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feature : word on ths street
May 2nd, 2006
Word on the Street : Immigration

“According to a proposed immigration bill in Congress, illegal immigrants found in the United States and any people who help them, including social service and church groups, could be arrested and charged with a felony. What do you think about this? Should illegal immigrants be permitted to stay in the United States? Should agencies and church be allowed to help them?”

Adina, 20 (left) -- Kate, 19 (right)
Adina: Goodness. Well, I think that the [immigrants] should be allowed to stay, as long as they're abiding by the law. Without them, our country wouldn't run as well. I don't think that people helping should be arrested. I am more of a religious person and I think that if anyone is trying to help someone then it's wrong to punish them.

Kate: Congress seems to be shooting themselves in the foot by wanting to get [illegal immigrants] out. Because they are the people that do the minimum wage jobs and work we need. I think they should be allowed to stay. [The law] needs to be more strict from here on out, but the people who are already here should be allowed to stay. Unless they're posing a threat. Any time people are helping other people, I think that's good. I don't even know how they would enforce the law against people helping illegal immigrants.
Gabby, 18
If you've been here a certain number of years you should be allowed to stay. There are people who have worked here for years and then they have to be sent home. It just doesn't seem right.
Marlon, 18
As long as illegal immigrants aren't bothering anybody, I think they should stay. Some people think they're making the crime rate high, but I think that's mostly our citizens. They come and they work. To arrest them and the people who help them is unfair. They do most of the low paying jobs we don't want to do.
Margaret, 24
My mom is a citizen now, but she's been trying to get her family here [from Indonesia] for a long time. It's really difficult and expensive to get your citizenship. It's really harsh to charge people with a felony. Are we going to just leave these people on the street? It's just wrong.
Marieme, 21
There's obviously a reason for people moving here. I've been [in the United States] for two months, and I've seen so many things on the news and it feels like America says it's the land of the free but all of the politics here aren't very welcoming. [In Switzerland], it's really a socialist country. We have a democrat as head of state, and it's very different here. The proposed immigration bill is really too harsh. It's not a felony to leave your country to try to find a better situation for yourself and your family. That's what human beings do to survive. When you ask people where they're from, no one is actually Native American. Who gets to decide who's American and who's not American? I don't understand why you call them immigrants because everyone is an immigrant here.
Jonathan, 20
When I was a little kid, my parents said that this country was built of immigrants, and that's what I believe. Everybody is an immigrant; some have just been here longer. I think that illegal immigrants need to have more time to apply for citizenship. I'm an immigrant, and I feel like I'm doing pretty good. I was born in Colombia and came here like six or seven years ago. I'm in college. America has so much more opportunity than other places.


 
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