The "Gang of Eight" U.S. senators, four Republicans and four Democrats, are wrapping up a sweeping immigration reform proposal that requires employers to verify the legal status of people they hire and puts 11 million immigrants on a path to citizenship. Is this the end of a social and political issue that has been long on emotion but short on solutions?Verification unverifiedProbably not.In 1986, we were required to E-verify and file their proof of green card or citizenship in their employee file and were told we could be fined if we did not keep these records.We were never checked. We did have one employee with a green card.-- Donald A. Potts, Fort WorthA step forwardI don't think this will be the end of this issue but is a huge step ahead.This has been a political weapon for both parties and the media, but they have forgotten we're talking about human beings.Yes, at some point they broke the law. But in our "Christian" country, we sometimes conveniently overlook "whoever is without sin, cast the first stone."They're here looking for a better life; that's human nature. We all look for the best for ourselves and our families.They're here because there's a demand, and they come here jumping fences because the system is broken.If they try to do it legally, there is no window for most because the "legal" way wants well-educated people, and even if some fall in that category, it'd take them years or even decades to do it. By then, their better years will be gone.Most Americans do not know that.-- Fernando Sanchez, ArlingtonSame old storyNo, it is a rerun of the '80s.President Ronald Reagan proposed comprehensive immigration reform granting 6 million illegal immigrants amnesty/citizenship in exchange for Democrat promises to secure the border, ending illegal immigration.Those derided as "obstructionists" predicted enforcement provisions would never happen, there would be 6 million new leftist voters getting free stuff paid for by taxpayers and, in 25 years, there would be 12 million illegal immigrants clamoring for amnesty/citizenship.Results: slightly off on timing, but the rest dead-on.Enforcement provisions were never funded, implemented or enforced because Democrats reneged on their promises.Today, there are an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants demanding amnesty/citizenship and different Democrats again promising enforcement.The 10- to 12-year wait for citizenship will be eliminated by executive order by the 2016 election. Democrats will renege on enforcement.There will simply be 11 million new leftist voters getting free stuff paid for by taxpayers and, in 25 years, there will be 25 million illegal immigrants demanding amnesty/citizenship.-- Stanley Poynor, MansfieldCynical politicsDo we cap the number eligible at 11 million? The first 11 million to register get to participate, the rest get to go home?Do we prosecute those guilty of identity theft? Does this count as a felony?Do those signing up have to reimburse John Peter Smith (Fort Worth), Parkland (Dallas), Ben Taub General (Houston) and other taxpayer-funded hospitals for the costs associated with having their children at taxpayer expense?Do those who sign up reimburse school districts for the costs of providing Spanish-language teachers to children born in the United States who speak no English?This really has nothing to do with immigration reform and is all about building a Democratic super-majority with 20 million new entitlement voters.-- Troy Worthy, HurstCitizenship pathwayThere are intense feelings against a "citizenship pathway" when employers must verify legal status.Is something missing? Immigrants' work ethic comes from harsh conditions like our forefathers.Unlike our forefathers, most immigrants are not tortured to death by the church police for not believing in a state religion.Our Constitution, a contract to protect us, provides a citizenship license. Our forefathers could not imagine both a "citizenship pathway" and global citizenship immigration for a global economy instead of constitutional citizenship for a local supply-and-demand economy.Is a "citizenship pathway" practical? Will it help protect "soft borders" against human trafficking, franchised drug trade and terrorists we don't see coming?A citizenship pathway is two-party thinking. We don't want to dissolve into neighbor robbing neighbor.-- Beverly Branham, Fort WorthComplicated and costlyThe bottom line is, the bill would give amnesty to an estimated 11 illegal immigrants.Although there is some language to require the Department of Homeland Security to develop a plan to secure the border, based on DHS's current failure on the border, there is reason to doubt this will happen.It sounds like the bill is complicated, just like the healthcare bill.Based on what we know so far, this bill is very bad for the U.S. It will hurt all the U.S. citizens that are out of work and will cost us money.-- Don Kneram,Fort WorthChange needed, but how much?One might see a decent but desperate individual seeking opportunity for his family, and the history of this nation is a stalwart in this life-giving precedent.The question arises for those enjoying this precedent: How far does our benevolence go before the opportunity is irreparably damaged?Too many fishermen for too few fish will end the fishing.As a principle, our laws require change to meet changing human needs. But should our laws be diminished to meet the demands of those who break them?Is there something in the immigration laws that makes them unfair to those wanting to come to this country? If so, perhaps our lawmakers will make appropriate changes. But we hope will avoid overloading the pond with too many fishermen.It is known that "new blood" represents an improvement, but does it stem from those breaking our immigration laws?-- Grady Fuller, KennedaleNot the answerFour Republicans and four Democrats? Immigration?No, not the answer. We have a legal immigration policy that has worked for many years. Yes, the lifeboat is full; we can no longer take on the numbers of those seeking a better way. Encourage Mexico to hold a national referendum for statehood.We need to realize the U.S. is a united group of states on the continent. Rather than a new illegal immigration policy, why not old Mexico uniting with New Mexico and the rest of the United States of America? This may be too simple and cost-effective for the two governments.-- Jack O. Lewis, Haltom CityWon't stop exploitationThe "Gang Of Eight" can pass immigration reform that will potentially require employers to verify legal status of people they hire, paving the road for 11 million immigrants seeking citizenship.But it will not stop the practice of exploiting illegal immigrants by paying them less than minimum wage under the table so employers and the immigrants will not be paying into the Social Security system, federal income taxes, workman's compensation or unemployment insurance.It's a win-win and beneficial situation for both parties. So, in reality, any legislation passed to curtail or legitimize illegal workers is an exercise in futility.Besides, most of these immigrants accept jobs that Americans do not or will not do for low wages.-- Delbert Cantrell, Fort Worth
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