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How should the U.S. overhaul its immigration system?

Feb. 1, 2013

By Jeremy Quattlebaum, Student Voices staff writer

“Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity, until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.”

President Obama’s inauguration speech marked the end of a nearly 10-year silence on immigration reform. Echoing the president’s remarks, members of Congress from both parties seem eager to make immigration reform a top priority. Politics have prevented much from being accomplished in the past. But the nation’s swiftly changing demographics were clear in the 2012 presidential election. Exit polls indicated that Latino voters overwhelmingly supported Obama over Mitt Romney, who had advocated a policy that amounted to forcing undocumented immigrants to deport themselves. Both political parties took notice.

Labeled the Gang of Eight, a bipartisan group of senators has started negotiating a plan that would overhaul the immigration process. The exact details have not been agreed upon, but one of the core principles is strengthening border security before creating a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

“I’ve always been for” immigration reform, said Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), a member of the Gang of Eight, “but I’ve always been concerned about border security, I think with good reason.”

The senators, in a press release, proposed “Four Basic Legislative Pillars”:
  • “Create a tough but fair path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States that is contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country when required;
  • Reform our legal immigration system to better recognize the importance of characteristics that will help build the American economy and strengthen American families;
  • Create an effective employment verification system that will prevent identity theft and end the hiring of future unauthorized workers; and,
  • Establish an improved process for admitting future workers to serve our nation’s workforce needs, while simultaneously protecting all workers.”

Obama, in a speech on immigration in Las Vegas on Jan. 29, endorsed the basic principles of the Gang of Eight’s plan. “The good news is for the first time in many years, Republicans and Democrats seem ready to tackle this problem together,” Obama said.

Recent reports say that the federal government’s measures to tighten border security – increasing the number of border agents and using drones for surveillance – have reduced the flow of illegal immigrants to a trickle. Last year, the government spent $18 billion on immigration, increasing security and deporting nearly 410,000 people in one year, a record for the country. Also, 340,000 people – a 40-year low – were caught in Mexico trying to illegally cross the border.

This information has bolstered the resolve of immigration reformers, who argue that now is the time to start talking about fast-tracking citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. Not everyone supports the proposals. Conservatives oppose a path to citizenship, saying that the Gang of Eight is proposing a form of “amnesty” (read the FactCheck.org article: “Is Senate Immigration Plan ‘Amnesty’?”).

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R., Texas) says that the senators’ plan would not only reward people who have illegally entered the country, but it also would encourage more illegal immigration. “The American people should not be fooled,” Smith said. “When you legalize those who are in the country illegally, it costs taxpayers millions of dollars, costs American workers thousands of jobs and encourages more illegal immigration.”

Other sticking points in proposed legislation remain, including the length of time that those in the country illegally would have to wait before applying for citizenship. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has scheduled the first hearing on immigration for Feb. 13, a day after Obama's State of the Union address. The Judiciary Committee oversees the subcommittee that will draft any immigration legislation.

What do you think?

Do you think agree with the senators’ proposal to increase border security, then address the possibility of granting citizenship to illegal immigrants? What about the other issues in their plan? Should citizenship be possible for people who came into this country illegally? Join the discussion and let us know what you think!
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Comments
5/19/2017
rowland
Emma
Rowland
i believe that tightening border control is good because i am a trump supporter

9/24/2014
Murrieta California
Steph Folston
Mr. Jabro Creekside High School
I agree with the senators' proposal to increase boarder security, but I do not agree with the possibility of granting citizenship to illegal immigrants. Immigrants lost the word of an immigrant and turned into illegal aliens because the fact they come into america illegally. Citizenship should not be granted to anybody who comes in this country illegally. If you want to be apart of america I think you should be apart of the count paying taxes, health care, etc. Nobody wants to pay for you and your family to live here especially when there are hardly enough jobs as it is. How would the peoples in Mexico or other countries like it if Americans started illegally immigrating there taking all the jobs and making them pay for their health care. My great grandparents were immigrants from Italy so I have no problem with immigrants but there is a way and its not illegal immigrating.

9/9/2014
Murrieta/CA
Luis Martinez
Mr.Jabro/Creekside High School
I disagree with the senatros proposal on increasing border security. Why is America closing up the doors for those immigrants trying to get in to live the "American Dream?" America should help and grant the citizenship to those illegal immagrants. Why? Because immigrants actually come in with the knowledge to work hard and live a regular life. Not just to eat and sleep. In order to eat and sleep one has to work for it; things dont just fall out of the sky for us immigrants.

10/16/2013
Watertown, MA
Jaslyn Gomez- Jobson
Mr. Rimas Watertown Highschool
Immigrants should be granted citizenship. I mean they came to America for various reasons. Those who are illegal immigrants, with the chance of being granted citizenship, may be able to do wonders for our nation. Changing American history as we know it. Deporting each and every single one of them wouldn't be fair. Especially for those who are raising families here. Think about the children. Think about families that can be torn apart by this. America is mostly known for its freedom and as the land of opportunities. Sending every one away without giving them a chance of becoming a citizen in our great nation send a negative message to everyone out there.

10/16/2013
Watertown, MA
Danny F
Rimas
I think that if someone was born in another country, and then immigrated here, they should be treated equally unless they aren't legal US citizens. I think that if people are found here and they aren't legal, then thy should be sent back to where they came from. They can come back as long as they are legally allowed to be here. If they were not born here but they were legal US citizens, then they should be able to stay.

10/16/2013
Watertown/Ma
Aashma
Mr. Rimas/ Watertown High School
America is a dream land for many people. People believe that if they come to America then half of their problems will be resolved. So giving them a chance to be the legal citizen of the country is their right and country's duty. As some of them might be profitable to the country and losing them in the name of illegal citizen will be a loss.

10/16/2013
Watertown/ Ma
Lily
Mr. Rimas
I believe that immigrants should be able to stay here because they should have freedom to like we do. They deserve better from the country they were in before and that is why they came here to make a better living for themselves. Even though they take are money and food, we should be able to help them because it is our duty to help those who cannot help themselves.

10/11/2013
Watertown, MA
Meghan
Rimas
I believe that if you are searching for a better life and wish to come to America then I think you should. Having said that, I believe if you want to come to America and live here then take that time to become a citizen and live here legally. It becomes unfair when there are illegal immigrants who don't have to pay taxes and then apply for welfare. Become a citizen if you want to live here, otherwise you don't belong in the country.,

10/11/2013
Watertown, ma
Eve
Rimas
I think that it's wrong that illegal immigrants came here and take our jobs eat our food don't pay taxes for anything I think it's wrong.

10/11/2013
Watertown, MA
Joel
Rimas, Watertown high school
Weren't the first Brits who arrived and colonized this country immigrants themselves? This nation was built on the back of immigrant labor, something we've only decided to frown about once the various members of our foreign proletariat asked for better pay and equal treatment. A lot of the government's unwillingness to change the thoroughly corrupt system of immigration screening says more about the legislators than those being legislated.

10/11/2013
Watertown, MA
Luis
Mr Rimas Watertown HighSchool
I think they should pass the reform because immigrants provide many positive things such as culture and diversity and without it kids growing up in this generation would miss out on something very special and would end up being afraid of people of other race or even worst kids in this generation would grow up not liking people of other race and would end up being racist when they're adults and that's something that the USA had been trying to get rid of for a very long time

10/11/2013
Watertown, MA
Ani Vehapetian
Rimas, Watertown High School
Yes I think they should grant citizenship to illegal immigrants. So people can come to the US and help out by making business, finding jobs for themselves and other things. They should be accepted because they might be wishing to visit someone or have a job here and get benefited.

10/11/2013
Watertown/Massachusetts
Brendan
Mr. Rimas/ Watertown High School
I think that only if you passed the test to become a citizen and actually are a citizen of the united states then you can stay but if you didn't take the test or didn't pass it then you shouldn't be able to be part of the united states and get a job.

10/11/2013
Watertown/ Ma
Nick
Mr. Rimas/ Watertown High school
I think we need to change the immigration system. Some immigrants get into our country way too easy. Some immigrants are given tax money which most of those who get that are illegal. We should tighten up security and make it so illegal immigrants cant get into our country.

10/11/2013
Watertown,MA
Jake L
Mr. Rimas/Watertown High School
I do agree with the tough but fair path to citizenship. Like older times people came to America and had to work hard to make it somewhere. I think that illegal immigration still shouldn't be allowed because in my opinion you should be an American citizen to stay in America. If you weren't born in America but you were a citizen I agree that they should be considered like anyone else in America but still be able to celebrate in there heritage.

10/11/2013
Watertown,MA
Jake L
Mr. Rimas/Watertown High School
I do agree with the tough but fair path to citizenship. Like older times people came to America and had to work hard to make it somewhere. I think that illegal immigration still shouldn't be allowed because in my opinion you should be an American citizen to stay in America. If you weren't born in America but you were a citizen I agree that they should be considered like anyone else in America but still be able to celebrate in there heritage.

10/11/2013
Watertown/Ma
Keith
Mr. Rimas
Immigrants should 100% be allowed to stay. They bring happiness to thousands of folks such as Celeste from Aspire Middle School, and make our lives better. They do so much from making the food we buy to the schools we learn so much from, and even just being a friend makes them more important the most of the American population. And if they can't stay for that do we deserve to stay? we kick them out for only helping us. Immigrants should be able to stay, this is this really "the land of the free" or the land of American greed.

10/11/2013
Watertown, Mass
LANA W
Rimas/ Watertown High School
I think everyone has the right to take part of this nation. No matter where the immigrants are from, we should except them all. If anything, we should strengthen the immigration system so we will not have any terror incidents.

10/11/2013
Watertown/MA
Koko Boyajian
Mr.Rimas Watertown High School
I think it isnt fair how America treats the immigrants. I myself was a immigrant from another country and I feel the same way as them. America shouldn't be sending people and kids back to there other countries because of suspicious papers or origin.

10/11/2013
Watertown/MA
EH
Mr. Rimas/watertown highschool
I dont think that immigrants come over the boarder to take jobs I think that they come to find new lives in the land of opportunity

10/11/2013
Watertown/MA
Eric
Mr. Rimas/watertown highschool
I dont think that immigrants come over the boarder to take jobs I think that they come to find new lives in the land of opportunity

5/22/2013
Washington
Celeste
Aspire Middle School
I think immigrants should be allowed to stay. An exchange student from Japan has lived with my family for over six years he recently had to go back. It isn't fair, he became an uncle to my siblings and I. The government should let him come back. I miss him so much.

3/20/2013
Denver/co
Jhenifer
Mrs.Mumby John F kennedy highschool
I think that the govenment should think twice about deporting immigrants and sending them back home because were the ones who work really hard out in the sun every single day and also because were the ones who have built most of this city... from schools to skyscrapers

3/19/2013
DENVER,CO
pablo
JFK
in my opinion I don't think that imagrants pass the border to take jobs. some cross the border because this is ''the land of opportunity'' and we cross to have a better life and not live under so much stress.people lose their jobs because they mess up and they say that mexican's cross the border to take jobs that's not true the reason why they give us the job is because of the wage we are willing to have a little less money but at least its enough to keep a family suported and they know that we are willing to be paid a little less than other people that's why they give us a job.

3/19/2013
Denver,Colorado
Luis Sierra
Ms.MumbyJhon F. Kennedy
In my opinion they should pass the reform. I say this because the people that pass from other country's are looking for more opportunities for their families. Some people were force to come to this country because they thought they were going to live the American dream but in reality some people live horrible.

3/19/2013
Denver Co.
Saira Chavez
Kennedy high school
first of all my opinion is that unstaid of waisting the U.S money on protecting the border they should use this money on something that is actually important like world hunger. I mean its not a crime to want to have a better future, and some imigrant students REALLY want to go to college and be someone in life. THE REFORM SHOULD PASS and people should focous on something that is really affecting them. All we are doing here is help America be a better country sence some of us consider this our country because we have been here sence a little kid. e may eaven love this country eaven more than students who were actually born here and all we want is the est for aAmerica its not a crime to worry about our futures(:

3/18/2013
Irving/TX
But nguyen
Bradley/Nimitz
Our border is our defense. Our defense is our safety. Therefore we must secure the border to secure our safety. However, we also should grant citizenship to illegal immigrants that are already living in the U.S because of the contribution they have made, the sacrifices they have to make, and the effort they have given. After all, our country has been built under the foundation of immigrants. There isn’t any different in the immigrants we have now compare to the immigrants we been having the last 200 years. All we have to do now is regulate immigration by placing a quota and having a method of allowing our southern neighbor to be able to immigrate to the U.S legally.

3/6/2013
Denver Colorado
Daniel A
John F. Kennnedy High school
We should all get to live the american dream and be able to study our future lives! I say that the reform should pass!!

3/1/2013
Benson/AZ
Rhiannon
Sorenson/ Benson
Border security is important, jobs are taken by illegal immigrants and the protection of US citizens should come first. Citizenship should be offered to all people but only on a legal basis should it be verified, and not be offered to those who come on an illiegal basis.

3/1/2013
Benson, Arizona
Ashley S.
Sorenson/Benson High
I think living in a boarder state has changed my mine on immigration topics. I think we should do what it takes to protect our boarders. People don't seem to realize the every day effects of living down by the boarder. In order to change it though we need to follow the plain to make everything run smoothly.

3/1/2013
Benson
Morgan
Sorenson
I think we need to change the immigration system. The system needs to be stronger and I think we need to have better security that uses more force. Those people who come over illegally should NOT be given citizenship. I don't think it's right that people who have worked hard their whole lives are being forced to support those who are to lazy to get their own jobs or are stealing jobs from working class Americans. If someone wants to come to our counrty they should do it the legal way.

3/1/2013
Benson, AZ
Abbey
Sorenson
I agree with increasing border security. What gives illegal immigrants the right to take our jobs and benefits? If someone wants to come into our country, they need to come the legal and right way. This would also help to decrease gang and cartel violence, along with drug smuggling.

3/1/2013
Benson Arizona
Allison
Marv Sorenson; Benson High School
Citizenship shouldn't be available to those who are entering the country illegally. Being a citizen of the United States should be a priviledge, not a given right. To be a citizen, they should be required to do the right thing and come in the country legally.

3/1/2013
Irving/TX
Kenia
Bradley/ Nimitz HS
Increasing the numbers in boarder security would just be a waste of resources. What we really need to have them do is become more organized with the people they already have. I also believe that the immigrants who are already living here, and have lived here for some time, should be granted citizenship or at least have the process to get citizenship made easier. Immigrants come to the United States for a better life. Without complaint, they are willing to take any job no matter the difficulties all for the sake of their families.

2/28/2013
Irving/Texas
Alan
Bradley/Nimitz
I agree with the senator's proposal to increase border security, because it will make it harder to enter the country, and force immigrants to try the legal way, whatever it may be. The system does need to be changed, and illegal immigrants getting citizenship needs to be looked at too. If it would be more convenient to just give them citizenship then that should be done. A test or something similar should be created to make sure the immigrants moving into the country are not dangerous or associated to any cartels. It would be pointless to send the illegal immigrants back because they will just return and apply for citizenship.

2/28/2013
AZ
Emily
Benson
NO citizenship should not be available to those who came into the country illegally. if you want to be a part of the country then do what is right and come into the country the right and legal way. however i think that border security is good enough where it is and that any more security would just be an extreme overload of border patrol.

2/27/2013
Benson/Arizona
Brandon
Sorensen/Benson
We as a nation do need an immigration reform. Border security is probably the biggest priority we need to focus on. Not only would this keep illegal immigrants feeding off of our system out but also keep out all of the violent drug cartels that are making border life dangerous. We should not have to worry walking outside at night in our own backyard. I do not have a problem letting hard working immigrants who want a better life to come to the U.S. but we need to find a better process that weeds out the criminals and keeps the people that will contribute to society.

2/26/2013
Irving/Texas
Kelsie E
Ms.Bradley/Nimitz HS
I agree with the senators proposal to increase border security. In my opinion we should focus more on the people already stuggling and living in poverty in the wealthiest countries before we try and help someone else. I also feel that the immagrants that are coming gettibg free stuff and being undercover should be deported back and the immagrants that have their green cards and are going about the right way to become a citizen. Should be allowed the rights to become a citizen.

2/25/2013
Benson/Arizona
Amanda
Mr. Sorensen Benson High School
I believe that are borders should be more protected, although i also believe that immigrants should be allowed in our country but should have to pay because everyone does deserve a second chance

2/20/2013
OH
Lydia
Mr. Frankmann/Harmon Middle School
I believe that the government should increase border security, to help prevent illegal immigrants. I also think that with the decrease of illegal immigrants due to the increase of security, there should be more laws making it easier to legally immigrate. As for the illegal immigrants currently living in our nation, I think that they should have to take the steps every other immigrant has to take to legally live here, but be able to stay here until they pass, because many have families and businesses here. I definitely think that the issues with immigration should be addressed now. I think it is a growing issue that cannot be ignored any longer.

2/20/2013
Irving/TX
Kelly
Bradley/Nimitz
The Immigration Reform should be a top priority in the United States. Strengthening the border security is a good idea to prevent more Immagrants crossing the border. It's not fair that Immigrants come to the U.S. and do not have to pay taxes like everyone else. Also, they're taking our jobs, which they do not deserve because they're not considered American citizens.

2/20/2013
Sidney, MT
Travis
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
The U.S. should not let any immigrants into the country until we get rid of all the illegal aliens.

2/19/2013
Aurora,OH
Abby
Frankmann; Harmon Middle School
I believe that the Immigration system of the U.S. is working well, because we don't know who or what we are dealing with when they enter the U.S. because they might have new ideas that could help the United States with their job opportunity and could help the economy. And then they can help the U.S. But the immigrants who lie their way to get into the country is honestly unreal, and there needs to be a stop to the amount of people who think they can just come into the United States for no reason and who can just come here and live a happy life because they aren't happy with their life at home.

2/16/2013
Irving/Texas
Tasia
Bradley/Nimitz
I strongly agree with the senators proposal to increase border security because they had stated something very true, "plan would not only reward people who have illegally entered the country, but it also would encourage more illegal immagrants." Also the United stated helping illegal immagrants is doing nothing but hurting our economy even more because we would be helping people that can't get legalized (Without a green card) live here freely. When we have citzens of our own struggling to live their everyday lives. I feel if they came into this country illegally they shouldn't be allowed citzenship!

2/15/2013
Irving/Texas
Elyssa
Bradley
Immigrants come to our country hoping for better lives for their children as well as themselves- a place were they can be free, have security, and call home. They work just as hard as any man in America is willing to work, some working hard for the family they left behind others for a new start. Illegal immigrants should be able to have the same benefits as other immigrants and be granted citizenship. The senators proposal states tougher security and a tough but fair path to citizenship. Although we are letting immigrants enter our “free country” we need to maintain security for our own citizens they are the first priority. Immigrants needed to be treated like any other American. Background checks are necessary not only to end identity theft but also for the protection of our community. We do not need more and more people coming to America for drug trade, we need tighter security to ensure this doesn’t happen. The senators have set firm base rules on the steps to become an American citizen. Its fair to the people of America as well as the immigrants and ensures the safety of both.

2/15/2013
Benson, Arizona
Sabrina
Sorenson Benson High
I believe our borders should be better protected. If your not born in the untited states you should earn your freedom not come here and live off welfare and taxes that should be advailable for untited citizens only not for people with green cards cause they are comming here and taking them from people who cant afford it but have jobs. We pay for them living here and it shouldnt be that way. They should pay our goverment to live in such a great nation!

2/14/2013
Irving/TX
Monica A.
Bradley/Nimitz
There's been many immigration issues in our country in passed couple of years. The senators' proposal is fair, it's not too extreme. We have a lot of illegal immigrants that come here and it causes it a lot of problems. If we has less people come here illegally it wouldn't as much of a problem. Everyone has their different reasons for coming to America, but we should grant citizenship to those people who truly deserve it. It makes sense to use a verification system so illegal immigrants won't be hired because a lot of the time they use other people's documents in order to get jobs. If an illegal immigrant came to this country and did no harm to anybody, followed our laws, and were good people they should deserve to get their citizenship.

2/14/2013
Irving/TX
Gabe
Bradley/Nimitz
America's immigration policy is definitely in need of a face lift. I believe however that the senator is going about it all wrong, because border security will become a waste of time after addressing the possibility of granting citizenship to illegal immigrants. If we offer easier citizenship to illegal immigrants, or more specifically, restricting citizenship to those who aren't supposed to be here, such as the criminals or the cartel, then we will only have to worry about border security for the ones who threaten the safety of America. Also, creating easier citizenship could decrease the amount of drugs and crime commonly associated with the stereotype of illegal immigrants. It is believed that, since illegal immigrants have a more difficult time trying to get a job, they are more likely to become involved in selling or trafficking of drugs in order to get money. And along with drugs, crime is often associated. So if there is a possibility of lowering the amount of drugs and crime in America by offering easier citizenship, then why would we not do it? Also with lower crime and drugs, then tax payer money won't be going to jails and confiscation of drugs.

2/13/2013
Irving, TX
TJ
Bradley/ Nimitz High School
Immigration has continued to become a rising problem in our nation and it is imperative that this problem is corrected. It isn’t just a one course of action kind of solution. There are different points that need to be brought up and fixed in order to tackle the entire problem of immigration in the U.S. For example, there needs to be a way illegal immigrants, that are already residing in America, can earn the citizenship rather than just sending them back. Give them a chance to become citizens and help expand our economic system. Now once the already illegal immigrants are taken care of, now we can address the problem of any future immigrants. Strengthening border security, and increasing the help and technology on the boarder are great examples of how to address the reoccurring immigration problem.

2/13/2013
Benson/az
Katelin
sorensen/Benson
THoes that have worked extra hard shouldn't have to pay for those who are illegal and aren't trying to get citizenship. The government is using our taxes to help pay for the immigrants who aren't even here legally. I agree that border protecxtion should be stronger becuse there are too many immigrants. I don't think illegals should just be given citizenship I think they should have to work, unpaid aand not taking any of our jobs away first, before they can get citizenship.

2/11/2013
Irving/Texas
Samantha N. S.
Bradley/Nimitz
Immigration is a large part of this country- in a way, it's our very foundation. Our country is made up of immigrants- all of our ancestors (with the exception of the Native Americans of course) were people who migrated to America, a place where opportunity was bountiful, and where you can come with big hopes and dreams. We should welcome immigrants today, just as we did two hundred years ago. With the immigrants here, we shouldn't jut cast them off to their home country, no questions, no cares, once we discover that they are here illegally. We should allow them to stay, with the obligation to get their legal citizenship within a decent time frame. The issues of drug smuggling is a different problem all together, and the notion that every/most immigrants coming here are bringing drugs is absurd. The process of getting in to the country is not a timely thing, and it's not an easy thing. By making the process to get in easier and more welcoming, the issue of immigrants crossing the border illegally and “cheating the system” would decrease greatly. People come with their families, get settled in a place and a job, and then we just uproot them and cast them off, which isn't fair or right. Our country is a place where anyone can make it- no matter where they came from, no matter how much money they have, no matter what their dream is, no matter how they get here.

2/11/2013
Benson, AZ
kayla
sorenson
i believe our border should be way more protected than it is now. i believe that everyone born out of the U.S. should pay for being here because they are taking our jobs and we pay for them living here in taxes.

2/11/2013
Irving/Texas
Yeny
Bradley/Nimitz
The border should be more controlled and more strict but that also won't stop many people from coming to the U.S. To accomplish their American Dream. The people that already live here should be granted a green card and go through the process of citizenship just like the rest of he people that come here to better their lives. My family is an example, we all came here with a green card and waited 5 years until we learned and knew English to the level that we could speak it,write it, and defend ourselves with the language and later start the process of citizenship until now every member in mu family is a U.S. Citizen. Just granting immigrants citizenship just like that will not make it fair to the rest of the people around the 50 states that actually work legally and not illegally like many immigrants do by getting fake green cards that gives them a fake or stolen social security to work. One of the things that President Obama and the senators should have in mind is that even is the border it more controlled with a higher security, people that live in other countries like Mexico and come here will come even more knowing that they can cross the border and still be legal here and work.

2/11/2013
Irving/Texas
April S.
Bradley/Nimitz
America should definitely increase border security to insure that everyone that crosses the border is supposed to be over here legally. If America gives the illegal aliens a chance to gain citizenship once they are already here, what is the point of having border security at all? America mine as well just allow everyone that wants to come over to just come over and not even need citizenship. Allowing illegals to gain citizenship once they are here will probably leave more space for them to stay illegal since they are already here in the first place and we are not doing anything about it except for telling them that it is okay. Citizenship should not be available for people that come over here illegally. They need to stay in their home country until they get their citizenship to come here legally.

2/11/2013
Irving/Texas
Delaney
Bradley/ Nimtiz
Immigration should be reformed so that the illegal immigrants in the country can become citizens more easily. This way they can be more easily assimilated into our American culture and take partake in the benefits of living here while also getting to vote and being a citizen who pays taxes and contributes. For those who are on work or student visas, the government should keep track of those people much better and if their visas expire and they don't want to reapply or become citizens then they need to be escorted out of the country. Border control should also be reinforced to keep people from coming here illegally.

2/11/2013
Benson
Kady
Sorensen/Benson
No citizenship should not be allowed to Illegal immigrants. There are people doing things the right way to come into the U.S so we shouldn't give it to people who are coming illegally, taking up jobs, and bringing drugs and such.

2/10/2013
Irving/Texas
Zachery
Bradley/Nimitz
America is usually known as the land of the free and even if there are immigrants coming to America illegally, it should still be possible for them to acquire a citizenship in this country. Though, I do strongly agree with the senators' proposal to increase border security because with the increase of border patrol, it brings down the percentage of people that come into the country illegally, which in turn brings down the granting of citizenship for illegal immigrants. Along with the last two points the Senator proposed, I like them both. With creating an effective way of verifying new workers so it can prevent identity theft and finally ending the hiring of future illegal workers, its a great idea. So why not just let them become an American citizen if they can pass all necessary requirements and haven't committed any serious crimes.

2/10/2013
Irving/Texas
Crystal
Bradley/Nimitz
People have dreams. Dreams of flying to the moon or even win a lottery ticket. People from different countries have one simple dream, that is to have/earn something they can't ever have in their own country. The senators' proposal of increasing border security proves that the American Dream will no longer exist for others. Accept immigrants that will benefit us positively, those who seek America for an education and a life here. We need people with skills and an open mind. We don't need to legalize the illegal immigrants who came here for no purpose. We need to welcome a group of sophisticated people into America. We are the "Land of Opportunities," and that saying will continue positively if we find a correct solution in the immigration issue.

2/9/2013
Irving/Texas
Giancarlo
Bradley/Nimitz
Increasing border security will decrease the number of illegal immigrants but what ever happened the America being the land of opportunity? I do agree with granting citizenship to the immigrants that are already here in the United States. They have been in hiding, in wait for an opportunity to fix their families. As for these "Four Basic Legislative Pillars", they do make good points. The senators shouldn't worry about jobs here in America. There will always be jobs somewhere in this country. It's at least good to hear that Republicans and Democrats are finally working together to tackle this controversial issue!

2/9/2013
Irving/TX
April K.
Bradley/Nimitz
I agree with the senator's proposal to increase border security, then address the possibility of granting citizenship to illegal immigrants. Citizenship should be possible for people who came into this country illegally. However, like the senators said, it should be “a tough but fair path to citizenship.” Also like the senators said, I think there should be a more effective employment verification system to prevent people getting their identities stolen and it would end the hiring of unauthorized workers. This more effective system would be important because as U.S. Rep. Lamar disagrees and says, “it also would encourage more illegal immigration”, this system would help against the illegal immigrants, since they would be able to support themselves while they live here.

2/9/2013
Irving/TX
Alexis
Bradley/Helen
This has been a very complex issue for a very long time. America is known to the metlting pot because so many have immigrated here and have made this land their home. I understand wanting to get control of the number of immigrants who are here illegally because as taxpayers we cover the cost for alot of programs that they benifit from without paying any taxes. However,many immigrants who come here perform alot of tesks that no others may not to perform. I am not trying to point out any stereo types but I want to establish that those who come here illegally do work as hard as Americans and perform a great service in this country. The american dream exist still for those who come to this land whether that be legally or illegal. Yes it may best to strengthen border security however we also must take a look at our current policy regarding those who try to maintain citizenship legally. We must analyze both sides and maintain positive reinforcment that we are not denying anyone access to the American dream. We must have a balance to both sides and even compromise.

2/8/2013
Irving/ Tx
Samantha S
Bradley/Nimitz
In order to better protect our people from dealing drugs or any type of harm, I definitely agree that there should be an increase in border security. However, if there is already illegal residents living here providing them with Citizenship would not hurt us at. As long as they have no criminal history and help out our country as a hard working individual, I don’t see what the problem with them being a citizen is. If there is any one were trying to get rid of, and kick of the country it should be drug dealers, criminals, and over all bad people.

2/8/2013
Irving/Texas
Helen
Bradley/Nimitz
There are thousand of illegal immigrants in this nation that have come here to find a way to provide a better future for their families. Every year they contribute to their economy although they don't get any of the benefits because they are scared to ask our government for any help. I understand that there is a need to protect our borders but that does not mean that we should not provide a path to legalize the thousands of immigrants in this country who have come here in search of a better future. This people have come to this country to work, not to drain the economy of this country like some tend to believe. The U.S government should provide a way for those immigrants who already live here and have not committed serious crimes to become citizens.

2/8/2013
Benson/Arizona
Dylan L
Sorenson/Benson High School
I thing that we have improved our immigration system a lot in the last ten years. We have a good team of border patrol and such but we can do better. If we really wanted to stop illegal immigration we would put the army on the border. It’s not that we don’t want them in the US but they need to do it legally. With every person that we catch 10 more are coming through the boarder. With every person there is usually drugs that come through also and this is what needs to be fixed.

2/8/2013
Benson/Arizona
Shawn
Sorensen/Benson High School
I believe that the basic leglislative pillars that were proposed were good. They are showing that they are willing to allow people in the country, but through a fair process, whereas the process in the past has always been a strenuous task, sometimes never even really achieved. But I do have mixed feelings on the employment, sometimes I feel maybe as if they just want more people to become legal citizens so they can legally pay them minimum wage, instead of illegally paying them minimum wage under the table.

2/8/2013
Benson, AZ
Jacob Manuel
MR.sorensen/Benson high school
What i think about the immigration system now ,is that it surely is more secured then our country's previous years. we have so much more border patrol squads out on the border land .Sure were not be able to stop them all because ,the great mind is in so many of us through out the world and people will always find a way to get across to our country of freedom ,I really can not decide weather we should improve our immigration system or if we should just leave it alone and keep it moderate like our previous years ,but then again i have to think that many of our jobs are being taken from our nation by illegal immigrants so my side surely favors weather its good or bad because i just believe that this whole situation is never going to get to a final climax .

2/8/2013
Benson/AZ
David
Marv Sorenson/Benson High School
We should make a way for illegal immigrants to become taxable citizens and stop giving them free education and healthcare.

2/8/2013
Benson/Arizona
Gunner
Sorensen/Benson
An increase in border security would help, but it would take years before we even see the decrease in illegal immigrants. Granting citizenship to illegal immigrants is just plain wrong. If they came through illegally, then they should not be treated as citizens. They shouldn't even be able to apply for citizenship. But every person needs an opportunity. They should just take that opportunity legally.

2/8/2013
Benson/AZ
Antonio
Marv/Benson High School
I believ the borders should be closed, no exception. Immigrants dont need to be here. I think they should take classes on American stuff, such as; rope stuff, shoot the gun, dippin, drinkin, rattle for bucks, whittle a good stick, fish, climbin windmills and practice your words! Thats what I believe! God Bless! YEE YEE!!!!!!!

2/8/2013
Benson/ AZ
Jordan Roller
marv Sorensen/ Benson high school
I think that the U.S should enforce the border more because immigrants are slipping through the bortderand causing problems for the citizens of the United states. a lot of the immigrants are trafficing brugs and weapons that are bringing harm to our citizens. other immigrants are actually trying to find a new life for them and their families so i think that if they really want to become citizens they should go through the legal immigration system.

2/8/2013
Benson/AZ
Kaelin
Marv Sorensen
I think we need to add more security to our borders. we need too be more aware of the cars coming in and the people staying and going, we need to inforce the laws we have. we need to have more power over the border. Illegal immigrants are taking advantage, and coming to our country for free, and not paying their dues. We need to show them that they are braking the law, and that if they want to become a U.S citizen do it the right way, and not just hop the border.

2/8/2013
Benson, Arizona
Alyssa
Sorenson
I agree with increasing border security. I think illegal immigrants should not be granted citizenship. Illegal immigrants are not only taking our jobs away but they are bringing things like drugs into the country and killing people. If they are illegal immigrants found here they should be deported immediately and as for people being U.S. citizens because their illegal parents gave birth to them here, i think that should not be happening.

2/8/2013
Benson AZ
Mikayla
Marv Sorensen Benson High School
Citizenship SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN TO PEOPLE WHO HAVE CROSSED OVER ILLEGALLY!!! I understand when they do all the paper work to come to this country and to be accepted. But to people who lie and cheat their way through is unexceptable!

2/8/2013
Benson/Arizona
Michael
Mr. Sorensen/Benson High School
In my opinion, we should not let the undocumented immigrants stay in the United States only because they are taking up a lot of the jobs and space in the country. Also, we should put more attention to the Border Patrol and help them out and upgrade some of the rules.

2/7/2013
Irving/Texas
Grace
Bradley/Nimitz
The senators' proposal of increasing border security feels like we're closing the door to the immigrants' dreams and a chance at a new life, but there are times when enough is enough. I understand that immigrants want a better life for their families, but in the United States, we have millions of families who work in order to care for the ones they love. If immigrants were to come to the United States illegally and take over our jobs, then how is that fair? For now, I would say no to granting illegal immigrants citizenship because of all the chaos and confusion it would cause. Once we grant one illegal immigrant citizenship, then more and more will come. Once the United States have gotten everything sorted out and things under control, then and only then would it be a great time to welcome some new families into the “Land of Opportunities”.

2/7/2013
Irving/Tx
Leslie
Bradley/Nimitz
Immigrants will always find a way to pursue the American dream on American soil. This has been proven over the passed decade with the problems concerning them crossing the border and being victims of human trafficking. They dig tunnels, and swim through the harsh water of the river. They come to this country to help and do the jobs no one else will do for the low pay and no benefit. The government should focus on a Immigration Reform. They supporting this country should be given the right to eventually become citizens. So basically it doesn’t matter if they increase border security because people with perseverance and goals will find ways to get what they want. And the senators should grant citizenship to those who have been here for more than 3 years maximum.

2/7/2013
Irving, TX
Anahy Lopez
Austin JESA
Immigration reform should be in the United States future. I disagree with the senator’s proposal to increase border patrol. Spending all that money on border patrol could stop trafficking and other activity, but it won’t stop illegal immigrants from risking their lives to come to the U.S. They come to live the “American Dream” like everyone else. Citizenship should be granted to them, as it could better improve our economy and much more. It can help improve their economy and educational life as well. Many parents that are illegal have children that were born in America. Immigrants come to the U.S so that their children can live a better life than the one they had. Immigration reform is such a controversial topic, everyone has their own opinion, but until you have experienced the obstacles that illegals face, you really don’t have a definite say so.

2/7/2013
Irving/TX
Perla
Austin/JESA
It's a tough subject, but people won't stop trying to cross over to the U.S. even if the security increases. It would be helpful, though, if it did decrease the traffic of people coming some. Not everyone trying to get into the U.S. illegally has good intents for once they get here. I think that after living in a country for so long, even illegal immigrants should be granted citizenship. It's a long process for most people to get U.S. citizenship and most people just can't wait that long to be with family already in the U.S.

2/7/2013
Irving/Texas
Edgar
Bradley/Nimitz
I agree with the senator's proposal to increase border security as this will lower the number of immigrants coming to this country, as we saw with last years numbers. For the immigrants that have been here for more than four years and have no criminal record,a chance to citizenship should be awarded. Citizenship should be possible for people who came illegally as they have help socially and economically to this country. Although this is going to require some money, in the long run it will benefit all of us.

2/7/2013
Irving/Texas
Darian
Bradley/Nimitz
I agree with the Senator we should increase border patrol to help protect our country from illegal immigrants. Controlling our border will help us control our population. The illegal immigrants that are here now should not be allowed to be citizens. Unless they have been here for more that 3 years then they shall be granted citizenship. This well cause for more money to be spent but it will improve America for a better Future.

2/6/2013
Benson/AZ
Krystal
Sorensen/Benson High School
I definitely agree that there should be an increase in border security so as to better protect our people. I think it would be slightly unfair to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants because we are trying to set up a fair system for them to come here legally and we are going to turn around and give citizenship to those that came here illegally? I think that just opens the door for an increase in illegal immigration...

2/6/2013
Harrisburg/PA
Tyler
Central Duaphin highschool
I think we should add more security to the border and have guys watching every spot from the border to the river and we should have more guns and ammo for are guys. they should check the cars more carefully and train their dogs more. they should take shifts and help each other out more. they should have better vehicles for some of their jobs like in bad weather conditions. they should have lifted vehicles.

2/6/2013
IRVING
Kellie
Austin JESA
The senators proposal to increase border security is not going to stop immigrants from risking their lives to come here. The security can benefit the country by preventing criminal activity and trafficking in the US. If we provide fair citizenship to immigrants in the US, could lead to better improvements. They could begin their american dream improve in their lives in education and economically. Citizenship should be allowed for those who are immigrants in the US and those who have their family in the US. A parent who has children born in America, should have the right to have citizenship.

2/6/2013
Harrisburg, PA
Sakthi Sukumar
Mrs. Morris/ Central Dauphin High School
The United States immigration system has problems that allow illegal immigrants to cross the border. It allows illegal immigrants to have an incentive to cross the border. America isn't strict with it's rules and regulations and immigrants take advantage of this. If they want to live in the United States they need to work to become a citizen and if not then, they should be departed

2/6/2013
Harrisburg/PA
Dylan
Central Dauphin High School
I think there needs to be more security at the border of Mexico because no illegals can come to the U.S. It's not fair to all the citizens of The U.S that are looking for a job.

2/5/2013
Irving/Texas
Wesley
Bradley/Nimitz
The senators' proposal has necessary components but also misses the mark at times. If we grant illegal immigrants citizenship, we are only opening the door to more illegal immigration. For example, take a little kid who cries in the store because he desires a candy bar. If his mother gives in, the child is conditioned to understand that crying will result in what he wants. Thus, if America gives into these illegal activities, more immigrants will continue to flow into our beloved county because in their minds, that is the best path to citizenship. Thus, what's the solution? First, we have to deport the illegal immigrants. It is the only way to show immigrants that breaking the law has repercussions. Secondly, we must increase border defense drastically. If this entails putting up the the Great Wall of America, then so be it. But, we cannot in any way allow more immigrants to come into our country on illegal terms. Once we can tighten down our border control, we can then, and only then, address the problem of granting future immigrants their citizenship. Because America is so full of opportunities, there should be no reason that the legal path towards citizenship should be dreaded or avoided. Let's make this path not necessarily easy, but fair and reasonable in all areas. By making this more appealing and illegal immigration more feared, it will really fix all of the rule bending and shaky areas of our immigration policy. Truly, let's give immigrants a desired and legal path to our precious land of equality.

2/5/2013
Irving/Texas
Cody
Bradley/Nimitz
Increasing border security should be a focus but compared to the possibility of illegal immigrants gaining citizenship should be the primary concern. This bill is allowing and encouraging illegal immigrants to come to America first, and then gain citizenship. It's obvious why people are immigrating to America. They all want to experience the "American Dream." This bill would cost Americans higher taxes and less job opportunities. This is giving illegal immigrants a reason to come here illegaly and then work here while they are "gaining citizenship." This bill should not be passed. Immigrants should not be allowed into this country until they have obtained their citizenship. The main focuse shouldn't be better security. It should be the issue of illegal immigrants coming into the country illegaly and attempting to gain citizenship.

2/4/2013
Irving/Texas
Yessica
Bradley/Nimitz
Immigration itself is a very controversial topic. Increasing border security, actually may be a positive plan. Not only is it limiting the access to the country it is controlling our population and our safety. When people pass the border illegally we have less information on that person and we have limited access to the person's identity. Not everyone is a threat to American society, but yet why take the chance.However granting citizenship to illegal citizens is a great opportunity to hard working people who only seek the "American Dream." Every person is entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,why should immigrants who desire a better future be punished? Not every Hispanic is bad or desires to "destroy the American life", they simply want to have a better life for themselves and their family. America isn't congratulating the immigrants for crossing the border illegally, it is offering a helping hand to millions of people who have hoped for this since they came to the land of prosperity and freedom.

2/4/2013
Irving/Texas
Maddie
Bradley/Nimitz
I agree that we need to increase border control, but granting citizenship to illegal immigrants that are already here is wrong. They broke the law and should not be awarded for it. I agree that this policy would encourage more illegal immigration. People would assume that they could simply immigrate illegally and then gain citizenship after they get here.

2/4/2013
Irving/Texas
Jessica W.
Bradley/Nimitz
I agree with the senators proposal that the borders should be more secure. We should make it where no more people can cross the border illegally. I do however agree that we should be able to grant citizenship to those illegals who are already here, but the process should be very difficult. These people still see America as the land of opportunity and we still are a country that has the most freedom so it obvious why someone would want to risk it by coming over illegally if it meant that they could secure a better future for themselves and their families. I see why people see this reform as a way for more illegals to come in to our country and a way to reward those who are already here illegally but I think everyone deserves the opportunity to have a better life.

2/4/2013
Irving, Texas
Timothy
Bradley/Nimitz
As much as some would like to deny it, as much as some would like to say that the country is going to the dogs, America is still the land of opportunity. That is why we have a stream of legal and illegal immigration. And that is why we need to fix the immigration policies we have. In 2008, the estimated number of illegal immigrants in the United States was fourteen million people (according to the Center for Immigration Studies). Believe it or not, they are not here to wreck the economy or subvert our governments, or even to—gasp—leach of the American public. These people, just like those that immigrate legally, are here to make their lives better just like those that came here on boats across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe—6% of the illegal immigration in the United States still comes from Europe. Though it has become a dirty word in the world of immigration policy, amnesty is by far the easiest and most effective way to combat immigration policy. If the United States relaxes quota policies and makes it easier for immigrants to immigrate legally, the illegal immigration will decrease dramatically. The policy should be that those who are already in the United States should be asked to come forward and then given a green card. No prosecution. No forcing them to hide from the law. Those who commit crimes should be punished, but an immigrant who came to the United States in pursuit of the liberties that we, as Americans, are blessed to have and the economic opportunities to better themselves and their families.

2/4/2013
Irving/Texas
Misael
Bradley/Nimitz
The senators proposal to tighten security first is an excellent idea so that no more illegal aliens are able to simply jump a fence instead of going through a legal process. If just anybody is able to go into our country, how are the citizens of this great nation safe from those types of criminals? With that said the people who are trying to go into our country to work legally should have a process that is relatively accessible to anybody who has a clean record and has a genuine want to work. As for the illegal immigrants that already find themselves in our country they should go through a rigorous process that eliminates all the criminals and leaves only the good honest people who are just here to make an honest living. Of course that process is not applicable if there isn't a tool employers can use to check the legal statuses of its employees. With that said we shouldn't think of it as amnesty but a chance to expand into an even bigger economy. Since the beginning of this country's history immigrants have been welcomed and we shouldn't stop people who just want to succeed and have no intention for criminal activities.

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