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Faith groups take up immigration, health issues

Original post made on Jul 17, 2009

Yvette Jimenez-Mota, 17, an American citizen and the daughter of undocumented immigrant parents, says she understands that the United States must protect its borders.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 17, 2009, 9:42 AM

Comments (31)

Posted by Enlighten Me, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2009 at 10:50 am

I don't understand why her parents were here 24 years and didn't become citizens. How difficult is it to become a citizen if one is working, earning an income, and paying taxes (yes, illegals do have a special tax ID #).

How difficult is it to immigrate from other countries and become citizens? There are a lot coming from Asia - how do they get here so easily?

I am just curious because I have never had to deal with immigration issues and don't understand the system. Do we just let anyone in who has relatives or are going to attend college here? I hear that people overstay their visas and don't return to their countries after finishing their education.

Posted by Liberty, a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 17, 2009 at 10:54 am

So this family is faced with a choice:

A – Live in the USA, with no father, a mother that cannot work, live in a shelter, and rely on government aid for food.

B – Move to Mexico, where the family will be together and there is a chance the father can work and the family can sustain itself.

Out of curiosity, what would you choose?

I'd probably pick 'A' and hope my father snuck back in…

Posted by Greg, a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 17, 2009 at 10:59 am

Becoming a US citizen is extremely difficult, especially for lower income people with no corporate sponsorship.

Immigrants working for high-tech companies usually receive special work visas, which are sponsored by the company. The company also pays for immigration lawyers if they want to apply for US residency, but that process can still take 8-10 years. Citizenship is years on top of that.

Posted by Brittanicus, a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jul 17, 2009 at 11:15 am

Such issues as immigration reform and health care should not be left to a thrall of politicians, who many do not have the public interest at the heart in these matters? Already we have seen this materialize with the original under-funding of our main enforcement--THE BORDER FENCE CONSTRUCTION and the weakening of the illegal worker identifier--E-VERIFY? As it always happens the status-quo have always have the monetary inroads in influencing our legislators, leaving the general population to be startled by a new law enacted, before they have a chance to respond. It really doesn't matter who is the majority party, the American people remain alienated from secret wheeling and dealing. H.R. bills and amendments are passed in Washington chambers, but the real payout takes place behind closed doors.

This happened when Sen. Harry Reid, Speaker Pelosi used their power to under-fund E-Verify or even kill it? Then in California right now--the SANCTUARY STATE--E-Verify is under a great deal of pressure, not to implement it. Assembly member Paul Fong (Cupertino) would prohibit the state, local governments, and special districts in California from requiring an employer to use the federal "E-Verify" system, even when that employer is a contractor to the government. This is typical at state or federal level, no matter the monetary consequences to the US worker. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Right now as I comment Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is looking for ways, to undermine the ICE raids and 287(g) the local police enforcement law as seen with Sheriff Joe Ariapo in Maricopa County, Arizona and in other states. I thought the whole idea of Homeland Security, along with our politicians when they took the oath of allegiance, was to protect us all. Even the--NO MATCH LETTER--has been compromised. Everything that really works--is CRUSHED! It's more like they are out to protect the interests of the US Chamber of Commerce, Council of Foreign Relations, ACLU and all the open border, special interest groups, including millions of jobs for illegal immigrants into our country. GOOGLE—about their—REAL—INTENTIONS?

They are already showing their true unpatriotic colors, by trying to force through another disastrous immigration reform law. They keep telling us that the 1986 Simpson/mazzoli bill is broken, yet it was never enforced by any president after Ronald Reagan signed it into law. Nor would good old Ted Kennedy sponsored it, if it didn't ring true? It's just another trick; to legalize "God Knows" how many illegal aliens will swarm the immigration agencies. How many their really are?

Not the pariah farmers or the businesses that do the hiring, but the taxpayer will have to foot the bill and the millions more who the lay siege to the border--once the word AMNESTY is heard. Now it's up to the American people to demand--NO MORE AMNESTIES! GOOGLE--illegal immigration and financial costs, because the public is constantly fed propaganda from the Liberals. Call your state or federal representative today! 202-224-3121 in addition to sign the petition for California, to stop billions of welfare benefits, to the overrun State at TAXPAYER REVOLUTION. See the truth at NUMBERSUSA,

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2009 at 11:30 am

I am no expert on the subject, but it seems to me that the economy of California encourages illegal workers. From food production, construction and other low income jobs, the illegals are doing work that legal residents would not perform at that low wage. If legal residents were employed the wages would have to incease as well as the work conditions and as a result our food, services and many other things we take for granted would become a great deal more expensive.

We are living in the style we do as a result of illegal immigration which has been ongoing for a very long time.

Posted by Immigrant, a resident of Meadow Park
on Jul 17, 2009 at 11:47 am

From my perspective, the family should be reunited in Mexico.
I am an immigrant myself. Every country has an annual quota for immigration. Wait your turn, come here legally, pay taxes, and don't be afraid of deportation. Also, if we will collect all the money spent on illegal immigration, all low-income jobs may be turned to the moderately paid. Why to reunite the family who broke the law 24 years ago? Who is paying for the shelter? If we are so concern as a society for the family unity, how is the father moved alone to Mexico and the family didn't follow?

So this family is faced with a choice:
A – Live in the USA, with no father, a mother that cannot work, live in a shelter, and rely on government aid for food.
B – Move to Mexico, where the family will be together and there is a chance the father can work and the family can sustain itself.
I would choose B.

Posted by Hmmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 17, 2009 at 12:20 pm

What Resident says is correct. In addition, we are attempting to correct illegal immigration by sending folks back w/out addressing the economic issues, advantages, disadvantages, etc. to having undocumented workers in this state, at such a high number. We also have a fair number of illegal Irish here, but they blend in to white society pretty fast.

A law enforcement person I know said recently that a lot of the ICE raids/targets are focused on people committing crimes, but I am not sure how widespread that is. I am always curious when I here about a father getting deported - was he a criminal? It worked to ship back mafia mob bosses & while I am not suggesting the guy mentioned in the article is mob, it makes sense to really focus on the criminals, as a way of catching them & sending them back.

I would prefer the focus of deportation to be single people and criminals before breaking up the families - just seems to make more sense.

Posted by hurus, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 17, 2009 at 12:28 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 17, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

At the very minimum we should give citizens of other countries no benefit except those their country grants US citizens.

Posted by stretch, a resident of another community
on Jul 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm

So, am I to understand that, because her parents hid out here for 24 years, their SIX children are citizens? That is ridiculous! Other countries don't make the children of illegal immigrants automatic citizens, and neither should the US. It's time to change that little loophole, so future families can be deported en masse, thus keeping them together. Illegals are just that: lawbreakers who steal identities (SS #'s) to remain here. Employers should be made to use e-verify to match people to SS #'s, and borders need to be fortified. A visiting worker program can be established, but the children born of those workers should not be citizens of the US! Meanwhile, the family can be together in Mexico, and the citizen-children would be free to come here when they want, or can. Alas.

Posted by Liberty, a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 17, 2009 at 6:11 pm

I love the "they do the work that Americans won't do" line.

Especially when the other line that's been going around lately is that we need to spend bailout money on "shovel ready jobs."

When was the last time you saw an American holding a shovel?

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 17, 2009 at 6:34 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by left view on undocumented?, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 17, 2009 at 9:16 pm

We have in reality a pseudo-slave situation.

Traditionally, the left in the US, the Liberal power arm, tries to defend and protect against creation of a class such as a pseudo-slave class.

But in this case, it appears that everyone wins - the immigrants get a better life than they had; the employers get better value from employees; the people get lower cost goods, the government blows its budget and will get higher taxes to fix it (even ABAG gets to argue that these people need low cost housing).

I am not a Liberal. Is the resolution of this apparent hypocrisy or cognitive dissonance that "the law is an ass?"

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 17, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Religious groups always lose their way when they get too involved in social movements, some of these social movements are valid, such as the Christian opposition to slavery, and the Nazi,Mao and Stalin regimes,

Posted by Sam, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 17, 2009 at 11:21 pm

Deportation is only answer. The idea that we let so many stay, and drain our economey, our health care, and take jobs Americans WILL do is disgraceful.

Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of Stanford
on Jul 17, 2009 at 11:59 pm

We simply cannot afford to foot the bill for illegals. I can certainly understand them wanting to live here, and the stories of split families are sad. But how irresponsible to sneak into a country and expect to reap the benefits that America's citizens enjoy (or used to) while knowing there is a risk of deportation and family hardship.

Recently the NY Times ran an article about states paying for interpreters for illegals in court. Outrageous! Where will it end? This is a major problem facing our country and I'd love to see it addressed in ways other than giving amnesty to millions of Mexico's citizens within our borders.

Posted by paul p., a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2009 at 5:35 am

Migrating to America legally is, and should be, a long, drawn-out procedure meant to protect the interests of American citizens. It involves more than simply jumping a fence and heading north in pursuit of free health care, education, food stamps, and other handouts paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

Legal immigration means enduring rigorous hurdles like background checks to detect a criminal background or possible ties to terrorists; medical examinations to detect diseases still prevalent in third-world nations, but long since eradicated here; proof of financial solvency so as to prevent newcomers from becoming a burden on U.S. taxpayers, and testing for knowledge of American history and English skills.

Those who have jumped a fence into America in order to avoid our immigration checks are not immigrants. Rather, they are invading criminals, with no claim whatsoever to the welcome mat extended to legal immigrants.

Posted by Solon, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 18, 2009 at 7:55 am

Why is this family and girl not housed, and supported by this inerfaith group, with thousands of members, mcuh wealth?

Seems they might be using her, not housing her or even apparently giving her enough food ( government food stamps run out each month, it says).
Average person would take her in, feed her, house her.

IT is her FAMILY'S DECISIONS that crated the problem, and now 'separate' the family.

ANd why can't the father earn as much money in Mexico as in USA?

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 18, 2009 at 8:26 am

I completely support each and every one of us doing whatever we wish to help others, be it contributing to housing/feeding/clothing etc this family or be it any other number of kind and generous options we have available.

Anyone who wishes to help this family, may.

But, I believe religious and other "well meaning" groups lose their way completely when they want to take money by force ( otherwise known as stealing) from those who do not support their cause(s) through ever increasing confiscatory laws and taxation of "the rich" ( who, of course, is anyone who has more than 50% of the people, isn't it, so this is an ever downward sliding definition)

This concept of forcing those who do not agree with them to pay for their causes is where religious groups ( and other "it is only fair" groups) have lost their way since the 60s. That slippery slide from free-will kindness to enforced communism is on a slick and steep slope at this point in our history.

I came from an immigrant who was rescued from tyranny in Africa, migrated legally to Britain, then immigrated legally to the USA. I support legal immigration, not sneaking into this country, though if I were in the shoes of everyone I know who is here illegally, I would have done the same thing out of sheer survival mode.

I would like to see the immigration laws make more sense, so that those I know who are here illegally for 20-30 years, always working and paying their own way in all ways, could have become citizens, or at least on the path to citizenship, here legally while proving they aren't here to suck off our generous welfare social system. ..since we have no middle path, this is a real problem.

But before we make it more attractive to sneak in here by implementing ways to legalize and integrate those already here, we must make our border completely non-porous so that we don't attract new people, especially the more recent wave which contains more drug criminals than those who came even 20 years ago.

Posted by Wanda G.B., a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2009 at 4:32 pm

How many hundreds of millions - even billions - will plop down here if we grant amnesty and refuse to enforce our immigration laws? What sense is there in conserving energy and water if these newcomers overwhelm our efforts at reducing consumption?

"Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent." - Adam Smith, economist and ethicist

Everything you need to know about immigration - with irony.

Web Link

(Roy Beck and NumbersUSA are the "gumball" heroes)
Web Link

Posted by Commander McBragg, a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2009 at 6:04 pm

I read the opening sentence under the headline, "Yvette Jimenez-Mota, 17, an American citizen and the daughter of undocumented immigrant parents, says she understands that the United States must protect its borders." I thought to myself, "The next word is going to be "However". I was wrong, it was "but". Same difference, however.

Posted by Buzzm1, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 18, 2009 at 6:04 pm

There are arguably 40 million illegal immigrants in our United States. Web Link

Contrary what resident says, illegals do not contribute to the welfare of our California economy, rather they not only take American jobs, but they cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year. Web Link As a rule, illegals do not earn eough to contribute anything meaningful in the way of taxes. Less than 42% of all workers contribute more in taxes than they receive in benefits.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

E-Verify needs to be mandated for all employers. On July 1st, DHS ICE issued audit notices to 110 CA employers. American Apparel in Los Angeles was one of the companies. As a publicly traded company they are required to notify the public; that's the only reason we know they were accused of having 1800 illegal employees. They, and the other notified companies, are required to dismiss those employees, unless the employees provide valid documentation.

Illegals easily cost CA over 10 billion dollars a year.

We want the Federal laws enforced.

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 19, 2009 at 6:09 am

Absolutely, E-Verify is..what, 98% accurate, correct? So to fight using it is an appalling statement of support to let employers continue to attract workers they can exploit. Though these workers are clearly better off with the jobs they get illegally or they would go back home, the net result is a forced cost to the rest of society in crime, health care, education, and, of course, having babies to make money and "anchor" the adult. And thus the vicious cycle of welfare babies has begun to destroy the basis of the hispanic family as it did the black family.

The welfare state isn't working on just the Hispanic family and the Black one, but other immigrant groups as well. One friend told me that the ( Tongan heritage) mother of her grandchildren refused to marry her son because of the loss of benefits to her if she did because of the babies. But, the Tongan queen and king were on their way here for a visit, and the Queen had sent word that she would not allow the Tongans to disgrace Tonga and destroy their children with our bad "American ways", and would take any babies from unmarried women and give them to married she married her son before the Queen's visit. I didn't understand how it would have been possible to exert that kind of power, but according to her, there were a sudden bunch of marriages before her arrival, so the people believed her enough to do something about it.

There was a lot of wisdom from that Queen! We Americans, with our misplaced kindness, encourage dependent behaviors, and need to turn the tide back.

Posted by Truth, a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 19, 2009 at 7:58 am

Realistic immigration reform must include intelligent border and interior law enforcement strategies that will carefully scrutinize employers who hire outside the system. By taking undocumented immigrants out of the shadows, it will be easier to shine a light on employers who prefer to operate in those shadows.

To continue the immigration strategy of the Bush Administration is an expensive proposition — by one estimate it will cost more than $200 billion to deport the undocumented—and it will result in the loss of the estimated $1.8 trillion in spending and $651 million in annual output of undocumented immigrants. By comparison, the stimulus package passed in January was $789 billion.

Quite simply, we cannot afford to flush $2.5 trillion in annual spending and economic activity down the tubes of anti-immigrant hysteria.

Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of Stanford
on Jul 20, 2009 at 1:44 am


While it may cost a fortune to deport illegals, the cost of them staying is, and will be, astronomical and far surpass border control and deportation costs.

It is not "anti-immigrant hysteria," but a deep and realistic concern that our country (and certainly California) cannot bear the tremendous cost burden for welfare, healthcare, prisons, interpreters, et cetera, for the millions who are not citizens. Immigrants who legally go through the process and become citizens are always welcome and embraced by America.

With the recession, many of California's unemployed blue collar workers (the number is staggering) could certainly take jobs that are currently held by illegals. Some say Mexicans hold jobs Americans will not do. That is simply not true! Before the massive illegal flood Americans held these jobs. I know this, because I grew up in this state.

We absolutely MUST put our citizens first.

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 20, 2009 at 7:30 am

"Truth"??? Where the heck are your links for your clearly absurd accusations of the cost of deportation? They simply don't pass the smell test at all.

PS: Please note that CONGRESS was completely controlled by Dems since 2006, and so it is a little hard to pin this all on that evil "Bush", though I have to admit, one of the many disappointments we conservatives have with Bush was that he and the rest of the Elitist Repub RINOs went along with the Dems far too often..for example, in failing to complete the fence along our southern border to slow the illegal 250,000/year influx. Once this is completed, we can talk more rationally about what to do with those who are still here. I, personally, vote for deporting anyone who is busted in a gang or is in one of our prisons, and integrating the rest into the USA, in ENGLISH, and NO WELFARE, for a generation until we are back in balance. So we may be closer in opinion than you think.

Nora, in addition to your comment, what few know is that 1/7th of all Mexican workers in the USA, illegally. In other words, the horribly corrupt and business killing government policies of Mexico are aided and abetted by our being an outlet for their people..this is called "codependent" and is a sin.

Posted by PaulC1958, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 20, 2009 at 10:45 am

The comment (Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 17, 2009 at 11:30 am.) that stated, "I am no expert on the subject, but it seems to me that the economy of California encourages illegal workers. From food production, construction and other low income jobs, the illegals are doing work that legal residents would not perform at that low wage. If legal residents were employed the wages would have to incease as well as the work conditions and as a result our food, services and many other things we take for granted would become a great deal more expensive. We are living in the style we do as a result of illegal immigration which has been ongoing for a very long time."

Resident's comment shows that not only is he not an expert on the subject, he lacks even the most basic understanding of economics. Every business charges the maximum amount the market will allow for their products without regard to how little they are able to pay to produce their product. Why would they charge less than customers are willing to pay? They also attempt to externalize as many of their costs as possible. The difference between what it costs to make the product and what they can sell it for is their profit. That is why businesses want CHEAP LABOR, and why many will happily purchase stolen supplies. It is why corporations and businesses wanted the CHEAP LABOR provided via the Global Economy/Free Trade policies enacted by President Clinton and a Democratic controlled congress. It is also why corporations and businesses of all sizes HOPE President Obama and today's Democratic controlled congress will deliver really CHEAP LABOR here at home by approving yet another AMNESTY; this time for 12-20+ million illegal aliens. Approving AMNESTY for the current crop of illegal aliens will open up the floodgates for tens of millions of new legal immigrants via the "family unification" laws referred to as CHAIN MIGRATION. Every illegal alien granted amnesty will be able to legally bring in their extend family, and every one of those extended family members can bring in their extended family members ad infinitum. Remember the US Census Bureau projects our population will increase to 439 million people by 2050 with current laws in effect. Want to know what your community, no matter where you live, will be like in 2050, all you have to do is visit Los Angeles. The flood of immigrants, legal and illegal, will continue until living conditions here are as bad as those in the countries from which they come.

The massive immigration, legal and illegal, imposed on the US over the past 30+ years by the government has been a dream come true for corporations and businesses alike. First, it provides cheap labor that increases profits. It increases demand for their products as population levels increase. The increased supply of workers undermined labor unions leading to lower wages and poorer working conditions for all workers all the while doing nothing to reduce costs to their customers. There are many, many other negative consequences of massive population growth. Foreign workers who enter the country both legally and illegally have primarily fueled population growth in the US. Their impact on US citizens, our economy and society are equally bad. If you think being in the US legally is good for the US, then you should support amnesty because it will transform the illegal aliens who are bad for us into legal immigrants that are good for us. It is this kind of irrational thinking politicians engage in all the time, and is why the public doesn't trust Congress to do what's best for the country.

A middle class, as that term was understood in the 1950s and 1960s required that workers be paid enough to provide their families a decent home, adequate food, send their kids to good schools, have some time for entertainment and relaxation, send their kids to college if that is what they wanted. That kind of middle class requires a tight labor market and strong legal protections for the bargaining rights of workers. Without these two essential elements, workers will never be able to achieve and maintain middle class incomes. That is why, while I'm highly unlikely to vote for a Republican, I most certainly will not be voting for any Democrats either. I will not vote against my own self interests.

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 20, 2009 at 11:47 am

Legal immigration is a different subject from illegal migration..Don't get confused. Though neither group tends to be in unions.

"Bargaining rights of workers" is code for tip your hand about your concern, union protectionism. Good luck with trying to mandate "middle class" benefits to all unions as a "decent home, good schools, vacations and entertainment". As long as we keep destroying businesses, we will continue to destroy the middle class as you define it, most of whom are NOT from Unions any longer. IN fact, I would argue that Unions have contributed to the decline of the economy and the middle class, as witnessed by their consistent support for business killing legislation, taxation and candidates...observe the American auto industry.

If you are unlikely to vote for a Republican, and truly won't vote for any Democrats ( who are always on the Union's side)..I assume you are quite happy having no voice at all.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 20, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

I do recall Saint Chavez, he of the California holiday, firing union members who refused to, on their own time, participate in his demonstrations.

Posted by soooo, a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2009 at 8:35 pm

and Chavez's grandkids attended a private high school for the extremely privileged.

Faith groups (eg, the catholic church) benefit by having illegal immigrants in this country. They are not concerned with public policy to provide jobs and improve living conditions for american citizens.

Very sad commentary on our ministers and priests....keeps me out of their 'houses of worship'

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 21, 2009 at 7:00 am

uh...that was an extremely odd comment,..I would love to know how the Catholic Church, or any church,synagogue or mosque, benefits by having illegally present immigrants? Looks like an excuse to throw spume at religious people to me, especially Catholics.

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