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July 7th, 2010
11:36 AM ET

Showdown on Immigration

The legal showdown over Arizona's immigration law puts the spotlight on the emotional debate over issue. It has sharply divided people along political, ideological and ethnic lines. State senator and author of the Arizona law Russell Pearce and Isabel Garcia, deputy public defender in Pima County, Arizona have a heated discussion with CNN's Tony Harris

soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. nic


    The problem is us legal immigrants(citizens), we live in the shadow of legislative actions caused by Illegal Immigration..

    July 7, 2010 at 11:58 am |
  2. Kathy

    What's wrong with asking for proof of residency? Every citizen can get a state ID even if they can't get a liscense. I wouldn't object to being asked for proof just at random. If a person has nothing to hide then it shouldn't be a problem. Maybe we should go even farther and ask everyone for proof of ID. Law enbforcement could also identify not only persons that are here illegally but could also pick up persons who are wanted by law inforcement.

    July 7, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
  3. John Mendoza

    This Arizona Immigration Law is ridiculous. I would like the people who established this law to answer just one question. why can an immigrant who goes to a recruiter to join the arm services is never turned down to serve their country pot once they join they have to worry about their family being sent back to their country because they are immigrants. If a soldier dies for their country in Afghanistan or Iraq then when they are sent back to the US in a pine box they give their love ones a document making them a citizen after they died serving our country USA.

    July 7, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  4. kathyleen davis

    Illegal aliens is just that. It's illegal to be here with out legal papers. It has nothing to do with race. It doesn't matter what your nationality is. If your here illegally you are breaking the law, cut and dry. I think all states should do what Arizona is doing. They are using our tax dollars for medical, education, etc. and that's what upsets me. Most of the crimes committed are Mexicans due to the increase of mexicans in our jails. I watch COPS, BAIT CAR, and all these reality shows and the majority of criminals are mexicans and blacks. I guess it won't be so bad if they would behave themselves.

    July 7, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
  5. Kris

    If problems in Arizona result from crime and drugs crossing the border, why not address the root-cause of the problem by helping Mexico? The Mexican government seems to dislike drug cartels, etc. If the USA sent in troops and helped Mexico with policy, perhaps there would no longer be severe immigration issues, etc. Solving the problem entirely is probably cheaper and more humane than treating neverending symptoms.

    July 7, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  6. Gary - Houston

    The issues are not immigration but legal vs. illegal immigration and whether the federal government is doing its job or not doing its job.

    1st Arizona should send their bills to the feds, not the feds suing Arizona.

    2nd Yes America has been built by immigrants; however, new immigrants should adapt to America and embrace it. Do not try to change America to what you have left. Value and share your heritage but do not impose it upon others; adopt the new heritage and values of America.

    3rd Learn English and get the skills to participate in public schools; do not try to get the schools to change and teach in your language.

    4th Respect that the system needs funds to run and they come through taxation. Contribute and do not just take benefits without giving.

    5th Operate from within and in accordance with the system and do not obfuscate illegal actions by expressing humanity, prejudice or other irrelevancies as racial profiling.

    6th I have lived and traveled the world for almost 20 years, all countries demand compliance with their laws. Even England would not allow immigration without medicals at their airport by their doctors to ensure that my family was not going to impose upon their free medical system. Similar requirements in Asia and the Middle East. People on both sides should wake up.

    I could go on and on but in reality, keep it simple.

    Illegal immigrants are criminals and enforcement of laws should be the responsibility of our police force. If the US doesn't have the manpower and the states can then the US should be supportive, thankful and pick up the bills here rather than fund the foreign countries that tomorrow will condemn us and violate us.

    July 7, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  7. Joni Rogers

    I agree with Arizona. Why have laws if they're not enforced? That is the problem everywhere. Illegal immigrants are just that "illegal". If we are offering a legal way to be here, then that's how it should be.

    July 7, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
  8. Ralph

    Let's keep everyone out of this country. It's far too overcrowded already.

    July 7, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  9. Russell Thompson

    Texas, Arizona and California should absolutely be REWARDED for protecting their state from out of control immigration. Mexico immigrants currently impose serious threats to state services, state welfare and US citizen rights. It is widely known that our federal government has not done enough toward the run away immigration and is NOT paying for the cost of immigration that the states incurr. The US citizens and other states need to express the resentment toward Washingtons lack of success and need the RIGHT to protect their state welfare.

    Shame on President Obama and Washington for not supporting Arizona.

    July 7, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  10. shelline

    The federal law says there are certain areas that are reserved for the federal government even if the government isn't doing the best job at it.

    July 7, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  11. Jeryl

    Arizona is only trying to do what the Federal Government refuses to do: protect the citizens of this country. Right now there are approximately 10 million illegals in this country (conservative estimate) and the vast majority of them pay no taxes and are a severe drain on our educational and medical systems. We need to shut down the borders immediately. Track down the truly criminal element and get rid of them one way or the other. Then find those who are truly here to better themselves and give them green cards for a limited period. After that, they must return home and wait their turn for another trip north of the border – legally.

    July 7, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  12. B & K

    Every Legal US Citizen carries Identification & speaks English. If an oficial were to ask to see Identification during the enforcement of legal laws, there should be NO problem, reguardless of skin color, or because of how a person speaks.

    American Jobs For American Citizens

    July 7, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  13. Dallas

    It seems like the people who back this law the most are people who have never experienced profiling first hand. Arizona's problem is understandable and if police could be trusted to stick to the letter of the law I would back the law, but the fact of the matter is that there are racist cops that will use that law to harrass hispanics. This law is only being put on the books to give police a legal reason to racially profile hispanics. The solution – take any person caught without proof of residency to jail until they can prove they're a legal citizen. Let the people who think that this law is such a good idea go to jail a few times for forgetting an ID and they'll see how ridiculous this law is.

    July 7, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  14. taka

    Mr. Harris

    I was waiting to get permanent resident for 5 years. Finally, I just got on April. US travel dept awarded green cards about 100,000 people every year from all over the countries to come in us with legal document. Many immigrants are having a patient to go through all these steps. Why is it so problem to have a law like this?

    I cannot get a job because I cannot speak Spanish, I am working so hard to learn and speaking in English, I won't get a credit for it? I have to learn another language?

    my Hospital send me a letter is Spanish, my daughters' school send me letter is Spanish, I have a legal document, but the hospital finance treat me like a I am illegal alian because I do not have a Medicaid.

    My point is all the system and policies are corrupt in US. Medicaid, WIC, Hospital, Food stamps, school, transportation, housing authority….Illegal immigrant issue is not easy to solve, but if the government change the hospital regulation of Medicaid and Ob/Gyn, and under table worker compensation will decrese illigal immigrants.

    I want to mention that President Obama changed a system of immigration. After he took the office the USCIS change their web. it is well organize and all the information we need to know is on the web.

    In last, media and sociologists always mention about white, American-African, Hispanic on statics. There are so many other countries people are immigrated in US. There is no community support for small group of minority in this country.

    July 8, 2010 at 2:56 am |
  15. Florencio Mendiola Jr.

    When the individuals who are responsible for enforcing the law break the law, then there is no law, just the need for survival.

    When the supreme law of the land fails to control run-away laws created by an individual state of these United States, like "Selective Enforcement" targeting "all" Mexicans or other people that look like Mexicans, this is fact is a sign of tyranny and abuse of power because it violates supreme rule of law, allowing law enforcement personnel to apply justice only when they choose to solely with one purpose in mind, "You Look Like a Mexican."

    A law that is exclusively applicable to anyone who is Mexican or looks like a Mexican is clearly a "Direct" violation of the United States Constitution.

    Really Arizona, where did all these prejustice Arizona Politicians get their education? The world is watching you Arizona...............

    July 8, 2010 at 4:47 am |
  16. The true

    This Arizona law is very stupid. With that, the Governor and legislator in Arizona may one day sent troop in Afghanstan and Iraq because it is costing the USA too much money and taking too long.
    The frustraction of the State is emotional issue has no legal ground. The Isuue should be left to US congress to tackle that.It is an irony that the congress especially republicains are avoiding the issue because of election in November 2010. If they can't not tackle that issue because of election, that is pure hypocrisy in their side. For the congressman are there to defend people right and not to cling on power.

    How much those so called illegal immigrants cost the USA government is irrelevent and non sense. If those organization know exactly who is illegal in this country, they should start collecting fund to round them up and send them back home. The true is , they do not know who is illegal in this country

    July 8, 2010 at 10:45 am |
  17. MR.AL

    Weather legal or illegal the rules need to change. The treatment and bennifits given to these people are not given to Americans. The ssi bennifits should not be given to aliens legal or illeagal. Taxes should be paid from day one of starting a job, All Americans have to!!!! I hade to work and paid into SSI why not them? This is just a few changes that are needed.

    July 8, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  18. Dick Crabtree

    We The People
    We have all the issues facing the citizens of the United States – Immigration, Same sex unions, etc.
    Why don't we put each of these to a National Referendum let the citizens decide what We The People want.

    Dick C.
    Erie, PA

    July 9, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
  19. Cheryl

    Being a child born of an illegal resident of United States of America, should be deported back with their parents, being that the child is under age, (under the age of eighteen/under the age of 21).

    The child needs to be with his/her parents. If the parents are not legal residents of U.S.A., they need to go back and apply for citizenship and wait. The child should not lose his status of being born in U.S.A., however, because they are not of legal age, then, therefore, need to remain with the parents, in their parents country of origin, until they become of age, or until the parents become United States Citizen's, provided that they are still under age.

    They cannot apply for any benefits of U.S.A. while they are in another country ,until they are of age and live in U.S.A.

    July 10, 2010 at 8:27 am |
  20. Bryan Rauworth

    The Constitution was written at a time when children had no rights. This has changed, so we need an amendment to address childrens' rights in the case of immigration. It is almost always best if a child remains with its parents during childhood years, ages 0-18, even if the parents are deported. Therefore, I'd propose that a child be granted citizenship at the age of 18 if that person can prove it can support him/her self in the absence of the parents, or if he/she is a member of the full-time armed services (not National Guards, etc.), Unconditional citizenship would be granted at age 21. This would apply to ALL immigrants, not just illegals.

    July 10, 2010 at 8:43 am |
  21. Billy

    Guess my English isn't that good. I asked several people what the word illegal meant. Most of them tell me that it means something against the law. So if it's against the law to be in the country, why then is there arguments on who to stay and who to leave. If it's illegal, then they have to leave.

    If they get to stay, then change the law. until then, enforce the law. If you not going to enforce it, guess I should be illegal too, gonna go rob a bank or something. Isn't that illegal too??

    July 10, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  22. Sailor Girl

    Thank-you Arizona for doing SOMETHING against immigration.

    July 14, 2010 at 10:24 am |