What immigration guidelines should Congress set?

Posted on Jan. 26, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

Correspondent Mark Shephard visited the Concord Mall this week and asked, “An estimated 11 million illegal immigrants reside in the U.S., and President Obama plans to make immigration reform a centerpiece in his second term. What guidelines should Congress set in any new legislation?”

Sheryl Hough, retired domestic engineer, Osceola:

“I’m for Obama. I think this country is big enough for immigrants to come here legally. I get upset when they don’t come here legally. There has got to be some guidelines. They should have a sponsor. Vietnamese and Cambodian people came over (after the Vietnam War), and they had sponsors from different church people that helped them. So why not the same with the Hispanics?”

Thomas Ramza, restaurant assistant manager, Goshen:

“It’s a complicated question, and it requires a complicated answer. I know a lot of people out there that work just as hard as me, you, or another guy down the road, and they’re considered illegal whatever. Well, they’re good productive members of society, so why should we remove them? I know just as many people that are here, born here, that live off the government, and don’t ever want to become productive members of society. I know way too many illegals that are good friends, good people, so I don’t believe that all of them should be treated that way. Give them a chance.”

Dave Branson, semi-retired, Elkhart:

“They don’t abide by the old legislation, and I don’t see what good any new legislation would be if they’re not going to abide by the law as it is anyway. I think our government is broken, I think that Congress is bought and paid for, and I think it doesn’t really matter. They just do what they want to do for political purposes, and it’s going to broaden the Democratic base by letting all the immigrants in, and move us farther to the left. That’s all in the plan, I believe.”

Amber Mealor, RV woodworker, New Paris:

“We need to make sure that they’re legal, because it’s ridiculous that they’re coming in here and taking our jobs. There are plenty of people I know that want to work. I have a daughter that has been looking for two years, and has not found a job yet. There are people that just want to work and can’t find a job because - no offense, I’m not prejudiced or anything — it’s just that they work for cheaper, so we end up out of luck. I just think they need to make sure they’re legal, or that they want to become legal.”

Maria Rutland, Presbyterian pastor, Middlebury:

“I think those people who are already here, and have who already been working within our society, whether it be as migrant workers or in other areas, should be given first opportunity. I think it should be open equally to all people who have come here through various means, which is a little different from just opening it up to Mexicans who are crossing the border (or persons from the Western Hemisphere). And I think that what we should be looking at as a country is how much passion and creativity comes from persons who are seeking our ideals of freedom, who are willing to do anything to try to get here, and to live out those dreams that ultimately all of our ancestors had. I think that’s particularly important to look at.”

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