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That what an Hispanic mother was yelling at her five kids yesterday as I was shopping at my local grocery store. They were scattered throughout the aisles, as she was hauling a overloaded grocery cart towards the register.  I live in south-central Florida where the white-painted converted school buses bring the families of the orange pickers to town to shop, as the area is preparing for picking the ripe golden fruit over the next several weeks.  She and her children were among the group. 

The family appeared to speak no English, as they needed help to check-out but paid in cash for the groceries. They obviously wore no sign indicating if they were legal or illegal entrants to the country, but the usual pattern is the orange grove owners have to use a large number of the illegal entrants to get the job done as the quota of legal pickers allowed is woefully inadequate. The local papers advertise for additional help but few jobs are filled by Americans, even in the face of high unemployment levels.

So the reality is that illegal immigrants are aqui or here and not someplace else. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegal_immigration_to_the_United_States Various municipalities and states have had to deal with this reality which has resulted in sanctuary cities, social services of some kind especially health care, education and other “entitlements.” Many argue that the illegal immigrants pay their taxes so they are entitled. Others are vehement that the law breakers should be dealt with harshly.  Many would observe that the 70% Hispanic vote for Democrats in the past election my have been the one factor that tipped the scales. The preponderance of Hispanics are in favor of a more moderate approach to the illegal immigration problem. 

My own ancestry came across the border over 100 years ago, as a huge influx of French Canadians left their own country for greener pastures. They crossed the border without passport or regard to any quota, as there wasn't any. They filled jobs in factories that were sorely in need of labor at the time. Now they are all here, blended into our society, with little traces of the cultural differences they had when they immigrated. My family was French speaking but my parents insisted I learn English and participate fully in the American way of life. I have long left the Frenchville section of a New England city to blend into the fabric of America. 

Right now the country is considering immigration reform. I hope the lawmakers will recognize the problem is not a theoretical one, where the strict interpretation of the law needs be enforced. The reality is that about 11 million so-called illegal immigrants are here. They are aqui. They are not going to go away quickly or quietly. So we have to deal with fact and not theory. Good luck with that.

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Comment by Mandy Muffin on February 1, 2013 at 12:27pm

As I see it, the minute we grant some form of amnesty or path to citizenship to those who are aqui, we open the flood gates of potential illegals doing anything possible to come to America to join in the new relaxed system.  That must be prevented as much as possible as past immigration reform has failed to turn the tide because more people just came.  During the Eisenhower Administration  Operation Wetback returned 1 million Mexicans so now we have 11 million illegals.  They just came right back and took friends and relations with them. 

IMHO, we can deal with those who are aqui (here) in a compassionate manner but can't deal with those who might come. 

I believe you can make the border pretty secure is you work at it using modern technology to patrol but I see the main issue as people overstaying visas for work or for study.  This will be a challenge to enforce. 

Comment by exedir on February 1, 2013 at 9:02am

Actually, it is more complicated as to solution, rather solutions both immediate and longer term.

The secure borders is mostly a concept than a possible reality.  We can make it harder to get in, but there is no way we can keep them, any of them(whoever them is), out.  And yes, it is a practical and financially constrained situation.  And sure, past laws is a good thing but it isn't the only thing, something boarder has to be a part of what is going to happen to solve the insolvable.

Second, we have to recognize the economic necessity of what immigrant labor does, provide labor and constrain wages and benefits to the betterment of employers, and yes, make a profit and in the end keep labor cost low, lower in that the labor is exploited because of the status, illegal,; duress, kickbacks, extortion and off the books transactions.

Comprehensive immigration reform has been tried before, and be tried again, and will fail to fully address the problem, the problem is that others will want to get in, and will, as long as there is a benefit to doing it.

Third the overhead costs of the status, that off here and staying as to education, health care, security and other public benefits provided as a floor to those areas that provided to whoever is living in the area.

The criminal intent of having put people in place to facilitate all sorts of enterpriseses that serve and support criminal infrastructure to produce, distribute and protect organized gangs inside the US.

Lastly, the desire to be free and rise to the opportunities presented here , rather than there, for the individual and families that can get inside the borders.

Comment by Mandy Muffin on February 1, 2013 at 3:56am

Absolutely! The nations of the world have the right to secure their borders.  Why can we maintain an orderly border with Canada and not Mexico.  Mexico will never adopt a more compassionate policy toward their less fortunate if the answer is simply to let them move to the USA.  I read at one time that one in seven working age Mexicans lives in the United States illegally. That is a joke or total irresponsibility of border security.   Many of the other illegals have come across the Mexican border from other Central American cities. Others are visitors from foreign countries who have overstayed their visas.   

But the reality still exists that 11 million are here illegally. They need to be identified and road to citizenship offered those who pass a test of responsible behavior since they have come here.  The undesirables, such as  criminals, need to be deported.  Others should learn to speak English and learn some of our laws, culture and history, especially the second generation who are going to be future citizens. 

In the future, we need realistic work visas that fill our needs to do critical work and unfortunately, "work that American's won't do."  After the work is done, we need compliance that these folks go home as required. 

Comment by MGDJ on January 31, 2013 at 8:58pm

The absolute most important issue that we need to address is closing the border.  Forget any other debate until we can be sure that there cannot be more of them coming here illegally.  When you fix a faucet, do you start by taking apart the faucet? No! You shut off the water valve.  You see how people at the ball park get all crazy when the tee shirt cannon is shooting free tee shirts into the stands.  That is just a free tee shirt!  Imagine the flow of illegals over the border once we start hanging them welfare checks and free healthcare!!!

Comment by Mandy Muffin on January 31, 2013 at 9:14am

It all depends on how you looks at it:

Comment by exedir on January 31, 2013 at 8:33am

Immigration has been a long time issue for America and Americans, and it is usually the last person in and close the door viewpoint. And yes, immigration restrictions are both based on economics and bias, if not down right discrimination.

So, there is little new in the history of Latin(yes, mostly Mexican) American immigration into the United States, except, there are a few facets that no matter how it is resolved, it won't be resolved easily, nor completely. Clearly. the first issue is that they are here, and here making an impact on the economy, society and culture. And again, nothing new in that, say, consider the Irish immigration and their impact on the American society as a whole much less the economy.

If the numbers are correct of a incountry number of over 11 million undocumented(illegal, but not to be pejorative) people, clearly the idea of deporting that number much less processing that number is impossible and not constructive in the ongoing debate. The only question is what huddles and hoops will be necessary for this population to become citizens or otherwise reside in the United States legally.
Further what other actions does there have to be to offer others, not Latin, the same or similar access to citizenship or a legal status within the United States.

And there will consequences, economic and social no matter what is decided.

Comment by Mandy Muffin on January 31, 2013 at 8:29am

People with more comprehensive information and studies that I have at my disposal have looked at the problem:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/27/americans-dont-want-farmwo... 

I harvested cranberries when I was a kid in New England and my father always kept about an acre under plow as well as raised chickens.  I helped.  Many of the strawberry fields in Florida are self-pick.  Farm work is honorable work and has been around since the earliest days of mankind. But I suppose the prospect of earning $11 to 15 and hour based on some very high standards of picking quotas is not enough to wean some folks off of the social safety net programs we have in place.  Many would say we need union representation and higher pay, with better working conditions. 

If we raised the standards of pay to attract more US citizens to pick, the unfortunate likelihood is that the purchasing public would gravitate towards lower cost imports from Central America and the US agricultural industry would be harmed, if not driven out of business. 

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