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June 30th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Immigration reform possible without first sealing border?

ALT TEXT

A fence separates the cities of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora Mexico. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Don't expect too much when President Obama delivers a speech about immigration reform tomorrow.

Officials say he won't introduce any new policy initiatives and won't announce whether the federal government has decided to sue Arizona.

Instead expect more of the same, which is nothing. Homeland Security chief, Janet Napolitano, recently said "you're never going to totally seal the border with Mexico."

She said it's a big border with some of the "roughest, toughest geographical terrain in the world." And she insists the border is "as secure now as it has ever been."

The governors of Arizona and Texas are criticizing the Obama administration for not deploying enough National Guard troops to their states... Arizona is getting just 524. And Texas is getting 250 as part of a total increase of 1,200. Arizona governor Jan Brewer had asked for 3,000 troops just for Arizona.

Meanwhile the president has been quietly moving forward on immigration reform - meeting with grass-roots leaders this week, talking about the need for a bipartisan solution and saying true border security requires comprehensive immigration reform. Same old, same old.

But most Americans want their border secured before there is any talk of a pathway to citizenship, or amnesty. A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows 60 percent of those polled say the focus of U.S. policy should be deporting illegal aliens and stopping more from coming into the country.

But these days what most Americans want doesn't seem to matter.

Here’s my question to you: Can immigration reform be done without first sealing the border?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.


Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. Chuck

    It doesn't need to be sealed before the legal reform, but both aspects are necessary. It would be easier to seal if there were less incentive to come across. Businesses who hire illegals need to be punished severely. Fine them into bankruptcy and let the demand for the service they provide go to another business that follows the rules. They're subverting the "free market" principle most of them subscribe to by illegitimately recruiting workers outside the legal supply to keep wages low. All this "work americans won't do" crap is b.s. Americans just won't do it for $5/hr. Get rid of illegal workers and the demand for the services will remain. The positions get filled by people who demand more money. Yes, prices will go up. Unemployment will go down and wages will go up. It's not that diificult to grasp.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  2. Josh

    No, immigration reform be done without first sealing the border. Also, with statements like "you're never going to totally seal the border with Mexico." I think she she be asked to the situation room and relieved of her duty. Not the attitude that I expect from the Homeland Security chief.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  3. dashnaw ,carl

    it seems that they have more rights us .yes i will shut up and pay more taxes

    June 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  4. wert

    The whole issue is a lie. You could legalize the lot of the illegal aliens tomorrow if the Democrats weren't so interested in buying votes. You absolutely cannot sustain open borders and a welfare state but, arithmetic doesn't impressDemocrats. As anyone who has been paying attention for the last 18 months knows.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  5. Andrew Belmont

    We are double losers. Not only are we swamped with low skill illegal immigrants, placing heavy burden on social support systems, but meanwhile we are turning away highly skilled workers who play by the rules and try to go through normal channels for legal immigration. These are the scientists and engineers that are the fuel for our startup, high tech companies, the one part of our manufacturing base that is not dying.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  6. Ramesh Kajaria

    Comprehensive immigration reform is nothing but euphemism for amnesty that president Obama and the Democrats have in mind.

    They want to grant amnesty to get the votes of the Hispanics and those who support the idea of amnesty.

    It is all a vote getting game and that is why they do not want to secure the border. Power hungry politicians should be given that label and no other.

    They have no intention of securing the border. Sending a few National Guard troops to Texas and Arizona borders is nothing but a lip service to show they are doing something about the problem.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  7. Josh Hagerman

    I wish every American (and especially every American politician) was required to study economics in high school or college. If this were the case, then the average citizen would understand how naive it is to believe that the immigration issue can be addressed with border security. Economics 101: if there is economic incentive to cross the border illegally then individuals will continue to do so regardless of the obstacles we erect. The real long-term solution is raising Mexico's standard of living through joint development projects to reduce the immigration incentive. Adam Smith's Invisible Hand in practice.

    Boston, Mass

    June 30, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  8. David C

    What's the cost-benefit to putting thousands upon thousands of people on that fence to keep it from being violated?

    June 30, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  9. Jeff in Houston

    No. We cannot attempt to solve the immigration problem while completely ignroing the sources of the problem. Since we do not seem inclined to throw people in jail for hiring illegal workers, then shutting down the border is the only thing left. Just one thing: In theory, that will create a shortage fo illegal workers, and these theives might actual have to start paying illegal immigrants decent wages. Think about that.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  10. Mike M.

    Your poll says: "60 percent of those polled say the focus of U.S. policy should be deporting illegal aliens and stopping more from coming into the country."

    That does not equate to "most Americans want their border secured before there is any talk of a pathway to citizenship, or amnesty." Deporting illegal aliens is not "securing the border." Nor does the poll say that the deporting and the stopping should be done "before there is any talk" of a pathway to citizenship or amnesty.

    Spin, spin, spin.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  11. John Campbell

    Immigration reform was approved by congress under President Ronald Reagan and at that time it was stated that the reform would fix the problem permanently. The existing laws are enough to solve the problem and they are not being enforced by the current administration of President Obama,or the prior administrations of President Bush and President Clinton. We are very lucky that terrorists have not taken advantage of our porous border to attack us with a weapon of mass destruction. It is time for the federal government to control the border and it is ridiculous that we need to pass immigration reform again.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  12. V Saxena

    Sealing the border is such an asinine idea. It's like putting up our own Berlin Wall. And quite frankly, this wall or whatnot will have to be exceptionally tall, as well as exceptionally deep-rooted, lest the illegals pole-vault it or just dig through underneath like a rabbit.

    It seems like preventing illegals from making it across our borders will be as difficult as keeping out pesky insects. Desperation tends to make people think and work harder; I wouldn't be surprised if the illegals get their Magyver on and find a way across–no matter what obstacle we put in their path.

    I suppose it might be worth a try... though it will be one ridiculously expensive solution to implement. I guess my question is whether sealing our borders is worth the cost. Are there not any better solutions available!?

    June 30, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  13. David-Wisconsin

    Immigration reform will only work if ICE has the resources to deport illegals, penalties are strictly enforced against businesses who employ illegals, and birthright citizenship is abolished. Those are the incentives for illegals, they can find work, have children as citizens, and with those two things they know our attitude toward families will keep them from deportation. We will never seal our borders unless terrorism would deem it necessary. In my community alone several illegals have said they go back & forth across our border & even if they're caught, the fact they have U.S. citizens as children allow them to stay. I'm in favor of giving them a path to citizenship if they have no criminal background, can prove they can support themselves, and learn English, but too many local communities in the North have provided safe haven & until that changes, they may leave Arizona, but they'll end up in Wisconsin!

    June 30, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  14. Clayton - North Bend, WA

    Yes. All it takes is a leader that is committed to stopping this invasion. Hopefully, they will surface soon because our economy and social services will not support so many illegal immigrants for much longer. Another point, to say the border will never be totally secure is letting the terrorist know how they can enter the US undetected. Elected government officials that ignore immigration law is treason in my opinion.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  15. Prashant Merchant

    Jack,

    I don't know which part of immigration reform you are talking about.Reform for Legal Immigrants can be done anytime with or wthout sealing the border.

    Amnesty cannot and should not happen in either case

    June 30, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  16. Tim in Texas

    Jack, most Americans don't realize that it costs about thirty thousand dollars to deport an individual. Most Americans don't realize that Japan has border security problems, and it's an Island. Now we can come up with silly solutions – like putting up a fence that anybody can put a ladder against to climb over, or dig a hole under to crawl through, or we can solve the actual problem with comprehensive reform. And it's not the President who doesn't want to do it. It's the Republicans. Why? Illegals provide cheap labor for businesses, and businesses provide campaign contributions for Republicans.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  17. MICHAEL WHITE

    The U.S. really doesn't need immigration reform, it needs immigration enforcement. Think of this, some say giving the illegal immigrants here in the U.S. a pathway to legalization isn't amnesty because it requires them to pay fines, learn English, go to the back of the line, blah, blah, blah. But it is amnesty because it does not require them to return to their home country for processing. What incentive does that give to other potential immigrants to follow the laws when these here are getting to stay while others have to remain in their own country to process immigration paperwork? President Reagan and Congress tried this in the 1980's and it didn't work, what is to prevent future generations of illegal immigrants from coming to the U.S.?

    June 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  18. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    It has to be Jack or else people will keep coming illegally because employers will benefit from a non-unionized workforce living in the shadows.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  19. Roy

    The whole political approach to the issue of illegal immigration is all wrong. Building the wall is downright silly.

    If employers were fined and jailed for employing illegal labor, then the honey that brings the illegal bees would dry up. No work, illegal immigrants will go home.

    The political lobbying of companies to keep immigration reform out of their business is what keeps illegals here. Employers covet cheap labor. Don't jail the immigrants, jail the employers. The Arizona governor and all the other politicos get corporate 'donations' that keep the true laws that would help solve the major aspect of this issue off the books. Its political slight of hand, pick on the illegals, not the employers. Which group has a stronger lobby? Duh!

    Patrolling the borders for terrorists and drug mules would still be necessary, but the major flow of illegal immigration would soon slow down to a trickle if the job market for illegals does not exist.

    Houston Roy

    June 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  20. Jeff from Milwaukee, WI

    Maybe Mexico would make a better effort to seal the border from their side if we started billing them for the costs we incur to care for their citizens.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  21. Alissa Murphy

    Trying to reform immigration without first sealing the border is like trying to clean up the oil spill without first capping the spill, an exercise in futility!!! Seal the border, Obama!!!

    June 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  22. Tira Myers

    Palm Beach County, FL. We need to seal all of our borders first – including our coastlines.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  23. Simon/Orlando

    Absolutely not. The minute you hint at amnesty there will be a flood of illegals storming across the border to take advantage of it. The only reason the administration has not cracked down on border crossings is that every illegal who gets amnesty means a potential vote for the democrats.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  24. Ricardo

    The crime from drug lords spilling over in the USA is the best reason to ship more men and equipment- contain it from USA, MExico is too darn corrupt to stop the drug problem & they WILL NOT help to catch criminals that cross into US, rob, steal, murder and go back to Mexico & unitl they will do so We must stop all coming to USA- More important we need a guest worker program to track workers from SA & MExico BUT THE DEMORATS blocked Bush from doing so- the dont want to lose the vote

    June 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  25. Harold

    The border can't be sealed. Those who think so are pipe dreaming. Instead of critcizing Obama why don't the governors of Texas and Arizona ask voters in their States to get rid of their Senators who have done nothing regarding immigration? I thought Senators are able to write a bill and seek to get it pass, not the President. God forbid a Republican point the finger at another Republican for doing nothing!

    June 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  26. Scott Stodden

    As our old CNN friend Lou Dobbs used to say you cannot have amnesty or immigration reform until you first seal off the borders and patrol the borders! That is the only true way that you can tackle immigration reform and until that is done no matter if you have amnesty for illegals or a pathway to citizenship you will still have an immigration problem until the borders are sealed and patroled! Didn't we try amnesty back during the Reagan years? Hello President Obama it didn't work!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    June 30, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  27. Papa John Kaisermann

    This is a trick question, right??

    Even a 5th grader knows that you have to seal the border before you offer any plan for citizenship ( amnesty). If not we will be flooded with illegals.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  28. ou_texan

    You summed it up accurately, when you stated – "But these days what most Americans want doesn't seem to matter". This administration does not care what the American people want. They are elitist and will tell us what we should want – and then make us live with it.

    Any pathway to citizenship or amnesty will just lead to repeat of last amnesty mistake. As a result of that mistake (coupled with massive fraud), we're experiencing a virtual invasion by an enormous, highly uneducated population just waiting for their turn.

    Sadly, no amount of reasoning will matter, Obama could not care less what the American people want. He just thinks we're all a bunch of ignorant racist – never mind we're the ones footing the bill.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  29. Linda in Arizona

    You will never "seal the border". That is absurd. You can cut back the surge, but you can't "seal the border". It's not a freezer bag. Immigration "reform" means amnesty for illegals and votes for Democrats. Just like the last time. End of story.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  30. Deb

    Not a chance. Secure the borders and start deporting. Washington still does not get it. Most Americans do not want illegal immigrants to be given amnesty, they want the immigrantion laws upheld and the borders secure. Enough is enough!

    June 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  31. Ivan

    It can be done but the real question is WILL it get done. To pass through Congress this legislation will have to be bipartisan and it seems that the only thing bipartisan in Congress these days is being partisan.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  32. Keith H. Hill

    We had amnesty without sealing the borders in 1986. We got a lot of new legals and more illegals than ever. How can we do the same thing and expect a different result. Washington is playing in some fantasy world.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  33. Mel Seyffert - Houston

    Well, if America ever got out of the job of policing the world it would more than enough people to patrol the borders. As for dealing with the undocumented people that are here thats to sensitive of an issue. A Congressman or a Senator may not get re-elected over an issue like this or they may upset a corporation! Then who would pay for my re-election.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  34. Alex

    This needs to be an all fronts thing... Part of immigration reform needs to be building a physical border, while other parts include going after offending businesses, deporting otherwise criminal illegals, and creating a new class of immigrants for the illegals. I personally think that they should have no path to citizenship, but that they should be allowed a special visa unless they are otherwise criminal.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  35. DocBlogger

    Sure, reform can come ahead of border sealing, which may be ineffective anyway (thousands of minds can outwit few policy maker minds in a matter of time). The key is to encourage legal border crossing than illegal one. Increasing seasonal temp visa, for instance, can open up tracking option and allow them to return periodically.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  36. Tara

    if you do not seal the border then you will never stop the problem, and giving an amnesty merely encourages more illegals to come thinking they to will eventually get an amnesty.

    the illgeals should be removed, their children should not have citizenship as their parents had no right to be here when they were born, there are plenty of legal ways into the country they should use them.

    any employer found employing illegals should face criminal charges and fines

    phoenix, arizona

    June 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  37. Rick Silt Colorado

    Border control should be entirely independent of immigration reform. Immigration reform will be meaningless as long as some politicians regard illegals not as "undocumented workers" but "undocumented voters."

    June 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  38. Fletch

    Do you mean "reform" or a "reform bill".

    I think it's been proven that our legislatures are willing to pass bills that have nice titles, but no substance.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  39. andyz

    Of course it can be accomplished. All that is needed is the public and political will to be successful. I vehemently disagree with immigration "reform." We have immigration laws. Why the hell do we not enforce these laws? Who's paying our Congress to look the other way? Who is benefitting? Go through all the members of the United Nations. Does any nation have unlimited, never enforced, immigration? No! Only the one country that has the best government, "that money can buy."

    June 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  40. sonny chapman

    If you make an impossible precondition before tackling a tough problem, you never have to fix it. Ultimate procrastination.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  41. Brniak - Nebraska

    What a stupid solution "deporting illegal aliens"? Didn't we already looked at that and found out that it would cost the nation in access of 300 billion dollars? that is in addition of creating a police state style that threaten our civil liberties and encourage ratial profiling. Go back to original Bush's proposal to seal the boarder, provide amnesty, and create a temporary working visa program for laborers from Mexico to come and work in our country. I think that right know they stay because if the back home they can return for work again, and if we give them the temporary work visa then they will go back after the session is over, knowing that they can come back next session.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  42. Robert Dunn

    There is a solution to every problem !
    I have no problem with the Mexicans as people ! They are as equal as anyone else on this planet.
    The problem lies with the ILLEGAL entry into The U.S.
    In this case we should back-charge Mexico for the costs associated with the detention and deportation of every ILLEGAL that comes across the border !!
    And , if they don't pay the bill we should declare war on that country.
    This IS a matter of our National Security !
    Sounds a little harse but something MUST be done.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  43. Wm in TX

    Jack,

    The last time I was hired two proofs of citizenship were required. A U.S. Passport is proof.

    Ask employers to follow the policy and we will go a long way to putting Americans back to work.

    Our corporations could help in another way too, bring manufacturing back to American shores and our states too will flourish.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  44. Jon

    Jack, what would be the point? We remember when Reagan gave amnesty to about 5 million illegals. That sure turned out well. Now there are at least 12 million and counting. Doesn't another amnesty just give more and more the incentive to become part of that nice amnesty? Soon we will probably have about 20 million illegals here. Of course businesses love that low cost labor. Isn't that ALL this is about anyway? Low cost labor! Let's talk reality here (which is something we rarely ever hear.) There is so much baloney slung around on this issue, from both sides, that it is obvious that no one ever really plans to do ANYTHING. Get used to it. What the 60+ percent of people want is never what we actually get from our government. Can I please have my taxes back?

    June 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  45. Terry in Chandler, AZ

    Well Jack, can the Gulf of Mexico be cleaned without first stopping the gushing oil? Of course not. I'm here in Chander, AZ where we have first hand experience of an unsealed border. The politicians do not want to address seriously, and to do so as if it was a major crisis. Sorta like that pesky little oily mess in the gulf.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  46. page

    Texas
    NO NO NO We have laws now we need the Federal Goverment to uphold them...Why should Mexicans come in freely and other races have to come in by the law??? Oboma has kissed up to the Mexican President and Kissed off the Governor of Az....

    June 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  47. Leader

    What they do not get is that democrats are mad too! These people are breaking the law and we want to reward them? We do not need reform... we need to enforce the laws we already have.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  48. M. Quinn

    Absolutely not. Seal the border (the whole border), send home the illegals then figure out what we can do to help those that need it. I do not have a problem with LEGAL immigrants just those here illegally sucking us dry.
    Proud to be from Tucson, Arizona.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  49. Matt B.

    Mexican immigrants can easily dig tunnels and bypass a simple (yet expensive) fence. All the fence really does is give Americans a false sense of security. We need to stand up and show illegals that we mean business. We should definitely implement immigration reform first.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  50. BILL D IN ORLANDO

    The math here is very simple. Democrats figure that every illegal that eventually gets citizedship is a future Democratic voter and will likely make a permanet majority for Democrats. They are right. Most poor people depend of government income transfer programs and most illegals will qualify. They are a net drain not a net gain. So whoever promises and delivers more free stuff wins. I think sooner or later they will get their way. Hispanics and non-income-tax-taxpayers will get to over 50% of the population and that will be it. Right now the bottom 50% of workers pay 3% of taxes. The top 5% pay near 60%. And they say the rich din't pay their fare share. Don't forget the rich can move and they will. Look at Detroit. We are on our way to third world status. All world empires have faded and failed. Why assume we are different?

    June 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  51. Larry Seeley

    Santa Fe, NM

    Reform is possible without sealing the border. Unseal it. Open our borders with Mexico and Canada to all traffic. Allow foreign nationals to work in the U.S., but require a SS account and withhold income taxes. We could eliminate our deficit, substantially reduce the cost of immigration enforcement, and bring ourselves in alignment with the civilized nations of the world.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  52. Ron

    The borders are a joke right now if someone with out any form of training can make it across and stand on the street looking for work what chance do we have if an terrorist member decides to come across and kill lots of people. the obama administration is like the sinfeld show its just that a show about nothing. i was really happy when he was elected but now i just dont know any more. if illegal aliens can get away with that and getting free med care whats next. im afraid to see =(

    June 30, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  53. Peachez

    Yes it is possible to reform immigration before securing the border. The reason is because – It is not possible to secure the border. They will go over, under and around any obstacle that could be built in the near future.

    But, . . . should we decide to IMMEDIATELY, AND COMMITEDLY send back ALL illegals, it would send a strong message that it is not beneficial to illegally migrate here.

    The most challenging, but effective approach would be to enact legislature to penalize all American businesses and individuals who employ illegals. That will be tougher and take longer than securing the borders.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  54. US Veteran

    Republicans and Democrats will not settle this due to unpopular status. Time to think outside the two party systems and vote for third party who will finally due what the majority want done.
    This coming election will hopefully send a signal that enough is enough.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  55. jamesjanes

    Dear Jack
    You know and I know and we all know that if there weren't any cheap labor jobs available, there would not be a problem with people coming across the border. Put those people hiring them in Jail and it would solve the problem. Is this a great country or what?

    Jimmy Jnes

    June 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  56. Jackl

    Why must we even include deportation into reform other than known felons and such. Go after the companies that hire them and treat them like slaves. We allow humans to work in America under inhumain conditions for under min wage and no wc. We force them to live as criminals and we live with the consiquences. We keep our privatly owned prisons at capasity with them. Ya I know I can't spell. I swing a hammer.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  57. Anthony from New Jersey

    Sealing any border is pie-in the-sky unless you're government is controlled by totalitarian regimes.
    As long as our neighbor, Mexico, is corrupt no barrier will keep this people seeking employment and freedom.
    I live in a gated retirement community and watch everyday as the Mexican laborers do all the mundane chores I no longer desire or am capable of doing. Our children and most citizens feel too entitled to engage in this labor. I don't see a problem since these new immigrants are an integral part of our economy. May I add that they are very polite and hard-working.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  58. Lyn

    You wouldn't have to do either thing if you just arrest and place fines on the people hiring them. They would go back to their own country.
    That's what should have been done from 2000 thru 2008, instead Bush let them continue to come in.
    After 911 anyone could come on board, it a was free path for any country. You would have thought it would have been closed the day after 911.
    You can't blame this on President Obama.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  59. Don Wedding

    OK, here is the solution. Most illegals stay with family or friends. If you let these folks know if they are caught harboring any illegal, they both will be sent back. End of story.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  60. Hunter

    Cmon Jack...don't tell me you really think we have to seal off our country by building a fence from the Baja to the Texas coast, mine fields along the beaches of the Gulf, Atlantic, and Pacific and an electrified fence across our Canadian border. Let's get real. Just stop businesses from hiring illegals for dirt cheap wages and they won't show up any more. What worries me is the legal importation of foreign workers for skilled positions and the wholesale exportation of high tech industries and skilled labor.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  61. Susan Frances

    Jack, at least let's start at the beginning. If immigrants are coming over for jobs– then why don't we STOP hiring them? Why is there this weird double standard?
    "Don't cross the border–but if you do, I'll give you a job".
    If someone said, "You will be fined $1000.00 if you hire this person to help you with your household." I would not hire him or her. Or if someone said,"You will be fined $5,000 or $10,000 if you hire them for your business." Again, they would not be hired. No jobs– no crossing the border.
    Why is it that Americans don't see themselves as guilty? We have huge unemployment, so start employing Americans. If not, if you hire someone illegal– YOU are the problem. Simple as that!!

    June 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  62. Jim Blevins

    Not long ago, it was proven that we can't even seal off the White House - obviously, sealing the boarders is totally impossible. Not to mention that the money already being spent could be spent much better elsewhere. We need to put and end to gang and drug related violence along the boarder - better border security won't really help. What I would really like to see is putting all Xenophobes on the other side of the border, but then Mexico would probably regard that as an act of war.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    June 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  63. Kenan Lott

    What if we just seal the voting booth? Then would the liberals want them here? Would they still support amnesty without their votes?

    June 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  64. Golden P. Ruel

    From Hermosa Beach California

    Jack, Really.......Immigration reform without sealing boarders is like my wife going to the mall without buying something......it is an impossibility! I am beginning to think that the powers to be are trying to break this country to moves us in a different direction! We have the greatest technology and and military in the world and we cannot protect our borders.............can't win a war.........won't let AIG fail.......hey I am getting discouraged! Note to all our elected officials if your in now you will be out soon!! We have had enough of the incompentancy!!

    June 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  65. clemont

    Can the gulf oil spill be cleaned up without first plugging the hole from which all the oil is gushing? Of course not! Every time you clean up the oil stained beaches, freshly spewed oil will require the clean up to be done again and again and again. Just like we keep coming back to the immigration issue again and again and again. Seal the borders, solve the problem.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  66. Karen

    I don't know what good securing the border would be, what they have proposed to seal it isn't really secure anyway. What we need is some real immigration reform. I believe that if the people that are hiring these people and in some cases helping them get here, were punished, as they should be but aren't, drastic reductions in the illegal traffic would stop. Too many businesses are relying on these illegal immigrants for cheap labor. Punish them, fine them immensely and it will stop.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  67. jamesjanes

    Dear Jack
    You know and I know and we all know that if there weren't any cheap labor jobs available, there would not be a problem with people coming across the border. Put those people hiring them in Jail and it would solve the problem. Is this a great country or what?

    Jimmy Janes
    Monroe City, Missouri

    June 30, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  68. Mary

    Here'a a suggestion. Hire illegals to defend the border. Anyone they let across takes their place and they are deported. I would bet that would slow things down. Mary Phoenix

    June 30, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  69. sean stott

    It's currently easier to get into the country illegally than it is legally. If the immigration process was more straightforward for people who wanted citizenship, it wouldn't be an issue. It's not fair to close off a country to immigrants when the country was founded by immigrants.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  70. James in Idaho

    Jack, As a strong, almost rabid, Obama supporter I have to say that among the two or three issues I am at odds with the president on, immigration is one of them.

    I think we should have a moratorium on all immigration, legal or illegal, for one full year, eVerify should be required not an option, immigrants should be hired after unemployment applications have been exhausted, and the standards for matriculation/migration should be strengthened while being more readily accessible.

    That being said, however, just slamming a fence down and thinking it will solve the problem is naive at best, and we cannot afford to be naive.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  71. Monica

    Take away their bread and water. If there are NO jobs (bread & water) available for illegals, then there will be nothing to sustain the influx. Stop giving them freebies (health care, food stamps, etc) and don't allow anchor babies. It really is that simple! Take away the bird feeder and bird bath and they will no longer come! Our government is soooo stupid!

    June 30, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  72. Kenny

    Jack i believe that the border must be secured before there is even a hint of immigration reform talks. First and for most i believe that the people who entered this country without authorization have committed a crime!!!
    When do we as Americans start enforcing laws? I understand that sometimes it might sound "cruel" to potentially breakup a family because dad or moms an illegal alien but in all reality mom and dad broke the law.
    If you look at the front page of the Arizona republic newspaper today theres a picture of a little girl biting on her Arizona id card. I guess her parents felt that getting her a state id card would ensure there right to stay in america after committing the crime of entering the USA without proper "PAPERS"

    June 30, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  73. Seth Atkinson

    It's hard to mop the floor while the roof's leaking rain. Either the rain stops or the hole gets patched if you're to make any progress. The border has to be secured because continued influx of any illegal immigrants will merely decrease the chance of success and increase the costs to our society of any reform. Look at the costs and burdens incurred by Reagan's amnesty; now we have many millions more illegals in the country and the problem is worse.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  74. Cindy Merrill

    Wipe out the reason for illegal immigration: Extend to Mexico the same deal the US has with Guam and the Virgin Islands: This would allow US law enforcement to go into Mexico after the druglords and their rape-gang thugs, end bribery and corruption ( or at least the worst of it) and restore stability. Once that happens, honest businessmen would be able to hire workers and the quality of life in Mexico AND US border states would go up immediately.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  75. susan

    For Governors of states that claim they are all about small government, the Governors of Arizona, and Texas, sure do whine to the Federal Government alot.
    The States of Arizona,and Texas should hire as many police officers as they need, and put the police at the border. Why haven't they done that already – if they are so concerned about border security?!
    I know that Governors have the ability to hire more police, so why don't the Governors do it, hire more police, put the police at the border.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  76. rich

    If it is impossible to get a job without true identification there will be fewer illegals. No jobs instant deportation. No citizenship for illegals children. We will get rid of many of the illegals. But, the drugs and criminals require secure borders.
    Dare I say it? If you don't like profiling then have the police check everyones status when stopped.

    If you want fewer illegals make it impossible for them to find work. Fine and eventually shut down the offending employers.

    Finally, come up with a simple way for foriegn nationals to get work permits, come here pay taxes, work above board. No path to citizenship for anyone here illegally unless they return to their country and enter through the existing immigration (sic) procedures.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  77. Ed in Columbus Ohio

    I don't believe you can seal the border at reasonable cost unless you also take away job opportunities for undocumented workers. If I were a Mexican citizen trying to feed my family, I would continue to try to cross the border as long as I see better paying jobs that don't check my immigration status.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  78. judy gebhart

    Police the companies that hire illegals. If there is no work they will
    not come. I havent heard of them going to . What an easy solution and cost effective to the taxpayer.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  79. Bruce - Louisiana

    Dear Jack,
    There's a pesky little fact overlooked in the immigration debate. Half of all Mexican immigrants drive legally over the border to go shopping and don't go back. If you entirely seal the border, what makes you think more people won't arrange to be driven legally over the border?

    If you want to enforce immigration laws the only workable solution is the solution business doesn't like. Enforce the law against hiring illegal immigrants. Eliminate the magnet that draws Mexicans to our country.

    Or we could think outside the box. Make Mexico a better place to live. Provide guaranteed international loans to expand business opportunities and create jobs in Mexico. It might not be a bad idea to do that here as well.

    Bruce
    Louisiana

    June 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  80. Gregory Tripp, Mechanicsburg, PA

    The border must be secured. Remember NAFTA. It's still going strong and it is a fundamental tool to homogenize the North American Continent into one "Trade Block" is the euphemism of the day. But in other words we are being shaped in the big picture for a new world order. I sure hope it works better than what we have on hand now. Still, this begs the question, "Just who is our government working for?" Mexico?

    June 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  81. Richard Fairview, Texas

    There will never be a border Jack it isn't possible no mater what you think. There is ocean all around America and you can't secure it. There is airspace you can't secure as well. it isn't just southern borders it is all aspects of entry from the north south east and west.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  82. Pete / NJ

    First and foremost secure the border I agree. Then those that are here must be sorted out in a categorized fashion with those that have been here for at least a few years working with a job go to the front of the line and lawbreakers and those that suck off the social system and give nothing get booted.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  83. Anthony from New Jersey-correction

    Sealing any border is pie-in-the-sky unless you're government is controlled by totalitarian regimes.
    As long as our neighbor, Mexico, is corrupt, no barrier will keep these people from seeking employment and freedom.
    I live in a gated retirement community and watch everyday as the Mexican laborers do all the mundane chores I no longer desire or am capable of doing. Our children and most citizens feel too entitled to engage in this labor. I don't see a problem since these new immigrants are an integral part of our economy. May I add that they are very polite and hard-working.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  84. Paul M.

    If they've got a job make em legal. They're probably better candidates for citizenship than half the people born here. If you want to build a fence, build it around the south and southwest to separate them from normal Americans.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  85. Rezar G.

    Jack,
    The USA has already laws in place to deal with immigration. It is our government that does not want to excute these laws. It is their job as the excecutive branch to do it, but for a reason or another they are ignoring the law. I think it is the government that should be held responsable. The boarder must be sealed once and for good. It is not hard to do. Just have the military take over. They should protect the country, why not start with the boarder.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  86. Judy Good

    NO! If the feds can suit Arizona why can't Arizona or we the people suit the Feds for failing to enforce federal law? It was my understanding that Federal law was suppose to be enforced once Regan handed out mass citizenship to illegals . Well that didn't happen so we have been waiting for awhile for the Feds to do their job which always seems to be the case unless they are spending money or raising taxes. J Good, Chouteau, Ok

    June 30, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  87. Amplee

    Jack as usual the short sided majority in the United States is wrong!! We always say that we are a global economy but we cannot even do two things at once like walking and chewing gum. Of course you can have reform without a secure border, it can all work together, but the real problem is not the illegals coming here but the people hiring them, as usual lets not punish the business but the peoplke who come here and find cheap labor to make a better living, stop the companies from hiring you will have less illegals. I stay in Florida and how do you discriminate against one group but allow the others to enter, example if a Cuban makes it to Florida they are o.k., lets just be equal!!!!

    June 30, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  88. Eugene

    Sealing the boarder will not work. You can tunnel under, take a boat around it, or get a smuggler to take you accross. Only way to stop it is to go after business and crush those that hire illegals; not a slap on the wrist but jail time and fines that send them into bankruptcy. Then the hard part...you have to stop providing services to illegals. Taking away jobs will create mass or unemployeed who need assistance so you have to cut them off from any and all govt services (food banks, housing, education, and yes medical). I realize this is harsh but managing the world's poor is not the reponsiblity of the US. If it is then we should just take over Mexico, the Domican Repulic, Hati, Bosnia, Croatia, etc.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  89. Greg

    Amnesty by any other name, including immigration reform, is still amnesty. It has never worked in the past and it won't work now. Seal the borders, enforce existing immigration laws, especially with companies that hire illegals, and work on immigration reform afterwards. As long as we have porous borders and lax enforcement there is little incentive to pursue true immigration reform.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  90. Roland Maroney

    You can't fix illegal immigration until you fix legal immigration. We have to adjust the numbers so more people from Central and South America can come here to work, especially during boom times when we really want them to come here. Also if we have them working here for a length of time, say 5 years or ten years, they should be allowed to apply for permanent status and eventually citizenship. When the kids grow up here it doesn't seem reasonable or fair to send them to a land they know nothing about. How we any of us feel if we had only lived here for 2 or 3 generations and we were forced to go back to Germany or France or somewhere because because that was where our heritage was from?

    June 30, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  91. M. Emran

    I find it incredibly ironic that only a short time ago (and I'm not that old) we were applauding one of our great leaders (Ronald Reagan) for helping to bring down the Berlin wall, yet somehow those same voices who favored this now seem quite in favor of importing the wall here. No matter how big or thick you make the wall people who are determined will find a way. You cannot block them this way. Send some of the money we keep shipping to China to Mexico and let's keep our neighbors in their own house. By encouraging worker rights and minimum wages in Mexico that are more in line with current costs of living they will have less incentive to come over. Also automatic citizenship should be extended to those born legally in America, those here illegally should have no claim on our health care system or any other tax supported service. So "NO" Mr. Cafferty, a wall and soldiers won't work alone. In fact, financial and social reform may be more of a deterrent as those are the reasons bringing them here.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  92. Steve in Puget Sound, WA

    Of course it is possible, Jack. Last I checked the LEGAL immigration totals DWARF the illegal, by something like 4 to 1. Without touching the border mess, the vast majority of the wildly balooning population growth in this country (100 million plus since 1970 – ALL from immigrants) could be resolved with the stroke of a pen.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  93. Edmund Feley

    Seal the Borders or not, The answer is the same: No Amnesty, No Citizenship to Illegal Immigrants or their Children!

    June 30, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  94. Debbie

    Hi Jack

    Of course our borders can not be sealed. Our government does NOT
    want that done, just the american citizens!! Remember E-verify if that were used in for every business NO mater how small and the federal
    government disallowed all the fake SS numbers . Now that would be something. It would also save citizens billions !!!

    Have a great 4th Debbie

    June 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  95. chiu

    Great! we will just add 11 million + to Obama care that we all have to pay for then. no wonder every body wants to come here...

    June 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  96. Andrew

    Securing the border is all well and good but the majority of illegal immgrants come here through legal channels and simply allow their visas to expire.The truth is that the actual numbers of illegal immigrants crossing the border, and crime related to illegal immigrants has significantly dropped in the last few years, but that fact continues to be ignored. Neo conservatives are using this issue as a talking point for votes in November because they understand that immigration is such a polarizing issue for Americans. If you want the real numbers on immigration check out what INS has to say . Immigration reform needs to be done and the effort CAN be done simultaneously.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  97. Legal Immigrant

    Absolutely not. Secure the border. Forget new immigration reform. Enforce the current laws. More unenforced or unenforceable laws are not going to resolve the illegal immigration problem. Audit and fine any company who hires illegal immigrants. Put citizenship requirements on the parents of the children of illegal immigrants. No more anchor babies. NO AMNESTY!!!

    June 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  98. Lien Hoang

    BILL D IN ORLANDO wrote:
    "The math here is very simple. Democrats figure that every illegal that eventually gets citizedship is a future Democratic voter and will likely make a permanet majority for Democrats".

    The hispanics once they reach a critical mass they will have their own party competing with both Democrats and Republicans. Their tendency is to create a socialist type of party and vote for. Just look to Latin America trends.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  99. Jim

    Illegal immigrants and Democrats are a perfect match. One is too lazy to follow the law and the other is too lazy to enforce it.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  100. Jeff in Houma

    Like everything else with this idiot of a president, this topic is about votes and potential voters. It's the same story with every issue this puppet has faced. He panders to his voters. Gulf coast has an oil slick? Too bad. A 6 month moratorium is only going to cost $13 billion worth of jobs in the region. A republican governor has thousands of illegals crossing her states border. Screw her...that's potential voters. Get used to it America. It's not your country. It's Obama's country. Look at how well the federal government manages all of these issue. So what makes you think healthcare will be managed any better?

    June 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  101. Carolyn Van Pelt (Democrat in New York)

    The border needs to be sealed first. Immigration reform will not make a difference. First, the government has to enforce the laws that are already on the books. Illegal immigration means just that, "illegal". As a law abiding citizen, I support the Governor of Arizona 100%.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  102. Allen-Minnesota

    No it is not possible ! It's like trying to take your dog water in a sieve and we all know how well that works. Or at least those of us without Washington ties do!

    June 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  103. Hannah

    I don't care how hard they try to seal the border, they will still come, Put walls and they will dig underneath. No matter what they try to do, the Mexicans will still be able to get here. Maybe the solution isn't barricades and policing of the border, maybe it is not giving them an incentive to come here in the first place. That means legalizing the rugs they are bringing into the country. That means no jobs when they get here, crack down on businesses hiring illegals. That means working with Mexico to come to some consensus on how to solve this problem. Possibly imposing and charging Mexico for every illegal caught here in the country.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  104. tuna74

    Any border can be secured, It's a matter of doing it, like when we needed an Atomic bomb.Or when we wanted to go to the moon, It just takes Good imagination, That's one item that has been missing here for a long time.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  105. Gern

    We don't need reform! I live in Arizona. I have seen what illegals do to the desert. We need to enforce the laws we already have, and we need to close the borders. Not only the one we share with Mexico, but also the one we share with Canada.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  106. Bill Paustenbach

    If we wait until the border is totally sealed to reform immigration policies, we'll never get this problem addressed. Totally sealing the border is probably impossible. But, we can certainly change incentives to discourage illegals from entering...mainly identifying and prosecuting employers that hire illegals and landlords that rent to illegals. We need to change the laws that make illegals lives in this country too comfortable. They get health care, education for their children and selfl-employed careers too easily. That's got to change. And, yes, we need to change our Constitution that allows "anchor babies" , one huge incentive which has been drawing illegals to this country for generations.

    Bill Paustenbach
    Apple Valley, CA

    June 30, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  107. jose

    I consider Mexico a part of America and Canada aswell. We need to partnership together for all the good reasons. We do not need reform.We need to implement our Laws of immigration. The problem is out of control for both sides.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  108. AGuest9

    No, Jack, it is NOT possible...

    June 30, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  109. Gigi Oregon

    Yes it can. Can Arizona, Texas and the Republican party fight against it and mess in the nest of human rights? Yes they can.
    I believe the media would like the big headlines but until my neighbor and I disagree I don't believe it is the majority siding against human rights. It's just that those who scream the loudest get heard. Too many can still remember their treatment as foreigners in this strange land called America.

    I can remember in WWII It was critical to restore the good neighbor policy. I think we need to put history back in to the schools or heaven help our children.

    Let's clean up our share of the border drug/problems and if we don't want Mexican workers then instead of prison for drug offenders send them to work on the farms. It would probably better than prison once they toughen up.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  110. sherry wilson

    The border needs to be sealed as part of our national security. It should NOT be worked into immigration reform. As far as immigration reform is concerned, we already have a law on the books stating that illegal aliens are just what the law says......illegal. I don't know why our government can decide what laws it will follow, and what laws it can ignore. What if all of us citizens would pick and choose what laws we decide to follow and which ones we feel we can ignore, with no consequences??

    June 30, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  111. Penny - Tucson, AZ

    We must first secure our borders before doing anything else. In my opinion, the only thing the President hopes to achieve with his immigration 'reform' is amnesty.

    Once our borders are secure, we must begin to enforce our current laws to remove ALL those here illegally. There is a process that must be followed and to allow those that have circumvented the system a 'free pass' would simply be wrong and unhealthy for our nation.

    I believe it is obvious that the majority of the citizens of the United States are not racist, just tired of footing the bill for the federal government's failure to enforce our immigration laws.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  112. norb from Texas

    No need to close the border, no need for reform, quite simply, prosecute and jail those that offer employment to undocumented and illegal alien workers. The sovereign state of Mexico needn't worry that its citizens are being profiled. No illegal and undocumented aliens would be and that is no longer profiling nor is it a ethnic or racially motivated act.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  113. Jon Hart

    Imagine if 9-11 never happened... all the money that would be available to deal with the real problems that face America and the rest of the western society. Like Immigration. Like Health care. Like Education. Like the Environment... The issues that actually affect citizens and not national aspirations for power and glory.
    The politicians of western society have to decide whether they will actually deal with political issues that are very real to the average citizen, or continue to live in a fantasy land that is the war on Terror. It is bankrupting western society and causing politicians to the real issues.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  114. Tim in Apex, NC

    The solution is simple. You take away the incentives to come here. No more free education, health care, or welfare if you don't have valid identification (no crocodile tears over this one – Americans are ask to show identification ALL THE TIME). Then you go after employers who hire undocumented workers and land on them hard. No free social services, no employment = Mexican Repatriation. If you build a fence that will just slow their return. Now we just need elected leaders who understand their duty to their country and it's laws and act that way. Oh well, we're screwed.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  115. well

    the only solution our Government has is to open US borders to third world countries and to invite illegal border crossers and anyone who want to be democrat... good job HLS and WH!! couple more years and criminal statistics in Afghanistan, Mexico and US will be on the same page.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  116. Michael, Chapel HIll

    Sealing the border may not be a concern provided-
    1. Strict enforcement of the written Law.
    2. Kick out all politicians who try to water down the law.
    3. Take away the license of every busniness who emply illegals.
    4. Kick out all Law enforcement agencies that do PC with Tax Money.
    5. Stop teaching Spanish in the US. Make English Compulsory.
    6. Forbid illegals sending money abroad.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  117. Hector nyc

    They both need to move ahead. With that being said, any attempt to legalized those already illegally here would be a disaster for the country and a win for criminals. Since the mexican government seems to be promoting illegal immigration as opposed to helping us combat it, can the USA Government, any State, or City sue the mexican government for all the money related problems that it has created for us. Can someone reply to question?

    June 30, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  118. WVLady63

    The Democrats WANT all of the illegals in this country to get citizenship, all of the what, 30 million strong, so they can all vote Democratic and keep a Democrat in the White House from now on! Too far fetched you say? Just listen to our bi-racial president in the White House and you will see what I mean. Obama doesn't care about white people, only people of color and he has demonstrated that time after time and will continue to do so.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  119. Mike in Dahlonega, GA

    Similar to the current oil leakage crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, in that the oil will never stop spoiling our coastline if we do not "plug the hole"...likewise, we will never have substanative immigration reform unless we stop the "leak" (illegal crossing of our borders). Once we have a grip on who is here, then and only then can we debate the best way to seek speedier naturalization laws and procedures to deal with those that qualify to stay here, i.e., non-felons, no drug lords, no terrorists, etc.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  120. Bob Spads

    Ya see nobody is saying what is meant by "immigration reform". Does it mean more Mexicans and citizens of other nations allowed to stay or does it mean less Mexicans and citizens from other nations allowed to stay? Does it mean more immigration or less immigration? Does it mean amnesty for illegal aliens already here or deportation of illegal aliens? I’m sure the Republican idea of immigration reform is quite different from the Democrat version. So WHAT does Immigration Reform MEAN? What are we shooting for here, fewer illegal aliens or illegal aliens just made legal?

    Does securing the border mean no more illegal entry or just fewer illegal entries at some yet to be determined acceptable level? “When Immigration Reform” is brought up in the media, I simply have no idea what it means. So what does it mean?!

    June 30, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  121. Mike in Phoenix

    No and never. Nothing more needs to be said.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  122. Joe

    No the border needs to be sealed now. The longer we talk about an immigration reform bill the more illegals will try to get in so they will far under this bill. Bottom line seal the border now.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  123. David

    After living in Arizona for 13 years and seeing the problems first-hand, the border must besealed first. The problem of illegal entry is a "clear and present danger" to the United States not only from a potential terrorist perspective but also from cost of providing services perspective to those who are here legally. The folks from Mexico who come into Arizona are, for the most part, fine people. But, we cannot make this a "people issue". It is a security issue; it is a crime issue; it is drug issue; and, it is a cost issue – all of which pose "clear and present dangers" to the legal citizens of the United States.

    D

    June 30, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  124. James

    Already did immigration reform without border control in the 1980's so not again.

    How about equal penalties for employers and illegal employees. Illegals aliens go to jail and so do the employers. Same time and same fines although the employer will have to pay on a per employee basis.

    NO REFORM without a significant reduction in drugs and border crossers. A real metric would have to be met. Reform is fine but only after an increase in border control.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  125. lynnej in nc

    Yes, it can be done if there was a will to. But we're stuck with one party that is too job scared to go for it and the other party won't stop saying 'NO' to anything that is proposed. And we wonder why we're in this mess.

    Those entities coming together is the only way it can happen for both reform and sealing the border. And we know that won't happen. The non-bi-partisanship on the healthcare bill is case in point.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  126. Phil T

    We already fail at feeding, educating, and providing healthcare to everyone who was born here by luck or chance. Having to provide the same to those who come here illegally because they think it's not fair they were born outside our borders only significantly increases this burden on the shrinking fraction of us who work and pay all taxes. You can't keep your family warm and fed in harsh weather with the windows open and letting everyone in off the street. There have to be priorities and limits. If you disagree, head to your local Greek or Spanish embassy and ask for permission to emigrate.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  127. tim lydon

    jack , NO ! of course it can`t its too damn long , and noone wants to go there, soldier , border patrol or otherwise . and there are just too few soldiers [in country] to spare . all the troops we have here should be on the gulf coast , fighting that war !!... and lets not forget , if we did`nt have illeagal immagrants , a head of lettuce would cost 10 bucks , and tomatos would be higher than they are now ...and so on . so why don`t you figure it out and let us know what you come up with !!!!!

    June 30, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  128. Barb in Reno

    Sealing the border into the US won't work, unless the US enforces immigration laws, by the way, that already are in place, first. Mexico enforces their laws ridgidly, which are almost identical to the new Arizona immigration law, so they don't care about a border wall. If we take care of their poor, and there are so many, Mexico's government doesn't have to. The word on the street is that our Government is standing with Mexico, and few other Latin American countries, instead of with the American people. But, it's been a long, long time since the wishes of the American people and legal immigrants mattered to the US Government.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  129. Dan in Seattle

    I agree with others that both are required: Seal the borders and enforce the law. We don't need reform, we need a backbone! Take away the incentives to come whether that is illegal income or drug trade and fewer will risk life and limb to come here. As long as Mexico is as corrupt and poor as it is, it is unlikey that we will ever completely stop the tide of illegals from at least trying to cross our borders. It is easy for those not impacted by immigration in their region to believe that it does not effect them. It impacts all of America. Rhetoric will not solve this issue. It time to take a stand and I applaud Arizona for doing what the federal government seems unwilling to do!

    June 30, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  130. Gregory Tripp, Mechanicsburg, PA

    The 60%+ of us who want strict immigration laws must be firm and sure. Only if we vote our concerns can we hope that the government will respond. Kick the mamby pambies out of office whether they are Republican or Democrat.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  131. Don Wedding from Evansville,IN

    I haven't seen any illegals bringing any houses on their backs. The law should be that any person harboring an illegal will also be deported along with the illegal. Do you want to take that chance?
    Make my day!!!

    June 30, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  132. Carl

    Border does not need to be sealed to continue with reform.
    1. Disincentive the need to cross by :
    a) fining those that rent to illegals
    b) fining those that hire illegals
    c) disallowing children born to illegals citizenship
    2. Provide a pathway to citizenship:
    a) to those who can prove they have lived here for at least 2 years (school records, tax records, hospital records, bank records) and done so without criminal record.
    b) grant citizenship to those born here after they graduate high school or complete military service.
    Finally, levy a tax on remittances sent to Mexico to pay for this.
    We keep workforce and get rid of undesirables. Problem solved.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  133. penny

    I still think that stopping ALL benefits for illegals would stop alot of the immigration problems.they enter illegally go to the closest welfare office, apply we pay for the birth of their anchor babies funish housing,a clothing credit card, food stamps ect.
    . I work with a woman whose sister comes here illegally to have her babies (6 at last count) has applied for section 8 food stamps and clothing once she has a social security number and all benefits she returns to mexico while her sister pulls the money from her welfare account and sends it to mexico keeping the food stamp card to use and living in section 8 housing all the time making $50,000.00 per year. It's a big joke that she hasn't had to pay for food in years and her rent payment is $125.00/ month.NO BENEFITS

    June 30, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  134. M. Fields

    Living in Texas most of my life really opened my eyes to just how many illegal Mexicans annually come into the United States. The home directly across the alley from where I live was a "change out" place for a group of illegals every 6 weeks. I personally believe that unless and untill we deny the illegals all the free social services, food stamps, free medical, free schools, they will continue to come. They delibertly have "anchor" babies to "work the system". It makes better sense to refuse the babies of illegals citizenship. But, if citizenship is granted to the child, since its parents are criminals being here illegally, put the illegals in jail, terminate their parental rights, after their sentence is served, deport them and place the child for adoption in the US. When and if there is no more free, plus their children can be taken from them, that should be all the incentive for them not to come back across the border.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  135. Allen in Hartwell GA

    June 30th, 2010 3:15 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    June 30th, 2010 5:17 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Jack, what is the purpose of discussing immigration reform as long as we don't have secure borders? When will these people in D.C. learn that secure borders is a lot more important than just controlling immigration?
    Secure the borders, punish the people hiring the illegals for other than agricultural jobs, and see how fast the immigration problem solves itself.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  136. jack in Lombard

    Bad question Jack! True immagration reform is a total package of border security and enforcement of laws like Arizona's. It's totally ineffective if done partially. Stop trying to prioritize bits & pieces – that's what Congress is for! ... and that's why they are useless...

    June 30, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  137. birdy

    this administration has totally disappointed me with their response to the border problem. this is a large gaping hole in national security and they don't seem to care. it seems to me this administration has its hand in corporation's pockets who enjoy cheap labor. i have always defended obama. i was his biggest supporter. provided there is a viable candidate who vows to protect the american people and also end the wars, i will be voting AGAINST obama.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  138. Mike

    we need comprehensive immigration reform. This is the only practical way to address the current problems, and we need it asap.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  139. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    Just like the kid from San Antonio going to Harvard...he knew he was illegal all the while he took free education from a Public School system, but never made a move to become legal. Once caught at Harvard the US government felt sorry for him and allowed him to stay at Harvard using scholarship monies that was to be used as money for legal citizens of the U.S,! That is why illegals don't understand the question, "what part of illegal do you not understand?" Doubt if anything happened to the family either. This guy accepted money under false pretenses and is free; had it been a U.S. citizen he would be in prison!

    June 30, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  140. Frank N Cape Coral FL

    why do we need any reform at all, I thought we had pre-existing immigration laws already on the books, if you reform the laws on the books now who will enforce them, the same people who don't enforce the present laws, save us tax payer another useless reform that accomplishes nothing more then spend our money on an 2000 page pile of useless immigration reform.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  141. Mike

    Sealing the border is pointless. The only way to compat illegal immigration is to remove any incentive to come here. Therefore, the efforts must be directed at preventing employers from using illegals and preventing any extension of benefits to illegals. I'm ok with a guest worker program and a pathway to citizenship only after the incentive to come & stay here illegally is removed.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  142. Gaines

    Obama and others are trying to hold border security hostage to 'comprehensive immigration reform.' The problem is that Washington has proven time and again that they don't have the political stomach to secure the border. So why would anyone believe them when they promise to do it again – with or without 'comprehensive immigration reform'? We have no reason to trust them on this issue. Show us. Then we'll consider comprehensive reform.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  143. Staszek

    People, tear down this wall! It is time to start to build the United
    States of All America. The best future for America requires to
    put into past the legacy of El Alamo. Implement enhanced
    borderless NAFTA now.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  144. Joe, Chicago IL

    No, you need to plug the holes before you can clean up the mess. I truely don't believe that Feds have any intention of plugging the holes.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  145. wil LA

    The Canadian border also needs to be sealed. Where is all the money going to come from? Higher taxes?

    June 30, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  146. Deuce

    Seems to me that a 50 foot wall stretching from coast to coast would help. And don't give me excuses about the difficulty, we pushed railroads across this country 150 years ago using pickaxes and dynamite, I would think with modern technology we could build a wall.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  147. Greg M

    USA needs young workers to pay for all the seniors who now demand we protect their SSN and Medicare (tea party crowd). The only way to really fix it is to cause those with education or skills move here and stay giving them slow process of being able to become US citizens. Not working visas though. They have to have rights and they have to make minimum wage. And employers who pay less than minimum wage need to be seriously punished. I would call it two strikes and you are out of business forever – they should not be able to open any other business with ther names on paper. All this talk about lazy illegal is a lie. They work harder than many Americans because they need to survive. Their kids were moved here when they could not say No – it is unfair to punish kids who grew up in America and are americans. The bottom line – we need their taxes. This is why all this talk is talk. Any economist will tell you they are needed.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  148. Bob in NC

    Hey Jack – look at what a simple "enforce what we got" move by AZ has done – the numbers talk! Maybe all that's required is a mandate from the states' leaders who have the courage to enforce our current regulations. $$ billions would be saved from the costs of building double fences for hundreds of miles and the price tag of any convoluted immigration bill devised by this administration.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  149. Tom

    The borders will be sealed AFTER a group of terrorists smuggle a bio or nuclear weapon across and detonate it.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  150. birdy

    comprehensive immigration reform must include cutting off the gov't teet to illegals and no longer granting citizenship to anyone simply born here. it's true the border can't be bullet proof but we can certainly remove the incentive to come here. why should we absorb the bottom feeders of another nation? we are mexico's welfare system. why should we inherit mexico's problems? i don't have nor want any children. why should my taxes pay for an irresponsible person who had 4,5, and even 6 children?

    June 30, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  151. Al, Gig Harbor, WA

    As long as entering the US illegally is not a punishable offense, any reform is without a bite. A fence is only as effective as the offense itself.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  152. Steve

    Ogden, Utah

    What is illegal immigration? It's a black market for labor. Black markets, throughout history, always spring up when demand for a commodity can't be met through legal means. Another thing history teaches: Black markets are never – repeat, never – suppressed through enforcement alone. Think Prohibition and the war on drugs.

    When we create a system for legitimate employers to obtain the guest workers they need through legal means, illegal immigration will stop because there will be no jobs for the illegals. Until then, you can spend millions on fences and troops and it will be just as effective as the millions we're spending on the war on drugs – in other words, completely ineffective.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  153. Deuce

    The key to immigration is removing the incentive for illegals to come here. We need much stiffer inspection of job sites here, and much stiffer fines and penalties for those that knowingly hire illegals off the books. AZ does indeed have an immigrant problem, but as long as those immigrants are finding employment, they will continue to come here.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  154. Failblogger

    Welcome to the United States of Mexico. Enhanced edition.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  155. john

    Never have I experienced an elected official, let alone the president, who chooses not to represent the people's point-of-view. To make matters worse, the level of disdain that we are all treated with is appalling. Get this clown out now!

    June 30, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  156. Carole

    How about this: When children of foreign parents are born in this country, they do not automatically become a U.S. citizen unless the parents have previousily become citizens. This may make some think twice before coming here to enjoy the benefits that should only be granted to U.S. citizens.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  157. Casey, Johnson City, TN

    Two words, Jack: Annex Mexico. Problem solved.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  158. Charlie Dehn

    Immigration reform easy!!! Put it where it belongs on those who hire illegal's $1,000.00 fine per illegal first time, second time $5,000.00 fine, and the third time $10,000.00 fine and three years in prison for the business president. This is not a white collar crime its a crime period.

    Now we have no more illegals, no more open restraunts, no one servicing hotels, no one picking the fields to feed us, no one working at the meat plants chicken beef or pork, no one loading and unloading trucks at docks, oh by the way every thing you bought was brought by a truck. Yes we can end illegals or we can rethink how to make this work. How about a livabale wage for Americans no matter what they do for a living. What we have is illegal employers working on the cheap filling their pockets.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  159. Pam holt

    Foley,al jac holt, our country has been hi-jacked from the american citizen, between the dems and republicans, trying to see which party can make the other look worse in time for the presidential campaign... As someone concerning the oil spill said , god help us all.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  160. Jeff

    Jack, the fence, not the old one, and not the new, will keep illegals out. Unless you create a Berlin wall with armed troops every few hundred feet, the illegals will cross: fence or no. The problem is that there is no spine, no political will, to enforce the existing law against hiring illegals: from major companies like Tyson, to homeowners who want a cheap house maid or a cheap gardener. Until we start real enforcement against hiring illegals, throw in some jail time even for homeowners who want that cheap gardener, illegals will continue to stream over, around, and under any fence we construct. But to do that, we have to look at ourselves as the source of the problem, something Americans are not any good at. Jack, they come here for work. Stop their ability to find work and you eliminate the incentive for illegals to come here in the first place.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  161. Greg M

    I would like someone to show any statistic that shows illegals using our money. Stop the talk and walk the walk. As far as I see around me, legal ones milk the system in much bigger numbers and it is shameful people continue blaming illegals.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  162. Carl

    Would somebody please tell me why I have to wait to go through customs at an airport if we are not going to seal the borders. If I was trying to get in illegally I sure wouldn't go to the airport when I can just walk across the border.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  163. hater

    i have no problem with comprehensive immigration reform! why not give these people a chance??? what's wrong with you racists peeps? YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY SON OF GOD!!!!! HAVE A HEART!!!!

    June 30, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  164. Sean from Michigan

    Jack, I think reform before sealing the border is putting the cart before the horse. Reform may end up granting amnesty, and it could potentially make legal immigration easier, but as long as the border is still porous there really isn't motivation to follow the legal path. That is unless reform also ensures no health care, welfare, or work for illegal immigrants, and that's not going to happen without the type of enforcement Arizona is trying, which the current administration opposes.
    Reform is necessary, but first let's make legal immigration the easiest option.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  165. John

    Jack – The words "immigration reform" is a political smokescreen put in place by politicians to give the impression that they are working on the issue. In fact, no reform is necessary, simply enforcement. Until it is not politically advantageous to look away from the migration of people into this country there will be no change. Time to change the policy makers/enforcers.

    John, Mission TX – living on the border.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  166. bremen

    Impossible. It is a catch 22. Illegal immigration is driven by a need of cheap labor. Making illegals legal will make them more expensive and therefore being replaced by more illegals flowing in. Then you will have bunch of low-skilled population sitting on welfare and living slums and riots and violence when the money ran out.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  167. Gary

    Mike, "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" What does that mean? I keep hearing that term thrown around but not defined. Sealing the border is a matter of national security. But the feds have already given up and instead put up signs warning Americans that it is too dangerous for them to walk on portions of our own land. Instead, just deed it to the criminals and then sue the one state that is trying to do something about it.

    Go ARIZONA!!

    June 30, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  168. RKC

    I dont understand what part of "illegal" is so difficult for the administration to understand. No matter what they have done and how dire their situation, we cannot and should not condone illegal migration. This will set a trend for future waves to come under the cover of the night and set up lives here and what will we do when that number reaches a few million again – amnesty again????

    I do recognize that illegals are not criminal in most cases. But they do tax the system with healthcare demands and other welfare demands. They do not pay taxes and our school systems have to pay for the cost of their children going to school.

    We have to remember that there are many qualified legal immigrant wannabe's waiting in line to come and contribute to this country. They are waiting for years to get a legal permanent resident status because the govt. seems to give illegals priority over legal productive tax paying potential immigrants. Where is the Justice in this? The legals have played by the rules and have adhered to the American Laws. They benefit our society.

    Illegal status while being a sad situations is still ILLEGAL and UNLAWFUL

    June 30, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  169. Robert

    Jack, America needs seasonal workers in the fields.
    Millions of Migrant workers cross the border illegally because the Bracero program died 45 years ago.Of course these workers obtained
    work in every other industry and for at least 30 years there has been
    no comprehensive work permit program or enforcement.
    Landscapers,roofers,meat processors,etc. continue to hire
    undocumented workers some of who have been here for 30years+
    Lets start to solve the problem by pushing our legislators
    to implement real work permit reform. I believe the flow of illegals
    will dry up and the long term undocumented resident worker
    can be identified, given work permits, or sent home.
    Millions of undocumented neighbors pay taxes, serve in the armed forces, and have clean legal records.This is not amnesty but common sense problem solving. Oh yes I would increase the penalties on employers that continue to hire out side of a new work permit system.
    ps please do a little research on the demise of the Bracero program.
    I believe millions of migrant workers would like to return home for the holidays and return safely and legally nest spring!

    June 30, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  170. Phyllis

    I totally agree with Arizona, the laws are already in the books in our Federal Government, all Arizona is doing is making to where they don't have to wait for Federal suport to get the Illegals out, which doing illegal anything is a crime, no matter who is doing the illegal activities. Bottom line if any U.S. citizen did any illegal acts we would be punished, so should everyone that comes into our country illegally be punished and everyone who supports, harbors, contributes to the illegal activity of being illegal in the first place.

    What needs to be done is HOLD all employers and companies(renters, sellers) that help support this illegal doing in our country should be jailed, fined and all avenues of the laws of our land come down on them, then the illegals will stop coming for nothing.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:51 pm |