|Have something to tell us at The Call? Drop us a line at email@example.com and we'll post it to our blog.|
Jayne from East Harlem may have been my favorite e-mail of the night. She wrote: "Everyone who came here from Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries was an illegal immigrant, unless their documents were written on birch bark! What nerve to deny the same opportunities you seized to the people who came after you!"
After John read that e-mail on the air, we received a call from a viewer who argued times have changed since the 17th and 18th centuries, and people can no longer compare and contrast then and now. I agree times have changed...you think people would be more open-minded to the hard-working DREAMers out there who are desperately hoping for something more.
Starting today, an estimated 1.7 million undocumented immigrants can apply for a two-year work permit that comes with a guarantee they won't be deported. The new "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" program is for those who were brought to the U.S. before they turned 16, have lived here for at least five years, are 30 or younger, and have no criminal record.
The program doesn't provide a path to permanent citizenship for these so-called DREAMers, but the directive launched by President Obama is being celebrated by supporters as a good first step. Critics have called the policy "back door amnesty." What do you say?
Do you support this program? Should children of illegal immigrants be denied work permits because of the actions of their parents? What changes would you make to the nation's immigration policies?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
The question is: why doesn't this program creates a path to citizenship for those who would like to become citizens. Many of these children, now adults, have known no other country. Why not give them a path to dignity and respect?
Gratitude & blessings,
Rev. R. M.
We learned that Verizon is not our cup of tea! We missed NY1 and Bronx12 but especially, YOU!
Children of immigrants should be allowed to work in NYC. Too many people complain that immigrants are taking away American jobs. What we see are immigrants doing the work that Americans don’t want to do. The Undocumented immigrants we’ve come in contact with are hard-working people who are paid below minimum wage, work in mostly “cash-only” businesses, and their employers make out quite well as a result, because they don’t pay taxes. Because of this, prices are kept lower, immigrants can eke out a living and everyone seems to benefit (except for the IRS!).
John, almost ALL of us are children of immigrants in this country. Our parents, grandparents, etc. were all given a chance and NYC became the best city in the world as a result of this wonderful melting pot. Yesterday it was Irish and Italian; today it’s Mexicans and Dominicans. As long as they’re not looking for public assistance, let them all have a chance to try for the American dream!
Dina and Ed of Throggs Neck
The way I see it "who is not an immigrant in this country?" If people have been born in the U.S, they need keep looking back as far as they can and somebody in their family is or was an immigrant unless they are of Native American heritage. Even slaves came to these shores and were not born here. Although it was a form of "forced" immigration it still is immigration.
The children who were brought here illegally had no choice or say in there relocation to this country. Punishing these children for the actions of their parents is cruel and irresponsible. The government needs to face the music and admit that they have been asleep at the switch and that they need to create a "real" plan of action and take a real stand for a permanent process to deal with this issue. While dream supporters are feeling a sense of relief today this is only a band-aid and a temporary fix to a problem that needs a long term solution. Anything short of this will have the celebrants of today crying tomorrow if the opponents put the brakes on this temporary plan should the republicans make it to the Whitehouse.
kathy from Throggs Neck da bronx
Yes I consider myself an American citizen and I don't like begin referred to as a critic or being called names of every kind. because this is not anything more than me questioning this BACK DOOR AMNESTY as helping someone break the law.
As usual this is definitely a BACK DOOR AMNESTY and they also have a habit of passing laws behind closed doors. Only the ones that benefit by any of this have a say in it that includes of course politicians and etc.
A law was broken by the people that are responsible for the children being brought here before tuning age 16. I would also like to know how do you get proof of there history of getting here. Also America should be taking care of us citizens that need an awful lot of help because times are bad and I my self like many others had dreams also and those dreams have been broken many times.
We took care of our parents and worked many extra jobs and not only long hours but also include 7 days a week.
These politicians have no idea as to what priorities should go first and the way I see it, all of this is being done for nothing more than votes.
Why is it that all of these politicians take it for granted that we American citizens have to continue to foot the bill.
This is just one more free ride as far as I'm concerned.
How did these illegal immigrants live all of these years without any I.D.?
We Americans need I.D.s for everything and anything we do and why is it such a problem that people feel that they are being singled out when approached about having to get an I.D. We can't even enter a building without one and another example is even by showing a drivers license when opening a bank account that still is not enough. We still have to take a picture. MY COUNT WOULD BE only for myself alone to open a bank account is 2 OR 3 I.D.s WE NEED TO STOP THIS DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS.
BECAUSE OF THE GREED THEY NEED TO STOP ANTAGONIZING US.
Thank you John,
It is a tough situation since the US allowed persons to stay and work illegally.
We must ask, what is the government saying to those who are waiting to arrive legally with their children?
What is the future for all immigrants?
Clinton Hill NY
I support this program especially since many of these youngsters had little choice in their status, and the requirements as outlined are sufficiently sound to placate abuses of the law.
So for $465 dollars the government is selling two year work permits, how nice of them. Are they going to make them get fingerprinted through the FBI too, like New York State makes everyone do to get a basic security guard license? This is a good first lesson in American Democracy, having to pay to get on a list to possibly get on another list. One ironic thing is that once they fill out this paperwork, they won’t be undocumented anymore and if the government wants to start looking for people now they will know where to start. This whole process is going to cause more problems than it solves, but hey it’s the government and their job is not to make things better.
And going back to comments made by many last night in regards to immigrants doing jobs no American will do, well that is a matter of opinion. Jobs like picking crops, working in kitchens, and cleaning were never done by many White people in this country. They had people doing that for them for little money or for free, and that’s all they want these immigrants for. It’s okay to be honest and say you want all Black people gone because you have found replacement workers, but don’t expect them to want to live under your boot forever either. All this racism poorly disguised as altruism is a joke, let’s see all these rich people allow these immigrants to go to school with their kids and live in their neighborhoods. As long as they don’t have to see them and they are willing to work for nothing and live packed in basement apartments and illegal dwellings in the other boroughs, then they will be acceptable to the rich people in the this country. Once they get out of line they will be calling for sending more of them to jail, executing them and condoning forced sterilization. Sharecropping and slavery under another name is still the same game.
If a child is known to be the offspring of illegal parents, the first step is to require the parents and any other illegal to go through the process of becoming a legal citizen. This should be a shorter process than now exists.
But it must include fingerprinting, certification of address and that they report into the immigration office on a monthly basis. If they fail to do any of this, deportation processes should begin.
The offspring should be allowed to stay and put in the custody of relatives or acquaintances. They should not be jailed or committed to homeless shelters or other such facilities.
Becoming a US citizen should be an easy process. But if those who come here want to hideout and either be a criminal or act like one, then it should be a hard process.
Port Richmond, SI
GOP xenophobes who have problems with this law may regret their backwater southern strategy when they see the election results and by the way welcome to one and all to the country of immigrants except for native Americans who immigrated over the Bering straits. Could we trade Palin and send her back?
Myself whom I was brought here by my mother at age of 14 I had no choice to come to this country. At 18 I had a choice to leave but that choice would include leaving my mother behind. So I support CUNY Citizenship Now program as I don't think it is right to punish children who grew up here based on their parents choices.
Thank you ,
Would mitt romney do something like this to help the young immigrants?
The President of the United States is to be commended for creating a more just "United" States. If Bush could support comprehensive immigration reform, why can't the current Republican-controlled House? Because they only care about power. Voters must return the House to Democratic control, so that these temporary executive orders can be turned into permanent laws.
People should not be rewarded for breaking the law .... What do we tell the next 800.000 thousand that come here illegally
Under the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution you are protected against self incrimination. That is why anyone who applies for this “Deferred Action Program” will not have that information turned over to the INS for deportation. Most people are unaware that if you are engaged in illegal activities and claim your illegal income on your tax return the IRS cannot turn that information over to any other agency other than a state or local tax authority as it would violate the 5th Amendment.
Bullshead Staten Island
i am in favor of the program however they should have to vote as part of the requirement, and its total bull that they do jobs that we won't do because businesses just won't hire the citizens that are here who are applying for these jobs because americans won't take these low paying jobs and they know it. capitalism is and has always been built on cheap and or free labor. all these americans out of work and immigrants illegal and legal are the ones being hired. we have to help our own first. i applied for ssi for my kid who is disabled and she was denied because of my income? meanwhile we were the only people in that waiting room who spoke english,and i assure that none of them were denied! since it has been proven that the rich are not paying taxes its the poor american citizens who pay taxes are the ones whose taxes are going to have to pay for this. that ain't right!
enough w/ this argument.
-what do we do with the parents who brought in the illegal children?
do the kids stay due to their folks not playing by the rules?
i feel if you take the citizenship test and pass, enter the lottery, and see what happens.
and if you win a spot great,. good for you.
just like the irish,italians,swedes and other european immigrants had to do thru time.
and back then the people learned english and used it.
there's a reason why all the people that first came here didn't pass on languages to the next generation.
they wanted to be American &speak the language.
you were taught to use English and count yourself fortunate to be in America and have all the opportunities afforded to you. not the case anymore.
it's ride the system time the last 4 yrs. And that can't continue.
Anyone from anywhere willing to work hard and better the country ,..stay. but take the citizenship test and await the outcome.
make believe you don't see that drive anymore, in that everyone who is here illegally or not is not adjusting to the American dream.
and Obama is only pandering to the possible votes by supporting this move.
he could not care less who stays or goes as long as he doesn't have to look for a job in december.
if he was to ride on his performance alone he loses.
he is the opposite of the American dream.
I'm all for someone who wants to work hard and fulfill the American dream, just do it legit.
are you better off than you were 4 yrs ago?
that's what everyone should be asking themselves-
Reagan asked it yrs ago,.and when people realized they weren't they voted Carter out- thats what this is all about.
all in the name of votes you can brake the law for citizenship
I support such action. These children have proven to be a functional part of the American society. Also, such children tend to be scholars. As an undergraduate student in college, I have noticed many undocumented students are usually the top students. If people are angered about undocumented students competing in the job market with American born citizens, then the most qualified should be rewarded the job. If it's an undocumented student that shows best for the job, then so bad! Maybe this will motivated American born students to work as hard just like undocumented students do in school. These undocumented students are future medical doctors, Ph.D holders, lawyers, and nonetheless future leaders!
- Mark, Ozone Park
It cost minimum of $10,000 a year for education per student, and then there is health costs that we the taxpayer have been paying, and now we offer them jobs, let me understand this. We pay for everything our kids suffer because of the state of our education system and we give them our jobs, are you for real.
We are all descendants of immigrants. Go back and look at your family tree. To the people that are saying that so-called immigrants (I guess illegal to most) will take away all of the jobs -- these immigrants are already working here. They work for cheap wages without benefits, vacation time, etc. -- which Americans will not. If they receive a work visa, they will be an "employee" contributing money to this economy through the paying of taxes as we all do!! Tell me why this is not acceptable? I think it is more unacceptable that a so-called illegal immigrant would work for lower wages and not pay any taxes. I believe that this person is more of a threat of taking jobs away and opportunities for others. We need tax dollars and we need revenue
I find the people that are calling in tonight to be harsh and somewhat on the ignorant side . . . and I say to them go back and look at your family tree.
Although I feel sorry for the children of Illegals, I am not sure whether or not they should be handed citizenship on a silver platter. As to your viewers who have said immigrants from former eras were all illegals. NO THEY WERE NOT. Many immigrants were encouraged to come here and given entry papers to the USA in the late 19th and 20th centuries because our country needed labor at that time. Many others at that time waited for their names to come up on an immigration list and then came legally.
I agree with this program, it actually doesn't go far enough as this permit is only for two years. What callers against this program doesn't understand, is that this work permit will generate more taxes if these kids are able to work legally.
Cindy from Brooklyn
Puerto Ricans are not illegal immigrants they are American citizen since 1917 when then President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill into that effect . Alan from Harlem does not know what he is talking , I was born here so were my parents...
Foreigners legal or not are not the problem The real problem are your elected officials who allow American companies to ship jobs abroad like in China or India.
I think these children should do the welfare to work programs that are being pushed on people who are obviously willing to work because they are working below minimum wage cleaning parks picking up dead rats etc. Then they can go back to their own country and help build it up. Also this also has the potential to create more racism what will happen if there is a dominican boss who has to choose between a african american who is qualified and a dominican who is"entitled" because of this program who will get the job I can go on and on but charity starts at home how about paying reparations to people who have not only lost their home/land their language and are here hungry and undomiciled
Thank God for President Barack Obama in his decision to enact the "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" policy. This policy is without a doubt a step in the right direction. In my opinion, one step is better than no step in the fight of helping the people that are most ignored in this country. This is a country of immigrants and we must not forget that. We need to remind ourselves the reasons many people flee their land and migrate to the United States. Often times its due to failed U.S. policies (NAFTA) and its consequences that drive many people from south of the border to seek refuge and a better life in the U.S.. To suggest "these people" are taking our jobs and not paying taxes is ludicrous. A simple check of your local restaurants, supermarkets, or farm lands will answer the question of who in fact is performing these jobs that we Americans so desperately desire.
What has happened to us humans that we have forgotten to assist one another. Life in America unfortunately is no longer about us, but of me. How convenient to forget that once our ancestors were at the shores of this country with the same intent of survival that many people find themselves on our borders today. And unlike years passed where they were met with open arms, today unfortunately we use every excuse we can phantom to deny immigrants the same opportunities afforded to our ancestors.
Lets not forget where we have come from.
In regards to the new program for undocumented immigrants, I find it to be rather unjust for the American people who actually play by the rules in this country. For reasons I have yet to comprehend, Americans have been given the responsibility of mothering every soul that chooses to roam this land. The lack of enforcement to the very laws that make this country our own, has slowly but surely created a recipe for disaster. Aside from the destruction to our economy, this infiltration has distorted society on too many different levels. It would be a slap in the face to those of us who have done things the right way, and while at it have had to maintain(taxes) these undocumented immigrants. It is not who comes here, regardless of race/ethnicity;it is a matter of how and what is done after coming here.
There is so much more to this issue, far too complicated for my young mind to handle.
The children are should not be sent home. Their parents are hard workings people doing the jobs American don't want to do . jobs like housekeeping, baby sitting and mowing lawn.we are a nation born on immigrants shame on us so call legal American. We are in a Finacial crisis thanks to the Goverment giving financial help to legal american drug addicts. so call mental patients issue which they don't have and the rise of young women having one baby after another with a sofa potato for a husband living out of the city welfare smoking 15 dollars sigarrets you think they care for tax raise Mr. blooberg apply.Why not go after this so call legal american leeches and stop going for this poor people that are also looking for the american dream like all our founding fathers did,, not saying that theres a lot of legal immigrant out there that want to drain the system believe me if they are doing it and they are its because the way the goverment aid conduct their search go after those legal american and legal immigrant living in city outside new york collecting food stamp, welfare benefits, medicaid,unemployment and even renting goverment fund housing. why not go after those so call american that don't even vote and are the first in line for all the freebies the city offer We have worse issue america get real
Unfair to all the people who came to this country thru proper channels. The parents should have to become legal and pay back taxes. Its so unfair to award anyone for breaking the law. What are we saying to the next million.