August 7th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Why are Americans tougher on immigration now?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Americans are not as open to immigration as they have been in recent years. A new Gallup poll shows half of those surveyed say immigration should be decreased - that's up from 39-percent who felt that way last year.

32-percent say levels should be kept the same, down from 39-percent; while 14-percent say immigration should be increase - down from 18-percent a year ago.

Today's attitudes are similar to how the public felt in the first few years after the 9/11 attacks - beliefs that had softened since 2006. This poll also shows 58-percent of Americans say immigration is a good thing for the country; that's the lowest percentage who feel that way since 2003.

When it comes to party differences - it's no surprise that Republicans are more likely than Democrats to want immigration decreased; but nearly half of Democrats and Independents feel the same way. Americans in the South are more anti-immigration than other regions, although all parts of the country are moving in this direction.

Meanwhile a group of Illinois congressmen recently wrote a letter to President Obama asking him to work on immigration reform this year. They want a law to help keep immigrant families together, protect workers and provide safe migration opportunities.

Considering the mood of the country right now - and the fact that millions of Americans are out of work - it might be a tall order to gin up a lot of sympathy for the millions of illegal aliens in this country.

Here’s my question to you: Why are Americans tougher on immigration now than they were a year ago?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Richard from Kansas writes:
We are having trouble enough taking care of our own citizens. We can no longer afford to take care of the world’s huddled masses. Illegal immigrants are the main problem. They came here as cheap labor and now that many of those jobs are gone, they have become a burden. Round them up and ship them home.

Bill from Michigan writes:
It's pretty simple from a historical perspective: Whenever times get tough and jobs get tight, shut the door behind you and blame the newest guy trying to get in. It's best to generate fear as a "nativist" and forget the fact he is self motivated, pays taxes, and creates demand in a consumer-driven economy. We don't want to admit any of that. Also, mum’s the word about grandpa sneaking in from Ireland. If it weren't for him, we wouldn't be here in the first place with our own sense of entitlement. What a country!

Maria from California writes:
Americans are sick of paying out billions of dollars for services and benefits to people who are not supposed to be here. When I needed services, I was actually told that I would qualify for more if I were here illegally and had kids. In California especially, everything is being cut due to the budget. But illegal alien services (including health care, housing, food stamps, education etc.) are sacrosanct!

Bob writes:
Jack, I am a bit confused! Why are we referring to immigration reform as though it were not a violation of our federal laws? These are illegal aliens who come into the U.S. illegally. Immigration reform should only apply to the system that affects those who come legally. Perhaps we should ignore some other federal laws like paying taxes.

Michael from St. Petersburg, Florida writes:
Try unemployment. My son got laid off twice in the last year and we see illegal immigrants taking jobs from people like him. I believe in the American dream, but it has to be done correctly.

Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. Chad N.

    Because we Americans love to be able to place the blame for our problems somewhere else and on someone else. The attitude of "if we just got rid of all these illegal immigrants then all of our problems would be gone" is growing, mostly because we Americans dont ever want to take responsibility for ourselves or even bother to admit the truth to ourselves.

    August 7, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  2. Kevin in Dallas

    Because it's easier to be compassionate for immigrants while you have a job.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  3. Cameron in SF, CA

    Sadly now that Americans are looking for a handout, they don't want to share with the population of illegal immigrants that have been receiving free services for years and years. Funny how when the shoe is on the other foot, everyone cries foul.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  4. Don (Ottawa)

    Jack, whether we like it or not, it means there are members of our society that are just plain bigotted, and the bigotry is accompanied by greed. The bottom line is, when times get rough we need to find someone to pick on, so let's go after immigrants. If I can't have it, why should any newcomer get it, particularly if that newcomer doesn't look like us.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  5. Ron Temecula

    Hi Jack:

    I think a partion of americans are. The damage is already done. controlling imigration now will not help the financial condition of this country. There are far too many foriegn nationals that came from terribly impoverished nations. Were only too happy to work for a fraction of what a local would work for. It has diluted our standard of living. If you talk to the illegals they will teel you that: "You need to understand our condition by going through it yourself." Well slowly but surely this country is going in that direction. What some of these immegrants do not understand is before long their grandchildren and will be living in that impoverished condition in this country. And they don't seem to care. Many say: "that will never happen." I was one that said: "9/11 would never happen, and it did." At some point individuals from these other countries need to stand up for their rights in their own lands. And not burden the United States with their problems.

    Ron Temecula, Ca

    August 7, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  6. John from Alabama

    Jack: Times are toucher for many Americans. The job market has shrunk to nothing, and Americans are now competing with illegal aliens for jobs needed to put food on the table and the lights on at home. The Americans are entitled to these jobs because of their citizenship and undocumented people are not entitled.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  7. Alex in Seattle

    It is all about jobs, Jack. Some of those "jobs most Americans won't do" are looking better and better to desperate American job seekers.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  8. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    A year ago the consequences of having allowed millions and millions of criminals into the country to soak up the benefits real Americans pay for was not as apparent as it is today. With rising unemployment, bailouts and bonuses for the wealthy and poor performances of CEOs and the lack of available funds to help those of us who are in need, this is being driven home in a cruel way. Say what you will about Lou Dobbs, you gotta give the devil his due. He had it right on this one all along.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  9. Jackie in Dallas

    It's not an election year, Jack.

    Seriously, I think it is because we as a people have become more aware of the size of the problem, and with the recession/depression, are more aware of the jobs that illegals are taking away from legal residents.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  10. Kevin from Montebello CA

    I don't know. The United States is the third most populated country in the world after China and India. Maybe because there are not enough jobs for the people already here.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  11. Joe CE

    A lot of people paid no attentiion to the extent of illegal immigration until unemployemnet got out of hand. It is astounding that, this long after 911, the public has tolerated 8uncontreolled borders open of drugs and terrorists in addition to millions of illegals. Of course, man illegals enter legally on visa (visitor, worker, student, etc) and then just stay. If the recession ends this idiocy, it will have had at least one good result.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  12. Philly/PA

    Two main reasons: One, illegals contribute to the cost of health care. Two, jobs.

    Philly Media, PA

    August 7, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  13. Simon/Orlando

    Not tougher on immigration. Just tougher on illegal immigration. We can't afford to support people who are here without going through the ligitimate channels. No other nation in the world tolerates those sneaking across their borders, let alone puting them on the public dole for health care, welfare, and education. Paying for twelve million illegals is just too much of a burden to bear when a lot of Americans are having such a hard time making ends meet.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  14. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    When you have so many people looking for jobs and then you bring more people into your country. It just doesn't make sense to the people who are out of work.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  15. Sue in Los Angeles, CA

    We are sick and tired of our hard earned tax dollars funding everything they get for free. Our citizens don't have healthcare and pay through the nose for an emergecy room visit, while illegals pay nothing. Our taxes have been raised and services cut because our state is bankrupt and illegals continue to drain our resources as we continue to pay for them. We can't afford them.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  16. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    Unemployment is a great mind changer.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  17. Jayne

    One word: jobs. Soon Americans will have to emigrate to find one. Considering the current state of our nation, I'd advise anyone thinking of immigrating to consider Canada. Not only does Canada have an economy in surplus, everyone has health care, too!

    August 7, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  18. JWC in Atlanta

    With unemployment getting to ten percent, it makes sense that more Americans are willing to take the jobs they were willing to cede to immigrants not that many months ago. Competition for work makes the immigration issue more intense.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  19. AndyZ Lynn, MA

    Maybe, just maybe, people have discovered that allowing illegal immigration is not in their benefit. There is one additional issue; it is against the laws of the United States of America. No other member nation in the Uniited Nations tolerates "illegal immigration." Sorry La Rasa, the law is the law.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  20. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    Why are more Americans against immigration ???? The simple answer is "Fear".. Fear that some immigrant will take their job, fear of change... Fear... Strange, because this is a nation of immigrants. But then every wave of immigrants has been looked down upon by those who came to these shores before them. And in turn they look down upon those who followed. But, then durning hard times many people are frightned that some stranger will come along an take what little we have that is less. Ever read or watch "The Grapes of Wrath" Jack ????? Notice how the Joads (immigrants) are treated as they travel seeking work and a place to rest and too make a life...... Some things never change....

    August 7, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  21. Paul Austin, Texas

    For the same reason many have been against it for many years. It was ok for my family to come here but now that we are here we don't want anybody else here. One reason the south is more against it is that we along the boarder see much more illegal immigrants than they do up north although they have many more than they used to have. When you get down to it when things are tough Americans get tougher and want the rules inforced.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  22. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    Remember when the immigrants would do the jobs we used to do, but we didn’t care to do anymore? In good times one could drive by a housing tract and see illegal workers putting the homes together, or cleaning and cutting the lawns when they were finished. With the economy as it, maybe for so many citizens unemployed, resentment is starting to fester over illegal immigration.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  23. David Alexandria, VA

    I think the unemployment has something to do with it. But, I belive that most people are more opposed to illegal immigration than measured, controlled, legal immigraiton. The government has allowed this to fester for decades and, like health care, is coming home to roost as something which is getting almost too hard to solve. Congress: Get on it!!!!

    August 7, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  24. Albert Killackey. L.A, CA

    It’s the economy, Jack. When times are good we invite neighbors to our party. When the party is over we kick them out calling it “Repatriation.” A half million Mexican-Americans were “repatriated” during the Great Depression and many were born here. It was an unpatriotic act based on fear. It divided families, harmed Americans and created no new jobs. In 2005, California finally apologized but the party abruptly ended again. Do you feel the déjà vu?

    August 7, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  25. Ray Lawson from Danville, VA

    Thats pretty simple. Its because unemployment is nearing 10 percent.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  26. Michael Odegard (PDX, Oregon)

    The illegal laborers who are leaving the USA are leaving because there are fewer jobs here, not because Americans have become tougher on immigration.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  27. Melissa

    Well, obviously because of the trouble illegal immigrants have caused, including the loss of jobs to illegals who are willing to do the same job for pennies.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  28. Rick Medina,OH


    If you are already 'in,' and times are tough, the last thing you want is to open the doors to more. One thing is clear ... immigration policy in this country has been abhorrent for a generation, and its execution worse. As a nation, we should only 'water our stock', when there is a potential gain.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    August 7, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  29. Billy in Las Vegas

    well with the current economy what do you expect, Jack?

    I remember in my American history class years ago seeing pictures of signs outside towns during the Great Depression that said "unemployed don't stop here. we don't have work for our own men"

    people are fed up with companies using illegal aliens in construction, meat packing and hotel industries not to mention the H1B "green card scabs" in high tech jobs when SO many American workers are unemployed.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  30. Barbara in NC

    I think the overuse of H1B Visa Holders brought in to take our high-paying tech jobs (putting us in the unemployment and welfare lines) has left a bad taste in our mouths.

    And what they aren't "in-sourcing", they're out-sourcing. Call your credit card company 800 number, you'll get "Sam" or "Joe" with an East Indian accent to avoid answering any of your questions.

    Good Luck.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  31. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,people have finally realized how costly immigation is, legal and illegal.The best way to handle the mess as far as I can see is stop illegals and deport them, so those that are doing it the right way aren't such a big financial burden as when we are dealing with both.Immigation though is a must after all there would be no U.S.A. without it!

    August 7, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  32. Ryan - Galesburg, IL

    Too much Lou Dobbs.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  33. Chris from NC

    Well, maybe it's because many businesses are hiring illegal immigrants to do the same work as the American workers they laid off for a much cheaper salary and little or no benefits.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  34. Mary from Houston, tx

    Illegal immigrants, the lowest rung on the ladder, *EASY targets.
    Too much effort to take on the real criminals, the big money corrupt corporate cronies, rarely prosecuted.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  35. Fred R Deleon

    Jack. Better late than never wouldn't you say?

    August 7, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  36. joe m

    Can it be because the country is looking at unemployment numbers that don't seem to want to stop going up? Or could it be that with the projected trillon dollars in deficits americans are concerned that the country cannot afford to spend more money on immigration issues? America is hurting and it is not unusual that more americans are thinking twice about how much more money they can spend on immigration issues.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  37. Kuol Awan

    Jack, the reason is clear we have more americans jobless and many doing the jobs immigrants use to do. I'm moved here eight years ago and to be honest with you I used to work with all immigrants on tought manual jobs and few born americans with felonies and other bad records. But now all americans are fighting to have any jobs that bring monye home.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  38. Tina Tx

    White folks are afraid of becoming the minority. Plain and simple.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  39. Tom in Dubuque Iowa

    Jack; it's another strain on the healthcare system and other social services; given the direction the government is trying to drive "government sponsored healthcare; it only stands to reason the american tax payer is against more immigration; especially illegal immigration.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  40. Jack Carlson

    Take a look at California very closely and analyze where the money has gone.
    As Ca goes, so does America.
    Jack C

    August 7, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  41. Mark... Voorhees, New Jersey

    A couple of years back, Jack, people were happy to pay to have their lawns cut, help with house cleaning, and someone maybe even to live in and watch the kids.And they knew where those people were coming from, and cared less whether they were here legally or not. After eight years of wealth being shifted to fewer and fewer hands, not to mention a myriad of economic problems affecting what used to be the middle class, they themselves have taken drastic pay cuts, or new jobs where they are paid less. Now they look at those people who "do the jobs Americans won't do" and view them as competition instead of help.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  42. Beverly Aksamit

    "It's the economy, lack of jobs, American citizens should come first in line, when it comes to hiring instead of cheap labor illegals, companies that have hired illegals without being severely punished for breaking the law is why the illegals come here.

    Cleveland, Mo.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  43. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Let's not confuse immigration with ILLEGAL immigration. We absolutely need to curb the influx of illegals. We need smart reform that does not tear apart the families of those who have been here and been productive in our society. Many illegals provide jobs and are a large cog in our economy. However, they need to begin paying for all the services they are taking advantage of. They need to register to pay taxes, pay hefty fines for breaking the law, and back taxes + interest on their income in order to remain here.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  44. John in Norfolk

    Immigration – legal immigration- hasbeen and will always be good for the country, but it must be controlled. It's when idiots in the media and in government fail to distinguish it from illegal immigration, which most Americans want stopped, that the confusion begins. Sadly, your own comments are proof of this, Jack. Please educate yourself on the distinction between legal and illegal immigration before you start trying to educate others on this topic.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  45. Ruby Coria LA., CA.

    Hi Jack, we have to be tougher, because of jobs, medical cost, welfare, schools, jail's, & so on.. I know of so many company's that employ illegals,& not just Hispanic. I know many family's that have babies, so they can stay here & collect. We have enough Americans in jail, we don't need to be housing illegals too. I'm Mexican/American.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  46. Cecelia

    Well I have always been against "ILLEGAL Immigrates" – they take jobs, pull down our education system & health care system. They should all be sent back to their respective Countries & then start the process LEGALLY to come here. But the U.S. really should start limiting the amount of people coming into our Country – we are running out of water, electricty, and space! Just this morning a young Latino girl was walking down my street – she had 3 kids by their hands ages 5 to 2 or 3 and was pregnant with another one. Something has to change!

    San Jose, CA

    August 7, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  47. Kim in Dodge City, KS

    We have reached illegal immigrant saturation levels in nearly every region of the nation, so I think people are tired of hearing about the poor oppressed immigrants. The American dream has been deeply wounded by the past administration, and little sympathy exists for anyone that will put further burdens on a desperate economy.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  48. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Immigration is the foundation of this country. People immigrated to America because of the opportunity, it provided to people looking to better their station in life. These people are usually the definition of capitalists. They want the opportunity to work and provide a better life for their family. We began that way and we should continue to open our arms to people seeking the American dream. However, we also need to laws and enforce those laws when it comes to illegal immigration.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  49. Max Fairview, Texas

    Jack people are having to pay for these illegal aliens children's education with their tax dollars when their own children are having to learn Spanish in over crowded schools in America. People will tolerate things more readily until their own lives and families start to suffer for it. Slowly but surely black and white Americans are becoming the minorities.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  50. Curly

    I have no problem with LEGAL immigration, but not much being done to stem the enormous amount of ILLEGAL immigration into this country. This makes out borders unsafe and terrorists have an unlimited access to this country at any time and location that they wish to use. In my opinion this is the greatest threat to the security of this country. The polititions in Washington should wake up and instead of spending countless dollars on useless earmarks, they should do something about the illegal immigration.

    Ashland, Wi.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  51. Terry from North Carolina

    Americans are tired of illegal immigrants using up our resources,not paying taxes and sending there dollars back to their country of origin. Free medical care at our overworked emergency rooms, their children go to school and parents are not paying taxes. The last I read there were 12 to 20 million illegals in this country.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  52. pat in lexington

    You said it, Jack – it's the mood we're in and so many people being out of work. Might be a good idea to actually close our borders every decade for a year or two, just to give ourselves some "breathing room" and kind of "regroup". It's great that America is still "the land of opportunity", but we need to have an occasional check of our own citizens to prevent being run over by immigrants. Especially illegal ones!

    August 7, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  53. Rae from Indiana

    This always happens when there is high unemployment.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  54. Paul S. New Port Richey, Fl

    I have no objection to legal immigration. It is the illegal immigration law-breakers who are leeches on our system which legal residents and native born citizens paid for in treasure and blood for centuries. These squatters contribute heavily to the distress to our Republic. They must go.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  55. John in Santa Barbara

    Because of the bad economy, we are tougher on everthing, the immigrants just fall into the same basket as everything else. We are angry that the guilty got off clean, that we had to spend so much money bailing out the so-called money experts, and we are in such a bad mood that we are going to be tougher on everyone and everything.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  56. Carl D.

    Because there are hardly any jobs for the legal American citizen let alone for people who break into our country and demand free services that they don't deserve. Like it or not, it's the truth. Our government should demand that anyone who enters the United States should do it legally, or not at all. instead of rolling out the welcoming mat. If you don't believe the facts, try Googling Mexico's immigration policy and see how they feel about illegals who enter there country.
    Carl in Illinois

    August 7, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  57. David from Mount Pleasant SC

    Simply put, 'it's the economy, stupid.' If it were possible to eliminate the 10-20 million illegal immigrants working in this country, then the unemployment rate in this country probably would be cut in half. As it is, we've lost so many good paying manufacturing jobs that it's very doubtful that this recovery will be both speedy and lasting. Unfortunately, legal immigrants, who I support, are unfairly lumped into the same catagory.

    David from SC

    August 7, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  58. Richard, in Kansas

    We are having trouble enough taking care of our own citizens. We can no longer afford to take care of the worlds huddled masses. Illegal immigrants are the main problem. They came here as cheap labor and now that many of those jobs are gone they have become a burdun. Round them up and ship them home.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  59. Will from San Jose

    The most frustrating aspect of the debate is that illegal and legal immigration have been combined into a single issue. Legal immigration has, and will always be, a backbone of American growth and excellence. Illegal immigration is the problem, and we need to focus on punishing the companies that profit from exploiting these people. As long as there is a benefit to employing illegal workers, there will be people willing to fill those jobs.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  60. Dennis North Carolina

    they do not want their country to be taken from them by people from the out side. they want their children to have the American dream which many generations fought and gave their blood and lives so the future of their children will be free and safe.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  61. Tony from Torrington

    Most of us have ALWAYS wanted the government to be tougher on ILLEGAL immigration, not immigration. ILLEGAL is the key word for those who don't know the difference.

    People from many countries have immigrated here and have become citizens. Some cross the boarder illegaly. Is that so hard to understand?

    August 7, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  62. Terry, Chandler AZ

    This is an easy question Jack: JOBS! Unemployment is high and there are 'undocumented visitors' who are working. A couple of years ago I did not have a problem with our 'visitors'. Today, I want them gone, and I still have my job.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  63. Stephen Paul

    I don't think immigration concerns have changed much. We've never had a voice as a people, now we're starting to be heard...a little. It's not only immigration it's bringing meaningful work back to this country even if it means the very richest get a little less on their return. NAFTA and who knows what else has been thrust on us to gain favor around the world. I say bring the jobs back, tax those who sell jobs overseas and outsourcing should be so expensive no one would consider it.
    What is wrong with us as Americans? We keep electing idiots and zealots to Congress who would sell their own mother down the drain for power and money. Yeah, I'm angry Jack.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  64. Lucy

    You said it yourself, "millions of Americans are out of work". We're in a recession, we're all kinda bummed. We're less accepting, taking less risks, and we really don't want non-citizens taking our jobs...we're just less giving that way too.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  65. Thom Richer

    Because we honestly cannot afford to support them any longer Nor can we afford to lose anymore jobs to low wages because of corporate greed and a Congress that lacks responsibilty and committment to American citizens. Our taxes are and have been unwisely spent for many years and has caught up to us. Workers can no longer make a living and profitable wage. We have convinced the workers and Congress that only the employers deserve to make a profit from working. That we should work so our employer gets rich, not us. Those that we work for are deserving of a good life without worrying about where to get money to live on. That we should be thankful for just being able to work for them let alone getting a living and just wage for our labors. Yet, we are expected to pay exhorbitant taxes and spend them on foolishness and non-citizens. We just cannot afford it, Jack.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    August 7, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  66. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    The economy for one thing. The illegals are taking jobs that Americans are qualified for. Have you read what is in the health care package? Sec. 142, Pg. 42 will provide all non-US citizens coverage. Our taxes are going to be raised to pay for this terrible bill. It is also going to pave the way for them to stay in this country and bring the rest of their family. My father came in the right way from Ireland and so did my father in law from Italy. It should be mandatory that illegals do the same.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  67. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    It's about time that we come to the realization that illegal immigration is what makes people not want the honest people who want to work to become a U.S. citizen become the victims of this issue. I'm an independent and have been my entire life and believe that we need to put a stop to illegal portion of immigration.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  68. Anne -- Sulphur, LA

    As a child of immigrants who came here legally, I have no problem with the idea of immigration. That being said, I strongly believe that we should not be rewarding people who break the law to get here - even if they obey the law after they do. If some people can take the time to follow the law, we should insist all do.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  69. frankie

    Speaking for myself, I would feel very different if illegal immigration had been allowed because the immigrants needed a better life. But, it has been allowed because industries needed cheaper workers. It is a no-win situation for regular people everywhere.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  70. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    This is easy Jack. there are 12 million illegals here. If one in three have jobs that means 4 million jobs are in the US are held illegally by these people. That's 4 million US citizens out of work.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  71. Greg in Indianapolis

    It's because many of this illegal immigrants are stealing our jobs that are growing fewer by the day. It is those doing it illegally ruining it for those doing it legally. My grandparents did it the right way and it is time for us to stand up to those lawbreakers and tell them to get out and don't come back.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  72. Marissa from Nacogdoches, TX

    A maintenance man for my apartments was recently let go because of a change in management. He was from Mexico and speaks fluent English. At the time he was attempting to get his American citizenship, yet now because of his lack of work he faces being deported. Let the hard working individuals earn their citizenship. They are people, just like the rest of us.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  73. Richard New Hampshire

    We are all competing for the same low paying jobs.
    Maybe the Chinese will hire Americans to build a railroad in China.
    How about Americans applying to be policemen and firemen in Ireland.
    I know,Americans as hotel cleaners in Mexico.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  74. Missy M

    Jack, there are simply not enough jobs to go around – that's a sad fact. Until we return to an economy that is creating jobs and Americans are back at work, immigration reform should be on hold. I'm married to an immigrant. My sister is married to an immigrant. But honestly, what is to be gained by encouraging people to move to a country that can't even provide enough jobs for its own citizens?

    August 7, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  75. David A Whitaker

    This is the tone of this society, we have factions within this country that is spreading angry throughtout this country.


    August 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  76. Ron from SF

    Why would we impoirt an H1B1 immigrantf to do things that 10 unemployed Americans would love to do, if they were given the chance? The only reason this is allowed is that Congress throught out time has been bought off by corporations who don't want to pay americans a living wage.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  77. Chandler T., Rockaway, NJ

    People are finally beginning to realize that the one big problem in this country is lack of jobs. Whatever you think of the immigration issue, immigrants, legal and illegal, compete for jobs and tend to drive down wages. The American people are howling for a solution to the jobs problem; if cracking down on illegal immigration creates some improvement in the job picture, more people will be in favor of the crackdown.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  78. Howard M.; Bolingbrook IL

    Easy, we no longer have jobs for citizens, so the illegals are less welcomed. Sometimes we have to be a "me first" society.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  79. Ken in NC

    After jobs have been filled by Americans we need to have foreign workers to finish filling those jobs. Legal Immigration is a means to that end. If you are not here legally then you should be sent to prison and deported after you full sentence is served. If you bring your drug trade with you from another country then you should not be deported but imprisoned for the remainder of your natural life.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  80. Jack Martin

    Apparently there are no jobs "that Americans won't do" after all!
    Boynton Beach FL

    August 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  81. Barry Baiotto Kirksville, MO

    I believe that we need to close the borders and withdraw the incentives that are here for them. I think the CA might not be in the problems that they are in if they hadn't given them all the bennies that their citizens are entitled too.

    I work all over the country and there are locations where the illegals stand and wait for someone to pick them up for day labor. Watch and catch those that hire these individuals and punish them for using them. If there is no place for them to work here, they won't come.

    I worked with some legals in our plant in Phoenix and they say they don't understand why they come to a place that has no jobs.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  82. Irene of El Paso, TX

    Because many previous employers of these illegal immigrants are competing with them in looking for jobs. In some states, a large part of their taxes are going to helping the illegals in schools, hospitals, when the tax payers can use more of this money. Recession is the culprit.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  83. Linda in Florida

    I have nothing against and welcome all legal immigrants. It is the ILLEGAL immigrants that need to be stopped.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  84. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    In some areas, immigrant workers have not comported themselves well – like in some houses in Prince William County Virginia where occupancy restirctions were not honored. Mainly, though, the GOP has realized that if immigration reform leads to legalization and then citizenship, the South and the West will be lost to them. Since this is all they have left, they are fighting tooth and nail to stop any form of legalization.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  85. Bill, California

    It's the economy, stupid. They can't argue that these are jobs Americans don't want. Many would be thankful for any job now. The stimulus bill was full of construction jobs that will go to illegals who were about to leave. And Americans are figuring out what it costs to support these families in free education, healthcare, food stamps, etc. You think the poor that Nancy Pelosi talks about helping with Health Care Reform doesn't include 12 million illegals?

    August 7, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  86. Gigi

    When people are down and out they seem to have to have someone to kick. We need the immigrant workers here for many reasons. They pay into are tax system, social security and state taxes. Without them we would be deeper in debt. The government knows that but not the average man on the street (check it out). They are hard workers because so many depend on them and work for less. In our part of the country we have many from Canada that come here but are never hassled I find that very interesting.


    August 7, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  87. Erik Von Kruger

    Jack, 50 thousand years out of the caves and human beings still respond to change with ignorance, bigotry, suspicion, hate and yes sometimes violence. However, part of the blame lies with conservative talk radio and to the stupidity of some people who take everything they hear to be the truth because the lack the sense of reasoning.


    August 7, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  88. Tyler D. Lacey, WA

    This country has been cracking down on immigration because of 9/11 and the Drug Cartel. The fact that the president has added more guards to the Mexico boarder is not helping. We NEED a concreat wall to slow down those entering without proper paperwork and the INS needs to do better on deportion. If our economy gets back on track the government needs to give money to farmers so that American citizens can get back to work for a decent pay. If people want to come to this great nation all you need to do is be patient and file the right papers to us.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  89. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    We are busting at the seams and crumbling from the weight and strain of our own population growth. Need I say more?

    August 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  90. Allen, Cypress, Texas

    Americans, especially the so-called conservatives have never believed in immigration, except if those immgrating are the European whites. This is due to racism, nationalism, economic downturn, and the phobia of non – white people. 9/11 gave them the cover they needed. The United States is a country of immigrants and should be kept that way. For these so – called "real" Americans, even though their ancestors came over as immigrants, they are the only ones who deserves the largess of this country and everyone else is a parasite.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  91. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: When times are good, there is no need for a scapegoat. When times are difficult people look for someone to blame. This is especially true in Maricopa County, AZ with our "out to get them" sheriff Arpaio. As the economy improves, this will be less of a story. In the meantime, some good work is being done regarding work visas for those non-US workers who contribute to our economic society in doing jobs that Americans turn their back on. The melting pot continues!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  92. Gregory Miami Beach, FL.

    If we were worse off a year ago and today were doing better , I suspect that we would welcome more immigrants to do the work that we felt we had risen above. But since things are going the other way, self preservation takes over and the jobs that we wouldn't do before become more doable.This primal instinct for survival shouldn't make us feel bad as Americans but should as human beings. As much as American people complain about each, I don't want to believe that we would let someone die from something preventable simply because we don,t see happening it in real time!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  93. Bill in Michigan

    It's pretty simple from a historical perspective. When ever the times get tough and the jobs get tight, shut the door behind you and blame the newest guy trying to get in. It's best to generate fear as a "Nativist" and forget the fact he is self motivated, pays taxes, and creates demand in a consumer driven economy. We don't want to admit any of that. Also, mums the word about grandpa sneeking in from Ireland. If it weren't for him we wouldn't be here in the first place with our own sense of entitlement.
    What a country!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  94. Kevin Washington

    America is tough on imigration because the bush cheny administration was a sleep at the wheel. I have children born
    in mexico ,they should me naturallized american and the cost to fix there papers is ridiculous, since i am the natural father, if there is a cost like it is, it should be minimun. There are illegal people in the
    USA with SS# and i have kids 6and 3 yrs. of age ,and i am having a problem getting what they need for naturalization legally.
    They deserve to ha ve the american dream a better life.

    Kevin CA.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  95. Pugas-AZ

    Perhaps we are waking up to the realities of the modern world- too many people and too many of these people mobile enough to seek work in countries other than their own. This will be dificult to stop, not only in this country, but around the world. Unfortunatly , this will lead to continued instability in many countries, placing a heavy burden on the governments and citizens of those countries.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  96. Kyle in Chicago

    Even if an illegal immigrant pays taxes on the $5/hour he makes mowing lawns, that doesn't even cover a tiny part of the cost of educating his 5 children, the cost of taking his children to the emergency room for the colds they have, the cost of imprisoning his no-good cousin the criminal, the subsidized housing and foodstamps the family receives because the youngest child of the 5 was born in America the day after they arrived on American soil and is now a US citizen, making the child and his family entitled to benefits, or any of the thousands of other benefits they receive by virtue of living in America.

    But the lawn care company has a cheap employee, and the family that employs that lawn care company pays a few dollars less a month.

    Of course, hundreds of that family's neighbors each pay hundreds of dollars more each year in taxes to pay for the social services the illegal immigrant and his family receive.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  97. Jim, Ann Arbor

    As times get tougher, people are getting meaner and stingier–even though everyone except Native American are immigrants.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  98. Thomas Bate

    I don't know Jack, but if it weren't for illegal immigrants, I'm sure this country would grind down to a halt.. I'm not sure what people are worried about? Most of the illegals I came across in Los Angeles were very decent hard working people, who only wanted enough to support themselves and their families. Who stocks your shelves of your stores, and cooks your hamburgers, and washes your car, and takes care of your kids, and picks your strawberries, and cleans your floors, and mows you lawns. I'm not sure half the companies and restaurants in the US could exist without these people. If Americans were half as industrious as most of the illegal immigrants I have met, we wouldn't be in the predicament. we are in.. God bless em, I say!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  99. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    9.4% unemployment, and 9% on foodstamps. People are fed up with employers systematically firing citizens and hiring immigrants illegally.
    If this were about race or xenophobia, natural born citizens have been subjected to the oppressive end of racism.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  100. Matt K, AZ

    America is the greatest melting pot on earth. Diversity is most welcome here. Unfortunately, over the years the government never addressed the cost and other the problems that accrued because of illegal immigration. Now with this recession looming over state and local governments, and with growing unemployment there is little choice then to get tougher. Maybe now is a good time to come up with a way to better our immigration policies where it will benefits all in a positive and lawful way.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  101. Dee in Florida

    We are less tolerant now because so many people think immigrants are taking away our jobs.

    That simply cannot be the case. The jobs that have gone down the tube are, in many cases, HIGH paying jobs, not those that the average immigrant,or illegal alien (not even the same thing) usually do.

    We are less tolerant because we know from experience it does no good to be angry at the REAL culprits in our current financial crisis!

    August 7, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  102. Kat in Austin

    We can no longer pay for them.
    The majority of immigrants cannot fully provide for themselves and depend on state and federal assistance.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:02 pm |

    We as Americans do realize that we are the melting pot of the world but as the nations population grows and jobs get more scarce the influx of immigrants has become a burden in which we can no longer support.
    We have to draw the line somewhere or we will eventually be overun
    to the point where we can no longer support ourselves and our children. My family comes first.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  104. Katiec Pekin, IL

    When times were good, no one seemed to care that immigrants were doing the work the American people refused to do. Now, when many
    are desperate for any kind of jobs, the immigrants working for lowest wage possible are unfairly blamed for taking American jobs.
    I do not support illegal immigrants but we must be fair in not
    expecting legal immigrants to give up there jobs because we all
    of a sudden found a need.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  105. Simon - New York

    I come from a family of immigrants. My parents came from Europe during the '70's and applied for citizenship and waited and worked for a better life. What Illegal immigrants are doing isn't right. They are simply circumventing the laws while the legal immigrants look on in disgust on wonder why they still have to wait while the Illegals get more access than they do

    August 7, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  106. Salvador in Texas

    I am an American citizen but I have seen plenty of family members and friends who have struggled to become American citizens and has taken months of hard work. They were doing everything the right way too! It is frustrating to see so much time take up people's lives who "do the right thing".

    I do not have a problem with immigration but many do because there are not enough jobs to go around and people are still extremely xenophobic in this country because the seeds of fear of "non-Americans" that Bush and Cheney planted years ago.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  107. V Kittie, San Diego, CA

    Jobs! My unemployed neighbors are now doing the jobs Americans don't want to do just to keep food on the table. One is cleaning my house, one is doing some weed pulling in my garden, one is doing handy man repairs, another is walking my dogs, and still another is painting my shed. They too, just want a better life!

    August 7, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  108. Ruie - Brownstown, MI

    Dear Jack: Throughout our history, the rich have encouraged the poor to attack each other. The Civil War – the rich land owners convinced the poor whites that if blacks were free they would take their jobs. The Union battles in the 1800's through the early 1900's - same thing the owners of the companies played white poor workers against every new immigrant group – Chinese, Irish, Italian, on and on. It's the same way now, the rich want to keep illegal immigrants for poor labor, yet at the same time, convince working citizens that the immigrants will take their jobs away. So just like in this health care debate – they have the money to MISINFORM those who it would help the most.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  109. WendyNC

    Jack, you should ask the tiny percentage of Native Americans this question. Why weren't they tougher on immigration 300 years ago?

    August 7, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  110. Shane

    I am not sure. But my girlfriend has been trying to get her green card for 6 years now. She is a student at UT and her father has worked here, in Egypt and in India at an American based carbon black company. They are more than deserving of their full citizenship, but the process of all this has them in a "line" with thousands of other people, and they are going to be stuck there for a while and she won't be able to go to medical school, unless Obama takes time to deal with this matter

    August 7, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  111. Layne Alleman

    Jack, You just answered your own question. Millions of U.S. citizens are out of work and when and IF companies start hiring again, is there anyone out there so stupid as to believe that they are going to hire back workers they believe are overpaid, when there are literally 50 million illegals that will take that job for minimum wage at best, or less. I'm watching it happen every day where I live ( please note the state I'm writing from. Any surprise?) Layne A. Antioch Il.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  112. Dolores Surprise AZ

    I am for immigration, but not for illegal immigration. I don't think the American people should have to pay for medical care and education for illegals when there are American citizens going without jobs, medical care and higher education because they can not afford it. And I definitely think it is morally wrong for an an illegal immigrants child .born in this country to be an American citizen. That child should be a citizen of the country that their parents came here from illegally. If that were true, there would be no problem with sending parents home and having their children be American citizens and then America being accused of splitting up families.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  113. Connie, AZ

    America is tough on immigration for different reasons. I suspect high on the list is jobs, but another big piece is integrating different people/cultures. I am very accepting of all races and cultures but the incident that played out in Phoenix is an example that heightens fears and anxiety (8 year old raped by refugees from same country, then her family blames her). Finally, our social services structure ends up paying a great deal of money annually for people who were never born in the US.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  114. JH

    Jack, there are a lot of reasons why more Americans are tougher on immigration. People are worried by jobs, the stretching of resources, crime, racist xenophobia, and terrorism. If immigration was bigger from Europe, I don't think people would be as opposed to immigration. People don't realize that immigration creates more revenue for the government to provide services.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  115. Lisa

    Foreign nationals are a cheaper option. I am a licensed teacher and it annoys me to see non-licensed, foreign nationals who lack proper work authorization hired for public school teaching positions to save money.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  116. Juli - NY, NY

    Jobs and resources are more scarce and the immigrants are an extra drain on our economy's resources and are competition for jobs.. I am not anti-immigrant, but this is a tough time for America now, and my focus and the President's focus is on helping American citizens. And, that's the way it should be.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  117. Bob Watts

    Jack, I am a bit confused! Why are we referring to immigration reform as though it were not a violation of our Federal laws. These are Illegal aliens who come into the U.S. Illegally. Immigration reform should only apply to the system that affects those who come legally.

    Perhaps we should ignor some other Federal laws like paying taxes.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  118. Mr.C

    People are worried about immigration now because now they are competing against immigrants for jobs they didn't want before. With all the problems the economy now has, those previously undesirable jobs look pretty good. Immigrants, specifically, are an easy target because most Americans would rather blame someone they don't feel we have anything in common with.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  119. D.J.

    My wife is from another country and we spent a lot of time and money doing things the right way to make sure she was legal. Sick and tired of hearing how "illegal" immigrants have it so bad. Do it right or go away.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  120. jayne in SC

    People are finally waking up and understanding how many have lost their jobs thanks to immigration. I watched as a whole department from a major health insurance company were walked out the door to be replaced by a group of H1B workers. Those Americans had mortgages and community commitment and had worked for the company for many years. It was cruel and heartless.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  121. Austin

    I believe Americans are tougher on immigration now not only because of the tough economic times and job loss, but because of illegal immigrants filling up our emergency rooms and contributing to crime on our streets. Living on a border state and seeing police officers get killed or random acts of violence everyday on the news can certainly catch your attention.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  122. Dan

    It's less immigration than illegal immigration. Jobs are hard to come by and even those jobs traditionally held by teens are sought after. But everywhere the impression of illegals getting jobs while citizens are left to swing in the breeze is generating a lot of anger.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  123. Gerry Rotondo

    Of course it's about jobs – Americans should not be presented with a take-it-or-leave-it scenario from an employer, because an immigrant ( legal or otherwise ) might be standing in the shadows . Illegal or unskilled immigrants simply devalue American labor or services. There are no such things as " jobs Americans won't do " but there are jobs that Americans are largely unwilling to do because the pay being offered is artifically low.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  124. Nikolaus in Las Vegas

    Jack, Americans worry about illegal immigrants when they're not sure who to blame for their problems. It happens every time this country has a "low" period; Americans look for an easy scapegoat to blame for any and all hardships we face.

    Immigrants have long been the whipping boy of the disgruntled American, so it's no surprise now that we turn once again to immigrants to let out our frustrations (from the war, the economy, and healthcare).

    I promise you Jack, once the economy is back on it's feet illegal immigration will drop off the radars of average Americans.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  125. Laura

    That's a no brainer.
    They are entitled to FREE health care, food stamps, low income housing, and the list goes on. And we the taxpayers are the lucky ones to pick up the tab.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  126. paul

    As a child of Jamaican immigrants I feel that American citizens and legal immigrants are just fed up of all these Illegal people coming to America and taking are Jobs and doing harm to residents. Its said that legal Immigrants like my parents do not get rewarded but Illegal Immigrants do. So it does not even make sense to come here legally again.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  127. Pearlie Strother-Adams

    When times get tough, people get meaner and more competitive. I'm and educator and I know young people with masters degrees who can't get jobs. It's called survital.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  128. bob in woodland park, co

    I bought a hamburger at Wendy's yesterday from a man that has a degree in engineering. Next question.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  129. Larry

    Simple Jack. Immigration (illegal) has really gotten out of hand. Everywhere you look, it is contributing to our economic problems. In hard times, take a look at the obvious and make the changes.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  130. jermaine Martin

    Jack, as if Mr. Obama needed more on his plate. Its simple, Americans or out of work and struggling. Famlies that are citizens, is suffering harder than the immagrants in most cases. This is not a time to take care of all the illegal immagrants, let the President get the contry stable, and as promise he will see to immagration being reformed.
    Jermaine Martin

    August 7, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  131. Dennis

    Americans are tougher on ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION because they are tired of resources being expended on illegal immigrants. Police, hospital emergency rooms and social services are overburdened because of the influx of ILLEGAL immigrants. Please understand the difference between legal and illegal immigrants in any discussion of immigration.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  132. Willie H, Trenton NJ

    To quote a brilliant man by the name of Wolf Blitzer, "JOBS". Americans are fustrated about all the jobs that have been lost, and are holding all of the contributors accountable. Whether its fair or not to blame immigration for the jobs lost is the more interesting question. One that even I can't answer.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  133. Mark M San Francisco

    Well lets see, We lost jobs, we pay for free health care for non citizens we supply food stamps, welfare, pay for there children to go to school they come here and have children so they can use that to stay.

    they get tax breaks were not offered for moving here, you think we have a reason to be bitter?

    Sad part is were out numbered now, we WAITED much to long we try to change it there will be crazy protest and reps and dems will bow to them as they always do

    August 7, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  134. Nicolette

    Why are Americans tougher on immigration now than they were a year ago?
    Americans are becoming more educated on the topic and more aware of its ramifications.
    Americans who are not ethnocentric can see that immigration influx into America is out of hand. We're becoming over-populated and our economy over-burdened.
    Americans are becoming resentful of being called racist when we learn that America is very generous, allows more and has more immigrants than any other nation on earth. When is there enough?

    August 7, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  135. JIM S

    After about 20 years of open borders, the American people are fed up with the undocumented illegals becoming welfare cases. They do not pay enough in taxes to even come close to the services they use. There are more than enough illegals in the country to do the so called jobs Americans won't do to last for 30 years. The worst part is they are unable to adapt to the lifestyle of the cities they are living in i.e 5 families living in one house. They have definitely ruined California. California used to have the best school systems in country. Now they are one of the worst.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  136. margie

    We do not need an alphabet soup of guestworkers on demand from all over the world for every greedy special interest when we are shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs per month from every sector of the economy. Nobody believes that "guestworkers" are limited to Mexican lettuce pickers or that "comprehensive immigration reform" is only about hispanics either. It is all about global labor arbitrage.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  137. DJ in Denver

    It isn't legal immigration that most people I know don't like, it's the illegals that upset people. They well work for under what wages should be and take no benefits. Republican employers love this, that's why it still isn't fixed. They need their many houses cleaned. I am trying to keep one roof over my head that isn't a bridge. Oh yeah, thank you for every bridge you are repairing Barrack Obama, there are probably Democrats living under them.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  138. Peter

    A reform is needed, but we ha to think about the immigrants families too. I know a girl that works in my office and it's very good on her job , she's be doing that for over 10 years , she came to US with 5 years old , her parents passed away , she have no family in Brazil , she have a American daughter , and she does not speak very good portuguese . Should we send her back to Brazil ? What kind life her little daughter it's going to have?

    By the way , with that crisis , at least 30% of the ilegal immigrants already left America

    August 7, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  139. Shawn

    Someone who has lost his job will feel intimidated when immigrants are living lavishly, while they are out of work.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  140. Patrick Tull

    Those immigrant jobs are starting to look real good to the unemployed. Time to switch those overpriced designer suit for some overalls and get dirty.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  141. Michael in St Pete Florida

    Try unemployment. My son got laid off twice in the last year and we see illegal immigrants taking jobs from people like him. I believe in the American dream, but it has to be done correctly.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  142. Rolando, Indiana

    Every crisis in this country needs a scapegoat and immigrants are an easy target because we can't speak for ourselves. This time is no different with millions of Americans unemployed. It's a very unfortunate reality that this country lives.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  143. Clyde

    the answer is easy. The federal government had ignored their oath to enforce the law. the borders are still open. Employers still ignore laws not to hire illegals. every few days someone in congress wants to do something to help illegals. What would happen if we enforced the law like we do against drug dealers...seize assets..

    August 7, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  144. barbara howe

    LEGAL is the key word Jack. I resent the amount of money our government spends on llegal aliens togive to give them things our own citizens cannot get with our tax money. They come here screaming for their rights. They are not citizens, how do they have all these rights. Yes, I know some will still say our country was founded by aliens. Yes it was,but again, the key word was and is Legal.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  145. Nancy, Tennessee

    We are tougher because of the jobs lost to illegal aliens and the money being spent on them in states that they have almost broken like California. Not only am I for cutting back on immigration, I'm for sending some people home that came here illegally. It's time the U.S. starts looking out for its own citizens and protect jobs for them. I know there have been people that say it is not American's God given right to have a job, but I say they should have one first. Their ancestors helped to build this nation with their blood, the same blood coursing through the veins of their offspring.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  146. Noah

    Jack, people are frustrated with the job market as is. With illegal people US daily and getting jobs, people are wondering if there will be enough jobs to go around. I think we both know the answer to that question–a big fat NO!

    August 7, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  147. Joe

    I say make them pay the same taxes & fees i do to live here in our great country. If there getting the services so to speak. Maybe thats fair!

    August 7, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  148. Michelle

    My answer is the same as Dolores Surprise of AZ,
    Sadly, there is simply not enough money ( lack of jobs, un affordable healthcare that drives up deficit for all) to accomondate immigration, especially illegal immigrants.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  149. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    History shows that when the economy is bad, when jobs are few, the nationals of a country, turn against all immigrants legal or not.

    Watching the documentary "Food Inc." there was a story about how the Meat Industry, advertises...... yes, advertises jobs in Mexico! Offering Mexicans work in the U.S. even sending vans down to sneak people across the border! YES U.S. companies do this!

    SO......... we can't really blame a desperate father who can't feed his children from coming into our nation illegally ....... when he was INVITED by the Food Industry!

    August 7, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  150. paulo, toronto

    Americans are tougher on immigration because of the simple fact that immigrate are arriving in to the u.s and taking away jobs from the unemployed Americans. A strong economy would provide a surplus amount of jobs now with the current state of the economy, the economy is not able to sustain the jobs for americans, americans believe that economy shouldn't be able sustain immigrates jobs. however when americans see newly arrived immigrates having a jobs before unemployed americans they see it as unjust and get angry.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  151. Michelle Hudson

    You answered your own question Jack, My State has the highest unemployment in the Country, just doesn't seem fair to compete for the precious jobs we do have with those who have entered the Country Illegally!

    August 7, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  152. Larissa in SC

    The recession would be the main reason. Immigrants coming to the US in search of the American Dream are a lot of times well educated and have an excellent work ethic...so they’re a tough competition to Americans applying for the same jobs...at least that’s the story of my life. And who wants more competition during times when getting or keeping a job is already hard?!

    August 7, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  153. Kevin SW MI

    Jack it is simple. Jobs, jobs, jobs. The auto industry is one thing Jack, but the supply and demand for jobs in all sectors is just plain bad. Do you remember President G.W. Bush promising new jobs in the midwest and added money for Education eight years ago. He was going to be the Education President. Bull!
    This president must cut the immigration numbers to fit the times.
    It's basic supply and demand for Americans to have jobs!

    August 7, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  154. Georgia from PA

    American citizens are tired of being treated like guests in our own country; especially by immigrants illegal or legal... I don't remember the Constitution stating immigrants that don't gain citizenship have more rights than citizens.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  155. Wes Morgan

    Illegal immagrants are burdening our health care and criminal justice systems. The health care proposal that has us paying for illegal immigrants health care is insane. Mexican drug cartels and gangs like MS-13 terrorize the citizens of United States while Islamic Jihadists come through our thinly controlled border and you ask why Americans are sick of illegal immigration. I was able to leagally obtain citizenship for my wife and son and it is not that hard. Many of the illegal immigrants are part of transnational criminal organizations which exploit America's society and should never be permitted to come to the United States.


    August 7, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  156. Cindy from New Bern NC

    Almost every State has a budget deficit. Why? Illegal immigrants are
    using citizens' tax money for their welfare, health, education and even
    incarceration. Look at CA. They send a lot of money out of this country
    so that our economy doesn't benefit there either. We need a moratorium on all immigration until we can straighten out this mess.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  157. Rashad

    My problem with Illegal immigration is that people often think "Mexican". As someone whom is of partial Mexican descent, I take offense to the idea and perception that they are responsible for all of America's woes. They are not the ones (Illegal immigrants) voting for the same Democrats and Republicans who continue to sell us out in the first place.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  158. Jeanne M. Dolan

    Tougher not only because jobs are so scarce – but also because many Americans resent paying illegals Social Security, food stamps, school tuition, among other things. Money – which we don't have – is flowing like water to scores of illegals for programs which were put into place to provide help to American citizens. Enough already!! The general and angry dissent demonstrated at recent town hall meetings is a symptom of the angry "We're not going to take it any more" mood of many citizens – who are not "racist rednecks". And the request by WH staff for reporting of "fishy" comments at the meetings does nothing to mitigate the anger of the average man in the street. Freedom of speech is freedom of speech – guaranteed by the Constitution. Congressional delegates would do well to listen to the dissenters, rather than dismissing them as "mobs."

    August 7, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  159. Elizabeth Ader

    Because we Americans have been forced (by law) to pay taxes to the Federal Government, for years. Why should an illegal immigrant who has not contributed as we have be entitled to our jobs, health care, schools, and other benefits.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:37 pm |

    part of this problem is contractors who use illegals at a cut-rate wage which in turn a contractor who pays his men a livable decent wage with paid holidays and pay into workers comp. insurance, do not stand a chance in hell in winning a bid against contractors who fly under the radar exploiting illegals. These are the idiots who should be strung up in public and stoned, not with weed either! wolfman in delaware an out of work plumber.

    August 7, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  161. Jack - Lancaster, OH

    Mr. Cafferty:

    There is a perceptional parallax here. Sure the peoples (Citizens) here know they are competing for jobs and health care with ILLEGAL Aliens, while they are subsidizing healthcare for those they must compete with. Is this not a valid frustration?. It is a parallax view because your (our) elected officials, in terms of "official" unemployment, see the cup as 9/10 full, while those and those they call family see the cup as a record or near record high level. As we know here in Ohio, the figures here, like all figures from the Government are usually wrong and conservative and thus the real unemployment level is over 15%. Still, that is a cup 85% full and TAXABLE. Like Reagan said, "If it moves, tax it "! Anyway, Jack, we got troubles right here in River City (Ohio River).

    August 7, 2009 at 5:43 pm |