Immigration lessons for the U.S. from around the world
New citizens wave flags before being sworn in during a Naturalization Ceremony in October at the Statue of Liberty.
June 10th, 2012
10:41 AM ET

Immigration lessons for the U.S. from around the world

Fareed Zakaria looks at how the immigration systems work – and don't work – in Japan, Europe, Canada and the U.S. in the TV special: "Global Lessons: The GPS Roadmap for Making Immigration Work" which aired on CNN on Sunday, June 10. Watch on CNN International on Saturday, June 16, at 4 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET

Immigrants founded America hundreds of years ago, coming to the promised land in search of freedom and opportunity, in pursuit of the American dream.

Today, many Americans see immigrants as a danger to that dream.

They worry that immigrants are taking their jobs, using government services and changing the country's national identity. The average American believes that 39% of the U.S. population was born abroad. The real figure is 13%, still the highest level since 1920.

Related: How much do you know about U.S. immigration?

Immigration is divisive, a wedge issue in this election year. But most Americans (73%) agree that the government is doing a poor job of managing it.

So, how should the U.S. handle immigration? Does anyone else do it better? What can the U.S. learn from successes – and possible mistakes – from other countries?

Let’s look at three examples: Japan, Europe and Canada.


Japan has one of the strictest immigration policies in the world and has historically been closed off to outsiders. It has a foreign population of less than 2% - six times smaller than the percentage of the U.S.

But what are the effects of keeping foreigners out?

Japan is facing an alarming labor shortage, says Robert Guest, the business editor of The Economist and author of "Borderless Economics."

Japan’s current population is around a 127 million. It’s on pace to be just 90 million by 2050, a drop-off of almost one-third. The nation is also aging. Almost one in four people are 65 or older – making Japan the oldest country on earth.

Guest says there’s a solution to the labor shortage: open the borders and invite more immigrants.

But that idea has hurdles.

“They don't have the idea that you can become Japanese,” says Guest. “And they don't have the idea that you can solve some of the country's chronic labor problems by importing foreign hands.”

In its health care sector, for example, Japan is estimated to be short almost 900,000 workers 2025. It started to invite foreign nurses, and since 2008 almost 600 have come to Japan.

But only 66 have passed Japan’s notoriously difficult nursing proficiency exam, which requires an expertise in written Japanese.

Japan’s health ministry has made the test easier, adding some English translations, but critics say it’s still unreasonable.

“It should be good enough that they are able to communicate verbally with people and that they are able to read the words they need to know for the tools of their trade,” says Guest. “It worked perfectly well in other countries.”

And it’s not just foreign workers who might run into obstacles. In some cases, it’s immigrants who have been living in Japan for decades.

In 1990, facing a labor shortage, Japan gave ethnic Japanese from South America long-term residence status, filling gaps in its workforce.

Japanese-Brazilians filled manufacturing jobs and became the third largest minority in Japan.

But in 2009, with unemployment running high, Japan actually offered money to them to leave the country – $3,000 for each worker to cover travel expenses.

And the flight was essentially a one-way ticket – anyone who took the offer couldn’t come back to Japan with the residence status they once had.

The government says it was only trying to help unemployed Japanese-Brazilians. They’ve stopped offering the deal and are reconsidering the residence status of those who took the money.

So if Japan won’t let in immigrants, what is it doing about its labor shortage?

It’s encouraging families to have more children, giving them $165 a month for each child. But that hasn’t been enough to inspire a growth spurt.


Europe faces a similar demographic crisis as Japan, but it’s trying a more open approach to immigration.

It’s easy to forget that the European Union itself is one of the most ambitious migration experiments in history. Half a billion people are allowed to roam freely within the EU’s borders.

Many predicted that swarms of people from poorer nations like Poland and Romania would move to rich countries like Germany and France. That never happened – only 3% of working-age EU citizens live in a different EU country.

But the EU has not dealt well with immigrants from outside its borders.

There’s been a nasty political backlash – with anti-immigrant parties thriving in Greece, the Netherlands and France.

Rather than rejecting these extremists, Europe’s mainstream politicians have pandered to them. Former French President Nicholas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany have all declared that multiculturalism in their countries is a failure.

“They all agree multiculturalism is dead,” says Chem Ozdemir, born in Germany to Turkish migrant workers. “It's amazing that they agree on that, but they do not agree when it comes to euro and on other issues.”

Ozdemir, now head of Germany’s left-leaning Green Party, became the first ethnic-Turkish member of Parliament at age 28.

Now, he helps his nation to answer a very basic question: What does it mean to be German?

“Can you be a German and have a head scarf at the same time? Can you be a German and practice Islam at the same time?” Ozdemir says.

Jonathan Laurence, author of “The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims,” is hopeful on Islam’s place in Europe. In a GPS guest post this week, Laurence writes:

The key development is that as the proportion of Muslims of foreign nationality residing in Europe decreases – because the number of native-born Muslims is growing – Europe’s democratic political institutions are increasingly kicking in. For decades, the absence of integration policy allowed foreign governments and transnational movements to capture the religious and political interests of this new minority. This wasn’t multiculturalism so much as indifference.

The series of terrorist attacks against Western capitals from 2001-2005, however, in combination with high unemployment and educational under-performance, ended Europeans’ hands-off approach. After leaving them outside domestic institutions for decades, governments gradually took ownership of their Muslim populations. Authorities began to treat Islam as a domestic religion and encouraged Muslims to embrace national citizenship.

In Germany, for example, the government has met with Muslim leaders at an annual German Islam conference since 2006, in an effort to better integrate Muslims with the rest of the population.

Germany and others are certainly making strides, but throughout Europe, there are still obstacles to immigrants’ inclusion.

So, is there any nation that’s getting immigration right?


If Japan’s strict immigration policy serves as a cautionary tale and Europe’s experiment is still a work in progress, then take a look at Canada – a nation with more foreign-born per capita than the United States.

Canada may not have the cache the U.S. does – but it holds great appeal for would-be immigrants, says The Economist’s Guest.

“Canada offers many of the same things that America does – a very high standard of living, the rule of law, peace, safety,” he says.

To determine whom it should let in to live and work, Canada uses a point system. You don't even need a job or employer, just skills. Applicants are awarded points for proficiency in education, languages and job experience.

Just why is Canada so ready to accept immigrants with open arms?

Because it has to be.

The nation is sparsely populated, has a low birth rate, and needs immigrants for population growth – and economic growth.

In Canada, almost two-thirds of permanent visas last year were given for economic needs – Canada's economic needs, that is.

The country brings in the majority of foreigners to fill labor holes.

Only 22% of its immigration was for family reasons: reuniting mothers with children, brothers with sisters, grandparents with grandchildren.

In the U.S., the opposite is true. Only 13% of green cards last year were doled out for economic reasons, while two-thirds were for family reunions.

When Nahed Nenshi became the first Muslim mayor of a major Canadian city in 2010, he shattered Calgary's "redneck" stereotype.

“When I was running for office, it was only people who were not from here who said ‘Whoa, is Calgary ready for a mayor like that?’” he says. “The people in Calgary just said, ‘Ah, it's a kid from the East End. We know him.’"

Canada’s real challenge, says Nenshi, is ensuring the economic and social integration of immigrants once they are living in the country.

“It's not about burkas and kirpans. It's about saying to an engineer who was trained in Iran or China, how can we get you working as an engineer instead of a janitor as quickly as possible?” he says. “These are very serious challenges. And we haven't got it right. But I would much prefer we focus our energies there rather than on these meaningless culture war discussions that occasionally crop up ... because those don't make a difference in people's lives.”

The public and Parliament in Canada generally support continued immigration. “Immigration is unambiguously good for the economy. We know that those folks come, they invest here, they create jobs, they work here,” says Nenshi. “There's not much of a policy debate on that in Canada."

While the prime minister of Great Britain, the former president of France and the chancellor of Germany have all declared that in their context multiculturalism has failed, that's not so in Canada, says Nenshi.

“I'm not here to question their reality. It's their reality,” he says. “But I think it's important for us Canadians, and particularly for Calgarians, to really tell a story loudly and proudly about a place where it works, where diversity works, where multiculturalism works, where pluralism works. It ain’t rocket science.”


Canada and also Australia now have smart immigration policies that take in talented foreigners who have skills the country needs and determination and drive to succeed.

As a result, they have transformed themselves into immigrant countries, with a foreign-born population that is higher than the United States.

Australia, which only 15 years ago had strong strains of nativism and xenophobia dominating its political culture, now has more than a quarter of its population as foreign born – double America’s share – and is thriving because of the economic growth and cultural diversity.

Canada's foreign-born population is almost 20%; the U.S. is 13%, just a little higher than Great Britain's.

Related: Why American needs immigration

The United States is not the world's only – nor the largest – immigrant society anymore.

And that will have consequences economically, culturally and in other ways, says Fareed Zakaria:

It's a sad state, because the U.S. remains a model for the world. It is the global melting pot, the place where a universal nation is being created. We may not do immigration better than everyone else anymore, but we do assimilation better than anyone else. People from all over the world come to this country and, almost magically, become Americans.

They - I should say we - come to the country with drive and dedication and over time develop a fierce love for America. This infusion of talent, hard work and patriotism has kept the country vital for the past two centuries. And if we can renew it, it will keep America vital in the 21st century as well.

What do you think? What can the U.S. learn from other countries' immigration policies? Share your comments below and check out some past responses.

Or see what Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has to say, from this excerpt from "Global Lessons: The GPS Roadmap for Making Immigration Work"

and also New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

More from Global Lessons: Immigration

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Topics: Canada • Europe • Global Lessons • Immigration • Japan

soundoff (847 Responses)
  1. JAL

    Human productivity = (work performance x rest performance) freedom coefficient

    June 11, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Reply
    • JAL

      Capitalism focuses on improved work performance with high freedom. Socialism focuses on improved rest performance with lower freedom (than capitalism). All multiply to characterise the effect of one on the other in both increasing and decreasing productivity; Needed social reforms or needed freedoms all play into election politics or life in a social group.

      June 11, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  2. dee

    I think most people dislike those who come to this country just to manipulate and exploit the system. It should be easier to allow those who wish to work and contribute to immigrate and just as easy to deport those who don't.

    June 11, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  3. Thatisme

    America is not only unkind to immigrants but are also unking to emmigrants. See how they treat fellow americans who chose to live and work in another country: as criminals.

    June 11, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  4. Diddy

    To those who keep claiming that Obama is the reason that illegal crossings are down. Bush hired an extra 10,000 Border Patrol Agents during his tenure. They did not reach their goal until 2008. Obama just happened to be the guy to enter office at the right time when all those Agents hit the line and flooded the border with their presence.

    June 11, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  5. JohnR


    June 11, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  6. S Keener

    I will leave my comments about the positive economic impacts of a relative handful of good immigrants for the following commentary from a better source than myself. Clearly the author has not read his history lesson required of new immigrants.Theodore Roosevelt quotes

    There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism…. The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities.
     Speech before the Knights of Columbus, New York (12 October 1915)

    I really do not know which quality is the most productive of evil to mankind in the long run, hardness of hard or softness of head.
    When the Greek lost the sterner virtues, when his soldiers lost the fighting edge, and his statesmen grew corrupt, while the people became a faction-torn and pleasure-loving rabble, then the doom of Greece was at hand, and not all their cultivation, their intellectual brilliancy, their artistic development, their adroitness in speculative science, could save the Hellenic peoples as they bowed before the sword of the iron Roman.
    “There can be no fifty-fifty Americanism in this country. There is room here for only 100 percent Americanism, only for those who are Americans and nothing else.”
    President Theodore Roosevelt
    Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.

    "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 person's becoming in every facet 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... 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

    The best of our presidents says it well; the determining factor in immigration policy is, was and always should be loyalty to this country and having their best interests at heart. Far too many seeking only wealth, or convenience, or power on our friendly shores have no interest in preserving what is best in America. Let them visit or work but pay handsomely for the privilege. Certainly, let us not bow down to those seeking to reverse the Mexican War of 1845 by marching with their feet. If freedom from this tyranny requires conflict and it already has started, then let us not back away from defending our land.

    June 11, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Reply
  7. Simon Abela

    Canada has its own problems not sure if you can compare their immigrations to ours, back in early seventies my brother tired to immigrate me to Canada without success. Why should Americans learn French, So what if you speak French, I speak French, italian, Russian and more, still English is the International language.
    After all Why are we writting these blogs in English.

    June 11, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  8. alex

    for me immigration is stupid. Why not develop your society with your people. Why amercans are not having kids? This system where is very difficult to have health care, pay bill, payment notices etc; people just dont want to have so many responsabilities. It didnt used to be that wayy, too much bureaucracy

    June 11, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  9. alex

    US immigration is not comparable with EU, Canada, England or australia. The usa is a volatile society, in here who ever comes is because they admire america and doesnt care of what americans say. Children of illegals aprecciate america more than somebody who came legally, its the struggle, former immigrants faced the same problems. Been said that EU Canada and Australia are boring societies where everybody has to follow a code of different political and cultural standards. In here you can discriminate, insult have differences a VOLATILE society.

    June 11, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  10. Armand

    Assimilation will always rule the first generation usually has some issues with language and foreign culture. The second generation is always 100% proud to be American .
    Learn the facts educate and when you feel capable express your opinion a bunch of people here needs help ......psicological help no wonder We are going backwards.

    June 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Reply
  11. GetRealCNN

    What an embarrassment for CNN to run this article. First of all, Americans DO NOT hate immigrants. It's illegal immigration that most Americans have a problem with, as a lot of people have stated here. I came to the U.S. LEGALLY with my family when I was 5 from a war-torn country. My family had to wait 2 long years (during war) to get the necessary paperwork to come to the U.S.

    I love the states with my whole heart and believe that I live in the greatest nation in the world. That is why my heart breaks when I see people being sneaky and coming here illegally when my family waited so long and endured so much. Although I still speak my native langauge at home, my entire family has LEARNED to speak English. Yes, it was hard for my middle-aged parents and there were many tears but they fought through the language barriers and wouldn't have it any other way.

    I still love my roots but I have taken on American citizenship and therefore I love this country more than anything. The pledge of allegiance and the national anthem bring me to tears and I display my American flag proudly. Now, when I see illegal immigrants coming and refusing to learn the language and refusing to acknowledge the beauty of this nation, it drives me nuts.

    Why in the world is everything translated into Spanish? Spanish-speaking immigrants need to learn English just like every other immigrant and it's embarrassing that we allow them to get away with this.

    I [happily] pay my taxes and contribute my fair share but I don't want my money going to the illegals. I welcome LEGAL immigrants with open arms and will bend over backwards to help them assimilate but I think that every single illegal needs to be deported and we need to change the law about illegals having babies here – that should be considered child abuse.

    This needs to stop.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Reply
    • Mondoe


      June 11, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Reply
  12. nick

    Fareed Zakaria always hits the same bell.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Reply
  13. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    True to his Muslim faith while Mr.Zakaria finds it noteworthy to highlight a Muslim mayor in an obscure Canadian town.........

    he forgets his own Indian Indian stalwarts..................

    Such as Governors of southern states – Nikki Haley (of South Carolina), Bobby Jindal (of Lousiana), and others such as Pepsico CEO Indira Nooyi, Astronaut Kalpana Chawla, Nobel prize winners – Subrmanyan Chandrashekar, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Hargobind Khorana, Amartya Sen and many many others.

    ......may be b'coz none of them are Muslim!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Reply
    • adrifter

      An obscure Canadian town? Calgary? Calgary has a population of over a million. It's also home to much of the Canadian oil and gas industry. Plus, I believe about 50,000 Americans live there because of the energy sector. It has an NHL team. It hosted the Winter Olympics in 1988. It's home to the world famous Calgary Stampede. Only an American would call Calgary obscure. Please, learn something about the world outside of the borders of the USA.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:05 am | Reply
      • Amit-Atlanta-USA

        I agree, I shouldnot have said obscure town as I do know Calgary is a major Candian city.

        I regret the error.

        June 12, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • AreYouStupid

      Out of the total hindu population, only about 1% is worth mentioning. The rest of your cow-crap eating population lives in filth and are crying to move to other places (namely in Muslim oil-rich Middle-Eastern countries where they work as slaves earning 40 USD a month).

      June 13, 2012 at 5:25 am | Reply
  14. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    True to his Muslim faith while Mr.Zakaria finds it noteworthy to highlight a Muslim mayor in an obscure Canadian town......he forgets his own Indian Indian stalwarts.........such as Governors of southern states – Nikki Haley (of South Carolina), Bobby Jindal (of Lousiana), and others such as Pepsico CEO Indira Nooyi, Astronaut Kalpana Chawla, Nobel prize winners – Subrmanyan Chandrashekar, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Hargobind Khorana, Amartya Sen and many many others.

    ......may be b'coz none of them are Muslim !!!!!!

    June 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Reply
    • Are you a complete moron

      Obscure Canadian Town?? Calgary is one of the LARGEST CITIES in Canada. Check your facts before you shoot your mouth off.

      June 12, 2012 at 9:15 am | Reply
    • AreYouStupid

      Out of the total hindu population, only about <1% is worth mentioning. The rest of your cow-crap eating population lives in filth and are crying to move to other places (namely in Muslim oil-rich Middle-Eastern countries where they work as slaves earning 40 USD a month). And while the Arabs make billions off their backs. It's a new caste system, get it?

      June 13, 2012 at 5:33 am | Reply
    • AreYouStupid

      Out of the total hindu population, only about <1% is worth mentioning. The rest of your cow-crap eating population lives in filth and are crying to move to other places (namely in Muslim oil-rich Middle-Eastern countries where they work as slaves earning 40 USD a month). And while the Arabs make billions off their filthy backs.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:34 am | Reply
  15. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    1 in 3 British Muslims OK to kill for Islam & 40% want Sharia Law – Dailymail -UK July 28th 2008

    June 11, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  16. DebG

    I'm not against immigration, but I believe the American policies are wrong. First, let's do away with automatic citizenship for children born here to parents who are not American. I know that'll be tough, but it just encourages bad behavior and it's bankrupting this country. I also don't buy the family reunification immigration. All immigration should be on a point system and everything should be done to discourage un-American policies, such as arranged and forced marriages. Immigrants need to assimilate and bringing in non-productive family who cannot work or speak English discourages assimilation. Let's face it immigrants are coming to the US to take advantage of the what we offer, and keeping backward customs in their home countries is better. With travel as it is, there is no need for reunification. Send money to your homeland and stop using the US social services.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Reply
  17. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    Pakistani Americans’ poverty rate 3 times that of Indian Americans – Pakistan's #1 newspaper Dawn May 23rd 2012

    Half of Canadian Pakistanis fall below the poverty line. – Dawn May 16th 2012

    June 11, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Reply
  18. jfc1

    I don't see anything in this article that says that US immigration is either "broken" or "a problem

    we have restricted immigration
    we have illegals who have decided to take matters into their own hands

    those are the only two issues of concern.

    How exactly to restrict immigration and how to deal with the illegals.


    June 11, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Reply
  19. Cherry

    There is a BIG difference between "immigrants" coming here ILLEGALLY vs LEGALLY. I am so tired of hearing how the illegals are taking the menial jobs that Americans won't do. I live in Kansas and see everyday illegals holding jobs that pay $25 an hour and the ones who take those menial jobs are getting everything free from the State they can for their kids since adults do not qualify. It's a known fact they trade off kids to get more benefits but the SRS employees are NOT allowed to ask about citizenship. What American wouldn't do those jobs if they were given cheap housing, FREE food, FREE medical and FREE school for their kids?????? It isn't rocket science!!!

    June 11, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  20. Justin

    Mr. Zakaria,
    Before you write artciles next time, please do some research. I am an immigrant myself, I came here in 1991 and became US citizen in 5 years. From the day one since arriving to the US, I had the same rights as any American Citizen, except not being able to vote, serve on a jury and own a gun. United States of America has best immigration policy. I would never be considered German in Germany or Italian in Italy regardless of my citizenship status. I may have an accent when I speak, but I have never been a subject of discrimination based on my ethnicity. Ask any immigrant in Europe, they are likely to tell you a different story. Immigration Service deals with significantly more people who wants to come here legally than Canada or Australia and the rpocess takes longer. I wonder whther any immigrant to Canada was ever provided with free court or medical interpreter, or were hired with the limited command of English. I doubt it has ever happened.....

    June 11, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Reply
    • ES

      How did you get citizenship in just 5 years since there is a requirement that you have to wait 5 years after getting greenc ard (residency) beofre applying for citizenship and then it still takes 1-2 years. To get a greencard, which is a pre-requisite, it also takes many years, unless you married an american or won a greencard lottery. Something doesn't add up in your story. Though, I will agree with the point that american's don't desriminate against foreigners the way europeans and asians do. And this is one of the greatest things about the USA , in addition to its being a country where laws are respected.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:43 am | Reply
  21. Indian Citizen

    Dear Fareed,
    You have raised the good point of broken immigration system in U.S. and need to fix this to support the country, I can tell my own story here I am struggling from last 12 years to have my permanent residency, still working as temporary worker, my first employer used me first five years and withdrew my application then I joined another company started with scratch with roller coaster ride of immigration system now waiting for visa availability no visa numbers are available for India and China, my kids grown up here and there are in their teen age now after 2 years one of them will be adult by then I don't think we will get our residency. It it difficult situation for us to maintain family this kind of situation restriction on every thing like driving licence, higher education, financial assistance, job, travel. I am paying taxes on time all these years without fail. I am getting old and no hope.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:44 am | Reply
    • Anil

      Come back to India. You will loose some and gain some. But you wont be dejected.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:37 am | Reply
    • Jen

      Exactly the problem! You work, your pay taxes, you contribute to society, but you can't get citizenship or even a permanent visa! But what about the illegals that just waltz over the Mexican border? Oh no, we are going to cater to their every need and desire. Free housing, free food, free health care, free education. We're even going to pay them ABOVE minimum wage while they take jobs from American citizens and LEGAL immigrants but don't pay taxes!!! American Poiticians are stupid.

      June 17, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  22. Lina

    The main point is if we let immigrants in.. let those who have high ability to contribute to the economy with high levels of education instead of letting those in who do very little for the economy. In the sense... let in engineers ... bio chemists... etc who can be creative and support economy.. but not those who do not have much education etc.. US gives more visas to reunite families vs to those who support the economy.. unlike Canada or Australia..

    June 12, 2012 at 3:15 am | Reply
  23. Anil

    Send all Asian Indians back please ! it will solve all problems USA is facing. half the Google and Apple filled with Indians. All unemployed youth can easily replace those cheap laborers from India

    June 12, 2012 at 7:15 am | Reply
  24. Donald H

    I don't mind immigration as long as it is done legally. Illegal immigrants are scamming U.S. citizens as soon as they set foot in this country, from VISA overstays to illegal border crossers. Scofflaws only deserve deportation, because they will not make an attempt to get legalized. It's not that difficult or expensive, but they just won't do what is necessary. On the other hand, we traditionally welcome legal immigrants with open arms. So the bottom line for immigrants is: Come in legal or get out!

    June 12, 2012 at 8:04 am | Reply
  25. John9999

    As usual we paint the picture that Americans don't want immigrants. FALSE, we do not want ILLEGAL immigrants. We cannot feed, provide health care and retirement benefits to the world. Most other countries have no immigrant problems because they ENFORCE their borders. Wake up everyone, let the discussion center on ILLEGAL immigration, not immigrants!

    June 12, 2012 at 8:06 am | Reply
  26. It is NOT working in Canada!

    Come and visit, this country has gone to crap! We spend all of our time and tax dollars trying to pacify the immigrants, they have made a mockery of our consitution and rights, they do not play by our rules but establish their own cultures within our cities, the abuse the health care system, social systems and more... anyone that believes this article is a MORON. (not all immigrants of course, but a strong majority)

    June 12, 2012 at 8:30 am | Reply
    • Jen

      Good to hear from someone who actually lives in it. I've been a little curious about moving there for work since I can't find any in the U.S. Could you give some specific examples of not following the rules, taking advantage, etc.

      BTW, I totally agree on the whole establishing their own cultural societies inside of yours instead of assimilating. It happens here all the time and I can't stand it. The U.S. is called the "melting pot" for a reason. Melt already!!!

      June 17, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  27. Willie12345

    Until we control our borders and resolve the problems with the huge number of illegal aliens already here, we should close all immigration. No H1-B's, etc.

    June 12, 2012 at 8:54 am | Reply
  28. tereza

    hey ppl, it should not be about legal and illegal immigrants, it should be about immigrants that DO follow your law, pay taxes, want to adapt and learn English and about those who DO NOT. Not all the ppl who have papers are saint and not all the ppl who dont are bad.

    June 12, 2012 at 9:20 am | Reply
  29. Dott

    If we would train our own people to do the jobs there would be no requirement for immigration. We have this high un-employment rate because we are not teaching the American children properly. Our schools are so full of illegal immigrants that we can't teach our own. Stop immigration and let Americans have jobs. Make sense to me a proud American.

    June 12, 2012 at 9:53 am | Reply
  30. Frank

    Immigrants are great job creators?


    June 12, 2012 at 10:37 am | Reply
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