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: A CAUTIONARY TALE

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.

EUROPEAN UNION: WORK IN PROGRESS

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?

CANADA: GETTING IT 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.”

FUTURE IN THE U.S.

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 (844 Responses)
  1. Guest

    This article is full of manipulation and lies. Americans are not worried about immigrants. Americans are worried about ILLEGAL immigrants. I won't even go into how these "examples" have nothing to do with America or it's issues with immigration. This whole article is a fabrication that only a 3rd grader would believe!!!!

    June 11, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  2. So True

    I've met some imigrants who earned an engineering degree in the Netherlands, but are instead driving a forklift in a warehouse in the U.S. He's highly trained in his profession, but every company he applied for said since it's not a U.S. degree they didn't care about it...

    June 11, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
    • ZING

      I fully understand the frustration and as an immigrant I worked with odd jobs that were not in-line to my engineering. And guess what, my degree is not from a certified US academy. That's ok, there are a lot of companies that honor degrees from overseas. They will have to be a little bit patient though. If they really want those "big companies" to call in times or recession, join the Army. It looks good in your resume because they know that you are a veteran. That's what happened to me.
      Good luck my friend and hope your friends may find the appropriate job with there experience.

      June 24, 2012 at 12:28 am | Reply
  3. jimzcarz

    Too bad someone with Common Sense and simple Math skills wasn't in charge of immigration..It should be pretty simple..Work & Pay your Taxes follow proper immigration procedures and become a citizen...No Paperwork and no job...Go back to your home country and quit draining our resources. Oh and Goodbye...

    June 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  4. woody

    Fences and gates have never worked to keep people out . Did we not learn anything from the history of the Berlin wall . Even with mines people were able to get around it and it is no different today as a person with nothing to lose sometimes would rather die trying than to live without hope !

    June 11, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  5. Everett Mack

    We should only be so lucky as to have a labor shortage here!

    June 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  6. LinSea

    I spent some time in Europe as a student and there, like here in the U.S., it was ILLEGAL immigration that had people ticked off, not legal immigrants and visitors.

    June 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  7. big c

    What is an American?? The United States is made up all different nationalities, races, religions and ethnic groups. No other nation has ever had such a diverse melting pot of different folks that have come together for one common goal. FREEDOM for all!! That being said everyone coming to the United States needs to dedicate themselves to becoming an American. Not Mexican, Italian, German, Greek or other nationality. Learn the LANGUAGE and the culture, history and dedicate yourself to your new nation. Be proud of where you came from, but most of be proud you are an American First and foremost.

    June 11, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  8. deeperinfo

    please add a profile of Mexico's and China's immigration policies. How do they treat illegal aliens?

    June 11, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  9. Nat

    "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."

    Canada at least has ALWAYS been an immigrant country. It's growth was smaller than the US but it's growth since the beginning was because of immigration. Does he think we were just acting like rabbits?

    June 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  10. WildWest

    Just a thought ever realized how west for the past few decades has been involved in another kind of forced immigration..i.e occuping countries(Vietnam, afghanistan, Iraq etc) , killing its people and taking over its resources. I hope this kind of immigration is justified and totally shows how people can really assimlate into other culture i.e by destroying their culture..i rem coming across this scene in which once an american girl angrily asked an immigrant (muslim to be precise) y he doesnt leave america ..to which the immigrant replied that we will leave once you leave our lands (both physically as well as policy vise)..
    The point is this is never ending debate....we all need to accept and tolerate each other and the culture /social differences to survive ...be it from any religion, race or color..otherwise we can see whats happening in the world and can only expect how bad can it be in future!!

    June 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  11. cd

    This Nation doesn't need to lean a d@m thing from anybody other than NEVER VOTE for a President for the COLOR of his SKIN again!

    June 11, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Reply
    • Cunning Stunts

      Why not ?
      We have been for over 200 years.
      You have a problem with it now ?
      Sad little man.

      June 11, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  12. Potted Plant

    Just for fun, what do you guys think of Americans (whites) who adopt children (black and brown) from other countries. They are counted as immigerants too.

    June 11, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • Cunning Stunts

      *** What is an "immigerant" ?
      Is it, animal or vegitable ?

      June 11, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  13. Maria

    As a recently landed permanent resident in Canada, who lived and was educated in the US, I do agree that while Canada has a better entry system for immigrants, it lacks the ability to intergrate them that the US does so easily. Its not an apples to apples comparison though because the reason for the disconnect in Canadian society is sometimes more between immigrants than between immigrants and "Canadians" because some people do bring their prejudices along with their luggage and that, coupled with ethnic silos, means that some people will always be on the periphery of society.

    June 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Reply
    • Nat

      Sorry Maria I am not quite understanding your point. If the issue is between immigrants and other immigrants and not Canadians, why would it be different in the U.S. or any other country for that matter? I think if you look at the intergration of cultures in Canada as a whole you will find that immigrants in Canada have less issues than in SOME places in the U.S. for various reasons.

      June 11, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  14. josh rogen

    it's "Give me your tired, your poor,/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" not "Give me your tired, your poor,/Your huddled masses yearning to live for free"

    June 11, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Reply
    • Cunning Stunts

      Give me your sheep as they work for pennies.
      If the choice is poor and free,
      or poor and enslaved, what would you choose ?

      June 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  15. Canadian Bacon

    Where I live here in Canada I have witnessed the integration of various ethnic groups to be pretty much non-existent. I'm not so sure that the multiculturalism policies are working for us. I believe we could learn a thing or two about integration from the United States. It seems to me that you should be proud of the country that takes you in more so than the country that you left behind. I think that all multiculturalism policies do is keep people separated.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  16. NoHateJustFairness

    Immigration is good. Illegal Immigration is not fair. Why would we give unfair preference to people that happen to be geographically nearby? Millions of people in Africa, Asia and Europe are denied a shot at coming to America because they have to follow the legal (broken) immigration processes we put in their way while anyone who gets the urge, can walk in from Mexico. We should be trying to attract the best and brightest from all over the world, not filling all our openings with whomever walks up to our southern border.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  17. wolfpackbob

    The 500 pound gorilla in the room for the U.S. was ignored by Fareed Zakaria. He is only babbling about legal immigration. Canada's border is the U.S. border, not the Mexican border. Not many illegals jumping the fence in Montana one could assume, eh? If that factor is ignored, Zakaria's analysis is flawed from the start. If anything, one can reasonably jump to the conclusion that Canada does well because they have zero illegal immigration to address.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply
    • Nat

      Zero? Wrong. There are thousands of illegal immigrants in Canada, many from the U.S.

      June 11, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  18. larry

    I don't believe anyone is hostile against immigrants as long as they enter through the proper channels and aren't dependent upon social services upon entry. Now on the other hand they should also be given an education on the proper behavior in a western country and some basic rules that they must follow. Such as: Killing your daughter because she dates someone outside of your cult religion is not allowed. Beating your wife is not allowed. Sending your 9 year old daughter to the toilet of a country you came from to marry your brother and bring him back here is not allowed. Just a few.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  19. shaka kahn

    For all those people who are "afraid" of losing their jobs to immigrants...you should be afraid...if that immigrant gets "your" job...point at yourself...cry me a river about whats fair and not fair...these immigrants are willing to do what most Americans will not and will accept pay most Americans will not...its your own greed and laziness that will be your own demise...work harder and you'll get what you deserve...you don't "need" an iPhone or an expensive car or wear expensive clothes...start shopping at Walmart and save your money. Do what you need to, to get what you want...

    June 11, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • Dave

      Shaka, if you are referring to LEGAL immigrants, than okay, I see your point. the best man/woman should get the job. If you are talking about ILLEGAL immigrants, then I totally reject your argument because they have no legal right to that job.

      June 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • Cunning Stunts

      ***...start shopping at Walmart and save your money.

      Make the Chinese rich.
      Save your money ?
      What money ?
      My retirement account was destroyed during the Bush Administration.
      My job of 20 years at Kodak was shipped to Mexico.
      I am 56 years old, i have been working since i was 17,
      You people with your opinions and your crystal balls dont get it.
      Remember "Enron" ?
      The game is fixed, and YOU LOSE !!!
      I no longer care.
      My house is paid for, and i grow vegitables in my backyard.
      I vote, but it only means something locally.

      To make a point......
      When George W. Bush was running for re-election against John Kerry,
      how many people picked up on the fact that they are both members of
      skull & Bones ?
      Do you know what skull & bones is ?
      An elite organization that hand picks people from wealthy families
      to be trained in taking over key positions of power in,
      banking, oil, politics, trade, education, and military.
      The United States is NOT a country, it is a corporation.
      The President of the United States is just the CEO of the largest part of that corporation.
      As long as the corporation is profitable, they dont care about things like health care,
      gay rights, or abortion.
      They are wedge issues that the next CEO will use to get the job.
      So i will vote for Obama because i want freedom for gays, and healthcare.
      You will vote for Romney because he will snap his fingers and America will be back at work.
      Behind closed doors, nothing changes.
      They make policy, they call the shots.
      Forget immigration, they want a one world policy.
      Borders mean nothing.
      People mean nothing.
      Nation states are nothing more than farms.
      They dont care who runs the farm, as long as it either "produces" or does no harm.
      But when a farm starts killing its flock, other humans get upset, and that farm has to be dealt with.
      They dont want more farms going roque.
      They want a population that produces to keep them rich.
      When that population no longer provides this service, what do you think they will do ?

      June 11, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  20. Dave

    Congrats to all LEGAL immigrants!!! Thanks for going through all the crap that you went through to come live here. I respect that hardf work and dedication. Why should ILLEGAL immigrants be able to disrespect the work that legal immigrants have put in. It is unfair, disrespectful and criminal. I don't blame anyone from trying to leave a terrible sutuaion to come here. You have to do anything you can to save your family. However, if you are caught, then you go back. Sounds fair to me.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  21. 21 Wolves

    Everything is being set up so a dictator family comes in has their children and sends the USA into communism.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • Dave

      The Obamas?

      June 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  22. Andrea

    You cannot compare Canada with US. Canada doesn't have the resources, US does. The only option for Canada is to have H1B visa. At the contrary US has more than 300 millions people and lot of them would love to get an education. Simply they don't go to school because of the cost of education.
    The solution for US is different than Canada. It is NOT import H1b visa, but educate people. Make education affordable. So we (in the IS) will have plenty of engineers and less unemployed.
    Thank you.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • Nat

      Explain exactly what resources Canada lacks?

      June 11, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Reply
      • Cunning Stunts

        Canada doesnt have the military budget to invade the world.
        Thank god.
        Everything else is good.

        June 11, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  23. kolla4u

    I see many people cursing people with H1B, Its a visa to solve the workforce problem and most of the People who are on h1b pay more taxes than rest of the people. Which means more money for the govenment. As they are not citizens they cannot claim any disability and Social Security ( added bonus to Government and Companies). They are not cheap they work hard than they get paid for.

    Most of the H1B people who I work with takes a 6 digit salary. 🙂

    First illegal immigration needs to be corrected.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  24. digitalnights

    Canada working? Really? I an Canadian whom immigrated to the USA 12 years ago, let me tell you, there is no way in heck Canadas system is working, I am originally from Vancouver, where you barely no longer hear english, but the constant drone of Punjabi, Cantonese, Mandarian, Farsi, the immigrants REFUSE to learn English and yet get jobs where they are requireed to speak the language, their children fill up the schools and waste valuble money because they can't speak the language and the TAXPAYER has to pay to teach them. No Canada's system isn't working, not remotely...

    June 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • Nat

      Glad you left. The rest of us who stay continue to live in a country that is doing very well thank you. Your exaggeration just shows your prejudice.

      June 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  25. 21 Wolves

    .....all because the government can't just stay home and appreciate what they already have as citizens. Work within borders, money within borders, then fun for USA citizens abroad. No country angry at us because we stay out of all their business in ALL EVENTS but our own. –The way it is supposed to be.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  26. Ann B

    I'm in Canada – and we are not all thrilled with immigration. We'd love more from the UK, Australia, Western Europe, USA etc., what we don't want are people coming in who bring their backwards religions with them, keeping women oppressed here (in burkas etc) and who try to change OUR way of life to suit them.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • Nat

      Ann, you do not speak for me or any other Canadian except yourself.

      June 11, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  27. SMS sitting in Paris

    Why is it CNN and it's staff have such a problem differentiating between immigrantion and illegal immigration. I haven't found a person yet that is against immigration. Just do it legally, like EACH of the above countries (and the region, I might addd) require.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  28. Patrick

    To say "Today, many Americans see immigrants as a danger to that dream." is way off base. Many Americans have no opinion on immigration, but the left leaning media would have you believe that they do & Republicans are the cause of that fear. I am a first generation American, my parents are both from Ireland, coming to America in the 50's. Many of my friends are the same or second generation Americans. We don't fear immigration, we embrace it. LEGALLY! Both my parents went through the process, my father even joining the military to expedite the process. They both saw the greatness of this country & what it had to offer. Many Americans are of the same mind-set as me when it comes to immigration, do it legally, and there are no problems. But if you are against illegal immigration, you are somehow thrown into the pool of bigots and racists against Latinos. I am sure there are thousands of hard working, family oriented dedicated Latinos who have come to America for the opportunities. I support them 100%. But when you have so many issues with drugs & guns long the Southern boarder, what do you do to stop the flow of drugs that continue to pour into this country through Mexico w/o seeming like a bigot????

    June 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • Mara

      the immigration has nothing to do with the American Dream, before America used to offer a job where people come to work but I will say that since early's nineteen when the immigrants started to undertand the walfare systems, section 8 and theprograms that the Gobernment offer, people stop thinking about work and started to being support by the gobernment they know if they lie they live from the gobernment they have immigrants living in their countries collecting unmeployment, some else called for them, getting section 8, while the houses are in their boyfriend's name so the government is paying for the mortgage, while the female is collecting food stamp and everthing they can from the government but they are driving BMW, merdeces bens, going in vacation twice a year but they do not have money t osupport themself, female getting their nails and hair done, they are expensive, the children getting free colleges and failing school when the good children had to get student loans, why the governemnt do not stop and welfare program and section 8 with this money will pay the student loans and offer free college education for the ones who keeps a b average, you will see how people will change, but while the goverment keep up with this programs we wiill be a big problems, we need keep with good education not lazy grow up, drug dealer, good for nothing and kid being race in the same way

      June 11, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Reply
    • Cunning Stunts

      *** Many Americans have no opinion on immigration, but the left leaning media would have you believe that they do & Republicans are the cause of that fear.

      You do understand that Republican Ronald Reagan gave Amnesty
      to over 3 million illegal aliens back in 1986?

      You say that Americans have no opinion on immigration, and you polled how many ?

      This immigration problem sat on George W. Bush' desk for 8 years,
      care to tell me what he did about it ?

      ZIP.

      Iran seeking a nucear weapon ?

      ZIP.

      Ignore the problem,and blame the next administration.

      BINGO !!!!!!

      June 11, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  29. Matthew Kilburn

    You adopt an "ideal" for immigrants: native-English speaking, skilled, educated, financially well-off, from a developed country, with a clean criminal record, and plenty of time to contribute to their new country.

    If the entire population of Australia or Ireland, we would have very little to lose by rolling out the red carpet and letting them all come here, after only a very short waiting period.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    • Matthew Kilburn

      *If the entire population of Australia or Ireland wanted to move here.

      June 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Reply
    • RossC

      It would be good it there was free travel for workers between the EU and US. There would not be a massive flow because the people aren't poor and desperate like the illegals that come into both areas.

      September 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  30. julie

    If any of you has had major surgery or been in intensive care in the past 10 years odds are at least one of the pieces of equipment that kept you alive was designed by an anchor baby (me). So before judging others for their herritage, just be glad we exist and you are alive.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Reply
    • mcan

      Julie: If you are an anchor baby, than you should be thanking the US taxpayers that funded your free education in the US and you should be paying them every penny back with double interest. If you were not illegally brough here to the US, you'd be a nobody today.

      June 11, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Reply
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