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Arizona's Law, America's Dilemma

Hispanics speak on the Arizona immigration law. We’ll hear Hispanic voices and your calls, on borders, profiling, and America.

Many holding signs against Arizona's immigration law at a reform rally by the White House, on May 1, 2010. (AP)

Mexican food and music in the White House Rose Garden yesterday for Cinco de Mayo. 

But the immigration issue is no picnic. And the uproar over Arizona’s tough new law on immigration stops and checks has echoed all over the country. 

A New York Times/CBS poll out this week finds 51 percent of Americans say Arizona’s got it “about right.”

Two week’s ago, we heard from one of the Arizona bill’s chief sponsors.  Today, we hear Latino voices. 

This Hour, On Point: a Mexican-American roundtable on borders, profiling, immigration, and the future of this country.


Maria Hinojosa, journalist, author, and host of NPR’s Latino USA. She has reported for the PBS newsmagazine NOW and has been a correspondent for CNN. She was born in Mexico City and lives in New York.

Richard Rodriguez, journalist and author whose works include Brown: The Last Discovery of America, Days of Obligation: An Argument With My Mexican Father, and Hunger of Memory. He’s an editor at New America Media, and he’s contributed to Slate and the PBS “News Hour.” He was born into a Mexican immigrant family in California and lives in San Francisco.

Jeff Valdez, co-founder and chairman of Si TV, which focuses on programming for young Latinos. He has served as the co-chairman of Maya Entertainment, a film company, and he helped form Sandbox Entertainment.

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  • Stacked

    Illegal Aliens do not have the right to break FEDERAL LAWS, drain our hospitals, schools, social services, drive down the wage scale, and slap every LEGAL IMMIGRANT who ever came here and assimilated in the face! Arizona is having US CITIZENS killed now by a small fraction of this population, and just one is too many. The Government is not fulfilling it’s primary role; Protection of US Citizens. Mexico’s “outrage” at the bill is in itself outrageous. They should be taking care of their own. We owe these invaders NOTHING! They have no rights. They have broken the law. They are just criminals. And before some of you say they are just looking for a better life, well, so are drugdealers, and both break the law. If these people are not dealt with by the law of the land and shown the door, then there is no reason for any other person to obey the law of the land; pure and simple. We are a sovereign nation are we not? Illegal Immigration is not racist, it’s a crime, and it’s a fact that most illegals are Hispanic. It’s not profiling, it’s common sense, and it’s high time this nation started taking care of it’s own instead of bending over backwards to every criminal with their hand out, and insisting that they have a right to break the law; they don’t! I personally think this will have to come to war with Mexico in the end. They have not been good neighbors, they have pushed their problems on to us to deal with, and we’ve had enough of it!

  • http://flustercucked.blogspot.com Frank the Underemployed Professional

    Advocates of amnesty and mass legal immigration are guilty of extreme intellectual dishonesty when they claim that anyone who opposes amnesty or mass legal immigration is a racist xenophobe.

    In reality, there are several very legitimate non-racial and non-ethnic reasons for opposing immigration. I hope that Tom will bring these points into the discussion:

    (1.) Allowing anyone who wanted to become an American to become an American would (as a practical matter) result in damage to the well-being of other Americans because of population explosion. A higher population means a greater strain on the environment and a higher cost for finite resources such as land, freshwater, oil, coal, natural gas, lumber, fish, and food (high-quality productive arable land exists in finite quantities). Our nation has already suffered from freshwater shortages in some regions of country and our population is currently poised to explode to a third world number of 420-450 million people by 2050. Of course, the poor and the middle class will be the ones who suffer disproportionately.

    Many Americans have cognitive dissonance in that they claim to support environmental concerns while also supporting mass immigration. The problem is that a higher population means more pollution, a larger human footprint on the land, and thus a greater strain on our nation’s environment.

    Everyone who is seriously interested in the immigration issue (you too, Tom Ashbrook) should watch this essential clip from a talk called Immigration by the Numbers. This video should be required viewing before any discussion about immigration can occur:


    (2.) Masses of poor immigrants inflict economic damage on lower class (and often the most vulnerable) Americans by displacing them from their jobs (such as construction work, janitorial services, and meat packing) and by putting downward pressure on wages. At a time when our nation has tens of millions of unemployed and underemployed people, does it really make economic sense to invite millions of poor people into the country to compete with them for jobs? Is it in the rational economic self-interest of these Americans for that to happen? Is it in Americans’ self-interest at all?

    (3.) Most of the immigrants are poor and uneducated which means that whatever jobs they take could not possibly generate enough tax revenue to cover the costs of government-provided welfare, housing, health care, education for children, and any related criminal justice costs they consume. In other words, they are going to cost taxpayers money. It would make more sense to employ currently unemployed poor Americans to do these jobs and to pay them higher wages. It’s better to pay for the welfare, housing, health care, and education for one American family than it is to pay for the welfare, housing, health care, and education for both one immigrant family and one unemployed American family.

    So, in a nutshell, the reasons for opposing immigration in no particular order are:

    (1.) Population Explosion and Environmental concerns.

    (2.) Economic Self-Interest–employment concerns for lower class Americans.

    (3.) Concerns about the costs the poor immigrants would impose on American taxpayers.

    Any one of those reasons is a fully sufficient reason to oppose immigration into the United States. What’s pathetic is that the supporters of amnesty and of mass legal immigration cannot argue against those points and are thus reduced to intellectually bankrupt smear attacks.

  • MarRaz

    Solution is to go after the companies that hire illegal immigrants, not to punish hard working civilians.

    Heavy fines, 1-800- hot-line for worker fraud, and city inspectors the right to check work sites and identifications of company workers.

    The Heavy fines levied on companies will fund further investigating of illegal worker hire.

    The right of stopping anyone on the street for any reason at anytime, is not a road that you want to venture down.

  • Janet

    Are we going to see the NBA teams wearing “Los Osama”? shirts now? Just to be fair to the Moslems?

  • Gary

    It is interesting to watch the news and see illegal immigrants waving their various flags in protest to claim their rights as citizens. I see, but it is difficult to comprehend its audacious reality.

    Its like a thief protesting against laws, that make it a crime to break into someones house.

    60 Minutes ran a segment last Sunday on “Americas moat”, and the comments show the true view of the American people…and yet the media continues its biased push for illegal immigration. I can only assume its corporate sponsorship: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6453537n

    To be fair the US destroyed Mexico’s farm industry with NAFTA and huge subsidies to US mega farms, and as I stated before it was a win, win, win for Americas multi-million dollar farmers. These taxpayer subsidies collapsed all farming south of the US, and forced them to migrate to the US as cheap labor, and displaced American workers who had all their pesky rights (unions, health care, insurance, etc.) as citizens.



    We could have our cheap lettuce if we stopped farm subsidies, and allowed farmers south of the border compete in the export market. They could grow their own economies, and exports, and the need for illegal immigration would be greatly reduced.

  • Mike Strong

    Obama is attempting to criminalize the enforcement of the Federal laws against illegal immigration. This is the man who took an oath to uphold the laws of the United States.

    People from all over the world enter America illegally through the pourous southern border. Don’t believe the lies and the propaganda from the dems and libs that only Hispanics are affected by the new Arizona law. The dems and libs do not believe in the enforcment of Federal laws against illegal immigration.

    Since the dems and libs do not believe in legal immigration, why don’t we just do away with the Border Patrol, the Immigration Service, the Immigration judges, all the support services, all the immigration lawyers, and all other costs and expenses and budgets regarding immigration? Just think of how much money the country would save. Open the borders. Everyone comes in. Then when we destroy our borders, we will have no country, which is precisely what the dems and libs want. They want to destroy America. They want to punish America for all of its past, present, and future mistakes and alleged misdeeds. This is the sick twisted, pathological, and perverted thinking that guides the left in America.

    The dems and libs also want to create a whole new underclass of people to whom they can give taxpayers’ money through entitlement programs, so that the votes of these new program recipients can be secured by the dems and libs.

    Illegals cost Federal, State, and local governments on an anuual basis about 33 billion dollars. Illegals pay about 12.6 billion in taxes per year. That is a gap of about 20.4 billion dollars. Any wonder why govenrment budgets are broken across the country?

    The left believes in redistributive social justice at every level of society. The only people who benefit under such a system are the connected and the politicians.

  • Michael

    Man i guess the freaks don’t just come out at night,but morning as well. A law that requires people to sue a cop or department they feel are not doing there job(i.e. profile) is hardly a good thing.

    Since people keep making the tried arugement that it’s only when people get pull over driving yet, again yet people ca sue if they feel the cop is not questioning someone citizenship. Which leads me to believe it’s intent is for police on the beat.Love to hear them explain this away.

    fyi,(even with the law not being enforce for 80 something days

    “Arizona truck driver arrested, forced to show birth certificate”

    “A Latino truck driver outside Phoenix was taken into custody by law enforcement at a weigh station. He pulled in to have the truck looked at, was apparently approached by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and asked for ID. He showed them his commercial driver’s license. They asked him for more ID. He told them his social security number. They cuffed him took him to the central office in Phoenix and called his wife to bring his social security card and birth certificate. The man is identifying himself to media only as “Abdon” and he is an American citizen born in the USA.

    The ICE agents said this was all just standard procedure. But the agents might just as well have been local police or highway patrol, who are now required by the controversial law Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed Friday to follow the same “standard procedure” and question individuals about their immigration status during routine stops. Welcome to the new Arizona, where there are sure to be whole websites dedicated to these kind of stories soon.”


    I sure this would never happen with the AZ law right?

  • Bryon Roberts

    Ever notice how the dems and libs never seem to have any regard for the civil rights of the citizens of Arizona who are being forced to endure the illegal immigrants who act as drug smugglers, human trafficers, home invaders, murderers, and criminals?

    How come there is no call by the dems and libs for Mexico to be more responsible for its own citizens?

    I have an idea, we fans of OnPoint can all travel to Boston and stay at Tom Ashbrook’s house and the houses and apartments of the producers. Then when they call the police to have us removed, we can claim that our rights are being violated. We can also claim that our dignity is being violated. Come on, OnPoint producers, it is about time that you open up your homes to the fans who listen to you everyday and who sacrifice our time. I have devoted thousands of hours listenting to Tom Ashbrook over the years. What about my rights. I need food. I need housing.

  • Michael

    As well is it seems the right(who claims to protect the constitution) always seems to see no problem in authoritarian and racist laws as long as it only affect minorities of course :).

    Since there have been a increse in extremist groups and milita of 244% and a attempt by a militia christian group to declare war on the U.S that our righties have no problem with laws targeting all middle age white gun owning males. For our safety of course.


    “The SPLC documented a 244 percent increase in the number of active Patriot groups in 2009. Their numbers grew from 149 groups in 2008 to 512 groups in 2009, an astonishing addition of 363 new groups in a single year. Militias – the paramilitary arm of the Patriot movement – were a major part of the increase, growing from 42 militias in 2008 to 127 in 2009.

    The report, “Rage on the Right,” is the cover story in the Spring 2010 issue of the SPLC’s quarterly investigative journal Intelligence Report.

    Patriot groups have been fueled by anger over the changing demographics of the country, the soaring public debt, the troubled economy and an array of initiatives by President Obama that have been branded “socialist” or even “fascist” by his political opponents.

    “This extraordinary growth is a cause for grave concern,” said Intelligence Report editor Mark Potok. “The people associated with the Patriot movement during its 1990s heyday produced an enormous amount of violence, most dramatically the Oklahoma City bombing that left 168 people dead.”

    The Patriot movement has made significant inroads into the conservative political scene, according to the new report. “The ‘tea parties’ and similar groups that have sprung up in recent months cannot fairly be considered extremist groups, but they are shot through with rich veins of radical ideas, conspiracy theories and racism,” the report says.

    Unlike the 1990s, the Patriot movement’s central ideas are being promoted by people with large audiences, such as FOX News’ Glenn Beck and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. Beck, for instance, reinvigorated a key Patriot conspiracy theory – the charge that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is secretly running concentration camps – before finally “debunking” it. “

  • Michael

    “Ever notice how the dems and libs never seem to have any regard for the civil rights of the citizens of Arizona who are being forced to endure the illegal immigrants who act as drug smugglers, human trafficers, home invaders, murderers, and criminals?”

    Ever notice how the rep and conservative’s are dishonest and lumps in all illegals as murders

    “How come there is no call by the dems and libs for Mexico to be more responsible for its own citizens?”

    How come there no call for tougher gun laws that provide Mexico with many of its arms? Many libs call for investment in Mexico so illegals don’t have to come here something a republican can’t grasps.

    “I have an idea, we fans of OnPoint can all travel to Boston and stay at Tom Ashbrook’s house and the houses and apartments of the producers. ”

    not a very good idea, bet you heard it from talking head at fox’s. Some of the most vocal pro AZ law are republican who seem it turns out to use illegal’s for work when it suits them Just ask Mitt Romney.

  • cory

    Other than the part about war with Mexico, I agree with STACKED (I think I’m gonna be sick!).

    It is truly aggravating to see illegals and Mexican officials express their disgust with attempts at immigration control and reform.

    Why is this contoversial?! Migrate here legally, or face persecution, prosecution, and ideally deportation.

  • Nick


    The opponents of NAFTA 15 years ago predicted a massive increase in illegal immigration into the United States once NAFTA became law. But even under Clinton, corporate America ruled the country as it does now.



  • Nick

    All I ever hear about illegal immigration concerns Latinos. What about all the Europeans, Israelis, and other well off nationals that come here without question and never return to their home country? How come we don’t question them? If you add up all those people who came here from Europe and Israel over the last ten years and never checked out, it is more than all the Mexicans who illegally immigrated here.

  • Sandy

    Why have a panel with only hispanic speakers to address the AZ law, or illegal immigration? Why bother? Americans and legal immigrants who aren’t of hispanic heritage support laws against illegal aliens and their employers; hispanics don’t. The only “question” left is whether Democrats or Republicans will hear the majority of legal residents who oppose open borders and a path to citizenship for persons who have broken numerous laws. If there is any “racism” here, it is among hispanics who believe laws should be suspended for themselves and that legal residents should ignore the stress they bring to jobs, affordable housing, public hospitals, school systems and law enforcement. I want to know why American politicians refuse to protect Americans and legal residents.

  • Sandy

    p.s. Sure, let’s find and deport all those who have overstayed their visas, too.

  • viv

    This is to Stacked and all those who are like him. I don’t understand why people are afraid that immigrants will come and “take” our jobs while driving down our wages. Let’s take a real good look at this. First, are you so insecure in your abilities that you think someone can just come in and take your job? What skills and purposes do you have? Secondly, jobs are not just handed out to people as if they grow on trees. One needs to create jobs. Be a creator. Next, this country needs workers. We need people willing to work hard and long so we can compete with other countries like China. Immigrants fulfill this role. My grandfather came to America and worked in a factory for over 20 years. Then worked for GE for another 20. He was a hard worker and saved his money. Part of the problem is that “Americans” think they are entitled. But part of that entitlement is the responsibility to make America work. Nothing I’m saying here is meant to be an approval of illegal activities. I’m just saying get off your ass and get going!

  • Impeach Obama

    Immigrate to this country legally, adhere to our laws, learn to speak English, or get the hell out Paco.

  • Viv

    To Impeach Obama: Are you actually serious? My grandparents didn’t learn English but spoke only Italian. All of their children and their children did speak English however. Your tone is that of hatred actually. It lacks reason. Thus comment boards like this where you can spew hatred work for you because you can remain anonymous. Go out and do something constructive.

  • cory


    I’m afraid I can’t accept your assumption about European and Israeli illegal immigrants outnumbering Mexicans. I’m gonna have to ask for some evidence, please.


    So you can’t see the downside of 15 million people who can work for below minimum wage, use infrastructure and services, and pay little or no taxes? I don’t want to compete with the Chinese if it means I must be paid like I am Chinese! I am also willing to bet your grandfather learned English, pursued citizenship, and was eventually part of a UNION! You need to get a clue. By the way, when you say “like stacked” do you mean someone who respects the rule of law?

  • JacFlasche

    Maybe we should just let anyone who wants to move to America? Maybe we should run a free bus service from Central America? This is one liberal who says “Bravo Arizona.” (By the way every time you use the word liberal but really mean libertine you just demonstrate the depth of your ignorance. The founders of our nation were almost to a man liberals, founded in the great liberal tradition of exceptionalism that was born in the Enlightenment, and the French and American revolutions. The liberals have historically fought the regressive forces of tyranny and continue to this day. The conservatives were with the king (like the bastards who rose up against their revolutionary neighbors and slaughtered them in the Buffalo Valley Massacre.) By devaluing the labor of the common man by allowing illegal aliens into our country the plutocrats strengthen their own position. The only way out of this mess is to vote out all incumbents and continue to do this until they remember who they work for. The only answer to all these problems is REAL campaign finance reform, which allows no contributions form anybody or corporation. Without this there will never be an end to the seeping away of America and possibilities that it once represented.
    EXECUTE THE BANKERS who fiddled while they burned down our country. Nothing is too bad for them and their hired trolls.

  • http://wbur.org Peter from Newton MA

    The situation is complex, but many of the most vitriolic arguements in favor of Arizona-type laws are based upon misperceptions and outright lies promulgated by the anti-immigrant movement.

    See this Q&A with a former Commissioner of INS and currently a policy analyst:
    from WashingtonPost.Com http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2010/04/30/DI2010043001901.html?hpid=talkbox1

  • cory


    Your tone also reflects hatred. Hatred of poor, working Americans who have to compete with these illegals for jobs in order to support themselves and their families. You come off a bit self righteous.

  • Jimmy

    If you want to be treated as an equal citizen you have to obey the laws as an equal citizen.

  • http://www.filipinoboston.blogpsot.com AKILEZ

    I am not worried about Illegal Aliens protesting their pathetic Rights for being undocumented.

    What a pathetic way to fight for a right for being ILLEGAL ALIEN? it doesn’t make any sense.

    I am VERY worried about the Greek Economy and the a second wave of a World Recession.

    My 403b already went down 200 bucks. Just imagine your 401k WITH 50,000 in it and do the math.


    GOD HELP US!!!

  • jeffe

    Viv, this Impeach Obama person is a troll. They are trying to get a reaction by posting the most outrageous crap they can think of. You can’t reason with a bigot.

    I have family in Arizona and they don’t like this bill as it’s most likely going to hurt their business. My brother in-law owns a small bar/restaurant (he hires legal immigrants) and this is going to hurt them and a host of other businesses that depend on tourism.

    That said something has to be done about the border.
    Maybe we need to have troops on the border to secure it.

  • cory

    Peter from Newton,

    One correction in your post. It should read “anti ILLEGAL immigrant movement.”

    Words matter, in this case.

  • http://www.lit.org/author/fritzwilliam F. William Bracy

    Frank ~ Good play! I downloaded the video and will now incorporate it into my own website. I’ve been on Roy Becks mailing list for six months or so — hadn’t seen the video — but Roy has an array of tools everyone can use to support a fair and reasonable immigration policy in this country. One of them is an automated FAX feature (I wasn’t aware that anyone still used FAXes) which is set up to blanket the Capitol with communications from concerned citizens. Roy’s website is Numbers USA (Google it) and you can also catch his appearances on The News Hour + others.

    You’re right. I hope everyone here has a chance to see this before Tom’s guests get going (in the wrong direction).


    My American Born Puerto Ricans Friends don’t have jobs because of these Illegal Aliens.

    I am tired seeing my friends getting FIRED every week to be replace by under the table undocumented workers.

    yes the pay taxes but my PR friends are unemployed

    Go Back To Your Country If You’re an Illegal Alien!!!!

    I am a law abiding Immigrant from the Philippines and PAID my Application Fees,Interviewed by a Consulate,Background checks, medical check ups, etc etc

    Be Fair and Fall In Line at your US Embassy and apply for a Visa.

  • Viv

    Cory, poor working Americans are not in their current situation because of an immigrant. That I can guarantee you.

    Nick, as I mentioned my grandfather spoke only Italian throughout his entire life. And in my opinion unions have served their purpose. I don’t think unions add to a better education system or a better police force. See todays Boston Globe article on how much overtime pay our police force receive.

  • Impeach Obama

    I might be a troll, but at least I’m a law abiding, tax-paying American veteran who has their original birth certificate. Can “your” America hating president say that?

  • Wait one minute…

    Question for guests:

    Do you think NAFTA is partly responsible for the increased illegal immigration from Mexico?

  • mogl

    The basic premise is flawed: To have a “better life” everyone must come to the US. That is the problem. For as long as people believe that is true, we will have an immigration problem. The people who have been here illegally for however many years should GO BACK AND MAKE LIFE BETTER THERE!! For everyone. Not just those lucky enough to make it across. Take you education, business acumen and contacts, your experience and expectations of the law … and make it better there.

  • http://www.lit.org/author/fritzwilliam F. William Bracy

    I turn the channel and the station away on each broadcast that takes off in this “misdirected” area of dialog — the direction taken by the illegal migrants themselves and their pro-criminal supporters.


  • http://www.filipinoboston.blogspot.com AKILEZ

    We are a Nation of Foreign People

    Majority of Filipinos who come to United States of America are College Graduate almost 95% are college degrees including, not only Filipinos but immigrant from India,Russia,Poland,Ireland etc etc.

    I am sick tired of listening to 800 numbers with an Option of Spanish. Not all Immigrants Speak Spanish and how about Tagalog, Chinese,German language options.

    Go Arizona Law for my parents are victim of THEFT for the past 6 months by Mexican drug dealers at her neighborhood.

  • Chris

    “I might be a troll, but at least I’m a law abiding, tax-paying American veteran who has their original birth certificate. Can “your” America hating president say that?

    Posted by Impeach Obama, on May 6th, 2010 at 10:09 AM”

    Umm yeah, The STATE of Hawaii has certified it.

  • Wait one minute…

    I actually think that the prejudice against illegal immigrants has less to do with race and more to do with the growth of check cashing places, day-labor corners, language issues. I do think for some it is racial, but there are real changes in people’s communities-it makes lower middle class people feel they are becoming poorer. A lot of it has less to do with immigrants themselves, but a generational loss of status. I think you would find those most vociferous opponents of immigraton reform are parents of American children that are underemployed, possibly with susbtance abuse issues.

  • Kevin

    Where is the balance on this “panel”??? It sounds to me like you have three people on who all agree with each other. That’s not a panel–it’s an echo chamber. I think anybody who has been through Journalism 101 would know this.

  • Al

    I dislike it when ILLEGAL immigrants use the Civil Rights language of African-American struggle. Blacks were, historically, brought here against their will. Illegal immigrants are coming here willingly and by breaking the law. They are more comparable to the hordes of Europeans who descended upon a land of Native tribal peoples!

    Should a young Black woman, struggling to get herself out of poverty, have to pay higher taxes to support illegal immigrants in her city’s schools and hospitals???

  • Bob

    Illegal aliens are ILLEGAL. It makes no more sense to call them something else as it would to call them Santa Claus.

  • John Randolph Hardison Cain

    Best show, evah! These three guests are telling it like it is. Richard Rodriguez’s spoke the burning truth in his opening statement. I’m a white, native born, American male from Georgia.

  • Mr. Jenkins


    TITLE 8 > CHAPTER 12 > SUBCHAPTER II > Part VIII > § 1325
    § 1325. Improper entry by alien
    (a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of facts
    Any alien who
    (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or
    (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or
    (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
    (b) Improper time or place; civil penalties
    Any alien who is apprehended while entering (or attempting to enter) the United States at a time or place other than as designated by immigration officers shall be subject to a civil penalty of—
    (1) at least $50 and not more than $250 for each such entry (or attempted entry); or
    (2) twice the amount specified in paragraph (1) in the case of an alien who has been previously subject to a civil penalty under this subsection.
    Civil penalties under this subsection are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any criminal or other civil penalties that may be imposed.
    (c) Marriage fraud
    Any individual who knowingly enters into a marriage for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or fined not more than $250,000, or both.
    (d) Immigration-related entrepreneurship fraud
    Any individual who knowingly establishes a commercial enterprise for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, fined in accordance with title 18, or both.

  • Andy

    If path to citizenship is given to all illegal immigrants,What will be the course/message to all the legal immigrants who have not broken the law and have to wait years to be a part of american society.

  • Jason

    What does Mexico do to their illegal invaders from their south? They beat them, & throw them out of the country without even a hearing. Why should we treat our illegal invaders from the south any differently than Mexico does?

  • http://onceandfuturecarguy.wordpress.com Russ Cage

    Maria Hinojosa gives us a familiar complaint, that people will be picked up for “breathing while brown”. The sheer dishonesty of her statement is breathtaking. Asking about immigration status requires some valid reason for police contact, such as a traffic stop. If the red-head and blonde can’t produce a valid US driver’s license, or that license is issued by another country, the officer will have reason to ask about immigration status. And you can bet they will. If someone is from e.g. Ireland they are required to carry their passport at all times anyway, there is no burden.

    The real burdens are on Americans. Estimates are that every American-headed household in California pays upwards of $1100 per year because of costs from illegal immigrants.

    And now Hinojosa brings up Elie Weisel, effectively saying those who want our border laws enforced are Nazis. That’s called Godwinning in blog-speak (after Godwin’s Law), and it means you have jumped the shark and lost the argument.

  • Paul B

    So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren’t being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry.
    Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people
    like Mr. Lujan why today’s American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.
    They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.
    Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out.
    My father fought along side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany , Italy , France and Japan. None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan . They were defending the United States of America as one people.
    When we liberated France , no one in those villages were looking
    for the French-American or the German American or the Irish
    American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we
    carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country’s flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.
    And here we are with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same
    rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I’m sorry, that’s not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900′s deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for
    those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.
    And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty , it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn’t start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.

  • Wait one minute…

    It is no accident that the growth of box stores (many of which are day laborer hiring spots) and the loss of mom and pops have coincided with the increase in illegal immigration, since most of the merchandise on the shelves of those stores are made in the same low-wage places where immigrants are escaping. So this loss of community is being blamed on immigrants, not the trade policies that gave rise to the conditions that put pressure on our borders.

  • Leora

    I just heard the last few moments of your show and as the daughter of a Holocaust survivor and Holocaust scholar I must say I agree with your guest who said it is dangerous to label immigrants as “illegals.” Labeling and naming are powerful. The first step in the Nazi march toward the Final Solution was the dehumanization of the Jews. I am sickened by the anti-immigrant rhetoric that I hear and fear for the future of a society that buys into it.
    Leora (Lexington, MA)

  • Viv

    Do you really think that drug pushers from Mexico are our problem? What about the “legal” drug pushers that are selling drugs on television every day? The person on the show makes a great point. You can’t sell drugs if no one wants them. We are a drug/chemical culture. A show on pharmaceuticals would be more “on point” than this one when it comes to the drug issue. My message is get off your drugs and get to work. Create jobs be inventive and productive. Diversity and culture should be celebrated.

  • Jason

    How is it tough to implement the law without profiling?
    The law says to check people immigration status if they are questioned for another reason. I have to show my license if I get pulled over, why shouldn’t illegals have to show valid ID? If they don’t have one, they should be arrested and investigated no mater what their skin tone.

  • John Varner

    The crack down on immigrant, (ie : cheap) labor will necessitate companies and farms hiring labor at higher wages than “illegals” will work for. All the while the anti-imigration folks whine about illegals taking jobs, they never seem to get around to the fact that not only do illegals do jobs nobody here wants, they work cheaper. Has anyone calculated the increased costs of production that will arise from this crack-down? Are we ready to pay the full price of a crack down?

  • brooke

    Is it fair to put civil rights issues to the voters? It seems that the minorities always lose out. I would like to thank you for bringing some intelligent voices to this conversation.

  • Wait one minute…

    The reason why the finger is not being placed on our trade policies is because there is no oposition party. For all the talk about polarization between democrats and republicans, they both voted for NAFTA- so the polarization is the reaction to the after effects (like immigration)- not the origin- NAFTA.

    Look at the Senators who voted against NAFTA:

    Only the far right and the far left voted against it.

  • Jason

    I just don’t understand… why don’t Mexicans who want to come here and work and live and enjoy the benefits of our country follow the path to citizenship. What am I missing?

  • Becky

    Wake up, U.S.A.! It might already be too late. What an unbalanced panel! Good grief. Can we please just enforce our immigration laws? If it’s the consensus of US citizens to open our borders, then let’s change the law. If not — let’s enforce the laws we have.
    This issue burns me. And if I were one of the immigrants who went through the process to come here legally, I’d be even more angry at people who come here illegally and then want to be automatically proclaimed legal residents.

  • pw

    Too many of us believe that we can wall ourselves off from the rest of the world. We can’t. Over-population, environmental degradation, risks of terrorism and “natural” disasters — these are all world-wide concerns. The right is clinging to the notion that somehow the US can act alone, wall itself off from danger, economic problems, and over-population. Nope. Can’t be done. Get over it and get on with working with the rest of the world on (uh-oh, here comes the commie talk) social and environmental justice. It’s just plumb dumb to think we can handle population growth, economic and environmental stresses in any other way. Dare we say “just grow up”?

    Plus: “me-first” and unrepented bigotry make people really unattractive!

  • BHA

    I feel like a broken record, but:
    5.5 million illegals were given amnesty under Reagan with the promise of tough laws against companies that hire illegals in the future. Now we have more than twice as many illegals and the occasional raid of large companies with illegal workers.

    “Undocumented Immigrants” are here ILLEGALLY, they are therefore “illegal”.

    There is a front door and a back door. Those who come in the back door have NO right to complain when the U.S. makes a effort to expel them or not give them all the rights of legal residents.

    I do not dispute that a lot of the illegals are hardworking and honest except for their legal status. But that does not change the fact that they broke the law coming in and continue to break the law every day they are here. Do we ignore illegal activities practiced by legal residents?

  • Bob Billings



    Forty-ninth Legislature, Second Regular Session

    FACT SHEET FOR S.B. 1070

    immigration; law enforcement; safe neighborhoods


    Requires officials and agencies of the state and political subdivisions to fully comply with and assist in the enforcement of federal immigration laws and gives county attorneys subpoena power in certain investigations of employers. Establishes crimes involving trespassing by illegal aliens, stopping to hire or soliciting work under specified circumstances, and transporting, harboring or concealing unlawful aliens, and their respective penalties.


    Federal law provides that any alien who 1) enters or attempts to enter the U.S. at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, 2) eludes examination by immigration officers, or 3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the U.S. by a willfully false or misleading representation is guilty of improper entry by an alien. For the first commission of the offense, the person is fined, imprisoned up to six months, or both, and for a subsequent offense, is fined, imprisoned up to 2 years, or both (8 U.S.C. § 1325).

    The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the primary authority for enforcing immigration laws. ICE was created in March 2003 as an investigative branch of the Department of Homeland Security. ICE was the result of combining the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the U.S. Customs Service.

    Current statute defines criminal trespass in the first degree as a person knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in areas related to residential structures, residential yards, real property subject to a valid mineral claim or lease under certain circumstances, property if the person defaces religious symbols or religious property, or critical public service facilities. Depending on the circumstances, criminal trespass in the first degree provides penalties ranging from a class 1 misdemeanor to a class 6 felony (A.R.S. § 13-1504).

    In 2007, Arizona enacted the Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA), prohibiting an employer from knowingly or intentionally employing an unauthorized alien and establishing penalties for employers in violation. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office administers the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program. The SAVE Program, together with the Social Security Administration (SSA), administers E-Verify, which allows employers to electronically confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. LAWA requires all Arizona employers to use E-Verify to verify the employment eligibility of new hires. Proof of verifying the employment authorization of an employee through E-Verify creates a rebuttable presumption that an employer did not intentionally or knowingly employ an unauthorized alien.

    The fiscal impact is unknown; however, there may be additional costs associated with criminal prosecution and detention of persons who are accused and convicted of the crimes established in this legislation. Additionally, the addition of new fines associated with this measure may also have an impact.



    1. Requires a reasonable attempt to be made to determine the immigration status of a person during any legitimate contact made by an official or agency of the state or a county, city, town or political subdivision (political subdivision) if reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the U.S.

    2. Requires the person’s immigration status to be verified with the federal government pursuant to federal law.

    3. Requires an alien unlawfully present in the U.S. who is convicted of a violation of state or local law to be transferred immediately to the custody of ICE or Customs and Border Protection, on discharge from imprisonment or assessment of any fine that is imposed.

    4. Allows a law enforcement agency to securely transport an alien who is unlawfully present in the U.S. and who is in the agency’s custody to:

    a) a federal facility in this state or

    b) any other point of transfer into federal custody that is outside the jurisdiction of the law enforcement agency.

    5. Allows a law enforcement officer, without a warrant, to arrest a person if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the U.S.

    6. Prohibits officials or agencies of the state and political subdivisions from being prevented or restricted from sending, receiving or maintaining an individual’s immigration status information or exchanging that information with any other governmental entity for the following official purposes:

    a) determining eligibility for any public benefit, service or license provided by any federal, state, local or other political subdivision of this state;

    b) verifying any claim of residence or domicile if that verification is required under state law or a judicial order issued pursuant to a civil or criminal proceeding in the state;

    c) confirming a detainee’s identity; and

    d) if the person is an alien, determining whether the person is in compliance with federal alien registration laws.

    7. Disallows officials or agencies of the state or political subdivisions from adopting or implementing policies that limit immigration enforcement to less than the full extent permitted by federal law, and allows a person to bring an action in superior court to challenge an official or agency that does so.

    8. Requires the court, if there is a judicial finding that an entity has committed a violation, to order any of the following:

    a) that the plaintiff recover court costs and attorney fees;

    b) that the defendant pay a civil penalty of not less than $1,000 and not more than $5,000 for each day that the policy has remained in effect after the filing of the action.

    9. Requires the court to collect and remit the civil penalty to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), which must establish a special subaccount for the monies in the account established for the Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission (GIITEM) appropriation.

    10. Specifies that law enforcement officers are indemnified by their agencies against reasonable costs and expenses, including attorney fees, incurred by the officer in connection with any action, suit or proceeding brought pursuant to this statute to which the officer may be a party by reason of the officer being or having been a member of the law enforcement agency, except in relation to matters in which the officer is adjudged to have acted in bad faith.

    Trespassing by Illegal Aliens

    11. Specifies that, in addition to any violation of federal law, a person is guilty of trespassing if the person is:

    a) present on any public or private land in the state and

    b) is not carrying his or her alien registration card or has willfully failed to register.

    12. Requires, in the enforcement of this statute, the final determination of an alien’s immigration status to be determined by:

    a) a law enforcement officer who is authorized to verify or ascertain an alien’s immigration status or

    b) a law enforcement officer or agency communicating with ICE or the U.S. Border Protection.

    13. Stipulates that a person is not eligible for suspension or commutation of sentence or release on any basis until the sentence imposed is served.

    14. Directs the person to pay jail costs and an additional assessment of at least $500 for the first violation or at least $1,000 for subsequent offenses.

    15. Requires the court to collect and remit the assessments to DPS for the special GIITEM subaccount.

    16. Specifies that the trespassing statute does not apply to a person who maintains authorization from the federal government to remain in the U.S.

    17. Classifies the violation as follows:

    a) a class 2 felony if the person commits the violation while in possession of a dangerous drug, precursor chemicals used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine, a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or property that is used for committing an act of terrorism;

    b) a class 4 felony for a second or subsequent offense or if the person, within 60 months before the violation, accepted a voluntary removal from the U.S. or has been deported;

    c) a class 1 misdemeanor in all other cases.

    Unlawful Stopping and Solicitation of Work

    18. Specifies that it is unlawful, if a motor vehicle is stopped on a street, roadway or highway and blocks or impedes the normal movement of traffic:

    a) for a motor vehicle occupant to attempt to hire or hire and pick up passengers for work at a different location;

    b) for a person to enter the motor vehicle in order to be hired by a motor vehicle occupant and to be transported to work at a different location.

    19. Stipulates that it is unlawful for a person who is unlawfully present in the U.S. and who is an unauthorized alien to knowingly apply for work, solicit work in a public place or perform work as an employee or independent contractor in Arizona.

    20. Classifies these offenses as class 1 misdemeanors.

    21. Defines solicit and unauthorized alien.

    Unlawful Transporting

    22. Specifies that it is unlawful for a person to do or attempt to do the following if the person knows or recklessly disregards the fact that the alien has come to, has entered or remains in the U.S. in violation of law:

    a) transport or move an alien in Arizona in a means of transportation;

    b) conceal, harbor or shield an alien from detection in any place in Arizona, including any building or means of transportation.

    23. Stipulates it is unlawful to encourage or induce an alien to come to or reside in Arizona if the person knows or recklessly disregards the fact that such coming to, entering or residing in this state is or will be in violation of law.

    24. Subjects a means of transportation used in the commission of a violation to mandatory vehicle immobilization or impoundment.

    25. Classifies these offenses as class 1 misdemeanors and subjects offenders to fines of at least $1,000, except that a violation that involves 10 or more illegal aliens is a class 6 felony with a fine of at least $1,000 for each alien who is involved.

    Investigations of Employers

    26. Allows the county attorney, in investigations of employers who are alleged to have knowingly or intentionally hired unauthorized aliens, to take evidence, administer oaths or affirmations, issue subpoenas requiring attendance and testimony of witnesses and cause depositions to be taken.

    27. Exempts proceedings held during the course of a confidential investigation from open meeting laws.

    28. Stipulates that an employer is not entrapped in an investigation if the employer was predisposed to knowingly or intentionally employ an unauthorized alien and law enforcement officers or their agents merely provided the employer with an opportunity to do so.

    29. States that it is not entrapment for law enforcement officers or their agents merely to use a ruse or to conceal their identities.

    30. Directs employers to keep verification records of their employees’ work eligibility through E-Verify.

    31. Establishes a class 3 felony for failing to:

    a) verify employment eligibility through E-Verify or

    b) keep records of verifications.


    32. Specifies that monies in the special GIITEM subaccount are subject to legislative appropriation for distribution for gang and immigration enforcement and for county jail reimbursement costs relating to immigration.

    33. Stipulates that the terms of the act regarding immigration have the meanings given to them under federal immigration law.

    34. Requires the act to be implemented in a manner consistent with federal laws regulating immigration, protecting the civil rights of all persons and respecting the privileges and immunities of U.S. citizens.

    35. Contains intent and severability clauses.

    36. Titles the legislation the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act.”

    37. Makes conforming changes.

    38. Becomes effective on the general effective date.

    Prepared by Senate Research

    January 15, 2010

  • Al

    For the caller who asks, “what’s the Big Deal?” about coming across the border? Well, there are many, many people from other parts of the world who have been waiting “in line” to get in legally. It’s a Big Deal to them, in effect!

  • Jason


    civil rights are RIGHTS and they are for all Americans. Minorities have no more or less rights than anyone else

  • Mike

    Why does this law put the burden on law enforcement? If employers were required to see have proof of citizenship before they hired someone, there wouldn’t be this problem.


    What I learned in school is that English is the International Language for a communucation.

    African-American have fighting for their rights since America was founded and until now They are still fighting for equal rights. As A Filipino I owe my civil rights to the Black Race for I will no longer enter a bathroom with a Sign for “Colored Only”

  • Devin

    Why don’t we just make all legal immigrants and non-white citizens pin a 6 pointed gold star on their shirt to prove they have registered? Can’t you all see how wrong this whole thing is? This law is appalling.

  • JacFlasche

    The reason that America is what it is is because of it’s people, their genetic predispositions and cultural background. The more Mexicans that steal into the US the more it will become like Mexico: corrupt beyond imagining, stratified into super rich and super poor, a country where it is illegal to own a gun but you chances of being murdered with one is huge. We should no only deport all the illegals we should make them spend a few months laboring on a wall to keep them out before we ship them back. We should also deport all family members who descended from illegals when we find them out. If you want to move here do it legally or don’t come. What do you not understand about, “You are not welcome here.”

  • B Smith

    As an African American I consider my self a left leaning progressive liberal. I have on some occasion been the victim of racial profiling but with all due respect none of your guest have actual spoken about what the law contains. CSPAN had one of the authors of the law whom had 20 something odd years in law enforcement and he explained the law in detail. I will concede that a bad cop can misuse use law but the law boils down to two points.

    1. Is the person in question violating the law.
    2. Does the COP have probable cause to detained and request verification in the form of a government issued ID/Green card as proof you are in the country legally
    3. Can/will the person voluntarily produce documentation proving they are here legally.

    I fail to find any fault with this, so please enlighten me.

  • Wait one minute…

    Mr. Rodriguez,

    The evangelical movement was in Latin America long before WWII- maybe not American, but evangelical nonetheless

  • Frank James

    No southern border? Remove the southern border? This is priceless. Listen to this propaganda.
    “What have we done to them?” These guests are filled with guilt.

    Listeners, you are witnessing the attempt to dismantle America.

    If you have no borders, you have no country.

  • robert

    What Drivel!! Tom you do a disservice to this topic by not presenting a contra spokesperson. As soon as I heard the name Elie Wiesel and the automatic moral highground that name is supposed to command, I reached for the volume button. What is it about the word Illegal that these people do not understand. Now 1/2 of the way into the show, the moonbats are advocating totally open boarders – Tom this is Madness and I welcome the next fundraising break – in the station will soon run, it will at least give these nuts a break.

  • JacFlasche

    This show is a farce. Tom I expected more from you.
    The continental army was mostly spanish troops? What a laugh. This is a one sided nonfactual show. Tom you should move to southern Cal and live in a poor neighborhood for a while.

  • Janet

    Should we not discuss the failure of Hispanic culture and their societies? What would our “panel” say if 1 million Asians were coming across the border? Doing the jobs that Hispanics won’t do?

  • Aaron

    The biggest part of this whole issue that is troubling to me is the fact that people seem to ignore the fundamental fact that illegal aliens are, by definition, engaging in ILLEGAL activity regardless of how morally good or bad they are. Personality is irrelevant to this issue. “Family orientation” is irrelevant. What is relevant is a person’s status in regard to the laws governing the process by which individuals are authorized to enter the United States. If you have a problem with what makes someone “illegal”, then address the source of that definition: the federal government’s immigration code.

    That being the case, why are we speaking of Arizona’s law as good or bad? We should instead be discussing it’s legality relating to current US immigration policy…period.

    If all sides can stop clouding these issues with emotional biases we might actually accomplish meaningful progress in this area.

  • BHA

    What does the contribution of Spanish speaking people in the past have to do with the conversation? That is as brilliant as suggesting that a white person born today is somehow responsible for enslavement of blacks in the 18th and 19th century. It is not what your ancestors did but what YOU do that matters – TODAY.

  • Bob

    I don’t understand why many Hispanics want to allow illegal immigration. Without illegal immigration, the Hispanic community would be viewed more favorably by non-Hispanics since no one would think there is a chance they are illegals.

    Allowing illegal immigration is todays version of allowing slavery and it must be stopped.

  • mogl

    So, Maria … we “stabilize” all those “personal economies”. We blindly pass out 12-20 million more citizenship documents. Than what? How does that solve the problem? They will just be replaced by 20-40 million more, demanding more documents 20 years from now … AGAIN! WE DID THIS ALREADY.

  • Jennifer

    I live in New Orleans and vividly remember the speech George W. Bush gave in Jackson Square after Katrina inviting workers to New Orleans to help with rebuilding, and promising that their immigration status would not be checked. Huge companies including Shaw profited enormously. Hypocrisy!!!

  • D. Arturo

    Please EXPLAIN THE LAW! One of the commentators described how she feels the 51% who think the law is “about right” don’t understand the law well. Can you help fill in that gap? (Bob gave us the whole law two posts earlier, but can your panel talk about the law with specifics?)

  • Wait one minute…

    Dynamic history?

    You know, we have no problem going in Ireland’s history to explain WHY they came over, or Italian or Russian.

    WHY when it come to Mexico do we just talk about the WALL and the LAW and not the other side of it?

    It’s like going to see a challenging movie and afterwards discussing the screen and the ticket price.

  • Robin Ryan

    We should welcome new, young, dynamic tax paying neighbors from Mexico,Central and South America. We need them to buy/rent all those foreclosed homes. Imagine draining our country of 12 million consumer renters! We need support for our Socoal Security system.
    A path toward immigration with immediate tax responsibility. Then, we could deny social benefits i.e, food stamps, medical care etc. if a person does not contribute. I think a lot of the anger come from the feeling that all illegal immigrants tap the system without paying in. They are actually in a catchh-22. I love the wonderful immigrants who we have as helper/workers in VT.

  • Carla Fredrick

    I’m totally serious about this … wouldn’t most of the problems of both countries be solved if Mexico were part of the United States??

  • TryCommonSense

    It is comical to assume that anyone who supports this law is racist. Latinos are the descents of the same Western European Continent as the majority population in the US. Spain and Portugal were just as imperialistic during the 15th, 16th, and 17th century as the British and French and conquered the South American continent just as ruthlessly as the British and French did the North American continent. A huge part of the issue is that they can’t get over the fact that they lost large portions of the North American continent that they had conquered later in wars with the British and eventually the US.

    I have no issue with immigration into the US. The overwhelming majority of us are the descendents of Immigrants. It is ILLEGAL immigration that is being objected to. And the resistance to efforts to stop illegal immigration is just another example of the “Me First” attitude that has come to pervade this country. These people feel that they are entitled to jump ahead of the people who have waited for years in order to obtain permission to enter the country legally.

    The labor issue is ridiculous and another example of how this country allows private businesses to socialize costs while privatizing profits. STOP all illegal labor and wages will rise, along with prices, and the people making purchases can pay the ACTUAL costs of their merchandise rather than having most of the cost shifted to taxpayers, who end up paying all the hidden costs associated with illegal labor.

    In a survey done in Mexico, HALF the population said that they wanted to immegrate to the United States. If they can get to 51%, why not just allow Mexico to enter as the 51st State? Oh wait……that would be doing it legally….that’s no fun.

  • Pat Kares

    In response to the person saying we are a land of laws, I’d like to point out we didn’t follow laws when we threw the native people out of the western and southern areas of the country. In short, they were here first.
    I’d be curious to see the outcome if all funds spent on keeping people out of this country would instead be spent on aiding the Mexican government and private sector improve employment opportunities for it’s residents. Illegal Mexicans are not running to this country because they will have a wonderful life here, but rather are running away from a hopeless situation. They don’t want to be here, but have a strong desire to improve the lives of their families. I’d dare anyone with strong convictions to keep the Mexicans out of this country to follow one for a day in their pursuit of a few dollars. Americans don’t want these jobs, and would rather accept unemployment benefits before toiling in the difficult work they perform.

  • rich4321

    All these rhetoric about how the law is not racial profiling. But a brown skin, hispanic speaking person can be identified as a possible “illegal”. What about an blonde hair, white skin, blue eyes Irish “illegal”, as there are many in the South End in Boston? I bet they will not be picked up.

    Granted there are some criminal elements, majority of the “illegal” here are good, honest people just want to make a living, take up jobs you and I won’t do to support their families.

    I have no reservation to deport anyone who committed crimes, but if they don’t, leave them alone!! Has our country, our society become so heartless?

  • Mike

    What is the advantage for the USA or Mexico to join? Completely different culture, values, history…we have been very successful whereas Mexico has been a economic disaster.

  • Rex

    We have to take a step back and figure out why they WANT to be here.

    I say put up a processing station at the border and give everyone identification and let them know what the deal is and have everyone accounted for.

    On the other hand, should we help Mexico and make immigrants want to stay there?

  • John

    Misdemeanors are still crimes.

  • BHA

    Certainly we need a ‘guest worker’ policy to fill jobs that are not taken by current legal residents. Of course, they will have to pay better than what the illegals get now. The only reason the illegals work for sub minimum wage is because they ARE illegal and can’t get a job legally.

  • ronac

    I am an Indian American and it took me years to immigrate here. What makes Mexicans special? Why cant people from all over the world dying to come here do so?

  • Jason

    If your guest is correct, we need to increase the offense from misdemeanor to felony for knowingly entering our country.

  • Ann Bradley

    While listening now to the Arizona immigration law discussion it seems very emotive with such strong language. I want to live in a law-abiding country–what about ‘illegal immigrant’ is legal? Many immigrants come to the U.S. every year legally and that is the country I want to live in. Legal and law abiding. I want the laws on the books enforced.

  • jim thompson


    As usual great program. Let’s face it our politicians have not been able to step up & do the right thing as of late on immigration reform. The last attempt was filled with attacks on McCain, Graham and Bush.

    The last immigration reform passed by and under Reagan was done right-amnesty availability for those who qualify and most importantly rules for businesses and their hiring practices.

    There were consequences for those mostly Republican businesses that are hiring non-citizens at substandard wages with no insurance.

    Our Hispanic culture in the US goes back to pre-Mayflower days…it’s beautiful and let us embrace it.

    Just remember folks it IS the nutty right and so called conservatives that are beating up on people-again.

  • Arturo

    Goodness, I do not where to start, the issue is so complex and pundits of all stripes are confusing the issue.

    First and foremost, people crossing the border illegally are being exploited by Mexican gangs. Second, Nafta has pushed thousands of poor Mexicans farmers to cross the border illegally. ^Thirdly, some employers prefer them because they have no rights and, therefore, can be exploited more easily than your usually-and-already-exploited legal worker. Fourth, the fact that these people are severely abused affects and foremost the wage levels of minority workers. Fifth, Tea-baggers and other brands of know-nothing jingoistic American nativism cannot understand any of this, but given the cultural climite pr4evailing know they can get away with their ignorance. As I write this, I listen to a woman complaining about Puerto Ricans, who were granted the USA citizenship in 1917.

    Therefore, I strongly beg the defenders of abused workers to focus the issue taking into account the complexity of the issue.

  • Jones

    Give us a break!..Oh..the “latino’s had such a peaceful protest…

  • Evelyn Phillips

    Why have the descendants of the settlers decided to push back the descendants of the indigenous.
    Evelyn Phillips

  • Paul B

    We are a white english using country that is turning into a non white non english using country ,where else in this world has this happened? My family has been here from 1686.

  • mogl


    Maria, we are not questioning that you are flesh and blood. How insulting. How disingenuous. How ridiculous.

    Tom, not your finest moment.

  • Jeff

    Ha!…”we are not a land of laws”…get rid of this guy…here we go..”social justice”….anyone liberal babbling on….

  • Patrick Williams

    It infuriates to me to hear the arrogance of someone like Maria Inojosa when they suggest that if you don’t “see it my way you just don’t know enough”. I don’t need to know the “personal story” of a bank robber, a drug dealer or a jaywalker for that matter to know that they committed a crime. I am not a bigot, I am not a hater of immigration. Immigration is the backbone and in many respects the operating principle of this nation. Many immigrants came to build a better life for themselves as did mine. It is not about the economy (job concerns)alone. It is not about border security alone. We need comprehensive immigration reform that includes border security, penalties against employers that knowingly hire illegals, and we need a path to legalization that requires sanctions (back taxes, criminal fines and so on). The idea that we should simply give them a pass because they are already here and they came for good reasons is a complete abdication of our governments responsibility.

  • BHA

    Comparing crossing illegally and staying to 1 speeding ticket??

    If you get a speeding ticket every day, you will shortly lose your license. If you continue to drive, you get hauled in for driving without a license. Eventually you will end up with large fines and then to jail.

    Continuing an illegal activity is NOT a single misdemeanor violation.

  • Wait one minute…


  • Diane Johnson

    I am very disappointed by Maria Hinojosa stating such a strong opinion when she is a reporter by profession. Her credibility is now zero in my book.

  • w bradford

    I cant stand listening to that woman Maria
    (something) on-air… some of stupidest comments
    and distortions about laws and legality..
    and ‘Latt tea noo’s ‘ Great thinkers my ass.
    so yes, im turning it off..

  • Wait one minute…


  • Ben Weil

    The law is totally un-American, however there are lots of reasons to reduce overall immigration. The main reason, in my mind is environmental. Overpopulation, globally is the main driver or environmental degradation. Why are people coming here? relative resource scarcity. Look at the population densities of Mexico and the US.

    Mexico : 142.250 people/sq mile

    US: 83.170 people/ sq mile

    There is an almost 2nd law thermodynamic pressure to move Mexicans here. However, the worst thing that could happen to the world is more Americans. Why do we who are already here have no right to try to reduce the inflow of humans onto our part of the continent?

    Thanks for a good (although one-sided) discussion today.

    - Ben

  • JacFlasche

    Tom, I am sure you will have a show where the panel is composed entirely of people who have the opposing opinions to your panel. They are speaking of everything but the facts, the law is the law. If you want to change the law that is another matter.

  • Bob

    So let me get this right. Mexicans are dying to leave their country and come to the US and when they get here they don’t want to assemolate into the US population and become Americans rather they want to make America more like the country they risked their lives to escape. How does this make any sense?

  • Bob Willis

    Notice that the advocates of illegal immigration never talk about stopping the illegal immigration which is the problem. The Federal government does not want to enforce the existing illegal immigration laws. The illegal immigration advocates have no desire to protect the civil rights of all stake holders. They are biased, prejudiced, and bigoted.

    The illegal immigrants want chaos to exist in America.

    Crimes are of 2 types: felonies and misdemeanors.

    The woman guest is a nut job.

    Serious pressure needs to be placed on Mexico to reform its government and society.

    Did you hear Tom? Are we a continent or a country?

    Now we are going back to the Native Americans “Stole the land from the Indians?”

    The USA is now declared a fiction by one of the guests. These people are very dangerous.

    Please leave our country and its citizens alone. You are attention whores, busy bodies, and people who only want to take away from others.

  • Wait one minute…

    Let Richard talk

  • Steve T

    With out help from Mexico, how can anything positive be done? And if Mexico needs our help, to keep their citizens on their side, we need to try and provide that.

    If I lived in a place where I could not feed me or my family, I would go where I could….wouldn’t you?

    It’s just to easy to say, It’s to complicated that’s your problem go away.

    If you have a Law that says or in it’s effects say’s I have to stay where I am, and have to suffer and die. I will break your Law!

  • Newton

    Mr. Rodriguez’ eagerness to dispel what he calls the fiction that the US is a nation of laws would leave him with no legal basis to object to the constitutionality of the Arizona law.

    If he wants to insist that the US has no right to control its borders, he is basically arguing for his right to take whatever he can by force.

  • Jason S

    Once we become a country that picks and chooses the laws we like and don’t like and which ones we will enforce and not enforce, we will be Mexico and we will have all of their problems.

  • rich4321

    Every single one of us is here illegally except for the native Indians, because the native Indians never invited us, we came here with guns and cannons, we wiped out their communities and killed them at will.

  • robert

    the maddness has ended – thank God!!!

  • Jason S

    There is nothing illegal about a state enforcing a federal law. Why is this even being talked about?

  • David Henry

    Can we talk more about how there is no line to get into? I think thats an important point. Cubans become citizens as soon as they touch American soil. For Mexicans there are no student visas, tourist visas or other visas. We have to open up more chances to come legally.

  • BHA

    Maybe caller Michael should move to Mexico with his illegal girl friend. Hopefully the Mexicans won’t mind if he comes in illegally if he can’t do it legally.

  • Emma Jane Reed

    We call ourselves American and our country America. But America is actually an entire hemisphere. If we want to close ourselves off so much, then we should only be called the United States, leave off the “of America”. The fear mongering in this country is totally out of hand.

    Between our “war on drugs” and “war on terrorism” we are alienating most of the world. Our hunger for illegal drugs and the lion’s share of petroleum products are our two biggest problems.

  • patricia cohen

    this show’s participants are so great – VERY important to hear them speak their perspectives for all to hear – thank you!

  • Janet

    You just can’t make up comments like this. No laws, no borders..what a disappointment of a show…

  • JG

    One of the realities of the immigration system for those who insist that people should just come here legally…poor people have almost no chance of getting into the US legally in the current system. Without that opportunity, poor people will always try to sneak in as a way to improve their desperate circumstances (see Europe for example). Fix the immigration system first.

  • John Kretzschmar

    The immigration system is NOT broken. It’s working exactly as it is supposed to work. Our economy uses a business model that values the maximization of short-term profit. Keeping wages as low as possible requires a reverse auction where the lowest bidder who can do the job…gets the job. It’s a historical reality that natives have always feared the newcomer who is desperate for work and is willing to work for less than the natives. Workers native and immigrant are nothing but PAWNS in the game.

    Today, having desperate undocumented workers who are being scapegoated by natives merely distracts from the idea that both are PAWNS. Pitting one against the other keeps both down. The best way to end it is to rethink the issue to find ways where workers can unite and stop their exploitation that is at the core of how our economy works. Creating a path to legalization is one way end the game.

    The AFL-CIO and Change to Win have known this for a long time. But because unions are misunderstood to be problems rather than understood as defenders and expanders of democracy in the community and the workplace they and their ideas are marginalized. Today’s unions can help end the scapegoating and they advocate a clear path for safe and logical immigration policy that creates a path to legalization.

  • pw

    “…this show’s participants are so great – VERY important to hear them speak their perspectives for all to hear – thank you!”

    I second that, Patricia. All three made huge contributions to the conversation about… those people, some of whom are guilty of misdemeanors (which, of course, none of us legals are!). Live and learn: Washington’s army was more “hispanic” than “anglo.”

  • Another MA person

    This section is finished and Tom definitely was not happy that people didnt engaged in technical discussion about the law and possible reform… Hopefully, Tom, you will understand that this is not the point of this issue. The legal conversation is about a misdemeanor. The main issue is one that involves cultural change, ethnic prejudice, economic inequality and abuse, and a lot of human suffering. Thanks for trying to open the space for a conversation, and hopefully you learned something about this dramatic issue today.

  • Mark

    I have a background in child welfare, so I’m not some hard hearted old bigot. I also worked on the border constructing a fence for the US Army. We saw some pretty amazing things I won’t go into at the points we encountered Mexican people and villages. A caller compares the border to the one with Canada and blames the US for handling the one with Mexico so much more poorly. In fact most of the callers and the guests blamed the US in one way or the other. Before you spend time identifying a solution you must spend time identifying the problem, and I wish the guests had been more honest about Mexico’s problems. One of the reasons Canada’s border works better is that parents who love their children can live in Canada and expect their children to survive the experience. Before we address the religious or political questions raised on the show regarding how Americans treat Mexicans we should be more honest about the religious and political questions regarding how Mexicans treat Mexicans. What is it at home that makes these people so desperate and willing to take such risk? Deal with that and the immigration problem will deal with itself. I believe my views come from a combination of compassion and experience, and I challenge anyone with less direct experience to think before waving them away as racist or xenophobic.

  • CLS

    It is just beyond biased that on point didn’t even bother to have a guest who might have an opposite view of point.

    It’s nauseating that this woman reporter keeps using these endless sob stories to convince people that she’s speaking from great objectivity. Sure, just like every single one of the supporter of illegals, it’s really deep for your people, your people only. FYI, Maria Hinojosa, people who follow the laws DO SUFFER separation from families, fear, uncertainty of their future, depression, just as much if not more. But do you see them out screaming and shouting and protesting for rights that they really don’t have?
    This is what the Hispanic illegals want, they want the government to put away the immigration restrictions just for them, and once they got in , they want everything in the laws that they don’t like to be thrown out, too. Oh, yeah, the schools can’t have too high of a standards otherwise it’s “discrimination” against the latinos because they usually don’t do well in school. Oh, illegal’s kids can’t be asked to pay full tuition in colleges, it’s the tax paying american citizens’ responsibility to pay out of state tuition if they decide to to out of state Universities.

  • Wait one minute…

    Is NAFTA one of the seven words you can’t say on the radio?


    You know the Boarder and Police Officers are more likely to be killed when they are looking for illegal Aliens. They are more likely to be gang bang by 5 to 20 illegal aliens inside a Van or if you are Female officer you are more likely to be rape and killed.

    Just Imagine with all these protest against Arizona Law
    Do you think that a Police officer now is more likely to commit Human rights abuse to an illegal immigrant after all the publicity against the new law.


    California is broke because of Illegal Aliens. California spend 1 Billion a year for illegal immigrants, Public schools are closing a lot in California
    Sub-Prime Mortgages Victims from California are illegal immigrants. Who cannot read or understand the very complicated contract.
    Arizona Crime is high because of Mexicans killing each other in the name of drugs.

    Cuban are more Welcome because their country is Communist. It is called Political Asylum

    Mexico as a Democratic Government. if the Mexicans really like going to America there will be millions of them crossing the boarder but the only the people who don’t follow the Immigration law cross the boarder.

    Those illegal are paid by Mexican Cartel to cross the boarder so they can sell drugs,kidnap fellow Mexicans or buy Arms to send back to the cartel in Mexico

    The Mexicans who cross the boarder are the ones are we should be concern about THEY ARE MORE LIKELY TO STEAL FROM US.

  • Becky

    Maria focussed on Leah’s misunderstanding about the citizenship of Puerto Ricans, while ignoring her very valid argument: that we should enforce the law.
    Can we have a panel now of three people who favor enforcing U.S. laws?

  • ThresherK
  • BHA

    rich4321: “…here illegally except for the native Indians… ”

    Did the plants and animals that were here before humans invite the ‘native Indians’?

    OK, it is a stretch to be sure and the first ‘native Indians’ lived more in harmony with the land than we ‘modern’ people do. But… the ‘native Indians’ also stole property and land from each other. Their ‘borders’ were defined only by what they could control either by force or agreement.

    ‘Border’ peoples have struggled with ‘unwanted immigration’ long before there were maps or countries with ‘agreed upon’ borders.

  • Todd

    By chance or design—and I think it’s the latter—America has created this illegal immigration problem for itself. By virtue of its support for oppressive Mexican political regimes and the intentional neglect of securing its own borders, America is responsible for its illegal immigration dilemma.

    Unfortunately, the new Arizona law only offers the WORST sort of non-solution. It will do NOTHING to solve the root of the illegal immigration problem, while at the same time setting a precedence which allows authorities yet another excuse to randomly harass the public.

    Two wrongs never make a right. Yes, it is wrong to immigrate illegally. But, it’s a greater wrong to support oppressive political regimes in neighboring countries. America’s policies toward Mexico have been instrumental in keeping the Mexican people impoverished; causing them to desperately seek relief by illegally crossing the border. And then they get exploited for their cheap labor—yet another wrong!

    Put the blame for this problem where it belongs: in the lap of the “do-nothing” corrupt U.S./Mexican governments. An offense of omission has been committed against both the American AND Mexican people by their respective governments.

    If were gonna throw stones over this issue, let’s make sure that we direct them at the political culprits DIRECTLY responsible for the problem—-not the scapegoats caught in the middle who are merely trying to survive.

    There is no easy solution to this problem. But, getting rid of those politicians who have—by their inaction—caused the problem to persist for so long would be a good start!

  • Y.C.

    Despite what the general consensus seems to be on this comment page, Rodriguez was a most excellent contributor to this panel. I for one appreciated his plunge directly into 2.0 talk; unfortunately, it was too difficult, too much, and also too late now.

  • ThresherK

    Crud. I didn’t close that link

  • Tatiana

    I speak as one who tried to stay in the United States legally. I went on a student visa, did everything right, followed every law and tried to find a legal path to stay. Needless to say, I could not do that and I have returned to my home country 2 months ago.

    I am a college graduate (summa cum laude), speak English fluently, and have always had stellar reviews from my bosses in every internship/job I was able to get (LEGALLY). Problem is, the US immigration laws make it virtually impossible for someone who is not born into wealth to follow this mythical “path to legal immigration.” Believe me, I tried.

    Because of this hatred clearly outlined in most comments here, the immigrants best equipped to actually help the US economy are simply turning their backs and going back. All that’s left are the ones whose perspectives in their home countries are worst than facing all this hate from Americans. It doesn’t matter anyway… Your economy is getting so weak, your dollar so pathetic that is not even really worth to fight so hard to stay in the face of so many people screaming at you to “Go back to where you came from!” Nice work! In another decade or so you’ll have transformed your country in a place of poor, ignorant, and utterly undemocratic people who talk a big talk but can’t barely read and write, let alone add, multiply, and solve equations.

  • ellen palardy

    Why do hispanics think this is only their issue??

    I am the daughter of Naturalized immigrant parants. They came to the states from Canada. 100% of my extended family is across the border in the French speaking province of Quebec. I was harrassed by my peers growing up in the small border town my family settled in because we were “different.”

    When my parents later returned to Canada, I attempted to obtain dual citizen along with them. I was asked to identify skills, qualifications and career path. As a single mother in my twenties with only some collge and no clear career path — my application was denied!!

    Now, do I expect that if I were to visit relatives in Canada, and then extend that visist from days to months, to years that I have a “right” be in that country and avail myself of the benefit of their economic and social system?? Absolutely not. I would expect to be deported.

    An earlier caller mentioned that there does not seem to be the same issues between the US & Canada, implying that get along better because they are both “white” countries. Perhaps the real reason is that typical US citizens respect Canadian laws!!

    The issue is LAWS. Who abides by them, who doesn’t and who abuses them.

  • http://randolin.com Nowa Crosby

    The fact that we’re so divided only reflects more profoundly how divided this country is. What Americans forget is, none of our ancestors were invited here. We took everything we have as a nation. The “Pilgrims” moved into dead native Americans houses and planted in their fields.Yes, in a modern society we need rules and a way to control our border, but most Americans have NEVER left this country, so they don’t know how it feels to be in another country where you don’t have rights as a citizen. The present law in Arizona is nopthing short of Facist, racist and plainly illegal. If you think that it will not be mostly people of color, in other words none white people who will be harassed and arrested, then I’m not sure where you’ve been living. The racisim in this country is deep. I grew up in the south in the 60′s and 70′s and my wife is Filipino and a recent citizen, who followed the letter of the law to become a citizen, but we both see how lopsided and unequal the immigration laws are. WE need reform now, but fair and humane reform. Remember, we’re all human beings here, in this country and the rest of the continent, and nobody is going away. In reality, we’re all Americans on this continent, and if we just open our eyes, and not our mouths first, we may see what the solution is.

  • Stands with Fist high



  • David Nocella

    We need to adress the root cause. Why doesn’t America have a border problem with Canada?

    Mexico is not a country where the rule of law prevails. It is a two class society with great injustice suffered by the underclass. Citizens would not want to leave Mexico if their State provided justice and oportunity for them.

    The answer to illegal immigration is simple. Annex Mexico to the United States and eradicate the injustice that induces emigration. The US would gain miles of vacation resorts, archeological sites, oil reserves, and a younger work force to support retiring baby boomers. in addition we would need only defend a narrow isthmus from illegal immigration. The Mexicans would gain the rule of law and the opportunity afforded to most American Citizens

    Let’s stop wasting our money in the Middle East and Afganistan and strengthen our position in our hemisphere.

    And hell, if the Mexicans don’t want us, we can just invade their country. We’re good at that.

  • Ruth Baker

    Now the media of the center, WBUR, is being infiltrated with right -wing nutcases, who have no knowlegde of history, or, at least choose to ignore it. (Wasn’t there just an “On-Point” program on the Federal government, having an ~ 2 billion debt – way back in around 1873 – so, Custer was sent to steal land from the Native Americans, which contained gold, from the Native Americans, so the gov’t could obtain that gold? Wonder what the Native Americans think of mostly, white people complaining about the “immigrants”?)
    Richard Rodriguez is spot – on. And so is “wait one minute” – many times, at least.

  • http://randolin.com Nowa Crosby

    I’m sorry, Americans do not respect Canadian laws, because most Ameriocans don’t know anything about Canada. I’ve lived there, as my wife is a dual Canadian/American/Filipino. Yes, we have to respect laws etc., but the Hispanics have been used as cheap labor for decades. This is not a new problem and it has actually been encouraged by many, many businesses.

  • Ruth Baker

    “Stands with Fists High”, and “David Nocella” are also spot – on!

  • Brett Earle

    Post 9/11 paranoia is driving the incendiary nature of this issue.

    Without 9/11, illegal immigration would still, nevertheless, be a significant issue, in our country.
    But the differences of opinion would not be as torrid.

    For me, the way to look at this debate is to recognize that laws are not made to be broken–but sometimes may, eventually, need to be changed.

    We don’t need Pat Buchananites nor liberal Latinos to frame the debate–because if we engage in discussion, by having the extremes on both sides, slug it out, then such a circumstance does nothing but polarize the problem.

    For me, the issue is, how do we assess whether illegal immigration is either having a deleterious effect or else, in fact, a constructive effect on our country–from the standpoint of economic realities; demographic factors; population changes; crime; health; and general well-being of the country?

    Can we offer a definitive conclusion about these issues?

    And if we can, or we can’t, how do we assess the country’s marginal majority of supporting the Arizona law contrasted with the Statue of Liberty, asking the world to, “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.”

  • Al

    IF the world is and has been borderless, IF corporations go across borders to get cheap labor, IF people are crossing borders in search of economic & social advantage, then, I, as an individual, can decide to cross the border to pay MY taxes in a state with lower taxes — hey! — maybe even in a country that has lower taxes and gives me better social programs. WHY should this borderless theory not include ME? Hey! Maria Hinojosa keeps saying stuff that she justifies with a dripping narcissism! So, why can’t I act narcissistically?!!? I’m just gonna take me to Sweden and tell them that I’m there for their fantastic social programs. I’m going to expect them to pay for my education & my emergency, acute & chronic care medical bills. It’s awful dark there in Sweden, too, so, I’ll expect a grant from the government to cover my electric bills, because I’m not gonna stand for this!.this…darkness so close to the North Pole. Nope, I deserve some light here. You need to pay my electric bills. I don’t care about the poor, young Swedish widow with two kids; I’m the one who, due to your countrymen discriminating against me based, obviously, on my ethnicity…I’m the one who needs tax dollars spent on ME. Did I mention ME. It’s about what I want and about what I deserve. Any of your own poor Swedes obviously didn’t apply themselves to making a good life for themselves, because THEY are the same ethnicity as the country, and you can always make it in this country if you apply yourself. Now, ME, I’m poor because you are discriminating against me. The poor Swedes are not as hard working as I am; that’s why they’re poor. I’m hard working, and I determined that crossing the ocean to get here was what you forced me to do, so I did it, but the poor amongst your own countrymen deserve to be poor because they didn’t work hard. And, no, I’m not going to help them when I move up the ladder because I have people in my own country of origin that I must save money for so that they can come to Sweden, too, where they, too, will face great discrimination, but, because we are working so hard, it will only make us stronger. I’m sorry? What did you say? What about the poor guy from Liberia who wants permanent residency leading to citizenship? I have my family to think about. We are a very family oriented people (no one else is?). I don’t have time to think about why somebody from Liberia, waiting in line for citizenship, might not get a chance to be legal because I got what I wanted which is walk-in legality for me and all my family, even those who aren’t born yet, but they will be born here, you know what I mean?…. What was I saying about ME…..?

    I have lost a lot of respect for Maria Hinojosa as a “journalist”; she had a lot of opinions but an insufficient number of facts to back up her opinions. She told us she was a journalist as if we were all supposed to bow down before her & accept all of her opinions. Listen to the podcast: her main justification for her opinions was that SHE said it! Perhaps she belongs on FOX instead of on PBS.

  • http://lettersofmarque.blogspot.com Kent Thompson

    I listened — as I do most days. This particular show was not a balanced discussion.

    The cross-border problems both Mexico and the USA are experiencing are complex and clearly becoming problems needing urgent attention.

    *Just this spring NPR has broadcast serious discussions about Mexican gangs establishing drug plantations and hiring local or smuggled thugs to guard and tend the plants until harvest.

    *North America is not the European Union. We have separate sovereign authorities, currencies, armed forces. Mostly separate languages of official legislation.

    There are very serious consequences from the naive, open-border utopian ideologies of your guests. Really, get some people with intellects and wide reading to challenge some of the things your 3 guests, all with quite similar perspectives it seems. While she is indeed knowledgeable about certain immigration issues, Ms. Hinohosa in particular seemed to be speaking from such a august pedestal of self-assured authority. I do grant that her glass border wall is a powerful metaphor; however, she presents it with the earnestness of a pork-barrel lobbyist — not a visionary.

    I also suggest that since, to judge by his recent open letter to President Barak Obama, Elie Weisel loudly wants the USA to butt out of any discussion about zoning in Jeruselem; invoking his hallowed name in this context isn’t such a slam dunk.

    I think part of the problem was that the host, somewhat understandably, since he was by default cast as the only questioning voice, excepting one caller who was somewhat patronizingly waved off as uninformed about what is going on in “her country” — to use one of Ms Hinohosa’s favorite labels.

    I applaud the effort to discuss the immigration issues in a fresh, honest way — one that does include a future that all Americans can share in peace and mutual respect. This show did not do much to advance that effort.

    I can’t really blame these guests for honestly advancing their ethnic agendas.

    Tongue-biting reticence on one side and jingoistic “law-and-order” rhetoric on the other among English-speaking, white advocates also don’t help us arrive at any much-needed shared visions of the future or effective laws and enforcement policies.

  • Natalie

    Enforce the laws.
    Speed up legal immigration process.

  • Al

    Kent T.,

    Your comment is BRILLIANT! THANK YOU!

  • jeffe

    First I do not support this Arizona law which is reactionary. This is a complicated issue and I think something needs to be done. One thing is obvious, we need a lot of man power patrolling the borders. We have a lot of military personnel on obsolete bases in Europe and in the Pacific. How about training them to augment the Customs patrols.

    Maria Hinojosa made some pretty outlandish comments, and she had the nerve to bring up the Holocaust. Shame on her for using cheap shots on the level of Glenn Beck.

    Even though our country has a checkered history with dealing with immigrants, anyone who doubts this read up on the internment of Japanese/Americans during WW2, even though we have this history it is not on the level of what the nazis did to the Jews and other Europeans who perished in the death camps. Shame on her.

    It is the law and she knows this, that all immigrants who are not citizens must carry at all times documentation that they are allowed to be here.

    To go one about people who are married to illegal immigrants who are living in fear is a bit much.
    If people have not done the legal work to become legal after marriage then that’s their fault. Why should I feel sorry if they can’t buy a house or car?
    Hire a lawyer, like my wife and I did, and go through the process to get a Green Card. It was expensive, but this is what you have to do.

  • John

    “So let me get this right. Mexicans are dying to leave their country and come to the US and when they get here they don’t want to assemolate into the US population and become Americans rather they want to make America more like the country they risked their lives to escape. How does this make any sense?” – Posted by Bob — How dare they not “assemolate” – they won’t learn English!

  • http://FlusterCucked.blogspot.com Frank the Underemployed Professional

    John Varner said: “Has anyone calculated the increased costs of production that will arise from this crack-down? Are we ready to pay the full price of a crack down?”


    John Varner’s argument is flawed because he is only considering the front-end costs while completely and perhaps purposely ignoring the huge and invisible back-end costs.

    If we have to pay Americans more money (an American free market rate) to do those “jobs Americans won’t do” for third world wages then the goods and services they are producing will in fact cost more on the front-end. However, it costs more on the back-end than we would spend on the front-end in terms of (1) the costs of welfare and unemployment to support unemployed and poor American families and (2) the costs of paying for any welfare, housing expenses, health care, education, increased criminal justice costs, increased population density costs, and environmental costs resulting from having poor immigrants.

    We pay for these invisible back-end costs John Varner ignores in our taxes, quality of life, and standard of living.

    So, in summary, we can choose one of two options:

    (1) We pay for the housing, education, and health care of working poor American families on the front-end in terms of higher prices for goods and services or and less money on the back-end, or

    (2) We pay less money on the front-end for goods and services but now we pay more money on the back-end for the housing, education, and health care of unemployed and underemployed Americans on the back-end in the form of our taxes AND we pay for any welfare, housing expenses, health care, education, increased criminal justice costs, increased population density costs, and environmental costs resulting from having poor tens of millions of poor immigrants.

    In short–we are going to pay for the housing, education, and welfare of poor Americans one way or the other–either in the form of higher prices for goods and services or higher taxes. It makes more sense to simply just pay the money to care for American citizens than it does to pay the money to care for American citizens and tens of millions of impoverished immigrants.

    Contrary to what John Varner thinks, you cannot magically obtain wealth for nothing through cheap immigrant labor (or cheap products from China for that matter). We will have to pay for it in some sort of a way either on the front-end or the back-end.

  • Tyrone

    The Arizona law simply says “enforce existing Federal Law”. Nothing more.

    Remember folks, in Arizona, 1 out of every 11 people is an illegal alien. Not an immigrant, but an illegal alien. To put this in perspective, if we had this trend nationwide, it would be like having the entire populations of Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, West Virginia and Pennsylvania combined be composed entirely of illegal aliens. If we had this trend in New England, it would be like having the entire population of either Maine or New Hampshire be composed entirely of illegal aliens. (Both States have 9% of New England’s population.)

    It’s politically, economically and sociologically untenable to have this large of an illegal population. So follow the money trail.

    Follow the money. All of the so-called “advocates” who like to muddy the view by calling themselves “immigrants rights” advocates when all they advocate is for illegals, make money off the problem. My guess is they get contributions from the Mexican drug cartels. (And if you are here legally like I am, try approaching one of them with a problem. As soon as they hear you are legal, they don’t want anything to do with you.)

  • Gary

    Yikes! I know propaganda when I hear it. Vomiting out every emotional push button in rapid succession and avoiding a sensible discussion of law enforcement, financial factors, wage suppression, labor abuse, hiring practices, documentation.

    One hour of emotional non-rational justifications for illegal activities. Where is the discussion of the…Oh why bother… just keep supporting the oligarchy’s need for slave labor and cheap produce, and watch what remains of the republic fail.

    …and it had to happen at some point, Janet and I are on the same side on this issue. LOL

  • http://FlusterCucked.blogspot.com Frank the Underemployed Professional

    PW said: “Too many of us believe that we can wall ourselves off from the rest of the world. We can’t. Over-population, environmental degradation, risks of terrorism and “natural” disasters — these are all world-wide concerns.”


    PW’s argument that we cannot keep people out of the United States and thus cannot control population explosion and environmental degradation in the United States is not only false, but also reeks of the argument that destructive and illegal activities should become legal simply because we cannot end them completely. If we followed PW’s logic then why shouldn’t murder or arson become completely legal since we can’t prevent it 100% of the time?

    PW’s position seems to be that Americans should merge with the rest of the third world–he’s advocating outright self-sacrifice. He’s basically saying, “Americans should be poor like people in the third world. Give up your the wealth and prosperity that your culture and system of government have created.” I can’t really argue against someone who’s fundamental value is, “It’s good to be poor and we should be poor.” However, I can point out his belief to the other 99% of American citizens who don’t want to be poor and explain that his point of view is based on that premise.

  • cyndee gallegos

    I go crazy when I hear Hispanics / Latinos are outraged over this. As a person whose family came from Spain over 400 yrs ago, not all of us are outraged. I am all for Arizona and every other state going after illegals. I own 80 acres in 80 that I plan on retiring to.
    I say that the State of Arizon should start the process to amend the Constitution to define the 14th Amendment. It has been bastardized to allow children born of illegals to have legal status. This law was to Right a Wrong, not to Wrong a Right. We should also enforce the 11th amendment which offers Immunity of states from suits from out-of-state citizens and foreigners not living within the state borders. And all states and the federal government have laws on the books stating the one can not profit from illegal behavior. Isn’t granting citizenship to children born of illegals and the path to citizenship, profitting from their illegal behavior? Go Arizona. I will keep paying my taxes to Arizona happily.

  • http://FlusterCucked.blogspot.com Frank the Underemployed Professional

    Jac Flasche said: “We should no only deport all the illegals we should make them spend a few months laboring on a wall to keep them out before we ship them back.”


    Congrats, Jac. You have just posted the best idea I have heard in some time. I’m kicking myself for not having thought of it. The punishment for breaking into the United States illegally should be to work as slave labor helping to build an electrified 30 foot wall. That seems entirely appropriate.

  • Jeremy Baker

    Free boarders.
    Difficult, expensive, and impossible task trying to divert the flow of water when Americans lack the collective wisdom to understand its source.

  • Michael Isfar

    It is understandable that illegals who break the law to get here don’t have much respect for the law once they’re here.

  • Bob S

    Indians, heck, this country belongs to the dinosaurs. Time for us to give it back!

  • http://FlusterCucked.blogspot.com Frank the Underemployed Profesisonal

    Rich4321 thought he was being very clever when he said:

    “Every single one of us is here illegally except for the native Indians, because the native Indians never invited us, we came here with guns and cannons, we wiped out their communities and killed them at will.”


    The logical fallacy in Rich’s comment is that no one alive today had anything to do with any of those activities. Also, the issue is not whether we should sacrifice our well-being and interests in order to acknowledge crimes committed 200 years ago. Rather, the issue is, “What is in Americans’ rational self interest?”

    To hear Rich4321 tell it, we should impoverish ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren by opening up the borders and allowing anyone who wants to live in the United States to become an American citizen (resulting in a population explosion, the destruction of the environment, and widespread abject third world poverty for all Americans). Or perhaps Rich thinks that all Americans (who took the nation illegally from Indian tribes that warred with one another) should leave the United States and emigrate to other nations around the world (impoverishing the Americans).

    So, Rich4321, is that what you really believe–that Americans should be poor? Is that what you want for your brother and sisters, you nieces and nephews, you children and your grandchildren? What you said sounds cute, clever, and intellectual, but the implications of what you are saying is poverty for all Americans (and thus your argument isn’t very clever).

  • Julien Hurault

    I am listening to Onpoint’s show regarding Arizona’s law. The New York Times said 51% of Americans is about right. That is misleading. The same poll revealed that 9% of Americans think Arizona’s law DOES NOT GO FAR ENOUGH. That means that 60% of Americans support STRONGER ACTION against illegals.

  • Lacachao

    We need to realize that we are all interdependent. Exclusion does not help. One issue that is kept out of the immigration debate is the fact that this country has a tremendous appetite for drugs. Please all over the US buy drugs with an incredible ease yet getting those drugs to this country fuel the most violent conflicts all over Mexico and other countries that are used as intermediaries in the trafficking of these drugs wanted by Americans. The conflict and violence is creating less and less investment in these areas leaving drugs as the sole business opportunity. This most seriously contributes to immigration. If Mexico can’t get under control because of this country’s appetite for drugs, then immigration will only continue.
    It is our responsibility to treat abusers and to legalize drugs so that ll substances are treated as tobacco and alcohol and so that this violent profit margin is no longer.

  • Robert Francis

    This is not about immigration but about persons entering the USA illegally. This country has always been more or less welcoming to immigrants but we have every right to stop those that enter illegally. Also as to the worry about racial profiling, if we are looking for Mexicans entering illegally we need to look for people that look like most Mexicans. Not too many Mexicans are 6 feet tall with blond hair and blue eyes.

  • Jesse

    I can’t believe that woman who called, Leiah, mentioned Puertoricans as illegals who sneak in the US. Seriously, you should know your own country and what territories are part of the US before you start calling people illegal. Puertoricans are US citizens because Puerto Rico is a US territory, and has been a US territory since 1898.

  • Matt Carlson

    It’s fascinating to hear one of the participants speak of speeding in comparison to illegal immigration. I believe I recall her stating “When you speed you are not an illegal driver for life.” However, for the duration of your infraction you are indeed violating the law. If you entered the country illegally you are in violation of the law until such time as you return to your country or obtain legal status just as you are guilty of speeding until you reduce the speed of your vehichle below the posted limit. Her argument is absurd! Illegal aliens are here illegally and thus until such time as they are no longer in violation of the law are illegal aliens. They are subject to prosecution.

  • Melissa Rhoades

    Why are none of the guests on the show discussing the culpability of US employers who hire illegal immigrants?

    A major reason people continue to cross the border is because they CAN and DO get jobs without papers.

    Only after we actively punish employers for hiring illegals will this issue be dealt with appropriately.

    Americans need to acknowledge that our standards of living (including the costs of our groceries) are largely due to the fact that migrant workers are getting paid less than minimum wage to pick our food, clean our homes, etc.

    American people, please stop living in a fantasy and get real!

  • http://www.n-tv.de Jonathan Huckabay

    I think that the commentators on today’s show were just as emotionally charged and prone to logical fallacies as much as they claim “far right” pundents are.

    It is sad that America borders Mexico, which is a third world nation whereby their citizens would rather become denizens in another country (ours) than to be oppressed in their home country. Did we blame West Germany during the Cold War for being the place where East Berliners wanted to escape to? Did we try to rationalize, comdemn with emotional logic and hate that the free world hated the Soviet Union? People want to flee terrible countries and it is unfortunate that the Mexicans do not arm themselves in the mannor that the French did before they revolted. The Jacobin spirit is what is needed in all of Latin America because these poor citizens of all Latin America Countries deserve to live in a wonderful land where they can prosper if they wanted to, not jump borders to become pariah and denizens with no rights!

    I like the fact that America does border Canada which is a first world nation and has a fully developed economy, infrastructure, and a legal structure that limits corruption. Canada dose not pose the problems that the third world Mexico poses to America, but if Canada DID pose the same problems then American’s would be portrayed as being racist towards white Canandians!

    I do not agree with the fact that American’s are hypocrits by making Illegal Aliens yet again … ILLEGAL when Americans do commit crimes. Poor logic indeed for if an Illegal Alien brought 2 kilos of cocaine by this rationale they should be let go since Americans break the speed limit. No, Americans do commit crimes but they are not hypocrits for doing so in their own country and at the same time demand that those who are here illegally LEAVE!

    If America were to legalize all drugs, image how severly it would bankrupt the criminals, cartels and corrupt government officials in Mexico. I would wager that they would take a page out of Fidel Castro’s book and say that their country is broke and failing because of the embargo from America. Latin America is full of Fidel Castro’s and Chavez’s who blame their countries problems to their northern neighbors!

    History was mentioned in the broadcasts. Well allow me to make three historical points:
    1. The Chinese were valued more as workers in the unsettled western states after the civil war, not the Mexicans who were enslaved by the spanish.
    2. Mexico has never had a period where corruption has not existed, save for Maximillion (from Spain no less) who was enstalled by America when we took Texas from Mexico after the fall of the Alamo. (maybe we should make Mexico into a new Gaum or Peurto Rico???)
    3. America’s immigration has steadily become less racially charged, a fact that Liberal gas bags will cry foul at. Look at the racial qouta system of the Immigration Act of 1924 and the other Immigration acts before and after it! Look at the tragedy of the anti-semitic immigration policies that led to the U.S.S. Liberty debacle where thousands of Jews escaping Hitler were all turned away by America! President Wilson wanted more Asians to immigrate that Latin Americans! Even Benjamin Franklin setup the Chinese Appreciation Society because he valued their culture and work ethic. America’s immigration policies have come a long way and to now say America is racist because it is cracking down on the people who happen to border our country is ludacris. Before the civil war American immigration policy denied a lot of Irish because they were deemed “lesser White”!!!

    In ending, I must say that because America’s weather forecaster’s do not usually include the weather in Canada nor in Mexico, it is usually becuase the cold fronts in Winnipeg do not affect the rain storms in Hawaii nor do the arid winds in Mexico affect the snow storms in Ohio! Also, living in Vermont as I do, the Vermont Public Radio station DOES in fact report on the weather in Quebec as do most television stations here too so your ideas of a ethno-centric, regio-centric and jingoistic America and the poor emotional logic surrounding (not supporting) them is rediculous!

  • Michael

    “If you want to be treated as an equal citizen you have to obey the laws as an equal citizen.”

    That a pretty false statement, just a few examples the treatment of someone who steal money, if you’re a CEO, or Banker (as oppose to average citizens), your allow to use the 5th amendment and admit nothing and still get off if you have a good lawyer but if you’re a average day joe expert witness can be used against you and trying to use the 5th would often get you more time.

    Since companies are persons, they can steal lie and cheat and be possible fined for it or nothing at all, as a real person would differently go to jail.

    People who have money can often avoid jail time and post bail and walk away with community service, as people without find themselves in jail longer and often forced to pea deals.

    Another, someone like Rush can abuse drugs and get nothing from it but when the poor does the same drugs and face years in jail.

    If you work for a private military company you’re often immune to the laws and crimes that people in the U.S. military would get in trouble for.

    Studies show that if your white or look it you’re often able to receive less jail time, or fines for the same crime as a minority.

    If you are Cuban and can make It to the shores of the U.S. you are automatically a U.S. citizen, but will be brought back if you are still in the water. How is that equal?

    If you’re a star and get busted for a crime the punishment is often less serious than if you are not one, even in sentencing there is a big gap.

    If you’re in the banking or government and cheat on your taxes you can often (when caught) get away with paying a smaller fine than a average citizen.

    If you are wealth you can hide income overseas to avoid paying taxes on it(breaking the law) and people cheer you on for this as oppose to the average joe.

    If you babysit, do construction, landscaping, and etc you can pay people or get paid under the table.(which is breaking the law) but the average joe working has to pay there taxes.

    If you perform a service or job for someone else and receive any type of payment is required by law you claim it .

    It is illegal to bribe government officials, yet lobbing and transferring funds to such officials have been going on in the U.S. for years.

    Entrapment is also against the law yet it still happens and is overlooked in the courts.

  • Michael

    Don’t forge the day of pray is unconstitutional of course a law abiding citizen would never do something unconstitutional right?

  • Mattie

    Opposition to immigration is an economic matter that is politicized by those with something to gain and foisted on the population as the bogeyman under the bed. It is just like the cold war, we just substitute “Hispanic” for “Commie.”

    Exhibit: The 1952 episode of “I Was a Communist for the FBI” entitled “Red Gate.” This radio show was one of the most hysterical (in both senses of the word) media fronts of the McCarthy era, put forth as the real tale of FBI informant Matt Cvetic. He was later discredited as a fraud and his stories as self-serving fictions.

    The fiction of “Red Gate” was that the Russkies were crossing the Southern border and using Mexican immigrants to overthrow the good ole US of A. Free at otrcat.com or on iTunes. It is useful for a little perspective on contemporary xenophobic looniness.

    Limbaugh and Dobbs are still using the same lies and racist language, and the Minutemen just confirm the pliability of the ignorant mind. Some things never change.

  • Brian

    Your panelists are tooooo emotional. They aren’t getting the fact that it does not matter if the ILLEGAL immigrants are “good” people or “family” people. They are ILLEGAL. Period.

  • Brian

    Leah was right. Your panelist is getting caught up by symantics. No one said that an illegal immigrant is a criminal for life. But they are a criminal while they are illegal. That is a fact. Would Maria suggest that if you commit any other crime in the US that the police just look the other way? Quit with the emotional BS and abide by the law.

  • Brian

    DUh the United States wasn’t a sovereign country in 1620.

  • Brian

    This isn’t about race, it isn’t about a warm and fuzzy united world. It is about THE LAW people. Why can’t these panelists get it? “This is about deep people..” Great, I’m glad you are deep but you are still illegal.

  • Larz

    I keep hearing that Mexico is a failed state. I’d like to know more about that and how it relates to globalization. For instance, is there any relationship to that and NAFTA ? This is a concern, that is a negative aspect of globalization.

    I think one of your guests said Americans might like to vacation in Mexico. Sure I’d like to go back there, I was there many years ago. I’m less certain that would be a good idea nowadays, but I would like to see improvements not just in the US, but other places as well. I don’t want to see Mexico go down the tubes and then have that spread over here. What can be done about fixing the problems in Mexico ? And this is much bigger than the simplistic argument about guns crossing the boarder.

  • Larry

    Deporting 1 million illegals from AZ/NV and CA is a dream come true for the legal residents in those states. The demand just on water would be greatly reduced, let alone the savings on schools, medical treatment, crime. Additionally, as a legal immigrant I would love to see these criminals sent back. I value my citizenship more than any other accomplishment in my life and I’m tired of them treating this country like a motel 8.

  • Becky

    If Mexico’s destitute couldn’t flee to the United States, Mexico might have more incentive to tackle its problems.
    The US has done many things wrong in its past, but that doesn’t mean violation of today’s immigration laws is justified.
    Yeah, I’m willing to pay more for groceries if it means the people picking vegetables are here legally and are making a living wage.

  • Jeremy Baker

    In my previous post, what was I thinking, a free boarder, a person getting free lodging and meals, or did I mean to spell out “free border” to reflect upon the topic about the barrier and ideology that is managed to build a wall to keep out the free boarders who dare to cross the magic line of power.

    Everyone needs to have their documents to be in order or be ejected to another planet, a planet called Planet FreeBoarder.

    In the 1980s I enjoyed visiting friends in Jamaica without a pass port. At the time a driver’s license was the legal document preferred, but not really necessary because I think the Birth Certificate was the required document. It was nice knowing that if my luggage or personal items became stolen I would not have to feel threatened with the thought of who I would call in the event I became arrested for not having my documents. In my years of traveling, I have lost my personal documents twice, to theft.

  • Wait one minute…


    What possibly could something like the THE NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE agreement have to with immigration? Don’t be silly. I mean its completely irrelevant, all it is is a trade deal between the US and Mexico, passed in 1994, and predates this huge influx of Mexicans, certainly the two could not possibly be related.

    Of course NAFTA is irrelevevent, otherwise people would be talking about NAFTA, but since no mentions NAFTA it is absolutely beside the point. I mean, NAFTA had bipartisan support. The same people yelling at each other in Congress today basically agree on NAFTA, so of course it is completely a side issue. Passing NAFTA was like declaring Prsident’s Day a holiday– just don’t even think about it. Take the day off and relax.

  • Wait one minute…

    Hey Becky,

    Did Mexicans pass our NAFTA law? Nope.


    One that you were free to call or write or vote for.

  • Wait one minute…

    Hey Becky,
    So you think a mistake is a mistake and we should not try to change our trade laws? Or maybe just stop subsidizing our agricutrual commondities that compete unfairly with Mexican farmers?

  • Becky

    No, I think NAFTA was/is wrong and should be repealed. I did encourage my representatives to vote against it, but unfortunately the corporate powers were all in favor of it. Regardless: I don’t think the existence of NAFTA means it’s OK for people to come here illegally. That’s –> ILLEGAL. Hopefully the law still means something in the US.

  • Wait one minute…


    Suppose you own a farm and it has been in your family for years. Along comes a large US corporation and floods your community with the product you have been supplying your community for generations. And you ask yourself, well how is it that they sell the same product so cheap when they have to ship it so far? Oh, the government is subsizing it that’s why. Now you’ve lost your farm and you have to let go all your workers. Where are they going to go? Do you think they are going to recognize the sacredness of US laws, when it was our laws that put them in this predicament.

    Stop beinga pollyanna, you’d jump the fence too if you were being homest with yourself.

  • Wait one minute…

    And Becky,



  • Seth

    Wow, it is sad to see that so many commentors did not listen at all to the arguments of the guests of the show. I thought the point was made very clearly that America needs to look at this debate from a cultural and social standpoint rather than simply a legal one.

  • http://www.filipinoboston.blogspot.com AKILEZ

    I know some Legal Immigrants don’t support the new Arizona Immigration law.
    But majority of them including me support the Immigration Law of Arizona.

    Especially Immigrants who were denied visa multiple times and worked so hard to get a working, student, tourist visas at any US embassy in the world.

    Paid a lot of fees fall in line for hours just to get a visa application.

    My father has been a Citizen of United States of America for almost 42 years now. He petitioned me but took him almost 6 years to finish the application process
    Because he didn’t have a job to support me. He doesn’t want me to be a statistics for not having a job and collect welfare checks every month and to be a burden for the American people and to the Federal government. He got a job and finished his Affidavit of Support for his only child and immigrated in 1993.

    I have been hearing for years since 1993 that illegal Aliens are creating assimilation amongst immigrant.

    I hate people pushing the Racial Profiling thing after 9/11 on my birthday. I have been racially profile at airports I didn’t mind it because it was for the better
    Not for the worst but to travel safely around United States.

    I have been a law abiding citizen properly documented by US embassy in Manila and until now I am still an abiding naturalized citizen of United States of America

    Illegal Aliens are destroying the fabric of this great nation by coming here undocumented. It is destroy the meaning of Resident Alien because I and other millions of Legal immigrants are being ridiculed for being here legally.

  • Seth

    Becky, your argument doesn’t stand up to the test of history. The reality is that the US as a nation has always relied on a labor “product” immigrating to the US. Immigration is not a new influx that is suddenly flooding the labor market, it is and has always been a cornerstone of US labor since before the country was even founded.


    NAFTA what does it got to do with immigration?
    It created jobs in Mexico.

    We are pouring Billions of dollars to China but the Chinese illegal Aliens are still coming here to have a greener pasture.


  • Becky

    Illegal immigration was a problem before NAFTA. That’s looking at it from a cultural and social standpoint and not “simply” legally. (I love that “simply”; as if our laws aren’t the bedrock of our country, and one reason people want to live here.)

  • Sheila

    What if someone decided that all Italian Americans in the New York tri-state area needed to be able to show ID and prove they are not on the FBI’s most-wanted list for racketeering and organized crime?

    What about white immigrants from Canada? How do you know if they are legal or illegal?

    First let me state that I believe immigrants should enter this and any other country legally. However,the Arizona Immigration Law is so wrong on so many levels. The arrogance of Americans in general, in this case mostly white Americans, is unbelievable. This country is only a few hundred years old (OK, so 400 if you stretch it). EVERYONE — except Native Americans — CAME HERE FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE; whether by choice, by force or no other alternative because of desire for the safety of their lives.

    Just think about what the white majority — which will not be that in 50 or so years — has done to IMMIGRANTS WHO LOOK DIFFERENT from white people: African slaves then Black/African-Americans, immigrants from China, Japan, South American and Carribean countries, Middle Eastern Countries.

    The tone, topics and reasoning of this debate are wrought with ignorance and are a testament to our poor educational system (not knowing Puerto Ricans are American) and the hysteria generated by creating fear in those who get their ‘education’ from narrow-viewed sources.

    Heaven help us all. We are all more similar than not, we each bring unique values to ‘the table.’

  • Kit

    Why has no one mentioned the difference in racial attitudes between Mexico and the U.S. Mexico’s George Washington – Benito Juarez, its first democratically elected president – was a fully blooded Indian, Olmec or Zapotec depending on your source. He was first elected in 1857. The country north of Mexico has always believed that anyone with a drop of African blood is an African. We are uncomformtable with our brown-skinned neighors to the south, but no one can say that because racism is supposed to be over.


    Sheila if you say ignorance that’s including you and me.

    And Again California is broke because of Illegal Aliens,
    MS13 Gangs control the illegal immigrants in Arizona and the MS13 is being controlled by Mexican drug cartel.
    a very violent gang is controlling our nations illegal immigration system.

    Have read and understand the immigration law of Arizona?
    What is really all about. To protect you and me from violent undocumented aliens. Las Vegas in 2003 a news report that a group of teenage girls were attacked and beaten by illegal immigrant using a baseball bat and Police officer attacked by a dozen illegal Aliens in Arizona. Last week a border patrol officer was shot by an Illegal alien

    Do you know How high the crime is Arizona it will overtake New Orleans, Washington DC and California soon

    Because of violent illegal aliens from Mexico.

  • David Gillman

    In the discussion about this law I haven’t heard anybody make the connection between illegal immigrants and water. We need migrant workers to support the economy of the West, which relies on large-scale irrigation. People with legal status won’t do migrant work, so we need people with illegal status.

    Donald Worster in “Rivers Of Empire” explained that the West could not be settled without large-scale irrigation, and large-scale irrigation necessitates large, monocultural farms. Big farms need temporary workers to pick the fruit before it rots, but after the harvest the farm has no more work. The workers have to find new work someplace else.

    Our hypocrisy toward water might be deeper and more relevant to this issue than our hypocritical attitude toward drugs.

  • Al

    Kit and others,

    Not everyone who objects to illegal immigration is White, European, or of European-ancestry. Some of the guests showed THEIR racism, too, by ASSUMING that anyone who objects to illegal immigration cannot be Black, Native American, or mixed.


    White people don’t like cleaning bathroom or gardening

    A lot of my White friends cleaned bathroom and gardening. they already graduated from that hard labor and went to another field. there is no reason to go back down the ladder if the already climbed the corporate ladder.

    Why do people always give the BS reason.

    There is white Americans that cleans bathrooms
    especially if that White person don’t have a job.

    They are illegal to clean bathroom because they can pay them 3 dollars an hour. not even an illegal alien can complain about that wage because they have job but for the Legal alien it is acceptable

    why should they clean the bathroom and get paid 3 bucks an hour without benefits. No they are not fools.

    There is a minimum wage law in every States.

  • http://FlusterCucked.blogspot.com Frank the Underemployed Professional

    Seth — could you please address the three reasons I started in the 2nd post in these comments for opposing mass immigration? How did the guests’ comments address any of those arguments? (I haven’t listened to the show yet, but I’d be surprised if they acknowledged any of my points.)

    Please type out a paragraph or two to explain why mass immigration is in Americans’ rational selfish interests.

  • Gigi

    Interesting comments in the comment section, however most are still very ignorant. Illegals do not qualify for social services or any other government service–end of discussion! They are ILLEGALS-get it? Furthermore, it is basic economics if no one would hire them, they would not come. How come Arizona does not focus more on those businesses that hire illegals instead of giving these businesses tax break after tax break? Isn’t this turning a blind eye to the real problem? Supply and demand! In a way I cant blame the law makers of Arizona: this is the single state government body with the least amount of educated people in it–and it shows.

    Furthermore, what about shipping the jobs to India? Isn’t this in a way the same thing? Taking jobs from Americans and giving them to someone else in a different country. Why isn’t Arizona passing a law against this–most of these jobs that are being shipped out are professional jobs furthermore.

    For those that claim that anyone wanting to enter the USA should go through legal procedures, the doors have been closed for a long time. It is very different than when my grandfather came through Ellis Island in 1916. The wait is about 10 years. BTW, if you want these veggie picking, cook, nanny, construction, lawn mowing jobs so bad, apply for it, take the pay that your parents, cousins, neighbors offer these people and get to work.

  • Janet

    Actually, illegal aliens do qualify for social services by using false ID. Additionally, they are granted access to emergency and routine medical treatment, education, library, police, fire, parks etc..without paying their fair share of the cost of these services. AZ did pass a very tough law on employers last year. I mow my own lawn, paint my own fence, rarely eat out since my taxes are so high I can not afford it. The time for feeling sorry for illegal aliens has passed and now it’s time to feel sorry for the residents of the USA that have been paying for this massive invasion.

  • Dr. Johnson

    The nut of the problem is a failure of the Hispanic countries to develop beyond a two class society. Mexico is a complete failure as a country, society and culture. How can anyone support a nation that exports it’s citizens like cattle? Then encourages them to take back breaking work in the farm fields and send home the majority of their earnings. They have huge deposits of oil and natural gas but are too inept and corrupt to manage the money earned from these resources. No..this new law is not a racist reaction to this invasion from the South, but rather a notice to Mexico to clean up your act.

  • JacFlasche



    Posted by Stands with Fist high, on May 6th, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    Stands with Fist,

    You need to read some real history. When the first European settlers moved to north America they were almost immediately involved in ongoing bloody conflicts of one native tribe against another. These native people had no problem slaughtering each other in ongoing wars which probably would still be going on if not for the US. You are a victim of the deconstructionist myth. The native people were not in harmony with nature no matter what Madison ave has sold you. The fossil record shows that all big slow tasty animals that they could catch were hunted to extinction as the Asian tribes moved south. Many of them were cannibals. Cannibalism and sick religions were practiced on an industrial scale by native populations. They had not developed the use of metals or even the wheel. The same thing happened to indigenous populations the world over when they meet up with a people with higher technology. Most of the natives were killed off by disease and it is an unproven deconstructionist myth that they were ever spread intentionally. Next time you decry the white man, give up all the gifts of science and understanding that you have gained from them and go live the short brutish existence you would have had without their influence. All you have to do is read some real historical accounts of the colonies and you will find that what you believe is nonsense.

  • http://www.beccar.wordpress.com Eugenia Renskoff

    Hello, Tom, I am just afraid that this will make people who are not the typical American type or people with heavy accents become targets of racial profiling. There are many hard working illegals. Why can’t they become citizens? Maybe even then, people would look at them and not like them too much, but they would protected by the law. Eugenia Renskoff

  • Legal Immigrant

    I am a legal immigrant married to an American citizen since 1999. When we were married, the U.S. government required me to submit my personal information –everything under the sun — such as past and current addresses, my birth certificate, SSN, bank accounts, employer, health status (including my chest x-lay, immunization record, HIV/AIDS and other STD test results) and finger prints. They also required my husband to sign an affidavit that said he would be forever responsible for reimbursement of all the government welfare benefit, if I were to be dependent on the welfare program (regardless of our marital status).
    I have been living responsibly. I waited to have my child till I got a full-time job with benefit (It took me a while, because I had no work experience in this country). I have never gotten free medical care or food stamps or free school lunch for my child. I have never committed a crime of any kind.
    On the other hand, I have watched undocumented immigrants getting jobs freely, giving birth, and applying for welfare benefit for their US born children. And the U.S. government let them. My taxes are being used to finance undocumented people’s benefit: their/their children’s free medical care, food and schooling.
    Racial profiling is wrong no matter what. However, what I do not understand is why the US government is treating one type of immigrant differently from another. Immigration law should be fair to all immigrants. No exceptions. Brown, Black, Yellow or White.

  • JacFlasche

    In my opionion the only journalist who consistently had significant guests and subjects was Bill Moyer,
    and now he’s gone.

    Bill I will miss you too much. We need you now more than ever. God bless you Bill Moyer

  • Impeach obama

    The Democrat(Socialist) party wants to give amnesty to illegal aliens, some of whom are confirmed terrorists. Perhaps Osama Bin Laden should sneak into the contry, he could get amnesty and Obamacare.

  • Ed

    I’m a liberal. I’ve voted Democratic for my whole life. However, I strongly support cracking down on illegal immigration. I remember the 86 amnesty. Now they want to do it again. How bout we actually enforce the law?

    Illegal immigration is great for the rich and terrible for the poor. I’m sorry that so many people feel the need to abandon Mexico but that’s not my problem. Some people are saying they’re going to boycott Arizona, vote against representatives who they consider anti-immigrant. Fine. I’m going to boycott them. And there’s no way I’m going to vote for an open borders Democrat.

  • Becky

    Ditto everything that Ed said. Wake up, fellow Democrats.

  • david

    Some facts: What illegals are costly us.
    *$11 Billion to $22 Billion is spent on welfare to illegals each year by state govt. AZ 1.3 Billion
    *$2.2 billion/yr. is spent on food stamps, WIC and free school lunches.
    * $2.5 billion/yr. is spent on Medicaid.
    *$12 billion/yr. on primary and secondary education for illegal children of illegals who do not speak English.
    *$17 billion/yr. is spent for education of anchor babies of Illegals.
    *$3 billion a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegals.
    *30% of all Federal prison inmates are illegal.
    *$90 billion/yr. is spent on illegals for welfare social services by we taxpayers.
    *$200 billion/yr. in suppressed American wages due to Illegals.
    *Crime rate is 2-1/2 times higher than non-illegals.
    *2005, 4-10 million illegals crossed, as many as 19,500 were from terrorist countries.
    *The dark side, Nearly i million sex crimes committed by illegals.
    *Los Angeles County, illegals cost them 1 billion/yr.
    Go to this site for more.
    We reap the country we sow.
    Amnesty of 22 million means enormous cost increase because then they will be legally entitled to all of our welfare services. Also Obamacare!
    But!!!! remember our politicians want what is best, a people who will VOTE!!! That is why there has been no immigration reform or enforcement of laws.
    Wake up America!!!! Our country is passing away before our very eyes.

  • justanother

    I will only support an Illegal Immigrant Law only if:


    Some of the illegal immigrants are smuggled by the business owners, just like the good old white American bought and enslaved the blacks, just like the good old white American lured the Chinese here to work for almost nothing to build railroad, just like any other European immigrants here, Italian, Polish, Jewish….. they have all been resented and discriminated by original “white” Anglo Saxon here. All of a sudden Italian, Polish, Jewish….. all become white in America. Look back the American colonial history, this is just history being repeated.

  • david

    Just saw on the news that we the taxpayers are paying for some the bailout of Greece.
    US taxpayers are providing ~$8 billion of the $145 billion to help kick the Greek can down the road.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/henry-blodget-guess-whos-paying-for-that-greece-bailout-thats-right-you-2010-5#ixzz0nC3oNwbi

    Man, we got money to throw away, I bet we had to borrow this money from China also.
    With an invasion from the south of millions, money going out all over the world, oil in the gulf and spend trifts in Washington. We the sucker taxpayers footing all the bill and we don’t even have a party thrown on our behalf. Wake up!!!!! America!

  • JacFlasche


    The opponents of NAFTA 15 years ago predicted a massive increase in illegal immigration into the United States once NAFTA became law. But even under Clinton, corporate America ruled the country as it does now.



    Posted by Nick, on May 6th, 2010 at 9:03 AM


    Very true, and you cannot solve the NAFTA and such systemic problems until you get rid of the infection.
    The infection can only be cut out if Campaign Finance Reform (the real kind) is inacted. You will only be able to do that if you can start throwing out the Congressmen in wholesale fashion until they stop the corruption of pandering to corporate interests. So the whole thing hangs on the fact as to whether or not Ameicans (an by that I mean legal US citizens) are so brainwashed that they continue to think that only a vote for a Repoblocrate is one that counts. So no one like Ross or Ralph can be elected why? Because of we the brainwashed people.

  • EAEvans

    I am listening to this show in Miami,7:30 pm EST. All of these guests are missing the point. The US welcomes immigrants from all over the world every single day. All immigrants are welcomed to come to the US and follow our immigration laws. We have a clear and legal process and pathway to visit, work, study and ultimately if one so chooses, become a citizen. All we ask is follow our laws.

  • David

    We have yet to see any abuse of this new law by the police. Part of living in America is to follow the law. We are not Mexico, El Salvador, etc…we have laws and the majority of the people try to follow the law. I welcome any legal immigrant from any country, but this constant crying by Hispanics is disgusting.

  • Jeff

    As a victim of identity theft and having to pay taxes on income I never earned, I feel they need to be here legally or not at all. They can’t not work here legally if they are not here legally. There is ways to be Legally. Correct?

  • Michael

    “We have yet to see any abuse of this new law by the police. Part of living in America is to follow the law. We are not Mexico, El Salvador, etc…we have laws and the majority of the people try to follow the law. I welcome any legal immigrant from any country, but this constant crying by Hispanics is disgusting.”

    of course this law does not go into effect for another 80 plus days but here a recent abuse.
    “””The new birthers: Arizona truck driver arrested, forced to show birth certificate
    By John Tomasic 4/26/10 12:00 PM

    A Latino truck driver outside Phoenix was taken into custody by law enforcement at a weigh station. He pulled in to have the truck looked at, was apparently approached by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and asked for ID. He showed them his commercial driver’s license. They asked him for more ID. He told them his social security number. They cuffed him took him to the central office in Phoenix and called his wife to bring his social security card and birth certificate. The man is identifying himself to media only as “Abdon” and he is an American citizen born in the USA.

    The ICE agents said this was all just standard procedure. But the agents might just as well have been local police or highway patrol, who are now required by the controversial law Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed Friday to follow the same “standard procedure” and question individuals about their immigration status during routine stops. Welcome to the new Arizona, where there are sure to be whole websites dedicated to these kind of stories soon.””””


    Your welcome :)

    If people are concern about others not paying taxes then let make even tougher laws on people hiding income made, like oversea accounts, or people that work under the table like construction,babysitting,landscaping,maids, nannies, etc. By them working and not paying taxes on such income is against the law, While we’re at it lets go after companies who through loop holes pay zero taxes as well. If taxes are the concern than giving the IRS even more power and control would accomplish collecting taxes on folks and companies who wish not to.

  • bob guttenberg

    Your guest that stated the holocaust was caused by calling Jews “illegals” should research the psychological problems that Hitler had. Making statements that have no basis in fact and trying to tie them into this great US Government failure to enforce its border laws should not be allowed on NPR. I have lost all faith in NPR as of late due to your poor choice of guests

  • Michael

    I’m sure David never speeds on the highway since of course that be against the law remeber 1 mile is over is breaking the law,nor any work where he did not claim it as income. Of course if David kids decided to babysit he will make them claim it as income and pay taxes on such, since not doing so is against the law.

    My old roommate has a landscaping company and pays almost all his workers under the table so he doesn’t have to pay taxes on them. I rarely claims all the income he makes for it, but all the expenses and hates immigrants legal or not. He claimed school expense yet we were both in the military so they paid for his school. Yet when i point out he is cheating the government and what he’s doing is against the law his defense is that he’s American and not illegal.

    Gotta love Conservatives who see no hypocrisy in there statements. Folks google stories involving being other than illegals not paying taxes and what the right thinks about avoiding paying taxes to the government.

  • jeffrey erwin

    A job is a valuble item. ALL of the jobs available in the US belong to US citizens (or green card holders.) I believe that it is THEFT for an unauthorized person to accept gainful employment. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal there are seven million unauthorized job holders in non-agricultural sectors. At the same time 15 million US citizens are unemployed and looking for work.
    I keep hearing that “We can’t deport 12 million foreign nationals. I don’t believe that. It took fifty years for them to sneak in, let’s spend the next fifty sending them home.

  • ed fisher

    I would find todays on point about illegal immigrants offensive, except I am beginning to get used to the liberal hogwash being projected by agenda in America today , a bigger question is why is vermont public radio falling into so much of the progam, oh forget it , I just realized my mistake ;VERMONT Public Radio. I am just glad I understand we live in a nation, on a continent and in a world of laws.To bad you don’t .

  • Somerset County, NJ

    In this town Ecuadorians and Mexicans — SOME — buy homes, borrow against them to buy vehicles, fill the schools for a few years, gut the homes, foreclose on them, and leave.

    On our block there are eight homes fitting this EXACT profile.

    There are no other foreclosures in the area. Do I hate immigrants? On the contrary. In fact, many of our town’s BEST families (active parents, respectful children, respectfully maintained properties, no parking on lawn, etc.) are also immigrants.

    Do I resent foreigners who take advantage of their status to damage what had formerly been a lovely community of Victorian homes and laugh in our faces? Well — how can we discuss THIS in a PC way?

  • David

    I love OnPoint but this was a terrible show, particularly frustrating since instead of a serious discussion about the new Arizona law, we got the same demagogy, emotional reasoning, and irrelevant anecdotes you hear on talk radio from the radical right, but from liberals. And no challenge from Tom against any of the blather and inanity. Thin gruel!

  • Stephen

    I didn’t like today’s show much either. Seemed fairly lopsided. At the end the one guest stated something like, “Spain stole the land from the Native Americans, Mexico stole it from Spain, and then the Gringos stole it from Mexico.” Insert a different racial slang for Gringo and this would be condemned as racist. I think it displays why Americans have anxiety over illegal immigration and the reaction in Arizona.

  • Mark S.

    Agreed, David. Talking points from beginning to end and very little real engagement with the reasons that a majority of Americans agree with some kind of immigration management other than the chaos we have today. Platitudes, finger wagging and tsk-tsking at people who have legitimate concerns about crime, a continuing race to the bottom on U.S. wages (see Midwestern meat-packing industry that used to pay living wages)and other problems due to illegal immigration.

    What I heard tonight simply reinforces my belief that “comprehensive immigration reform,” in the vernacular, simply means border dissolution. No borders, no illegal immigration problem. Also, I would like to hear a commentator once, just once, explain Mexico’s response to illegal immigration on its southern borders. Immediate return, no “anchor babies,” etc. 190 degrees opposed to our policies.

    Of course, for even raising these points, I am now a paranoid, right-wing, xenophobe … one that voted for Obama.

  • Mark S.

    In a word, tonight’s show was excrement, although that isn’t the word I would use. Didn’t hear the end because at 10 minutes to the hour I put in an audiobook. Grew fatigued with the kabukie dance. In fact, I find myself growing increasingly fatigued with On Point these days and more engaged with audiobooks. Perhaps because I consistently do not hear the pointed, challenging questions I would like to hear asked of sanctimonious guests not being asked. I can get that from Larry King.

  • Cathy

    Can we help the Mexican economy so that people don’t have to leave their home and risk their lives crossing the border in order to make a living?

  • Mark S.

    Oops! Meant to say: “Perhaps because I consistently do not hear the pointed, challenging questions I would like to hear asked of sanctimonious guests being asked.” Whatever…

    Fact is, I don’t hear the challenges I want to hear of the arguments of propagandists such as tonight’s on either side of the political spectrum.

  • justanother

    “Gotta love Conservatives who see no hypocrisy in there statements. Folks google stories involving being other than illegals not paying taxes and what the right thinks about avoiding paying taxes to the government.”

    No offense, some people do suffer from reasoning and memory deficiency. When they hate something, they can’t manage cause and effect, their ability is exclusion and hatred.

    Listen to Joe the plumber: “Illegal immigration?” he said. “Put a fence up and start shooting.”. Wow, Joe, I didn’t know it was so easy! Maybe so in your one dimensional world!

  • Bush’s fault

    This is electoral politics, pure and simple. Look for more Dem resignations in the months to come. Karl Rove is alive and well.

  • William

    With respect to immigration, a few poignant questions:
    Why do the peoples of lesser developed countries believe that in order to live a better life, America must be had?
    How can the advocates of open immigration policies expect America to accommodate all the peoples who seek a “better life”? Heck, that’s everyone. A natural human instinct is a desire for a better life. Is America to accommodate all human beings in their pursuit of a “better life”? Why do the advocates of open immigration policies not wake up and realize that the American life is due to scarce the enjoyment of scarce resources, which by definition, means there is not enough to go around. The lifestyle we Americans enjoy, and have worked hard to create, is in danger of disappearing due to the pressure created by seemingly endless numbers of immigrants looking to partiake of the American life. Nothing is limitless. America, and its social infrastructure cannot accommodate all people wanting a “better life.” Why not stay in your home country and work to bring about change there that will foster a better life?
    Also, in the midst of all this immigrant controversy, why is the focus only on Hispanics? What about all the other peoples America’s shores are flooded by? Asians? Africans? Indians? Pakistanis? (So much for one-ness, unity, solidarity, national identity).

  • Impeach obama

    As punishment for being in the country illegaly, every illegal alien should be forced to sign up for Obamacare.

  • Ron

    I heard the rebroadcast of this show a little while ago on WBUR, and normally don’t take the time to comment on any programs, but I’m really nodding my head to the “thin gruel” sentiment from some of the other commenters with regards to this show. Whether you’re for or against the kind of immigration reform in the AZ law, this really didn’t advance anyone’s understanding of the issue much at all.

    Normally you’ve got a great show but I’d be happy to see fewer of these kinds of non-substantive, liberal sandbox programs in the future.

  • Benito

    I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened. All of us ought to have the right to be treated as he would wish to be treated, as one would wish his children to be treated, but this is not the case.

    I know the proponents of this law say that the majority approves of this law, but the majority is not always right. Would women or non-whites have the vote if we listen to the majority of the day, would the non-whites have equal rights (and equal access to churches, restaurants, hotels, retail stores, schools, colleges and yes water fountains) if we listen to the majority of the day? We all know the answer, a resounding, NO!

    Today we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free. In a time of domestic crisis men of good will and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics and do what is right, not what is just popular with the majority. Some men comprehend discrimination by never have experiencing it in their lives, but the majority will only understand after it happens to them.

  • Barbara Wardle

    First comment: Maria Hinojosa is a bit confused regarding Puerto Rico citizens coming into the USA as being equal to allowing illegal Mexicans to cross the border at will. Puerto Rico is a USA POSSESSION and close to becoming the 51st STATE.
    Mexico is a separate country and should follow the laws of immigration just as anyone from any other country is forced to do.

    Second comment: The caller who made the statement about the USA being hypocritic regarding laws and rules and basing his feelings on the fact that every country has “stolen” land since the beginning of north American history needs to listen to himself. Does he realize he is saying the USA is not even a country of eminent domain?

    Third comment: Why is no one on your show (Tom) or callers or guests addressing the facts that a great number of illegal immigrants from Mexico are taking over whole areas in Arizona, raising crime rates, lowering property values and are not in any way a part of the hard working, honest, want to be US citizens, contributing to American work force and society, sector of legal or illegal Mexicans entering the country.

    Fourth comment: Exactly why do illegals think they are “entitled” to cross US borders? If we did in reverse what “they” are doing, we’d be, at a minimum, thrown in jail, hopefully deported, and at worst, shot!

  • Ken Ciszewski

    There was a comment today on NPR’s “On Point” in which a commentator said the Ellie Wiezel commented that people should not be referred to as “illegal”, because that’s what the Nazis did to start the ball rolling on their persecution of the Jews.

    I understand Wiezel’s point, but there is a clear difference–the Jews in Nazi Germany had not committed any illegal acts against reasonable laws–they were the victims of laws whose intention it was to destroy them out of hate and prejudice. This is not the same has having reasonable immigration laws that control who may legally enter a country.

  • Timothy Yoon.

    Instead of using public money to mobolized specail agents to wage a fruitless war on immigrants, or to built a wall on the border, it would be much better to let these immigrants to stay here legally, so they can pay the taxes, and start contributing the community. After all, we need them to work in the place where no american would want to work such as meat-packing and farm industry. The reason our foods are still afforable is because of these people who are willing to work for the very low wages.

  • BWardle

    PS: meant to say in comment two: sovereign nation and not eminent domain

  • justanother

    “Some men comprehend discrimination by never have experiencing it in their lives, but the majority will only understand after it happens to them.”


    So true.

    For instance, the oil leak in Gulf of Mexico touches the States of mostly Conservatives, some of them just started to realize the damage of oil leak when it happened in their backyard.

    Some people are born with empathy who has ability to imagine the pain of others, some can’t unless they have to feel the pain.

  • Charles in Salt Lake

    While there is little doubt that the Arizona law is a bit over zealous, it is not a law stemming from bigotry or hatred as posted by many. It is a law arising out of frustration. Frustration as a immigration system that is blind to its’ own inadequacies, a government that uses the topic for political reasons without ever truly addressing and a media so in love with the idea of confrontation and ratings that it conflates the issue. The simple fact is that as a sovereign state, as a sovereign nation the right to protect the borders goes without saying. What I heard on this program from the guests was nothing more that plea. Ms. Hinojosa spoke that americans are uniformed regarding this issue and she is dead wrong. Many Americans live with this issue every day. In their neighborhoods, at their workplace, and at the shopping malls or stores. Just today my wife walked into a shop looking for a dress, when she inquired about a size the women could only utter “no speak english”. That is one of the frustrations.

    Granted these shop owners are part of the problem and should bear some responsibility. However we as American also share this burden with our rapacious desire for cheap goods, cheap labor. The simple fact is that we cannot have it both ways, either the citizens of this county accept the higher costs of labor, in the form of wages, and higher costs of goods and services and remove part of the incentive or we don’t and this continues to be a problem, just more prominent every election cycle.

    This is not as some have posted a republican versus democrat issue either. This is an American issue. And here I am not speaking solely about the United States. There is something terribly amiss in Mexico. The is desperation and despair. Until that issue is addressed no law, no mandate, guards on the border, nothing will solve this issue.

    So, while the Arizona law might be repugnant to some and not to others, we should really be asking ourselves what part to I play in this issue. To the Latino community, in the absence of you doing anything helpful to solve this issue, you have no room to complain, unless of course it feels good to be a cause, like eradicating small pox or finding a cure for cancer. Stop playing the pity card and engage.

  • Michael

    the hypocrisy

    Tax Haven Crackdown

    Republican Defends Tax havens, Mitch McConnell


    President Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner announced on Monday a crackdown on offshore tax havens that could produce $210 billion in new tax revenue over the next decade.

    The White House will face opposition to the proposal from the business community and Congress. Before the announcement, a Republican leadership staffer circulated an email citing a Bloomberg report saying the proposal “would be the biggest tax increase on U.S. corporations since 1986.” And Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (Ken.) said later on Monday that he could not endorse Obama’s plan since it “gives preferential treatment to foreign companies at the expense of U.S.-based companies.”

    “But the amount Obama’s plan would reportedly save is a far cry from the estimated $1 trillion the United States loses to offshore tax havens over a ten-year period. A 2008 Senate report (PDF) estimated that “the United States loses an estimated $100 billion in tax revenues due to offshore tax abuses” every year.

    In January, the Government Accountability Office issued a report (PDF) that found that 83 of the 100 largest publicly traded U.S. corporations reported subsidiaries in countries listed as tax havens or “financial privacy jurisdictions.”

    Many of those corporations are beneficiaries of billions in taxpayer dollars under the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Morgan Stanley, for instance, boasts 273 subsidiaries in tax havens, with 158 in the Cayman Islands alone. Citigroup’s got 427, with 90 in the Cayman Islands, and 59 of Bank of America’s tax-haven subsidiaries are there as well. ”

    For those complaining about balance, NPR had a few one sided shows for the AZ were only supporters could call in along with TOTN(google it if you like) and multiple Opt Ed for it displaying only Republican and conservative view in the writing.

    Least on this show tom question the guest, on TOTN Neil did no such thing to his guest.

    My question is how much money will the privately own Prison systems be expected to make with this new Law?? and if those illegals being held in jail are being counted in the U.S. census?

  • Mona

    The problem with “talk radio”–even shows like “On Point”–is that there is too much opinion and not enough information. I listened to this show for a half an hour and got absolutely no information about the new law in Arizona. Mostly it was a lot of emotional ranting. Several of the guests had interesting things to say but Tom Ashbrook devoted way too much time to call-ins from ignorant people. Ashbrookcan’t seem to distinguish between the people who make salient points and the ones who are grossly misinformed. NPR listeners deserve better than this. Let’s dispense with the call-ins!

  • just some thoughts

    With the exception of the Native Americans aren’t we ALL from somewhere else?
    What ever happened to this?
    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
    Emma Lazarus

    I think we need more immigration not less. Screen them require acquisition of minimal language skills and knowledge about government/voting civic responsibility.
    I fully agree with the person on the show that pointed out the fiscal rewards of immigration.
    This will of course change the country and culture in some ways.
    So what?
    It changed when my ancestors got here from my ancestors diaspora and I would venture to guess it has changed as a result of every wave of immigration the country has ever seen.

  • Michael

    Fourth comment: Exactly why do illegals think they are “entitled” to cross US borders? If we did in reverse what “they” are doing, we’d be, at a minimum, thrown in jail, hopefully deported, and at worst, shot!


    Jail or death talk about a moderate view.

  • Gail

    The topic of illegal aliens in the United States covers various subtopics that takes a lot of time to explore in detail, which 30 minutes on a radio program can not accomplish.

    One of the major issues is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable (two lobbying firms) pushing politicians to leave the border open in order for businesses to have cheap labor. This underscores the corruption of private money being involved with the U.S. political election process. Additionally, special interest groups also want to leave the border open.

    Missing from the debate are numerous issues and the true impacts to the United States and Americans.

    1. National Security
    2. Border Security
    3. Crime (kidnapping, drugs, felonies against Americans, Border Patrol Agents, and Police by illegal aliens)
    4. U.S. Labor Needs, Immigration Policy & Enforcement
    5. Trade policies, such as, NAFTA
    6. Immoral policies that directly and indirectly encourage individuals to migrate to the U.S. in order to secure remittances. Additionally, many individuals die because of harsh circumstances getting to the U.S.
    7. Economic, financial, & social negative impacts on U.S. communities & Americans.

    The Arizona law is designed for protecting Americans from the crime crossing the borders. With police officers, border patrol agents and Americans being killed on U.S. soil by illegal aliens, the Arizona law is another tool for law enforcement.

  • Fred

    “With the exception of the Native Americans aren’t we ALL from somewhere else?
    What ever happened to this?
    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
    Emma Lazarus”

    If you’re argument is – that since most Americans descend from immigrants and that poem at the bottom of the statue of Liberty says what it does, that we have to have open borders, then I can only say I don’t find that very persuasive. The US govt has every right to enforce the immigration laws of the country. If you don’t agree with that, I won’t try to persuade you. I simply disagree.

    Given that I, like most, don’t believe everyone in the world has the right to move to the US, or that it would be desirable to have them do so, I like to see immigration law enforced.

    It may be that there are better ways to do it than the Arizona law. Unfortunately, they haven’t enforced them. (Can we all agree that if you have 12 million illegal immigrants you aren’t controlling immigration well?)

    IMHO, the first thing to be done is prove that we can control our borders. E-verify new hires. Get a database to follow Visa overstays. It’s not really that hard. Try violating the laws of any other country than the US. See how you’re treated.

  • Bah

    Throughout this whole discussion, I haven’t heard any information about illegal immigration from other ethnic groups. My impression is that immigration from the north is similarly rampant.

    Do we ignore this immigration because Asians do well in our schools, don’t do drugs, don’t form gangs and don’t take jobs?

  • msreason

    I loved this On Point conversation. The guests were so compassionate, and intelligent. I learned some things, and I thank you for that.

    I can’t resist sharing this cartoon that I ran across on Reddit today. Some may find the commentary a little offensive (think of South Park in Spanish), but the humor is spot on.


  • UrbanHillbilly

    The Arizona law is odius, unconstitutional, and uneforcable, but I agree with President Obama when he said something to the extent that it is a reaction to a problem that has been left unchecked for decades.

    Maria Hinojosa does a disservise when she equivocates the labling of Illegal Aliens as “illegals” with the horror of the Holocaust. “Illegal Alien” is not a new legal term, and labling unathorized foreign nationals as “illegals” is the logical shorthand. Hinojosa used the word again, as if detaining and deporting unauthorized foreigners was the same as the evil that befel Germany in the 1930′s. She has been quick to call those demanding action against illegal immigration as “emotional,” but she, herself is putting this issue in the most infamitory terms possible.

  • http://www.arrby.wordpress.com Arby

    The guests for this show were solid. I appreciated their commentary. Listeners and visitors to this site would do well to think about the important issues raised and those guests’ insights into them.

    Americans are not just afraid. They are, too often, angry. They may think that that’s an easy way to let off steam. But garbage in means garbage out. If society building involves taking and not giving (stomping your feet and shouting angrily in order to simply get your way even when no one’s in your way), then the resulting divided society will ‘not’ be fit for anyone to live in. If society building involves an approach that includes humility, compassion, simple honesty, cooperation and hard work, with everyone pulling together to benefit society, and not just a minority (of capitalists and capitalist wannabes) within society, then things will go swimmingly.

    Maybe angry Americans are harder to tame than other angry people – the whole world is angry, essentially, with itself – because America is the most powerful nation on earth and the anger seems therefore without cost. (Who’s going to put Americans in their place?) If so, then Americans are powerfully stupid. And that is indeed bad news for the rest of the planet.

  • American Citizen

    What bothers me is that many Latinos are saying this is a racial issue. Maybe it is for some but for many of us IT IS NOT! It’s about Americas tax dollars paying for the health, education, welfare, housing, food, etc., for people that ARE NOT LEGAL CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY.

    It’s about illegal immigrants, no matter where they are from, taking our jobs and resulting in lower pay wages. I can go on and on listing the what this is really about but it’s not about race.

    I listened to the show this evening and someone, can’t remember if it was one of the panel or a caller, said something about how we treat Canadians differently than Mexicans. Well, there are multiple reasons for that. Canadains aren’t pouring over our borders illegally. They aren’t coming here and using resources that are supposed to be there for LEGAL U.S. Citizens. They aren’t coming here and committing crimes and running drugs and other illegal activities.

    Don’t get me wrong, I realize not all Mexicans are drug runners, gang members, and the like. I realize that many of them are looking for a better life and want to live in a nice home, have a good job, and raise a family. But it must be done LEGALLY. If you don’t want to be treated like a criminal then don’t come here illegally because that in itself is a crime! Why is that so hard for so many to understand?

    Also, if Mexicans are not happy with their own country then why not focus the energy they use to come here illegally and set up a life and instead use that energy to fight against the injustices in their own country? Make their own country into a place they want to live. Use that energy to stop the corruption in their own country and make it a better place. I see on the news all of these Mexicans and/or other Latinos waving their countries flags but yet they all want to live here! What’s up with that? If you love your country so much why are you here? If you want to be in America, suck up our resources, take our jobs, use our health, educate your children, the least you can do is wave an American flag!!! If you want to be in America and become an American than act like one!

    Lastly, I would like to set the record straight. Some of you are saying “dems and libs do not believe in legal immigration” and that is not true. There may be some that feel that way but not all of us do. I would appreciate it if you don’t go around assuming that you know how ALL Democrats and Liberals feel about this immigration issue. As a Floridian I have to deal with the same issues that the Arizona residents are dealing with and I completely understand why they feel the way they do.

  • Al

    If we were to have totally open borders, anybody could come into the U.S. from anywhere, any time, for any length of stay, even for a lifetime, if the individual so desired. Well, let’s say that 70,000 people come from the Middle East, unless it was 700,000; 12,000 from Estonia, unless it was 120,000; 89,000, or maybe 8,900,000 from various nations in Africa; etc., etc. NOW, once they got here, we wouldn’t want to discriminate against them, SO, we’d have to offer language services in schools and public places, and probably even in businesses because it would be good for business, and, wow, there would not be enough buttons on our phones for us to push to hear the message in our particular language. How many signs, textbooks, application forms, etc., etc., would have to be produced to accommodate ALL these various languages?? Oh, just when the Spanish-speaking students were getting enough services for their language needs in school, guess what? Their services would have to be cut to accommodate all those other languages? No? …..No? Why not? Is Spanish the ONLY language where insufficient remedial services counts as racist and discriminatory???!!!

    THIS is partly what I think many of us heard during today’s discussion, only what was heard was what was NOT said: that Spanish-language speakers are somehow THE most important group when it comes to immigration, legal or illegal, according to the guests. The apologists for illegal immigration don’t even mention Portuguese or any of the Native Central/South American tongues that may still be spoken as the exclusive language of some individuals. No. I heard that entitled, narcissistic tone that other Commentors heard. I personally believe that that tone is the tone of the Spanish colonialists and Conquistadors, not the tone of the tribal peoples!

  • Al

    By the way, I don’t blame TOM for the opinions of his guests. If you read the introduction to the show at the top of this page, it reminds us that the sponsors of the AZ bill were recently on the show. This show was for those who objected to the law. PERHAPS Tom and the producers of the show felt there was a good reason to keep the two sides of the argument separate; or, perhaps there was a scheduling conflict; or perhaps one or more of the guests requested a separate show for each of the polarized sides.

    I still believe that Tom is one of the most extraordinary journalists I’ve been exposed to in my just-short-of-elderly life span! The screeners do a great job, too, as does the whole staff. IMAGINE how many shows on extremely varied topics Tom and his staff tackle five times a week!!!

    Besides, we got a REAL DOSE of the POV and tactics of the apologists for illegal immigration. They tried emotional blackmail, hoovering, conflating one idea(l) with another, etc., etc. Listen to the podcast just to discern their bag of tricks!

  • Ed

    “I still believe that Tom is one of the most extraordinary journalists I’ve been exposed to in my just-short-of-elderly life span!”

    I agree. Tom is excellent. Big, big fan. This particular issue though requires kind of superhuman skill to get past the cant on both sides and talk about facts w/o getting into a mud fight. It’s very rare that people can talk about this subject in a calm manner.Which is unfortunate. Maybe Tom can adress that point later…

  • William

    I like Tom’s show, but he picked some really poor guest speakers.

  • David

    This program was very difficult listening – it was SO biased !! Maria Hinojosa had so many disjointed ideas and contradictory suggestions.
    It was painful to listen to this hysteria.

  • Leora

    So glad Tom/OP producers did not fall into the “trap” of having “both sides” represented, as Bill Moyers warns against. Too often a false dichotomy is created, leading to the impression that both sides are equally valid. AND, Latino voices have been largely absent from the radiowaves. Good to hear them.

  • Christopher Nevins


    Arizona State Senator Explains Anti-Illegal Bill

    I’m Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen. I want to explain SB 1070 which I voted for and was just signed by Governor Jan Brewer.

    Rancher Rob Krantz was murdered by the drug cartel on his ranch a month ago. I participated in a senate hearing two weeks ago on the border violence, here is just some of the highlights from those who testified.

    The people who live within 60 to 80 miles of the Arizona/Mexico Border have for years been terrorized and have pleaded for help to stop the daily invasion of humans who cross their property . One Rancher testified that 300 to 1200 people a DAY come across his ranch vandalizing his property, stealing his vehicles and property, cutting down his fences, and leaving trash. In the last
    two years he has found 17 dead bodies and two Koran bibles.

    Another rancher testified that daily drugs are brought across his ranch in a military operation. A point man with a machine gun goes in front, 1/2 mile behind are the guards fully armed, 1/2 mile behind them are the drugs, behind the drugs 1/2 mile are more guards. These people are violent and they will kill anyone who gets in the way. This was not the only rancher we heard that day that talked about the drug trains.

    One man told of two illegal’s who came upon his property one shot in the back and the other in the arm by the drug runners who had forced them to carry the drugs and then shot them. Daily they listen to gun fire during the night it is not safe to leave his family alone on the ranch and they can’t leave the ranch for fear of nothing being left when they come back.

    The border patrol is not on the border. They have set up 60 miles away with check points that do nothing to stop the invasion. They are not allowed to use force in stopping anyone who is entering. They run around chasing them, if they get their hands on them then they can take them back across the border.

    Federal prisons have over 35% illegal’s and 20% of Arizona prisons are filled with illegals. In the last few years 80% of our law enforcement that have been killed or wounded have been by an illegal.

    The majority of people coming now are people we need to be worried about. The ranchers told us that they have seen a change in the people coming they are not just those who are looking for work and a better life.

    The Federal Government has refused for years to do anything to help the border states . We have been over run and once they are here we have the burden of funding state services that they use. Education cost have been over a billion dollars. The healthcare cost billions of dollars. Our State is broke, $3.5 billion deficit and we have many serious decisions to make. One is that we do not have the money to care for any who are not here legally. It has to stop.
    The border can be secured. We have the technology we have the ability to stop this invasion. We must know who is coming and they must come in an organized manner legally so that we can assimilate them into our population and protect the sovereignty of our country. We are a nation of laws. We have a responsibility to protect our citizens and to protect the integrity of our country and the government which we live under.

    I would give amnesty today to many, but here is the problem, we dare not do this until the Border is secure. It will do no good to forgive them because thousands will come behind them and we will be over run to the point that there will no longer be the United States of America but a North American Union of open borders.

    I ask you what form of government will we live under? How long will it be before we will be just like Mexico , Canada or any of the
    other Central American or South American countries? We have already lost our language, everything must be printed in Spanish also. We have already lost our history–it is no longer taught in our schools. And we have lost our borders.

    The leftist media has distorted what SB 1070 will do. It is not going to set up a Nazi Germany. Are you kidding. The ACLU and the leftist courts will do everything to protect those who are here illegally, but it was an effort to try and stop illegal’s from setting up businesses, and employment, and receiving state services and give the ability to local law enforcement when there is probable cause like a traffic stop to determine if they are here legally. Federal law is very clear if you are here on a visa you must have your papers on you at all times. That is the law. In Arizona all you need to show you are a legal citizen is a driver license, MVD identification card,
    Native American Card, or a Military ID. This is what you need to vote, get a hunting license, etc.. So nothing new has been added to this law. No one is going to be stopped walking down the street etc…

    The Socialist who are in power in DC are angry because we dare try and do something and that something the Socialist wants us to do is just let them come. They want the “Transformation” to continue.

    Maybe it is too late to save America . Maybe we are not worthy of freedom anymore. But as an elected official I must try to do what I can to protect our Constitutional Republic . Living in America is not a right just because you can walk across the border. Being an American is a responsibility and it comes by respecting and upholding the Constitution the law of our land which says what you must do to be a citizen of this country. Freedom is not free.

  • Gary

    Well from the start of the question it took Maria Hinojosa about 40 seconds to play the race card. With intellectual depth like that we are in no fear of drowning.

  • RuleByLaw

    I am writing to challenge the host Tom Ashbrook:

    This is the most disappointing show I have ever heard from you, Tom. You have ruined my trust in the PUBLIC radio that I support. Questions:

    1. Even if only 51% of the population supporting AZ S.B. 1070, why are all your guests from the 49%? And why are all your guests have to be Latino activists? Why did you filter out people of non-Latino descendents? Do you have an agenda with the Latino population or something? If not,

    2. Should I expect you to do a second show with guests coming from the 51% percent? And should I expect you to do a show with a panel full of LEGAL Immigrants please? I can even recommend a website for you to find panelists: http://dontspeakforme.org/

    3. Even if you have all your guests holding similar views on the immigration and illegal immigration issues (please acknowledge these are two issues, not one), they are all citizens of a country that is rule-by-law. But I have heard no-mentioning of the law. Instead, it’s a non-logical emotional overspill. Can you at least get some rational people please?

    4. Please pass these questions to your featured speaker Maria:

    a. How do she define journalism? Just because her career covers Latino USA, it doesn’t mean she can use personal emotion to manipulate what she reports. In fact, she seems to violate the objectivity of journalism deliberately.

    b. About the open border policy in order to keep families together – if I trespass her private property in New York, what would happen to me? Sounds like she would open her arms to me, providing food and bed, so I would appreciate that. You know, I am just a hard-working person with a minor misdemeanor. Then I declare I am entitled to have equal rights with her in her home, and I think my extended families should be moving into her house – now also mine – because if not, she would cause suffering of divided family. In addition, because I am hard working and paying sales taxes etc., my kids should go to the public schools her property taxes support, and my extended families should all enjoy the Obamacare also supported by her tax dollars. Would Maria agree with that? Just curious.

  • http://none Ilze Choi

    There is one huge area of discussion missing from this fiery debate: the long history of US transgressions of the sovereignity and borders of most countries south of our border. Coups of elected government, sabotage of leftist governments, trade policies hurting the poor, financing of decades long bloody civil wars, etc. There are many causes of poverty in Mexico and Latin American countries and among them is US policy of considering Latin America its “backyard” and intervening in the natural course of history there. Many of the regimes the US has supported on behalf of corporate interests or geopolitical aims deserved to be overthrown.
    It is very likely that the US played a hand in the minute “victory” of Calderon in Mexico, who represents the status quo, over his opponent whose main goal was to deal with the country’s inequities and poverty. Likewise, it is the behind the scenes support for the coup in Honduras that put the country back under its usual rulers, the superwealthy under whom opposition activists have been murdered. Same old same old,
    If we are to demand that not a single Mexican, Honduran, Guatemalan, Salvadoran be let in, we ought to demand that our government keep its tentacles out of Latin America. It is unfair to help make like worse for the poor and then slam the door shut when they seek relief here.

  • Renato Yoshida

    I wonder how some Americans can be so afraid of competing for jobs with people who have no legal papers and don’t speak the language fluently. I believe it is not just an immigration issue; it is also an American workforce issue. Democrats and Republicans must come up with a solution a.s.a.p. I suggest to grant a permit work – like the USA did with El Salvadoreans – to people who are here illegaly. Let’s face the facts: Deportation costs too much and doing nothing costs too much too. America is too big to ignore more than 12 million people who live in its land illegaly.

  • Mattie

    This is a self-correcting mechanism. America’s era as a global power is ending and we will soon learn what it feels like to be a client state of more powerful interests. Sure, this will cause great hardship and pain for Americans. But since our position toward those we have manipulated has been such a moral one, we shall certainly just accept our lot and suffer. The alternative is breaking the law, and Americans never do that. Not to feed our children, not because we are displaced by natural disasters or economic collapse, not because the ice caps are gone and the water is around our knees.

    We are Americans, and better than everyone else.

  • Mattie

    To Ilze Choi:

    Well said.

  • Terry Mulliln

    In the Southwest, illegal aliens are virtually all Hispanics. But questioning the legality of persons who appear to be Hispanic is profiling! Most of the recent terrorists in different countries have been Muslims with Middle East or Eastern roots. But questioning suspicious persons who fit that description is profiling. If law enforcement agencies conclude that the “typical suspect” has a certain look, should they not keep that in mind when looking for suspects? Or should they stop and question old men and women now and then to show they are not profiling? The gist of the argument from the other side is that “profiling” is wrong and should not be tolerated. There is never any discussion as to the meaning of the word and why it mignt make sense in certain circumstances.

    And Ms.Hinojosa–she said some silly things. “illegal” equals Elie Wiesel equals Holocaust. Therefore, you cannot use “illegal.” How silly is that? It is a shame that Tom did not challenge the fatuity of that statement. When asked about the porous border, she replied about men going to the moon and maybe to Mars and great scientific advances, stating that a country that can achieve those things should not worry about something so stupid as a porous border. What kind of an answer is that? Tom should have challenged her. And, finally, that interminable tale of her son and his essay. Who cares? That, like virtually all anecdotal evidence, is irrelevant to the issues.

    What was sought to be conveyed was not information but feelings. Good people, good intentions, good families, bad policies. Not an enlightening program.

  • Rob L

    70% of people in Arizona are in favor of this law, and a third of Arizonians are Hispanic. So there are plenty of Hispanics in favor of this law. If you were a legal, recent Hispanic immigrant would you want to have to compete for jobs with illegal immigrants that work under the table and don’t follow legal regulations?

    These Hispanic guests are the worst kinds of racists. They pretend they want to help other people in their race. But the net effect of their cloying words are to lower the wages of recent legal immigrants and to increase the overcrowding and crime in their neighborhoods.

  • Monty

    Fear, fear, fear! I don’t get it. Why are people so afraid of losing jobs. Let’s face it, the jobs that they take are jobs no one in America wants to do. The way America will prosper is welcoming immigration. Make it easy to become a citizen, while at the same time rewarding those who work and stop dishing out loads of disability and other payments to those who don’t produce. If you are an American and sitting around collecting unemployment be sure to seriously look for a job. Production will make us prosper and immigration is not the hotbed issue that everyone is making it out to be. How about unions that demand crazy wages for overtime and tons of time off? How about these derivatives haunting the marketplace. The problem isn’t some immigrant! The problem is you!!

  • Tich

    “Why are people so afraid of losing jobs.”

    The economy is in the worst shape since the depression. Unemployment is high. It’s obvious why people wouldn’t want more competition for the few jobs there are.

    “Let’s face it, the jobs that they take are jobs no one in America wants to do.”

    Millions of Americans in construction, manufacturing, and the service industry would dispute that. (Employers looking for cheap labor appreciate you sticking up for them though.)

  • louis wozniak

    Assuming I am correct in relating the temperature of the immigrant issues and the various local responses the level of unemployment, why are jobs exporting corporations not held to a similar standard? Why not make such exports also a crime, conduct surprise searches at corporate offices, and, when found in noncopliace, arrest and place all the corporate (or company) officers on a plane to their respective countries of operation?

    Thank you in advance for posting this view.

  • Angela Sherrill

    I couldn’t believe my ears last night— how you misrepresented Americans’ support for the subject Arizona law. You stated that 51% of Americans support the law. The poll about which you are speaking actually reveals that not only do 51% of Americans support the law, 9% believe that the law does not go far enough. You failed to mention the 9%. Therefore, the reality is that a full 60% of Americans either support the law or believe that it does not go far enough. I am a progressive civil libertarian, and I support the law. You should have accurately represented the percentage of support for the law.

    Additionally, your guests’ suppositions about the reasons that Americans support the law were mindnumbingly disturbing and offensive. Each of your guests surmised that Americans just don’t understand, and that if they did, they would be against the law. In essence, your guests claim that if Americans support the law, they are ignorant. Well no, we are educated supporters of civil liberties, but we just do not believe or support a system by which illegal immigrants and their lawbreaking employers are permitted to violate the law and perpetuate a system of rampant and unfair illegality. Such a system is unfair, unethical, immoral, and lawless. Please issue a correction without delay.

  • Richard in Newton

    A poster here had previously wondered why Asian Americans are not a part of this discourse. For one, the current number of illegals from the Asian continent or those attempting to gain entry illegally really pales in comparison to the Latino population. Obviously, the US is far more difficult to access from China than it is from Mexico, but it is true that small numbers are gaining entry in the US despite the geographic distance through both Mexico and Canada. Asians from the more developed, richer nations just fly over and end up squatting.

    I also think Asian Americans are not as vocal because some of us consider it another chapter in this country’s schizophrenic history that’s repeating itself. Indeed, Ellis Island is rightfully important to the Europeans who came over, but on the left coast, Asian Americans have had a disparate experience that can be seen in a series of US immigration policies like the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Gentleman’s Agreement. It was a time when Asian Americans who came here legally were stripped of their status and forbidden from being granted citizenship because in this “land of laws,” the laws were changed to better suit the lawmakers’ fancies. Dig a bit deeper and actually read the public debate that took place concerning Asian immigrants and one is startled at the similarity in attitudes, language and rhetoric.

    I will hope that once the minorities collectively become the majority, we would have learned from hard experience to threat our countrymen and women we outnumber far better.

    Also, another poster made the point that illegals do enjoy some social services through forged documentation but that again is a rarity. The cost is somewhat prohibitive for most illegal day workers given that a fake SS card cost anywhere from $5K to $10K. And the people who offer such fake documentation are hardly trustworthy people so what more often ends up happening is that the illegals who’ve lived on dog food for a year to save up this money are more often defrauded with no recourse. It’s not like an illegal can go to a cop to report that he or she has been swindled of his or her life savings while trying to buy a fake SS card.

  • Janet

    The cost of a complete set of ID is about 100-200 dollars depending on what city you live in. In LA you can get set for about 150-250 these days and in about 1 hour or so.

  • dorey shanks

    Use the front door, instead of the back door, if you want to enter the USA. Canada is presently reviewing its immigration and asylum policies because it is concerned about people entering the country illegally. Every other country in the world controls its borders. America should do the same. It is only fair to the citizens of each and every State and to those who want to enter the country legally.

  • Si Se Puede

    It’s hard to believe anyone would have problem with unlimited immigration. So xenophobic! There are no problems with it! If you act nice and ask politely you might even be allowed to wear Red, White and Blue in your school:


  • Tom Sawyer

    I couldn’t help but notice the ironic sequence of your latino caller who is against the Arizona, but is originally from the Dominican Republic, A country that shares an island almost equally with Haiti, but has machine guns on its border with Haiti. The two countries are polar opposites, Haiti is poor, crowded, poorly educated and over populated; while the Dominican Republic is safe, organized, and successful; but would be run over and destroyed by Haitians if it weren’t for the secure border.

  • Ismael

    Tthe fake IDs being peddled at parking lots for under $200 and which take under an hour to make are of such poor quality that they’re basically worthless. Get real and stop overstating things to support you preconceived notions.

  • Janet

    60 Minutes did a show about the illegal id’s in LA a few years ago. It was amazing how good the quality was and how fast you could get them.

  • Ismael

    [quote]60 Minutes did a show about the illegal id’s in LA a few years ago. It was amazing how good the quality was and how fast you could get them.

    Posted by Janet, on May 8th, 2010 at 7:14 AM[/quote]

    You mean this show?


    It obviously doesn’t take place in LA and the fake docs cost far more than the price you said before. Like I said, stop overstating things and making stuff up as you go along.

    The following bust shows a price that’s really high even for the blackmarket but its obviously much higher than your price of $75-$100 or whatever it was.

    [quote]Montgomery County police arrested three suspects in a scheme where the victims were offered fraudulent U.S. citizenship.

    One of the suspects also has been charged with operating a medical practice without a license.

    The immigration scam was run out of a house on Cactus Court in Gaithersburg, Md., police said. Erlinda Marin has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of theft and practicing medicine without a license.

    “Our investigation reveals five victims were defrauded of $97,000,” Montgomery County police Corp. Dan Friz said. “She would say that’s what you have to pay to get citizenship papers.”[/quote]


  • Ismael

    “Ariz. border towns say violent crime rates are low

    NOGALES, Ariz. (AP) — Assistant Police Chief Roy Bermudez shakes his head and smiles when he hears politicians and pundits declaring that Mexican cartel violence is overrunning his Arizona border town.
    “We have not, thank God, witnessed any spillover violence from Mexico,” Bermudez says emphatically. “You can look at the crime stats. I think Nogales, Ariz., is one of the safest places to live in all of America.”

    FBI Uniform Crime Reports and statistics provided by police agencies, in fact, show that the crime rates in Nogales, Douglas, Yuma and other Arizona border towns have remained essentially flat for the past decade, even as drug-related violence has spiraled out of control on the other side of the international line. Statewide, rates of violent crime also are down.”


  • Ismael

    “The tax revenues that unauthorized immigrants generate for state and local governments do not offset the total cost of services provided to those immigrants.
    Most of the estimates found that even though unauthorized immigrants pay taxes and other fees to state and local jurisdictions, the resulting revenues off- set only a portion of the costs incurred by those juris- dictions for providing services related to education, health care, and law enforcement. Although it is diffi- cult to obtain precise estimates of the net impact of the unauthorized population on state and local bud- gets, that impact is most likely modest.”


  • http://ONPOINT Rosemary

    I was so outraged at the reporter, Maria Hinojosa’s comments that I had to listen to the show 2 times. She compared an illegal alien to someone speeding. 1. A “illegal” sneaks across the border into our country uninvited and stays. Some aliens start a life here have children use our schools, hospitals etc. 2. A speeder is a citizen, while speeding is dangerous a speeder contributes to our society. Maria, they are not the same they are not even close.

    I am disgusted that these people sneak into our country and then tell us what to do. Like those illegals in AZ, if they don’t like it they can leave.

    Marie also stated her young child told her to make sure to carry all her “papers” while traveling. Maria said a child shouldn’t have to be concerned about such things. How would a young kid know her mother need to carry her “paper”? It must have been because she heard it at home from her mother. Young kids don’t usually don’t sit and watch the NEWS or at least mine never did.

    There is also no country in this world that I know of that you don’t need to show some form of ID to enter. But this Marie thinks anybody should be able to just walk into USA without showing any ID.

    One last point, We are not “raciest” just because we don’t want people crossing the border illegally. Come to this country legally and they are welcome. And until you are a citizen of USA don’t tell us how we should run our country go back and run your own country.

  • UrbanHillbilly

    Monty posted a most dispicable, but common argument to the effect that immigrants are only taking jobs that “no one in America” wants. It goes a lot deeper. Lax boarder enforcement is only one in a miriad of changes in the economy that have impoverished working people.

    It works like this: Improved transportation networks may have doomed the supermarket butcher anyway, but foreign, both legal and illegal, labor has allowed meat packers to demand high production quotas while slashing pay for meat-cutters. This made buying pre-cut stakes less expensive than cutting meat in house. Supermarkets could expand without paying for a full staff of well trained butchers. The avenue of working up through the ranks of a grocery store from a bagboy to a professional butcher is no longer common.

    Monty goes on to say something to the extent that we want too much pay and lesiure for too little work. As long as labor is precious, workers can demand a high reward for their efforts. We have reached a technological level where the labor needed for production is rarely a problem. The results we have seen in the last few decades has been people made miserable by borrowing too much money, while the executives that run the banks live decadent lifestyles.

  • Andrew

    I think this person was onto something:

    “Should a young Black woman, struggling to get herself out of poverty, have to pay higher taxes to support illegal immigrants in her city’s schools and hospitals???”

    But it’s worse than that. There are entire classes of occupations that do not pay a living wage at least in part because employers have for decades been able to get away with hiring undocumented workers and avoided paying proper taxes and even minimal benefits.

    Therefore, not only are our poor subsidizing services provided to undocumented workers, but they’re forced to compete with them.

    This seems to be the one real issue the panelists in this show did not discuss and would have troubles brushing aside. I love Tom and could hear his exasperation with the panelists’ rhetoric and sidestepping of several of the more pointed objections to their arguments but, that said, I’d love for him to listen to some adversarial BBC-style interviews, then invite the same guests back onto OnPoint and hold them to the meatier questions without letting them start talking about education or the theft of the US from the Native Americans.

    OnPoint is not a freshmen lit class.

  • Girard

    “At the same time, employed black workers, as well as many Chicanos, are beginning to feel the competitive pressure of the Third World sector in local services, construction, and manufacture. For example, Service Employees local 399, which organized the primarily black custodial workers in the Downtown high-rises, has been smashed by contractors using undocumented, minimum-wage labor. Nearly 2000 janitors have lost their jobs and wages have fallen from $13 to $3.5 an hour. Similarly, blacks in Downtown hotels have been displaced by lower-wage workers. Even where blacks, or Chicanos, are willing, in desperation, to enter the low-wage labor market, they are usually prevented (according to testimony to the legislature) by employer preferences for noncitizen labor…”
    Chinatown, Revisited? by Mike Davis, from the book Sex, Death and God In LA.

    It’s funny. NPR never seems to do shows talking to people who experience the negative side of open borders. It doesn’t fit the simplistic narrative they have on this issue. I generally like NPR, but on this issue, they don’t try to get both sides.

  • Janet

    Ismael – I travel to LA very often and have friends that own businesses there and hire illegals. They have a very hard time trying to determine a valid SSN Card/Driver’s license due to the high quality of the fake ones. They ask the people using them where they got it and how much they paid. It’s usually 75-250 dollars. It’s a growth business for the illegals. There is a Mexican family living in Chicago that is the “king” of this fraud. They have made millions of dollars making fake ID cards. Get out from behind your computer and go ask people that hire illegals about fake SSN cards and driver’s licenses.

  • Brett

    “I travel to LA very often and have friends that own businesses there and hire illegals. They have a very hard time trying to determine a valid SSN Card/Driver’s license due to the high quality of the fake ones. They ask the people using them where they got it and how much they paid.” -Janet

    I’m always leery of “evidence” from someone who starts out with an agenda (let’s face it, your comments have always been of the anti-Obama, anti-liberal, anti- anything that isn’t a neo-conservative bottom-line variety), then uses anecdotal “evidence” to support that agenda.

    A couple of years ago, a friend of mine, who owns a convenience store, had two employees quit on her during the winter holiday season; and, since my landscape business’ season ends around the beginning of November, I agreed to help her out for a few weekends…1) Those fake ID’s are fairly easy to spot (I saw a few). 2) The electronic tape on DL’s is very problematic to forge. 3) If one has a doubt about the validity of a DL, it can be run through a scanner (convenience stores have them on their cash registers; it seems other employers should have some sort of similar way to determine the ID’s validity) and the DL won’t scan as being valid if it has been faked. 4) S.S. cards have a number on the back that can be verified if need be, as well.

    Also, you say your “friends” hire illegals all the time and ask the illegals where they purchase the fake ID’s and how much they pay for them…sounds like a little bit of an apocryphal story…how would the employers know they are hiring illegals if the fake ID’s are so genuine looking? Why would the employers ask the illegals where they got them and how much they paid for them if the employers thought the ID’s were real? What are the employers doing knowingly hiring illegals? (Perhaps you should be questioned by authorities to see what you know about illegal hiring practices in California!)

    Your “story,” if it supports anything at all, seems to support the need to crack down on employers hiring illegals. It also supports the idea that DL’s and S.S. cards should be made more difficult to forge. (And, hey, while we’re at it, as an important aside, let’s get the hell out of Afghanistan, spend some of that money on doubling the size of our border patrol and give them some back-up from the National Guard!)

  • Matt

    I could only stomach about 15 minutes of this show. Here are some of the implications I heard from just this brief listening:

    -People who use the phrase “illegal” immigrant are Nazis who want a new Holocaust.

    -People who support Arizona’s new law are, at best, ignorant…at worst, (again) Nazis.

    -People who support Arizona’s new law can’t even find Mexico on a map.

    -People who support Arizona’s new law are hypocrites who probably go to Mexico on vacation.

  • Benito

    “All Men are created equal”! The founders had it right, when attempting to form a perfect union and they also knew that they were not there yet but knew we one day would get there. Lincoln moved us forward as did JFK and LBJ. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.

    It is my contention that this AZ law is not constitutional and will fail when challenged (unless they add more amendments), pretty funny for this so called perfect law.

  • John

    I was dismayed that Jane Clayson just cut off a listener who was making a cogent point regarding how the current immigration issues relate to historical first nations issues. Not only was there no followup acknowledgment of the issues this listener was raising but it felt very much like the caller was cut off due to a mild speech disability that Ms. Clayson was impatient with. I expect better from NPR.

Sep 1, 2014
This Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 photo shows a mural in in the Pullman neighborhood of Chicago dedicated to the history of the Pullman railcar company and the significance for its place in revolutionizing the railroad industry and its contributions to the African-American labor movement. (AP)

On Labor Day, we’ll check in on the American labor force, with labor activist Van Jones, and more.

Sep 1, 2014
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (95) recovers a fumble by Carolina Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson (3) in the second quarter of the NFL preseason football game on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 in Pittsburgh. (AP)

One outspoken fan’s reluctant manifesto against football, and the big push to reform the game.

Aug 29, 2014
Beyoncé performs at the 2014 MTV Music Video Awards on Sunday, August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Getty)

Sex, power and Beyoncé’s feminism. The message to young women.

Aug 29, 2014
Ukrainian forces guard a checkpoint in the town of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of the nation's security council and canceled a foreign trip Thursday, declaring that "Russian forces have entered Ukraine," as concerns grew about the opening of a new front in the conflict.  (AP)

War moves over Syria, Ukraine. Burger King moves to Canada. Nine-year-olds and Uzis. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 29, 2014
Friday, Aug 29, 2014

On hypothetical questions, Beyoncé and the unending flow of social media.

More »
Drew Bledsoe Is Scoring Touchdowns (In The Vineyards)
Thursday, Aug 28, 2014

Football great — and vineyard owner — Drew Bledsoe talks wine, onions and the weird way they intersect sometimes in Walla Walla, Washington.

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Poutine Whoppers? Why Burger King Is Bailing Out For Canada
Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

Why is Burger King buying a Canadian coffee and doughnut chain? (We’ll give you a hint: tax rates).

More »
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