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

Video Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid