Immigration: What do you think? How do you feel?

Introduced: June 28 2012


This weigh-in asks the question two ways: First, what do you THINK of President Obama’s executive order? Second, how do you FEEL about immigration as an issue?

Some background from IWD: (To skip this information, scroll down to questions.)  On June 15, President Obama issued an executive order allowing undocumented immigrants under the age of 30, who came to the country when they were under 16 – and who are attending school or serving in the military – to be able to work in the U.S. for two years. Senator Marco Rubio, Republican Senator from Florida and potential vice-presidential candidate, had been working on immigration reform legislation of his own. Originally, a “DREAM Act” (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) granting certain privileges to certain young immigrants was proposed in Congress in 2001 but made little progress. Then a variation was introduced in 2007 by Dick Durbin (with support from some Republic) but again failed to pass. It was re-introduced in 2009 and in 2011. Several times, it never actually reached a vote but was defeated by filibuster.


Note From IWD: "Weigh-Ins" are no longer an active feature on IWD. Our members expressed a preference for longer dialogues. The content of the previous Weigh-Ins remains on the site for your enjoyment and enlightenment. 

Member Responses


Of those who responded to the question: 

Do you agree these young immigrants should be allowed to work?

76% said yes

Additional comments:

This is a difficult 'yes or no'.  I said yes because as long as they are in the country better to have them working than not. 

But the biggest question is - are we opening our borders - y'all come on in - no immigration laws to follow.

Then what happens  to them and their children ... do they have rights to education ($) & health($)  that are currently sinking the state economies with the biggest illegal immigration - check out California...no longer the golden state. At what point is many - too many.  Does the size of the problem make it no longer a problem.  Get a big enough number to swarm over a fence and might as well take the fence down. Changing laws simply by the number of people breaking the law. If immigration laws are in place as they are now - and people just ignore and come into the country without gaining permission - then they have broken the law...criminal offense.  So send them back to where they came. But without a penalty it really doesn't matter - they can do it again.  A penalty could be- you are gone and the young children you brought with you are uprooted and gone too...from the life they had built and knew as theirs.  Is that cruel of the country to enforce the law or cruel of the parents who made the choice to break the law.  Consequences of their actions. Obama's version of the 'right thing to do' is 'do nothing' but what does that say about law of the land?  If illegals come in and have children here - those children are citizens ('Uncle Sam is the Daddy' is what I have heard said) and can stay- but if their parents are illegal...the penalty would be separating families - parents knew they had broken the law and that was a risk deportation.  Who is ultimately responsible for these undocumented children and their lives?

With the tax burdens of Americans and the stalemate in Congress that keeps us from going forward, we might not have to worry about people coming here. Already, I read that the number of Mexicans crossing the border is down dramatically. On the opposite side, I read that a record number of Americans have renounced their U.S. citizenship – apparently to save the taxes they’d need to pay. Two examples are the co-founder of Facebook,  Eduardo Saverin, who decided to become a citizen of Singapore, and a woman named Denise Rich (who is the ex-wife of Marc Rich, who was convicted of trade fraud of and pardoned by Bill Clinton.

Note from IWD: For more on Denise Rich and others giving up their citizenship, use this link to an article in The Wall Street Journal. http://blogs.wsj.com/totalreturn/2012/07/10/why-denise-rich-gave-up-u-s-citizenship/


To the question:

Do you think this was done now for political reasons? 

84% said yes, although approximately half of those said Obama had other reasons as well.

Other comments:

A statistical majority of Hispanics vote in a block  based on immigration and benefits to their "tribe." ("Tribes discussed in previous IWD weigh-in: http://www.iwdialogue.com/weighin/quick-take-tribes) Obama needs this growing minority block added to his 90% of Blacks for his re-election.

The prospect of Rubio joining the Romney ticket and coming up with a long term Immigration Policy would have been attractive to Hispanic voters.  David Axelrod's strategy was undoubtedly to undercut that development - which he did with this temporary 'right thing to do' move - 4 months before the election.  Axelrod is a master - and very successful - at this kind of timely maneuvering.

Issuing this executive order about immigration has to go down as one of great political moves. It really took the wind out of Marco Rubio’s sail. Let’s give Obama the benefit of the doubt and say that he had tried before and really did feel it was the right thing to do.

Of course its political and steals the thunder from Rubio.

To the question:

Is immigration an important issue to you?

55% said very important

32 said somewhat important

8% said not important

5% no response

Additional comments:

If laws can be eliminated simply when the number of those breaking them is too big to enforce - we will have rule by mob.  The argument that there are too many illegals here or that it is unfair to young children brought by parents - is where it starts.  How can seeking a 'better life' have a proper start with a illegal act that has no consequence.  I 'want' - therefore I will 'take'  not 'earn.'


I started out feeling one way about immigration, and after all the news coverage, I ended up feeling a different way. My original view was that people from other countries plant themselves here and expect to reap all the benefits, creating nothing but a drain on the system. But some of the articles pointed up how iimportant immigrants are to our economy. And this one article, entitled "Imagine a day without a Mexican"particularly, made the point that they do contribute. The system may need a lot of fixing, but blaming immigrants is not the way to go.


This is not exactly about immigration, but it is about the way we educate people from other countries (with scholarships and such) and then they go home and use their education for the benefit of their own country.  It especially bothers me when it’s someone like the new Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi, who was educated at USC and who has been quoted as saying he “didn’t particularly like life in America.” Let’s keep watching to see how he treats America from her on. Our American universities and colleges have gone too far on the side of “diversity.” Young American men and women lose out to people from every other country who get “scholarships.” I don’t think that’s right. 

In The National Journal, I read about a Pew Research Council study that's been testing how Americans feel about immigration since 2002. The statement they ask people to respond to is "The growing number of newcomers from other countries threaten traditional American customs and values.” They found that the way people reply varies according to age, race and income -- with older whites of lower income expressing the most concern. But when all the responses are added up, the population overall was almost exactly divided being concerned and not being concerned. That should make for interesting debate going forward.

Note from IWD: According to the Pew Research Center website: "The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The center conducts public opinion polling, demographic studies, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. It does not take positions on policy issues." Here's a link to the article mentioned in the comment above:



Immigration is a complex topic with many parts, and I would like to see IWD focus on some of those specific parts in the future, especially on the path someone may -- and must  --taketo become a citizen.