News / USA

Immigration Remains Hot Topic in US Politics

Related Articles

Elizabeth Lee

In the 2012 presidential elections in the United States, Hispanics could play a larger role than ever in determining who will occupy the White House.  They are the fastest growing voting group in the nation.  Many Latinos are watching closely how the presidential candidates view the issue of immigration in the U.S. In California, legislators recently passed a law providing financial aid for students who are illegal immigrants.

“I was born in Mexico, Jalisco. I came to the U.S. at the age of two,” said Nancy Meza, whose story is not uncommon.  Her mother brought her to the U.S. to get an education.

“Me and my mom came undocumented through the desert. I consider myself an American and all I’m missing is a piece of paper,” she said.

Meza just graduated from the university and is considering either graduate or law school.  Her plans just got a little easier a few months ago, when California passed the Dream Act, a law that makes students who are not in the U.S. legally eligible for financial aid at public universities within the state.

“Definitely the passage of the California Dream act opens up those doors for us to be able to compete.  That’s what we’ve always wanted,” Meza said.

An estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the U.S., of which two million are youth and students says Kent Wong, director of the University of California Los Angeles Labor Center.  Only three states in the U.S. allow illegal immigrants to qualify for financial aid in state universities.

“These children broke no laws. They’ve done everything our society have asked them to do. They worked hard. They’ve studied hard. They’ve stayed in school. They’re entering college. and so we’re punishing them for something they have absolutely no control,” Wong said.

A Federal Dream Act failed in the Senate last year.  It would have created a pathway to citizenship for qualifying illegal immigrants. Again, Kent Wong:

“The reality is that because the majority are from Latin America and Asia there is a strong reaction from older conservative white members of Congress who fear the integration of students of color within our society,” Wong said.

But Republican strategist, Luis Alvarado says the views of many Democrats and Republicans are not that different.  He says many Republicans and Latinos prefer immigration reform to be on the national level because states such as California cannot afford to have their own immigration policy.

“All you need to do is go to LA county hospitals emergency room and find out who is actually utilizing those services there it’s a reality that there is a burden placed upon society because this issue has not been resolved. A solution is very complex; the reality is we’re not going to have a solution until we actually find out who the next president of the United States is,” Alvarado said.

Even among the Republican candidates, who want to run against President Obama in 2012, there are differences of opinion.  Some say the solution is to build a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border while others want to find a way to give legal status to the illegal immigrants who are already in the U.S.  Luis Alvarado says Republicans and Democrats need to work together and not delay any longer in finding a solution for immigration.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs