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June 30th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Immigration reform possible without first sealing border?

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

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Filed under: Immigration
June 24th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

What's the message when many states want an immigration law like Arizona's?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While the federal government twiddles its thumbs concerning the issue of illegal immigration - states across the country are following Arizona's lead.

The Washington Post reports that five states - South Carolina, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Michigan - are considering laws like Arizona's. And lawmakers in 17 other states, including Virginia, have expressed support for similar measures.

It seems pretty clear that people are sick and tired of waiting for Washington to act on this crisis.

Consider that the National Conference of State Legislatures reports nearly 1,200 bills or resolutions dealing with immigrants were introduced in 45 states in the first three months of this year alone.

1,200!

These include both pro and anti-immigration measures.

For example, in Massachusetts the Senate has required state contractors to make sure their workers are legal.

This week the small town of Fremont, Nebraska - not exactly a border state - voted to ban the hiring of illegal aliens or renting property to them.

Supporters say Fremont is an example of "if Washington won't, Nebraskans will," while critics like the ACLU suggest there's "no rational reason" for Fremont to worry about protecting our border.

One reason that could prevent activity at the local level may be the economy. With many state budgets in crisis, they may not have the money for additional law enforcement or to fight the court challenges that would likely follow passage.

As for the federal government, instead of protecting our borders, they might sue Arizona for trying to protect itself. And by the way, almost 60 percent of Americans support the Arizona law.

Here’s my question to you: What’s the message for the federal government when states across the country want to adopt an immigration law like Arizona’s?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Government • Immigration
June 22nd, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Will lack of immigration reform hurt Democrats in midterms?

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FILE PHOTO: A candlelight vigil calling for federal immigration reform in response to the Arizona law giving police new stop and search powers. (PHOTO CREDIT: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The debate over immigration reform has turned into a childish game of "he said - he said."

Republican Senator Jon Kyl says Pres. Obama told him in a one-on-one meeting, "if we secure the border, then you all won't have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform."

Kyl suggests border security is being held hostage by the Democrats for political reasons.

The White House denies it, saying: "The president didn't say that and Senator Kyl knows it."

But Senator Kyl is not backing down from his version of events.

Actually, it almost doesn't matter who you believe in this. The truth is that immigration reform is looking less and less likely to happen yet again - what a surprise. But this time inaction could cost Democrats dearly.

Take Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is facing an uphill battle for re-election in Nevada. Reid is now pandering to Latinos there with Spanish TV ads.

He needs their vote - and is still hoping they'll support him even though he promised immigration reform and now likely won't deliver.

Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey tells Politico: "I don't necessarily think we're going to have a comprehensive bill this summer."

One key Republican, Sen. Lindsey Graham, already backed away from bipartisan efforts for immigration reform.

Meanwhile as Arizona moves forward with its own immigration law, the Obama justice department is thinking of suing the state.

It's absolutely absurd. The federal government refuses to do anything about the illegal immigration crisis in this country. After all if they sealed the border, if they enforced their own laws against illegal immigration, Arizona wouldn't need such a law in the first place. Our government is badly broken.

Here’s my question to you: How badly will a lack of immigration reform hurt the Democrats in the midterm elections?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Democrats • Elections • Immigration
June 17th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Should federal govt. sue Arizona over immigration law?

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A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent drives along a portion of the border fence that separates Mexico and Arizona. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Just about the last thing Arizona needs is a federal lawsuit over its new immigration law.

Governor Jan Brewer tells HumanEvents.com that she would rather the federal government use that money to "help me build a fence on my border."

Brewer has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder urging the department of justice not to file suit - because there are already five federal court lawsuits pending.

They all are challenging Arizona's new law, that goes into effect July 29, and requires police to check the immigration status of people detained for other crimes.

Brewer says that every conceivable constitutional issue or question will be raised in these five other lawsuits. She wants the courts dismiss all of them.

In addition - the governor says she's hiring a private attorney to defend this new law since Arizona's Attorney General opposes it.

Brewer says other border states, like California and New Mexico, which oppose the law are simply not facing the same problem as Arizona is... she refers to her state, Arizona, as "the gateway for all illegal immigration, drug cartels and gangs" coming into the U.S.

And she's got a point. 3,500 acres of southern Arizona along Mexico's border - including a national wildlife refuge - have been closed to U.S. citizens for nearly four years because of increasing violence tied to illegal immigration. Officials have warned visitors to Arizona to beware of heavily armed drug smugglers and human traffickers.

It's no wonder A majority of Americans support Arizona's new law.

Here’s my question to you: Should the federal government sue Arizona over its new immigration law?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Government • Immigration
June 10th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

What if Arizona's new law causing illegal immigrants to leave the state?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's already working.

Arizona's tough new immigration law doesn't even go into effect for another seven weeks, but lots of the state's 460,000 illegal aliens are leaving now.

USA Today reports that records from schools, businesses and individuals suggest that many worried legal and illegal Latinos are fleeing Arizona.

Schools in Latino neighborhoods show big drops in enrollment.

In one elementary school, 70 kids have been pulled out by their parents in just the last month... that's compared to seven students who left the school in the same period last year.

The superintendent says "they're leaving to another state where they feel more welcome."

That was pretty much the point of the Arizona law, wasn't it?

The new law requires police to ask for immigration papers if someone is stopped for another crime - you know, just like police ask for your driver's license when you're stopped for a traffic violation.

Businesses that serve primarily Latino areas say things are much slower.

The head of a chamber of commerce for Hispanic business owners says it's because illegal immigrants are holding onto cash as they prepare to leave the state.

Other small business owners say they will have to move elsewhere because business is "completely dead."

Governor Jan Brewer's office says it's hard to know how many people are leaving because of the law; but she says "if that means that fewer people are breaking the law, that is absolutely an accomplishment."

In 2007, when Arizona passed another law that imposed tougher penalties on businesses that hired illegal aliens - about 100,000 of them left the state.

Here’s my question to you: What's the message if Arizona's new immigration law is causing illegal immigrants to leave the state?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Immigration
June 3rd, 2010
05:00 PM ET

What should Pres. Obama say about Arizona immigration law?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A fascinating day to be a fly on the wall at the White House... where Pres. Obama met with Arizona's governor for the first time since the state passed a controversial immigration law.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer outside the White House after meeting with President Obama.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer outside the White House after meeting with President Obama.

The law goes into effect next month and will require police to check the immigration status of anyone they stop for another crime.

Governor Jan Brewer says she and the president agreed to try and work together on a solution to the immigration crisis. She also says that during that half-hour meeting in the oval office, the president promised most of the 1,200 national guard troops he's sending to the Mexican border will go to Arizona.

But we'll have to wait to see how all this shakes out. The president has called the Arizona law "misguided." Mr. Obama says it's the wrong approach to illegal immigration. However, "no approach" to illegal immigration is what we've gotten from the federal government for decades.

As for Governor Brewer - she doesn't seem to be too worried. The governor has said of the Obama administration, "we'll meet you in court. I have a pretty good record of winning in court."

And the American people are behind her, despite boycotts of Arizona and complaints from folks like the ACLU. Polls show a majority of Americans support Arizona's new law; and at least a dozen states are considering similar laws. But why would our federal government listen to us?

At least Arizona is doing something about this crisis. There are an estimated 11 million illegal aliens in this country; and almost 500,000 of them are in Arizona.

Here’s my question to you: What would you like to hear Pres. Obama say about Arizona's immigration law?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Immigration • President Barack Obama
May 20th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Does Mexico have a right to complain about Ariz. Immigration law?

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Mexican President Felipe Calderon addressed a joint session of Congress this morning. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Mexican Pres. Felipe Calderon has a lot of nerve coming to this country and complaining about Arizona's immigration law - when all the state wants to do is protect itself against a flood of illegal immigrants from his country.

But instead - Calderon and Pres. Obama are both whining about the Arizona law. Calderon, who also took his message to a joint meeting of Congress, is calling the law discriminatory.

As for President Obama, he says he wants a federal fix to the immigration crisis in this country - which would have to come from the same federal government that has refused for decades to enforce laws already on the books. It's patently absurd. Pres. Obama complains about Arizona trying to do something about a problem he - Pres. Obama - and the federal government have created and choose to ignore.

And with all this criticism of Arizona coming from Presidents Obama and Calderon, the Justice Department, the Homeland Security department - our government officials, like Attorney General Eric Holder and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano can't even be bothered to read the law they're criticizing.

If they did, they'd find out that parts of the law are word-for-word the same as the federal statutes on immigration. But the only thing that matters to the administration is pandering to Latinos ahead of the midterm elections.

Felipe Calderon should spend his time trying to create opportunities for his own citizens so they aren't driven by poverty and desperation to sneak into this country illegally. This country doesn't meddle in Mexico's internal affairs, Pres. calderon, and you ought to keep out of ours. Our border security is quite frankly none of your business.

Here’s my question to you: Does Mexico have a right to complain about Arizona's immigration law?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Immigration • Mexico
May 12th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Americans citing immigration as top problem highest in 2 years

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Demonstrators protest Arizona's new immigration enforcement law outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs building in Phoenix. Critics say the immigration law could encourage racial profiling against Hispanics. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Americans are increasingly likely to name immigration as the top problem facing the country.

A new Gallup poll shows 10 percent of those surveyed cite immigration as the nation's most serious problem - that's up from two percent just one month ago. It's also the highest level Gallup has recorded in more than two years.

The poll also shows increased concern over immigration is highest in the West and among Republicans and conservatives.

This comes as the federal government considers suing over Arizona's tough new immigration law. Attorney General Eric Holder says possible grounds for the lawsuit would be that Arizona's law could lead to civil rights violations.

Did I get that right? We're talking about suing over something that hasn't even happened yet?

All this does is further muddy the issue. After all, it was the lack of federal enforcement of current laws that led Arizona to do this in the first place.

Meanwhile, as Arizona's longtime senator John McCain fights for re-election, he's all over the place on immigration. After years of criticizing a border fence, McCain now calls for completion of the "danged" fence.

It's difficult to know what John McCain believes anymore except that he is willing to say anything in order to to try to get re-elected - whether it conflicts with his earlier positions or not. He should lose the election just based on his willingness to sell out his principles. He didn't used to be this way.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean if the number of Americans citing immigration as the nation's top problem is the highest in two years?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Immigration • United States
May 7th, 2010
05:36 PM ET

Should govt. revoke citizenship of Americans involved in terrorism?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's called the "Terrorist Expatriation Act"... and if it passes, the government could have the right to strip citizenship from any American suspected of supporting terrorism.

Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American, was arrested Monday in connection with last weekend's car bombing attempt on Times Square.

Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American, was arrested Monday in connection with last weekend's car bombing attempt on Times Square.

Bipartisan bills are being introduced in both the Senate and the House; and supporters point to the recent terror attempt in Times Square - which was carried out by a Pakistani-American. They say the measure reflects the "changing nature of war."

The proposal would actually update an existing - but rarely used - law run by the State Department. That 1940 measure allows the government to revoke citizenship for actions like voting in another country's elections or joining the army of a nation at war with the U.S.

What's interesting here is the measure isn't drawing the usual partisan responses. Some top Democrats seem to be supporting it... including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who says the administration will take "a hard look" at extending the existing powers of the government.

Also House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she supports the "spirit" of the measure... although she still needs to hear more details.

Meanwhile some Republicans are skeptical... including House Minority Leader John Boehner, who questions the constitutionality of the measure.

Legal experts are also mixed in their opinions. Some worry that it's an "extraordinary step" to take away citizenship from someone. And they say to do it based only on suspicion, without court trials, is giving the government too much power.

Here’s my question to you: Should the government revoke citizenship of people involved in terrorism?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Government • Immigration
May 7th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

How seriously do you take pres. & Congress on immigration reform?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The federal government is trying to play catch-up with Arizona - when it comes to immigration reform.

President Obama is calling on Congress to start work this year on comprehensive immigration reform. Translation: Nothing will get done this year.

The president acknowledges that the nation's immigration system is "broken," yet criticizes Arizona's new law - saying it undermines "fundamental principles that define us as a nation." Portions of the Arizona law are word for word the same as the federal law which is ignored year after year.

Mr. Obama promised immigration reform during his first year in office. We're now approaching the midway point of his second year. Even some Democrats are getting tired of waiting for the president to do something.

The president has suggested that there's not an appetite in Congress for another fiery debate in an election year; and just yesterday his press secretary said that there's not enough support to move forward. Except in the country… where there is huge support for doing something.

One Democratic Senator is asking Arizona to delay implementing its immigration law for a one year. New York Senator Chuck Schumer - in an act of great chutzpah - tells Arizona governor Jan Brewer the delay would give Congress a chance to pass a federal law, which would be more effective than Arizona's. Brewer says: No way.

She, like the rest of us, has been lied to before. They want another year to do nothing... so they can campaign for the midterms without having to explain to the voters why they refuse to do anything meaningful about border security and illegal immigration.

They're not even any good at covering up their real motives anymore.

Here’s my question to you: How seriously do you take the president and Congress when it comes to immigration reform?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Immigration • President Barack Obama
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