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12-09-2012, 02:03 PM #1
Insights on immigration: Is reform coming?
Insights on immigration: Is reform coming?
7:01 p.m., Dec. 8, 2012
U-T San Diego’s Insights on Immigration, a panel of experts who regularly explore timely and often provocative issues, was created to better explore the many facets of immigration and provide more perspectives for readers.
To suggest a topic or a question email Elizabeth Aguilera
Question:Congress and the White House have not reached agreement on comprehensive immigration reform for years. Do you think a breakthrough will come next year, when the issue is expected to come to the forefront again? And why?
Peter Nunez, former U.S. attorney in San Diego
Almost certainly there will be some “reform,” although there will be nothing “comprehensive” about it. The White House is focused exclusively on amnesty, the DREAM Act, and high tech workers; the House is focused on border security and improving its standing with Hispanics. Neither is committed to interior enforcement, mandating E-Verify to prevent illegal aliens from obtaining jobs, or revising legal immigration to reduce the numbers and fit the criteria to the national interest in the 21st Century. There is no need to continue to import 1 million legal immigrants each year, the majority of whom are unskilled and uneducated.
Ruben Barrales, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce president, CEO
No. But, I hope I am wrong. I am pleased to see a number of high-profile Republicans and Democrats recently express a desire to address the issue. No doubt there will be on-going efforts to introduce pieces of immigration legislation, but it will take substantial political leadership to pass real reform. A comprehensive package that includes a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants faces major challenges in Congress, and needs a much stronger push from the President. It may take Latinos demonstrating their voting strength in another election cycle before both parties wake up and truly address comprehensive immigration reform.
Lilia Velasquez, immigration attorney and adjunct professor of law
Yes, there will a breakthrough next year. Since Pres. Obama’s decisive victory in November, the GOP has expressed support for comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) that will provide a long-term solution to our dysfunctional immigration system. Rather than have a piecemeal approach, CIR, should include an increase of visas for highly skilled workers, legal status for the dreamers, and a humane path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented in this country. The latter no doubt will be the most controversial part of the reform, but both parties have the political will now to work together on a bipartisan proposal that can be agreed upon.
Rhonda Deniston, panelists for Insights on Immigration panel. — Howard Lipin
Rhonda Deniston, North County regional director of Stop Taxing Us, a conservative taxpayer advocacy/tea party group
Yes. Finally, the GOP is going to realize that Hispanics are the largest-growing population in the country with shared conservative values. We’ve invested so much in the first generation of Latinos that have come to the U.S., it would be foolish not to monopolize on that investment. The Latino population now realizes that both parties only consider them in a re-election year. It is believed that Latinos will force the immigration issue, and it would be in the interest of both parties to embrace them because they are part of our American culture now.
David Shirk, director of the Trans-Border Institute at USD
Yes. Given the pivotal role that Latinos played in re-electing Obama, pressure to make immigration reform part of his legacy will be intense. Current bills before Congress seek to further tighten border enforcement, increase temporary worker visa quotas, improve workplace controls and grant legal status to undocumented immigrants who came here as children. However, for a real “breakthrough,” we need to provide options for legal status to all current undocumented immigrants, simplify and streamline our immigration system and look beyond our borders to help relieve the pressures that force people to migrate from Mexico and other sending countries.
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12-10-2012, 10:26 AM #2
For someone with more knowledge than I, a question. Under Obamacare, illegals are specifically exempt from the requirement to purchase health insurance. If they are amnestied, will they then be required to purchase insurance along with the rest of us? (not that they will, laws mean nothing)."A Nation of sheep will beget a government of Wolves" -Edward R. Murrow