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Immigration Reform: Should America Open a Pathway?

As President Barack Obama kicks off his second term in office, the often prickly issue of immigration reform has come to the forefront. We’d like to get your thoughts on America’s immigration policy and the need for reform, Tampa Bay!

After tackling health care in his first term, it looks like President Barack Obama has set his sights on waging another big battle in his second term in office – immigration reform.

The president is expected to discuss his plans for reform on Tuesday during a trip to Nevada, but a bi-partisan group of Senators intends to beat him to the punch.  The group of eight Senators includes Florida’s own Republican Marco Rubio, according to the Huffington Post.

Their plan, which will be more fully announced today, Jan. 28, calls for a multifaceted approach to reform with such prongs as:

  • Border security
  • Workplace enforcement
  • A pathway to citizenship

The Senate group, however, wants to make sure the first two points are adequately addressed by the country before the pathway opens.

"Once the enforcement measures have been completed, individuals with probationary legal status will be required to go to the back of the line of prospective immigrants, pass an additional background check, pay taxes, learn English and civics, demonstrate a history of work in the United States, and current employment, among other requirements, in order to earn the opportunity to apply for lawful permanent residency,” their draft agreement reads. “Those individuals who successfully complete these requirements can eventually earn a green card."

Americans seem to be warming to the idea of creating a pathway for undocumented immigrants to become citizens. According to the Huffington Post, a recent poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies showed that 77 percent of voters now favor an immigration package that includes a path to citizenship.

Here’s what we want your thoughts on Tampa Bay: Do you think it’s time for immigration reform? Do you support opening a pathway to citizenship for America’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants? How would you like to see the issue handled? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Michael D. January 30, 2013 at 02:20 PM
For a guy that complains about how ignorant the conservative side sounds, you really don't do yourself any favors. There is two sides to the crazy train tour bus, the crazy extreme right is on one side. But the extreme lefts is on the other. You come off as someone on that extreme left. You spew as much racism, classism, and garbage as they do.
D. Porter January 30, 2013 at 02:35 PM
mirra retched: ""Tax the Rich, feed the poor, till there are no Rich no more" after spewing "equal rights for everyone." I told you "progressivism" is a mental ailment. You are living proof of the disease, mirra.
Patriot January 30, 2013 at 03:41 PM
MM, dude, you are a broken record! Wake up! LEFT vs RIGHT is lame! IT's us vs them! Both sides are the same! WAKE UP!
Michael D. January 30, 2013 at 03:53 PM
Patriot, It is what keeps them in charge.
Samuel Clemens January 30, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Welcome to America, here's some "free stuff" www.welcometousa.gov/Government_benefits/default.htm Happy to see tax dollars being spent wisely.
Samuel Clemens January 30, 2013 at 06:11 PM
I'll play the part of the media............."Being for immigration reform, IE: amnesty is you being a racist" http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0126-compton-20130126,0,977110.story Why do you not care about the "black" community? Racist.
Samuel Clemens January 30, 2013 at 06:23 PM
How many of you have actually spoken to a present day immigrant who legally became a Citizen? They abhor the people who didn't go through the legal process. Many immigrants today.........check that.......most people today have a horrible work ethic. The many who illegally come across the borders are not like those who immigrated here in yesteryears. We have a taxpayer funded website to inform immigrants of taxpayer funded freebies......how many of our relatives came here to be given something free?? Heck, many immigrants were forced to fight for the Union army upon arriving to the States.........they weren't given a free ride. I'm all for open borders when it comes to those who want to actually work, but along with the open border.....how about we eliminate the Federal Minimum wage? I actually picked blueberries a few years ago with.........believe it or not.........many "whites" and many "Mexicans." Unlike what is portrayed in the media, Americans will and do perform the same tasks as those who actually come here for work. Anyways, I had to laugh because the "Mexicans" were just as lazy as the "Americans." A few barely made it through the morning and the majority left so many blueberries on each bush, I absolutely laughed my @ss off because they were just as lazy as the white folk. I still laugh now thinking about it.
Samuel Clemens January 30, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Not the biggest fan of any tyrants, but what Teddy says is the truth if you want to remain semi united as a country. http://www.newfrontiercoalition.com/Theodore_Roosevelt_On_Immigrants.pdf "In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people." Theodore Roosevelt 1907
Michael D. January 30, 2013 at 06:36 PM
Samuel, I speak to several on a regular basis, work with them as part of international marketing department or went to school with them in college. And as you mentioned they do not understand why people do not go through the normal process. I agree those that want to work, should be able to get a work visa and work. Obviously I mentioned the Federal Minimum Wage earlier and agree with this point. If we are truly a Free Trade/Capitalistic Society there is no need for a Minimum Wage. I never did blueberries, but I did do lawn care. My late Uncle also owned a farm in North Florida and would hire anyone who would work for the price. As far as lazy, lazy is not a racial thing. lazy is just lazy.
guillermo January 30, 2013 at 11:14 PM
To those who are in favor legalizing 11 million undocumented aliens, write to your president, those who oppose, write to your congressman, those who are not sure, see your local preacher, those who are unable to decide and hates ilegal aliens, see your local Psychiatry and those who love thy neighbor, wait for your reward in heaven
Samuel Clemens January 31, 2013 at 03:12 PM
C'mon Patriot, residing in the manufactured reality of the Left/Right paradigm is oh-so-lovely. To parrot the talking points from your chosen side is enlightening. God forbid you have an original thought of your own, it's just so easy to blame the other side for all the madness as you blindly defend the madness from your side. If you were a true Patriot, you would pick a side and get in line. Participate in the Divide and Conquer.....been working for years upon years, why buck the system now? In the meantime, here's a song for you to teach your children. www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4TGHF_iA-E
Samuel Clemens January 31, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Damn straight lazy is lazy. I, too, worked in the Lawn service field for a few years........only with a handful of "Mexicans," but I definitely saw my fair share of lazy white people. And like other industries avoiding taxation, people will gladly work for lower pay. I have a friend with a business and even though aren't in desperate need of extra funds, I'm going to work for him as much as I can this spring and summer........because unlike most, I know the future is going to be extremely rocky and we are preparing as much as we can. This isn't "Kung Fu" world, be like the Ant, not the grasshopper.
Patriot January 31, 2013 at 05:15 PM
Sam Clems, very nice diddy there....little on the vulgar side lol, but at this point, it is a lullaby compared to what the people on the hill are doing to this nation! Thanks
Patriot January 31, 2013 at 05:23 PM
MM, my God your pathetic! ~"They don't complain about immigrants from Europe, do they? They don't complain about Eurasian immigrants either. They complain about only one group. Hispanics"~ MM.... Why would anyone complain about people that legally pursue citizenship? These "HISPANICS" as you call them, are ILLEGAL! They are criminals! My Grandparents came from Germany....LEGALLY! They learned the language and contributed to the American way! And by the way, the only flag you could find in their home was old GLORY! My father was an illegal alien from Spain. He was deported! Then he came back legally....THAT IS HOW IT IS DONE! Stop being pathetic and embrace the country and ALL it's laws!
D. Porter January 31, 2013 at 05:45 PM
Michael Mirra spewed: “The proof is that they don't complain about immigrants from Europe, do they? They don't complain about Eurasian immigrants either. They complain about only one group. Hispanics. You are in that group too.” “Hispanic” is a language group, not a nationality. The vast majority of the arrogant and demanding illegals in the U.S. are Mexicans so they get the most attention, but all illegal aliens should be deported…. Including micks, arabs, limeys, canucks, etc. Illegal immigration is a crime, you know. http://qr.net/j7pR
guillermo January 31, 2013 at 07:32 PM
No because we have a freedom of speach, we have to use this page to make statements contrary to the use of inteligent opinions, and insulting the inteligence of others with disrespect
Patriot January 31, 2013 at 08:12 PM
MD, your comment was so good, I had second it! ____________________________________________________________ For a guy that complains about how ignorant the conservative side sounds, you really don't do yourself any favors. There is two sides to the crazy train tour bus, the crazy extreme right is on one side. But the extreme lefts is on the other. You come off as someone on that extreme left. You spew as much racism, classism, and garbage as they do.
Liberty Belle February 01, 2013 at 03:03 AM
Conservatives don't pander for votes. We are not going to offer 'presents' for the poor, amnesty for illegals for votes. If we can't win on our message of limited government, personal responsibility, values and low taxation then we don't win.
guillermo February 01, 2013 at 06:06 PM
Wait and see, the ilegal inmigrants will take over this country, so far they have contributed and succeded in the re-eleccion of Obama, This country is divided, half whites and half multi-racial invisible society.
Michael D. February 01, 2013 at 06:37 PM
When has the Republican party ever truly been about limited government? You really do believe the line that they are selling. Lower taxation when George W. Bush was in office. Higher taxation when Reagan and George H W Bush was in office. Personal responsibility, like trying impeach a President, while the Republicans running the impeachment hearing were doing the same thing. That's personal responsiblity right there. How about you follow the money and see what "conservatives" really stand for.
Giva DAMM February 04, 2013 at 08:45 PM
I don't know about you ...but I am tired of paying the tax bill to support them..............
Phil Cooper February 07, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Identify them and send them home. The illegal aliens were lawbreakers from the second they stepped over the border without going through U.S. Customs. We have enough home-grown lawbreakers without having to deal with foreign lawbreakers, too. Once they're back in their home country, let them apply for immigration and start at the back of the line, just like everyone else who does it by the rules. All the nonsense about breaking up families by repatriating illegals can easily be solved by doing away with the instant citizenship policy for children born on U.S. soil and revoking it for people who were born here of illegal alien parents. Coming to the United States to pop out kids is not a God-given right. It may sound draconian, but it's simply a matter of survival of our nation and cultural identity.
Phil Cooper February 07, 2013 at 05:40 PM
@Michael D., "conservatives" does not equate to "Republicans". Barb never mentioned Republicans in her comment.
Timothy Miller February 07, 2013 at 06:33 PM
I agree with D.Porter. We have the National Guard. Who are ready and on call . And could be sent to the borders to help stop the crossing. The biggest problem is setting in the White House. Who will not even let them do there job. Border Agents. I am on Social Security. That's the only income I have, living paycheck to pay check. And thanks to the Gov. it is almost if not empty. The president does not or will use the word...Illegal. By allowing amnesty to all the ILLEGALS would hurt everyone who is a u.s. citizen. Medicaid,food stamps, etc,etc. This is just another way Oboma is destroying us. And he doing on purpose. He is a Muslim, and will continue to destroy us. AND HE WILL.
Michael D. February 07, 2013 at 06:43 PM
Mr. Cooper, Republican claim to the party of the conservatives. But real conservatives, that actually follow what the ethos of what a conservative is, wouldn't vote for a Republican candidate. So I see your point, but in the question of my response, the user always is pushing the Republican position.
Michael February 07, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Seal the border. End of the line. No anchors.
Michael February 07, 2013 at 09:19 PM
mm, read some of your rants a few weeks back. You're still the same Mor on.
Michael D. February 07, 2013 at 09:36 PM
Are you also willing to push the companies that are bringing in these workers because it lowers cost of labor. In America there is no God-given rights, only government given rights.
Adam Wilkes February 07, 2013 at 09:43 PM
How about sealing a border just around your house? That would be a lot cheaper and the rest of us can just carry on! I say open the border!
Torrey Craig February 11, 2013 at 05:30 PM
Your forefathers may have been one of the 12 million people processed through the first federal immigrant inspection station - aka Ellis Island in New York harbor. This was point that many immigrants from where processed and admitted into the United States. A register was kept of the individual who where processed, those who lacked the necessary papers where marked as WOP. WithOut Papers. The policy of our government at that time mostly barred people from Asian countries. We did not have strict quotas until 1921. If the objective is to control illegal immigrants, then remove the reason that individual comes to our country illegally.

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