Julia Preston, national immigration correspondent for the New York Times, explains the differences between President Obama's immigration reform proposal and the Senate's.
I live in a wonderful, diverse community, and I appreciate all the different recent immigrants who make it vibrant. However, there is a great disconnect related to the use of free hospital medical services, which affects everyone. A few years ago, I had to go to the emergency room. I had a job, but no health insurance because the job went from full-time to part-time, thanks to mismanagement, which they took out on the workers. In the room with me was an immigrant from the DR, who spoke no English. She had to have surgery again and was not going to pay a penny for it. I, on the other hand, got a bill for $400 for two Tylenol (and a disgusting lunch of fried food that I refused to eat ). Also, a Russian immigrant I knew wrote a letter to his friends, telling them to come to the US for FREE medical treatment. I paid the $400. How is this not overtaxing our social services? It's a terrible situation for all.
It's much better to have these "illegal immigrants" working here and sending money home to their families. This economic exchange, those tiny in individual wages, is huge as part of the Mexican GDP. We need these people to have better lives and higher wages. Otherwise, Mexico would slide back even further and we'll have a bigger mess on our hands south of the border.
As for not having a negative impact on the economy, what about school crowding, the need for more special classes in schools to teach English, the impact on medical emergency services? How can this not be factored into an already overwhelmed economy. In good time, no problem, guest workers (although it hasn't worked that well in Germany either). But now is not a good time.
@illfg Mexicans and their ancestors have been crossing and re-crossing the border for centuries! Now it's illegal because our government says so. The law goes against natural and historical migration patterns. Too f-ing bad for the government. These laws stink!
To the caller who said immigrants would be dependent, to the extent that does occur, a lot of it is because current laws make it hard for them to get (legitimate) jobs. If that barrier is removed, many more would be able to make a decent living & not be dependent on gov't. benefits.
But consider this: when you think about who is coming to this country to have a better life for themselves and their family, these are people who are themselves exceptional. They have the drive, the ambition, the courage and the curiosity to come to a new land, against a great deal of adversity, leaving behind poverty. That is the very definition of American exceptionalism, the entrepreneurial spirit of our citizens, the incredible contribution that every immigrant has brought to this country. Why wouldn't we want these tax paying citizens who can contribute so much?
The jobs illegal immigrants do (such as picking tomatoes and domestic work) is work Americans don't want. People who are so anti-immigrants are such hypocrites. They speak of not allowing anyone else in while they don't realize that their ancestors were immigrants at some point.
Unemployment remains high. Some say it could be the “new normal”.
Immigrants, particularly illegal immigrants, take jobs and drive down wages. THIS IS SIMPLE MATH. So stop the nonsense. (And if the jobs they take are those that “Americans” don’t want, then it’s largely because wages and work conditions are depressed and stay depressed due to an exploitable immigrant work force.)
For whatever reason, lobbyists and journalists want to be in denial about this. But the conversation and any reform will never be “comprehensive” without addressing it.
America should be humane and the land of opportunity, but not based on lies.
To the Caller who said Latinos depend on welfare, look in the mirror.
Latinos are hard working people who start businesses and have saved many a inner city, main street or town square in this country. If not for immigration the USA would be filled with lazy native borns who lost the drive that comes from being a new arrival.
Please address the fact that caucasians are in fact the largest group that benefits from government welfare programs, not Latinos.
excuses! just because they are ARE HERE they stay? They broke the law! those who want to emigrate here legally cant just come here.
Why when we toalk immigration do we focus on the Latina population, Do most people not realize the Canadian border is a sieve that eastern europeans africans and many many others come here on vacation/education/visa and melt into the fabric of society
illegal is illegal. deportation is the law isn't it? why are we even contemplating rewarding those who broke the law? it's curious isn't it? maybe it's just a ploy to pander to a new voting demographic at the expense of society as a whole?
This provisional status wills create “state less” people. No one will come in and sign up for that. It’s a useless position to put people into and it is only considered because of political reason. Really, it would make the immigration process even more of a nightmare.
What role does Julia see for skilled workers, particularly in technical spheres? I've heard from friends in that world that there is a huge, real need for the government to up the number of "HB" visas they hand out every year. It seems confusing that, when there is such a need for skilled workers in a major economy that is suffering, such smart people would be refused entry. Can Julia speak to this issue? Does she see it changing any time soon? What kind of economic spinoff does she see in this area of immigration reform?
12 million Americans unemployed, including many legal immigrants. 11 million illegal immigrants, nearly all of whom are employed (or they wouldn't be here). Why are we considering amnesty again?
Whenever someone says we need to secure the border first, laugh in their face. It's no argument against immigration reform, not to mention it's impossible to do that.
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