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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Opposition To Immigration Reform May Be Slowly Fading

Opposition To Immigration Reform May Be Slowly Fading

Among my colleagues at the University of Georgia is a small but hardy band of altruists who can’t stand the idea that young people are being denied the opportunity to get a college degree for the dumbest of reasons. So, according to a report in the Chronicle of Higher Education, those energetic faculty members formed a secret school, Freedom University; it offers instruction to undocumented young people who are legally barred from attending several of the best schools in the state they call home.

Like a handful of other states, Georgia has cracked down on undocumented immigrants who want to get a college degree. Not only are they barred from top colleges like UGA, but they are also required to pay the much higher out-of-state tuition rates at any state school that might accept them. Given the spiraling costs of college, that’s a hurdle most illegal immigrants can’t overcome. (Alabama and South Carolina go further, barring them from public colleges, period.)

Freedom’s instructors have worked hard to find their students places at colleges that will accept them — offering, among other things, SAT prep and help with college entrance essays. Some of the students have already enrolled at top schools such as Syracuse University, according to the Chronicle.

I wholeheartedly applaud those efforts, but they shouldn’t be necessary. Given the structural deficits in the nation’s economy, few pieces of public policy are dumber than those that restrict college opportunities for promising young people. In January, the new Congress should immediately take up comprehensive immigration reform.

The students at Freedom University are representative of a cohort of undocumented young adults who are Americans in every way but one — legal papers. They speak English; they listen to Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift; they watch not only soccer but also college football. They’ve spent most of their lives in this country and share the aspirations of their friends born on this soil. We ought to be eager to hand them the full rights — and responsibilities — of citizenship.

They are assets to this country. Experts have long noted that the American economy needs more highly skilled workers — people with degrees beyond high school. Since the United States can’t compete with countries such as Bangladesh that specialize in low-skilled and low-paid labor, our future growth depends on expanding our skills. It’s self-defeating to erect barriers in front of young people who could become highly educated workers.

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42 responses to “Opposition To Immigration Reform May Be Slowly Fading”

  1. Michtex says:

    What part of illegal don’t you understand?

  2. Immigration reform is likely to be a contentious and controversial issue for most Americans. We have the right, indeed, the obligation to defend our borders, our sovereignty and enforce our laws. Unfortunately, a problem that could have been prevented decades ago by reforming immigration laws that favor the entry of professionals, but limit the entry of semi-skills workers whose labor is in demand by sectors of our economy contributed to a situation that is not easy to solve.
    Our options are clear, we must deal with the status of those who are already in the United States, and we must change our immigration laws to ensure immigrants whose skills and labor are in demand in the United States can enter our country legally the way our ancestors did long ago.
    The solution to enforce our laws depend more on our willingness to punish employers who hire illegal immigrants than reliance on tactics that make our country look like a sequel to the Third Reich, the Soviet Union, or South Africa in the apartheid era.

  3. Cynthia, No disrespect to you, but I have no idea what polls you are referring to. Any statistically neutral polls I have ever seen regarding the matter overwhelming suggest the aggregate members of our country do not condone granting any form of benefits or opportunities to illegal aliens. Moreover, I can honestly tell you that I do not know one single person who would agree with your positions. Your very narrow categorization of that class of young men and women who desire higher education in my opinion is not representative of the complete illegal immigration problem facing the country, but I understand it is your clever way of making your point. In a small vacuum, I do recognize all of your positions as legitimate no doubt, even though we don’t agree on the solution. I also recognize it is very unfortunate that many hard working young men and woman are frustrated by our laws due to absolutely no fault of their own. They were brought to this country very young and do consider it home. Having said that, we are a country of laws! We are not a country of “well let us follow the laws we think are good and disregard, or change them ex post facto, if we feel injustice has occurred.” Hence, change a law to make an otherwise illegal act from the past, now legal which is what you in essence are proposing. I am an attorney, and I can tell you laws cause unjust results many times. However, laws must be followed until they are changed or we will cause more harm by failing to following them than any good we could ever do by ignoring them. If you do not believe that proposition to be true, I would suggest you consider living in a different country. I’m sure it seems untenable to you that someone would propose enforcing the law to send these persons back to where they were born because it is the law. Well Ms. Tucker, that is the U.S. Constitution we are talking about. I don’t always agree with it either, but I respect it and will always abide by it.

    • charleo1 says:

      I like your post. If we only had more comments that started out, “..No disrespect to you.”
      I also agree we are a Country of laws. But it is in the application, or in the case of
      immigration, the inequity with which the laws governing immigration are enforced.
      Specifically in regards to immigrants, mostly economic refugees, from Mexico, and
      Countries South. The selective way in which we, (we being us,) treat those employers
      hiring the undocumented alien. You in fact, did a most eloquent job of describing the
      permission being given to businesses, to, …”Follow those laws they think are good,”
      and have, for the most part, been able to disregard the laws that prohibit the hiring.
      And, have been very successful in opposing a national identification system, or a
      even a quota program, to fill the vacancies in some of the more labor intensive industries.
      The so called, jobs Americans will not do. This would allow the migrant to complete
      the often seasonal employment, then return to their home Country, as it has been so,
      for generations. Until we launched a fools mission, of attempting to interdict, while
      doing nothing to address, or regulate, the reason the immigrants come in the first place.
      And, finally, we Americans need to take responsibility for this mess of our own doing.
      For some to impose unjust reprisals on the immigrant, or even more egregious, aganist
      the children of those immigrants, is unconscionable. It is our house that is out of order.
      And where the work must begin to reform, and repair our broken immigration laws.

      • James says:

        E-Verify should be the law of the land. It is easy to impliment and very effective taking away the incentive of getting a job by illegal aliens. The results will be self deportation. There is no such thing as a economic refugee which is not reconized according to Federal law. Only political refugees are reconized under Federal law.

        • charleo1 says:

          There are a lot of things Federal Law fails to recognize. But that doesn’t mean they don’t
          exist. The free market, and lax enforcement of employment rules mean they will always
          find work. If there ever is a time when E-Verify becomes law, employers will make sure
          ample work permits come right along with it.

    • tcburch says:

      Thomas…very well stated sir. You have stated what has eluded most of us due to our emotions. You’ve been concise and clear in your presentation of, at least what I feel is, the majority opinion of U.S. Citizens in a respectful manner. Thank you…if we only had more commentors with your reserve and intellect, we might actually be able to have a sensible discourse on any number of issues.

      • Thank you. While I often read some of the comments posted below contentious articles, I never post any myself as I the emotional bantering going on by those writing comments almost never addresses the substance of the editorial. Us as human beings almost always let our emotions control us in matters dear to our hearts. Also, there are many people who merely lack the intellectual capacity to understand and rationalize complicated matters such as this, but they will still instinctively have opinions which will come out in bizarre ways. Adding both those issues togethers really produces some big barriers in producing any substantive discourse. I think I may have just described our government as well. 🙂

    • Valrie says:

      Laws can be changed and as we age revisions/updates will be a necessity. You should know that…you are a lawyer. It is time to revise the law to help solve a recognize growing situation.

      • I do not disagree with the fact that the law may need changing. To that end, you cannot change laws that retrospectively turn illegal acts from the past into legal ones. Our Constitution does not allow it.

      • James says:

        The reason we have this growing situation in the first place is the law was not enforced, because the Democrats wanted the votes and the Republicans wanted the cheap labor. I believe its time for a third party.

      • dalnb says:

        BUT – you do not change a law today to keep from prosecuting a violation from yesterday. You do not let a person out of prison for a crime s/he may have committed a couple of years ago just because the law changes!
        these people knew when they came here they were committing a crime. Their kids have grown up knowing they are here illegally. They have every opportunity to go back to where they belong and apply through our laws to come here legally in compliance with our laws.
        Is there any reason to think those here illegally and complaining that they are being treated badly would be any better citizens if we ignored their criminal acts? NOT AT ALL! They have violated our laws, continue to do so on a daily basis and with their every argument they show they would prefer and will continue violating our laws

    • Willnieto57 says:

      I agree with you in principle. The law is the law, but what WE the people see is that it only applies to us, not you (a lawyer) , the rich, celeberties, law enforcement, politicians. Yes every once in awhile they do get some of you, but most of the time you get away with murder. That’s why most people do whatever they feel they need to do. The hipocracy is overbearing.

      • Unfortunately, it is the absolute ignorance and, the lack of rational aptitude, of people such as yourself which erodes the very essence of our civilization. You know absolutely nothing about me, but yet you have drawn conclusions that I somehow belong to some elite group of people for which the laws don’t apply. While it is none of your business, I was the first person in my family to ever attend college or law school for that matter. I worked a full time job and paid for all of it myself as my family was barely over the poverty level. I am not rich or elite by any meaning of the word. Nonetheless, your comments regarding this complicated matter have made everyone involved in this conversation less intelligent for having read it. However, is not this Country great for even giving people such as yourself the right to voice your opinion even when it is not worth listening to.

        • Willnieto57 says:

          What a petty and childish response. Did I insult your magnificance? You just proved my point. How dare I question the law or god forbid, a lawyer. I’m glad you at least got to tell us all your history without us asking for it, but then again, that’s what you wanted to say all along. Do you feel better now? You diverted from the original post to insult me, because you missed my point altogether, yet you did manage to prove it. The way you and/or people in authority respond to OUR questions is disrespectful and demeaning. We can’t ever win. In the future, it is still ok to post your opinion, but do learn to accept a response, maybe even one you don’t agree with, like the one you replied to in the first place. PS This is an ADULT site. Come back when you grow up.

    • James says:

      The Poll they are refering to was taken in Mexico City.

  4. 13observer says:

    No immigration laws enforced? No new gun laws enforced!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. CPANewYork says:

    Dear Ms. Tucker:

    Your column is just a bit disingenuous. We’re not talking about excluding valuable minds, we’re talking about excluding and getting rid of the talentless day workers that have invaded our country.

    • Lynda says:

      Without those talentless day workers you would be starving to death my friend. Who do you think picks the crops you and the rest of us consume? Why does the food and meat packing industry employ so many of those, in your own words, talentless day workers?

      • CPANewYork says:

        Business employs those talentless day workers because they work cheap. Many work off the books. It’s all about money, Lynda. The employers will do just about anything. legal or illegal, to increase their net profit.

        And, please don’t be naive, as some of my friend sare, to think that by hiring cheap, illegal labor the general public is benefiting from lower prices. They’re not. The lower wages go right into the employers’ net profit and from there right into their pockets.

        If we weren’t burdened by illegal aliens, the employers would have to pay higher wages to Americans. As a class, the employers are a bunch of bums. They’re also criminals, because by hiring illegals, they’re breaking the law.

  6. terri merritts says:

    We are really talking about criminals who have broken our immigration laws (this makes you a criminal automatically) thus showing disrespect for our country so they can come here and perform menial labor, robbing others of jobs, and steal services at taxpayer expense (such as free education for their children, often in THEIR language, free health services, free child birth and pediatric care, etc) which other countries simply do not tolerate. I don’t know anyone, other than illegals, who approve of this except for some bleeding heart liberals. I am a liberal myself but I believe in punishing criminal behavior, not rewarding it with goodies. We cannot take on all of the uneducated poor menial workers of the world. We have a right to accept who we choose and it is a slap in the face of those who came here legally to allow these people to stay or to gain any benefits or for their children to do so. Let them go home and better their own country.

    • Lynda says:

      Have you ever visited one of the farm belt regions and counted the field workers? There is a good reason why those jobs are far too often filled by illegals. The farmers for decades have been pointing out that they can’t get legals to do the work. Nobody is being robbed of those jobs, at least not in the way you are suggesting. This is not a liberal or conservative problem, it is basic economics and we had better address it and soon.

      • James says:

        The easiest way to solve this problem is to raise the farm workers hourly rate to 25 to 30 dollars an hour and see how fast they will be replaced by automation.Yes there are machines that can pick any crop from grapes to to watermellons. Because of the low wages its cheaper to keep the statis quo. Go in any auto plant and see how many robots there are because of high wages.

  7. onedonewong says:

    Allow them to attend college but we first need to send their parents back to where they came from. Every study that has been conducted say the same thing illegals COST the states money. The sooner they leave the better off the taxpayers will be

    • Lynda says:

      Care to back your remarks with some facts? For a start name those studies that you say prove illegals cost the states money. I’m not saying you are incorrect, but some back up data would better make your case.

  8. disqus_K9DumnVTB3 says:

    Immigration as defined by the Dems is a code word for Hispanic’s and not our overall immigration policy. If we improve the plan we would want less of them and more of the kind who respect our country and who want to take advantage of our opportunities. Not some low lives slipping into the country to have babies and get on the american dole. Initial strategy should be to not allow non-US citizens get into our local school systems and also not allow them to use our hospitals. Let them in to attend college as long as they have the money and make sure they serve 2 years earning their living in the US and pay taxes.

  9. motorpap1 says:

    While following the subject of immigrants,it appears to me that those persons that keep making the loudest noise, debating the need to relax,change, or allow rules that would keep those persons in the U.S ,seem to be the very persons that are directly being enriched from the low cost they are incurring while using these people. The tirades offer many conclusions that might be advantageous to themselves or to the Country, however they most often do not high lite ,the main objection, that seems to be,for the majority of us, . the” ILLEGAL” part of their immigration status nor of the cost we incur to keep them in our system. Not one person I know, has objection to allowing immigration into our country,but there is a lawful way of doing it.all other persons should be denied that privilege and expunged from the country.

  10. gargray says:

    How stupid are these states to refuse iminigrants the right to go to college. Every one of these states are republican, and they wanted us to vote their party as president? I hope Americans are smart enough to not vote for any repoublican. How pathetic their party is.

    • James says:

      Who’s going to pay for it. The liberals just keep on giving, other peoples money. If the liberals want illegals to go to college why not set up a liberal college trust fund for illegals.

  11. Juan W. says:

    I have a fourteen year old son and along with him my daughter and my wife and we live on my social security!. My daughter, thank God earned a Presidents scholarship to college. My son on the other hand has Aspergers, a brain lesion, epilepsy and Tourette syndrome and yet the state of Texas says the I make to much money to qualify for financial aid for medical care for my son. Our total income is less then 3500 a month. My son sees a Dr at least 10 times a year and also needs at least two EEG’s and several blood tests to test his Depakote level! Texas grants illegal Mexicans the same rights to attend college as instate residents which is flat out stupid as an American from Oklahoma or Louisiana or New Mexico must pay out of state fees! The liberal Democrats apparently including you do not explain who is going to bear the cost of educating these ILLEGAL immigrants as the so called Dream Act in reality a nightmare would cost Texas alone 66 billion dollars are you paying for it moron??? My son is denied medical care by the state and may have no way to pay for college but you believe that all Mexicans in this country who already receive care including dental for nothing are now entitled to a free education. You are an idiot screw you and the Mexican horse you rode in on you dumb bitch! I think it is time for all these so called politicians whose teeth roll back when Lulac or De La Raza, for the race?????????,drop a dime to place Americans at the top of the list and to quit lying through their teeth about how hard Mexicans work as every Mexican I see at WalMart has a Lone Star Card and are buying hundreds of dollars in toys with Lone Star cards and yet drive new cars and dress better then 90% of all Americans and as far as school you can drive through the parking areas and see every type of vehicle imaginable with Mexican plates including Lamborginis and Ferraris so I have the idea that the people driving the cars are involved in the drug trade and it gives the same idea to the professors which is a little sickening as there have been 11,000 Mexicans killed in Juarez alone in the last four years ever since Obama said he inhaled so if you think you are so brilliant and so well informed, you aren’t, you pay for it moron! In other words up yours!

    • Jim Myers says:

      Replying to Juan W. –

      As one of those so called liberal Democrats, I have a few comments.

      First, our head liberal Democrat, passed legislation, fondly called “Obamacare” which should be helpful to you, IF THE REPUBLICANS IN TEXAS WILL ALLOW YOU TO USE IT.

      Second, to deny someone who has lived in the United States all, or most of their lives, just because their parents are illegal immigrants, makes no sense. They had NO CHOICE in the matter.

      Third, did you ever even consider that one of those children of illegal immigrants might gain an education in medicine, and be the one person who could find a cure for Tourette’s syndrome? Deny that one person a decent education, and maybe Tourette’s syndrome will be cured in the next century. Or, maybe not.

      Your hatred and bigotry may be the only thing standing in the way of a medical prodigy making breakthroughs not even considered by mainstream medicine.

      There are countless other arguments for allowing higher education, but I doubt any of it will matter to you anyway. It appears that your hatred is much too consuming.


  12. dalnb says:

    Immigration reform – YES!

    We need to have a thorough overhaul of our immigration system; an overhaul that puts the protection of America first. Protection of our citizens, protection for those immigrants legally in the United States, protection against those illegally in our country, severe prosecution of those employers who provide work for the illegal, cut off of all federal funding to local and state government and public as well as private agencies who provide sanctuary for illegal individuals and illegal organizations. .

    We need to take a hard look at AMERICAS NEEDS (First and Always)! What do we need to sustain our quality-of life, what do we need to ensure sufficient jobs for American citizens and those legally in our country, what do we need to do to draft the highly talented people from other countries into our country, and what do we need to see that America is never again overrun by thousands and thousands of illegal aliens. We need to ensure that all public officials, elected into national, state or local offices, enforce immigration laws and those who fail to do so are punished. We need a thorough overhaul of our immigration system – starting with strong enforcement of our laws, laws that are not just something written on paper and then ignored leaving America the laughing stock of countries who accept us a dumping ground for their own people.

    We need a program that is enforced, not a law we have written into our law books but choose to ignore and manipulate is more appropriate in obtaining votes than it is in protecting our nation, our people and our quality-of-life!.

    We need to ensure there is NO AMNESTY for illegal aliens; no amnesty under no other name and in no circumstances! The “Pathway to Citizenship” makes a mockery of our laws and is a slap in the face to Americans and those immigrants who have done the honest thing by complying with our laws when they came here. The idea that a person can illegally slip into (or remain) our country for a given period of time and be rewarded for not being caught is absurd. We are not playing a game if Hide and Seek – we need to take care of our nation.; OUR NATION FIRST! Those illegally entering our country (and those who fail to leave when their papers expire) become criminals the minute they legally enter our country and they compound that crime every day they remain here!

    YES – we need immigration reform but we need to ensure it takes care of our nation and our people first; our people, those legally here. We should never reward crime in any fashion; rewarding illegal aliens is exactly that when they are given amnesty!

    It is not our fault the illegal’s slipped into our country and had kids or brought their kids here illegally. The kids are just as illegal as the parents. The kids fitting into the same group that seems to be of concern are old enough to know right-from-wrong; as such they are old enough to do the right thing — pack a bag and go home! As long as they remain here they are adding to their own criminal record.

    There is no more support behind amnesty for illegals now as there has ever been’ most likely less as they continue to take jobs American citizens and legal immigrants should have. We hear there is growing support but that is coming from special interest groups who are running campaigns that pushing amnesty and from politicians who received donations in exchange for pro-amnesty comments. the same politicians who will sell America out for another vote.

    It is so important that we all stand up and make it known the United States of America is ours – it is not for sale and we will not give it away!

  13. robertb says:

    Corruption has no limits……..”ILLEGAL” is “ILLEGAL” and should not be rewarded !!!!

  14. Jim Myers says:

    I cannot help but notice the irony of this article being written by Cynthia Tucker, a visiting professor at the University of Georgia.

    By her own words, Georgia has cracked down on undocumented immigrants who want to get a college degree.


  15. dalnb says:

    The United States owes nothing to the illegal aliens in our country. Regardless of how or why they are here they remain “illegal” and the greatest representation of criminals in our country.

    As shown in votes and polls across the country in the past ten years the majority of U S Citizens and legal immigrants do not support amnesty for illegal aliens! Manipulated polls and propaganda distributed by special interest groups would have Americans believe otherwise but honest polls show we are still a nation of laws and will not support changing laws to support people who make daily crime their way of life! The illegals became criminals the moment they illegally entered our nation and they compind that crime every day they remain here illegally!

    There is no honest support from the majority of Americans for open access to our universities, colleges and schools for illegal aliens. In virtually every study conducted by reputable research firms the clear message shows Americans do not want illegals in our country and they do not support amnesty for anyone illegally in our nation. America is a land of laws; the minute any person illegally enters the country, or remains beyond their legal passage, they become criminals! They compound their crime every day they remain undocumented and illegally in the United States.

    American citizens and legal immigrants have said time-and-time again we do not want illegals in the United States and we will not support amnesty. American citizens and legal immigrants do not in anyway favor handing ANY illegal alien full rights and responsibilities of citizenship without complying with the laws of our nation. Our national laws outline the procedures for obtaining these rights; we expect everyone desiring entry into our nation to comply with our laws. Violating our laws as their first step is far from acceptable. Allowing illegal’s to remain in our country is a violation of our law. It is inconsistent with the majority of our nation’s people; it costs Americans jobs, incomes, is a huge financial and social burden on our country and continues to degrade the quality of life of American citizens and legal immigrants.

    When American citizens are asked they will say YES to Comprehensive Immigration Reform BUT- Comprehensive Immigration Reform does not need to include amnesty and those who support reform do not support amnesty. They want the problem of millions of illegals in our country cleared up and a means of ensuring it never happens again put in place. BUT they do not support amnesty for ANY illegal alien! We need reform to ensure our Nations best interests are met and maintained BUT that does not include Amnesty for any illegal aliens. We need to ensure we continue a strong program for legal migration into our nation but that does not include amnesty for ANY ILLEGAL ALIEN!

  16. Cynthia: Thank you for taking the stand you did . . . and for expressing it so eloquently.

  17. gargray says:

    Laws made by man are not necessarily good laws, laws made by God are good laws, good judgement and righteousness they all have the meaning (to do the right thing). Your conscious should tell you what to do. When you discriminate you break this one law.

  18. dalnb says:

    The writer advocates rewarding criminals; she, as many supporters of amnesty for the illegals, sees the mess similar to a game of “hide and seek” we all played when we were kids. The illegals believe if you can sneak into this country and remain hidden long enough you should be rewarded with amnesty.
    America has laws very much like every developed country in the world that details the immigration programs and setting the -Legal – means of coming here to visit, to attend schools, to work and to remain here. The laws were not written in a vacuum but with the intention of making sure we were not invaded by hordes of men and women we had no control over. The laws have been ignored too often by our own national leaders. Appointed federal Managers with the responsibility to manage the immigration program have failed to do their job turning their backs on the laws. It is well known that at least two of the Department secretaries (Department of Homeland Security) supported the illegals coming here and failed to enforce the laws in order to allow the illegal invasions. Although they repeatedly say the laws are broken they have done nothing to fix the massive numbers of illegals who increasingly populate our nation and stress our society.
    If these people want to become legalized the process is written in law and their best option is to go back where they belong and apply for legal access to our country. Their concept of coming here and forcing us to accept them is inconsistent with our society, our laws and our desire.
    We do need LEGAL IMMIGRANTS and we welcome them but we do not need illegals regardless of what their education, talent or wealth is. Putting the blame on the United States for the problems these people bring is improper, irresponsible and illogical.

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