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Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas testified today before the Senate Judiciary Committee about his experience as an undocumented citizen growing up in America.
As the hearing was the Senate's first official step toward crafting a bill, the committee heard testimony from individuals with various areas of expertise and political agendas.

Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who revealed his immigration status in The New York Times in 2011, was one of the witnesses. Vargas has now been "out" as an undocumented immigrant for nearly 20 months, without any measures having been taken to deport him from the country since his public declaration.

His testimony was thoughtful, powerful, and emotional, asking committee members and opponents of immigration reform, "what would you do with me?"

Special thanks to Think Progress for the video:

Originally posted to Scout Finch on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:20 PM PST.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's an odd situation (14+ / 0-)

    Most times there are just the two branches of law ... Criminal and Civil.

    But there is a third branch which has nothing much to do with the other two ... Immigration Law is separate.

    This causes a great deal of confusion because many seem to think that entering the country, or remaining in the country beyond your leave to remain, is somehow criminal ... and it isn't.

    It is a matter for the USCIS to detain and remove, if they choose to do so, but being here is not a crime, for anyone.

    It might be easier to discuss immigration if more folk realised this.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:31:49 PM PST

    •  I did not know that. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Scout Finch, twigg

      Thanks Twigg.

      Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

      by KVoimakas on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:39:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  True, but the actual act of coming here (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FG, aargh, Dr Swig Mcjigger

      without permission is a crime I believe.

      I guess I don't see what the big problem with the word illegal is.  I prefer to give a path to citizenship for those that came here against their will, and I'm even willing to extend that to some that came here as adults.  However, as a society and nation, we do have the right to choose who gets to stay and who doesn't.  

      I have been on the immigration reform note since the 90's, but this re-framing the issue that these people are but undocumented our "out of status" as John Conyers said.   The problem is that people recognize when our language is under assault, and will react negatively to that.  Aside from those that had no choice in the matter, immigrants have no right to stay here without the government permission; it may be in our best interest to let them (I think it is in most cases), but there will be alot of pushback to the idea that everyone has some intrinsic right to be an American.

      •  It's a misdemeanor, but it's still weird (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FG, Deep Texan, Smoh, theboz, duhban

        Because no one is going to be charged with that, they'll just be deported.

        More than that, around half of undocumented immigrants didn't cross the border, they just overstayed their visa, and aren't guilty of a crime.

        •  That is true (0+ / 0-)

          Still though, there can be legal civil action to remove them.

          Personally, I think that democrats are trying to re-brand this issue for their base, but it will be at the expense of some in the middle that really want reform.  

          •  The only reasonable reform (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan, Whatithink

            is to stabilize Mexico and other Central and South American countries by ending the drug war.  There's nothing else we can do unless we're going to start shooting people at the border.

            Well, that and make the wait time reasonable to get a work visa.  That would do some good.

            •  Trade policy like NAFTA has also made life (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fwdpost

              hard for Mexicans. Big ag has driven gentle subsistence villages into destitution. People have fled to cruel high population centers into soulless manufacturing jobs. The culture is devastated. The factories are unstable causing unrelenting despair.

              •  Right! People, as in "humans", do not willingly (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                qofdisks

                leave stable, village life.  They have to be forced, by whatever means necessary, in the interest of whatever "big deal" has cast its eye on your happy hut.  

                I am afraid our willingness to "leave home" at the behest of just about any siren song has dimmed our appreciation of staying put which is prerequisite to the formation of community.  There has to be a critical mass of "stickers".  The vast majority of immigrants did not come here to "get rich".  They came because various circumstances turned their homelands to shit and they had to leave in order to survive.  It's nature's way.  

                Rein in the corporations and end the foolish drug war then much of the pressure would be relieved.  I am not hopeful.

        •  over and over again, making a lucrative repeat (0+ / 0-)

          business for the coyotes and others who service the border crossing trade

      •  "Coming here" is just traveling (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Texan, duhban

        When you get here you ask and Immigration Officer for permission to enter the country with leave to remain.

        A visa is pre-clearance to travel and ask permission, it does not confer a right of entry.

        Crossing the border might be a violation, but not if there is no one there to ask, which is very common in many places.

        Few countries actually make crossing the border a crime, that is why we have immigration law. The ones that do tend to be the ones who jail people for all sorts of made up spying charges. Most Western countries do not do this. If the US has done this it would be a rarely prosecuted felony, because immigration law has all that is needed to detain and deport.

        People are detained, and they are "detainees", not prisoners or convicted persons.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        Who is twigg?

        by twigg on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 01:21:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  8 USC 1325 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dr Swig Mcjigger

          Crossing the border might be a violation, but not if there is no one there to ask, which is very common in many places.

          8 USC 1325

          (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.

          The facts are that Jose Antonio Vargas would have had to have committed both fraud and perjury to obtain his job at the Washington Post.

          In addition the facts are that Jose Antonio Vargas was pulled over last October in Minnesota, he had a fraudulent license in his possession, yet he was released.

          But that's okay because last night the President told us it wasn't about 'working hard and following the rules (i.e. the law)' anymore, now it's about 'working hard and meet[ing] your responsibilities'.

          I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

          by superscalar on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 01:32:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So what would you do? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            twigg, Deep Texan, earicicle

            He's lived here nearly his entire life. By all accounts, he's a model citizen. So, what would you do with him?

          •  That code doesn't cover (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan

            the situation where you arrive at an un-manned border crossing.

            I don't know how common they are any more, but the northern border used to be full of holes.

            Crossing into the UK is often un-manned, as are many crossings throughout Europe. Sometimes you have to show a Passport, other times not.

            I wasn't commenting on the Vargas situation, merely differentiating between immigration and criminal law.

            I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
            but I fear we will remain Democrats.

            Who is twigg?

            by twigg on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 01:40:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Also ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan

            There are many thousands of miles of coastline where you can, and many people do, arrive unannounced.

            There are rules about that but I forget all the details.

            You are supposed to go find someone to report to, and remain within twenty miles of the coast until you do.

            It may have changed since last time I looked.

            I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
            but I fear we will remain Democrats.

            Who is twigg?

            by twigg on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 01:42:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Not so sure about your conclusions, Superscalar. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            qofdisks

            Thanks for including federal law in your post.  When you read the statute, though, all three subsections require an affirmative act to be proved.  Merely being in the USA does not establish guilt under the statute.  

            As to the WAPO gig, what crime did Mr. Vargas commit?  Are you certain he was required to state that he was a US citizen? And even if he lied and stated that he was a US citizen, what crime was committed?  Sure, he was deceptive, even fraudulent, but that does NOT make a case of criminal fraud, which under virtually every state in the union requires more than a single deceptive or fraudulent act to establish criminal fraud.

            I don't know about the drivers license issue in MN to comment.  Maybe you're right, or not.

            What we have here is Mr.Vargas as a conspicuous lightning rod on the immigration issue.  Sure, he can detained and deported.  He seems to be daring ICE to take action, yet he seems willing sto accept the consequences.  I think he's one brave dude.

            I hope others weigh in on this.  I'm hardly an expert on immigration law, so please help me out.

          •  So, when he was 17, and discovered his (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kmoore61, ZenTrainer, AoT

            undocumented status, he should have returned to the Phillipines, gotten whatever higher education he could get there, and then gotten in line to emigrate to the US ?

            Seriously ?

                                 Curious,
                                 Heather

            Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

            by Chacounne on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 10:07:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)
          Crossing the border might be a violation, but not if there is no one there to ask, which is very common in many place
          This is like saying it isn't stealing if a car isn't locked, the keys are in it and you don't see the owner anywhere. The only place you are allowed to cross are at designated areas and these are manned 24/7.
          •  You are very wrong that all border stations (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT

            are manned 24/7. As a Canadian who has crossed the border into the US more times than I can count, for over 45 years. I know for a fact that there are several border stations in BC which close at 8 or 9pm during the week.

                              Just my two cents,
                                      Heather

            Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

            by Chacounne on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 10:04:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  for no other crime is someone called "illegal" (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fhcec, Chacounne, AoT, qofdisks

        Deadbeat dads aren't "illegal fathers," animal abusers aren't "illegal pet owners," even rapists and murderers aren't "illegal Americans."

        They're charged with crimes, when crimes are committed. They aren't branded as a different sort of human.

        And, of course, see other commenters' points about immigration law being wholly different from criminal law; at best one might call immigrants who enter without documentation "violators."

        "Illegal immigrant" isn't only prejudiced, it's also inaccurate. As progressives and as human beings, we should refrain from using it.

        See Colorlines' excellent Drop the I-Word campaign for more.

    •  Breaking immigration law is a crime. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Whatithink

      breaking ANY law, be it good bad or indifferent, is a crime.

    •  This is not true (0+ / 0-)

      http://www.law.cornell.edu/...

      It's punishable by jail time. Re-entry after deportation is a felony.

    •  give the prison industry time (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fhcec, Chacounne, ZenTrainer, AoT, qofdisks

      since crime rates continue to fall and they need to fill cells, immigration is the next growth industry.  Think if each undocumented worker were imprisoned for 2 years.  It could increase our prison population by 12-25%.

      Want your blood to run cold?  Some years ago I ran across an SEC filing (I think; my memory is getting worse) which was a projection by one of the incarceration companies as to the impact criminalizing being undocumented would have on their bottom line.  ALEC is also in favor of this as we have seen several states already criminalizing aliens not having their papers on their persons (and catching German and Japanese officials in their web)  

      •  Didn't ALEC write Arizona's law? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        entlord, qofdisks

        Wasn't the "papers please" law specifically written for the private prison industry?

        Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

        by Dogs are fuzzy on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 01:07:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  more or less according to some sources (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          qofdisks

          What is scary is these private companies have already done projections on impact of undocumented worker criminalization as they project a 20 year horizon before there is a dramatic drop in prison populations due to the natural effects of aging.  They are casting about for a new demographic as fewer young people go to prison despite increasingly draconian laws and they can see a future for them with empty cells.  Bottom line is like the hospital industry, they have overbuilt and are trying to avoid the same contractions the hospital industry or space industry experienced by finding a new "service" population

  •  No, but human beings can be criminals. (0+ / 0-)

    If you break the law, you're a criminal. The vast majority of undocumented immigrants deliberately broke the law. Therefore they're ALL criminals.

    •  So you agree "illegal immigrant" is inaccurate (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skip945, kmoore61, melfunction

      Great. You can call the people who were brought here as infants "criminals" if you really want, if you'll stop referring to anyone as an "illegal immigrant."

      No human being is illegal, even when crimes are committed. It's dehumanizing and regressive and has no place in progressive policy.

    •  is it an infraction or a crime? (0+ / 0-)

      a misdemeanor?

      that's technical and I don't know the answer.

      "There's nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires." - President Obama

      by fhcec on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 09:26:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Like smoking a joint makes you a criminal. (0+ / 0-)

      Unjust law is unenforceable. It is an excuse to persecute and roll back Civil Rights. It hurts us all.

  •  Republicans are illegal (0+ / 0-)

    The Republican corporate executives that hire undocumented workers are illegal.

  •  Humans are not illegal... (0+ / 0-)

    A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

    by justiceputnam on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 04:25:06 PM PST

    •  "Illegal Alien" Is Actually A Defacto Term Of Art (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Swig Mcjigger

      And has been used by the U.S. government for more than one hundred years now.

      But don't believe me, look for yourself.

      I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

      by superscalar on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 04:45:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't care... (0+ / 0-)

        ... it is bigoted and progressives need to stop!

        Don't believe me?

        Try being a brown person.

        A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

        by justiceputnam on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 04:47:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There' s nothing bigoted about it (0+ / 0-)

          It's a  term that applies to all people who enter or remain in the country illegally. It was not invented to apply to "Brown persons" nor is it used to apply to them only.

        •  I Would Respond With Some Questions Like (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dr Swig Mcjigger

          1.) Where is the implication of the color 'brown' in the term 'illegal alien'?

          2.) Why should 'brown people' be inherently offended by the term 'illegal alien'?

          3.) Why would you assume that you know what color I am?

          But merely posing these questions would carry with it the suggestion that I am really interested in your reply to any of them.

          As it is I'd much rather just watch you stomp your semantic foot, it's much more entertaining.

          I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

          by superscalar on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:05:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Talk... (0+ / 0-)

            ... to the receipients of the bigotry and then you can pose your "questions."

            I don't assume what "color" you are; but the ease in which this bigoted term is used speaks for itself.

            A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

            by justiceputnam on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:11:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed, and thank you! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      qofdisks

      I'm sure you know about Colorlines Drop the I-Word campaign — great resource for why this term is not only bigoted, but inaccurate.

  •  Such an eloquent young man. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fhcec, kmoore61, ZenTrainer, qofdisks

    He posed the right questions. I say keep him here. Make his life, and those of others like him, safe, secure, and free from worry about this in their future.


    Predicting is hard...especially the future. ~ Y. Berra

    by jim in IA on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 08:27:38 PM PST

  •  No One (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fhcec, ZenTrainer, qofdisks

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 08:38:31 PM PST

  •  That's right up there with 'look forward'. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fwdpost

    Talk about deregulation, ‘no person is illegal’ = deregulated immigration. The economic effect is the same as deregulated trade. That's why 2 republican administrations (Reagan and Bush 2) promoted amnesty for violators of immigration law (Regan ‘successfully’). It takes a non-economist to not know who ultimately benefits from deregulated immigration. Employers, business-owners etc. (i.e. mainly the rich), are the primary beneficiaries (due to the law of supply and demand).
    The root of our economic problems has consistently been lack of disposable income within the working-class. As the law of supply and demand dictates, the same number of jobs + more workers = less (disposable) income for each worker, further exacerbating our fundamental economic problem (lack of consumer disposable income).
    Most people will have to watch the movie, like they did with ‘free’ unrestricted trade. The economic results are the same, but only worse because of the social costs of dealing with low-wage workforces here.

    •  Tomatoes or collard greens (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      qofdisks

      Who could afford to buy tomatoes and collard greens produced in this country by non-immigrant workers?

      There are not enough American born workers to take the jobs at any wage that would be offered. Farmers offered outrageously high wages ($50 an hour?), and even then, there were no takers who would return for a second day. Most did not last the first day.

      The domestic fruit and vegetable farming industries would die and/or be moved over the border if the only alternative was produce so costly that customers could not afford to buy it.

      Farmers in the Midwest as well as in California and much of the South cannot find American born workers to do that work any more. Or at least so I have read.

      "There's nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires." - President Obama

      by fhcec on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 09:42:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you have any evidence that (0+ / 0-)

        farmers offered $50 per hour?

        I do not believe that.  Most harvest farmers pay workers by the container filled. For instance $2. per crate of strawberries.  The average person might fill 5 boxes on a good day.

        If an illegal workforce was not available, technology and robotics would create ways to harvest fruits and vegetables at even lower cost than stoop labor.  This will not happen until low cost labor is made unavailable to farmers.

        For instance:

        After slavery was outlawed, cotton farmers were forced to use automation.

        The mechanical cotton picker is a machine that automates cotton harvesting in a way that reduces harvest time and maximizes efficiency.

        The first pickers were only capable of harvesting one row of cotton at a time, but were still able to replace up to forty hand laborers. The current cotton picker is a self-propelled machine that removes cotton lint and seed (seed-cotton) from the plant at up to six rows at a time.

        •  Automatic pickers do not exist. (0+ / 0-)

          There were articles on Huffpo & elsewhere last harvest season. No Americans could withstand harvest even for decent wages. Immigrants actually make pretty good money for what they do.

  •  What crime did Mr. Vargas commit? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fhcec, alice kleeman, kmoore61

    He is he based on a decision he did not make...

    He has paid taxes that Federal, Local, and State authorities gladly accepted.  Should they now deport him and refund all of his contributions, both financial and societal?  

    What did he do?

    What crime do you want to charge him with?

    His question is spot:

    What do you want to do with me?

    Radical Activist Homosexual Agenda: 1. Equality 2. See #1

    by skip945 on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 08:56:49 PM PST

  •  Many of my ancestors came here in the 1700s. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chacounne, qofdisks

    I don't believe they had documentation either.
    My mother was an undocumented immigrant brought here as a child.  She went to public schools, married a career military man, was given and carried a military dependent ID until her death, got drivers licenses in at least four states (not fake ones), gave birth to four American citizens and was never challenged by any authority to prove her citizenship.  Since she was white and came from Canada and never tried to register to vote, maybe it just didn't occur to anyone to ask.
    I found a completed but never submitted application for citizenship among her papers after her death at 78 in 2001.  I think she just wanted to set the record straight but ultimately was afraid to. She could have asked the same question: What do you want to do with me?

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please -- Mark Twain

    by OnePingOnly on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 09:23:43 PM PST

    •  Why did her husband (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      qofdisks

      not file for her green card?  

      It was very easy back then.  Up to the early eighties, an unauthorized alien could legalize status on their wedding day at the INS office.

      Many abusive relationships consist of a citizen husband refusing to file for the wife's green card so he can trap her to be dependent on him.

  •  I had not seen this. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alice kleeman, kmoore61, Chacounne

    Thank you for posting it. Awesome.

  •  Will you explain that to Spain? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IT Professional, Ducetius

    And every other country on Earth?

    I have a friend who moved to Barcelona. But when her work visa ran out, Spain had absolutely no problem telling her to get the fuck out. They didn't shed any tears for her, so why should we be different.

    Almost every other country understands that uncontrolled immigration drives down wages.  But here, people think we can be flooded with unskilled labor, and by some miracle they will all be paid well.

    And then you all turn around and complain about the minimum wage. What the fuck did you think was going to happen?

    •  This is what baffles me too. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Norm in Chicago, fwdpost

      How is possible that so many progressives do not see the connection between massive immigration, low wages and high unemployment.

    •  True Help (0+ / 0-)

      Long term effects of undocumented immigration would include an inherent decline in quality of life because of factors such as unemployment and low wages.

      As a result I believe the focus of American immigration policy should shift towards the consideration of how we as a nation, which advocates for freedom and democracy, can positively effect the home countries of these immigrants. Increse their quality of life so that their desire to immigrate is dampened.

      We all want to make the world a better place, why not use immigration reform as an initiative to do so?

  •  Undocumented citizen? (0+ / 0-)

    Good god.
    Does anything have meaning?

    I don't have any problem with undocumented immigrant.
    Given the way we've winked at employers and generally ignored any kind of sensible approach to immigration, it's damned hard to call the folks flowing across the Mexican border (and elsewhere) illegal in any meaningful sense.

    But citizens? We've always drawn a distinction between being a legal resident and being a citizen, just like every other country in the world.

    Undocumented citizen is an oxymoron, a bit of political incorrectness that has no place in the conversation.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 02:43:34 AM PST

  •  The problem is that the people that most want (0+ / 0-)

    to come to the United States are people that the United States doesn't want to become citizens. The most compelling reason for people to come to the US has always been economic. Add to that freedom our freedoms and opportunities and you have a lot of able people wanting to come to the US who are poor. On the flip side of that you have American companies and businesses such as farmers that want to take advantage of people with a second class citizen status, known commonly as "illegal," or even legal second class citizenry "migrant" and you have the pressure on the American side to maintain the status quo. Our current immigration law addresses none of the issues that cause our problem. We need much greater legal immigration for poor people or they will continue to come here illegally. We need a much greater reduction in the time and hassle it takes for sponsored immigration where there is family who are citizens in the United States. I wrote about this in my posing "An Immigration Story Revisited."  

    1. Enforce the boarders and visa violators.
    2. Increase the numbers allowed to immigrate to the US legally and much greater numbers of poor applicants.
    3. Allow immigrants to come to the United States legally to do that employment that illegal immigrants currently do with the proviso that wage laws must be adhered to.
    4. For those immigrants that are coming to the United States to become American Citizens that their process should be faster.
    5. Allow immigrants who entered the country when the immigration laws did not adequately address the true nature of immigration to change their status to legal by paying a fine and assessing a penalty of one year towards a more permanent status.

    Please consider the environment - do you really need to print this comment?

    by joelado on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 06:59:19 AM PST

  •  "Undocumented citizen"? (0+ / 0-)

    That's a bridge too far. Mr. Vargas is not a "citizen" any more than he is "illegal." He's neither. "Illegal immigration" is accurate (in contrast to "legal immigration") because it describes the illegality of the action, without characterizing the person as such, whereas I agree that "illegal immigrant" is offensive. But "undocumented citizen"? Language has to have some relation to actual reality. We cannot refer to undocumented immigrants as "undocumented citizens." It makes no sense.

    And yes, for the record, I've long been in favor of comprehensive immigration reform of the progressive variety and have written often about the need to do more to help immigrants feel welcome as Americans.

  •  We need more discussions at DKos (0+ / 0-)

    regarding this topic.

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