March 29th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Illegal immigration: should states be allowed to do what the federal gov't refuses to?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama has a pretty big to-do list for Congress this spring: Financial reform, an overhaul of No Child Left Behind, the closing of some campaign finance loopholes, maybe even a clean energy bill. But illegal immigration? Still nothing.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/29/art.border.jpg caption="A section of fence along the U.S./Mexico border."]
On NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said despite promising an immigration bill in his first year of office, President Obama has done "almost nothing" on immigration.

Meanwhile, our border states in particular continue to be overrun with illegal aliens, and Washington could care less. Eight and a half years after 9/11 and we won't even secure the nation's borders.

In Arizona, police may soon be allowed to arrest illegal immigrants on trespassing charges for simply being in the state. There are currently 460,000 of them in Arizona alone. In addition, it would become a felony to employ them even as day laborers and transporting them anywhere in the state, even family members.

The bill's cleared the state senate and Governor Jan Brewer has indicated she will sign it. It would be the toughest law of its kind in the country.

But don't ask Senator John McCain about it. McCain, who was home campaigning this weekend, once backed a bipartisan effort in Congress to grant illegal immigrants amnesty. But he refuses to answer questions on where he stands on this state bill.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to illegal immigration, should the states be allowed to do what the federal government refuses to do?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Paulette in Dallas, Pennsylvania writes:
Yes. The states are the only ones addressing the problem, and they alone have to put up with all the troubles. Let each state handle the situation the way they see fit.

Loren writes:
Yes. I understand why the Democrats are looking for ways to legalize illegal immigrants, they view them as supporters, but I find that level of cynicism disheartening. Giving legitimacy to something illegal does nothing to encourage respect for all laws and ultimately our country.

Joe writes:
Not just the border states. Look around in Maryland or the Chicago/Milwaukee area or in Virginia and especially Georgia. Of course the states should be able to enforce the law. The federal government should crack-down on sanctuary cities and other jurisdictions that openly advertise that they do not enforce federal law. This is treasonous.

Annie in Atlanta, Georgia writes:
That’s a tough one. These people contribute to local economies, while the expense of deporting them will be costly in comparison. And giving States that kind of authority will ultimately result in racial profiling.

Larry in Georgetown, Texas writes:
This entire issue is stupid. Yes, the states should be allowed to take the necessary action to eliminate these people from U.S. soil and the sooner the better. I hope that Arizona goes for it to set an example to the other states that we must be pro-active.

Gary writes:
You're damn right, Jack. Places like El Paso, Texas, Douglas and Nogales, Arizona are like war zones. An Arizona rancher was shot and killed on his ranch near the border over this past weekend. An example of just how blatant things have gotten. The Feds refuse to address the issue so, yes, states should be allowed to enforce the border.

Filed under: Government • Immigration
soundoff (257 Responses)
  1. Russ in PA

    Of course the should. In fact, this is just more proof that the federal government has overstepped it's bounds in many areas, such as health care "reform", public education, post office. The federal government should be responsible for the national defense – which, again, they aren't very good at – and little else.

    March 29, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
  2. Terrence Cain

    If the state is over-run with illegals and wants to ship them back to their native countries, that should be the state's rights to do so. Being illegal an no way to take care of themselves is what runs up hospital costs because the insurance companies will not give insurance to someone who is illegally here. The real problem though Jack is the expenses and the waiting period. People end up having to pay thousands of dollars and waiting some twenty years sometimes to get legal citizenship status to live in America. We need to cut the costs way down to say about $50 per person and it shouldn't take anymore than three to six months to garner legal status. There is not enough people in the immigraition filing business either. That is something sorely needing exansion to speed up the process.

    Terrence Cain
    Big Spring, TX

    March 29, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
  3. Joe R - Houston

    This question should be rephrased to reflect the constitutional reality of the republic. The federal powers are limited to those listed in Art. 1, Sect. 8 and ALL OTHER POWERS are vested in either the states or in the individual citizens themselves. The first ten amendments itemize powers that are denied even to the states. States assuming powers delegated to the federal government by the constitution would be just as illegal as (for instance) the federal government imposing a national health care plan. The constitution provides a mechanism called "Amendments" which could be used to create more (or less) federal powers... as another for instance, via an amendment, the federal government could be ceded the power to regulate drugs.

    March 29, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
  4. AlphaPoe1

    Yes, the illegals are ruining this country in so many ways, and whatever it takes to stop them from crossing the border is what should be done.

    March 29, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  5. Jane (Minnesota)

    No, I don't think so. This is an issue that there simply can't be 50 ways to determine legality. It must be driven by the Federal government.

    March 29, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  6. Kevin Hancock

    We have Federal borders, State borders, County borders, City borders, borders around public schools and social services! Every one of these borders needs to be sealed by Local, State and Federal law enforcement from illegal immigration!

    Furthermore anyone flying a foreign flag on United States soil should be arrested and shop for treason! I am sick of seeing Latinos come here and depreciate the standards of living my Country with the consent of corrupt Politicians and businesses that get rich off of exploiting misplaced American sympathy.

    March 29, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
  7. Rhoda Bryce

    no, because we are the UNITED States of America. If each state were allowed to make its' own rules on immigration, then the burden would be even heavier on states like Arizona and California.

    Rhoda Bryce
    Scottsdale, Arizona

    March 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
  8. AZ loonies

    NO. We will end up with "patriots" who will take it upon themselves to hand out death sentences.

    March 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
  9. Pete - Hiawassee, GA

    If we waited for our brilliant do-nothing Federal Government to fix illegal immigration we will wake up one morning and realize we've evolved into a Mexican colony. Imigration should be phase one of a plan of total separation from what is nothing more than a corrupt, useless, wasteful, embarrassment known as Federal Government.
    UNITED STATES of AMERICA should truly stand UNITED.......................against tyranny and corruption.

    March 29, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  10. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Protecting our borders is one of the few functions the federal govt should absolutely do, as opposed to mandating healthcare and regulating everything else on the planet, but they refuse. They are more likely to grant amnesty then get serious. The states need to start standing up for themselves. The federal government is a complete failure.

    March 29, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
  11. Rob of Brooklyn

    Yes. Immigration reform won't happen. If Obama lets them have amnesty , in the fall all them Dems are toast.
    first of all they should follow the laws that are already there

    March 29, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
  12. Kevin Hancock

    We have Federal borders, State borders, County borders, City borders, borders around public schools and social services! Every one of these borders needs to be sealed by Local, State and Federal law enforcement from illegal immigration!

    Furthermore anyone flying a foreign flag on United States soil should be arrested and shot for treason! I am sick of seeing Latinos come here and depreciate the standards of living of my Country with the consent of corrupt Politicians and businesses that get rich off of exploiting misplaced American sympathy.

    March 29, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
  13. Olga O. Pina

    Due to the sad fact that I live in the backward state of Texas, nothing this important should be left to the state.

    Olga O. Pina
    Austin, Texas

    March 29, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
  14. Wayne

    Wayne from Belleville, Ontario, Canda

    I think regarding immigration, that North America should adopt the freedom of economic travel like they have within the European Union. So workers from Canada could work in the USA, or the other way around, without having all the legal red tape requiring visas and such.

    Should it include Mexico, perhaps if it would be equitable for all concerned.

    March 29, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  15. Ben from Boston


    I think illegals should have a path to their home country. Anything that states, counties, municipalities can do to help them along the path should be done as long as it is not contrary to current law. In addition I think citizenship should be conferred on babies born in the U.S. only if at least one of their parents are already U.S. citizens at the time of their birth.

    March 29, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  16. marcia

    Yes! I think that it would solve a lot of the problems with jobs,healthcare,taxes and national security. The federal gov't also should be made to CLOSE the mexican border to start the process.I passed a construction site last week and there were 8 guys carrying a sign saying "illegals are taking American jobs" What part of Illegal immigrant doesn't the federal gov't understand.Lets go back to citizens arrest and take back this country.!!!!

    West Virginia

    March 29, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  17. Jack in Virginia

    If it means rounding up illegals and shipping 'em back to where they came from, I am all for it. Cowboy up!

    March 29, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
  18. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    I don’t know, but somebody better start doing something soon. We’ve been overrun by criminals and who knows what for way too long now. At this point, I don’t care who does it, just as long as it gets done.

    March 29, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
  19. Tom in Texas

    No, and I say that as a Texan..States do not have the ability to protect our borders adequately One would think securing our borders would have been among the first measures undertaken after 9/11. Instead we got showy ( and sometimes silly) airport regulations, which only give the false appearance of safety.

    March 29, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  20. Leroy Joyner

    I believe the states and local municipalities should be allowed to pass and implement leglislation that will be beneficial to the citizens of their respective states. The measures that were a part of California's Prop,187, and the attempts by the cities of Hazelton, Pa, and Farmers branch, as well as Oklahoma's recent laws restricting the activities of illegal immigrants in those jurisdictions seem entirely reasonable and prudent to me. Arizona is considering some meawsures now that I also believe come under the authoriity of the states to provide for the welfare of those lawfully present in that respective state. Should the states have the power to deport individuals found to be illegally present in the USA? I would say no,because immigration is the responsibility of the Federal Government.
    Since the Feds won't do their jobs, the states should be alloweds to do that they can to protect its citizens and to sustain fiscal viability.
    Leroy Joyner, Durham, North Carolina

    March 29, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  21. tired of politics- oklahoma

    if the federal government isn't going to do what is necessary to protect our borders then the states should be allowed to do what they needto do

    March 29, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  22. Jim Z..Ft. Worth...Texas

    Jack, if your referring to legalizing them as citizens why not? They have come this country in search of a better way of life, just as all our ancestor's, including those we refer to as Native American's. To deny them citizenship would deny the rest of the population a fair and equitable
    distribution of services paid for by their tax dollar's.

    Make them legal and make them the same as the rest of us...broke and broken due to a system that makes itself a WORLD ANNOYANCE..AT THE VERY LEAST. Stop the insidious onslaught into world domination and take care of WE THE PEOPLE.. What does $682,000,000,000 buy? A whole lot of BOOM and then inert silence. Silly human race...

    March 29, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  23. Frank in Valparaiso

    Catch them tattoo them and send them home and bill the country they came from.

    Overstay a visa? Ban them for life. No exceptions.

    March 29, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  24. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Jack Cafferty and CNN friends,

    We live in the United States of America.
    The Federal Government represents All the American people.

    The states should not be allowed to do
    what the federal government refuses to do!

    Jurgen R. Brul

    March 29, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  25. Simon/Orlando

    Seeing as it cost each state between $11 billion and $22 billion a year on welfare for illegal aliens, you would assume that the tax payers would have an right to act when the Federal government ignores the problem.

    March 29, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  26. Dan Bushey

    Yes, to your question. But, there are some States that will do nothing, and that will create "safe Haven" States. The REAL solution, is Congress and ALL Federal employees in the U.S. Agency of I.N.S. do their job, and EMPTY our Country of ALL illegal Aliens. I and other,TRUE Americans, will support STRICT ENFORCEMENT of ALL immigration laws. As a matter of fact, I DEMAND it!! I also DEMAND, President Oboma's Illegal alien Aunt, be DEPORTED IMMEDIATLEY!! She has been under a Federal Deportation Order, for the last 8 years!! " Change in America, we are not going to do, the same old things, in the same old way" . It don't look like things have changed for the ILLEGAL ALIEN family member for Oboma's Aunt. She is STILL here in our country, ILLEGALLY, thanks to Oboma's "Change"!! If the I.N.S. can't find somebody to escort her out of this country, I will PERSONALLY, and GLADLY, do it for free!!!!

    Daniel L. Bushey
    Holiday, Florida

    March 29, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  27. Loren

    Yes. I understand why the Democrats are looking for ways to legalize illegal immigrants, they view them as supporters, but I find that level of cynicism disheartening. Giving legitimacy to something illegal does nothing to encourage respect for all laws and ultimately our country.

    March 29, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  28. Gerry Erman

    The Federal Governmant is mandated with controlling our borders. As they refuse to fulfill this legal obligation the states should take it upon themselves and do it and bill the Federal Government. If they don't pay, withhold Federal gasoline taxes collected in that state until they do. The same applies to illegal immigration. if the Feds won't do it the states should and let Washington pay the bill.

    March 29, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  29. Nikki Peterson

    Yes. The United States was built on this system. Federal Gov't is last in the line of powers. Local County overrides State. State overrides Federal.

    It is a fact that folks take care of their own back yard better than they do the Parks they visit. In other words, when left to our own devices (without federal intervention) we will make sure that our own are fed and clean. Churches and local charity groups, pick up what the County, State, and Feds do not, and they do a better job of it.

    Sheriff Joe Apaio (my local sheriff) is doing exactly what I elected him to do. Uphold the laws of this County.

    I see other states just starting to deal with the issues that have plagued us for years now. When my kids were teens and looking for summer work, there was none to be found, because the employers could hire the "illegals" for much cheaper. It is a myth that the jobs the illegals do are the jobs that no one will do.

    Phoenix, Arizona

    March 29, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  30. Greg, Ontario

    Yes and that includes shooting them. If Canada had the same problem with America that America has with Mexico I wouldn't hesitate to shoot Americans. It's called defending your home land.

    March 29, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  31. Judith Remiszewski

    Yes, the states should be allowed to do what the Federal Gonernment has not done, restrict and curtail illegal immigration.

    March 29, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  32. Patricia Taylor

    The government has more power then the states. All states will not agree with the illegal immigration reform.


    Chesterfield VA

    March 29, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  33. MNResident

    That's a loaded question, Jack. The Federal government has refused to do everything from giving the latest wave of blanket amnesty to setting up machine gun nests and shooting the illegal border crossers on sight. The Federal government has actually done very little to deal with the issue at all, and that is part of the problem, because it is supposed to be a core function of the Federal government to regulate immigration and our borders.

    March 29, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  34. Phil in Port St Lucie, Florida

    Yes, Jack, illegal immigrants must be turned away and the individuals employing them, sentenced to 5 years hard time!

    March 29, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  35. abnormalmind

    Yes, the States are sovereign, too.

    March 29, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  36. marlene in mich

    State law can't govern illegal activity at the north or south border. States have neither the laws, man power or money in place to police the border. There are to few states and to much border. The federal government is the only answer with 1 law. Marlene in Mich

    March 29, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  37. Ray in Nashville

    Yes, Jack, I think they have to since they are the ones directly affected by illegal immigrants.

    March 29, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  38. Bill West

    Absolutely. I'm all for immigration, my wife is a naturalized citizen. But let's uphold the law. If we don't like the law, let's change it. It seems that today's politicians are so concerned about protecting their career that they don't have the backbone to stand up for what is right.

    March 29, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  39. Maria

    No, with a caveat. Some states would set up their own border patrols and perhaps fences and then start shooting at anything that moves.

    Most border states have good relations w/ whatever Mexican city that is directly across from them. The(U.S. and Mexico) cross borders every day to do service jobs, teach, do day work or temp work,healthcare work,
    drive trucks,etc. If anyone had asked the border cities in the US you would find many people not only upset at the idea of fences, but also the splitting of friends ,neighbors, relatives.

    Are we going to join East Germany and China in building walls to further show a separatist policy? That's not I want.

    Born and raised in CA.
    Now in Brunswick,MD

    March 29, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  40. pat in michigan

    what can the states do that the feds can't . bus them out of the country?

    March 29, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  41. Dale Portland, ME.

    No. A tough immigration policy may work for let's say Arizona, but illegals would just pour into the surrounding states. It reminds me of when the government spent millions on a twenty foot fence along the border and underestimated the illegals simple approach to bring in a twenty-one foot ladder. A tough immigration policy will not only be difficult to enforce, but very expensive. A cheaper and more humane solution to this problem would be to help the Mexican government to create incentives for them to stay in Mexico and not attempt a border crossing that kills about 300 people every year.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  42. Ray Lawson from Danville, VA

    I'm sure the states would do a much better job.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  43. Nezua

    [Pacific NorthWest, USA]

    "Should states be allowed to do what the federal gov't refuses to?"

    If you mean add more judges to the overburdened immigration court system, or insure the detention centers erected hastily to house the growing number of incarcerated immigrants are acting humanely, or legalize the undocumented and productive members of our society so that they can escape the ubiquitous exploitation leveled on them from all corners? Yes! But can states do all that? Can states really patch the holes in our immigration laws on a widespread level so that we are not just running after symptoms? I think not. I think this is why the White House needs to step up.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  44. douglas gengler

    yes they should, and send the bill to the federal govt!

    March 29, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  45. John from Alabama

    Jack: Local governments are empowered to arrest and detain illegal immigrants, as are the states. These illegal immigrants must be turned over to the federal government for identification and processing. The problem is housing and paying for feeding the illegal immigrants. Who pays the tab, and when will it be paid?

    March 29, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  46. Steve Johnson

    States have to step in to fill the vacuum of the last 24 years created by Republicans and Democrats, Senators and Representatives and Presidents. Hoover, Truman and Eisenhower deported millions of illegal aliens to aid American workers in deep desparation for jobs. Why is this not being done now, when unemployment is hovering at 10%?

    March 29, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  47. BJ-West Central Illinois

    According to the Constitution the states are suppose to have that right.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  48. Mikey

    No, I do not think that they should. We used to be the land of the Free, now we are the land of the AFRAID! This is just what the Terrorists want. Sure there are some illigals bringing drugs across our borders. If merijauna was legal here, then illegals would not bring merijuana. Also, we made it harder to buy psudoephedrine, then illegals being the opportunists that they are, started bringing meth across our border. Most illegals are farm hands doing the work that most of here would not think of doing. We have a lot of hispanics here in my state working on the fruit farms. Hard work.
    Twin Lake,

    March 29, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  49. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: If the states believe that they can regulate the illegal immigration problem--then do it. It would appear that the only thing the Federal government is going to do is extend the "wall" along the border--and we already know how that is going to work---pure waste of time and taxpayer's money.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  50. perry jones

    yes it is the states job to tell the federal government what it will stand for read that peace of paper that the media dose not understand well that is every thing but the ist amendment

    perry jones
    council bluffs ia

    March 29, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  51. Sue, Ct.

    If states are given the choice of policies such as immigration, some will go the way the political wind blows. Also, strict enforcement might send some of these illegals to the next state where the policy is more liberal.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  52. Jim

    Absolutely Jack. The Federal Government has graduatelly stripped the states of their rights anyway and now is the time for the states to reassert their independence. After all, illegal immigration affects some states more than others and t hose states need the right to arrest, prosecute and deport illegals when they're caught as well as prosecute those responsible for bringing them in and hiring them. Something has to be done because the federal government isn't going to do anything.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  53. Jeff (Sarasota, FL)


    Illegal immigration is just as much a crime on the state level as it is on a federal level... I feel states should have already been doing something about the illegal immigration problem... What part of illeagle isn't understandable... Why should employers get away with breaking the law regardless of weather it is the state or federal government that enforces it...

    March 29, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  54. Paul Austin, Texas

    Yes, and the Governors of each state that illegal immigration effects should regain full power of the National Gaurd Units in their state. With this they would have the power to patrol the U. S. Border with full law enforcement rights to detain, jail and help the Border Patrol. The gaurd units are the only ones that can match the fire power that the drug slugs have. This would be a smart states right issue. Why send our gaurd units to Iraq and Afghanistan when we need them here.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  55. JuanSaaa

    The states ought to hold he federal government accountable for not even attempting to fix our current immigration system. However, the states should not carry out the task of the federal government; since, that would only lead to checkerboard states wih their own set of ules for who, what, where is an undocumented immigrant.

    Look at the disaster in Arozpna for example. We have a Sheriff that racially profiles at will and is under review by the Department of Justice. On top of that the state is looking at legislation that would deem any undocumented immigrant as a trespasser, a regulation that is unpopular with state lawmakers already.

    If we allow for all the states to regulate themselves, what type of consistency will we have? We have 287g in soe counties nd see how well that has resulted, communities live in fear of reporting crimes. On top of that you have law enforcement agencies who are desperatly calling for a comprehensive immigration reform.

    Fix the immigration sytem first, bring pople out of the shadows, then look for criminal aliens.


    March 29, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  56. Davey

    Yes. If the federal gov't refuses to have a substantial immigration policy the border states should take it upon themselves to guard their borders, But the problem will only keep getting worse and continue to ruin it for the people who immigrated the right way.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  57. Frances Cappelletti

    We know that Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to three million illegal aliens. How did that work out?
    Perhaps the States will have to uphold the laws against illegal entry if the federal government won't do it.. ..secure our borders now and allow the border patrol to do their job.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  58. Layne Alleman

    Jack, There are already more than few who have been forced to after having social and public services become overwhelmed. Many states must have believed that the federal government would be reimbursing them for all of this, and are instead, just realizing that they aren't going to be. SOMEONE is going to have to pay for all of this, but I'm betting from the looks of my taxes, it's not going to be the corporations who hired the majority of them, but rather those of us who can least afford it(as usual). Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  59. Karan

    I think it is not viable to allow the states to be able to put these kind of laws in action. it should be considered by the federal government. if arizona goes ahead and does this the immigrants will start moving to other neighboring states and will be impacting those states. illegal immigration is very complicated matter and I think washington needs to put this on their agenda ASAP. secure the borders and legalize the illegal aliens who are already but make them pay back taxes and do background checks

    March 29, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  60. David of Alexandria, VA

    Absolutely. The states are the ones who are footing the bill for the crime, strains on social services and educaiton which result from the influc of illegal immigrants. The "undocumented" people are breaking the law. The federal government and Congess get all woozy when they think of the Latino voter backlash of enforcement. States have an obligation to protect thei own interests. And, thank Heaven that they are - we all benefit.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  61. Don (Belleville, Ontario)

    The States are pretty much powerless to do much about illegal immigration, which is the fed's domain.
    Law-abiding Americans must feel betrayed and cheated by their own government when they contemplate:

    1. Illegal immigrants do not pay most taxes because they earn their wages "underground".
    2. Illegals know how to milk the system so they can effectively get free emergency medical care at public hospitals.
    3. So-called "anchor babies" incredibly become U.S. citizens just by being born on American soil by illegal parents.

    Allowing the illegal immigration mess to fester year after year makes the USA look like a corrupt government incapable of enforcing its laws.
    That is a recipe for rebellion.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  62. Marc from Oregon

    Of course Jack, that's what the US is all about. Look at what AG's from several states are doing with health reform, if they feel they can constitutionally "opt out" and if that stance is supported by the Supreme Court then my guess is that the reverse is also true. What about a states right to have it's citizens "opt out" of federal income taxes, do you think that would fly as well? As for immigration, a states rights exist all the way to their border and the majority of states don't border on a foreign country so that immigration issues in one state could infringe on the inherent rights of neighboring states. Thats one of the reasons we have a Federal government to deal with these interstate issues.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  63. Doris Lauter

    Why should the state of Arizona resort to charging illegal aliens with trespassing, when we have laws that , if they are illegal, they can be deported?
    If the government isn't going to prosecute illegals (including terrorists), then it is time for the states to do something.
    The trouble is, there are lots of illegal sympathizers, and they might not vote for anyone trying to clamp down, thus, the politicians are AFRAID of losing their jobs.
    Our citizens need these jobs the illegals are taking all over the country.
    Ojai, California

    March 29, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  64. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    a republican to say let the democrat deal with an issue...what a surprise!

    March 29, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  65. Terry, Chandler AZ

    I live in Arizona Jack just a few miles from the border. Governor Brewer and Sherrif Joe are doing what needs to be done, and some federal support would be nice. It is a safe bet that some group will challenge the bill as being unconstitutional the day after our gov signs the legislation.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  66. anjamd

    While it recognizes the need to address a broken immigration system that represents neither our constitutional values nor our national interest, the federal government has thus far refused to deal with immigration in a just, fair and humane way. States should absolutely NOT be allowed to create their own mini immigration bureaus: the existing system is already byzantine enough. President Obama needs to stop playing politics and provide the leadership necessary to craft immigration reform that includes foremost adjustment of status for the current undocumented population, rational control of our borders, a secure worker authorization system, Passage of the federal DREAM Act would represent and excellent first step in this direction as it would allow some of our best and brightest student to step out of the shadows and fully utilize their multilingual multicultural abilities in the benefit of our great nation

    March 29, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  67. Mr. D

    Yes. Being in the state of Arizona for over 45 years I can say that not enough has been done to stop illegal immigration. The state has really suffered from the influx of illegals, with crime increasing, educational levels falling, health care costs going up, quality of life going downhill, etc, etc,etc. What the federal government refuses to do the states have an absolute right to do. The Grand Canyon state has become the Camino Real to this country from Mexico and other Latin American countries.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  68. Riley ODay

    Yes the states should be allowed to. But can they afford to ??

    Riley.....charleston WV.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  69. steve in florida

    At least Lindsey quit crying about HRC. Do you have a copy of the official document that says the Federal Government is refusing to do anything about immigration. I hadn't seen that.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  70. Kyle, Irvine, CA

    Absolutely Jack,
    The Founding Fathers gave each state independence as long as they stay within the parameters of the Constitution. However California's laws are so screwed up that we'll still end up paying for illegal's health care.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  71. Joe CE

    Not just the border states – look around in MD or the Chicago/MIlwalkee area or in VA and especially Georgia. Of course the styates should be able to enforce the law federal, state, and local. The federal government should crack-down on sanctuary cities and other jurdistiction that open advbertise that they do not enforce federal law- this is treasonous.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  72. Minesh -Troy, MI

    Yes, let AZ be strict with illegal immigrants. I am a legal immigrant.

    Minesh, Troy, MI

    March 29, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  73. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Apparently Lindsey Graham missed the last year when Health Care was the major issue. Now that that's done it's on to other issued. As for 8 years year since 9/11 where was he, George W Bush, and the republican majority controlling all of Congress, where they? I'm sure Graham has the South Carolina border secured. He could set an example and stop being an obstruction.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  74. Darren from Minneapolis

    Yes Jack, they absolutely should! Better yet, have the States and the Feds work together on this issue! It appears everyone sees the problem: we have porous borders and millions of illegal immigrants in this country and that has to change. Past that, no one can seem to agree on what to do about it. I don't know what to do. President Obama hasn't floated any ideas, and the plans floating around Congress have been there for years! Something's gotta give, and if states like Arizona come up with ideas to deal with the issue, more power to them!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  75. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    This entire issue is stupid. Yes, the states should be allowed to take the necessary action to eliminate these people from U.S. soil and the sooner the better. I hope that Arizona goes for it to set an example to the other states that we must be pro-active.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  76. Phil from Colorado Springs

    I think the states should have the right to expel illegals from their state and return them to their country of origin by means of the INS or federal government.Meaning,sue the federal government for enforcement of the laws already in place as a leverage for immagration reform.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  77. Alex in Gig Harbor

    The states have every right to solve problems in their own way. The greater burden of illegal aliens in the border states will prompt them to act if the federal government does not. This law may reduce the burden of these criminal trespassers on our hospital emergency rooms, schools and legal system. They may not go home, but they will certainly move away from Arizona which is the goal of the proposed legislation. It may also become a template for federal action like health care in Massachusetts did.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  78. Joe CE

    I'll bet someone says wealfare – someone who dose not need it. I would really like to see all benfits denied illegals, it is insane to pay benfits to people that we know are here illegally – just subdizes explotative employeers.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  79. Annie, Atlanta

    That’s a tough one. These people contribute to local economies, while the expense of deporting them will be costly in comparison. And giving States that kind of authority will ultimately result in racial profiling. We’re seeing it here in GA right now. It sounds a little xenophobic, to be honest. Weren't they here before those of us of European descent?

    March 29, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  80. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, of course not! The Democratic federal government is dedicated to granting amnesty, and giving these criminals free health care, the right to vote Democratic, and MORE welfare. Never mind that the country cannot afford the illegals we presently have, the Democrats are going to vote for amnesty and incentivize more illegals to cross the borders in order to increase their welfare voter political base. Count on it!!!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  81. Doug - Dallas

    Yes, they should, someone has to. The states are the ones who end dealing with the problems anyway so we might as well make the law that suit us best with this issue. Lindsey Graham's comments are very misleading though. I wonder if the President has proposed immigration reform, would it still be tied up by Congress? Based on what the Party of NO did with health care, I doubt anything would be happening with immigration reform. They didn't do anything for the 8 years they were in power, so why would they start now?

    March 29, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  82. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Yes. The states are the only ones addressing the problem and they alone have to put up with all the troubles. Let each state handle the situation the way they see fit.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  83. Jon Gill,philadelphia

    States should be allowed to defend against intruders from a foreign country absolutely. Isn't that one reason we have national guards?
    Obama has got so much on his plate right now that of course the immigration problem has slipped to the back burner.
    The Republicans have made sure that he can accomplish as little as possible. Don't blame Obama, blame the obstructionists Republicans for the logjam.
    And as for McCain. He has pledged no cooperation at all so anything about him is moot.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  84. Jay in anaheim california

    No one else in this land has the guts to do whats right, and thats kicking the illegals out of our country. How in the world do they expect us to give them amnesty for commiting a federal crime, really disgusting thought.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:05 pm |

    JACK: No one want to touch this.Everyone makes (MONEY) when they hire a illegal immigrant, He's a good hard worker. honest and he will do the work no one else will do for less.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  86. Gail Craig, Plano TX

    Yes, Jack, they should. It's called states rights. But I wish the GOP such as Lindsay Graham would cease their inflaming rhetoric which only excites and disturbs the far right wingnuts! I saw a clip of him saying we were headed for a depression because of health care reform. They never stop. And his salary is paid by us, the citizens of this country. As far as McCain goes he is so scared of the Rep. Party and the Tea Party it's pathetic. He will not address any issues, only rail against his President. But I not surprised. He buckled to GW Bush in the primary in 2000. He is a man without mettle.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  87. Arine Ward

    How totally foul is that...Democrats granting Amnesty...Wasn't it President Ronald Regan that granted Amnesty to how many?

    Its citizens of these United States always looking to point and shift blame...over the past 8yrs where was the Immigration Laws, and borders...almighty gun toting, shoot them and leave them Bush, didn't go in an wipe out immigrants wonder why???

    So lay off President Obama, he is doing the best he can, and doesn't need the foul rhetoric of citizens who hasn't voiced a concern before, and made Bush in 2 terms do what they want...

    March 29, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  88. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    The whole reason federalism came into being was out of necessity. The thirteen original colonies were all making a hodge podge out of governance. There needs to be one policy for all.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  89. Brad, Costa Mesa

    Most of the negative effects are local, and it makes sense that localities try to mitigate the problems when no one else will.

    AZ is handling it in a very common sense way, and it will probably be a model for other states.

    If anything, though, it doesn't go far enough.

    They should also require e-Verify for all job applicants, and for everyone in the family if anyone in the family receives benefits, including medical treatment and schools.

    If illegal aliens can't get jobs or any benefits, and they have to worry about being arrested and deported for trespassing whenever they're out in public, they'll go home. There won't be any reason to be here.

    Another 1986-style amnesty will have the opposite effect, and will draw illegals in, just as it did after 1986.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  90. Sue From Idaho

    States, counties and cities. Are we going to wait until we all have to speak another language before we do what should have been done years back?
    I get so disgusted when I call an 800 # and get the message in more than just English. Enough!!! This is the United States and everyone should be here legally and speak our language.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  91. jerseylou

    Jack,Absolutely they should have the power to do what the Federal Government is not doing. I think this is going to bigger then the Health Reform Bill,because this covers all of the social issues; jobs,schools, hospitals,crime and etc. You can put this at the door step of Reagan and the Repubicans when it all started!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  92. Rich


    If we leave it up to the States then what the heck was the Civil War fought for? You knoe for sure that those states controlled by the fringe Republicans will want to execute, not deport, any illegal immigrant they find. No Jack, at least the Federal Government would be a little more humane. John McCain be damned!


    March 29, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  93. Joe G. (Illinois)

    When it comes to Illegal Immigration protocols and other issues, America should not be rewarded for its wrongdoings “For its own good.” Thanks to God, we as we in the all entire world can always count on that. And by the way, the majority voted for Obama and he has 3 more years left on the books.. Let’s not get too excited.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  94. Greg in Cabot, AR

    If the states would do one simple thing like making sure that the employers that hire illegals, paid them a local prevailing wage then collected and paid the state income tax, federal tax and social security tax that the rest of us have to pay, all tax revenue (local, state and fed) would increase and unemployment would decrease.

    People working for cash "under the radar" for substandard wages with no benefits or taxes to pay, have contributed to our economic troubles for quite some time.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  95. Dad in SC

    YES! Absolutely yes!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  96. Arine Ward

    @Joe G

    If these illegal residents aren't United States Citizens then...How could they vote for President Obama? They would have to be Citizens to obtain voters registrations? So are you saying we need to Recall the 2008 Election? Go for it...lets shut down the Government...because Joe G of Illinois believes that Illegal Immigrants are voting Democrats...if true...then they are LEGAL Residents of these United States!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  97. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville, Texas

    YES! YES! YES! I had one of these "visitors" wreck my auto. Did they have to pay! HELL NO! They got a free pass back to the border, Me, I got the fun of replacing my car. So America, you tell me where my rights were in the protection of my property? Nothing, no where, no how! Thank you Mr. Taxpayer. We the politiciansof the U.S. of A. don't really care about your loss, we certainly don't want to offend anybody. But, those poor folks sneaking into our country need a break, and your money. Press 2 for Spanish. You know Jack, it should be, if you don't speak English, adios!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  98. David Sisters OR

    Jobs, economy, and finance reform first Jack. The constitution lays this bomb on Congress, just enforce the laws on the books.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  99. Jasmine

    Yes it should. The federal government won't take care of this because of the "politics" surrounding the issue. Let the states take responsibility for their ridiculousness behavior.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  100. Greg H - Minneapolis

    Absolutely, states should be free to do ANYTHING to illegals that is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution! Criminal aliens have no right to come here, and then complain when they are apprehended by law enforcement authorities. They would do well to stay in their own countries and fight against the corruption there that keeps them from finding work, rather than take the "easy" way out and come here.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  101. Jim Robinson

    Absolutely. Somebody has got to do it. The Feds sure haven't done it.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  102. Ken in NC

    THe Federal Government should put laws in place as to how people should be sent back to thier home countries and allow states to enforce them.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  103. Elizabeth

    YES –the States should absolutely be allowed to do what the Federal Government will not do because they care more about their reelections than the fact that millions of illegal aliens are taxing our system. We need to DEAL with this ISSUE.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  104. Chad in Massachusetts

    Absolutely. Our economy is a pie, the more people who have to eat the smaller the slices get. End of story. If we want to once again be the beacon of hope for the tired, huddled masses, we need to get our act together.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  105. Shirley

    What about the thousands who are on a waiting list for green cards who have family members here? Those who are unemployed with an H1B Visa who are unemployed? Don't you think there should be a priority to this bill first?

    March 29, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  106. Marsha Lavenant

    I love it! You need to live here in Phoenix to realize how severe the problem really is. It's about time - sign it, Gov. Brewer - the sooner, the better, or make them pay some sort of residency allowance tax to get our state out of bankruptcy - that's one way to raise revenue. They are paying the "coyotes" big bucks to bring them over the border - so allow them in but make em pay for the privilege.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  107. Raymond Steele

    Yes, states should be permitted to enact laws to control illegal immigration. It cost all the residents of the states when illegal immigrants reside in the state. Way to go Arizona.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  108. Tim

    The states have the right to enact law when the federal government doesn't - immigration or any other issue. What works in Pennsylvania won't work in Arizona.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  109. Mary M.

    I think states should definitely be able to make their own legislation regarding illegal immigration, if for no other reason than states need to use their powers while they still have them.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  110. Lindsay Reed

    Jack, nothing irritates a politician than requiring him to do his job. McCain should be kept to task by his constituents – it is the proper duty of the federal government to set the standard for immigration regulation.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  111. Heather

    All states should follow Arizona. I think its rediculous that we allow people in -our- country. Think about the way china treats our journalists. Thats what we should do to illegals. Most states greet them with open arms and a blindfold on. We can't pretend they aren't there anymore!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  112. Larry Shelton

    Let's see, you have to be talking about Mexico, because the Canadians are trying to keep us out of their country. So with that in mind, why don't we annex the country all the way down to the Panama Canal, which already has a good security system, make all the people legal that have been working in the fields, in the domestic trades, and in all the other areas that Americans have been too good to work in, and then we wouldn't have any border to speak of to try to keep people out of. Building a fence is stupid, costly and doesn't work. If we set on the border and paid everyone trying to come across what we pay the people to try to stop them, they could go home and we wouldn't have a problem. It's a good thing the Indians didn't have a good system back when to keep the greedy, land grabbing Europeans out, otherwise there would be no Walmarts and McDonalds.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  113. Christopher Daley

    Jack – you've taken a wrong turn on this one. States are not, and should not, be empowered to treate immigrants (documented and undocumented) any differently than other state residents. You're right, the federal government needs to reform our immigration laws to provide a path to citizenship for the hardworking families who have come here to help all of us build a better future. If individuals in particuar states want action on this issue, they need to lobby the federal government, not pass unconstitutional laws that simply waste precious state resources.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  114. Jon

    The proposed Arizona law should be a model for all other states. Something's fishy about the fact that the federal government won't protect the borders, BUT is persistent in locking down American citizens with the Patriot Act, telecom snooping, and other supposedly legal means. Why are illegal immigrants protected by the feds? I don't get it.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  115. Paul

    Jack, I have said this all along, you only have to prosecute the employers that employ the illegals and POOF! they all go home. It is a easily enforceable solution...

    March 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  116. Laura

    I live in CA...we are drowing.Illegals making families..sucking us DRY. SEND THEM HOME. Period!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  117. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    Always look at the type of situations before judging.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  118. Ben Griffith

    We need immigration policy that is reflective of our economic reality, in which there is an excess demand for low-skilled jobs that most Americans are simply not doing. Our economy has been based on the hard-work and innovation of immigrants since America was founded. Whether we do it at the state or federal level, anti-immigrant policy is bad for our economy, and its un-American. In my own personal opinion, going as far an to not allow people to transport their own family members is simply inhuman.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  119. McDowall

    Well Cafferty, your insensitive comments regarding immigration has lost you another viewer. Obviously we don't see eye to eye, but I like to have an open mind. To bad yours is closed.

    You present an overly simplistic view. Gee could it be trying to poach views from FOX?

    Have you looked up the word Journalist lately?

    March 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  120. Brent Ashcroft

    Absolutely... The States not only should be allowed to do something about the Illegals coming from Mexico but they should. These Illegals from Mexico are costing U.S. Taxpayers approximately 300Billion a year but they are also our Major Lawbreakers.. It's time to take America back rather than allowing the Illegal Mexicans to infiltrate and make us a third world country.

    Brent from Idaho

    March 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  121. Sherry

    Jack, Yes, Leave it to the States that are affected most by these illegals coming across their borders. The Government will come on board soon enough. We have other problems at this time that need to be curtailed.

    I think getting the economy on track is more of an emergency. Haven't we had immigration reform on the books for years? Now it is the first thing we need to do today after health care?

    NO-PUT the Big Boys back in their place with regulations to keep them from doing what they have been doing and are still doing to U.S. Wake up America. Treat the cause of the problem and stop using band aides!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  122. Bob In Florida

    Yes and No, Jack. States should be allowed to strictly enforce current immigration laws JUST AS the federal government should do. Then, BOTH the states and the federal government should START JAILING EMPLOYERS who hire illegal aliens. THE PROBLEM WOULD BE SOLVED if this was done!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  123. Gerald Kauffman

    The states are the ones who suffer when the Fed. Gov. doesn't do anything, so yes they should be able to anything they can to put a stop to illegal immigration.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  124. Curtis B. Adams III

    I think that's its a given that when the federal government does not have the will to get something done, that the state should do it. I don't live in Arizona but I support this policy. I hope it is successful, and that the rest of the states follow.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  125. Steve -Mass

    What part of ILLEGAL, is it so hard for the FED's to understand. If I were to get caught doing something ILLEGAL, I would expect to be arrested,...perhaps Congress needs a dictionary!!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  126. Drew, Pittsburgh

    Jack, of course they should. The idea behind state sovereignty is that states should be able to provide laws for the people of their respective states that better the lives in that state. Do you think it's fair for a farmer in Nebraska to vote yes for amnesty just to have a lower over head on his crop business while the unemployment rate in border states like Arizona, Texas and New Mexico is at all time levels? The solution is there, but Mr. Obama will have a hard time finding it.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  127. Andrew P.

    Should they be allowed? Well, I'm not a constitutional law major, so I'd be interested to hear a case go to the supreme court to determine if the state should be legally allowed to. Should they however? No, the law is absurdly strict, makes it clear we forget our immigrant origins ("Americans" after all were not the first people here) and I'm going to bet that it'll be a very difficult very expensive bill to enforce. I would imagine that it'll reduce inexpensive labor, it'll damage the economy, it'll incite outrage from Hispanic groups, etc. I really don't see this bill lasting very long, regardless of if the state is legally allowed to do it.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  128. Standing Bear

    Of course the states should be able to do what the Federal Government refuses to do. Last I heard it was the duty of every American to assist in protecting our home. As for those who hire illegal aliens, is this not already a law on the books, or is this too a law of convience?

    March 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  129. Ray Kinserlow

    The Know Nothing movement was a nativist American political movement of the 1840s and 1850s. It was empowered by popular fears that the country was being overwhelmed by German and Irish Catholic immigrants, who were often regarded as hostile to U.S. values and controlled by the Pope in Rome. Mainly active from 1854 to 1856, it strove to curb immigration and naturalization, though its efforts met with little success. - Wikipedia

    Those who will not learn from history are required to relive it.

    Ray K.–Lubbock, Texas

    March 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  130. Ian Goddi

    Yes. Further, if the Federal Government continues to allow California to be overrun then California, where I reside, should be reimbursed for its expenses created for my state by illegal immigration.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  131. Dan (UConn)

    States should be able to mandate whatever they need for their own selves. If Arizona wants to make it illegal to harbor illegal aliens, than they should obviously be able to do it. If not, whats the point of separate states anyway. We might as well have a single state that doesn't accomplish anything. (Cough cough – the federal government)

    March 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  132. Tracy (from Hollywood, FL)

    Oh sure, Florida's wet foot/dry foot is such a spectacular success we should definitely let Tallahassee be in charge of more politically charged decisions.....

    March 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  133. rich sottilaro

    Get these illegals out of the country NOW!! The are offered jobs ordinary Americans struggling could use!! Because they are paid cash they pay nothing into the system and drive the labor costs DOWN for the rest of the American people. It is long overdue to put pressure on government to do what is left up to the states! We need stiffer enforcement of companies hiring these illegals with stiff penalties. I say America first and charity begins at home not from illegals immigrants taking our jobs and driving labor costs through the floor. This is partly the reason salaries have remained flat for hard working tax paying Americans. I am all for using drones to find these border crossing illegals. I had that idea 6 months ago and it SHOULD BE USED!!


    March 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  134. Mikey

    Cafferty, how can you speak about people as if they are rodents that bother you so much you wish to force them off a land that isn't rightfully yours either. I am absolutely disgusted with those in our country who use 9/11 as a scapegoat for the pure racism behind this "border safety issue". Might I point out those that carried out 9/11 were here completely legally.
    Get a grip America, who are we to deny those who only wish to have what we do?

    March 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  135. Sandy

    Didn't we already have an amnesty for illegal immigrants during the Reagan administration? Illegals wouldn't be coming here if there weren't jobs for them. So, yes, I do think that if the states want to to crack down on them, then they should be able to do it. If they can't make money then they won't come. Then, and only then, do we consider what to do with the illegals who are already here. If all people are thinking about is amnesty, then all we're doing is rewarding the lawbreakers, and we'll have to have another one in 25 more years.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  136. Bill Reimann

    First, I want to comment you on your straight forward clear info & questions... Second, I think the state of Arizona is making a long overdue statemnt on the illegal problem and all it causes...
    third, John McCain, whom I generally like is making a huge error on
    not joining in on his own state government plan on this new law
    Thank you Bill Reimann...

    March 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  137. Angie

    No the states should not be able to do that! This is just ridiculous. These illegals come here to work! Who is out there being your gardener or construction worker, these illegals are! Rather then being as ignorant as most Americans are we should be thanking them! So it is not right at all.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  138. Dawn Atkins

    Clearly the federal govt. isn't going to do anything about illegal immigration, so the responsibility falls on the states. SOMEONE has to do it! Get on with it!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  139. Tony In georgia

    There is only one answer not yes but HELL YES !!!!!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  140. george sissel, denver, co

    Yes, yes.. Congressmen are so afraid of alienating a voting block that they will not address the problem States must do it, then.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  141. John from San Antonio

    Jack I don't believe the US Congress, inc will ever let the states interfere with this modern form of slavery used by their parent companies.

    John from San Antonio

    March 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  142. SteveinFL

    Jack, Jack, Jack. Don't you think that we have enough of a problem without a bunch of crazy state legislatures making it worse? Not only that but immigration and control of national borders security is by its very nature an area that is inherently national in nature. Whether the Tenthers like it or this is an area of FEDERAL policy. So rather than feed the fires of disagreement and conflict why don't we (and you Jack) try to talk about what we can agree to do about this problem AS A NATION. Please grow up and be serious for once.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  143. Jyothi, St.Louis,MO

    Yes, big changes have to start from smaller places.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  144. Betty

    Yes, Yes & Yes.....since our federal govt. won't do something about this and it continues to get worse maybe if the states start doing something it will make a difference.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  145. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    It isn't what the federal government refuses to do as many initiatives are already in place, it is the government should do what they are supposed to do with the many billions of dollars already allocated for this.

    This country needs immigrants, it is what we are built upon. What must be done is better processing and increased quotas. Plus develop sound documentation of the many hard working illegal immigrants so they can become legal. It would be senseless now to issue a blanket policy and just kick them all out.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  146. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    after reading this it is clear the federal government needs to act for one thing : the lack of repetitive action for reforms simply amplifies anti immigrant sentiment from people...and Mr. Gergen points out how 33% more of non white are favorable to the President...Immigration reform is quite a must especially after eight years of delay...talk about a lot of mess left over for clean up from Bush while he swipe his hand on another democrat!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  147. Rick Medina,OH


    The answer to your question is: "Absolutely!" Illegal immigration in this country is a huge financial drain. If it were not, why would immigrants risk so much to get here? The onus should really be on employers, who have turned this country into a magnet ... attracting cheap labor on such a large scale. If the Feds won't get off their collective arses, kudos to those who will!


    Medina, OH

    March 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  148. john

    states should have every right to deport anyone illegally present. But the bigger question is why are we talking about illegal immigrants when you are not able to provide green cards to legal immigrants?. there are more than 400 thousand legal immigrants waiting for an average of 10 years to get their green cards- these are doctors, engineers and others.
    What we need is a logical peacemeal legal immigration reform so that agencies are fair to those skilled migrants who played by the rules and suffer because of no voice. There is no lobby for legal immigrants. May be you can help us.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  149. Sharon from DC

    Yes states should be able to govern their unique issues without Fed. government involvement unless asked to intervene by the Governor.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  150. frant

    No. As with most police departments, the police in Arizona are probably understaffed. They need to attend to emergency situations, solve crimes and keep the peace.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  151. Patricia (Tampa)

    Absolutely! The federal government has turned a blind eye. What part of "Illegal" don't they get.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  152. Michael

    I live here in AZ and they should be allowed to arrest illegal immigrants. They bring crime and increase the cost of services in the state. When the economy failed the number of crimes went down in proportion to the reduction of people crossing the border illegally.

    The federal government does not want to do it because the Latino vote is huge. Everyone seems to pander to the Latinos. Just look at ricks list.

    Crossing the border illegally should be a crime and the local government should be able to enforce it!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  153. F. Mitchell

    Although illegal immigrants are the primary occupants of America, and adding another ethnic group to the pot would be more flavor. Under the United States Constitution I believe states are granted the right to protect its borders and citizens within when the federal government fails to do so or has not the power to do so. Yes, I would vote to give states rights to stope illegal immigration that it does not hinder progress in their state by adding costly expenditures to healthcare, public safety, public education, public housing, etc...!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  154. Allen-Minnesota

    Well of coarse Mr. McCain didn't comment he don't want to see cheap labor go home.My opinion is simple – enter legally ,abide by our laws and you are welcome. Enter illegally you are a a trespasser at best
    a spy or terrorist at worse and why should we wait to see which it is.
    Or we could just annex Mexico make it a 51st state tax them to death like we do us and they would head for Panama in no time flat.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  155. Marty

    I say let the American people take care of it we can drive these invaders out in no time if the elected officials don't want to look mean for their minority voters.

    I'm sick and tired of seeing these stone age invaders smiling spending their food stamps and welfare while they are working and millions of Americans are out of work.

    The people will not let this happen much longer the government either get's ride of them or face millions of Americans rising up .

    No one knows what sort of crimes or diseases these people have and/or committed there is no way to tell. End legal and illegal immigration and deport all anchor babies and recent immigrants who came over the last 15 years

    March 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  156. Sherry

    The wealthy will fight immigration reform because they hire most of them and it is all under the table. They are cheap labor. Why not get the people that hire promote these illegals in the first place? Treat the cause not the problem!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  157. Fernando

    Kudos to Arizona, and I hope others follow. Shame on the Government for not being able to control who comes into there country and work there, but continues to steal the rights and micro manage the lives of people who live by the rules. Just dont forget that not all immigrants are illegal.


    March 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  158. Memphian

    No doubt.
    I am an immigrant myself, and after I paid hundreds of Dollars on fees for the green-card, after I worked for 8 years here in the US and paid my taxes in time, after I became an US citizen 4 years ago I feel the slam into my face when people who literally climbed over the fence get now a general amnesty. Then that is nothing else.
    So, no doubt. If the federal government doesn't do the job, the states should do it.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  159. patricia

    HI Jack,

    States must take it upon themselves to enforce our laws. Our laws are meant for everyone. These liberals always bring the children of illegals up, how can we separate children from their parents. The same way we separate children from their American parents when they break the law!!!

    If we do not stop this tide of illegals, the tide will continue flowing toward lawlessness, and legal immigrants will never get a path to citizenship. We will certainly become a nation of lawlessness like Mexico.
    Liberals want to help illegals, do it in their country, we can not afford to pay for criminals, welfare, health care and rental subsidies to millions who give nothing in return!!
    Thanks for asking!!!!!It take courage on your part!!!!!!!!!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  160. Ken in SoCal

    I live in CA and we spend billions every year on illegal immigrants, whether it's welfare, incarceration, or ER healthcare, it's bankrupting our economy. Yes, they do contribute to our society and economy, but they use more than they contribute, so stop trying to use that as a valid argument. The national government is not doing THEIR job in protecting its citizens, so the burden is falling to the states. I support any legal measures to reduce the number of illegal immigrants in any state. They have a right to protect their constituents as well and support the legal residents of their respective state. I'm all for legal immigrants contributing to our society.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  161. Kori

    I think that a state has a right to protect it's border. I think 100 feet inside the federal border begins the state border and if that state chooses to lockup those who are not legal and kick them out thier state they should do so the 10 admendment says that the states are able to make laws that aid federal law. It is absurd to think that because some one is breaking a federal they can't be held for a state law.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  162. Don Clark

    I think McCain's silence is the basic problem in washington. Votes,Votes,and Votes. Think of the tax money that could be saved in Education, Medical and other government services if we only took care of our own citizens. More power to the States.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  163. Jene Moseley

    I live in Silver City, New Mexico, 80 miles from the Mexican border. I know the problems with illegal aliens all too well. Therefore, what choice do the border states have? Everyone knows the feds are totally dysfunctional due to constant infighting. We, in the border states with Mexico may have to form our own militia just to save ourselves. We are being overrun and our tax dollars are paying for it. We need help, but the only help we have is our own initiative.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  164. Charles Manley


    The fed has a duty and responsibility to control immigration. They are not performing their duty and are purposely hindering states from taking responsible action. Since the fed is not performing their duty the states should take control. The states should also sue the fed for every nickel these illegals are costing including education, health and other services.

    The laws are on the books... the fed needs to enforce them and should be held accountable when they decline to execute their sworn duties.


    March 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  165. Anthony Kapets

    States shouldn't have to wait for the federal gov't to act on a tinderbox issue such as this. If individuals want the benefits of American citizenship, pay their dues like everybody else before them. Those that aspire to becoming Americans need to "own their journey". We can't ask for or expect immediate benefits if we were looking for citizenship in other countries, you follow the law of the land.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  166. C. L. Davis

    I feel that anyone seeking to come into our country should do so legally. We should know the name of each and every citizen and immigrant. This isnt about ostracizing them, it is about us, as Americans,...and our government being ACCOUNTABLE for our safety. Those who seek to come here illegally, should be sent back to their home country and made to seek legal immigration like they would have to do in France, Germany and Italy and all other countries. Instead, we have no border control. People free flow over into our country illegally and we take tax dollars away from our own citizens, and legal immigrants to provide care for them . Mr President....you are loosing our support because you not hold these illegal immigrants accountable for breaking the law and entering our country illegally! If you want our support, we need to see a stronger stance on immigration from you!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  167. Ann Perry Garland Tx

    Yes Jack they should.I glad someone is trying to do something .They need to vote McCain out that state would be better off without him.Go Arizonia...

    March 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  168. Charlotte Conley

    The states have got to be allowed to move on this subject, without waiting for laws to be enforced by the government. If Arizona does not take action it will be known as, "Little Mexico".

    March 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  169. Zoe Tummillo

    ABSOLUTELY! We walk on the moon! We can surely secure our borders. Any state should exercise their right to make laws to ENFORCE immigration control. Arrest & deportation for illegals; and, very stiff fines and sanctions on employers who aid and abet. I am sick & tired of the arrogance and "privilege" attitude typical of people who get in illegally, then scream for "equal rights" Thanks for the forum. ZT

    March 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  170. david smock

    regarding illegal immigration, one of the first things should be the stopping of giving instant citizanship to babies born in this country. its a small stp but a good start.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  171. Alberto

    "Despite your stance on Immigration we cannot forget that they are "undocumented Immigrants" and not Illegal Aliens.

    We understand that the law is the law, but if we can remember correctly Slavery was the law of the land at one point in time too.

    They are human beings and although they are subject to the law,they are also entitled to that piece of paper called the "Constitution" and all it's protection while in the United States."

    March 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  172. David in San Diego

    Following the Republican't game plan to the letter, McCan't and Graham have decided not to cooperate on anything that might provide credit to Obama. Statesmen they ain't.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  173. Rick

    Illegal immigrants? Millenniums – Centuries – Who was there first?

    March 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  174. Tyler

    In a word: Absolutely! Unfortunately, it has come to this. The Federal government drags its feet on almost every "hot" issue because of the potentially career defining stances these decision makers and legislators would have to take. McCain's silence is proof of this. Washington is worried about saving their own careers rather than tackling the tough issues that face the country.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  175. Roberta, Venice Florida

    Of course states should be able to act in this way. The federal government IS responsible for protecting and defending the nation, its borders and its citizenry, but the federal government has been derelict in its duties - and for about 8.5 years now, too. It's time to grow a spine in this country and compel obedience to the laws of the land. If the federal government won't do what it is constitutionally charged to do, then the states will have to do it instead.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  176. Gail Sloan

    Each individual state should be able to mandate its laws in illegal immigration as it sees fit. Lets give back some of the rights to the states. Deportation should be done in a humane way and be done in an ethical manner. But this country cannot support anymore illegals when its having difficulty taking care of its citizens. i.e. health care, education, social security and jobs to name a few troublesome areas

    March 29, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  177. angela,KY

    Absolutly!!!! While we stand by and do nothing theses illegals are not only taking our jobs, food and other countless services they also reproduce which makes there offspring americans so then getting rid of them virtually impossible. While most people will argue that the jobs they do are not the most welcoming I bet u can ask any of the 3 million people who are out of work if they would like to have one I bet they would. It seems to me immigration reform and the jobs bill mite go hand in hand

    March 29, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  178. Ellen Svendsen

    I don't understand why the States can't arrest illegal immigrants for violating immigration laws. We let local police arrest bank robbers which are covered by Federal laws. We let local police arrest those involved in police shootings which also is covered by federal laws. Why are the laws regarding illegal immigration not enforceable by local and state officials?

    If hiring illegal immigrants is illegal, then why does the State of Wisconsin pass legislation specifically stating that it is illegal for us to hire them, but it is not illegal for the State of Wisconsin? If this is illegal, it is illegal for everyone. With this mindset, we will never get the problem resolved.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  179. terry

    yes, states should be allowed to deport illegals the federal government will not do it,this illegal alien thing should have been enforced thirty years ago

    March 29, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  180. el don Rodrigo

    No Jack, that is why they don't call it the Arizona INS.
    If we had an immigration problem with Asia would the state of Arizona step in to help at the major ports of the West Coast? Would they foot the bill to cut down illegal immigration from Asia? The answer is simply no. So butt out Arizona and stick to things that are Constitutional and not racially discriminant.

    el don Rodrigo

    March 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  181. Linda in Arizona

    Well, Jack, that's just what Maricopa County (Phoenix) Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been doing or trying to do for years. You know Arpaio, the man everyone on cnn loves to trash? Also, any bill proposed in congress will only be a sop to business and a roundup of possible votes from soon-to-be legal illegal aliens. Amnesty for all, is what Obama has in mind. The states who have to pay for services for illegals are the most likely to do something about them. We are going broke in Arizona, and they are one reason why.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  182. Mary ann Waddell

    Though President Obama ran as a centris ( thus I voted for him),
    the idea that he he bolted to the left, & his inability to protect our borders tells me who I will NOT be voting for. on the next election.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  183. John -- Syracuse, NY

    The Federal Government has dropped the ball on ILLEGAL immigration for 50 years now, this is nothing new, Reagan provided amnesty against the will of the country, Clinton and Carter couldn't get it done because they needed votes, both Bush Presidents dodged it because of political consequences.....

    What we need is an agreement, Federal with States, that will allow for all Federal Laws to supersede State laws on immigration and enforce the laws that are currently not even close to being enforced. Congress needs to, regardless of political fallout, change the Laws regarding illegal immigration, anyone who breaks the laws coming into this land should not be entitled to any State or Federal Services, stop the MONEY and you'll stop the illegal immigration. DEPORT anyone coming in, no trials, no amnesty, just a bus ride back to Mexico. And, change the laws that if anyone is born here, from an illegal, they are not considered Americans, they are merely a product of an illegal invasion.

    No more listening to all the Latino Pro Amnesty Groups.....America has lost it's sense of what the word ILLEGAL means, we've called it undocumented just to soften the blow.....if you can pass HC over the will of the people, you can certainly pass new laws regarding illegals against the will of the Latino Groups.

    Go Arizona, way to clean up your State! Protect your borders, protect your people, Texas and New Mexico will be next, and once Arnold realizes he's not getting reelected maybe he'll do the same for California. It's about time someone stood up for their State, because the Federal Government has been asleep at the wheel for decades.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  184. Dylan

    Yes. Each state has specifc problems when it comes to illegal immigration. They are settled best at the state level, instead of one costly universal plan. Whatever they do, they have to secure the borders quickly and fairly to all americans.

    Toronto, Canada

    March 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  185. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The Federal Government isn't hiring illegal immigrants but the States allow employers to continue this practice. The law is already on the States side and all they need to do is use it.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  186. Mark

    I wonder how many republican suporters own businesses that profit from using illegal immigrants for labour, and also benefit by having illegals pushing down wages for Americans?

    When it comes to the GOP hypocracy is a way of life. They talk family values while they diddle pages, hit on undercover cops in bathrooms, cheat on their wives and hang out at strip joints, and lets not forget who inherited a surplus and ran the country into the ground in 8 short years.

    Those are great family values aren't they?

    I can see why people would want more of that.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  187. Jean

    My question to you is, where do you stand on the issue? With unemployment so high how can the government be seriously considering giving amnesty to illegal immigrants. Are they naive enough to think that the only jobs they are taking are picking fruit? Having actually worked within a stones throw from the White House I can tell you that they are taking jobs at the same rate as Americans in some fields; $25.00/hr in construction jobs for instance. Not to mention the issue of health care which is catering to illegals and turning its back on Americans.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  188. Kev


    I voted for Obama and will likely do so again, but question what his aunt's US citizenship status is a factor in his inaction on this topic?

    March 29, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  189. jim Blevins

    To have states undermine the constitution with laws defining international relations would destroy this country. While some people get very emotional about this, each state doing its own international relations could not work.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    March 29, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  190. Gigi Oregon

    Absolutely not. That would be the most dangerous thing to happen to the USA . When states become rouges running their own programs. What keeps us strong is being bound together as one nation for liberty and justice for all. Many have forgotten that we are a country of immigrates and we should remember that these people wouldn't have jobs if they were not hired. Go after the person who is doing the hiring because they don't want to pay a decent wage to citizens. .

    March 29, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  191. C. L. Davis

    And yes...the states should be able to do what the federal gvt will not.
    We want tighter border control. Billions of dollars each year go to healthcare of illegla immigrants, that should be sent back to their own country and not given a free pass with benefits for breaking the law and entering this country illegally!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  192. Rick Shank

    In your statement "There are currently 460,000 of them in Arizona alone.," you gave a statistic–an important statistic–without a source for that statistic. Considering the difficulty in researching this data, I would like to know your source. Please provide.
    Thank you.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  193. Roncoo,Fl.

    I truely feel its A Government matter,State are discriminally on fit.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  194. Luis Javier Balcazar

    No. This decision is a lot bigger than any city, or state. Looking at Arizona we can see the horrors of letting this issue be addressed by individual states. It has to be handled by the federal government. The root cause of why undocumented immigrants are here has to be addressed. Lets discuss our involvement and our benefits form immigration, discuss NAFTA, and discuss the fact that we are dealing with human beings, not pests!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  195. str84wird in Sedona, AZ

    Yes Yes Yes! The individual states should be allowed to enforce immigration laws in their own state. Illegals ARE trespassing and they're STEALING jobs from American citizens....using stolen and fake IDs in many cases. We're supporting them in our overflowing jails and taking care of their every need while incarcerated....some punishment that is! Meanwhile our jails are overflowing and criminals are being let out to repeat their offenses.
    The problem is out of control here in AZ.
    A lady I know who has epilepsy lost a good job with benefits working at a hotel when they decided to split her hours among a few illegals so they could save money on health insurance by employing illegals part-time for low wages. That was over a year ago and this lady is still without insurance and is cleaning houses IF and WHEN she can get someone to hire her instead of the illegals.
    They should have to earn the right to live and work here like I did when I immigrated from Canada in 1977. I had to pay an attorney $20,000 to be legal here so I could care for my ailing parents. It took me many many years to pay off that money and I worked hard and paid taxes and did it all legally.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  196. Rocky, Atlanta

    This is gonna give somo people the "right" to stop and ask questions to people that look hispanic or have an accent. That one step before having a Gestapo State. Why instead of looking forward people here in America insist to move backwards in time. There are too many hispanic americas and legal hispanic residents already living here that would be pretty difficult to avoid civil rights violations

    March 29, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  197. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    Yeah, why not. Isn't that part of state's rights? Besides, I'm trying of losing jobs to the people that bosses sneak in who are willing to work for slave wages. Of course, we could always invade Mexico and annex it to the US. Hey, you guys wanted to be Americans–now you are!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  198. Dan-Eustis,Florida

    Certainly, if the States pass effective immigration laws thats great. what do you think contributes to our run away health costs. We are all paying
    for illegal aliens.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  199. Judy Wade

    Yes States should be able to take care of illegals...pass legislation
    whatever...to insure they are returned to their country...key word here
    is illegal...and it is a crime to come into this country without visa...and
    someone should advise Janet N....homeland security....of this law, since she said it wasn't a crime!! What a loser...terrifying to think she
    is in charge of our security. Also, if you have a reporter still working
    for CNN...how about the latest on Charlie Rangles tax cheating ways...and will he go to jail like you and I would? Also, good story
    would be all the other tax cheats in government employment!! Where
    O Where are the old time reporters?

    March 29, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  200. mike

    Yes, states should be allowed to enforce laws stopping illegal aliens from getting jobs, or receiving any kind of public benefits. In adddition, George Will wrote a column recently, and explained that the children of illegal aliens born here should NOT be given automatic "birthrigh citizenship.

    The 14th amendment which the immigration cheerleaders use to support giving citizenship to babies born to illegals was never meant to accomplish that.
    No amnesty, no way, never. Enforce existing laws and don't back down when the Hispanic groups scream "racism".

    March 29, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  201. Mike Florida

    Absolutely Jack! States soils are being invaded by illegal immagrents. If the Federal Government will not support the states sovereignty then by all means a state should have every right to protect it's own border against foreign enemy.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  202. Miguel

    Have we forgotten that the 911 attacks were perpetuated by people who got in the county with valid USA visas? They weren't illegal. They were legal. why are we mixting pears and apples? If Illegal allien are braking the laws by entering the US with out visas, what would the firts immingrants to the america would be called? ileagal alliens grandparents perhaps? what is your answer to it?

    March 29, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  203. Ramsay Core

    The states should definitely be allowed to control immigration. If the feds arent going to regulate immigration, the states should control it the way they want. Immigrants are what makes America the country we are. We dont want to be made up of illegal aliens. Its not what we represent.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  204. chaney. La.

    Yes I do think the States should be able to handle this problem, but Senator Graham need not conveniently blame the lack of action by the Feds on President Obama, where was he during the GWB era,and maybe if it had'nt taken 14 months of obstruction to get HC through , we could have addressed it already....... and I am sure Graham and the Repubs are for it now but they will be against later.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  205. AspenFreePress

    Illegals provide an abundant supply of low-cost labor and are a buying force in our consumer-driven economy. Without them, even more of our corporations would require a federal bailout. Illegals are here, more are coming, live with it.
    Sterling Greenwood/Aspen

    March 29, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  206. A.B. Baltimore Maryland

    Jack, the states should not be allowed to enforce immigration law which is the sole province of the federal government. Besides, the states do not have the facilities to hold the illegal immigrants once they are arrested by local authorities. It is not that the federal government refuses or is unable to enforce immigration law because it is doing just that. The U.S. Border Patrol is seriously understaffed and cannot patrol the entire US-Mexican Border which is two hundred miles wide and very porous. Congress should authorize the National Guard to assist the Border Patrol in the enforcement of immigration law on a permanent basis. Local authorities have sufficient duties to occupy their time and do not need the added burden of enforcing immigration law.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  207. Homeless D in Atlanta

    First, it appears there is some controversy about counting AMERICANS in the Census. so, exactly how (since we are always told by the government that they cannot FIND the illegals) did someone manage to count the illegals in Arizona?

    Second, Wouldn't it make sense to stop giving illegals all the free stuff, like health care, schools, housing assistance, etc? Aren't those some of the things that AMERICANS can't afford?
    wouldn't some illegals maybe GO HOME if they were not getting the royal treatment?

    Third, exactly how should the President deal with illegals? Can he introduce bills in either the House or the Senate to deal with the problem? where are all the concerned legislators?

    Finally, I know the illegals are taking "American jobs" away from Americans. Pray tell me where we will get the Americans to do the nasty, dirty, hard, low-paying jobs once we succeed in getting the illegals to go home? Take a look at our drop-outs and see if you think any of them want those jobs? Or even if anyone would apply for those jobs.

    So, should the states be allowed to do the job, get rid of the illegals? We are talking about the same states that run the DMV, right?

    March 29, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  208. Arine Ward

    @Mary Ann Waddell

    You are another citizen that seems to think President Obama is a miracle worker...he hasn't died on the cross for the world...He is the President of these United States, and if you gave GW Bush 8yrs to destroy America, you would look kindly as to how President Obama, maybe able to help turn somethings around..but it doesn't happen overnight...So taking a vote back, doesn't sound like a Rooted Citizen willing to stand with the POTUS

    March 29, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  209. michael armstrong sr.

    It's turning out to be every state for themselves our ship is sinking all the honey that the government dishes out dont make this bitter situation taste any better .

    March 29, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  210. Conor in Chicago

    Do you know why I hate this country Jack? Because someone like me, a "Lefty Liberal", has been screaming about this since 9/11. We need to secure the borders and stem, if not stop, the flow of illegal labor into the United States. What did the last administration do? Nothing, at least nothing of note.

    Now we have a democratic President who is half Black and this very forum is loaded with comments citing this issue as a "premise for rebellion" and "Taking the power back" and the "corrupt Federal Government". You people need to make up your damn mind. How many of you spoke like this when one of the "good ole boys" was President? I'd wager no more than 5% of you. It's pathetic.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  211. jczar

    There is only one answer, the answere is YES. Who better to take care of there business other than the ststes themselves. Each state has a different type of PROBLEM. The problem of Illeagle immigration is not the same in Montana as it is in Arizona. The federal government should focus on there job and secure the BOARDER.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  212. Bill Crose

    Remember when candidates dropped out of campaigns because they had hired illegal housekeepers and landscapers? Those days are long gone and our country is now flooded with illegals who are paid under the table to take all those jobs no "American" would take. Rather than pay market rates for manual labor, our rich citizens and business owners hired illegals. When the illegals got hurt on the job, they got free hospital care and the costs got pushed onto honest citizens. It's time to prosecute those who hire illegals and fine them heavily enough to pay for the services they initially shirked and recover the lost taxes. If the federal government won't prosecute, let the states do it. Imagine how fast state deficits would disappear once the employment base turned legal. (Reagan's "trickle down" economic ideal doesn't work when the trickle flows tax-free to underpaid illegals.)

    March 29, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  213. Carlos.....Ambler

    Congratulation Arizona on the immigration resolution I come to the USA as a permanent resident 48 years ago and naturalized in 1968,before that I'd have to wait in line many years to get a visa,now "'they" cross the borders when here get hospital and mediacal benefits that I can not get,and jobs too,hurray Arizona for showing some "COJONES" and BOOOOOOto MaCain ohhh yea and cheer leader Palin also.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  214. Hipalito

    NO! There's to many state's that are full of racist SCUM!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  215. Bob Walker

    What are 500,000 illegal mexicans doing in Arizona in the first place?
    If they are being lured there as cheap labor by greedy Americans, then federal laws should be passed to punish by fines and prison sentences those Americans who hire them. The Republicans under Bush were not looking to fair immigration laws, but simply to cheap labor to replace American workers and maximize profits. Arizona is correct in passing tough immigration laws. If the immigration situation is not reversed, Arizona will eventually become like Mexico and American citizens will no longer be safe there and they know it.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  216. Gary H. Boyd

    You're damn right Jack. Places like El Paso, Texas, Douglas and Nogales, Arizona are like war zones. An Arizona rancher was shot and killed on his ranch near the border over this past weekend. An example of just how blatant things have gotten. The Feds refuse to address the issue so, YES, states should be allowed to enforce the border.

    Gary Boyd in Scottsdale, Arizona

    March 29, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  217. george german

    This should be the feds responsibilitie to fix the border and immigration as a whole. Let's face it most of the violence we see on our southern border is the result of failed policies from past administrations. I believe the failure to address this issue head on is just political correctness hard at work being perpetrated by those on the beltway who are more worried about the spanish vote and far less concerened about safety and security of the american people.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  218. Jonathan


    It seems as if you're always finding something against the President–progress too much for ya? You're losing my respect–to think I almost bought your book. You quoting Lin Graham is like quoting a klan member without a hood on–kinda like the tea baggers... Let Obama tackle the issues as he is-more progress than Bush's 8 years..

    March 29, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  219. Sherry

    How about allowing NYPD to arrest the many illegals in New York City too? That would be asking to much wouldn't it? The wealthy would be without cheap labor. No illegal maids for Mommy, no more Nanny for little Jimmy, no more cooks, wet nurses, or house cleaners. Give them their due. Tell the Wealthy to hire Americans and pay taxes like we all have to do in this country.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  220. c.butler

    Yes, i think the police should have the power to arrest them in all the u.s. states. It would bring money to the states also the drug sell will go down in the u.s.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  221. SteveinFL

    And just what do you contemplate the states would be able to do?? The states do not have the power to deport. I suppose they could drum up some state criminal charges and hold them in state prisons, but that would be extremely costly. Are they going to give people bus tickets to the next state??Jack this is a national issue that needs a NATIONAL policy. None of the tea-partier nonsense about state's rights will change that fact.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  222. Judy

    I haven't got a clue. With so many Americans hatred towards those other than their own kind, (whatever that is) and with their hatred towards government and everything it stands for, how anything gets done is beyond me. I'd love to see the U.S. Government just fold up – stop everything and see where that gets everyone – they might find they can't live without their government after all. It's like the tea-partiers – so many of them without jobs, senior citizens, and yet they want the Government to help them get jobs, pay for their Unemployment Insurance, Medicare and Social Security. I don't know how President Obama manages to carry on and all because he wants his country to progress and make things better for middle income people. If you hate the government – stop using their services. That means stay home under the bed if you can keep your bed.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  223. Michael

    Mr. McCain does not want the cheap labor he wants the votes. While you are all looking at the illegal immigrants there are plenty of Latinos that are legal. They became legal either by the correct methodology or they crossed illegally and got a reprieve by the government and became legal overnight. These people are not Americans they are Mexicans that want to make our country into Mexico. Just look at the next public display they will be waving Mexican flags. When my ancestors came here we became Americans. If we let all people into this country we will become Mexico. Would you all like that? Rampant corruption, extreme poverty, pollution and extreme crimes. Oops, we are almost there already.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  224. David Gutierrez

    I am a native and resident of Arizona. Immigration should be a federal issue but the states should definitely be allowed to do what the Feds refuse but better stated, FAIL to do. The administration, congress, including our own representative and powerful bureaucrat Senator McCain are gun-shy of the immigration question, they continue to avoid difficult issues, hide their heads in the sand, and ignore the problem. I have lost all faith that the federal government will act responsibly on the immigration challenge. The fed should step aside and assist the states in handling the issue since the fed will only politicize the issue, avoid the hard problems and cater to the highest bidder.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  225. CAP

    Good luck to Arizona. Since the Federal government is incapable of effecting meaningfuk border controls, the States have no choice but to take action where possible.

    Countless administrations have done nothing regarding illegal immigration. Border states have no choice but to address the situation. Hopefully the Federal government will stay out of their way.

    CAP – N.C.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  226. michael armstrong sr.

    The federal government dont have a choice thats there proublem they think they own all the Unions of America .

    March 29, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  227. anthony tensley

    Jack if you lived in arizona you would understand especially if you're driving..because if they hit your car and hurt your family they jump out and run..4 of them was drunk and killed my daughters best friend and infant baby..think about it they can't read english

    March 29, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  228. Richard


    I have followed you for years here in New York. I have always respected your ":matter of fact" style of reporting. I would like to comment on your latest take on immigration. It never ceases to amaze me how this issue seems to only somehow effect Hispanic Americans! No one ever had a problem when the former Soviet Empire collapsed and New York had a huge influx of Soviet Jews. Nor does it appear that anybody have a problem with the Irish pub owners who give a job to the Irish bartender or a job on a construction site without any legal status to be here!

    I remember reading in the New York Times some time ago that 51 percent of the illegal immigration walk right in to most international airports in this country with no intention of leaving. Yet all of our concentration in the "Border Wars" are aimed at those that are easily identified! That is, by the color of their skin!

    P.S. I know your bosses will not let you post this!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  229. EugeneWiese

    It's back to States Rights vs our Fed.Govt.. We have a real cold or Uncivil war going on here. When the Chinese submarines show up in the Gulf of Mexico, I'll bet all the confedrate states will be ready to rejoin the Union. Gene

    March 29, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  230. Willda Ritter, Lakewood, CO

    Absolutely. How many more immigrants can the United States take in before the States go insolvent and we are all living in poverty. Disaster is right around the corner and President Obama is ready to open all the borders. Goodbye Constitution.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  231. Cindy M (North Carolina)

    My state has about 3/4 of a million illegals, costing 1.3 billion $ a year for servicing them. Some counties are tougher than others on employers of illegals. Our unemployment rate is 11.1. So yes, we should be deporting anyone in our State who is here illegally. Now is not the time for Amnesty.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  232. Kevin in California

    Well, if the states take over immigration control, maybe they should each set up inter-state check points and collect a fee for those coming into the state. Now there's a revenue generator – especially for those with major ports like California.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  233. Steve

    The States should implement steps to protect its institutions and borders from illegal entry by anyone, and the federal goverment should reimburse those States for their costs associated with maintaining the security of its people and borders. (Toms River, NJ)

    March 29, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  234. Miss M

    Until we can ensure that there enough jobs for Americans, that no child goes hungry in America, that schools have the funding necessary for a quality education, and that homelessness becomes a thing of the past, our immigration laws must be strictly enforced. Enforcing immigration law and stopping illegal immigration makes for a much easier immigration experience for those immigrants who come to this country with the intention of following our rules - it allows us to open the gates wider to those who respect that America is a nation with enforced laws.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  235. Ramsay Core Ohio

    States should absoluteloy be allowed to regulate immigration across their borders. The feds arent interested so the states should pass the laws. These people are ruining their state. NOT washington

    March 29, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  236. southerncousin

    Although one of the expressed powers of the government in the Constitution is protecting the borders (not providing free health care for dope smokers) it seems to be ignoring this responsibility while taking freedom away from it's citizens. If they are ignoring their duties, to the detriment of the states and their actual citizens, then I believe the states have the right to take action. Of course that is logic and probably does not correspond to the whims of the current loony administration.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  237. Darryl Stoner

    Jack, I am a resident of az and due to sheriff Arpio tens of 1000 already left az now are sales tax is down 22 percent and it took me months to find anyone to do my yard,do you think arizonians are going to do that type of job,NOT!! so if Jan Brewer suceeds on her views for AZ we will be bankrupt not me I have a home in another state for back-up not everyone has that privledge.Maybe the Govener could do a week of yard work in Aug.when it is 115 out.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  238. Bruce in Bend OR

    Allowed? It should be mandated that they do so! We hear tales of hardship if the rules are enforced, yet few words are heard of the hardships imposed on our citizens who are forced to shoulder the burden of services provided to illegal aliens (or "immigrants" ala La Raza). . For example: In our area schools are cutting programs and going to four day school weeks while having to provide bilingual classes and "spanish immersion" classes. This is a silent invasion and dispersal that strains the fabric of our society in the best of times and particularly in times like these

    We tout to the world that we are a nation of laws yet we ignore them. Perhaps law only applies to we the people and not to the leaders we elect to enforce them.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  239. Docb

    Yes , Jack. Someone must get on this but have littel faith that it will result in what the people need or want..The State legislators are just as problematic but have less presence!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  240. Erla Williams .. Arizona

    What a blessing it would be, IF our so called, " HOMELAND SECURITY", Would pull their heads out of, ( guess ?? ) and, DO their so called JOB, that WE pay them to do. I live in Az. & as for McCain... Well, ... He can move out our state..He just as well, His approval's pretty low. Maybe that's because he speaks, with a " split tongue"... always depending on his moods, OR what he's Running for, this time. Frankly I'm VERY pleased over Az. taking this tough stand, on illegals running all over our State, & country. To me, this is one of the FIRST, GOOD move, they've made, where I'm concerned.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  241. Charles

    If the feds refuse to do their job, then the states should be allowed to do it. The illegals are breaking the law and the federal government not only condones it, but enables them. They are a drain on each state's economy.

    Other countries not only round up illegal aliens, but they hunt down those people who have overextended their visa stay. And it should be one strike and you are gone.

    My only regret about Arizona doing this, is the probable flood into Texas when they start enforcing this.

    Charles from Texas

    March 29, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  242. Rick Shank

    As an ordained minister with the same 'dubious' connection to heavenly authority as that claimed by Pat Robertson in his televised statements about Haitians being in-league with the devil and thereby deserving of an earthquake of biblical proportions, I'll offer this for your consideration:

    With regard to the 'plague' of illegal immigrants into the United States from Latin America, it is a curse upon the ultra-conservative americans who made a pact with the devil by supporting the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and their often illegal (Iran-Contra), immoral, and unethical financing of dictatorships and training of right-wing death squads in the countries from which these immigrants originate.

    With regard to the 'supposed' entitlements available to these Latin American immigrants, it is an apology by liberal americans to Latin Americans for the atrocities perpetrated on them in the name of preserving capitalism (American capital investments) from the popularly elected socialist governments.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  243. Al

    Most definately !! They need a Sherriff Joe Arpaio in every county down there. Our government really sucks. The BIG CHANGE never happen. So sad, lots of people counted on that big government CHANGE bit that Obama advertized so strongly in his bid for election.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  244. Jason Zink

    The states should round up all the illegals and send them on a oneway trip to the Capital Steps in WASHINGTON DC! Let the federal goverernment pay to house, feed, school, medical and jail them all.

    When a couple million Illegals get dropped off maybe then we can get Illegal Immergration Reform.

    I'll volunter to drive a couple of them myself!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  245. Lisa Smith

    US Immigration needs 2 b dealt w/great humanity & balance. Enforcement ONLY will not work whether it b on the local, state &/or federal level; w/o US Immigration MOST of ALL of US would not have been BORN &/or RESIDE iin this country there4 we ALL on ALL LEVELS needs 2 find a way 2 make US IMMIGRATION work sooner rather than later because it will NEVER go away and the longer the US ignores, does nothing or have ENFORCEMENT ONLY BILL(S)/LAW(S) the worse the problem becomes. Every1 & every level of government local, state & federal needs 2 work 2gthr 2 achieve a HUMANE & RATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM BILL/LAW very QUICKLY because US IMMIGRATION affects EVERY1 even if 1 believes that it does not affect them is does. UNITED WE ALL STAND TALL & PROUD & DIVIDED WE ALL FAIL & FALL. Thx.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  246. alabama

    YES Jack and send us fed gov with them

    March 29, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  247. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    Absolutely. And that should include the use of state militia, police, National Guard or any other means they can come up with to seal off their own borders. Those who think the government is going to do it for them are grossly mistaken.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  248. Dave

    The only reason the Feds want control,is so they can come up with some new lame brain way of taxing us,while at the same time trying to make us look like the World's keeper. Our goverment needs to start watching out more for its own citizens,forget pandering to everyother countries reques and worry about the people on our own homefront!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  249. TOM (INDIANA)

    If you really want to get rid of illegal immigration, they need to get real tough on the employers who is hire them. Illegal can't find jobs. They will go home . Make a felony for employers who hired illegal immigrates sound good and i think it's should be done by Federal Government . I wonder why the Republicans have'nt done anything about this when they were in eight years of control . Now, they pass it on to the democrats to do it. Again.another mess Republican got us in. Obama and democrats need more a term to the eight years of doing nothing by the Republicans.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  250. C. L. Davis

    I think Americans in general are just loosing faith in this country's gvt. We no longer expect them to HELP the working legal Americans. Instead,..we see them helping corporate America- companies like AIG,...when so many americans are loosing their homes without help. We see our schools have illegal immigrant children in each and every school and we wonder why our children's education is suffering because of the larger class sizes. We have a healthcare crisis , and we see Americans that can not get access to healthcare , yet millions of illegal immigrants and their families have free gvt paid for healthcare. So , with free education , free healthcare and no reprocussions they continue to leach our countries resources. When is America going to stand up and say " Enough is Enough". So...if our voices are not being heard by the federal gvt then yes....the state gvt should be able to do this! When will America realize we can NOT TAKE CARE of everyone...in every country.....and the "cure all" solution is not always to let them waltz into our country and leach gvt services with no accountability. When we have ensured that every American family is not loosing their home to foreclosure, that they have adequate healthcare, and that they have a job.....then yes...at that time we can begin opening up immigration more freely. But...we arent there...and that is what this administration is missing. So...yes we need them to be ACCOUNTABLE....and be deported. If the state gvt has to do what the federal gvt wont ....then that is fine!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  251. maria, california

    We already have the laws on the books. All that needs to be done is enforcement and if the Federal Govt. doesn't have the balls to do it then let the states. They are the ones paying for having illegals here. California is bankrupt with all the services provided. If the magnet isn't here then they won't be here. It is really simple. If Obama is true to his word that he is concerned for the U.S. worker then open up those jobs to them. No one who is here illegally will stay if they don't get services and jobs. The states also need to throw the book at the employers. Maybe if they got prison time and fines they would figure out that it doesn't pay to hire illegals.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  252. Arine Ward

    Its totally amazing to me...The Majority of these comments from the Great Citizens of these United States are all directing their comments at Mexicans/Hispanics/Cubans/Haitians/Latino's...

    But did it ever Once cross the minds of these Great Americans that the majority of these Illegals are NOT I repeat are NOT crossing the border...they're flying into this country...so we need to seal off all Air Space, stop all Air Travel...

    America, has an issue that started with past Republican Administrations, and everyone Blames, and Expects President Obama to be miracle worker, to the problem...but wasn't thinking of it...when the Economy was booming and they were able to see their Money!

    March 29, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  253. Michael

    I got an idea. How about making it so you are not a citizen if you are not born here. It had its place when the country was new and the population was low. This will stem the tide of illegal’s coming here to give birth and get citizenship for their children and thus them.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  254. Ronald J. Henderson Sr.

    The answer to the question is – YES!!!

    We do not necessarily need Immigration Reform. Our current laws are good. The problem is they have not been adequately enforced and our government has failed to finance and/or hire the necessary agents for proper enforcement..

    Anyone that has legally sponsored an alien to immigrate into this country knows how difficult it is to obtain a Permanent Visa. I speak from experience. Six months of working and waiting, numerous trips to the consulate, physical examinations/immunizations, and approximately $1000.00.

    That was the first hurdle and after arrival in the USA the second hurdle commenced. It lasted another year.

    The feds have failed so the states are left to pickup the pieces.


    March 29, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  255. herb dresher

    The Governor of AZ is right. Illegals should go back to their homeland. They can always apply legally as all others have and wait their turn.
    Understand there is a bill in Congress that will give illegals the right to social security. What's next?

    March 29, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  256. tim CA

    it is the feds job to secure the border if they cant do thier job fire them it a federal issue not the states job. to enforce the 700 mile border.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  257. david in olmito texas

    well,somebody better do something quick. Being here just a few miles from the border it's out of control. We live in sanctuary area which just seems
    to protect them. TO MANY women just come over,just to have their kids here and receive social services. America should put an end to anchor babies. Our jails are over crowded. Not to mention our SCHOOLS
    and hospitals ,drug bust on a daily , drivers w/o car insurance or tags etc.
    This all came about when Reagen gave illegals the first wave of amnesty in late 80's.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:56 pm |