The Immigration Question

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A family that until recently lived in College Point watched with special interest when the question of immigration came up in the second debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Like the people in question, they had once been illegal immigrants. The husband and wife fled with their two daughters in the 1980s from what was then Czechoslovakia into neighboring Austria while their country was still part of the Soviet empire.

The regular border crossings were closely guarded by the military, so they decided to walk through a railroad tunnel connecting the two countries that was more than a mile long. When they saw a train coming they had no other choice but to lay down on the tracks, each parent covering a child, as the train passed overhead. It was a terrifying experience, but one they were willing to risk.

When they reached Austria, they were sent to a refugee camp. A year later, they came to America after being sponsored by a family living in the Midwest. Today, the children have graduated college, the father is a carpenter and the mother works for a fashion designer.

They were annoyed by the response to the immigration question at the town hall debate.

Romney said illegal immigration must be blocked and said he would “not grant amnesty to those who have come here illegally.” He added that America should be encouraging the immigration of doctors and people with engineering degrees.

Of course it is not the doctors and engineers from Mexico and Central America who are risking their lives to bring their families across the border. Refusing to even consider amnesty for illegals places a burden on the nation’s cities.

Queens will suffer if steps aren’t taken to integrate immigrant families into American society.

Obama reiterated his call for immigration reform that would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain citizenship and criticized Romney for supporting “self-deportation,” which would impose tougher laws to push these people to leave the country on their own.

The current administration has reached out to newcomers without green cards in Queens and elsewhere. Obama should be proud of that.

The Czech family has a special place in their hearts for people who see America as the land of opportunity. Like us, they hope the next president will understand that.

Posted 11:23 pm, October 24, 2012
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Reader feedback

wigglwagon from Seven Mile Ford says:
"A year later, they came to America after being sponsored by a family living in the Midwest."

What did I miss? That sounds like legal immigration.
Oct. 26, 2012, 5:43 am
jm fay from colorado says:
This country has a very fast growing population due to immigration; both legal and illegal. Its unsustainable in part due to finite resources and a 16 trillion dollar national debt.

There have been studies on who is using entitlements and by far; its immigrants as opposed to native born. Why would we want low wage workers when we have plenty of people to do the work? and why would we want high wage workers if it prevents our own citizens from going into those fields?

We have 23 million of our own out of work or underemployed. We take in 2 million legal immigrants per year; half through non ag work visas and half through chain migration with only creating if we are lucky 150000 jobs. Add in babies of illegals in the amount of 300000 to 700000 per year and 7 to 8 million jobs done by illegals; and you dont have to wonder why the unemployment rate is bearly moving.

The numbers tell the tale and we need alot less of all immigration and to get rid of all illegals and their families.
Oct. 26, 2012, 8:15 am
Lou from Bayside says:
2100 people murdered every year by illegal aliens!
Oct. 31, 2012, 9:10 am

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