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May 2nd, 2008
01:10 PM ET

How important is the issue of immigration to you?

ALT TEXT

International Workers Day immigration-rights march on May Day in Los Angeles, California. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

For the last two years, May first has been the day that the estimated twelve million illegal immigrants in this country have the opportunity to rally for immigration reform. Two years ago, the turnout nationwide was staggering. More than one million people packing the streets and bringing traffic to a standstill. Chicago alone had four hundred thousand people. But yesterday they were nowhere to be found.

In Tucson, Arizona, only about 500 turned out yesterday, compared to 12,000 last year. In Los Angeles, a few thousand, nothing close to the 500,000 in 2006. And the streets in Phoenix were empty yesterday... no signs of the activists and banners of the last two years.

Gone too were the calls for a nationwide boycott of businesses and work. The Spanish-language D.J.'s who had heavily promoted previous marches, for the most part, stuck to regular programming yesterday.

So why the change? Some say growing deportation fears kept folks home. The United States deported almost 300,000 people last year, a 44% increase over the previous year. Others say it was because of the stalled effort in Congress to revamp the immigration law.

And then there's the heated race for the White House. The immigration issue seems to be lost in other political headlines. The top concern for voters overwhelmingly is the economy, not immigration.

Here’s my question to you: Is illegal immigration less important to you than it was two years ago?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Linda writes:
Let's see,
1. Food prices up at least 50%.
2. Gasoline at $3.65 per gallon.
3. Deficits that my great-grandchildren will be paying off.
4. Children and grandchildren of my friends dying for nothing in Iraq.
Immigration of any stripe does not even make the list. My biggest concern is whether or not we will be able to return the village idiot to Crawford, TX before the damage he does is totally irreversible.

Larry from Ohio writes:
Jack, this is one the most important issues to me. I have absolutely nothing against legal immigration. After all, we are a country of immigrants. But to allow illegal immigration to go on without enforcing the laws is just crazy. Just way too expensive!

Paul from Louisiana writes:
There is no way to really stop illegal immigration. They will always find a way. What we need to do is punish people and companies found hiring illegal immigrants. Heavy fines and prison time for those responsible would help stop it.

Brian from Cincinnati, Ohio writes:
So why the change? You forgot one reason. Our economy is getting to be so bad it's not worth it anymore for a lot of illegals to remain here. After paying for their living expenses here there isn't enough to send home to be worth it, so many are self-deporting. The irony is the border may very well be sealed up at the rate things are going. Not by us, but by Mexico and Canada. To keep us out.

J.W. from Atlanta, Georgia writes:
Immigration to me comes in fourth behind the economy, the war, and stupid chief executives.


Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. sarah, indiana

    not really. part of the problem with our economy is the fact that companies are hiring cheap illegal labor instead of paying LEGAL american citizens a decent wage. illegal means illegal and the companies and their workers should be arrested for criminal activities.

    May 2, 2008 at 1:30 pm |
  2. John Kelty

    It was always an issue with me, but compared to other issues this one belongs near the bottom of the list. To answer your question I would say that it's importance has not changed in two years.

    John from CA

    May 2, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  3. Erin

    Illegal immigration isn't as scary as it once was in the wake of 9/11 (though your friend Lou Dobbs would shudder to hear that!)

    What is truly scarier is the possibility of alientating our neighbors to the south with the draconian tactics of deportation and border control.

    We're all in this together and the sooner the US comes to understand this, the better for all.

    May 2, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  4. Anne/Seattle

    It's just as important today. Illegal immigrants are costing the US millions of dollars in health, American jobs, legal, law enforcement and education. And with their presence they ask Americans to ignore our own legitimate needs. Illegal is illegal and cannot be mitigated by the arrogant demands pf illegal immigrants.

    May 2, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  5. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    My children are being cheated out of their rightful education because my tax money is being diverted to educate the children of illegals. I am being denied health care access because illegals think it is free. My children can't get jobs. Americans are being sent to prison while illegals freely break our so-called laws. Our country is broken and as long as we continue to allow everyone in the world to come here we will continue to deteriorate into nothing. We must have a new revolution or else we are doomed!

    May 2, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  6. AMNESTY IS TREASON

    it's a sad day when the governments expect people to pay tax's upon tax's and yet here are these "invaders"!

    when you have "illegal immigrants" working while your neighbor is finding it more difficult to pay their bills it means "IT'S GOING TO GET UGLY OUT THERE"!

    May 2, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  7. Nancy, Cunningham, TN

    Illegal immigration is illegal today, tomorrow, and yesterday. We need to secure our borders and stop letting all these people come into our country. Do we even know right now how many terrorists have slipped across our southern border and are living amongst us? Anyone who says illegal immigrants are good for our economy haven't look at the real numbers on unemployment. Construction jobs used to be a good source of income to raise a family on, but now most of those jobs are done by illegals. Just because a person has drawn his 26 weeks of unemployment doesn't mean that person now has a job. It usually means that now all they have is welfare. A real count of the unemployed needs to be done by our government and then let President Bush tell us the Mexicans are doing jobs that the Americans don't want to do.

    May 2, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  8. Chuck in Eugene Oregon

    It has actually become much more important to me than in the past. I have been unemployed for 16 months now and find the process of job hunting more and more daunting. More and more jobs are being given to imported workers (legal and illegal alike), which is driving has driven down wages by as much as 25% over the past few years in the home building and remodeling industry, as well as landscaping related industry which are my two strongest suits. This process also forced me to close my Home Remodeling business because I could not compete using a legal labor force with those that were using an illegal labor force. We need to get this undercontrol as a nation before we become a 3rd world labor country.

    May 2, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  9. mak

    Very important. As the economy gets worse the cost of illegal immigration will become more of a burden to the people who do not benefit from it. The people paying and not receiving the benefits of illegal immigration are also paying more to get to work and eat. The cost of living is getting higher, without helping to pay for a company that wants to hire illegal immigrants.

    May 2, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  10. AndyZ; Fairfax, VA

    Being the son of immigrants, an Army retiree, and currently working as a DoD civilian it is of paramount importance. Why not do a modicum of research and examine the immigration laws of all the member states of the United Nations. How many allow illegals to stay in their country? Does China, Russia, France, England, Germany? The issue of illegals is actually more than one issue. If the illegals are granted amnesty how does the United States explain to everyone that waited 5, 10 , 15, 20 or more years to immigrate legally? The lesson becomes that by breaking the laws of the United States you can become a citizen but if you follow our laws too bad. You've proven you have no initiative and are too dumb to be an American. As far as I am concerned all illegals can go back to their country of origin. Thanks to Lou Dobbs for keeping this a front burner issue.

    May 2, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  11. Mark - Asheville, NC

    It's way down near the bottom of my list. People are people regardless of where they come from, they need work too, and I suspect that it is true that they take jobs that "Americans" will not. I know it's a cliche, but we are ALL immigrants!!

    May 2, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  12. Jayne - NH

    At this point I'm thinking more about emigration. If another Republican is elected, I'm hoping the Canadians will take me in.

    May 2, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  13. m. czajkowski

    Only Lou Dobbs can make you go click when the subject comes up.
    mary/On/Canada/

    May 2, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  14. Mike from Syracuse NY

    It is much more important Jack. It seems that since 9/11 the borders have become less secure, not more secure. With unemployment rising there are plenty of US citizens to fill jobs. Employers need to be held criminally responsible for hiring illegal aliens, whether they knew they were illegal or not. While we are at it, let's start IDing people at these marches and have buses standing by to haul illegals away on the spot.

    May 2, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  15. Maryanne

    The key word is "illegal"...when you break a law, there should be consequences....driving while talking on a cell phone is enforced more often that our immigration laws. The bottom line: this will never get better: the Dems need illegals (or their supporters) as a voting block, and the Republicans need illegals as employees in their businesses and as domestic help...let's find a way to naturalize those who are here so they at least help with the tax burden to help pay for their own education and health care.

    May 2, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  16. Kenton

    I feel the importance is about the same as it was two years ago. The problem with the issue of immigration is the sensitivity of the matter. Politicians of all parties walk on egg shells and appear to cringe when asked what they would do to fix the problem. It's a major issue that no one wants to deal with.

    May 2, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  17. Dick B

    No it isn't. I have always thought this was just another wedge issue like abortion, gay rights, and right to bear arms brought up by the Republicans to distract voters from the real issues like income distribution, Iraq and gerrymandering. I didn't care immigration two years ago and I don't care about it today. If we enforced the laws there would be no illegal immigration and if we don't enforce the laws there is nothing that can be done about it except pass more laws which does not seem to get us anywhere.

    dick from indiana

    May 2, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  18. Patrick, Houston, TX

    Immigration is important to me. I see countless qualified people in my neighborhood without a job. Not because they will not work, but because they cannot afford to do work that may jeopardize their health, and will only pay them enough to put gas in their cars. Meanwhile, major corporations within thise country countinue to demand, and get cheap labor, big oil companys continue the record profits, get the Bush tax breaks, and tell us poor drones that its in our best interest.

    May 2, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  19. Paul Columbia, SC

    The issue is called enforcing our laws. Break the law; go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not collect $200 or anything else. You broke our laws. Or leave now so that there will be enough room in jail for all the people that hired you, gave you ID cards, provided sanctuary cities, and driver's licenses. They , too, are criminals.

    May 2, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  20. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    With climate change threatening to destroy the planet, with nuclear weapons threatening to destroy humanity, with Senator Clinton threatening to destroy our shot at a change in government, I can't say immigration is on my list of concerns.

    May 2, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  21. marie, sc

    Most all Americans are either immigrants or descendents of them. The new wave of people moving to our country will have a big impact on every one of us. There will be some positives, but the negatives will be bruising because this recent influx of people was not controlled and processed in a way that we could handle it. At some point we will open our eyes in panic because we will have found out that our way of life has been hurt greatly because we just didn't plan for a friendly invasion.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  22. Joe in DE

    It is very important a collary to unfair trade.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  23. jeff a., indiana

    yes it is important, since it effects the economy with all the millions of dollars spent each year to care for the illegals, but millions of our own citizens are going without, food, medical care, housing, and so on....

    May 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  24. Mike Nunn - Hot Springs, Ar.

    Immigration is a low radar subject. We need the immigrants and what is important to me is that the idiots who are so against Immigration shut up and help solve the problem instead of making it worse.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  25. Karl in San Francisco, CA

    Not really. It's a problem but the current administration has no intention of doing anything about it. Any terrorist that wants in this country is here thanks to open borders.So much for a real war on terrorism. As long as corporate America hires them, they will come. We need to lock up the employers and return the illegals to their homeland.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  26. Chris - Hemet, Ca.

    Jack, I saw a news story the other day on CNN about a small businessman who let go of his illegal employees in fear of getting caught. Now he's complaining that not having them might force him out of business! What does this man have against hiring legal citizens? Is he just so cheap he can't pay a legal worker minimum wage? I just don't get it!

    May 2, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  27. frantic

    it dosnt matter to me now .the harms been done a long time ago. lets face it, theys over 10million ilegels all over the country.noway are we able to find and deport them. forget them and use the saved money on more important mattes like socialsucurity and healthcare.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  28. Scott L. - Wichita, Kansas

    well, not really. I feel no competition for my job, and they're all nice enough. All I feel is that they should at least make some attempt to get here legally first.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  29. Anthony Smith

    It is much more important today due to the economy. As Mr. Dobbs so eloquently puts it and as witnessed in my own backyard, it is taxing American taxpayers and our economy. While prices continue to skyrocket increasing some 30-70%, wages continue to be stagnant or decrease because of said problem. The influx of cheap labor here as well as outsourcing abroad is killing independent America!!!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    May 2, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  30. kathy

    I know illegal immigrants who work in factories in arkansas that don't have to pay taxes on their payroll checks.If I didn't have to pay taxes out of my check I would think I was rich.It's just not right!
    It's time something was done.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  31. Rick OH

    Jack,

    I am even more concerned. And it is not just the specifics of the issue - the impact on unemployment and wages, and the stresses on our infra-structure. Not to mention that illegals are not 'vetted' to ensure that we are not importing criminals and other undesirables. At the least the inefficient and cumbersome 'legal' process identifies and screens these folks.

    There is a larger issue here. Just like our energy problem, health care crisis, and a host of other real problems in this country, we've 'known' about the problem of illegal immigration for a long time. But little has been done. Have we lost our ability as a nation to identify and acknowledge problems (before they reach crisis level,) build consensus, and actually solve anything? Arrgh!

    May 2, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  32. mitchell martin ark.

    with our economy going down the tube,most illegal aliens may want to start thinking about going home,soon.the problem is ,the restrictions at the border,and the fences,put up to keep people out,are now going to be keeping them in.if we want them to leave ,then we should quit hiring them to work.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  33. jaffer

    Jack we use illegal immigrants us a a scape goat too much,the truth is that the jobs this people are doing none of us is willing to do them.who wants to clean the bathrooms at there work place? Who wants to pick tomatoes in the farm? Who is willing to be outside on the heat or freezing weather doing construction? Who wants to wash the dishes at the restraurants? Lets find a good solution for this which will make both sides happy and safe.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  34. Tracy/San Diego

    Not at all.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  35. David NH

    I do see more and more that people are being laid off. These people will end up working for a more menial job IE: less money.
    These illegal immigrants all seem to be working.

    To further add insult to injury, these foreign interests come over here to sell their gasoline, and they have the gaul to hire their foreign brethren instead of Americans!

    I'm voting for LouDobbs!

    May 2, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  36. jaffer

    Jack we use illegal immigrants us a a scape goat too much,the truth is that the jobs this people are doing none of us is willing to do them.who wants to clean the bathrooms at there work place? Who wants to pick tomatoes in the farm? Who is willing to be outside on the heat or freezing weather doing construction? Who wants to wash the dishes at the restraurants? Lets find a good solution for this which will make both sides happy and safe. Geting rid of them will raise food prices too if u all don think that far.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  37. John

    Jack,
    This another failure by "our" government. The Mexican government wants its citizen to stay in USA, after all, $20 billion earned by illegals to sent back to support the Mexican economy. Da!!
    John, Hovland MN

    May 2, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  38. Mike McKibben, lady lake, Fl

    "Illegal" immigration along with the economy, the Iraq war, mortgage meltdown, gas prices, defective and poisonous products from China, jobs being sent over seas, NAFTA, and the failure of the US Government to regulate Wall Street / big business, are all equally important, interconnected, and equally overlooked by the Bush Admin. Because all of the above have been so disregarded by the Bush Admin, they have become equal partners to the problems that now face this country. There is no trump problem here.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  39. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    We have companies using people at cheap labor rates, not paying taxes and we're going broke. Let the people live here and earn their citizenship and pay taxes while they do it, including Social Security. I'm very concerned that we are being distracted by other small issues like trying to fight over a $30 gas tax reduction by Clinton and McCain which will cost us more than we would save.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  40. Larry Petty

    NO. Because of sheriff Joe we are finaly making a dent here in AZ. If only the Mayor and other police departments would get with the program we could beat this, but they are too buisy sucking up for the hispanic vote to do the right thing.
    Larry Gilbert AZ.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  41. Ed Reed

    I still believe the mistake of going to war in Iraq is our biggest immediate problem with global climate change running second. Maybe Lou Dobbs could choose one of these causes to champion.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    May 2, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  42. Bill, Quarryville, PA

    Jack, what I was concerned with two years ago was the Iraq war because there is no end in sight as long as a republican is in office. Health Care because there are 50 million people in our country without it. Then there was illegal immigrants entering our country. Today my concerns would be the Iraq war, the economy meaning gas prices, food prices, and everything else that is attached to it. Health Care would have to be third followed by illegal immigrants which will not be solved because there is a political price to pay for anyone who has a guts to stand up and face the problem hit on.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  43. Steve

    Illegal immigration is a symptom of a much broader problem and has turned into a nasty and bigoted issue. It is something that needs to be addressed but I do not favor building a wall or deportation. Perhaps we need to overhaul the entire immigration policy.

    I know Lou Dobbs lives and breathes it and is almost all he talks about. I stopped watching him as a result.

    Antioch, IL

    May 2, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  44. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    Its more important now than ever before due to the fact that these illegal immigrants are draining our economy, and inturn making the working stiffs that are already having a tough time making ends meet pay for their medical care, education and whatever else they need while they are here illegally. We still havent secured our borders and more are coming across everyday, no one really knows how many of them are in this country.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  45. Mickie in Philadelphia, PA

    If I were poor in Mexico, I would be crawling over, under and through any border to get out, but that doesn't mean that the U.S. employers should be allowed to hire them just because they don't have to treat them fairly. I've seen people in Mexico living in cardboard shacks, but guess what? I've seen people in N. Carolina living in cardboard shacks. What it means is that those in power are going to keep making every penny they can off the backs of the little people until we are all like Mexico (VERY RICH and VERY POOR).

    May 2, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  46. Canadiaqn pundit

    Sarah To bad you don't know what your talking about.
    You go on every blog and critisize every question and every candidate. If your so smart, why the hell don't you run for office.
    Been there ...do that....and won

    Ray from cdn.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  47. Lori in Battle Creek, MI

    It probably has fell to the bottom of my list of what needs to be addressed immediately. We need to first find solutions to the housing crisis, food/gas prices, the war in Iraq and global warming. Many people in this country are on the verge of loosing everything they've worked for. Illegal immigration is a problem that should be dealt with only after the other major crisis's.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  48. George Pottsville Pa.

    The immigration problem should be one of our countries #1 priorties, Lou Barletta of Hazelton is leading the way on this issue. It is a down right wrong that you have to press 1 for english or that that there should be seperate ballots to vote. English is and always will be the official language of our country, to hell with being pollitically correct on this issue. If a student can't speak english keep holding him back until they learn! You come here to try to make a better life for your self well then adapt to our ways, our customs, and our language. My grandparents had to!!!!!!!

    May 2, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  49. Nuwan Sam

    It is still a very important issue. The economic and security impact of illegal immigration is considerable. If this continues the living standards of the middle class of this country will be flattened out to the levels they have many of those under developed countries because people here will have to compete for jobs with them. That will threaten the whole economy of the country.

    Nuwan from Houston, TX

    May 2, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  50. Allen L Wenger

    The immigration issue never has been important to me.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  51. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    If these people are truly here illigeally and we didn't have so many troops in Iraq, we could have taken buses to all of these major cities and loaded them up and taken them back to Mexico and then we would find out just how much of a service they provide at low wages and with no taxes.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  52. George

    No it hasn't gotten any better, and it not going to until the average American Joe stands up, and takes a stand. Illegal is illegal. There is a right way, and a wrong way to do things, and the way things are now is definately the wrong way which just happens to be very much against the law. I don't think that illegals should have protection under the law. They should be treated just like any other law breaker after being arrested for breaking our laws. What about illegal doesn't our government understand. If we elect the right people, we can, and will get the job done once, and for all.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  53. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    Illegal immigration is mostly a problem for low-income workers, because that's who they compete against.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  54. Ron in Indiana

    It is still an important issue though not as important as the economy and the Iraq war. The problem is this country is so diverse now in regards to race that the politicians are scared to do anything about the issue because it might cost them an election. The problem will never be resolved.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  55. Mike

    I live on the North Coast of california. I don't really care because they are coming here to work. Seems like americans are good at hanging at home collecting a check. And I think that they pay taxes. 7.25 on taxable purchases, rent that goes to property taxes, and cigarette and alcohol taxes when they purchase these items. At least they are working eh. Don't forget the taxes on gas purchases.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  56. James in Cape Coral, FL

    Jack,
    Immigration is just as important to me as it was two years ago. You'd have to be blind to not see the adverse effect an influx of cheap labor has had on our job market. My wife and I are both unemployed and spend every waking minuite looking for a job. Which is becoming an exercise in futility. I can't help but think how much easier it would be to find a good paying job if there weren't so many Illegal Aliens pandering for the same jobs and willing to work for much less. If this was a nation of the people instead of for the profit life might be a little easier for the average American.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  57. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    I think it's more important now. Our economy has been dragged down to the point where we can no longer afford to carry such a heavy burden on our infrastructure. We, as a nation, are being reduced to the lowest common denominator in nearly every aspect of our lives. Why can't we return to an Ellis Island type of set-up so that immigration would be less like an invasion and more of a controlled flow?

    May 2, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  58. Esther Cuyahoga Falls Ohio

    I come from a long line of immigrants as well as most of the rest of the people in this land.
    I honor that tradition of our lady standing in the harbor to welcome the people for those other countries. I want the deversity her I love it.
    Now here comes the but I love the but.
    My husband is not from this country. I loved him enough to sit in his country and wait two years for our turn to come to this country and to pay the fee's and to do the right thing.
    Those north and south of the american border who wish to just crash our party here in the united states of america with a attitude of entitlment sends over the edge I just can not welcome people into my home this is my home its my country its from california to the new york and if you want an invitation to the party follow the rules. everyone just needs to stand up and stop saying this is not their problem it is all our problem that the laws of this land our not being followed. why do we have laws on the books and rules if only certain people have to follow them. we just giving it a way and thats not the american way. plain and simple for those who have followed the rules we need a rebate.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  59. Barbara From Hazleton,Pa

    It is more important now. If some thing is not done by the federal government to control this onslaught of illegal aliens moving in to our cities, there won't be be any jobs, healthcare, or space in out schools for the legal American citizens.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  60. Jason S.

    Jack, I think the answer, predictably is Yes. It's less important not only to me but to millions of Americans facing foreclosure and millions more Americans facing skyrocketing fuel costs.

    Illegal Immigration has taken a backburner to more pressing issues like the Mortgage Meltdown, The Rise in Gas and Food Prices, the Loss of Jobs in the Economy and the general state of uneasiness about the average American's financial future.

    While Illegal Immigration is an important issue, stemming the flow of immigrants isn't going to help me put more food on the table or help me put more gas in my tank.

    As Bill Clinton once famously quipped "It's the Economy, stupid".

    May 2, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  61. Patricia

    Not at all. Borders are man made. Let people live and work where they want and quit trying to hoard our quality of life. Oh, and make sure Lou Dobbs reads this. I'll never know because I'm watching Chris Matthews during that time slot.

    Boise

    May 2, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  62. Glenn/Washington State

    No, illegal immigration is not less important than it was 2 years ago. As a national issue it has gotten buried under other issues that have surged to the forefront of American's lives like inflation, gas prices, etc. Illegal immigration is still a very important issue that won't go away by building a huge wall and hiring hundreds of more agents. Do we expect a solution any time soon? Not likely. Instead of working on immigration reform, health care, etc. our Congress and the current administration would rather do things like investigate steriods in baseball. It's sad, truly sad.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  63. Rafael From Glendale

    Illegal immigration is as important an issue today as it was two years ago. To years ago there were students getting ready to graduate from collage and get a job. Now they are graduating and looking for work. What they should consider is that people using the H-1b visa program are already filling out the applications for those jobs they need and want.

    Anyone feel like picking fruit yet?

    May 2, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  64. Marie

    It's a sideshow. It's going to be this elections gay-marriage wedge issue to get people to vote values instead of policy.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  65. Doug Pierson Tohatchi, NM

    If terrorists sneak into the country because we have been lax in taking care of our borders then it is obviously very important. If Illegal immigration causes our health care to go up then its very important. If politics continue as is with the media continuing to report irrelevant info then what is the point? Oh, and people here really don't want jobs. Maybe the politicians would like to cede the US or part of it back to Mexico or invite Osma here to just take over.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  66. Tina (Ft Worth)

    It is a problem but right now I am more worried about my cost of living. I cannot afford meats anymore, can't afford fruits and vegatables. I am worried about my drugs coming from China that could kill me. The Mexicans should come in legally and then this would not be in a mess. If we start flooding down their illegally they would round us up and pitch us out.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  67. Mark, OKC, OK

    Immigration should only be of concern to the average American, like me, if he or she cares about the once Great United States of America turning into a third world country. I'm sorry, Jack, but this nation can absorb only so many ignorant peasants from other countries, until we as a nation have turned into the same kind of impoverished, hellhole of a country that these immigrants came from in the first place. The Statue of Liberty should now say "Give me your criminals, terrorists and lettuce pickers."

    May 2, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  68. Fadi, San Francisco

    Immigration regulations are like this imaginary gate to our fort/ palace.
    Imagine a fort with unattended open gates all the time, and its court yard turning into a flea market free for all. Not a pretty sight is it!!

    This should not be an issue; it's embarrasing.. This problem should've been dealt with long time ago, and behind us. Come on!!! A 12 year old knows this

    May 2, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  69. Wendy. San Rafael, CA

    It is actually more important but people are just worn down by the Presidential race.

    Like any other country, the USA has a responsibility to its citizens to control its borders so that they can screen who is entering the country. I can't think of another country that allows the undocumented influx of millions. It seems that corporate America has an upper hand on this process; cheap exploitable labor.

    I recall before I entered this country I had to apply for a visa, When I eventually applied for citizenship, I had to undergo testing, fingerprinting and an FBI check. At that time I was impressed that there was such a concern about who came into this country. Those days have long disappeared.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  70. mark

    I say, how about lets just be honest. Let them all come in, with a guest worker pass. Apply at the border, and hand out free cards to everyone. Because if we were to be honest, that is what we're allowing anyway.

    Immigration issues are just another bizarre convergence of confused and conflicting policies of this adminstration. They want to appear tough on homeland security. But they want hispanic votes. So just like everything else, pandering for the vote triumphs, while the hanging on to the rhetoric of 'toughness'. All words and no reality.

    So you vote for a wall along the border. Mission Accomplished. But you don't fund the construction. You talk tough on border security, but send all your reserves to Iraq. Just like you promise to rebuild New Orleans. But you don't allocate the funding. See a pattern here?

    In the end, all that is happening is the administration is saying the things their conservatives want to hear to keep getting their votes. Meanwhile, allowing millions to cross the border in the dark of night.. to keep getting the hispanic votes. Mission Accomplished. Get it?

    May 2, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  71. Paul

    Jack,
    Let's clean up Washington first and we will take care of illegal immigration like other nations do.
    We can't tackle this issue as long as Washington is polarized. Washington has more surrogates like Fox News, teaching people to hate, shifting the responsibility and pushing people away from real issues (Irak and economy).
    By the way Jack, do you have copies of visa given to the settlers by native of America embassy in England?
    We spent two weeks talking about religion when we are losing our braves in Irak.
    We can’t fix the economy while we are spending $12 billions every month in Irak.
    Mexico produces the oil and few people have access to money. We can help them helping their own people.

    Chantilly, Virginia

    May 2, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  72. Ken @ Charlotte

    Jack,

    It's no less important that it was. A wise man (Southener) once said that, "when you are up to your ass in alligators it's hard to remember that the original intent was to drain the swamp". While urgently pressing issues such as having a job, health care, getting out of Iraq, etc., have grabbed the spotlight the threat of open borders legislation has temporarily receded. Jack, we expect you and Lou to sound the alarm when new open borders threats are looming so we can turn and confront this crucially important threat to our way of life.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  73. Melia BL

    Jack; I love your sections on different topics. This one in particular is something I am glad it came up. I shiver everytime, I hear the word(mainly Lou Dobs) legal or illegal 'alien'. In the dictionary the word is defined as an unearthling, so the just word would be immigrant or migrant maybe, but not alien, they fly around in UFOS!! The reason why it irks me is, I was a legal immigrant from Holland and have been a Canadian citizen for 53 years. When asked, I am proud to say I was born in Holland,but hate to think of myself as a legal alien of Canada ...... Melia

    May 2, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  74. Carol c.

    Yes it is! If they are to stay here, I want them to apply, for them to be checked out to make sure they are not in gangs or have any criminal records and can be here NOT on welfare. Let them pay taxes like we are!!

    I feel we should open the door sooner for the people of Iraq who have put their lives on the line for our soldiers and need to leave for their own safety. They have done us a service and need to go to the front of the line before people who came here illegally!

    Carol
    Knoxville, TN

    May 2, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  75. Zack

    Jack, It is up there with the high gas prices for me !! We must get these illegals out of our country , they are depleting our precious resources as you can see and our killing our Hospital's with free medical care, which we subsidize for them.

    I am going to vote them all out of office this time ~!

    May 2, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  76. Rose From CT

    It is very important which is why I watch Lou Dobbs every night. Illegals have driven down wages on American workers and their use of all our services is costing the middle class dearly. They go to the ER , seek medical help and guess who pays the tab? Yes, we the middle class. I recently saw a sign posted in CT which said "Mexico Workers" (a construction company which are all illegals). I couldn't believe the nerve. Go home and start your own farming from what you took from us.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  77. RC Lendz

    Jack, I liked your comment yesterday about closing Iraq's borders when we cannot control our own borders. I say, we just invade Mexico and Canada, add their provinces as U.S. states. Then head south from there. At this point, we would not have to worry about illegal aliens or illegal immigrants. We would change our name to the United States of the Americas. Immigration doesn't bother me personally. I am a teacher, and they have not yet started taking my job.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  78. Annie, Atlanta

    This president goes on and on ad nauseam about terrorism, we need more money to fight it, it's a huge threat to our security, etc., yet our borders are wide open. What's his game and who's profiting? Those are my concerns about it, just for starters.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  79. Travis, Los Angeles CA

    The functioning of the immigration system is still important to me. The government generally ignores it like all our other problems.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  80. bill

    We must first focus on the economy and Iraq. Although it is an important issue. This is another issue just used to scare and separate us.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  81. Drew, FL

    Provide a reasonable path for citizenship and tax them. It's as simple as that. After all, we are all immigrants. That is, of course, if you don't happen to be a Native-American.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  82. Travis, Los Angeles CA

    The functioning of the immigration system is still important to me. The government generally ignores it like all our other problems.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  83. DeniseGA

    Illegal immigration is very important to me!
    We need to secure our borders, and stop the influx!

    Everyone wants universal healthcare and no one is mentioning the drain illegals are making on our healthcare!

    I've worked in healthcare for the last two decades and it is getting worse! I upsets me that I get bills for routine services from my hospitals insurance plan, yet I go to work and provide care for FREE surgery, for illegals, who DO NOT pay into the system!

    We can not fix our health care and take care of US citizens, until our borders are secure!

    I also agee that you can not deport every illegal in this country!
    Many, many have had childeren who are now citizens of the US.
    But they need to be documented and put into the system, to pay into the system, legally!

    May 2, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  84. Sara, Minnesota

    It's a huge issue for me. I am a democrat, but I absolutely hate their stand on illegal immigration. But right now, I need to hold other issues a priority, such as the war. That said, even though I may be happy that a democrat gets in office, I will not let up on the illegal immigration issue. This is one issue I agree 100% with Lou Dobbs on, and I think America needs to wake up and see what is going on. Go check out some documentaries out there, like Border. Then you'll see what I am talking about.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  85. Zack

    It will impact all of you folks here one way or another. Crime will get to you in time as well and so will the cost of their medical care! There is such a thing call sovereignty that needs to be protected. Read Pat Buchanan's book "Death of the West" he had it right back than and he should be our President now as should be Lou Dobbs, they are REAL Americans my friend !!

    Concerned citizen !! Anyone for Amnesty, I will vote against !!!

    May 2, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  86. Carol from Colorado

    Illegal immigration is just as important today as it was two years ago, 5 years ago, 15 years ago and more. What is happening with the general public is a shift of emphasis or priorities. With the economy in such bad shape people will understandably look to their wallets and purses and respond to the pain they are feeling. Loss of homes, loss of jobs, devaluation of the dollar, and rising food and fuel prices have gotten peoples' attention. Bottom line, people need a place to live and food to eat first and foremost.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  87. Judy in Dodge City

    Over the past 20 or 25 years, our city has become approximately 70% Hispanic, to the point that we've earned the moniker of "Little Mexico." Immigration is vitally important to me and I would love to see fair measures taken to insure that our way of life doesn't become history. I empathize with those who are seeking a better way of life ... and I admire the immigrants who immediately set about trying to learn English and adapt themselves to our culture. I think there's an answer somewhere there in the woodwork, but it's elusive. I'm guessing the lower turnout for the rallies this year is due to the backlash that resulted from last year's walk-off-the-job nonsense. I mean ... where did that sense of entitlement come from?!

    May 2, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  88. JS

    Not a problem if it is legal, but the corporations don't want that, they like to have slave labor, which depresses wages for average americans and gives them higher profits. I also am concerned at the drain on the social security system, most americans cannot have free hospital treatment.
    JS North Carolina

    May 2, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  89. Carol

    No.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  90. dave walker,n. dartmouth,ma.

    Keep 'em the hell out. We can't even take care of our own. Plain and simple.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  91. Fran/Cleveland

    Jack, Illegal immigration is taking its toll on our economy in more ways than one. We provide health care for them when they are sick and go to the emergency rooms, they send there children to our schools, we spend lots of tax money deporting them when they are here illegally. These are just several things which we the taxpayer are paying for. If persons want to come to our great nation than they should enter it legally and be a paying part of our society not a burden to it. and that goes for any person from any country that is here illegally.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  92. Russ, Seattle

    It is every bit as important as it ever was because it touches a family that is very dear to us. She is a naturalized citizen, he is illegal, their baby is born here. They have struggled with this issue for years. It threatens to tear apart a stable and productive family who are not a drain on society. He works in the hospitality industry at lower than minimum wage. Fortunately we live in a sanctuary city but he can never visit family in Mexico and has to stay under the radar. I'm sure they are not the only ones who suffer under a system that effectively said one thing and now does another. We would never think of tearing apart families under normal circumstances but we don't seem to be compassionate when we don't know these people personally.
    They are exploited by corporate greed, persued by the INS, suffer the rath of an unaware and resentful society, denegrated by news people and polititions and on and on. We have to pass comprehensive immigration law or take moral responsibility for failure to do so.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  93. Peter Pan Fairview, Texas

    No. Illegal immigration is a large part of the problem with the economy today. For each job an illegal alien fills an American could be working and paying taxes and into social security and Medicare. Illegal aliens do not pay into those systems yet they use them. That is what will happen with Universal healthcare if it comes to be. 20 million illegal aliens will be signed up for it which makes the line in the emergency room that much longer. Illegal aliens still come by the droves and few ever go back to Mexico. American tax payers pick up the tab for the bills they do not pay. Anchor babies on average bring in $1,000.00 a month each in public Welfare funding. Yes !!!!!!! illegal immigration is a high priority.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  94. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,this one the most important issues to me,I have absolutely nothing against legal immigration,after all we are a country of immigrants.But to allow illegal immigration to go on without enforcing the laws is just crazy.Jusy way too expensive!

    May 2, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  95. Darr/Cleveland/Ohio

    The topic of immigration remains important and perhaps more so now; however, the news media has more hotter issues to air such as the current presidential nomination, gasoline prices and Obama's pastor Wright. I believe Dobbs is the only one keeping the coals burning on the immigration issue as he should be. Just because we don't hear about the immigration situation does not mean it has gone away. Less heard is not better in this case.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  96. Les Young Oklahoma

    Jack even tough I live in Oklahoma now I was raised along the Texas Border when I was young. Anyone who thinks we can stop all the traffic across the border has lost a marble are two. That why I wonder when Lou Dobbs say we need to protect border like we can stop ever illegal that coming in is just dumb. A fence is a waste of money we can hire more Border Patrol Agents better equip them and do a lot better. That fence is not going to spend one dime after built in South Texas, Besides that they would build it with a no bid contract to Haliburton. The only way to slow illegal immigration is get after the companies who hire them. Along with this we need to set some visa programs where if a company can prove they can not get labors then they could legally apply for them.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  97. Paul from Houma, Louisiana

    There is no way to really stop illegal immigration. They will always find a way. What we need to do is punish people/companies found hiring illegal immigrants. Heavy fines and prison time for those responsible would help stop it.

    You have to take away the dangling carrot if you want the donkey to stop. But honestly I never really cared about immigration. We are a country of immigrants... Plus we have plenty of territory to be filled.

    Did you know the U.S. has about the same total surface area of China but we have about 1 billion less people here? We have plenty of room... I think maybe we should actually increase our yearly quotas... Turn those illegals into legals...

    May 2, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  98. Ruby Coria, LA. CA.

    Jack, this is a BIG issue! I am Mexican/American and I see it first hand how the illegal Hispanics (not just Mexicans!) took over and the Gov. has done nothing, NOW that we're every where in your towns it has become a problem, but my father has been at the same company for 35 yr. and that company still hires illegals. There has to be a STOP, the wave from Latin America is hitting hard.( El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, n so on...)

    May 2, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  99. Brian, Cincinnati

    So why the change? You forgot one reason. Our economy is getting to be so bad it's not worth it anymore for a lot of illegals to remain here. After paying for their living expenses here there isn't enough to send home to be worth it, so many are self deporting.

    The irony is, the border may very well be sealed up at the rate things are going. Not by us... but by Mexico and Canada. To keep us out.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  100. Brad in Oregon

    Jack, given the current state of our economy, of course illegal immigration is more important than it was two years ago. How can it not be? But with all our money being diverted to bombs and war, the government is unable or unwilling to address this issue. It is all about priorities. Our current administration's priorities are to bankrupt the US Government and at the same time filling the coffers of the ultra-rich. Is this a great country or what?

    May 2, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  101. JT Manhattan

    Immigration wasn't the least bit important to me two years ago, and today it is even less important.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  102. Ryan, Champaign IL

    No, I stopped watching Lou Dobbs months ago.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  103. D.J.Lauter

    IIlegal immigration is just as bad now, but no one is listening. I'm tired of jobs being taken by the illegals and the cost of taking care of them. How dare they demand health care and jobs and lodging. A friend of mine couldn't get a job at McDonalds because she didn't speak Spanish. We spend billions of dollars on these people from other countries, when so many of our citizens need help. Stop the flow now!
    DJ
    California

    May 2, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  104. James Kipler

    Hi Jack,

    If anything, immigration has become more important to me than it was 2 years ago. With illegal immigrants crossing our borders to the tune of hundreds of thousands, we can't afford to slack on this on-going influx to our country. Does anyone know what the tab is to deport some 400,00 immigrants? It doesn't matter. In a week, the'yre back in our country. Pat Buchanan says it best in his book, "Death of the West." A good read on the subject of losing our identities.

    Jim Buffalo, N.Y.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  105. Pat

    We should ask ourself that is it possible to do mass deportation for the 10 million immigrants that are already in here? It is unlikely to happen. In mean time, how much tax money would we get from 10 million people....

    May 2, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  106. Mike in NYC

    Erin wrote:

    "Illegal immigration isn’t as scary as it once was in the wake of 9/11."

    Seeing my neighborhood slowly turn into Mexico is, I must say, a bit disquieting.

    "What is truly scarier is the possibility of alienating our neighbors ..."

    Heaven forbid.

    Jayne – NH wrote:

    "If another Republican is elected, I’m hoping the Canadians will take me in."

    Canada's got pretty much the same immigration situation as the U.S.
    Difference is, complaining about it up there is a lot more likely to put you in jail.

    And, to set the record straight - there are about 30 million illegal immigrants in the US. There were about 10 million back in 1980. So says my 1980 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records - a very reliable source, or at least it used to be.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  107. Mary Whartnaby -California

    Immigration is out of control and the Immigrants who are working towards citiizenship in this Country and the Americans who are already citizens are being "taken to the cleaners"! If the Government had taken care of enforcing Immigration laws and not ignoring the issue, we would all be better off. But the Government chose to look the other way. When a new President takes over, maybe that person will try and pull Immigration together, or maybe not.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  108. Greg from Mechanicsburg, PA

    Yes, Jack. Illegal immigration still remains an important component of our sagging economy. The strains these "undocumented workers" place upon the health, education and welfare systems are still staggering. These workers are still being taken advantage of and abused by employers. Honest Americans and legal immigrants still have to compete with the illegals for jobs and those jobs pay less because employers pay illegals a lower wage. Too many of these illegals have criminal records and are members of violent gangs with connections to organized crime and illegal drug smuggling. A few may even be connected to terrorist organizations.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  109. Paris

    It is important because it has long term ramification for this nation.
    Illegal migration is what I have problem with not legal immigration.
    I think it is very important to secure the borders and make them as secure as humanly possible.
    I also think we need to take a look at this issue realistically and compassionately.
    Criminals must leave now, no buts or ifs.
    The law must be enforced to its fullest.
    And the parents of any American born child must be given a green card, and I think it is fair to have a date birth cutoff of December 30th of 2007.All other must leave the country.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  110. Craig from Arizona

    C'mon Jack,

    This is the "Land of the Free". Free Education, Free Health Care, and a General Free Pass....That is for those who are here illegally.

    It seems that most everyone but the folks in Washington are gravely concerned about illegal immigration. I guess they [the Folks on the Hill] know what's best. Why else would we keep sending the same people back to Washington each year.

    Signed,

    Just Another Lemming

    May 2, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  111. Ed from Durango, Colorado

    What is important is not "illegal immigration' so much as that American business need to start paying decent wages so that Americans will want to work at the menial jobs that most illegals now do, such as in packing plant work and stoop labor harvesting vegetable crops. These are jobs that are beneath American labor. But then Americans will have to start paying the real cost for their food. Bummer.

    The other issue with making it harder for illegals to work in the U.S. is the fact that business, especially vegetable farmers, cannot find workers to help with the harvest. And, guess what, these farmers are buying land in Mexico and moving their farm operations south of the border where labor is cheap and there are fewer safeguards for pesticides and herbicides. And like so many jobs that have been shipped to China, we once more are sending other industries to foreign countries.

    No easy fixes, are there????????

    May 2, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  112. MIKE A, CHARLOTTE,NC

    immigration is not as important now. with the U S economy as bad as it is, most of the illegal aliens will have to go home to find a job.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  113. jennifer from Cape Cod

    not much.
    jennifer Cape Cod

    May 2, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  114. Madeline, Indianapolis

    Jack, . . . the only thing I know is that Lou Dobbs is going be the first
    one down there with his hammer and nails if the law on building the
    fence EVER passes. Have you ever seen a guy so angry at the
    immigrants?

    May 2, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  115. Dilibon Kojak Brooklyn, NY

    If there is one issue that can best demonstrate the high hypocrisy of the American government, the business sector and vast crowd in the population, it must be immigration. It is evident that the US government is NOT interested in reducing or eliminatind illegal entry in the US. If the US and the so called coalition forces can single out illegal entries in Iraq, the country could prevent every single entry in the US! If Canada could give a general amnisty and establish strick control of entries to the country, with the US technological and manpower capabilities, it should have been way easier. entries should be permitted under strict control based on need, government preogatives, and legal citizens to invite families and friends and be responsible for their departure.

    Now the question is why the governmetn is not interested? Simple the flow of illegal immigrants constitute a reserve for lawyers, judges, federal law enforcement, contribution to the social security system with no immediate prospect to gather benefits, greedy employers unwilling to pay fair wages, taxes, and other benefits, finally to have a pool of people – most a vast underclass people or vassals – to do under paying and tiring jobs that Americans are just unwilling or unable to do!

    Solutions:

    – Deport all illegals criminals
    – Amnesty general to every undocumented or illegal present in the US
    – Follow any new tourist from entry to departure or sanction the sponsor (s)
    – Use the army and other law enforcement to protect all the borders
    – No entry without a visa no matter what country the visitor is from
    – Prosecute to the extent of the law illegal employment: employers and the illegal employee as well!

    May 2, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  116. Karen P

    it's only less important because the media is too concerned with drama ratings than news. And Lou Dobbs, who can be a really great personality, is a turn off when he gets angry. It's like he doesn't like anyone or anything, yet when he fills in during elections he's fine.

    Media has refused to focus on real issues, even the Paul v Clinton trial, and has let down the voting and non-voting public. Right now trust in he news is about the same for Bush administration...all time low.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  117. Aaron B.; Champaign, IL

    This is America, the topic of immigration will always be important. But right now, our country has a few other things to take care of first. Leave immigration reform to Lou Dobbs, he seems to be obsessed with it anyways.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  118. Gwinn x

    Not much when I was a kid this was a free country. How free am I if you fence me in. And I'm too old to pick cotton.

    Gwinn Oregon

    May 2, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  119. Linda Harris

    Let's see:
    1. Food prices up at least 50%.
    2. Gasoline at $3.65 per gallon.
    3. Deficits that my great-grandchildren will be paying off.
    4. Children and grandchildren of my friends dying for nothing in Iraq.

    Immigration of any stripe does not even make the list. My biggest concern is whether or not we will be able to return the village idiot to Crawford, TX before the damage he does is totally irreversible.

    Also, from what I have seen of the immigrant population, they are fine people and we can use all we can get.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  120. Sue Filutze

    It's an issue, but let's face it the farmers don't want to pay anyone a living wage and these people are trying to support their families, on our backs, something needs to be worked out, and I don't mean shipping them all back. It could work out if we had a Government that cared about American's and made trade deals that benefited the U.S. instead of other countries. Right now we have much more to worry about, I realize that Lou Dobbs only concern seems to be illegals, he's become a wingnut zealot. I can't watch him anymore.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  121. J W - Atlanta

    Immigration to me comes in fourth behind economy, war, and stupid Chief Executives

    May 2, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  122. Paula in Albuquerque

    Whether it's important to me, or not, is irrelevant. Since when do this nation's "leaders" listen to what their constituents have to say? After all, they fought long-and-hard to achieve public office, and now their business-at-hand is to "feather their own nests", and to forget where they came from! If "9/11" wasn't a wakeup call for the country, and its leadership, as to the terrible need for the US to secure its borders, then no argument that I make will convince them...

    May 2, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  123. L.M.,Arizona

    I lived in Alaska for almost 30 years immigration was not an issue since moving to Arizona it is a big issue right behind gay marriage. I have seen illegal immigrants doing jobs that I know I wouldn't have done at a younger age. I just haven't seen many negatives when it comes to illegal aliens. The main negative is having them send money back to their home why not try to encourage these workers to bring there family here so we have a larger tax base.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  124. James D (Cary NC)

    Jack, I'm not worried that illegal aliens take jobs American's won't do. I am concerned that the jobs we want are sent overseas.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  125. tony from ga

    The U.S. has sooo many issues with immigration being one of them. Right now, i am more concerned if I will lose my job, lose my house and healthcare. We are in a war costing billions and losing life over there everyday. Immigration can take a back seat for awhile

    May 2, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  126. Beverley, Fredricksburg Va

    Two years ago we saw people who came to our country illegally in mass demonstrations demanding rights and benefits that Americans would not recieve had we entered their country illegally.

    We saw people in states encouraging non-citizens to register to vote and churches pandering to their new parishoners.

    We saw "the fence" not getting built and border patrol agents convicted for trying to enforce the law.

    We saw the federal goverment do absolutely nothing while cities, towns and states across the country struggling to find some solution had remedies overturned by courts.

    TODAY we see empty houses because of predatory lending that almost always adversely affects minorities more.

    We see job losses for the 3rd straight quarter – which generally hurts the unskill most.

    We see the same people (goverment, banks and companies) who fueled the mass immigration now turn their backs on them.

    We see fewer people crossing the border. The bleeding hasn't stopped but it's controlled and for most Americans , that 's all we asked for!

    We see who are left in the presidential race and we know that no matter who gets elected – the illegal immigrants are here to stay.

    So why get all worked up about it!?

    May 2, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  127. James Austin Tx

    Jack, with this economy? am infact thinking of moving to Mexico.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  128. Chuck B Coastal NC

    Well its very ironic... I'm currently unemployeed and having too file for unemployment . The only other time that I've ever had too use this benefit since college (1979), has both time being under a republican president..... Reagans last year in office(1988), and now twice under Bush (2004 &2008).
    I can believe be are buying the so-called "trickle down effect" economy that the GOP having made famous. The "trickle down effect" economy only helps the corperate CEO's,its places most of the burden on the people that needs a tax break the most(the middle and lower class).
    Since the re-write of the tax laws under Reagan in the 80's,we have been getting screwed and most people doesn't know,but the taxes and user fee's(another word for taxes) have been raised too divide the classes of people. Since the Reagan re-right,america has seen lower numbers of people jumping classes then ever before in the history of this country.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  129. Andres

    The immigration issue today is more important than ever. It should carefully be controlled regulated and monitored. Legal immigration should be justified by specific judicious needs, such as job demands for example, and not by citizenship or race.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  130. Mary - Santee CA

    It is extremely important. The illegals break our laws then demand, mind you DEMAND, the same rights as CITIZENS of this country. The President of Mexico bragged that he had relatives here in this country illegally. Not only that he and others in his government actually encourage them coming here illegally and shows them how to cross illegally. Those groups that are supporting the so-called rights of these illegals, should go to Mexico and DEMAND that the government of Mexico take care of their citizens instead of encouraging them to come here. I am tired of seeing the flag of MEXICO flying in OUR country and I am tired of my tax dollars being spent to accomodate these illegals with everything from printing ballots in Spanish (an the encouragement of illegals to vote by LaRaza and others) to the cost of their medical care and schooling of their children with my tax dollars. I would ask the President of Mexico if he would provide the same thing to Americans if the came into his country illegally. Their immigrations laws are much more strict then ours and they deport illegals in their country immediately. I would think that those who have immigrated into this country legally would be upset as well as the CITIZENS of this country.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  131. Rhonda M

    Yes, immigration is least important at the moment. With food and gas prices as high as Paula Abdul on American Idol, I'm more concerned with staying afloat in this wishy-washy economy. As a matter of fact, I may be illegally migrating to another country if things don't get better in America. Jack, do you have any suggestions on which country to invade?

    May 2, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  132. Veronica, Central Florida

    Lou Dobbs is the only one hipped-up about the illegal aliens.
    With the cost of gasoline, cost of food, lost of jobs, even the illegals are having hard times, so why bother with demonstrating...No win situation.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  133. Marc from Quebec

    Your government allows criminals to rally against fair federal immigration laws. You give them healthcare and an education without making them pay taxes. Your candidates won't discuss the problem because they fear alienating the Spanish vote.

    When you add the Iraq problem what you end up with is a country that will be bankrupt in my lifetime.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  134. sandy in Ohio

    Jack, I have nothing against hard working , honest immigrants even those here illegally but we need to do something to make the governments and citizens of other countries more accountable for the policies that drive the workers here. Our economy is in trouble and part of it is because our own government has fostered broken policies here and abroad that lead to suppressed wages in the world and hunger for the poor, I worry alot bout immigration and wonder if our own citizens will be immigrating for jobs soon.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  135. Herbert Keltsch

    Dear Jack;
    They have been talking about immigration since I can remember in the 1950s. It is just the same message with new clothes on it. Whenever we want people to focus on something that the government is trying to hide or get us to look elsewhere...they start something like immigration or welfare reform to get us to focus our interest on.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  136. Kathleen

    How can anyone say it isn't important? My hard earned money goes to provide benefits etc for illegal and legal immigrants. People say that our ancestors were immigrants–true but they came here expecting to work not expecting a hand out. That is exactly what they get. Welfare, free medical care etc. My father who worked hard all his life has to pay a huge amount for health care and medicine while people are coming in and getting it all for nothing. It has to stop! None of the politicians are willing to address this issue. The terror side of the issue is even more frightening. If they want to come in they should have to work for what they get and come in legally. I couldn't go to any country in the world and just take from the government but it goes on all the time here.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  137. James S. Lenon - TN

    Immigration remains important as our economy decays ever more rapidly

    My father's family came here from Russia during the revolution. Several of them died waiting for their chance to legally enter the U.S. Those were the laws then and they obeyed them. Why should people from Mexico be allowed to enter illegally?

    Seal the borders. Americans will have to learn to mow their own lawns again, wash their own cars, and wealthy people will have to learn to cook and care for their own children again. American citizens will once more have to do those jobs we hire illegals to perform, restaurant work, and other thankless low wage jobs.
    When enough of the wealthy can't get seated in fancy restaurants wages just migh creep upward.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  138. Bob from Rome NY

    It is just as important now as it was two years ago. Our government is now doing what it did two years ago to fix the problem. NOTHING!!

    Bob
    Rome NY

    May 2, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  139. Jim

    It's more important than two years ago and one of the top issues this country faces.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  140. Nora. South Texas

    Gas is higher than 2 years ago, people cannot afford to drive and rally for this. I think there already too many people getting something for nothing in this country, so it matter s more to me in that I do not want to keep paying for something I should not have to.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  141. A Kraft

    of major importance...since my Father had to come as an immigrant and he abided by the rules this country has changed immeasurably...corporate interests want cheap labor...we all suffer and something has to be done..altho none of these politicians have the stone to say so

    May 2, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  142. Jon from Austin, TX

    Immigration is at the bottom of a long list for me. I would rather focus on getting out of Iraq, the American economy, our world image that's in the gutter, better fuel efficiency in our vehicles, and many more.
    There are pros and cons to having illegal immigrants, but why don't we focus on the major problems facing our country right now.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  143. Mary in Alabama

    My dog never was in that fight. I think immigrants from south of the border do a lot of tough and unpleasant jobs that the citizenry won't do these days. On top of that, the economy is in the toilet further muddying the waters. I think the lack of noise from the Hispanic community is due to not wanting to put any further dents in Barack Obama's campaign wagon. I believe they know that a President Obama will deal with all issues in a fair and just manner – including immigration.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  144. TeeM. Beaverton, OR

    For me, immigration is Issue #4. All that needs to be done is cut off all federal and state benefits to ANY non-citizen, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Korean, or Mexican, or whatever. If they can't get the handouts that ordinary Americans can't even get, they will stop coming. The problem is Big business; like Microsoft, where Billy Gates recently made his pitch before Congress for hiring more higher income H1-B's instead of Americans right here in the US. Kind of wastes a college education for Americans when some money grubbing turkey does this.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  145. Phil From Ashburn, VA

    It is still an issue and we need to fix it. We cannot deport all of them so we need to find a way to make it legal. But first, secure our borders. Put rules in place to make sure we employers cannot employee illegals. This includes people as well hiring them to do odd jobs.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  146. Kevin - Albany, NY

    Come on, Jack, immigration IS an economic issue. Lou Dobbs doesn't want them here because they don't pay taxes. On the other hand, Arizona now wants them here because they subsidize the cost of labor. I don't know who's right, but I'd like to hear the candidates' arguments.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  147. chryssa

    It's not that big of a deal to me. Yeah, we need a solution. But is it the reason we may be heading into a recession? Of course not. Besides, the recent slump has eliminated so many jobs, people have less incentive to risk life and limb to come here in search of work. Some are choosing to stay in their home countries and make due with what they have.

    Boise, Idaho

    May 2, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  148. Vinnie Vino

    Not at all Jack, the illegal immigrants aren't the problem our Government is the problem. All they are seeking is a better life in a country that permits them to rush across the borders and then offers them a pathway to citizenship. So I still say close the borders, fine and jail all employers of illegal immigrants and when the local cops spot them deport them. They'll stop comming to America or go back home if there aren't any jobs for them...

    C.I., New York

    May 2, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  149. Sandra from Texas

    Immigration was of no importance to me two years ago. It is of no importance to me now. We need to secure the borders and give everyone already here a path to legalization. End of story.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  150. Carol in Durham Maine

    Another Republican Red issue. Let's now be afraid of the Latinos that have been picking our food, doing the landscaping and any other job that a red blooded American person wouldn't dirty their nails on.

    We are now hearing that American Farmers on the borders are not going to grow tomatoes. Why? There are no immigrants OR Americans to do the job. It is labor intensive, no one to pick the crops.

    There is no political will to figure out a working cross border permit system. Amazing. It is politically convenient to hate some group rather than come up with a solution that has been used in Europe and othr Nations for centuries. BUT.. We smart bright inventive Americans can't figure it out? Come on People....It is an excuse to find someone else to blame our woes on and not figure out how to fix this.
    I'm a Democrat, but of all the things Bush many wrong ideas and actions he got this ONE idea right., a worker permit system with Mexico would cure many ills and be less expensive than a stupid fence.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  151. tim from pa.

    well duh! have we forgotten 9-11.there is a large faction out there that wants us all dead and this country to perish.if getting here is so easy for mexicans looking for work how easy will it be for the real bad guys to come thru mexico.lets get the wall up and protect our border or do the idiots in george bushs " posse" want something else to happen before this is done. smarten up , will ya!

    May 2, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  152. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    After the economy, the war and taxes, it is still very important. States and hospitals are going bankrupt because of the free medical, education, etc. that are going to the illegals, not to mention the crimes they are commiting. Companies are down-sizing and people are losing their jobs. Thanks to big business, Illegals are being hired at a lower wage and taking jobs away from our citizens. They are still hiring people from overseas instead of our own who can do a better job and keep food on the table.

    May 2, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  153. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    I am the wife of David. I am a registered nurse and see a flood of spanish speaking illegals come into the hospital every day. They line up for everything because they think that the care they receive is free. They are also very arrogant and demanding and complain that I don't speak spanish and they demand a mexican nurse. I know several nurses and doctors who can't wait to retire because they are disgusted by the fact that they have to pay for the medicare care that these illegals get for free. I hope that I retire before the whole healthcare system collapses.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  154. Tammy Stansell

    Most certainly it is still an important issue. When people are not documented or falsely documented it is a major security issue for one thing. And to be honest, there are many stresses on our infrastructure, hospitals, education system... a time that most local governments and certainly the federal government has had to cut funding for so many different domestic programs and projects.
    We need to get our own house in order first, and with the debt rising everyday, our chances of taking care of our current citizens (whether documented or not) in these tough times is getting harder and harder.

    Tammy
    Dunedin, Florida

    May 2, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  155. Bill in New London, CT

    Its never been important me anyway, Jack. I believe borders are man-made and artificial. If one wants to move from one country to another, why should anyone stop them? It's just another example of governments playing God. Do you really think the border debate is based on "homeland security"? Certainly not. Its based on racism - keep "those people" out. If Canadians wanted to downgrade their healthcare system, and live in fear of domestic crime, and began jumping across the border, do you think we'd be so upset? I think not.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  156. nick

    We need to go after the company's not the immigrants. I find it to be a very complicated issue. I don't want to close off the country and build a wall. But I do see population in general as a problem. And immigrants are bringing down wages for every one. Because they except wages they should not. It's gotten to the point where in a family without a college degree both parents are working two jobs, four jobs total, literally. Because the wages are so low and our cost of living is so high. It's the corporations hiring these immigrants and the wages they pay them that is the problem. Not the immigrants.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  157. John Cronin

    Illegal Immigration is just as important to me today as it was two years ago. The problem is I can't afford the gas to get to the rallies.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  158. Amy-GA

    Illegal immigration has been a problem for way too long. Other countries don't put up with it why do we? I'm tired of hearing Hispanics do the jobs Americans won't. What a lie, Americans won't do those jobs because Hispanics are being exploited and get paid less for jobs that should pay more. We should start mass deporting illegal immigrants that are criminal and not worthy, productive citizens.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  159. Brandon - Gahanna, Ohio

    Immigration is still just as important to me now as it was 2 years ago and will be a big issue in the general election as well for me and most people I know.

    If they're here illegally, they need to be deported, period. No time to pack, just throw them on the bus and ship 'em out. Americans will do hard labor jobs, we have for years. We just won't do the jobs for the 3$ per hour slave labor that those jobs are currently paying. Start taking away business licenses of companies who knowingly hire illegals and the problem will take care of itself.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  160. R Leger

    This question can easily be answered with yes or no. I think that it is absolutely not as important.... all the candidates have similar solutions to the problem.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  161. Elliott from Bentonville,AR

    Illegal immigration is less important now because my elected leaders have done absolutely nothing about it,so it must be ok.Most American businesses enjoy paying the lowest bidder anyways.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  162. Lana

    I am a liberal from California; degree from liberal UC Berkeley; I am against ILLEGAL immigration because, it is really an over-population issue. OP leads to lack of resources such as a world wide rice shortage; reduced fish populations. Made my point.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  163. Jason Lingenfelter, Belton, Texas

    Jack, are you kidding me, its costing the true american more money. If we concentrated as much on healthcare as much as immigration we all would be better off.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  164. Rodney Dalhouse

    It is more important now than ever. We are being overun with folks who do not belong here.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  165. Jill

    Immigration is very important to this country. However, illegal immigration is not. It is still a very important issue for me. and i believe that it is very unfair for illegal immigrants to demand anything from the United States government.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  166. April in Texas

    Well its important but not as much as the economy, jobs healthcare and that crazy war Bush got us into..

    Obama 08

    May 2, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  167. Jean

    The immigration issue is very important to me. It is one of the major issues we need to come up with a comprehensive plan to handle so we can get a good handle on our economy.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  168. James W. Blevins

    Illegal immigration has never been particularly important to me and it remains just as unimportant. It is the classic case of a bunch of bigots setting up laws that are unrealistic and cannot work.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  169. Steve Violette

    It's just as important as ever. I believe that illegals are keeping wages low for Americans.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  170. Ola

    It is still very important But what else can we do? Immigrants have attracted all sorts of labels.. and the presidential aspirants are carefully avoiding the issue because the uninformed electrolate will not vote for any of them who has the fortitude to mention it. True leaders will tell people what the people should know not just what they think would make people give them an applause.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  171. Jaye Lee

    We do not need to be so engaged because our government is doing what they are supposed to do. Of course, people should be deported if they are here illegally. Just think of the Los Angeles news story where the high school super star football player was shot.
    However, for those who feel that our economy is helped by these workers, then work permits for these people should be issued, and proper work conditions should be offered these people.
    Both my husband and I are from immigrants, from Holland, Belgium and Poland. We expect immigrants to follow the laws. And, employers to follow the laws.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  172. Mark Friedman

    Jack-
    Since you mentioned Phoenix specifically; over the last year many, many Mexicans have left Arizona, and headed south. By some estimates, 8% of Arizona's population has gone, or are in the process. Businesses in AZ have severe labor shortages, and AZ is considering rescinding the tough law on immigration it enacted. Its quite possible that the lack of interest you have mentioned is due to a lack of immigrants.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  173. Chris

    Immigration is more important than ever in today's day and age. Sure it may not be issue number one but it should not be put on the back burner. I live in Minnesota where a few months ago a school bus was hit by an illegal immigrant, killing several children. We need to secure our borders and keep these kinds of things from happening. I'm all for people immigrating to America, but they've got to do it the right way.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  174. Sandy

    I have a strong feeling that getting immigration under control would have benenfits for the economy

    May 2, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  175. Brandon

    I can't afford to care about illegal immigration anymore. Complaining about it isn't doing any good, and the economy easily trumps the issue for the time being.

    Brandon from Omaha, NE

    May 2, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  176. Mary

    Until Corporate America who sits in the White House and all seat in the House and Senate are removed nothing will improve for the Middle-Class of this country. What's going to happen when the Middle-Class no longer exists, who will fund all their deep pockets.
    Shame on our government for killing off Americans and the great country we have shared. No we are not better off than 8 years ago. Thank you President Clinton for selling out the American People.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  177. kevin lynch

    Jack , You need to come to massachusetts. Ilegal immigration has destroyed our way of life here!! They under bid every job! If the illegals do not take our jobs then the thousands of work visas take them!
    Jack when you research into which candiadate is weakest on illegal immigration; you may have to take your Barrack Hussein Obama pin off!!!!
    With this being a fact, I don't know how black america can explain their 98% voting record for Barrack. It has been researched by the black journalist organization and they have concluded that those first hurt by the flood of illegals and work visas hurts the african american communities first.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  178. Leticia Jacksonville, Fl.

    Yes, immigration is still important to me. Maybe protesters finally realized that you can't sneak into someones house and then tell them how to run it. I will always welcome immigrants as my father's family came from Anguilla. They came in a way that repsected the laws of the land, not sneaking in and demanding America to change for them. The point is to become apart of the American Dream, not tell American's how to do it. It's just simply respect.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  179. Carrie, Southern Wisconsin

    If we really stopped the corporate interests from hiring them, it would go a long way. It's just as important as ever, now that times are harder for everyone.

    More importantly, I worry about the borders not being secure. By that I mean the threat of terrorism , the Mexican gangs, and the drug wars.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  180. Chuck Gallagher

    Immigration is very important to me for a number of reasons. The first and foremost is that we need a fair program to allow immigrates to obtain residency. Allowing the status quo to continue benefits many criminal activities and puts illegal immigrates in situations that are unfair and dangerous. This country needs immigrates but it needs to be control. We need to protect our borders but we also need to let people who want to come and participate in this great country a method to do it.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  181. Martin Brown

    The immagration issue is even more important today than it was two years ago. The economy is tanking, the world is far less safe and President Calderon can't seem to get rid of his people fast enough. Hell, my son has a Masters degree and he's thinking about crossing the river in the other direction just to get a job.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  182. Mary

    What does the dictionary say is the meaning of illegal and what part of this does the Government not understand. What part of illegal doesn't anyone understand.

    May 2, 2008 at 4:21 pm |