Friday, October 31, 2014
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Voter's Guide



Bombing doesn’t change immigration efforts

Posted on April 26, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on April 26, 2013 at 5:29 p.m.

Correspondent Mark Shephard visited the Elkhart YMCA this week and asked, “As America takes pride in being a nation of immigrants, what measures of immigration reform should be taken, if any, in wake of the Boston Marathon terrorist bombings?”

Gred Suderman, bereavement counselor, Elkhart:

“I don’t see how that should affect immigration reform. I think it was an isolated incident, and I believe that there should be a path to legalization and citizenship for immigrants who are already here. The U.S. needs the benefits from immigrants, and we have a responsibility to provide them legal status. The current system forces too many to live very difficult lives.”

John Homan, international custom coordinator, Elkhart:

“I don’t see any changes just because of the Boston Marathon, because what happened there was really more of an issue of them not adapting to our culture. On the website of the older terrorist, he had pictures of himself when he was becoming a boxer, and he said, ‘I don’t have any American friends, I don’t understand them.’ So this is not really anything related to immigration reform, because for one thing his younger brother actually became a naturalized citizen. So I think it’s more an issue of our culture being welcoming to immigrants, and I’d like to see immigration reform where there’s an easier path to citizenship.”

Rodney Dale, Elkhart division fire chief, Bristol:

“I think that they should make sure that everybody is legal, and maybe have a process of keeping track of them for the first few years while they’re here, just to make sure that they’re here for good reasons, and are keeping things on the up and up.” Follow-up: Do you think there should be extra precautions taken as far as Muslims coming into this country? “I think precautions should be strict for everyone. If you start breaking it down group by group, it’s going to come to a situation, where do you stop, where do you cut that off? These guys that came here didn’t fit the typical Muslim description, or the way they look, so how do you keep track of that? So I just think that if the immigration rules are strict and in place for everyone, I think it will out better that way.

Rose Bias, YMCA employee, Elkhart:

“I think we should continue to strengthen our borders, and the people who are here illegally already should be following steps to become naturalized citizens here. I’m not sure that the Boston bombing really fits into the whole immigration thing, but since the question is about immigration, I know a lot of people whose grandparents have come here and struggled through the entire process of becoming legal citizens, and it’s hard for me to see people just cross the borders without going through the proper channels and getting all of the benefits that everyone else had to work hard to get. Even though I think everybody should be held accountable to the same standards of entering the country and being here legally, I very much disagree with treating people disrespectfully, whether they’re here legally, or without documentation. I see a lot of prejudice, a lot of people being treated very poorly, and I think we should go through it legally.”

Terry Tompkins, retired, Elkhart:

“I think that the path to naturalization is too complex — more complex than it needs to be — but I also think that we’ve been too liberal with all the people that we have let in.”


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