Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Readers sound off on Obama and immigration, and then some

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A post following up on Tuesday's State of the Union address titled "Obama's immigration talk: More yawns than cheers?" has drawn several comments from readers, some directly addressing the president's brief mention of immigration reform, some not.

In his address Tuesday, President Obama spoke of the need for comprehensive immigration reform, suggesting that if the Dream Act - proposed legislation that would grant conditional legal status to qualifying young people - were to reach his desk, "I will sign it right away." But this component of his speech wasn't anything new to those who follow immigration issues, and that was one of the themes of the next day's reactions in media and elsewhere, samples of which I posted.

In reaction to the post, Skv wrote:

What about thousands of people who came to this country legally, paying taxes and are waiting for their turn to become legal residents. I'm one of them. I came here as a student legally, got a job legally, paying my share of taxes, doing my bit to the community I live in and am waiting for my turn to obtain permanent legal status for the past 7 years.

Is there any closure to our problems? It is rather sad to see that people who are illegal in this country are given importance than people who are here legally.

Hope replied:

Sorry Skv...I came here legally as student and never had a chance to get my resident till I felt in love with my current wife. We applied for my green card but we've been fighting with Immigration for 2 years because THEY believe our marriage is not BONA FIDE! I've been here for 14 years and when I tried to get my residence in a legal way that's when my life and my wife's become a nightmare! THIS IMMIGRATION IS BROKEN AND IT NEEDS TO BE FIXED!

At this point my suggestion is ...come here legally or illegally - the currently Immigration will give you hard time whether you are legal or not!

Pedro Rita wrote:
Indeed. I am here 14 years also, legally working doing my own volunteer program for over 30 kids with disabilities totally free, with a PHD wife that just finished her studies and 3 Americans kids. I am waiting for my approved green card for over 5 years and looks like I will have to wait for 2 or more years until I get it.

My work creates 15 jobs for Americans and if I leave they all immediately will be out of work. Some bill must be approved to help us with this backlog, even something allowing using the old visas (350.000) from 2002 to 2006 that were not used. We need anything to help us out.

Sue88 wrote:
The legal immigrants who helped elect Obama came here legally for the most part. Why do they want people who commit crimes, work under the table, steal jobs from them  to get special consideration when everyone else plays by the rules?????

Prado4587 (who posts this often) replied:

Because Americans demand and consume the goods and services produced by workers who come or stay here illegally to produce the goods and services that we demand and consume. A lot of illegal immigrants left during the recession and after as Americans eased back their demand and consumption of these goods and services like construction. Unless we cut back on demand and consumption permanently, which will be hard when the economy picks up, or increase the number of immigration visas which is woefully too low to meet supply and demand, we're going to have illegal aliens in the U.S.

Oiwhfljxcn replied to this conversation:

Do you think Sue, when you buy something and the price of the service isnt enough to pay more than 8 dollars/hour for the workers, you are playing by the rule? You generate illegal immigration because you dont pay enough what your fellow Americans are willing to work for. And I dont blame them for that. ... Till you dont pay a decent price dont say you are playing by the rule.

Obama's immigration policies have caused him to lose ground with Latino voters. The administration has made policy changes lately that will benefit some immigrants, including ongoing reviews of deportation cases and a proposed administrative tweak that would let undocumented green card seekers to apply for a special waiver in the U.S. instead of abroad, but broader reforms have yet to occur. Meanwhile, the administration has moved ahead with tough enforcement-based programs, like the controversial Secure Communities fingerprint-sharing program, and has carried out a record number of deportations.

Still, polls have continued to show Latino voters favoring the president over Republican rivals who have had an even tougher time courting Latinos, with immigration also a stumbling block.