News / USA

US Immigration Politics a Reality in Border Community

US Immigration Politics a Reality in Border Communityi
X
March 14, 2013 3:15 PM
President Barack Obama and leaders in the Senate hope to reform the U.S. immigration system to resolve the problem of more than 11 million people who are living in the United States illegally. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from San Diego, California, the issue hits close to home in one border region, where legal and undocumented residents live and work together.
Mike O'Sullivan
President Barack Obama and leaders in the Senate hope to reform the U.S. immigration system to resolve the problem of more than 11 million people who are living in the United States illegally. The issue hits close to home in San Diego, California, near the border with Mexico, where legal and undocumented residents live and work together.

One such resident, Rosa Maria Mendoza, is self-deporting. She has lived in the United States for 12 years but is returning to Mexico.  She is leaving behind a 15-year-old son and 18-year-old daughter, who want to stay in California with their grandmother.  Mendoza earns barely enough in California to support her family, but is a trained paralegal worker in Mexico.  

Speaking in Spanish, Mendoza said her situation is complicated and she doesn't know how they [her children] will manage. But they love his country, she said, and she respects their wishes.

San Diego, California, Mexico borderSan Diego, California, Mexico border
x
San Diego, California, Mexico border
San Diego, California, Mexico border
San Diego is a beautiful seaside city, a short drive from the U.S.-Mexico border, with its massive fence and extensive security.  The security is needed, says former Republican congressman Duncan Hunter.

“What it is, is a border security program that says several things. Number one, if you want to come into America, knock on the front door," Hunter said.

Millions have not done that.  Economic refugees from Latin America often lack the job skills to get a legal visa. But many came illegally as children with their parents.

At the University of San Diego, law student Rosibel Mancillas Lopez meets with a friend, Wendy Romero.  Wendy is one of 1.7 million young people covered by the program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which the Obama administration announced last June. She is now safe from deportation.  So is San Diego State University nursing student Maria Estrada.

“In many ways, it changed the psyche and the thinking of a lot of undocumented youth, and gave us a lot of hope that we hadn't had for a long time,” Estrada said.

The workers who pick the produce on California farms are thought to be mostly undocumented and using false papers, said Eric Larson of the San Diego Farm Bureau.

“Even though they may not be here legally documented, we'd like to see as many of them stay as possible," Larson said. "They're very skilled, they’re trained."

Farmers also hope to see an effective program put in place to bring extra workers to the country at harvest time. Each year, hundreds of migrants die crossing the border through the desert.  Laura and John Hunter, the brother of the former congressman, head a group called Water Station that leaves water in the desert for the migrants. Laura, who was born in Mexico, said the undocumented need to come out of the shadows.

“To be able to have the opportunities to become citizens, to be able to provide for their families.”

Members of a Unitarian church near a detention center in Irvine, California pay weekly visits to those awaiting deportation. Visitor Jan Meslin said the immigration system separates families.

“And especially, a lot of the detainees here tell us about their children, who they miss so much."

The immigration system is overwhelmed, said Estela De Los Rios of the Center for Social Advocacy.  Legal remedies for those fighting deportation can take several years, and those waiting to immigrate legally can wait even longer.

“There's people that I've known that have applied 15 years ago, and their name is just coming up," she said.

Hunter says politicians must find a solution.

“We need the labor. The guys in Mexico and other places do need the work, and so there should be some way to legally make both sides happy.”

Others say the rights of those waiting in line to immigrate legally should also be respected, and that the border needs to be secure.

But Congress is divided, and leaders in both parties say that finding a solution will not be easy.

You May Like

Kurdish President: More Needed to Defeat Islamic State

In interview with VOA's Persian Service, Massoud Barzani says peshmerga forces have not received weapons, logistical support needed to successfully fight IS in northern Iraq More

Sierra Leone's Stray Dog Population Doubles During Ebola Crisis

Many dog owners fear their pets could infect them with the virus and have abandoned them, leading to the increase and sparking fears of rabies More

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

New methods for mapping pain in the brain not only validate sufferers of chronic pain but might someday also lead to better treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: dwight from: dc
March 14, 2013 7:57 PM
this article is nonsense. what a ridiculous liberal slant!
this is why americans are getting fed up with "mainstream media".
and lastly, we don't ow criminal invaders anything. my parents came here the right way-legally.

by: Dave Francis
March 14, 2013 4:26 PM
We must be losing our minds, if we cannot see through the lies about the cost of a federal ID card. Expensive as it might be, it will be able to eliminate numerous problems we have to deal with today? The biometric document should be issued to every citizen and legal resident, not just workers? Blame for withholding of issuing a National ID card falls without any form of contradiction on both political parties. Democrats and their Liberal subsidiaries, the Republicans have not only been absent from protecting Americans from the illegal alien invasion, but the pandering to majority ethnic groups, including the outrageous cost of supporting them. I trust the Heritage Foundation for reporting after analysis that this next amnesty, if enacted will cost taxpayers $2.6 Trillion dollars to legitimately process and settle them. This dollar figure should not be confused with the $113 million dollars spent annually, which is rising as President Obama’ is spreading illegal cheer in the way of food stamps for all. The unsuspecting American taxpayers as with the signer, the late Ronald Reagan never realized of the undermining of funding and enforcement for the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). Republican campaign contributors for corporate welfare had their say and enforcement mainly became a useless word in the Federal Register. However that didn’t mean the GOP was entirely to blame, as assuredly so the Democrats assisted in the skillful fraud. Not even processing of the 3.6 million Guest Workers in the agriculture industry or others, who then flew the coop once they gained citizenship to the cities. The whole 1986 can be classed as really inoperable and it caused millions more were encouraged by the (IRCA) act, suddenly rushing to the poorly equipped borders, or overstaying there visitor, tourist or educational visas forever.

The tangible miasma of an amnesty or Comprehensive Immigration Reform floating around is the Border Patrol is already seeing an upsurge in numbers crossing the border. It was obvious this was going to happen, as illegal aliens are testing the chance of slipping past the border or arriving here as an inconspicuous visitor, who cannot be tracked once here. If the illegal population is truly 11 million, which the most prudent American doubt, that number will shortly fly through the roof as the U.S. government will not be able to contain the charge? Currently—what do we have as worthwhile identification—a Social Security number, a driver’s license or state issued ID card. Hundreds of data bases of legal immigrants are not centralized. Because of this vital situation we have this unfortunate dilemma today, with a growing ration of stolen personal information. Illegal aliens using this form of identification, plus the SSN of deceased persons and even the number of infants and children, no to forget our troops overseas ID. I think for a matter of security and an individual’s personal information, we need a biometric card, which will not only identify the recipient as an authorized job seeker, but for many other entitlements.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Paini
X
Shelley Schlender
April 20, 2015 7:03 PM
Pain has a purpose - it can stop you from touching a flame or from walking on a broken leg. As an injury heals, the pain goes away. Usually. But worldwide, one out of every five people suffers from pain that lasts for months and years, leading to lost jobs, depression, and rising despair when medical interventions fail or health experts hint that a pain sufferer is making it up. From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Italy Rescues Migrants After Separate Deadly Capsize Incident

Italy continued its massive search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Monday for the capsized boat off the coast of Libya that was carrying hundreds of migrants, while at the same time rescuing Syrian migrants from another vessel off the coast of Sicily. Thirteen children were among the 98 Syrian migrants whose boat originated from Turkey on the perilous journey to Europe.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs