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August 11th, 2009
01:50 PM ET

Good idea to put off immigration reform until next year?

Immigration advocates say they don't think reform will be as tough as the White House imagines; they'd prefer for the president to act sooner.

Immigration advocates say they don't think reform will be as tough as the White House imagines; they'd prefer for the president to act sooner.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama says he has a lot on his plate and that immigration reform will have to wait until next year.

At a summit with the leaders of Mexico and Canada, the president repeated his commitment to providing a legal pathway to citizenship for those who are in the U.S. illegally. This is called amnesty.

But first, he wants Congress to finish work on health care, energy and financial regulation. The president says his administration is meeting with members of Congress and working on an immigration bill that would get bipartisan support, but doesn't expect anything to pass until 2010.

And even then, Mr. Obama acknowledges that that he will face tough opposition, what he calls "demagogues" who say any pathway to legalization is unacceptable. It's not just "demagogues." The American public has repeatedly expressed broad based opposition to granting amnesty to illegal aliens.

Last week in the Cafferty File we reported on a recent Gallup Poll that showed Americans are taking a tougher stand on immigration than they have for several years.

Not everyone is happy with the president's new timetable. Immigration advocates say they don't think reform will be as tough as the White House imagines, they'd prefer for him to act sooner.

But with rising unemployment and dwindling tax revenues with which to provide services to our own citizens, let alone millions of illegal aliens, expect the debate to rival the intensity of the one we're currently having over health care.

SO HERE'S THE QUESTION: Is it a good idea to put off immigration reform until next year?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Russ in Johnston, Iowa
There will be no immigration reform as long as some kind of amnesty for people here illegally is continually offered up from Washington. The citizens shut down D.C. 3 yrs ago for that wonderful Kennedy/McCain amnesty bill and we'll do it again. The mood of the country has not changed – hell, our govt hasn't even made a valid effort at closing the US/Mexican border.

Carolyn in Portland, Maine
It depends upon the definition of "immigration reform". Determining a pathway to citizenship must be addressed at some time. However, both northern and southern borders should have been of immediate concern to national security after 9/11. Now with the drug war spreading across the border into our country, attention is certainly necessary asap. However, Pres. Obama isn't listening any more than Pres. Bush did.

John in Vermont
Reform? Obama's "reform" sounds more like amnesty to me than "reform". Bring in more illegal workers that our tax $$$ support while they Western Union their pay back home? Our economy is in a shambles and many good workers here can't begin to find a job… We don't have the jobs or the dollars to continue to support so many illegals flowing across our southern border.

Michael in Phoenix
No! Case in point: my girlfriend is one of the directors at a major non-profit hospital here, and the cost of treating illegals coming into the emergency room (no insurance, no copays, no way to collect) for even minor treatment is outlandish. And they can't turn them away either. One of the hospitals in the area had to absorb a $400,000-plus cost for treatment of a young Hispanic woman who was in a car accident.

Marc
Immigration reform is long overdue and Obama is going to delay the process even further. I guess he is hoping to win support from the illegals that will be covered under his health care plan.


Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (179 Responses)
  1. Ken from Monte Vista, CO

    Jack, of course it's not a good idea to put off immigration reform, but we will. When we took over half of Mexico's territory in the 1848 war, we have been reluctant to impose any meaningful immigration laws.

    The debate will be hotly contested as the neocons will benefit from both sides of the argument. On the one hand, the neocons will rally their Republican support base and Democrats by decrying the social costs to American tax payers. On the other hand they benefit from the delay of any tangible immigration reform due to the cheap labor illegal immigrants provide. It's not even a catch 22 for the neocons as they benefit from the cheap labor and the American tax payer foots the resulting social expenses. I think the neocons like things just the way they are!

    August 11, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  2. Paul from New Orleans, LA

    Jack, I think that is the best idea to wait for 2010 for a Immigration reform besides Obama is already overstuffed with the health care reform, the troubled job loss, and the afgan war and all that will take almost the rest of the year to be handle. Congress is already in hot water with health care, just imagine Jack what would happen if we get a town hall about immigration. I could see it now, do you?

    August 11, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  3. Jim

    Jack,
    NO!!! The problem with immigration is a big reason why there is so much trouble with health care. You should see the emergency rooms packed with people waiting to see a doctor to treat their stuffy nose simply because they are illegal aliens, and the doctors are forbidden from asking if they are legal or not before they treat them.
    Jim
    Arizona

    August 11, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  4. Nuwan

    Yes, I agree with the president. Now that we have started working on health care reforms, we need to finish it. And we need to fix the economy. So I think, immigration can wait until the next year.

    Nuwan from Houston, TX

    August 11, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  5. Linda in Arizona

    Immigration "reform" just means amnesty for illegal aliens. They can put that off forever as far as I'm concerned.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  6. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    You can't heal a wound until you stop the bleeding. I am OK with deferring comprehensive immigration reform, but we need to do more now to stop the flow.

    When the debate on immigration reform restarts, we need to find a way to treat those seeking legal immigration (and legal immigrants seeking citizenship) with greater respect than the illegals already here. Perhaps, more would seek the legal channels.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    August 11, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  7. Art Siegel

    Immigration advocates are in the same boat as the people who rightfully think that we should allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the Armed Forces. If something is so clear and evident, why can't we just take care of it already and move on?

    While the President has made much of his and, by extension, his administration's ability to multitask, the sad truth is that Congress cannot, at least not in any effective way, even when the majority party of both houses is the same as the Commander-in-Chief"s (I think he's sort of given up on bipartisanship, don't you?). The "game", with its well-understood if not exactly published rules, does not allow the wheels to turn quickly.

    Look, President Obama has clearly acknowledged that many of the things he still hopes to accomplish must take a lesser priority in the face of the short-term needs of the country. Are health care, energy and financial regulation more important than immigration reform? Although I don't like saying so, yes, they are.

    Is it a good idea to put it off? My response is, "Is there a realistic chance that Congress could or would act on it this year anyway?". I think not.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  8. Larry Oklahoma

    Jack,
    I voted for Mr. Obama but on this issue I stand firm. These people are breaking the law now, not next year. Mr. Bush ignored the whole issue for eight years to pay his election debt. Looks like Mr. Obama is beginning payment on his!
    The money we spend on housing, feeding and medical care for the illegal imigrants would keep social security healthy for the next genertation. What ever happened to putting America and Americans first?

    August 11, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  9. Randy T

    No. The schools, hospitals, social services, and other citizen sponsored programs are overwhelmed. If we continue to take on the worlds' problems, we will quickly become a third-world country ourselves.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  10. Scott Stodden

    Yes Jack it is a great idea to put off immigration reform until next year. President Obama and the Congress and Senate have to much to worry about right now with health care alone and besides that we need to lower unemployment, create jobs and fix the economy. I feel we do need an immigration reform bill passed as soon as possible and the best way to handle immigration is with empathy. The people who are in the United States illegally should be allowed to stay here if the become a United States citizen, learn the English language and pay some fines for being here illegally, this is the best way to handle immigration, but first before we do anything we have to secure our borders, not by building a fence but by patroling the border setting up cameras.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,IL)

    August 11, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  11. Jay in Texas

    The President needs to keep his campaign promises including immigration reform and granting equal rights for gay and bisexual Americans. We've waited way too long already to enjoy equal rights with everybody else.
    Brownwood, Texas

    August 11, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  12. Rich, Kankakee, IL.

    We do not need immigration reform we need people who are breaking our laws to be punished for breaking the law. America has become the country that denies its citizens help when they need it to help people from other countries who have abandoned their own country to come here for free healthcare, education and other benefits that they did not pay for. We have a foothold situation going on of over 25 million people and our government will not do anything to stop this invasion!

    It is okay fro Refugees to come and people who are going to get killed by their governments, but to allow those who just want to take everything from law abiding Americans is just down right stupid

    August 11, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  13. Dee in Florida

    No, it is NOT a good idea to put off reform!

    The way to solve the problem is to take IMMEDIATE action and deport every illegal we can find. And it should not be hard to find the illegals. Send the ICE folks out to the local Walmarts on any given weekend and start asking for green cards!

    I am NOT against immigration. I am against ILLEGAL immigration.

    Other countries in the world do NOT put up with people just entering their borders and beginning to demand benefits. Why do we do so?

    I agree that the American People are FIRMLY for action to solve this problem. I believe the American People are SICK of having their tax dollars support people who have come here against our laws.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  14. A. Davis, Sacramento, CA

    Don't Ask Don't Tell and Immigration can wait–we will be able to get to them, but on the scale of things, the economy, health care and these disastrous wars need to be dealt with before anything more is put on that poor kid's (Obama's) plate. Give him a break!

    August 11, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  15. Kim, St. Thomas ON

    Despite the fact that I feel pulling out my passport every time I want to cross the border into the US is a pain in the butt, and even though dealing with the American issues related to cross border drug trade, and illegal immigrants is important, it is clear to me as a Canadian looking in from the outside, that the largest pressing issue for all Americans is the provision of universal health care. The US remains in last place of all G8 nations in the provision of health care to its citizenry.........how can the US profess its ideals worldwide and claim to be the greatest and most powerful nation in the world, when it presently cannot (and from right wing comments seem UNWILLING to) take care of its own??? Individual freedoms do not usurp the requirement of social and civic responsibility toward the whole...........what is that famous quote on the Statue of Liberty again? Provision of universal health care is not a reduction of entrenched freedom, it is in fact, the opposite: it provides an equalization of the ABILITY for all to chase the American dream of LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as good health is a key to ALL of these things.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  16. Paul Pettipas

    In an environment where everyone is trying to tighten their belts, these illegal immigrants are a drain on the system. Not to mention health care reform. Imagine a public option that is tapped into by hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens. A public option has no chance of working if immigration isnt tackled.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  17. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    The president has enough problems with the rabid people at the town hall meetings not understanding the truth about the reform bill. Can you imagine the lies and misinformation the Republicans will shovel out when immigration talks start? It can wait until next year.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  18. James --- Columbus

    No, we absolutely must not wait. Illegal immigrants are taking away from our union construction jobs in massive numbers. Also, these people are placing an incredible burden on our medical facilities, schools , prisons, etc. Waiting to deal with it later only compounds the problem. We must devise a sensible plan that invites people from all over the globe to come here ( with a valid ticket ) but still protects both of our borders from being overrun.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  19. Alvin

    The sooner the better, we need more people paying taxes, and cheap labor for the wealthy who create the jobs. What's up with the multi-tasking Obama claims to be capable of doing.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  20. Doris/St Louis

    Never put off for tomorrow, what can be done today. I thank God that we have a President who can walk and chew gum.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  21. Denis Duffy

    What difference would it make, Jack? Congress will pass some stupid revision and the Feds won't pursue or implement it anyhow. We have policies and laws on the books and Obama doesn't have the guts to make sure the job gets done. All talk and no action, as usual.

    Denis
    Pittsburgh, Pa.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  22. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    Sure Jack, lets put it off. Lets give the Mexicans time to regroup and strategize how they can get all thier friends here illegaly before we come up with (hopefully) tougher laws on immigration.
    Man are we selling our selves out. Imagine that, an invasion without guns. Powerful yet powerless.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  23. C. J. of Georgia

    No Jack it is not. The longer our President puts this on hold, the more chance we have of drug cartel getting into our Country, and creating havoc in our great Nation.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  24. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    Yes it is. The illegals who came here to find work, will not find it and go back home. Mexico may have to come up with it's own version of immigration reform, as we Americans may have to cross their borders to find work in Mexico. Time will tell.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  25. Unemployed in Iowa

    Just think Obama, you put off a hot topic to get your private agenda passed. Why should we believe you on Health Care. You have lied on subjects so why shoukd we believe the DEMONCRATIC LIERS and Tax Cheats.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  26. Talitha

    "illegal immigration" is part of our health care problem now. Every time they go to the "er", it forces our premiums to go higher. They have no insurance, nor do they pay taxes.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  27. Angel, Birmingham, AL

    I think we need to make healthcare legislation the priority - and that may well impact our decisions on expedited citizenship for illegals. Personally, I believe the word ILLEGAL says it all.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  28. Tom, Bradenton, FL

    No immigration reform can not wait. Illegal immigrants should be deported immediately. If necessary use the Army. Deny them health care, throw their kids out of school. Send prisoners back to their country of origin. Jack I registered Independent since the Dems will not do anything.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  29. Kevin Washington

    Yes ,it is a good thing ,but thats only a few month away .This issue would not have to be address if the employers corporate america ,would stop hiring illegal undocumented worker.
    If i wanted to work in mexico i would have to get a permit that is the
    requirement. But beleive me to work for the wages , i dont think so.
    Most people come to america to work for better wages.But what bothers me is that if the american company and corporate company
    abroad would just pay a decent wage you would illiminate half of the imigration problem .Most people worker in the USA ,but send there money to there own country .They really dont want to live in the USA, because the cost of living is to much. And lets not count the time and gas that it take to cross the border in from mexico to the USA.
    Thats a issue in it self .
    kevin CA

    August 11, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  30. Sherri-Illinois

    Absolutely-Without a doubt Jack!! President Obama should have put off Healthcare Reform until thIs Economic meltdown & Recession showed STRONG signs of recovery. Immigration Reform???? No way Jose!

    August 11, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  31. julie

    The only reform needed is to send all the illegals home and fine any company hiring them until every American citizen who wants to work is working.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  32. Peggy Spokane WA

    Jack do you find it interesting that we have to debate this issue ad infinitum. But, two journalsts and three hikers step a foot over the border in N.Korea and Iran and they are apprehended.
    I fully understand that people want to escape their life in Mexico, but we are losing the ability to care for those already here.
    We need to enforce the laws that are already in place. There is a system to enter this country legally It does not need to wait until next year to be enforced!
    How can the debate on rising cost of health care and the cuts in education be justified if we continue to allow people to flow over the border and use both of those systems without participating as tax paying citizens?

    August 11, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  33. Tom Chapman Newark, DE

    It's a bad idea to put off immigration reform until next year. We should do it now !!

    I have been out of work for 9 months, can't pay my bills, and am getting hungry.

    Having one of those jobs at the Perdue plant eviscerating chickens for $8 per hour is looking pretty good to me about right now !!

    August 11, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  34. Chris

    Yes, we don't need reforms in immigration. We need our laws enforced! I am sure that child molesters would love to have the laws changed too. Obama is completely out of touch with reality. Obama does not know even what time it is. Obama, you are out of touch!

    August 11, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  35. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: I think it's a good idea to put off a major push on this program until next year, but I also think there should be a senior level committee who are working behind the scenes so that we don't start from scratch next year. This issue will become less important as the economy improves, but we need to make some serious corrections on what we do now on this subject.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  36. Julie - Elizabethtown KY

    Jack, .President Obama has been in office for 7 months. Was he supposed to get everything done in his first year? Sure it can wait. I think if he accomplishes health care reform, energy and financial regulation in his first year, we have ourselves a true public servant.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  37. L.K.O.

    Immigration reform should have been first in line and included closing our borders to illegals and those with prior convictions. Stopping the flow would free up a lot of health care for those of us who are citizens. Also, offer jobs which often go to the illegals 'under the table'.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  38. chuck

    YES, we have too much on our plate. Lets deal with the matters at hand, have a cool off peroid and see how matters are going, then tackle immigration and other issues.......

    August 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  39. Peg from NY

    NO! This has seeped it's way into small towns in upstate NY. Just recently there have been 3 crimes, one very serious, concerning illegal immigrants from El Salvador. Their forged documents appeared real to their employers. Clearly they have the monies needed to relocate fairly comfortably. They are all members of a serious gang. We have to stop turning a blind eyey for cheap help. Every business owner and aware citizen must be vigilant.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  40. Kristine from Manchester,Connecticut

    Yes, HEALTHCARE is paramount. I know so many people here illegally that my head just spins. They are hired over all of us since they can be hired for minimum wage or less. This is a problem I fear will never end.
    While I do not mind people coming to the US, the timing stinks if they are taking jobs away that Americans need.
    I applied for a customer service position, and was told I was over qualified. I noticed that almost everyone was Jamaican and most just had GREEN CARDS. I asked.....not fair Jack...not fair~

    August 11, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  41. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    Yeah, it's called prioritizing. What a guy.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  42. Conor in Chicago

    It's a great idea to put it off. By this time next year most of them will be back in Latin America as we will be in the Second Great Depression. We won't even need a discussion on this by then.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  43. Jeff Crocket in New Britain, CT

    Immigration can wait!

    But illegal immigration must be stopped now!!!!!!!!!

    The left would have you believe they are the same thing.

    And, if healthcare for illegals happens there will be a war!!

    August 11, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  44. SHARON: Anchorage, Alaska

    YES, POTUS has enough on his plate that concerns every citizen. The Economy, Health, Taxes, War & establishing the public trust. He will get nowhere with immigration, if he does not handle those well.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  45. Mario/Las Vegas

    As far as the immigration reform they should put it off until next year we have bigger things on our plate besides this......Like health care.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  46. Russell, Bethel Alaska

    Not until the health care reform is signed, sealed, and delivered in some way shape or form. Don't we have the extreme right mad enough already? We keep pushing them like this and their heads will explode.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  47. Judie Williams EL Lago

    Jack.....

    Why not...after all the govt., has been exercising the word to lo these many years, and that is MANANA !! I would have loved being a fly on the wall at the meetings between Bush & Fox....

    No immigration stand, tailed with continued millions of $$$ to aid Mexico in the drug wars likens the Energizer Bunny...it just keeps on going and giving, and illegals keep on coming and taking, and taking, and taking.

    Judie in TX

    August 11, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  48. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    For the last six months, people have heard about the process taking place to reform healthcare and we kept hearing rightfully so about meetings of people coming together in regards to healthcare...who were these people....people working in healthcare! This August recess is traditionally utilized to meet constituents to raise concerns with your elected officials and for the elected officials to explain his or her six months of work...respectfully done of course...!

    August 11, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  49. John

    FROM CNN’s Jack Cafferty:

    President Obama says he has a lot on his plate and that immigration reform will have to wait until next year.

    At a summit with the leaders of Mexico and Canada, the president repeated his commitment to providing a legal pathway to citizenship for those who are in the U.S. illegally. This is called amnesty.
    ---------–
    The only acceptable immigration reform, is to deport them all, no amnesty. What part of that does BHO not understand, its obvious he is not working to please the USA citizens.
    Any time he presents anything else is too soon.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  50. gerry in Toronto

    Clearly, health care, energy and financial regulation come first. I think what you're hearing from the President is, "because he has to deal with the party of now", things take longer.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  51. Rory Murray

    Jack,
    Nothing will be accomplished until we draw the line between Legal and ILLEGAL immigration! Legal immigration has always served the "melting pot" well. But then again, none of the other immigrant group that came to America demanded what the Mexicans do! Name any OTHER race that came here with their hands out, and then demanded special treatment? You can't, can you?
    Secure Our Borders Now!
    Rory M.
    San Bernardino, CA

    August 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  52. Nell, Clemson, South Carolina

    Yes, we must delay action on immigration. Watching the orchestrated mob shout-outs and death threats generated by efforts to improve health care, I think most Americans are mentally disabled. If they succeed in denying health care to their neighbors, they will disable whatever President Obama addresses next, be it energy conservation or immigration reform.

    We've found out that the American has a very ugly side that will use shouting mobs to rob the country of civil discussion. No sensible legislation stands a chance.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  53. Bryan

    No, according to a vast majority of Americans who in their respects are descendents of various immigrants from the east and west to this land. Well, I guess lady liberty's people have evolved from admitting an unequal massive variety to accepting the few qualified it not none at all. The melting pot is full indeed, demanding not to admit most in the world who continue to seek her tranquility.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  54. Jane

    Not sure on what immigration reform would entail – but, here's a thought...why not follow the letter of the law right now. There are laws on the books; there are people here illegally. Maybe the law needs reform but in the meantime, is there a reason not to apply the law? If so, then immigration reform is needed now – otherwise, follow the law.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  55. Paul Martin

    Hurst, Texas

    The WH needs to get back to "listening".

    "Provide for the national defense" means secure borders
    and controlled entry into our country.
    Period!!
    The Federal Government has NOT met its obligation in this area.

    Time is running out! for the current Federal Government!!

    August 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  56. Bryan

    No, according to a vast majority of Americans who in their respects are descendents of various immigrants from the east and west to this land. Well, I guess lady liberty's people have evolved from admitting an unequal massive variety to accepting the few qualified, if not none at all. The melting pot is full indeed, demanding not to admit most in the world who continue to seek her tranquility.

    Tampa, FL

    August 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  57. Larry

    Jack,
    I just heard a very relevant comment from one woman talking to Arlin Spector. We are mad at the fact that our government no longer truly represents us. When are we going to get some representation instead of getting lobby drafted bills forced down our throats. What ever happened to being committed to over coming the unfair practice of taxation without representation that our forefathers founded this country on! Stop talking about immagration reform and start talking about lobby reform!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  58. Christina

    It's imperative that immigration reform began as quickly as possible as real change in our health care and educational systems will be impossible with addressing illegal immigration. I am not a bigot. Like many of citizens of this country, my great grandparents were immigrants who came here legally.

    In California, the cost of providing the special programs in our schools which many of our
    immigrant students need - free & reduced lunches, special textbooks, extra teachers, etc. - has broken our schools and resulted in inferior educations for all students. Our ER's are folding due to the number of people, primarily here illegally, who need to use them for their primary care.

    You would think me irresponsible if I "adopted" more children than the four I already work so hard to support and parent. It is equally irresponsible for our government not to determine the number of immigrants we can afford to have here and budget for that number.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  59. B

    You can put immigration reform off forever as far as I'm concerned. I want our current laws enforced as does every other American citizen. What is so hard to understand about it.We need to replace all of Congress and start over. Quit handing out citizenship as if it were candy.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  60. honestjohn in Vermont

    Reform? Obama's "reform" sounds more like amnesty to me than "reform". Bring in more illegal workers that our tax $$$ support while they Western Union their pay back home? Our economy is in a shambles and many good workers here can't begin to find a job and as a nation our wild spending does not match the money in our pockets as our debt and defecit soar into the stratosphere. We don't have the jobs or the dollars to continue to support so many illegals flowing across the southern borders.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  61. southerncousin

    Obama won't do that. There has to be some way to give more money to George Soros, the unions and ACORN using this as a mechanism. It is what Obama is all about, money to the enemies of America. Hard working taxpayer money to the dope smokers and Oprah watchers who don't work and don't pay taxes.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  62. Gary H. Boyd

    Immigration reform is a bigger hot potato than health care reform for the Democrats because the Latino community is the fastest growing segment of the U. S. population and they're all Democrats. By postponing the immigration issue Obama's telling America he'd rather take on America's middle class on health care than possibly alienate the growing Democratic base.

    Gary H. Boyd, Scottsdale, Arizona

    August 11, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  63. Carolyn in Portland Maine

    It depends upon the definition of "immigration reform".Determining a pathway to citizenship must be addressed at some time.However,both northern and southern borders should have been of immediate concern to national security after 9/11.Now with the drug war spreading across the border into our country,attentiont is certainly necessary asap.However,President Obama isn't listening any more than President Bush did.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  64. Robert, San Antonio, TX

    To legalize millions of people who chose to cheat the system is the greatest insult to those who migrated here LEGALY!

    ILLegals not only drain social services, of which taxpayers have to foot the bill, but they also contribute to keep wages low even when inflation rises. Unscrupulous employers are happy to exploit them and frankly don't care if this hinders our standard of living.
    To grant ammnesty should be out of the question.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  65. Gigi

    Why be in a rush. Do you want to mow my lawn for ten dollars. I doubt it. Most illegal immigrants pay taxes and pay Social Security and they can't collect it. Check out how much they contribute to the nations Social Security and tax structure. I did.

    Oregon

    August 11, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  66. Chris

    Another point where the "citizens" of this country are going to fight back Obama's plan. What we need is to enforce our immigration laws, allow more Europeans into America (after all most of what has been accomplished in this country was accomplished by European-Americans or partly thereof. As far as making "special" laws for the illegal aliens from Mexico and points south just look at the mockery they've made of our immigration laws, our drug laws, our work laws, even our pay for your own health laws. Many do not even carry insurance on their cars and abandon them when wrecked.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  67. maria, california

    Americans have consistently and adamantly said that they do not want an amnesty! In order for us to even broach the subject of immigration reform we want to see that the government can control our borders entirely and enforce the laws that are already on the books. If we take away the lures and magnets of illegal immigration such as education, healthcare and especially employment then we will see an instant drop in illegal immigration. Enforcement first, then maybe we will eventually talk about reform. And I am not talking about any half-assed enforcement either. It is real simple, no magnets, no illegals.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  68. mike ca

    Hi Jack
    Just put it off.
    Illegal means someone who does not follow or respect our laws.
    We have enough of our own we don't need to import any.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  69. Alex in Seattle

    Immigration reform always includes amnesty and that is wrong. There should be no rewards for law breakers except three meals in prison. We don't grant blanket amnesty for murderers, so why should be ignore our laws for the illegals?

    August 11, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  70. Maleka

    Yes, Yes, Yes, there are more important issues that needs his attention right now. I don't think immigrants will be leaving the country anytime soon, so there will be plenty of time to deal with it later.

    Maleka
    Florida

    August 11, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  71. adil

    jack,
    i think that president obama has his hands full with the health care reform issue, and at this point, it is wise to put off the immigration issue aside for now. thses are two giant issues that can not afford to be discussed togther at the same time.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  72. Gregory Miami Beach, FL.

    Remeber how Obama kept using the word "CHANGE" during his campaign and how every different group, minority and organization thought that he was talking about them? Well, he's turned out his pockets and guess what? He's out of change! I used to think that congresspersons had it easy, Oh boy was I wrong! thier work is tedious with long hours and this group of them do have enough on thier plates. What if I put it this way "Would you overload your packhorse if you went camping?"

    August 11, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  73. Michael M Phoenix AZ

    NO! Case in point, my girlfriend is one of the directors at a major NON-profit hospital here, and the cost of having to treat illegals coming into the emergency room(no insurance, no copays, no way to collect) for even minor treatment is outlandish, and they can't turn them away either. One of the hospitals in the area had to absorb a $400,000 plus cost for treatment of a young Hispanic woman who was in a car accident, and then had to provide transportation back to Mexico at the hospital's expense when she was well enough to travel.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  74. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Among our priorities, President Obama forgot to mention the wars we are fighting in Iraq and Afpakistan. I would just as soon draw back there, protect our troops, give them leave where practical, then focus on the people who are actually living in our country. My great-grand parents arrived here from Scotland in about 1848 without documentation, but went on to clear the forest in Michigan to create a profitable farm. What is the real difference between farming and roofing? In my opinion we should continue to welcome all who are willing to work hard.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  75. James In Idaho

    Jack, I can't tell you if it's a good idea or not, but I can tell you that conservatives are going to now swoop in on the phrase.. "No healthcare reform before Immigration reform!"

    August 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  76. Layne Alleman

    Jack, The last time this country had a serious discussion on immigration, was World War II, (and we all know how that was decided). Face it Jack, the borders have been open for so long, even Lou Dobbs doesn't have a conclusive answer to the problem. EVERYONE, YES, EVERYONE, puts a dollar back in their pocket every day due to some illegal immigrant having to work for peanuts at one job or another. We,as a people are spoiled at getting everything for the lowest possible price (see Wall Mart). Why?, because our wages are hitting bottom, Why?, because employers tell you to accept a pay-cut, or they'll find "someone" who will work for nothing. Sorry for getting off topic, but to answer your question, it doesn't matter, as long as there is so much profit to be made, no reform will happen. Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  77. ANNON

    Amazing that illegal activities can be forgiven on such a large scale. Send the illegals to jail and back home.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  78. Vaughn

    I believe the president should keep immigration in the background because of all the issues we have right now. There has to be a focus on these issues and the best way to keep focus is taking 1 issue at a time. I say good job Mr. President you are only one man.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  79. Julie Austin, TX

    Since the current administration only seems to make things worse with their current attempts at "reform", I am more than happy to hear that they will not be taking on immigration reform this year.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  80. Marc Wilks

    Immigration reform is long overdue and Obama is going to delay the process even further. I guess he is hoping to win support from the illegals that will be covered under his health care plan.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  81. Tom

    Jack this question shouldnt even be questioned in Congress. Absoultely not

    August 11, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  82. james andrews

    It doesn't matter when immigration reform is discussed. Until the border is secured and the public believes the government has control on future immigration any discussion of amnesty is wasted global warming.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  83. Reid pennington

    Absolutely not. Enforce immigration laws now! Round up and deport illegal immigrants! Fine companies and individuals who employ them. And we know where they are when they are getting government benefits! This alone will remove much of the healthcare costs in our (per Obama) broken healthcare system!!

    August 11, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  84. Karl from SF, CA

    Everything is tied in to fixing the economy, but between health care and immigration, personally, fix my health care, and then work on immigration. They have both been in the mill forever, but health care affects many more people.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  85. steve

    NOPE, but if they are going to shove Health care on us then it would be in our best interest to immigration reform.....OR we could hold off on health care and do the immigration reform first.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  86. Martin

    Definitely a good idea for the Obama Administration to put off Immigration reform until next year. Between the Economy, Health Care, Energy, Iraq, North Korea, Afghanistan, and a host of what"s to come in 2009 President Obama has enough on his plate.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  87. Amy W

    Yes, I think putting immigration off until after the health care debates is wise. This country cannot even fully focus on 1 issue at once, much less 2. If we can get to a compromise on health care then the immigration debates can begin.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  88. grady

    Maybe we need a little breathing room. Let's stop immigration entirely for 5-10 years, concentrate on stopping illegal immigration and on deporting those already here illegally, and see what happens. If it works out, then we can reinstitute legal immigration in an orderly manner.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  89. DL

    I was super angry and dissapointed that Bush ignored immigration reform and now Obama acts like its not important? This is a major factor in the economic recovery and long term financial health of our country.

    This is no time to delay. Every delay is a denial of basic freedoms for legitimate American citizens.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  90. kathleen mclaughlin

    Immigration? If anyone thinks we would get anywhere while so many people believe the disinformation/propaganda put forth about health care reform, the Pres and anyone in Congress would be held at a standstill just trying to straighten out the disinformation. Next year is not that far off considering we have had an immigration mess for a very long time.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  91. Tom Cross

    Positively absolutely not, I firmly believe that immigration should have more priority than HEALTH CARE. It is our number one economic disaster.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  92. David A Whitaker

    Yes Jack I think Senate, House and the White House has enough on their plate for right now. To get tthe attention , that would be needed would require the White House to settle the health care reform first. Why jump from one fire to another and in the end get nothing accomplished.

    David
    Martinsburg,WV

    August 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  93. Vineet

    No, Immigration reform is intertwined with current issues like healthcare and the economy. Waiting to reform immigration any longer could result in the administration losing even more support from immigrants.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  94. Kate T. Greenwich, CT

    Absolutely Not!

    August 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  95. Mike Roberts

    Definitely. Too much going on this year!

    But, whenever it happens, it will be all about getting illegals converted to Democrats (big D). The Census is a big issue too (direct tie-in).

    August 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  96. Craig

    cap and trade
    health care
    illegal immigrants
    all have the same effect on the nation..........disaster!

    August 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  97. Cody

    Putting immigration reform off until next year is a good idea, focus is still needed on other issues, such as: the economy, energy resources, and the job market. If Obama extends himself even further, less will get done then all ready is. Nothings being achieved with his current agenda, so that means less than nothing will be accomplished if immigration is incorporated at some point this year.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  98. Bonnie Morris

    No, have the debate now. No other is more important, neither healthcare or cap and trade should be addressed until this issue is resolved. Americans do not want to pay for illegals. Government should do it's job and enforce the laws on the books.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  99. Paul

    Jack, not only is it a good idea to put off immigration reform until next year, it's a great idea. The issue should not be seriously discussed until the President Obama, Congress, and elected officials are actually willing to listen to what the PEOPLE want. Isn't that what our country was originally supposed to be about, the people?

    August 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  100. AmericanWoman

    No, not a good idea...how many illegal immigrants are bogging down emergency rooms? How about the gang bangers here illegally? They are not allowed to be turned away, by law, from what I understand.

    How many of the "47 million" uninsured illegal immigrants? Are illegal immigrants even included in that number? How do we put a number on them?

    We need to take care of this before we can even begin to think of healthcare reform...

    August 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  101. Mitch Dworkin - Dallas, Texas

    It is definitely a good idea to put off immigration reform until next year. I have been laid off for almost a year and I have not been able to find a job yet. The last thing that I and other people who are laid off need are illegal immigrants to compete with in my job hunt when they will probably work for minimum wage if not for less under the table!

    With the worst recession happening since the great depression and with the two wars that we are fighting, watching grass grow is more important to me than immigration reform right now!

    August 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  102. frankie

    The illegal immigrants have access to food and medical care and schooling, and they are too intelligent to come here in as great numbers as usual because our economy isn't that great right now. They are OK, their problem can wait. There are other situations far more important to solve right now, so that we can all be OK.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  103. B. WILLIAMS

    We should police the border, and deal with illegals after we pass the much needed health insurance reform. Americans are becoming sicker and dying. First things first.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  104. Joe Ce

    Better idea to put off immigration legislation until the borders are secured and explotative employeers held accountqable. REmofrm is a misnomer, the word is Amnesty – but I would consiser it after the obvious pre-requistes are accomplished, I coures I would want to known the long term cost and be assurede that it will not bankrupt Social Security.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  105. Nicholas, Chicago

    President Obama can't afford to completely ignore the immigration issue when we are talking about jobs and the economy. I lost my job this year and it was quickly replaced by two immigrant workers. Less work for Americans is a huge part of our current economic situation, especially when employers can get two for the price of one. 2010 is just around the corner, but... I already lost my job.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  106. Tydestra

    I agree we should wait, this country has slightly bigger fishes to fry. I've worked with Immigration groups (I helped people prep for their citizenship exams) so I know how much reform needs to be done. We need to fix this economy first before we move to immigration. Anything that is done now is going to be a rushed, sloppy "quick-fix" that will just make the issue worse. When the reform is done, cutting the red tape and the ridiculous wait time will make the legalization process a lot smoother. The legal channels are clogged with inhuman amounts of backlogs, forcing people to wait years to legalize their status.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  107. mick

    YES!!!!! As far as I'm concerned they can put off anything that includes a "path to citizenship" forever!

    Besides, I'm having enough trouble trying to get them to fix the climate bill and health care reform. I can't take the aggravation of another of Congress's screw ups right now.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  108. D.J.Lauter

    Putting off immigration reform, aka ...amnesty , would be a good idea to put it off indefinitely. As of now, illegals are just that.....illegal....and subject to deportation. So, lets clear out our country of those that are taking jobs and using our welfare system and crowding our jails. Charity belongs at home. We are not rich anymore.
    Doris Lauter
    Ojai, California

    August 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  109. D. Fernandez

    No Jack. Each day we wait means more social service, educational, and medical funds expended on undeserving criminals that could be used on American citizens and those legally in the process of becoming americans.
    While we're at it, lets cut the bi-lingual communication programs the federal goverment has for each and every service it provides, to include voting.
    If you don't understand the process in English you're not an American anyway so you shouldn't have a voice in our internal affairs.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  110. Dick

    Health Care reform should be put on the back burner and Immigration Reform on the forefront. The illegals need to be sent back to where they came from to stop them sucking the heath care pot dry and then we can confront health care for all legal citizens of this country.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  111. Terry from Illinois

    Immigration will not be changed due to both, Republicans and Democrats, afraid to make the Latinos mad and loose their votes, NO WAY Immigration will be changed...
    But if the HealthCare reform includes paying for illegal immigrates, that will spark a nationwide outrage for Immigration Reform...

    August 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  112. Floyd Vahalik

    If putting off immigration reform to 2010 will slow the flow of hispanics into this country, I'm for it. Illegal aliens are one of the factors bankrupting health care.

    But, I really don't know what immigration reform means. My idea would be to have a strict standard for immigrants and apply it to all races equally. We have plenty of laborers who are out of work now. We need engineers, doctors, physicists, etc.

    Ammon, ID

    August 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  113. Gene

    Here's my theory on proposed "amnesty" for illegals by President Obama:

    1. More votes for the president and those who support this position.
    2. More "freebies" for the illegals including healthcare coverage.
    3. Creating another layer of welfare without sufficent taxable income from the illegals to support such programs. Thus, the workers (taxpayers) who do pay taxes get to pay more taxes in the new "sharing" economy!

    Gene

    August 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  114. Shirley

    I just don't get it. So many of the illegals are the ones committing the
    crimes in the US. They are draining our health care, food stamps,
    and ANYTHING else that is FREE. Just look at Ca. it won't be long
    until EVERY STATE will run out of money. NO illegal should EVER
    be able to collect one penny from OUR Social Security system. Why
    can't Washington see this???

    August 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  115. Alan Stuart

    Jack, I came to the US 10 years ago from Great Britain. I went through the immigration process legally and I became a US citizen. I feel that if 'amnesty' is granted to people who are here illegally, regardless as to how long they have lived here, it will devalue the citizenship that I worked so hard to obtain. Yes, let's postpone reform until a clear plan is crafted before it is implemented. The plan should take into account people like me who respected the laws of the United States. If amnesty is granted to illegals, it sends a loud message to other potential illegals that the US is soft on immigration.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  116. Mike

    Yes it's good to put off immigration reform... FOREVER! President Obama does not understand that when you reward illegal immigrants with a "path to citizenship" you will get more illegals. That's what happen with the 1986 immigration reform act. For Obama do another amnesty and expect different results is the very definition of an insane government policy.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  117. reva

    Amnesty solves nothing. It only means millions more will flock here to get amnesty. By the way they are not in the shadows they are walking down every street in this country.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  118. floss from Philly

    Yes these people are here already, we should not add any more people at the present time, we can't take care of the people here, it's already a mess what difference does one more year make.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  119. HD in Phoenix

    How about putting it off for ever. The only beneficiaries of this form of mass amnesty are the Democratic Party and the real losers of this are the American citizens. Those who are in favor of amnesty have absolutely no regard for the sovereignty of this country. You have to wonder just how stupid voters can be when they will vote for pro-amnesty flakes like Lius Guttierez from Illinois and others in our nation's congress who push for anti-American policies such as path to citizenship for illegal aliens. Having a pro Amnesty viewpoint is something that should immediately disqualify anyone from public service in the USA.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    August 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  120. King Solomon

    I think President Obama had a good idea to put immigration issue aside until next year, because he has so much going on right now with the health care issue, the bill will come out ending of the year but it will be debated and pass next year which is understandable.

    Solomon, New Jersey

    August 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  121. Helen Paz

    Pres. Obama has no choice but to wait until next year. When this economy starts recoverying this country is going to face another major crisis and that is a workforce shortaqe. We were already experiencing it right before the economy went bust. We will see it again.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  122. Robert

    Hi Jack,
    Put the health care issue on the backburner and concentrate the efforts on securing our borders. Once we secure our borders and stop giving illegal aliens amnesty, health care, unemployment, jobs, allowing them to drive without insurance and granting citizenship for children borne of illegals then the healthcare issue will go away. Additionally, securing the border will alleviate a tremendous burden on our criminal justice system.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  123. Tom

    Jack,
    As citizens of the USA, we know what the politicians of both parties are doing. They are pandering to the Latinos for votes, plain and simple. Illegal immigration, mostly from South of the border, is part of the reason why this country is about to implode. Although the talk seems nice, this country is NOT a charity. We welcome people from all countries who want to earn their citizenship legally and to those who want to serve the USA. Right now, we should be focused on rewarding legal immigrants and other citizens who live and abide by the rules. We need the jobs and healthcare that we've worked hard for.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  124. Doug, Montana

    Sure, it's a good idea to put off immigration reform for another year–if you want to contribute to crime and instability in the U.S., and continue the drain on this country's resources, and undermine our national sovereignty.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  125. Heidi from Arizona

    I agree that there is too much going on right now to handle immigration too. Focusing on healthcare reform should be our priority right now. I come from MA and quite frankly I miss having health insurance there. I didn't realize how good I had it until I moved to John McCain's state of Arizona.

    Part of the problem with fixing immigration is that so many of the illegal immigrants perform services that you just can't get our Amerian citizens to do. Also, many of them provide a fake SSN under which they pay taxes. They can't file a tax return so that money stays with the government...be it federal or state. So, in the end they may be paying for some of the services that our citizens enjoy. I know of one particular restaurant in Arizona that was forced to close because it was raided and they deported all of the illegal immigrants. The restaurant owners couldn't find anyone to take the menial jobs that had been vacated. Who won in that situation?

    August 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  126. Fran

    2010 is only 5 months away. Pres. Obama's statement to do something in 2010 isn't that far off. Lighten up folks.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  127. Tom

    Any amnesty or path to citizenship for ILLEGAL ALIENS should be put off PERMANENTLY..
    Anyone who enters this country ILLEGALLY (that I fought for in the Pacific during WW II) should never be allowed to enjoy American citizenship. We don't need another under class.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  128. Randy McAdoo

    Why wait until next year? Part of our Health Care problems is the estimated 30+ million illegal immagrants that live here. One thing that hasn't been mentioned in recent health care debates is the fact that all htese individuals would quailfy for some level of health care coverage. Stop this today and the debate on cost will end.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  129. Tim, Locust Grove VA

    Yes Jack-

    We should put off immigration reform till next year...lets make sure everybody has universal healthcare first and then give our new citizens the right to vote to keep the democrats in office...and how much does it cost to add 15 million "immigants" to our national debt...i mean universal healthcare?

    August 11, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  130. Dan Leahy

    Given the speed that Congress works at, there's no choice but to leave immigration until next year. On the issue, the choices are simple. Either adopt a comprehensive immigration strategy, the outlines of which have been floated, in a bipartisan way, for the last few years, OR come up with a plan for deporting 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants. Everything else IS demagoguery....just talk, with no plan for any action.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  131. Mike

    Check it out Jack,

    Let the immigrants come. This country belongs to the Capitalist not the American's and the Capitalist need those immigrants. Think about it. In historical terms, Hamilton's ideas triumphed over Jefferson's ideas and capitalism is the economic result, very fortunately. So America, don't be hypocritical. Morally, only the Natives really should have an opinion on the matter. On the other hand, the rest of us are either descendant from immigrants, settlers, or slaves. Thus, making us all beneficiaries of the greatest nation in the world today. So for those anti-immigration, hypocritical, fear-mongering individuals who cry we pay taxes, taxes,taxes, go back and live in the land of your ancestry and I bet you will be begging to come back and pay those taxes. Real talk.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  132. Scott in Texas

    Immigration should be first on the agenda! If you want to turn the economy around, you need to free up jobs that are being stolen by the illegals in this country. What happens when our troops come home? Where are they going to work?

    Not to mention the amount our economy will save from paying them welfare. Walk into any govt. office in TX, you'll be hard pressed to find anything in English!

    It's a win, win for Americans.... increase jobs, lower crime rate and boost economy!

    August 11, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  133. Richard St. Romain

    I ask "pro amnesty" Americans a simple quesition: If someone broke into your home (i.e. an illegal break in through a window or breaking door lock) & they would eat your food, use your clothing, computer, cash, credit card, car, etc. But, when the police come, they would say: "We cut their grass, washed dishes & did laundry. We DESERVE to stay in that home! " How many of the simple minded liberals, Catholic Bishops, & U. S. Chamber of Commerce members would accept these illegal? America is MY HOME! Not just the house I live in. I ask that they list their names & addresses on a public site so these illegals can leach off of them & NOT ME!
    DICK ST. ROMAIN Legal, tax paying American

    August 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  134. Sandi

    No. I live in the Florida Keys and except for governmnet jobs, the only industries are tourism and construction. They employ illegal immigrants and the local residents have lost their jobs and their homes. It has been like this for several years and no one will do anything about it. I have reported a group of illegal immigrants living on my street and nothing has been done. They get arrested and when their case is finished they are released and go back to work. Their employers bond them out of jail!! The longer we wait to deal with it the longer it will be before people can get jobs and the economy isn't going to improve.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  135. fofyto

    Amnesty 4 illegal immigrant will be a good idea. Do not foget there is some fees to pay in oder to be legal. It is billion of dollard that could help the govement in this time of recession.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  136. Philippe

    I think that it is not a good idea because I think that this is a very important issue that needs to be take care of. One thing is that this is a potential big revenue for the USA, and we are also talking about the USA having control over all the aliens entering in the US.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  137. David, Venice,FL

    If you want to pour fuel on the fire we have on the health care debate lets bring illeagle aliens to the town hall meetings. The United States can't afford health care for its own tax paying citizens, I want to hear who is going to pay for non citizens. They are smart to put if off, close the border

    August 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  138. Brett Sporich

    "Immigration reform" is an oxymoron... if there ever was ONE!
    We all live together on a place called "Earth.". Get used to it.
    .And learn to be helpful at worst... and loving at best !
    Sincerely,
    Bett C. Sporich ... AKA, Just another dreamer.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  139. mick

    YES!!!!! They can put off anything that allows a "path to citizenship" forever, as far as I'm concerned.

    Besides, I can't deal with another controversial bill right now. I'm having enough trouble trying to get them to fix the mess they made out of the Climate Bill and now health care reform! The stress is killing me!

    August 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  140. Jeger Ali

    The government needs to assist legal immigrants first. I used to be a linguist with US army in Iraq. I suffered and sacrificed alot becasue of my affiliation with US army in iraq. I am now in US and feel like the Government has turned its back on me. They provided some help but it never enough in this hard economic situation and not even half of pay back to my services and sacrifices helping US army. I call president Obama to expand the government's assistance for people like who suffered in iraq and are now suffering in US. cannot go back to Iraq and cannot live in here.

    Jeger Ali

    August 11, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  141. Carla

    NO, NO, NO!!! Current laws regarding illegal immigrants need to be ENFORCED now, and immigration reform to prevent more illegal immigration + better border security needs to be enacted BEFORE health care reform, NOT after. Any changes in healthcare/social services needs to be done after we know exactly who is going to be covered and things are under control again. No amnesty, and no govt benefits to people who are here illegally.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  142. Mauricio Martinez

    Hello all,
    I personally do not believe it is a good idea to wait until next year on this one. This topic hits close to home. Im a first generation American from Miami,FL, and i know several people that would love to work a regular 9 to 5 job, paying taxes, instead of working illegally. If the government was smart they would grant all these people citizenship and start collecting taxes from them. Its a win win situation. I think the immigration issue should be answered before we handle the health care issue, but thats just me.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  143. Eugene Osei

    I believe the President is doing the right thing by postponing immigration reform. The point is, his plate is full and it light of the current debate going on about health care reform, he is best served by pushing that discussion to next year.
    For those who argue that such a reform will drain the economy, they should keep in mind that a greater problem exist when undocumented aliens work, are exploited, and are not paying any taxes. Regardless of how the issue is addressed, something needs to be done about the high number of illegal immigrants in this country.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  144. Dewey

    No, we must not delay immigration reform. I feel that President Obama can pass a bill by early 2010. Taxing, charging these so called "aliens" to proper legal passwath to legalization can make billions of dollars for the goverment. We're talking a mass of 12 million (+) people that are going to be charged; therefore helping the ecomony!

    August 11, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  145. Oldfart

    Jack,

    Right now the Obama administration is trying to handle both the economy and health care, with poor performance in both. Like a juggler with too many objects in the air, the Obama administration is/has been dropping things , falling short of their original goals. Adding immigration reform now would only mean there would be another issue they would have handled poorly. They should wait until they can give it all their attention.
    I've supported Obama on everything he originally proposed and am feeling I've been sold substantially short of what was promised. With regard to immigration,my wife's family immigrated to the US in the 60's after filling out all the paperwork and applying, and WAITING 4-5 years until they were allowed to immigrate legally. I support accepting immigrants, but only those who go through the legal process. Those who chose to come without following our laws should be afforded absolutely NOTHING, including social service services and most importantly, a pathway to citizenship. How can you explain this to the thousands of people who have submitted paperwork and are waiting to immigrate legally?

    August 11, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  146. Tania

    A full system overhaul that cuts the red tape, shortens the long waiting period will do wonders for the immigration process. As for illegals, every time I hear about closing the border, its with Mexico. How much of this "close the border!" ranting is fueled by racism? That being said, removing the illegals already here will be close to impossible. Fine them and start their legalization process to make them American citizens.

    New York City

    August 11, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  147. Donald K. Newburn

    My position on Imigration reform is just what does it mean. Are we going to just open our borders to all of these illegal Aliens? I can't understand what part of Illegal these individuals don't understand. If they are illegals what rights do they have. As an American Vetran I served my country to uphold the right of our citizens. But these illegal aliens don't fall under the cover of that protection. I feel if they are illegal they are illegal and should be punished for their actions. Not given the rights that our men and women have fought and died for. These advocats of these aliens want is to accept them with open arms and feed, educate and provide health care for them at no cost to them and this is not the way the American system is supposed to work.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  148. john mockus

    Jack,
    I 've got great news. My business is next ot a couple of those big home stores. the 1/2 acre type. two years ago I had to endure loud music and parking lot soccer until about 9AM. Then it was off to work for the day croud workers. This year . My business is off 18% due to the way things are but my parking lot is quiet. I think the immigration problem has taken care of itself.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  149. Josh

    Heck no it's not a good idea to put the tasks involved in immigration reform off 'til next year! What kinda question is that? I'm actually on the side of amnesty... I mean...how else are we gonna pay for this barrage of government spending.

    Think of it...millions of un-documentent people all of the sudden become documented. I'm not the sharpest knife in the jar, but it seems like the longer we wait, the more money we lose. Amnesty = money.

    And by the way, the picture on your blog looks nothing like you; that guy looks normal.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  150. chris huzinec

    NO!! Jack it is not a good idea. IF we get the 15-20 million illegal immigrants out of our country than fixing health care gets easier because then we wont have to worry about having to insure them.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  151. ummad

    Hi Jack
    When ever we talk about Immigration reform why we think its all about illegal Aliens in this country. What about legal one who are victims of broken Immigration system? Secondly what benefits we are talking about by giving something to illegal Aliens they already have job , they get treated when sick and all other things only thing we gonna collect tax from them by giving them some thing.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  152. Bill

    Jack
    I'm completely against any kind of pathway for illegals.We need our current laws enforced,and these people need to be sent home, and our borders sealed.Reagan gave them amnesty and we're right back where we started because nothing changed.One thing that needs to be done is stopping anchor babies.The Irish did this by passing a law that one parent had to be a legal Irish citizen.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  153. Chika Uzokwe

    I think it's a good idea to put off immigration reforms till next year in other to allow the administration the time to fight the already blazing fire of health-care reforms.
    Obama promised so many reforms during the campaign, now he is realized that each reform will spark a threatening whirl wind of fire.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  154. Carrie and Dempsey

    Yes, it's a good idea but they need to round up all the illegal aliens in this country and deport them; starting with the 300 cities that the drug pushers/cartel have taken over. If this was done, there would be plenty of jobs for the American people. We just traveled from coast to coast by land. All work being done on the roads are done by hispanics. We have no problem with people that come to this country legally. Not enforcing the immigration laws is a slap in our faces.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  155. Steve M.

    There is no reason to wait until 2010 to get the illegals out of the
    country. More Americans would go back to work giving more tax
    dollars for the government to work with, and less money used for
    unemployment and welfare. The collective governments should have
    listened to the 'will of the people' decades ago.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  156. Ivey

    If we start discussing illegal immigration now, town hall meetings will get even more violent. I think there will also be a rise in violence against assumed illegals. I don't understand what the American public is so afraid of. Most of these people are hard working families and students. I'm a citizen, my family has been here for hundreds of years- we should accept the inevitability of the benefit of amnesty for these people much like we did for the surge of Europeans during the Industrial Revolution. When Irish and Italian immigrants arrived here many people thought the country would collapse. Surprise, surprise... we're still here.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  157. Susan FL & IL

    Based on the Health Care Town Meetings, there are many angry, uninformed, non-thinking, LEGAL CITIZENS......if immigration reform is brought up now.........it would only add to the confusion of many American Legal Citizens..........there might be some riots.

    Tackle Immigration Reform after our future Health Care Plans are determined.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  158. Steve Graf

    Jack,

    Of course it makes no sense to put immigration reform off until next year. That's why this administration will do it!

    All major issues facing us, from taxes to healthcare to racial biases to economic recovery to national security, are all exacerbated by the millions of people who are in this country illegally.

    Steve
    Toms River, NJ

    August 11, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  159. Roger Orobi

    Yes – Unfortunately the very people who complain that pres Obama is handling too many burning issues including the on-going Health Reform are already complaining that he is avoiding an important agendium [Immigration] that badly needs reform. You can't have it both ways.

    Thnx

    RogerOROBI

    August 11, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  160. David Warnock

    Jack,

    Yes, it should be put off permanently. We have enough criminals of our own without importing them. I don't understand what part of Illegal = Criminal is hard for some people to understand.

    David

    August 11, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  161. marcia

    Simple math! What can we afford? Certainly not supporting people who are illegal. Take care of us first. Is that really so difficult to understand>?????????????

    August 11, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  162. Martin

    I strongly suggest that the Obama Administration work on the guidelines for amnesty. Have a protocol ready to present to Congress and the Senate in 2010. It needs to be REALLY GOOD in order to stand a chance for Bipartisan Support in this climate.

    It's NOT going to be easy, so take this time to work on the details, and present strong legislation in 2010.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  163. Greg

    Mr. Cafferty,

    Putting something off is never a good idea... unless one has no other choice. If the alternative to immediately removing of millions of people in this country using thousands of immigration officials and police officers, is to save lives with healthcare reform: then the choice should be obvious. True healthcare reform is in reach for the first time since Nixon. Illegal immigration reform can wait a year.

    Greg, Indiana

    August 11, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  164. Pat Irvine

    Obama needs to forget any kind of immigration reform.
    California is bankrupt; one major reason is the billions spent on special services for illegals every year.

    Instead of finding ways to citizenship for law breakers, there should be an end to the practice of "anchor babies." This is a play on Americans' compassion. If lawbreakers know that coming across the border to have babies WILL NOT give them citizenship, our borders will be easier to control.

    How dare Mexico ask Americans to give them more. Mexico needs to fix Mexico. We've done more than our share.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  165. Jon-NY

    Yes we should wait before tackling the immigration issue. More important matters are at the forefront. FDR did not handle all the issues in America at once. I think we need to stabalize the economy first and fix healthcare (this would be easier if we Americans exercised and doctors were competent). When we do tackle immigration the Obama administration needs to understand that laws are there for a reason. Amnesty for illegal immigrants is totally out of line. In addition, maybe we should not pull out all our criticisms on the President. Maybe we should be criticizing American business owners who employ illegals! Fines should be much higher because these business owners are only encouraging more illegals to run over the border!

    August 11, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  166. David, Venice,FL

    Lets address it this year. I believe a new tax is in order for all those concerned about illeagal alien rights and so on to pay for new jails and hospitals for aliens. This will provide new jobs building these items paid for with new taxes

    August 11, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  167. Denni

    ....I was watching cnn this morning when a I heard a governer say the heath care plan would not cover the people who where not us citizens...after it passes....President wants to make it easy for those people to become citizens.....therefore covering them under the healthcare plan....sounds like smoke to me....

    August 11, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  168. Tim

    Sure Immigration can wait... Just as soon as it is written into the health bill that benifits will not be extended to Illeagel Aliens we can wait.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  169. Bill Mulcahy

    Jack, I think your right about illegal immigration being as big an issue as health care reform. Obama putting off debate on immigration shows he knows the American people want something done and he is going to do his best to do nothing while millions more foreign nationals sneak into America. Look for more "day worker" mobs of illegal aliens stealing jobs from unemployed Americans and while new ones sneak in the country to have their "anchor babies" to give themselves legitimacy.

    I am against illegal and legal immigration for one reason only...we have too many people in the U.S.!!! More people means more uban sprawl, more air and water pollution, more crowded highways and a lower quality of life for everyone. My wife was a legal immigrant from Trinidad and I am a retired N.Y. City firefighter and cab driver.

    New Paltz, NY

    August 11, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  170. Delilah Skirlis-Zavala M.D.

    Dear Sr.
    My name is Deliah ,i am a US citizen,born in NYC i am a medical doctor by profession. I 've been married to my illegal alien husband for 14 years. When i was a student we couldnt have a way for him to become a legal resident because i didnt have enough income. Now that i am a doctor and have a good income and pay lots of money in taxes. I CAN NOT help my husband to become a legal resident because there is simply not a legal way for us to achieve this. Well
    actually the US goverment offer us a way and it is for my husband to go back to his country and return in 10 years. I dont know if u have a family ,but any person'd know that this choice is unrealistic.
    This issue affects us deeply and I follow it very closely. I know for a fact that such sectors as agricultural and dairy amongst others depend almost entirely on illegal labor. and I also know for a fact that this situation with the illegal inmmigration was created by big corporations in America helped enteriely by our politicians . Most people illegaly in the USA are in our situation, they have a legal resident spouse and in many instances a USA citizen spouse; as a matter of fact you must know that in the Cd. Juarez US consulate more than 150,000 petitions are filed every year. Many of which are denied, fillig up the whole border with one part of the family living on each side of the border.The current system is creating a whole generation a anti-american american children, that are totally opposed to our goverment; refusing to serve in law enforcement or in the army. There are many more issues that are badly affected by not doing anything about it . I really believe that we need a change in our current inmmigration laws.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  171. Michael Nunnally

    I think that the president has many issues on his plate that rank much higher on his priority list than issues of dealing with immigration. The government is already having a difficult time providing assistance to our own citizens who are in need of help do to loss of jobs due to poor economic conditions. We have to concentrate on getting America back to work and reverse our declining economy. I think that EMPLOYMENT, HEALTH CARE, AND THE MIDDLE EAST should be our main focus.

    Michael Nunnally
    Batte Creek, MI

    August 11, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  172. Don from Wisconsin

    Jack if you think the healthcare debate is out of control, wait until immigration reform. Health care reform is like a ride at Its a Small World in Disneyland vs Immigration reform will be like trying to ride a surfboard in a hurricane. So, I think it is best to sit tight for a while on that one. I really think that if amnesty is proposed, people are going to get really, really nasty.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  173. Amy

    Obama seems to be continuing Bush's policies on several fronts. The foxes are guarding the financial hen house on Wall St, we are wasting billions on useless wars in the Middle East, lobbyists are in charge in DC, and the illegals are living off US taxpayers by the millions.

    The first step on the road to responsible action is to cut off ALL entitlements for illegals NOW. Let's start with refusing to grant citizenship to babies born to mothers who sneak across the border, give birth in a US hospital at taxpayer expense, and then collect welfare in the baby's name. More babies, more money. No entitlements means no food stamps, no welfare, no housing, no health care, no education, and no jobs. Here we are at 10% unemployment and illegals are still being protected by politicians.

    Mexico is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The idea that its government looks to drug sales and money sent home by illegals as top sources of funds for their country sickens me. Mexico has enough money to support its own people, but there is no incentive to do so because we invite them to keep sending their poor people here.

    It's true that this country was built by immigrants, but those people did not come here with their hands out, and they had a work ethic that would not accept a hand-out if it were offered. They also took pride in learning English and in becoming Americans. Why does the US want to become a nation of free-loaders, supported by a few remaining over-taxed, hard-working citizens.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  174. alinde Omalley

    "Illegal ALIENS?!" You're starting to sound like Bill O'Reilly! To many in the USA, "aliens" sounds like "Martians," so I believe "undocumented" is far less imflammatory. We do not need more abrasive speech in the USA, (which might be part of the reason I retired to Mexico–far more civilized in manner.)

    Alinde OMalley

    August 11, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  175. Thomas Bate

    Jack, you dont think working on two wars, a country in major recesssion, economic meltdown, and health care reform is enough? I'd like to see you tackle those issues! But no, lets take on immigration too! Why not? I know its important to you and Lou Dobbs, but its not on the top of my list.. What will republicans do when illegals stop coming over the border, and washing thier cars, and stocking the grocery shelves, and cleaning the streets, and painting the houses and washing the dishes, and picking the strawberries, and flipping the hamburgers, ect, ect, ect.. What will we all do? Are you prepared to pay 10.00 for a hamburger, and 30.00 to have your car washed? Ask business owners what they want? While America thinks that illegals are responsible for all the problems, they are the back bone of the American dream at the moment.. Watch out for what you ask for , you just might get it.. Tom Bate Ft Lauderdale

    August 11, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  176. rachel

    i dont think mr obama should have delayed immigration reform until 2010 its a bad decision but i understand that healthcare an our country financial situation is most important.

    i will like to remind the president and citizens of the USA that we were all immigrants at one point because the original americans was INDIANS. there isnt anything wrong with a family or a person trying to seek a better life, however in the proper manner. everyone at some point lies to accomplish better for themselves an there family.

    i am a fair person so with that being said i vote amnesty,

    August 11, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  177. Arthur Martinez

    immigration ENFORCEMENT should be underway, since they have already broken the law, these so called FAMILY PRISONS they have no rights to appeal ANYWAY and should have gone long time ago and if from the Federal to Local police once they are caught standard procedure should begin with deportation papers citing that if they return they face a 5-10yr jail term as a determent. It would make health reform easier or not required at all. NOW is the time for AMERICA to take care of "AMERICANS" first.
    ( edit as needed this is as short as I could write, have more but it will have to wait.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  178. Ed, Myrtle Beach,SC

    The last time they tried to pass immigration reform the American people made it clear that they should first secure our borders, enforce existing laws and forget about amnesty. They constantly say that our immigration system is broken. It seems to me that they should first tell us what exactly is broken. I think the answer is we can't secure our borders or enforce our laws. As for amnesty I have a hard time listening to any argument that refers to illegal aliens as undocumented workers (a duck is a duck).

    August 11, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  179. Andrew from NH

    It sure wont happen this year! Don't people realize that 2010 is only 4 months away? As for the new debate I have an idea: maybe all the illegal immigrants here and hopeful immigrants on the waiting lists can come over and start buying all those empty foreclosed houses, saving in American banks, and buying from American small businesses. Many immigrants already pay payroll taxes and do not get refunds or benefits like citizens do. Lets end this xenophobia people!

    August 11, 2009 at 6:51 pm |