"“Numerous polls over the past several years have found that the public generally respects immigrants for their strong work ethic, good family values and for the cultural contributions they make to American society,” the analysis says. “ But at the same time,” it adds, “ pluralities or majorities believe that illegal immigrants weaken the economy by using public services, failing to pay their fair share of taxes, not making enough of an effort to assimilate and, according to some surveys, contributing to the threat of terrorism and the crime problem. And, more generally, large majorities of the public continue to favor limiting the number of immigrants entering the country (73% in April of this year).” (source and New Pew Poll on Immigration)
Since Janet Napolitano's speech to the Center for American Progress, the immigration debate has been back on the table. What might surprise you is I'm over the "let's not reward illegal behavior" argument. Don't misunderstand me...it's a VALID argument and I still agree with the premise 100%, but that's where I'm willing to compromise to get some real reform and tighter enforcement in the future accomplished.
I hate to admit I've been defined by a poll, but the boxed statement above does pretty adequately outline my feeling on the subject if immigration. I do respect the work ethic of many immigrants/illegals. I do hate that children have to live in an underground world subject to unspeakable things with no legal recourse, but I also hate that so many Americans have been subject to robbery, rape and murder at the hands of someone that shouldn't have been here to begin with...
Lou Dobbs may even agree with me-- This is how he responded when recently asked how to fix immigration reform:
1. "We need a rational, effective and humane immigration policy in this country."
2. "We need the ability to legalize illegal immigrants on certain conditions."
3. "We need to be able to influence the direction of the conversation toward securing the border because until we can control immigration, we cannot meaningfully, substantively alter immigration law because it would have no point if we cannot establish the basis for the control of the flow of people across that border." (source)
If what the DHS Secretary said in the speech is true and the "path to citizenship" truly includes a "big fine," "all past/unpaid taxes," "comprehensive criminal/background clearance," and a mandate to learn English then I think I am okay with that if this concession becomes a catalyst for secured borders and strictly regulated immigration...