Symposium 2011: What reforms, if any, should the United States institute to its legal immigration system?

Cartwright:  I think we should make it more difficult to get here, but the downside to that as some would argue is that it then encourages illegal immigration.  Here’s where I have a problem with both legal and illegal immigration.  We’ve got immigrants coming here to go to school and take jobs that American citizens should have.  But the worst part is that the immigrants usually aren’t paying their burden of taxes.  It would be nice if we had a national sales tax to capture something from those who don’t pay any tax.  Oh, but wait a minute, usually foreigners who come here can get all their sales tax expenditure back by filling out some forms and jumping through hoops.  Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, does it?


I have a real problem with foreigners coming here to use our higher education system then taking what they’ve learned back to their own country.  Let’s let an American citizen have their spot at the university.  Let’s get our own people educated before we educate the rest of the world.


I don’t have any problem with facilitating legal immigration, so long as we know who we’re letting in here.  I think we should really cut down on the number of people we allow here from countries that are hostile towards us.  If you hate America and our system, stay in your own country.  Don’t come here and spout off at the mouth about my country and how bad we are.  I think we can eliminate a good number of people coming here if we’re selective in who we let in.  For everyone else, if we can facilitate it, great, but let’s make sure they’re not coming here and getting a free ride and not paying their fair share of the tax burden.


Michigan:  We should enforce the laws that were set up for immigration.  Why have we relaxed our laws?  For countries that have been hostile to the U.S., no one should be admitted.  We cannot continue to care for illegals or make the children of illegals citizens if born here.  I would like to talk to the people who think we should take care of them.


Sydney:  Illegal immigration seems to be a huge problem in our country and I don’t think there’s any easy solution. If you grant illegal immigrants the full rights and privileges enjoyed by legal immigrants and  American citizens you will simply encourage more illegal migration. On the other hand illegal immigrants fill many low paid jobs that other people won’t do. Of course this also leaves them open to exploitation.


We could grant an short amnesty period and allow any illegal immigrant to stay if they have a job or a family here. Other illegal immigrants would be given a certain amount of time to find a job, maybe 6 months at most, and if they don’t find a job in that time they have to leave. After that amnesty period things go back to the way they were but hopefully with stronger border protection measures in place if possible. Obviously this is not a foolproof idea but I doubt there is a perfect solution.


RMC:  Look, getting here is a privilege not a right for those that weren’t born in the United States.  It shouldn’t be so easy to immigrate here that all you need to do is show up and you’re in.  It isn’t easy anywhere else in the world.  We need to make it a little more difficult.


We need policies that ensure we’re going to get something from those immigrating here.  If they’re coming here for college they shouldn’t be given preferential treatment for scholarships over actual citizens.  If they do get to go to college, we need to make sure they don’t take what they’ve learned to use it for the benefit of someone else.  Obviously, we want to ensure that they put their educations to use here helping make America stronger and contribute to our economic success.


I’m not sure that we can pinpoint an exact number of immigrants that should come here each year.  We need to be selective in who we let immigrate here.  We need background checks, we need to give priority to those from countries who are our allies, and we need stringent reviews of those immigrating here from countries who have shown hostility towards us, namely those countries with terrorist ties.

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