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Immigration Reform

Original post made by Paul Losch, Community Center, on Jan 29, 2013

Several generations ago, Irish people on my mother's side of the family left a potato famine and ended up in Pennsylvania, working in the coal mines.

Germans from my dad's family left Europe and arrived in Chicago, taking jobs in the stockyards on the South Side. My dad's father worked his entire life as a butcher at the Jewel Tea grocery chain.

The time they arrived at Ellis Island was an 19th Century era when immigrants were welcomed, although there was a great deal of prejudice and stereotyping.

My antecedents worked in jobs that were physically demanding, sort of like what goes on today in this country with farm workers, among others.

I had the good fortune to attend a great college and fantastic graduate school program. As have many others from other countries who come here to the States because of the excellent higher education that is not readily available in many other parts of the world. At least for now. (More to come on another blog about that!)

I look around our community. We have so many people who are the equivalent to what my predecessors did, hard physical, low paying work. We also have the equivalent of what I personally experienced, very smart highly educated people who are not US citizens, and are creating great new businesses and jobs here in Silicon Valley.
Too many hard working people here who are not American citizens, and keep our economy vital, spend too much time looking over their shoulders about their "illegal" status. Getting Visas, dealing with what I perceive to be a bureaucracy that views anyone without a green card or passport a threat to the country's security.

I am encouraged that there appears to be some light about this issue in DC. Perhaps the farmers in Alabama will get their workers back. Perhaps rogue Sheriffs in certain states will back off from what I perceive to be a huge waste of their time. Perhaps the likes of Russian born Sergi Brin of Google fame will be the rule, not the exception.

People from other countries have for a long time contributed tremendously to our country's prosperity. I hope the breakthrough around immigration policies reflect our Ellis Island heritage, and the understanding of the contributions people who live in this country, regard less of citizenry,

Comments (40)

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Posted by Thrid Party wall
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 29, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Republicans are in a pickle. Too many of them are going soft like McCain. Time for a third party. Just look at the last two candidates - McCain and Romney. Corporatists who shifted on everything, like when Reagan amnestied the illegals. Big business is forcing the moderates to give in on their principles so they can have cheap labor and drive down our wages. America can do better. Where are the true conservatives?


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Posted by Green card holder
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2013 at 1:09 pm

I have had a green card for over 20 years. I pay my taxes, buy a home,have a drivers lisense, bank account and credit history, work and live as part of the community. I am not a US citizen and although I could probably apply for citizenship it is costly and time consuming for me.I cannot vote or be called for jury duty and possibly other things of which I am not immediately aware and none of these things have really concerned me.

As part of my agreement for having a green card, I have to always carry my passport and green card and be prepared to show it at any time to any immigration official or police officer (although I have never been asked to do so).

As far as I can see, we already have a two tier system and possibly a three tier system whereby people here on work or student visas could be called a third level, with green card being the second level and citizenship the first level.

I am not happy with the fact that people who have come here illegally even if they are children, jumping ahead of those of us who legally came here with green cards or visas, being given full citizenship with voting rights.If illegal immgrants become fully fledged US citizens, it is wrong for those of us who are here perfectly legally and do not have the rights of citizenship.

If illegal immigrants were to be given legal status, at least give them the same rights as us on visas or greencards, with no vote and no jury duty and possibly even deny them the right of a full passport. There is already more than one level of legal status here and jumping from illegal to the top is wrong.


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Posted by Liebschen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm

103 years ago, my father and his family left Germany because of a parasite, phylloxera, that attacked the roots of grapevines in the Rhineland, Mosel, Rhone Valley, Loire Valley and other prime wine making areas of Western Europe. All they could do was to burn their vineyard and walk away from it. They had also been cheese makers and so immigrated to. Wisconsin, and later Minnesota, where, unbeknownst to them, land had been taken from the Indians, by the US government, and given to "preferred" Europeans, ie, Germans and Scandinavians.

My father and his family eventually went to the trouble to become naturalized citizens and slowly, painstakingly learn the language here. My father rarely heard English until he was old enough to attend first grade. They were grateful to be in this country and have the opportunity for a fresh start. Eventually they became prosperous, and when my grandparents died, my father tried to give his inheritance back to the Indians, but could not find out how. So he gave it to his brother instead, as he had no interest in farming.

The present-day immigrants do not often learn the language, with the exception of Asian men. Yet none of them wish to become citizens or seem happy to be here. They complain a lot and talk about going home once they get rich. This is not an attitude I ever though I would see! Why do we let people with the desire to only take and leave come here in the first place, legal or not? Especially since some of them claim they come from somewhere better. What is up with this new attitude?

My German forbears were anxious to mingle with Americans and fit in. The new immigrants refuse to mingle, or even be polite. Some of them push and shove in stores, leave piles of soaking wet towels in the gym, and refuse to let their children play with American, especially black, children. They sometimes point and stare at blonde or red haired Americans, and make awful jokes about poor people.

Above all, why do they come here at all if they think America is so bad? Some of them have the nerve to disparage the standard of living here. I admit it is not what it once was, but should they not learn about a place before moving there? They do not seem to understand that their bad behavior is biasing a lot of Americans against everyone of their nationality.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Breaking the law is breaking the law. I strenuously oppose illegal immigration and believe we have the right to secure our borders just like any other country. Oh, but we have so many goodies to offer.
I also dispute that all ilegals are hardworking and doing grunt jobs - clearly some are, but many more are using social services, our (formerly) outstanding medical services for free at hospitals, including coming here to the U.S. just to give birth and then have an anchor baby; and to demand bi-lingual education and other special catering in our public education system, which is now also overwhelmed. Penalize any employers who hire illegals, use E-verify, refuse public services to illegal aliens, and transport out of the country any illegal alien criminals after they have served their sentences. I am appalled at the so-called sanctuary city scheme, shame on those cities and (sometimes) their police chiefs.
Obama's schemes are nothing more than creating an additional uninformed, undereducated voting class for his political party.
Shame on those who take advantage of the largess of the U.S., the most successful country, however now on the way out of that status as it is overwhelmed with dependents.
Oh, by the way, all my family members (including spouse) came into the U.S. legally and became citizens. It is disgusting to see politicians leverage the certain number of stupid voters who don't realize they are destroying this country. And for the sentimental, U.S. citizens are extremely generous worldwide with their charity by personal choice, as it should be, that is the way to assist others in need, not subsidize the corrupt country of Mexico and throw our borders open to those who despise freedom and democracy like Middle East terrorists.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Obama has been promising immigration reform for years. About time he finally got something done. Sounds like the tone of his second term will be making good on all the promises he made when campaigning for his first term.


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Posted by LEGAL immigrant
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2013 at 7:07 pm



Green card holder,

"I am not happy with the fact that people who have come here illegally even if they are children, jumping ahead of those of us who legally came here with green cards or visas, being given full citizenship with voting rights.If illegal immgrants become fully fledged US citizens, it is wrong for those of us who are here perfectly legally and do not have the rights of citizenship."

I'm not sure how green card holders will fare, but definitely not enough is said about the fact that for a reason immigration reform refers to millions of ILLEGAL immigrants.

I heard a hispanic mother-daughter on the news bemoan their treatment in the US - daughter college educated here, and mother with a job here. Looking very comfortable in their nice home, bemoaning their illegal situation.

Excuse me?

Hundreds of thousands of us who came to the US legally can only wonder what makes people who come here illegally simply forget they did so on illegal terms.

I completely agree that there needs to be immigration reform, and power to the Dream kids and their parents, but please cut the guilt trip on the rest, and the drama.

Illegal immigrants knew exactly what they were doing, just as those of us who came here LEGALLY knew we were NOT breaking the law. If I had not obtained my green card and subsequent legally, my plan was to return to my home country. I had a plan to leave if I was not legal. It's a choice.

Part of reform should be an acknowledgement by illegals that they in fact did something illegal.

With newly gained US privileges, there has to be responsibility, and taking responsibility for one's actions is part of that.


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Posted by LEGAL immigrant
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2013 at 7:10 pm




If I had not obtained my green card and subsequent legally, my plan was to return to my home country. I had a plan to leave if I was not legal. It's a choice.

correction:

If I had not obtained my green card (a ton of steps involved, plus legal fees which my employer paid to obtain my green card), and subsequently a citizen, my plan was to return to my home country. I had a plan to leave if I was not legal. It's a choice.



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Posted by First generation immigrant
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jan 30, 2013 at 9:03 am

Yup, LEGAL immigrant: no matter how many times the left tries to blur the lines, all we are saying is legal immigrants are one thing..."undocumented" another. Reform LEGAL immigration: Yes, it is absurdly difficult and far too many are legally allowed in who are then a drain on our system. Path to legality for those here > 10 years, no legal problems, brought here at age <18, ok we can talk, but only AFTER the d*&^ border is shut so no more can cross in.


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Posted by LEGAL immigrant
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2013 at 9:32 am



"Yes, it is absurdly difficult and far too many are legally allowed in who are then a drain on our system."

You have it backwards.

People who are here legally obtain "papers" and legal entry because 1) they have a HIGH skilled job, 2) are filling a VOID in the US -for example not enough engineers 3) they speak ENGLISH (or they would not be able to work at their highly skilled job), AND 4) are abiding by all the rules and requirements to become legal. Not to mention paying taxes.

How are these people a drain?

Contrast to the opposite, illegal, no english, no job, no identity, free to be good or bad and not on the radar.

You salsa say

"all we are saying is legal immigrants are one thing..."undocumented" another."

who is "we" here?

And what's the point of using the term "undocumented" to further confuse?

Documented would be legal immigrant. Undocumented would be illegal immigrant. Regardless of what generation.

Immigrants of the last 20 years apparently are a group nobody really knows much about. There's all the Ellis Island stories (I think the only requirement to enter was a medical exam?), and the swimming across, but apparently people have NO idea about how hundreds of thousands have immigrated legally to the US, and these people are far from being a "drain"

The only drain that happens with legal people is when they leave their home country to come to the US, they caused a brain drain in their home country.






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Posted by LEGAL immigrant
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2013 at 9:36 am



(LEGAL) Immigrants of the last 20 years apparently are a group nobody really knows much about.

Unless you are actually a legal immigrant, does anyone know how you enter the US legally? Probably the main think people think about is marriage, but that is abused and quite illegal sometimes.

You should GOogle, how to enter the US legally, and not that illegal is not the only way, and I maintain that doing something illegal is a choice. Unless you real need asylum. Even that is abused.


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Posted by Native
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 30, 2013 at 12:23 pm

According to CNN, there is a new kind of immigrant from China: the BIRTH TOURIST. apparently, hospital care in China is so bad that if you cannot afford to bribe the doctors and nurses to care for you, you die in the hallway. Many women die in childbirth in China for this reason.

The birth tourist waits until she is six or seven months pregnant, and takes a "vacation" in the US, which is cheaper than a hospital birth in China, apparently. When she goes into labor, she makes a visit to the nearest ER and gets a free hospital birth. Then, she refuses to leave the country because her new baby is a "citizen".

So why are we one of very, very few countries to grant automatic citizenship to a child born here of foreign parents? Is it not time for that to end???


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 30, 2013 at 1:43 pm

They call it maternity tourism, currently in the news -- Web Link


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Posted by Native
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm

If we need so many highly skilled workers that we have to look to China for them, why not give qualified AMRICAN citizens first pick for American colleges and graduate schools? According to Jerry Brown, the UCs and CSUs are required by law to do this, but they do not. Can this not be enforced? OUR kids are under educated, and many qualified students cannot afford a four year degree, much less a graduate one.

It is hurting our society and economy not to give educational priority to citizens.

A former neighbor, who worked for the FBI, told us that there is much spying going on in Silicon Valley by Chinese nationals who had become citizens in order to get security clearances. Some of them worked for Lockheed, NASA, Intel, etc. One worked for UC Berkeley, and one suspect worked for Sandia Labs. Our former neighbor is now back in Virginia, but he was ostensibly here to apprehend and prosecute such spies. He told a story of a woman with an advanced degree who was from Taiwan. she took the best of everything this country could give her, then gavesome top secret info she stole from Lockheed to mainland China!

We have to be careful of legal immigrants, too. Obviously, we do not investigate thoroughly!


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Posted by cheap labor
a resident of University South
on Jan 30, 2013 at 4:17 pm

There are enough engineers over here. We educate enough, though we could do a better job of it, of course.

Companies just want CHEAPER engineers from overseas.

It's all about kowtowing to corporations to get cheaper labor, from the illegals that WalMart uses to clean bathrooms, to the meatpacking plants to construction to engineers.


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Posted by Native
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 30, 2013 at 4:48 pm

We DO NOT put enough emphasis on the me easily of higher education. Among our closest friends are two families from India. In their families, kids are given the choice of MD or PhD. But beyond that, they are financially supported without having to get a job until they complete that MD or PhD, even if they are married with kids of their own! This is so of many, many Indian families. How many American-born families would do this for their children?

Most of our Chinese national neighbors live three generations to a household (as we do). The grandparents cook, clean, and raise the kids so that all the parents must do is work and go to school. Almost no Americans would do this for their families. We do, but we are looked down upon by our American-born neighbors, even the local real estate agents, for it. They say we are "enablers". What? enabling our son and his wife and their child to succeed in college and careers?

I had NO such support system, nor did my husband, and it took us far, far longer to get through college than it should have as a result. It took longer for our careers to take off, too. Therefore, everything we got in life we got later than our contemporaries. Which caused them to look down on us for years. So the buck stops here, because it truly takes a FAMILY effort for kids to be successful in school and work.


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Posted by Huh??
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 30, 2013 at 5:11 pm

"Companies just want CHEAPER engineers from overseas."

But most of these STEM jobs are very high paying to begin with. The going rate for software engineers around here is close to $100K. Even if "cheaper" foreigners only ask for $60K, don't you think that there would be plenty of American engineers willing to work for that pay as well?

In my experience, foreign engineers aren't any cheaper than American ones. The only savings would be if you outsource work overseas, but that's not what this is all about.


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Posted by LEGAL immigrant
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2013 at 10:46 pm



A lot of good points here, and they basically build down to people either abusing the system, or not.

Abuse the system: You come here to have a baby and to get automatic citizenship for your child, you "marry" someone and get citizenship, you get here via "coyote" and stay indefinitely, eventually bing your whole family here, no papers for all. Get citizenship legally to become a spy.

Otherwise: You pay out of state and out of country tuition to study at state universities (this is legal), get a student visa if accepted at a US university. You can stay one year after graduation, and can work for one year legally. You get hired by Tech Company and they get your papers to stay after the one year limit. Or you actually marry an American, or you need asylum form your oppressive country. These people are not "abusing" the system anymore than Americans who are working or studying in London are (unless they are there illegally).

Keep things straight, what's legal, what's illegal, what's abuse, and what's not.

Native,

You need to be "careful" about legal immigrants, the same way you have to be careful about your doctor being good or bad. By the way, some of your doctors are likely legal immigrants.

The real deal on being "careful" is that with the influx of Dream kids, and new "legalized" immigrants, there will be very little money to educate everyone.

To pay for this, you just might want some of the legal foreign students that are attending state colleges. Does atone know the out of state tuition for a UC compared to California resident?

And back to my original point, I think that Immigration reform should ask illegals to acknowledge they broke the law. Clean start after that.





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Posted by Green Card Holder
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Good discussion

The point I made and will make again is that it is not easy to get a green card or visa, L1/2, H/12, etc. To get citizenship from green card you have to jump through hoops, pass a test, pay money, etc. etc. and to get a green card there are quotas too. Many legal residents can't afford the time, the effort, the wait, to go through these hoops and now it is proposed that illegal immigrants can jump ahead and get full citizenship! That just makes a mockery of the process that the rest of us go through to do it all legally.

Yes, I am here legally. I am not a drain on society, I pay taxes, contribute in many ways and do it all legally. Why should illegals automatically have the priviledge of voting, jury duty and passports? If they are given anything, it should certainly not carry the privileges green card holders and visa holders do not have.


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Posted by Native
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 31, 2013 at 7:31 am

Charity begins at home. American schools for American citizens FIRST!!!

My husband has interviewed Asian nationals for prospective jobs, and most of them so far spoke such poor English, and wrote so badly there is no way they could hold the job. How did they get thru school like this????

My friend's husband is a professor in Ithaca, and he has foreign students who misspell their names repeatedly, as well as poor speaking and writing schools. he was told he had to give them passing grades or better because they were playing the race card! I f this kind of thing happens often, then they are just being diploma-milled thru the system.
No fair!


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Posted by LEGAL immigrant
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2013 at 7:46 am



Green card holder,

If Immigration Reform, as you say, will allow illegals to jump the line ahead or to be in equal place as legal residents, it will basically mean the US is discouraging legal residents, and prefers to process illegals.

Amnesty, when it happened years ago, gave the message, you can come to the US illegally and you don't have to do anything but wait, you'll become legal next time we can get a President to pass you through, use fake drivers licenses until then etc.

Now the message will be, come to mama! Breaking the law and coming here illegally is welcome, we have a procedure for it - pay a small fine, register, get a job and pay taxes, and don;t forget to vote.

The dishonesty of illegals whining and complaining about being second class citizens is incredible, what are the people who go to jail for breaking the law? The only exception I can make is that their children are not at moral fault.



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Posted by LEGAL immigrant
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2013 at 7:51 am



By legal residents I mean foreign nationals who have a visa, student visa, working or otherwise, have a green card, or are in the process. Or the other dozens of ways to come to the US legally. I also mean non-abusive, like it's a real visa and they are really studying, or really need asylum.


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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 31, 2013 at 9:17 am

LEGAL immigrant - your comment " the influx of Dream kids, and new "legalized" immigrants, there will be very little money to educate everyone" is naive. The "Dream" kids are already here, there will be no influx. We have already spent at least $100K educating the Dream kids from K-12, yet when they want to go to college or get productive jobs and give back to society, we tell them they can't. Aside from being a terrible thing for these kids, it is stupid for our society.

While I'm on the fence about "importing" engineers, again it makes no sense for us to educate a college student from another country (and I don't know of any public or private college or university where the tuition totally covers the students cost to be educated) yet when these bright students we have helped educate want to stay and start companies and contribute to the US economy, we tell them to go home.

We need some common sense regarding our educated and ambitious immigrants. The quotas we have by country to promote "diversity" are unnecessary and counterproductive for the US business world. We also need laws preventing people from having "anchor babies" just to stay in the US, crossing the border illegally, etc.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2013 at 10:02 am

The way these ill-conceived amnesty schemes work is they attract more illegals, who rush in to take advantage of when the supposed cuyoff date will be.
Enforce the law - enforce the borders - deport any illegal aliens who are criminals immediately, with name on a list for refusal of any future entry into this country.


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Posted by LEGAL immigrant
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2013 at 10:09 am



palo alto mom,

Legal College students from abroad pay tuition. Usually multiples over state tuition. You're not educating these students, anymore than a student from Palo Alto paying to go to college in Italy is being paid by the Italian government to go to school there.

Are you saying you want no legal foreign students to study here, only illegal ones?

The students higher education will be having to educate for free are the Dream kids. The sheer number of students (legal or not) put pressure on an already competitive and very expensive higher education system.

Either college costs go down, more college loans are available, or something has to give.

I'm not saying illegal kids need to go home. I'm saying their parents who brought them here need to stop whining about their plight, after they have intentionally broken laws over the years. Residing illegally, fake drivers licenses, no taxes.

I am in favor of immigration reform, but concerned about the message you give to the world about coming here. Ignoring the dishonesty of illegal residency fuels the problem. Although you seem to not see any problem with it, so maybe it's an open border situation.

IN an open border you should expect to receive people who will need a lot of free stuff.








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Posted by LEGAL immigrant
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2013 at 10:18 am



palo alto mom,

A legal foreign student carries and F-1 a student visa. A student visa has several requirements, and it is a legal way to reside in the US.

Yes, I hear these visas are abused, 9-11 terrorists used them, funny they were legally here. And I hear there are fake colleges who issue them. But that is the exception.

Real, regular foreign nationals actually use these visas to study here and to be legal.

Odd how living or studying here legally is now snubbed compared to living/studying here illegally. Is it a trendy thing or something?


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Posted by Mac
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 31, 2013 at 10:27 am

"Even if "cheaper" foreigners only ask for $60K, don't you think that there would be plenty of American engineers willing to work for that pay as well?"

Race to the bottom, anyone. Stupid is as stupid does.

Think poster would like to take a 40% cut in pay because his company got a bunch of wok visas and hired foreigners?

yeah, sure, he wouldn't squawk at all....

Truest statement in the post: "It's all about kowtowing to corporations to get cheaper labor, from the illegals that WalMart uses to clean bathrooms, to the meatpacking plants to construction to engineers."


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Posted by LEGAL immigrant
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2013 at 10:48 am



Mac,

Just keep it separate.

Those that are hiring legally, and paying for the legal and time costs to obtain work visas are doing it, for lack of a better word legally.

Different from government amnesty. That is a freeby.


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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 31, 2013 at 11:00 am

LEGAL Immigrant - I never said anything about paying for illegal college student. What I said was that legal foreign students are often not allowed to remain in the US after graduating from college even if they could be starting companies that might employ US citizens. And yes, college here often costs more than the tuition paid by a student. And yes, if my child goes to college in another country, the cost is often subsidized by the other country.

Regarding the "Dream" kids - if you already invested a $100 to $150K in someone, I feel like it is only common sense to allow them to finish their education or do into the military and start paying society back for what they have been given. I'm not saying we have to pay for their college education - only that they should be allowed to attend.

You said you don't want to send these kids "home" (home is often somewhere they haven't been for most of their lives and often a place where they do not even speak the language). What should we do with them? Let them become criminals because we don't want them to go to college or get productive jobs? Let them work illegally as maids, gardeners and janitors? Its a waste of our K-12 $$. Either we educate these kids or we don't.


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Posted by LEGAL immigrant
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2013 at 11:15 am



palo alto mom,

my original point is that the message of amnesty, amnesty 2.0, or amnesty light is basically a message. THe message I am concerned with is not focused on Dream kids, but rather their parents, and/or any newly arrived students who are not legal.

The message will impact immigration patterns for years to come. If you have no conscience about the choice people make when they do something illegal, how can you make laws?

Imagine if there was amnesty on DUI. How would you do it, if you are genuinely interested in reducing DUI.

Securing the border will ultimately be about the message. And so far the message is legal is "out" and illegal is "in."





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Posted by LEGAL immigrant
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2013 at 11:18 am


pa mom

meant to say

my original point is that Amnesty, amnesty 2.0, or amnesty light is basically a message. THe message I am concerned with is not focused on Dream kids, but rather their parents, and/or any newly arrived students who are not legal.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2013 at 1:15 pm

It doesn't seem that a lot of people are supportive of Paul Losche's open boarders vision.



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Posted by Anecdote andie
a resident of Southgate
on Jan 31, 2013 at 2:38 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by LEGAL immigrant
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2013 at 3:07 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff due to reference to a deleted post.]


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Posted by Mac
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Feb 2, 2013 at 11:04 am

To elaborate on the statement above: "It's all about kowtowing to corporations to get cheaper labor, from the illegals that WalMart uses to clean bathrooms, to the meatpacking plants to construction to engineers."

It is all a government sanctioned scam for the corporations to lower wages. As said above: "Big business is forcing the moderates to give in on their principles so they can have cheap labor and drive down our wages."

Corollary? Using ICE and the Border Patrol along with the Dept of Homeland Security together on an all important operation this week. The purpose?

Terrorism? Drug smuggling? Human trafficking? Putting business owners in jail for hiring illegals? (yeah, riiiiight!)

What did ICE and the Border Patrol team up on this week to protect us?

They're protecting us from five buck tee shirts.

Pathetic use of ICE, DHS and Border Patrol assets to protect corporate profits. File under Corporate Welfare.

"Fake jerseys, ball caps, T-shirts, jackets and other souvenirs are among the counterfeit merchandise and clothing confiscated by teams of special agents and officers from ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and state and local police departments around the country — all in partnership with the NFL and other major sports leagues."

Safe from terrorism? Safe from illegals and the drug cartel? Nah, but safe from five buck tee shirts.


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Posted by LEGAL immigrant
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm


Mac,

Corporations can get cheaper labor by going overseas. Not only cheap labor, less laws.

Jobs are being exported. You can't blame legal or illegal immigrants for jobs being sent abroad.

I've been thinking about this, and while I stick to my original point, I now realize that many of us who immigrated legally were lucky to mostly be highly educated (ie. doctors, engineers), to have a job, speak English, and the means to go through the legal process - it takes time, and a lot of different steps, and legal fees.

Basically, legal immigration has been reserved for the rich and educated, and the US never had a legal avenue for let's say Strawberry pickers.

That's what's been missing - a legal way for people to come here who are not necessarily rich or highly educated, but who have jobs to fill here. To have amnesty as the solution for this however, is pretty extreme.

As long as there are jobs that need low wage workers, these workers should have pathway to a green card not differently than investment bankers.

In other words, fix the legal pathway to include low wage workers, expand the program for higher wage workers, and stop the amnesty which is the worst message to send, unless we simply want open borders.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Plenty of legal immigrants have come here from countries with very different languages than English, yet they have taken steps to assimilate and learn English. Look at history. This was the case of my ancestors.
Current legal immigrants who get in for high-tech work often speak English already - this is so different from many previous waves of legal immigration.
Either way, English is the principal language of this country; demanding voting pamphlets, DMV info, other government documents in a multiplicity of languages is just offensive, costly, and undeserved.


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Posted by LEGAL immigrant
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2013 at 9:31 pm



neighbor,

Multiple languages largely serves the illegal community because MOST legal immigrants speak English. THe exception are if the green card is by marriage (and spouse doesn't speak English) or by asylum, but otherwise, college educated and workers in corporate work for which green cards are issued for, speak English.

People should decide - open borders, as it currently is, and will continue with intermittent amnesty, or secured borders (like most of the developed world), which carry responsibilities, namely to be law abiding.

I get the complications of the millions already here, and whatever - lets' say this time around they stay (again!), but what is the rest of the message, what do people want for the future, more of the same?

If amnesty misses the law abiding part, it is basically open borders and who cares about the details, it's open borders.



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Posted by LEGAL immigrant
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2013 at 9:37 pm



Neighbor,

Another group of legal residents are students who come here to go to college. College admissions require the TOEFL, Test of English as a Foreign Language so these students don't need any translated papers or signs.

The US has basically maintained a rigid legal immigration policy but for illegal immigration - it's wide open. Borders have no barriers, you get the welcome mat, in your own language, and the only requirement is to wait and use fake papers until the next amnesty comes around.

This could all have been solved long ago, by simply making the legal process work better.



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Posted by Lucy
a resident of University South
on Feb 4, 2013 at 10:28 am

/snore

Illegal immigration has declined considerably since the Bush Recession. Businesses just need to exploit as many workers as before, and they already have driven labor costs down so much.

Web Link

"There were 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. in March 2011, unchanged from the previous two years and a continuation of the sharp decline in this population since its peak in 2007..."

"The falloff in the stock of unauthorized immigrants has been driven mainly by a decrease in the number of new immigrants from Mexico, the single largest source of U.S. migrants. As the Pew Hispanic Center reported earlier this year, net immigration from Mexico to the United States has stopped and possibly reversed through 2010."

As far as this? "Corporations can get cheaper labor by going overseas. Not only cheap labor, less laws."

Silly. Hard to outsource janitorial services overseas, fool. Easier to outsource those jobs to contractors that hire illegals. Construction and all the good middle class jobs that used to represent? Meat packing can't be sent overseas -- read Fast Food Nation about how businesses decimated the middle class in the plains states over a decade ago.

The GOP never did anything to seriously close the borders, or more effectively, prosecute the real scofflaws (the businesses that profit from cheap illegal labor) because their business masters told them not to.

Couple that with all the stupid immigrant bashing the GOP did anyway to please the tea bagger xenophobes, and now we have Texas turning blue in 20 years.


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Posted by LEGAL immigrant
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2013 at 11:28 am



Lucy,

"There were 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. in March 2011, unchanged from the previous two years and a continuation of the sharp decline in this population since its peak in 2007..."

"The falloff in the stock of unauthorized immigrants has been driven mainly by a decrease in the number of new immigrants from Mexico, the single largest source of U.S. migrants. As the Pew Hispanic Center reported earlier this year, net immigration from Mexico to the United States has stopped and possibly reversed through 2010."

I think what you're saying is that Immigration Reform is about the past, and not the future.

This message is pretty clear.

This may be why there has never been an intelligent immigration system in the US.


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