April 10th, 2009
03:39 PM ET
14 years ago

Immigration reform: Will the climate ever be right?

(CNN) - Word that President Obama might pile comprehensive immigration reform onto his already-full plate reignited calls from some for an urgent overhaul and brought cries from others that the timing couldn't be worse.

"It's more important than ever to address immigration reform right now," said Ian Haney Lopez, a professor of law at the University of California-Berkeley.

The financial and cultural dynamics of the economy make reform so urgent, he said.

"I worry that in the context of an economic downturn, the cultural response of that economic downturn will be to search for someone to blame, and that someone usually turns out to be a foreigner or someone perceived as foreigner," he said.

As a financial dynamic, he said, the economy also calls for immigration reform: "It's a mistake to understand immigrants as a drain on the economy. Immigrants in fact are the engine of development in this country and always have been," he said.

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Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. FreeNLovIt

    Immigration is great for this country. We must pro-rate races of the world. It is a strong, a great and a robust nation because of immigration. You want a strong America? Then you need a strong spectrum of different races.

    April 10, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  2. Cassandra Washington

    I would venture to say the majority of these immigrants would be happy with a "work permit" that allows them to work without fear of arrest, pay income taxes, and have a driver's license so they can get to work. The economy will gain by having this income taxed. And our security will be increased as the work permits will create a way in which they can be located and counted.

    April 10, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  3. demo in PA

    Let all the people in jail out first
    then we can talk about the other jail birds that are here breaking are laws

    April 10, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. debinaz

    obama needs to follow the law.....send these folks home and let them apply to become american citizens....take their children with them as well.....this problem is what has bankrupt the state of california....people come here and have babies then take advantage of the welfare system....someone has to pay for this expense and it is the taxpayers of california

    April 10, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  5. Carolyn Jones - California

    We as american citizens need to contact our congress-person and our senators – this can be done by e-mail – we can get the illegals returned to their homes; removed from welfare roles- which reduces taxes for americans

    April 10, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. linda lópez

    Don't we already have laws against hiring illegals?? The people should not fight eachother; illegals come to this country because this is where the jobs are, or were. When businesses stop hiring them, they stop coming. Many may even return to their countries. I attend a state-funded university; nearly every cafeteria worker speaks Spanish only. If we enforce laws, there would likely be a whole lot of job openings. Please don't insult us with the B.S. that we don't want those jobs. We want those jobs, we just expect a decent wage. Employers always find excuses to keep wages low. Hiring illegals is their answer. As a New Mexican–I have no relatives from Mexico; never have. I am mestizo, Natives intermarried with Spaniards a long time ago. Bottom line is, we have FINITE resources. I don't think we should allow any more people from ANYWHERE to come in. When do we get realistic and say no more?

    April 10, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  7. Ernesto

    Seal ALL the borders except for legal commerce. Use troops and whatever resources are available. THEN talk about what to do with those already here. Otherwise all this time is wasted discussing these lawbreakers.

    April 10, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  8. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    The climate for "comprehensive reform" will _never_ be right.so long as a majority of the American electorate regards "amnesty" or a "path ot citizenship" without a "touchback" and going to the end of the line before returning as fundamentally undemocratic and rewarding criminality. Why should criminals be accorded special treatment when the rest of us are held to compliance with the law?

    April 10, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  9. jim carroll internetfreepress.com


    If you can get rid of the Governors of California, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois for being stupid, why can't we get rid of the Governors of South Carolina and Louisiana for being stupid? The people of these states need the stimulus money. If you will go to the internetfree press, you will find out more than you know.

    April 10, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
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