went to Stanford  got PhD, etc. but ended up needing all sorts of income subsidies because the private sector today has no interest in “honor students” in non-science fields, but rather in those with a set of job skills & experiences specifically tailored to their immdiate needs so they can avoid training costs. (See Peter Capelli, Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs). When the general labor market is glutted even honor students lacking such specific skills and experiences can end up underemployed, even dependent.
           And not everyone agrees with you about what makes America great. I would says that what makes a country great is not simply taking in as many immigrants as possible but rather providing equal legal treatment, equal opportunity, and a minimum standard of living first to the people already here & their children (now that we have below replacement fertility), and second allowing some immigration, but not unlimited amounts. The level from 1945-75 was about right, although the “national origin” criterion before 1965 was not fair. Immigration from 1965 to c. 1975 was fair & reasonable in level. But since 1986, our elites have been promoting the fantasy that we can have unlimited immigation without pushing down wages and driving up rental prices for those already here. As if laws of supply & demand could be eliminated by wiishful thinking. As a result, the middle class continues to hollow out, and almost half of Americans are now living at, below or just above the poverty level,

    • RegularListener

      Wrong on many counts. While high school dropouts are disproportionately affected by illegal immigrants because illegal immigrants are also likely to be high school dropouts, it is NOT true that they are “the ONLY American demographic” affected by illegal immigration since the great majority of illegals with jobs are employed in jobs that Americans of all demographics also DO work. The only arguable exception where Americans won’t work at current wages is perishable crop farm labor but this is not relevent because the 1986 Immigration Law & H-2A visas in effect exempts that category from legal caps. Contrary to popular belief, only a small proportion of illegal immigrants are in that type of perishable crop farm work. Larger numbers are in construction, restaurant, meat-packing,. retail etc. work, which yes, Americans of all deomgraphics will do, and now often cannot get adequate hours & wages in because of the glutted labor market for such jobs,  
      Also your insinuation that educated Americans are never affected by immigration is way off.  30% of American History Department professors are foreign PhD holds, although almost half of American History PhDs cannot get a livable academic job because of a glutted labor market. When I applied for such jobs, I was passed over at least by instutions that hired Europeans & New Zealanders instead, even though I had the same qualifications. As a result I had to take any job I could get (admin, retail), ended up in jobs that paid so little that I neeed MediCal, EIC, welfare, food stamps, WIC, free lunches in order to survive & provide for my child.
       

      • IMHO-553

        We are fortunate that our universities can recruit history professors from around the globe. Would you want it any other way?

        Would you rather force history departments  to hire a less talented candidates simply because they happened to be born in this country?

        • Kerthialfad

           It could be that foreign professors are cheaper, rather than more talented.

          • RegularListener

            My personal observation: this hiring of Europeans & other foreign humanities PhDs has more to do with some false notion of prestige. Sad to say in the 21st century, there are still some Americans, including those running university departments, who think its more impressive to have a European teaching Western Civ courses than an American, even if the American has better objective credentials, like more publications. I am thinking of one case where a certain university with a more “techie” than academic reputation hired an Italian to teach Renaissance (“early modern”) history rather than the almost 100 American PhD’s equally qualified in that field & applying to the same job. In two cases at UCB, the foreign history PhD’s had 1. a father who was a well-known history professor in Europe 2.was married to someone that the engineering department wanted to hire (so the UCB history department offered her a job too). Those sorts of “prestigious” connections make the difference when more objective criteria (publications, degrees) are similar. The problem is, state universities that do this pass on the cost of this sort of extravagance to taxpayers:  in the last 15 years or so, not so few American PhD’s end up needing taxpayer subsidies to survive since they cannot get hired into jobs that pay much. They should let the EU, New Zealand etc, . which have much better job protection for academics than the US & better safety nets, take care of their own humanites PhDs, so those scarce jobs go to the underemployed, underpaid American humanities PhDs.

        • RegularListener

          I defy you to prove that American PhD’s passed over for European, New Zealanders etc.  are “less talented.”  I had published many articles by peer-reviewed academic articles when I was first on the job market, while the New Zealander hired before me had published NOTHING.My Indian citizen upper-class friend was hired into a US tenure track job in PHILOSOPHY, although she had also published NOTHING at the time. I know of no American PhD’s in Philosophy of her cohort who was offered such a job without having published at least one article. European universities do not hire 30% American humanities PhD’s as EU rules prohiibit this!  Does anyone think European humanities departments are vastly inferior than American ones because they have to hire EU first? There is ZERO need for foreign PhD’s in the few tenure track jobs in ancient, medieval or early modern European history or philosophyEnglish or other humanities as there are too many Americans already competing for these jobs.  The taxpayers subsiddize this extravagance on the part of universities, as nowadays some of these American PhD’s cannot get jobs that pay enough to survive without various taxpayer subsidies.,

  • Lisa

    I think the the program is necessary – however, I think the parents should be barred from earning a visa / citizenship forever.

  • Chemist150

    Also, we do need more young people paying into social security to help balance that broken program.  This is one way to help enable that.

    • Calipenguin

      In that case we should throw our ports open to the 10 million Chinese and Indian college graduates who would love to work here and pay social security taxes.  At least they won’t be a burden to our K-12 schools, and are much less likely to be criminals than illegal aliens from south of the border.

    • RegularListener

      Many illegals–it’s often claimed the great majority–already pay Social Security taxes using a Taxpayer Identification Number rather than SSN, since IRS says you have pay taxes even if your income was obtained illegally. Center for Immigration Studies and other groups against amnesty for illegals have pointed out that legalizing the illegals will most likely lead to them receiving more in benefits than they pay in taxes, since they would then be eligible to collect Social Security, which they are not now, Also, since the great majority are low-income, they would be eligible for the Earned Income Credit, thus making them a net drain on Federal Income taxes.

  • Loriwinter

    Hi Michael,

    While I often support Obama’s perspectives, this gives me pause to worry this: when my daughter–born and raised as a US citizen–reaches college age and we are be avidly applying for scholarships and grants to fund her education, to what extent will she, and other citizen students like her, be up against added competition for funds with undocumented students?

    • LoriWinter, 

      We need to provide more generously for all public and higher education, food, and human needs than we have. And pay much less for wars and prisons, too.

      In a less vengeful and more compassionate legislative world your daughter –and everyone else who wants to contribute economically, politically,and socially–should have every opportunity s/he wants to pursue. And I am working toward that end.

  • Mr. Krikorian is against amnesty. I wonder if he is a practicing Christian: if he is,he would (I assume) believe in the unconditional forgiveness preached and taught by Jesus Christ. 

    Forgiving seventy times seven, turning the other cheek, welcoming the stranger, and the parable of the workers at the eleventh hour receiving the  same wages as those who came to labor early in the work day all support welcoming immigrants to our nation without the punitive restrictions Krikorian advocates.

    His own ancestors would probably have been turned away under the policies he supports. And 70 percent of the people of this country oppose his “more stringent enforcement” policies. 

    • USARunByCrooks

      Fact is, Jesus was anti-banker, anti-empire, and anti-status quo.
      I’m an atheist, but I support that.
      Too bad so many Christians today would want the true historical Jesus to be lynched. Instead they want a fantasy Jesus who’s all about greed.

    • Bizthe

      And 30% are insane enough to advocate throwing open our borders to anyone who wants to come here. The consequences are easy to predict. Half–that’s right, half–of Mexico’s citizenry has said they’d like to move to America. That’s 60 million people. And that’s just one country.

      Try thinking about the real world consequences of what you say before you write comments in threads like this.

    • RegularListener

      And should the government just “forgive” murderers and other lawbreakers rather than prosecute them? You are very confused about Christian ethics. Jesus’ commandment is about individuals forgiving other individuals & the parable about the workers is about  heaven: even people who repent late in life can get in. These parables and commandments are NOT about what governments’ legal policies should be. When governments do not enforce their laws, they just get more law-breaking. And yes, in a modern workplace it should be illegal for an employer to pay workers doing the same work the same amount for much less work. That’s called employment discrimination.  
      In Jesus’ ancient world there was extensive slavery, hardly any workplace safety standards, no effective minimum wage & governments let people starve or freeze to death all the time as it provided hardly any safety net (there was a rudimentary grain dole in Rome & a few very big cities but nothing the rural areas). There was some charity by church& synagogue for small number of widows & other destitute “deserving poor” to prevent them from prostitution, but it was grossly inadequate:as a result poverty was extremely high by modern standards, as was mortality. Even the ancient ethic of “welcoming the stranger” was about TEMPORARILY providing your roof & maybe some food to stangers passing through. It absolutely did not mean that your family had to provide food & shelter to that stranger in perpetuity. The stranger who wanted to stay in your village might or might not find work (mainly during harvest), but this depressed wages for local farm workers which already were very very low, & during slack parts of the year the stranger might have to move on because of the unlivable wages or lack of work. Is this the sort of economy you want Americans to live in?
      LIkewise, 150 years ago in this country when was virtually open immigration, there was no government safety net, people who could not afford food or shelter often starved or froze to death, the middle class was very small & most people were very poor because the labor market was so glutted, employers could pay very low wages. Is that the economy you will impose on Americans in order to achieve open borders?
      You need to learn about the laws of supply & demand. You can have a large middle class & a basic government safety net IF you limit the labor supply by enforcing current immigration laws (as this country did from 1945-75), but you cannot have a large middle class & safety net with unlimited immigration. 

  • Steve

    What about those young people who immigrated here through no
    fault of their own – are illegal under current law, and register for this
    program.  They then become registered
    with US Immigration and can be tracked. 
    Is there a concern from those that might register for this program that
    they now can be tracked and eventually removed from this country when their two
    year renewals are up? Is that a disincentive to register?  What happens if the law is terminated after
    registering for this program?

    • Calipenguin

      Those young people are free to return to their home countries to apply for a U.S. visa legally.

  • Elizabeth

    Is there a risk for those who apply for work visas under this program? If the policy is reversed by a future President, will these students now be “on the radar” of immigration enforcement and at risk for future deportation?

    • Bizthe

      You bet. However, the Republicans only agitate against illegal immigration before their guy becomes President. After that they’re deeply worried about the MexiVote, so the odds are that a President Romney would find some pretext to let them stay.

      The great thing about Mitt Romney is that he’s a man of fixed principle: “Whatever it takes to get me in the White House, and then to get a second term.” 

      So you don’t have to worry about what he said about illegal immigration when he was putting his values out on the street corner to get the Tea Party vote. He didn’t mean it. The only thing he really means is that he deserves to be President.

    • Calipenguin

      Of course there is a risk, and the illegal aliens should understand the risk.  What the President giveth, especially without consent of Congress, the next President can taketh away. 

  • Bottomink

    Immigrants come to this country to seek a better future for their children and by willingly working any unappealling job, they are able to afford putting there children through college. Immigrants ate incredible workers, yet we have a homeless problem in this country of American choosing to panhandle rather then work.

    • Bottomink

      .., are incredible workers.

      Ugh to predictive text

    • USARunByCrooks

      When you say ” Immigrants ate incredible workers” was that a Freudian slip or are you confessing to cannibalism?

    • Bizthe

      Dude, at least 2/3 of the so-called “homeless” are, to use a psychological term, crazy. They’re panhandling because then-Governor Reagan saved some bucks by closing the nuthouses and tossing the nuts out on the street, aided and abetted by Leftists who claimed there’s no such thing as crazy, just “differently mentally enabled.”

      Second, you are implying that America’s immigration law should be revised to read: “Anyone who wants to come here can. Get your citizenship card at the border.”

      Imagine the consequences of applying your principle to our situation.

    • Calipenguin

       You say “working any unappealing job” but Obaman’s new executive order will enable illegal aliens to compete for the SAME jobs as American citizens.  The college educated illegal aliens with new Obama work permits will probably get hired before American citizens because large corporations are pressured to hire more Latinos.

  • MaryH

     Jobs – Construction contractors cannot fill slots with American workers because they won’t take them.  Just ask the contractors.  Americans don’t want to work that hard. 
    Illegal immigrants who have children in the US – The wife of the head of the biggest Mexican drug cartel just had her twin children in the US.  Should they benefit?

    • Fred

      That is a either a lie or you are completely ignorant.
      Construction workers are dying for jobs. It’s been reported on.

    • Wannabe

      I think nobody wants to work that hard, including illegal aliens.  However, illegal aliens are more desperate.  This is a tough gig to lay on our sincere talented young American workers.

      • utera

        Bingo, you can bring in scab labor, even slave labor if one wants, one can’t just call this race to the bottom something good, and blame it on americans being lazy.  Having minimum standards is lazy?  I don’t see how the left ties itself into knots with such thinking, its the party thats supposed to be for americas working class, not trying to undermine it, its no wonder they’ve lost so many voters .

  • old hippie

    Michael Tan is fluent in 21st century Orwellian “newspeak”: referring to American citizenship as “membership”.  

  • Vvye

    While most of my friends from China and India with graduate degrees have to spend 6+ more years to get green card and pay the tax to the system, it seems more convenient and fast to get citizenship to be illegal in US with this dream act. Seems we are punished because we are following the law. 

    • fun

      It’s more like the wait times are about 15-25 years for India EB3 category. If someone from India applies for EB3 immigrant visa TODAY, he/she is going to get GC after 25 yrs. Don’t think anyone can wait or has to wait for anything else in the world for so long ! 

  • fun

    The general feeling or first feeling that everyone on the land that is not United States is this: “America will some day reward illegals some way”.

    Is there any other immigration system in the entire world that would make ‘legal’ immigrants wait for 10-20 years for residency (read Chinese and Indian Employment-based immigrants) yet reward innocent children of illegal aliens ?

  • Bizthe

    The arguments for amnesty–of any sort–reveal the soft jingoism of the Left: namely the assumption that America is the only country on Earth. These illegal aliens aren’t extraterrestrials, and they aren’t “undocumented.” 

    Every single one of them is a citizen of another country, with all the rights and responsibilities of a citizen of that country.

    Now suppose one of the illegal aliens President Obama wants to privilege returned to his home country, armed with a full command of idiomatic American English, along with full command of the nuances of American culture, along with an American high school diploma or college diploma.

    And of course he’d also know his own country’s culture and language through his parents. If his Spanish or Tagalog or Mandarin is rusty, he’d get up to speed soon enough.

    What would be the prospects of such a person in his home country? 

    Great, in fact. Nearly all the countries these illegal aliens come from have thriving tourist industries with a concomitant need for citizens of that country with the language/culture skills needed to interface with foreign tourists, and English is the key. Most European tourists speak English as well as those from America and Commonwealth countries–and most locals in the tourist countries find English is very hard to learn because it’s so irregular grammatically.

    And the need extends beyond tourism to include any old business that exports or imports with us or other Anglophone countries. 

    Moreover, most of these countries have strict business ownership rules that lead to foreigners looking for local citizens to partner with.

    I’m not speaking theoretically. I’ve gone scuba diving in a dozen foreign countries and I’ve seen the need I’m talking about here in all of them. 

    For example in the Philippines I met an attractive young American woman of Philippine extraction who was managing a dive shop. Her bilingual/bicultural skills had gotten her a career and great job security that let her exploit her biculturality.

    I’m fine with these not-their-fault illegal aliens applying for a visa when they’re back in their own country, and I’d give them priority due to their good English and American culture skills–especially if they’re also college grads. 

    But the thought that they’d be sitting on the street corner in their home country, destitute and desperate, if they had to go home…is ridiculous. And, as I said, jingoistic. America isn’t the only country on Earth, folks. It’s incredibly arrogant to act as if it is.

  • Thfleisch

    I lost all respect for Kirkorian when he said that affirmative action would disadvantage American students with respect to “Dream Act” students.

    1) Affirmative action is no longer widespread.  Its time has passed on college campuses. Please look up the definition of affirmative action to understand that it is a remedy for past discrimination.

    2) Pro-diversity student body policy has replaced affirmative action with respect to college admissions.

    3) The scope and size of diversity admissions is much smaller than affirmative action programs.

    4) http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/plh24/hinrichs_aff_action.pdf

    “When viewing the results from the three data sources together, the picture that emerges is that affirmative action bans do not affect who goes to college but they have some effect on where people go to college.” 

    5) I could not find any studies of how many students are given significant advantage in college admissions over other applicants of roughly equal potential due to affirmative action or due to diversity policy, the studies of the inverse (viz. affirmative action bans) argues that the numbers are negligible.

    CONCLUSION: I disrespect Kirkorian for his engagement in the corruption of thought. Whether he himself believes what he says, I cannot tell, but the one thing I know and know full well is that Kirkorian speaks as an enemy of thought.

  • baumgrenze

    I heard only part of the show. Perhaps this point was addressed.

    I heard Mark Krikorian claim that ‘the president exceeded his constitutional authority, i.e., he violated his oath of office.’ If conservative representatives in the House agree with Krikorian on this point, they have a constitutional responsibility they should not shirk lest they fail to fulfill their oaths of office. They should forthwith bring impeachment proceedings against the president. Perhaps Rep. Allen West is a logical candidate to begin the process.

    baumgrenze

  • xyz

    I have lots of sympathy for the kids whose parents put them in this situation.  I am recent, legal immigrant so I know how painful the process is when you want to do it right way.
    Michael Tan did not give *ANY* convincing arguments beyond “this is so cruel to these kids” during this discussion, and I totally disagree with allowing these kids to legalize their parents.  I have friends in legal green card process for 7-8 years, and probably in process for another 3-4 years (due to quotas). Had they had 10years olds at that time, and brought them in illegally, this legalization would put them on faster track of becoming green card holders. That is totally absurd.  

    I don’t think you can sponsor someone for green card who committed crime in other country, I don’t think you should be able to sponsor someone who violated laws in this country.  That would be the only deterrent for the next wave of illegal immigration which is banking on having similar type of amnesty.  New US citizens can always go and visit their parents in the old country, and they can apply for visitor visas just like everyone else’s parents do. 

  • Mike

    Krikorian was born in the Soviet Union. He doesn’t understand America.

  • cageordie

    I found Michael Tan utterly unconvincing, he dismissed everyone else’s opinion. His arguments were basically that we should be sorry for these criminal’s kids. 

    The “immigrants start most businesses” assertion is a red herring too. Legal immigrants with good educations start tech companies and are good for the economy, Illegal immigrants steal IDs and trash people’s lives. How many illegal immigrants from south America have started a technology company? One? Can you name one? I can’t.

    I am a US citizen, I came in the very hard and expensive way, I started at 14 planning to take qualifications at 16, 18 and 21 which would match me to a career that was suitable for sponsored immigration. I then worked for ten years to gain experience. In my mid 30s I was finally able to get my affairs in order so that I could leave the UK. I went from being one of the best paid defense systems engineers in the UK to one of the worst paid in the US. The price of sponsorship. For the next five years I was paid about 60% of the going rate and couldn’t work in defense any more. In that time if I had lost my job I would have had two weeks to find another sponsor or leave the country. I call that indentured servitude. After six years I finally got my green card and could return to properly paid work. Five years after that I became a citizen. Total cost in lost wages and legal fees was in the $150-250k range. I never contemplated just breaking the law to stay. I have ZERO sympathy for the parents, they should never be rewarded for being criminals. Their status should ban them permanently from any status based on sympathy for their kids.

    I am also very offended by the racism embodied in the dream act. As an English man I couldn’t even apply for the green card lottery, it specifically excludes the English. So now these illegal aliens want a law that favors Mexicans, Central and South Americans over all other nationalities by a vast margin?

    How’s this for an idea. Expand the cultural diversity lottery. Allow the Chinese and Indian people who would love to work the farm jobs we are always told Americans don’t want. Why should we favor Mexicans over Russians, Ukranians and Poles?

    Being an illegal alien should not be rewarded. If we want to import cheap farm labor then lets have a system that allows law abiding people to apply regardless of their country of origin in a fair and balanced way.

    • Kerthialfad

      Another aspect to the claim that “immigrants start most businesses”, is the fact that it is illegal for employers to hire illegals.  But it easy for an illegal immigrant to solicit work as an independent contractor, independant businessman, by pretending he is legitimate.  Many customers would not notice or question.

  • Calipenguin

    Obama never thinks through the consequences.  Say we offer every qualifying illegal alien amnesty and a work permit.  They will soon quit their low paying jobs and apply for higher paying jobs.  Their college grads will apply for white collar professional jobs. They will stop working the jobs that American citizens would never do because they are no longer undocumented.  Since they no longer perform those functions for America, why does America still need them?

    After the dreamers abandon their old jobs, millions more illegal aliens will sneak into America to take over the vacancies.  In 10 more years Michael Tan will call for a DREAM Act 2 for all those innocent children who came to America through no fault of their own.  And then Act 3, Act 4, Act 5…
     

    • utera

      Basically you can flood america with scab labor, its not that we don’t have people willing to work, its that the left for some reason has seen fit to kick the working man in the behind, jobs like meat packing were bad jobs, but even as late as the 70s it was a lower middle class job, now its a working in poverty job, and what happens to those americans, its a fiction most americans can be educated to work in offices and the rest, it just isn’t going to happen, I think we deal with this by putting the results in prison.  We have hidden the cost of mass immigration, we have what now? 1 million incarcerated now? The idea this has no costs is a bit laughable.

  • Me

    I voted for Obama in 2008 but I will not be voting for him again. I am a “legal” immigrant who came to this country with an engineering degree and experience. For almost 15 years I stood in line, I worked, endured hardships, paid my taxes, before I was allowed to become a citizen and could then finally vote to have my (small) say in how I wanted my taxes to be spent in support of my country.

    I too have been separated from my parents who did not come here and are will probably not be allowed a visa because of their age. I find it really outrageous that pity for the “poor children” and family values are being positioned as rationale for this policy.

    In addition, it hurt when Obama bailed the banks and financial institutions out on our dime. (Bank of America continued to individually charge me fees for the least possible excuse… ironic huh?) Not a policy I want going forward. I had “hope” in him, but he let me and my like down.

    IMHO, this was a pitch for the popular vote, which is nothing but despicable.

    • xyz

      Actually, while I agree with most you said, I highly doubt you voted for Obama in 2008 — because this is a minor issue in comparison to other issues at stake 🙂

      • Me

        Actually I did vote for him. I was inspired and believed what he said when he ran for president and it was my first ever vote after 15 years of waiting. I would be interested to know the other issues you mention are at stake.

        • xyz

          Pulling out of wars, health care, economic recovery, …

    • utera

      Yep this is effectively a bailout for illegal immigrants, the left likes to say that this won’t cause more law breaking, who are you kidding, if you rely on concepts which are equivalent to big to fail and bailouts then of course you are going to only encourage further law breaking.   This only kicks it down the road until they are eventually a problem to be completely legalized, and it only sends the message that it will continue, people, like bankers aren’t stupid, you give the incentives for their behavior and you will reap the result.

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