Should Undocumented Immigrants be Granted U.S. Citizenship?

According to a recent Pew Center study, there are an estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S. Their futures, as well as the future of this nation, hang in the balance as Congress considers whether they should be able to achieve U.S. citizenship.

A recent study by the Pew Center, there are about 12 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States to their future and the future of this nation hangs in the balance as Congress considers whether they should be able to obtain U.S. citizenship.

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i just want to ask what they got after all this shouting and distortion..
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I hear them shouting, threatening and violent, is more than just the activities concerned citizens who want to stop illegal immigration. Yes, we, the people overwhelmingly want to stop illegal immigration.
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With California facing a $42 billion deficit in the current economic downturn, a glum Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has warned that the Golden State is on the brink of insolvency. So lets take a "statistical" peak?
The land of illegal immigrants, socialism, and the high taxes to pay for it all. The brutal tax increases will cost the average California family an extra $1,000 a year in taxes. Californians will now pay a 8.25% state sales tax, this makes the total sales as high as 10% depending on the county. This is the highest state sales tax in the nation. Californians will have a quarter percent increase in state income tax and the dependent credit will drop 66%. This move would most likely make California second in highest state income taxes. California vehicle tax will double,making it one of the highest in the nation. The staggering 12 cent increase in state gas tax was nixed to get one more Republican vote. However, Californians already have has the third highest state gas tax in the nation. A brutal .353 cents per gallon.
California leaning towards massive tax hike. California already has some of the highest taxes in the nation to pay for it’s massive illegal alien population and socialist policies. Also because of high taxes and easy access to an illegal work force, California leads the nation in off the books cash only businesses who are not paying taxes. With businesses run out of the state, or simply not paying taxes, California now gets over half it’s revenue from state income tax alone.
Did you know that the state of California gave 432 million dollars worth of welfare and food stamps to illegal aliens in LA County with “anchor babies.” This is just the illegal aliens who are legally receiving welfare under California state law. This doesn’t count the illegals who’s children were born overseas and are fraudulently receiving welfare. The state also spends an estimated 400 million a year for health care for illegal aliens in LA County. With the costs of schooling and incarcerating illegals, the combined strain on the state and county for illegal aliens in LA County is easily in excess of 2 Billion dollars per year.
Nationally, Across America, every state, county, and city is going bankrupt. The state in the worst shape is California which is now 58% non-white. Welfare, free health care, and other public services to immigrants is pushing America to the brink. Instead of closing the border, Obama recently issued a back door amnesty for illegal aliens from Haiti. Even releasing Haitian illegal aliens from detention centers who have already been convicted of crimes in the United States! (From NumbersUSA) Approximately 1/2 of immigrant households (both legal and illegal) with kids access welfare services, primarily food and Medicaid. Many argue that immigration is a social issue, but it’s a fiscal issue as well. The immigrant population has grown by an average of 1.3 million per year since 2000, plus an additional 1 million new births in those households. That’s 23 million new people every decade, and HALF of all immigrant families are using welfare, especially food and Medicaid welfare! This includes illegal AND legal immigrants.
When Nobel Prize-winning libertarian economist Milton Friedman was asked about unlimited immigration in 1999, he stated that "it is one thing to have free immigration to jobs. It is another thing to have free immigration to welfare. And you cannot have both."

This land of illegal immigrants, socialism, high taxes to pay for all this. Brutal tax increase will cost the average household in California an additional $ 1000 per year in taxes. Californians now pay 8.25% state sales tax, so total sales up 10% of the county. This is the highest state sales tax in the nation.
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dude let them in our country cuz everyone knows we need some hoes (prostitutes) and plus bro some of them are mega hot. aint nothin like mexican poon

It appears that these two terms are being defined identically.
There are Immigrants who legally enter the country lacking some or even all the normally required documentation. These persons are genuine Undocumented Immigrants that lawfully gained entry, permanent residency, and often citizenship.
There are many others who unlawfully enter the country, for economic or other reasons, but having broken the law are unlikely to actively seek citizenship, instead expecting an amnesty to provide it.
These persons are genuine Illegal Immigrants, or more simply put, Illegal aliens who as their first action have demonstrated a disrespect for the laws of the nation they have entered.
I'm an American citizen, living abroad, who entered the country in which I reside, legally and although there may be laws upon which I disagree, I none the less obey them.
When laws cease to be recognized or applied and enforced, chaos is most often the result.

The age-old pesky U.S.-Mexico border problem has taxed the resources of both countries, led to long lists of injustices, and appears to be heading only for worse troubles in the future. Guess what? The border problem can never be solved. Why? Because the border IS the problem! It's time for a paradigm change.

Never fear, a satisfying, comprehensive solution is within reach: the Megamerge Dissolution Solution. Simply dissolve the border along with the failed Mexican government, and megamerge the two countries under U.S. law , with mass free 2-way migration eventually equalizing the development and opportunities permanently, with justice and without racism .

To read the details, Google "Megamerge Dissolution Solution", or click

Restricting immigration violates individual rights

The founding principle of the United States is that “all men” are endowed with “certain unalienable Rights“. These rights are inherent to our nature as human beings, not privileges granted by the government. It is unjust to protect the rights of some but violate the rights of others because of their place of birth.

Immigration is non-coercive; restricting immigration is

A foreigner does not steal from anyone when he pays to buy a house or a car - he benefits both parties. But the government engages in coercion when it forbids a citizen from selling to, hiring, or doing business with a foreigner. There is no right to be protected from being outbid for one’s goods or labor just because one’s competitor is a foreigner. As long as immigrants are peaceful, the government has no right to treat them like criminals by preventing them from engaging in the same voluntary transactions as any other American.

Immigrants make us richer

Every self-supporting worker produces more than he consumes, adding to total output and raising the real wage rate for everyone. The notion that immigrants cause unemployment is based on the fallacious idea that the total output of a country is fixed, and can only be divided among its residents. But historically, the American standard of living rose fastest during peak immigration periods and continues to rise today. Our greatest source of wealth is not natural resources or the capital base, but the ingenuity and creativity of our entrepreneurs and workers. Each new American creates not only new demand, but also provides the supply and insight to meet that demand.

Immigrants are not at fault for welfare abuse

Immigrants are often blamed for living on the public dole. But being born in a particular country does not give anyone a right to the property of others. American welfare bums don’t have any more right to other’s wealth than Mexican bums. It’s the welfare state that’s immoral, not immigration. This argument is also contradicted by legislative efforts to punish the employers of illegal immigrants, and the fact that illegal immigrants and permanent residents are generally not eligible for welfare.

Immigrants epitomize the American Dream

Whether they come here to escape political oppression or simply the pervasive poverty of socialist states, immigrants who come here seeking a free, productive life embody the American spirit . They have shown by their actions that they are far better Americans than most people born in the U.S. While most Americans don’t even bother to vote , they abandon their former life and culture and risk everything to embrace the American dream. Upon coming to America, they are usually more successful than their native born-counterparts.

I can tell your your job isn't threatened by illegal immigration as many are, and evidently your wages haven't been driven down as many have, or maybe your one of those profiting from illegal immigration.Have your property taxes gone up by 30% to build new schools for illegal immigrants?, How would you like it if you were not able to take a walk around your nieborhood for fear of being killed . Illegal Immigrants don"t make us richer, every other industrial country in the world has either reduced or stopped immigration due to the social costs. Tell the families of the 5,000 people killed each year by Illegal immigrants and countless others maimed for life that illegal immigration doesn't hurt.The cost now is in the tens of billions of dollars and if citizens hundreds of billions.Ingenuity and creativity from people with a 6th grade education , Unreal! we are not a labor starved country. Latinos have the lowest voting turn out of any race . From your remarks I suspect you are one of those profiting. I.m not!.

When I go to another country. I obey it's laws, regardless of how stupid I may personally find them. I try my best to learn at least a little of their home language, instead of expecting everyone to cater to me. Why is it so absurd to expect the same from those coming to mine?

I do not refer only to those of hispanic back grounds, but absolutely any person who illegally comes here feeling they are above the laws of our land. They come here knowing full well the potential consequences to getting caught. They know they are breaking the law, and choose to do so anyway.

The reason it is so hard for people to come here legally is because of the masses that decided to not follow the laws. Immigration needs to be done slowly, so (to risk sounding like a borg) they can be assimilated into our culture. When a person doesn't go though those steps, we get what we currently have.

Number 1 complaint from people, is the refusal to learn English. Sending there kids to schools to learn it, and do the translating for them. Stores without a single thing written in English.

Number 2 stealing jobs that are wanted by "Native" American (especially in an economic down time). An american lady is never a maid? An american man is never a dish washer or garbage boy? You do whatever job you can get to feed your kids. And there are significantly less jobs because of people coming here illegally, and agreeing to paid less than what is minimum. (Usually 1 of these persons will have 2-3 jobs, to pay there rent and send some home.)

Number 3 they are law breakers. Many see it as a petty law, but it is a law non-the-less, that has much more significance than someone jay-walking. There actions cause serious repercussions, and should not be rewarded. They break the law, and get amnesty , what lesson is learned? It will only encourage more of this in the future.

The term "undocumented immigrants" is a misleading term, and "undocumented citizens is a flat-out lie. To call illegal aliens things like "undocumented immigrants" or "undocumented workers" is like calling an drug dealer an "unlicensed pharmacist." Allowing these lawbreakers to continue in their blatant disregard for the law is legitimizing their claim to belong here, and is pushing legitimate immigrants trying to access this country legally back farther in the line. If the only people allowed to immigrate into this country are those who willfully break the law, are you really surprised that immigrants in general and hispanics in particular are stereotyped as lawbreakers? It is not that hispanics are lawbreakers, on the contrary, most of us are good, law abiding citizens. The fact that so many of the lawless hispanics are being let into this country, while so many law-abiding ones are kept out, has put the kernel of truth behind this stereotype.

You have just hit upon the problem which I see at the very core of our Mexican immigration situation. There was a time when the majority of the illegals who crossed the Mexican border were not the dregs of Mexican society; but times have changed. Those who come here now seem to be a more criminal element..they are transporting drugs. They are involved in gangs and have been in trouble in Mexico before they came here. They are not coming to work hard and become Americans; they are coming to rape the system. I have lived in Mexico and along the border. I've seen the changes in the way the illegals travel across the ranches in South Texas. These days, they cut fences arbitrarily, with no regard for livestock. They never used to break into homes along the way - now we have to lock and bar everything. And the crime rates continue to rise wherever they congregate. Ten or fifteen years ago, this wasn't true..and it's sad.

Just cuz they can jump a fence or outrun a border patrolman doesnt mean they should be able to have the same rights as us that were born here legally

Mostly because you are a dumbass. The fact that you open your trap means that the would-be straw men that they set up over and over talking about racism, xenophobia, insensitivity, and irrationality on the part of those against illegal immmigration are no longer straw men, they are a legitmate counter to your "logic." I'm going to try and say this in a way you will understand. STFU.

Take it from me. Besides coming from a Canadian immigrant family, growing up in a Mexican immigrant neighborhood, and now facing the immigration system head on with a Belgian fiance, I can tell you: the immigration laws don't work.

Not only are the laws plain confusing and difficult to appease, the system takes years, more than many have as they are starving in other countries or worse. Forcing them to wait such a long time and go through a process so full of red tape you can't move is frankly unrealistic.

Immigrants are then forced, by ourselves, into taking other routes. Whether their route be hopping a fence, moving 'temporarily' then never leaving, etc, it's a step they have to take, often to feed families back home or here. We can pretend all we like that things are just peachy and they have the time and ability to put up with our ridiculous laws, but they don't.

The immigration system does need to be more open and user-friendly. After all, we do want immigrants to come to this country, since that's a big part of what brought us to where we are today. That being said, breaking the law, no matter how dumb said law may be, cannot be rewarded. The laws are confusing, but I am going to assume (and I hope that I am not wrong) that you are not smuggling your fiancee (congratulations, by the way) into this country illegally. You are going through the mind-numbing maze of senselessness known as bureacracy. Two of my grandparents did the same thing when they came here from Holland. Two of my great-grandparents (who are still very much alive) did the same when they came here from Mexico. Granted, the system has probably gotten worse since then, but the fact remains, it is doable.

Problem is..when you and your children are starving to death, you simply aren't going to care about some law. You care about your family's needs.

When those who break the law are given amnesty and those who follow it starve to death and die, what kind of a message is that sending? If crossing the border illegally saved your family, while your friend back in Mexico died, what's to stop you from stealing or commiting armed robbery the next time you're hungry? We need to change the laws to accomodate immigrants, but we can't simply roll over and let them break the current laws until we do.

First, if those who consider themselves "natives" of the United States are worried about immigrants sponging off of their welfare state, perhaps they ought to disband the welfare state altogether. It is wrong to forcibly compel one human being to be financially responsible for the well-being of another regardless of the circumstances which made them needy. This is essentially what a welfare state does - takes from those who are able to give to those who are not. If the taxation system in the United States and its communities were strictly voluntary, a charitable system would not be seen as a burden to those who voluntarily contribute to it. An involuntary system benefits anyone who wishes to exploit it with little recourse to the taxpayer but to take political action to disband such a system.

On the subject of "legal vs. illegal immigration", it is my opinion that the only requirement for residence in the United States ought to be that one genuinely values individual rights and the liberty to exercise those rights both for themselves and for all others. What's interesting and disappointing is the fact these are the founding principles of our nation and yet there are so-called "natives" of the United States who would not pass this test of conviction. Ironically, these are likely those same persons who would deny such respect and liberty to those who were unfortunate enough not to be born "native" to this country and who hold a more genuine personal conviction toward its basic principles.

It should be pointed out the liberty or freedom and inalienable individual rights isn't an exclusive "members only" club. If our nation truly represents these values and wishes to stand as the example of such values to the rest of the world, the qualifier for residency here ought to be only that which I spoke of above. One should be given freedom simply because has a spirit that wishes it. This, of course, will not happen in the United States anytime soon because many Americans are far less interested in the values of individual rights and liberty than they are in holding onto that which they too little appreciate and gained only by virtue of birth. If their authentic convictions were the deciding factor, their residence here would be at an end.

It has been shown time and again: the way to get many "native" Americans to realize their dumb luck of birth is for an immigrant to show them what individual rights and liberties mean to one who did not previously have them.

I believe "native" Americans need that lesson now more than ever before. It is shameful of most of them to defend their accidental gains with so little belief in the principles that allow them to have them and keep them. Those who want liberty and opportunity and can show genuine conviction for those values must be given them and without bigoted discrimination.

If conservatives are concerned about immigration because of the cost they put on public services, then it would be in their best interest to stop fighting immigration and instead focus on abolishing the welfare state, along with all the other free entitlements people in the US receive. That way immigrants may actually benefit the US financially since more people are present to pay taxes.

It's illegal immigration that's the problem. Remember, they don't (with the exception of sales tax) pay taxes. They do, however, get a lot of the very welfare programs that you and I agree could probably be done away with. Since we both know, no matter how much we would like it, the welfare state isn't going to change, except maybe to get even bigger, in the forseeable futre, your argument is not a valid solution. Legal immigrants are great for this country, and nobody has any issue with them at all.

I guess it would make sense to keep enforcing the current laws for now since it's costing us billions to give these people free entitlements. Friedman was right when he said that a country cannot have both open immigration and a welfare state in place without expecting tremendous costs.

If we are not going to enforce laws then they must be changed. But changed to what? One fair law would be to look at the laws of the country an illegal entrant came from and apply them accordingly. What does Mexico do with Gringos found to be living, working and driving there without proper authority?

If i travel abroad and intend to drive I have to go to AAA and get an international drivers license. What can be wrong with insisting those visiting here do the same?

Keep it simple. Granting unearned status (or other benefits) only encourages bad behavior, it will never stop it.

Liberals complain about 'high unemployment' but want open boarders? Why not enforce employment laws and free up many millions of jobs for legals?

As to the benefits and costs of illegal immigrants, I cannot comment. There is, however, a solution that would avoid the particular difficulties involved in a catch-and-deport strategy like what is currently in use.

The difficulties I mention include cultural introversion (clannishness?), difficulties in protection of rights that must be protected (to life, property, etc), and exploitation as a non-vocal group. All of these problems arise or can arise from the fear of law enforcement that exists in immigrant communities. If immigrants did not have to fear being "found" and deported, they could bring their problems to the attention of law enforcement without consequence.

The solution is to legalize existing in America as an undocumented individual. To do this, AND ALSO to pass legislation requiring the usage of a system like E-Verify for a variety of other purposes (to receive Government aid for health care, to enroll in public schools, to receive private employment, to lease an apartment or home, to buy a car..) along the lines of Arizona's "Employer Sanctions" legislation would simultaneously encourage integration while discouraging immigration for the purposes of "abusing" certain programs that exist in America.

I don't have a position on the matter of whether illegal immigration is good or bad. However, if legislation with the purpose of limiting it will be passed anyway, I'd rather it be good legislation that creates the most fitting incentives.

I'm officially into allowing the vast majority of undocumented immigrants to work in this country.

'Cuz I know we need them. We'll need them on numerous levels and I'm a realist.
Question which one of you is willing to pick oranges in southern California for $8 an hour? How many of you are willing to work in some hot kitchen as a cook in somewhat trendy restaurant who will pay you $10-12 an hour? So what exact jobs are they taking from you?
Undocumented workers also are major cogs in key and vital industries in this country. (Construction, Hospitality, Restaurants) So lets round them up and watch the economy grind to a halt.
Hurting wages. Hey I don't see undocumented workers getting golden parachutes from large corporations. A lot of things are already in place for inequitable wages. Have you seen how hard it is to move the minimum wage? Or seen plenty of illegals with car insurance. Many find ways to get legal ids and cars. I'd be more concern with the broke folks if I was you.
They broke a law. True. Fine putting them in jail only cost taxpayers more money. Deport them right away. Have the money and manpower to hunt every illegal immigrant down? Have any idea how hard that can be especially in cities like New York, Chicago, L.A., Dallas, and Miami. I can't wait to try and see how well that works out.
According to statistics there are over 1.1 million immigrants in the U.S. every year and working visas are available for no more than 250,000 people. That is nearly a gap for 3/4 million. 100,000 of those visas are H1B's for highly skilled workers. (Which actually people want in the country) So now for every other average person without high skills there is less than 100,000 work visas a year.
Have any of you had to deal with immigration? I had to through my wife and its a nightmare. Do you know that they went UP on their prices to apply for citizenship or work authorization (green cards). It went from $500 to just over a 1,000!! Only good ole GOV could double the price for the same bad service. Then the process can take more than a year, or years due to the backlog. Thus people we need for jobs can't get in, and who's holding it up. That's right our own system.
Like social security? I do hope to have it their when I retire. Its paid by the workers for the retirees. Problem is that it the birth rate is extremely low in natural born Americans, especially blacks and whites. Foreigners however have a high birth rate. We need them to maintain the infrastructure.
I believe that last point is why so many people are anti-immigrant. Brown and yellow and foreign accents have begun to invade their homogenous little zones and it got some people uneasy.
Look I live in the biggest immigrant city in the states. New York. We were in an economic boom until recently and one of the factors that highlighted the boom were prosperous immigrant zones. Those neighborhoods like Brighton Beach (Russians), Jackson Heights (Indians, Mexicans, Columbians) all have a lot of undocumented and documented workers. So it can work out. However most cities don't have a mind state and thought process for this.
As far they want to have pride for their home countries that's an actual issue?

I woke up the other day to discover that my family was wealthy. We do not seem to be, but BHO declared us to be. We cannot afford to pay for all the things expected including that for all the illegal citizens from Mexico. If we did not provide employment and welfare to them, they will go home. Then there will be jobs for our own citizens if they care to work; economic problem solved. Gee, that was easy.
If an individual wishes to become a citizen of this country, there are laws allowing that to happen. If those laws need to be changed then do it the right way, through legislation. Right things right, not right things wrong.

Yes, there is a way to become a citizen, but the process is mainly flawed and bureaucratic. It can take 14 years for someone who entered the country as a resident but not a citizen ( note this: they don't even have to be illegal) at the age of months.

One of the issues that drives this problem is the availability of skilled and unskilled workers who are willing to work for less than the fair wage that the American worker would demand. What we hear about most are the undocumented day laborers, domestic help, and agriculture laborers.

These illegal immigrants are taking away jobs that can be filled by Americans. The excuse that they are doing jobs that Americans don't want is a lie. You hear a great deal about raids on these businesses and what a terrible thing ICE is doing. But what you don't hear is how many Americans line up at the business' HR office to apply for these now vacant jobs.

Those in the technology sector are feeling much the same crunch with the ever increasing number of H1B visas allocated each year. It is driving down the wages paid to technically skilled Americans and replacing them with foreign born temporary workers for much less.

Follow the money.

I don't think the "no amnesty" crowd can really be referred to as the "vocal minority" when you look at the poll number. I believe the polling numbers were something around 85% of legal Americans against granting amnesty, which is *why* the bipartisan group of self interested congressmen couldn't sneak the amnesty bill through. Too many people outside of congress kept shining a light on what they were trying to do.

This guys arguments are really weak. I live in an area with a lot of growth, so we have a huge illegal immigrant population. They aren't learning English, they aren't paying taxes, and they aren't here to become Americans. Most of them seem very proud to be Mexican. They are simply here to make tax free money and enjoy the free benefits of our healthcare and school systems. If it's important to them to become American, they'll come back and do it the right way.

"Most of them seem very proud to be Mexican."

As someone of Mexican ancestry, I am very proud to be a Mexican. As someone who is also of Dutch ancestry, I am very proud to be Dutch. As someone who grew up and spent most of his life in Southern California, I will always be proud to be SoCal. At the same time, as someone who is now living in the South, I am proud that I am becoming a Southerner. Most of all, however, I am proud of being an American. That's the key. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being proud of your heritage, and of where you come from, in fact it's positive, as long as you assimilate. It's great to continue speaking Spanish and to teach your kids to speak Spanish, but you also need to learn English, and make sure your kids do as well. There's nothing wrong with flying the Mexican flag, so long as the American flag flies just a bit higher.

U.S. Citizenship has always been and will no doubt continue to be a goal towards which countless numbers of people the world over aspire. If the current situation isn’t working, well – we’re a nation of smart people –let’s use our collective brains and imagination and come up with a plan which will work towards keeping the process within the framework of the laws of our land.

Because the current system is not working is not a reason to reward lawbreakers with the prize of citizenship.

This should be the most important issue facing Americans today. It must be easier to "feel" the impact of our dependency on foreign oil because we see the numbers go up on the gas pumps. However, the reality is that there is a greater financial hit on tax-paying, American citizens than is evident because of illegal immigration's impact on reduced wages, higher taxes, higher insurance rates, etc. Illegal aliens cost the state of California billions of dollars each year. Also, these are not "undocumented immigrants" we're talking about here. These are illegal aliens who entered this country illegally. Top 4 reasons I oppose amnesty:

1. Most don't want to become Americans
2. Most send their paychecks back to their families in Mexico
3. Illegals use our hospitals as their own personal health care system
4. The double standard - Mexico does not permit illegal immigration from their southern border yet they encourage the poorest of their country to sneak into America

next.. what to do?

Do you realize that not all illegal immigrants come from Mexico?
And why do you believe they do not want to become Americans? Many are hard-working patriotic individuals. There is also nothing wrong with someone wanting to support their family back in their country of origin. Your argument is flawed.

You forgot to mention they kill 5,000 Americans a year and maim tens of thousands more. Nobody seems to really care!

That's why there are prisons and deportations of criminals. I believe if you do not commit a crime , and you contribute to society in some form, you deserve citizenship.