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Immigration reform is coming, leaders say

NORCROSS -- Leaders have high hopes that immigration reform will be tackled by Congress in 2013, but they told residents at a forum Thursday that they need help in driving a path to citizenship into law.

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat, said last November's election was a wake-up call to Republicans in Washington and produced a "mandate for immigration reform."

With lawmakers currently hashing out proposals, Johnson said he expects Congress to take up ways to streamline the immigration process, with the possibility of creating a path to citizenship for people who are currently undocumented. To qualify, people could have to pass background checks, learn English and pay taxes, he said, although no bill has been officially introduced.

"I am quite confident we will be able to reach a just and humane process for people who are already here and those who want to come," Johnson said before a town hall meeting. "This comprehensive immigration reform is necessary. It's time for it."

While few specifics are available, a host of leaders on the issue spoke about ways to help the cause, including writing to congressman regardless of whether you are eligible to vote.

Charles Cook, a Republican who is an immigration attorney, said calls to Washington offices have shifted from about 90 percent against immigration reform to about half in favor of the change.

"We cannot continue to allow the immigration problem to fester in this country," Cook said, pointing out to the attendees that they were counted in the recent census.

While the sentiment is changing nationally, the leaders said the change has not made it to the Georgia General Assembly.

At the end of the forum, Jerry Gonzalez of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials called on people to call Gov. Nathan Deal's office to encourage him to veto Senate Bill 160. Amendments were added to the bill that could mean foreign passports are not acknowledged, causing problems even for children who are legal citizens but whose parents are undocumented registering for school or other programs.

Comments

Sandykin 1 year, 3 months ago

I like the Jay Leno joke that they are not technically "undocumented immigrants" but rather "undocumented democrats" as well as the joke going around facebook that calling illegal aliens "undocumented immigrants" is like calling drug dealers "unlicensed pharmacists".

That aside, if the Democrats are willing to declare English the official language of the USA and require anyone wanting citizenship to know enough English to communicate and complete basic functions in English - such as at a grocery store cash register or a parent/teacher meeting, I'm willing to listen to what they have to say.

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DavidBrown 1 year, 3 months ago

"Sandykin", I prefer "undocumented immigrants" over "illegals" or "illegal aliens".

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news2me 1 year, 3 months ago

Here are future Undocumented Democrats that you can adopt:

Man charged with DUI with 4 children in car

Man charged with DUI with 4 children in car by Keith Farner

Jay Leno was making a joke, but even with tongue in cheek he was speaking the Truth. And save your breath about Republicans not winning the WH again because of their stance on Illegal Aliens. Your little rant is not effective at this point, the unformed and entitled voters can stay out in Left field!

DavidBrown, you need to start putting your money where your mouth is and start taking care of as many Illegal Aliens as you can. Show some real compassion and help for the people you care for - more than your own American next door neighbor. These children are the perfect example of how you can help since daddy will be deported.

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 3 months ago

DavidBrown - If I entered your house without your permission, and set up shop in one of your rooms, then began eating your food and using your water and electricity, what would you call me? Would I be an "undocumented roommate?" Or would I be trespassing, which is still a crime as far as I know?


It's this unwillingness to call things what they are, this bowing down to political correctness, which both major parties are guilty of, that is going to get us into a lot more trouble than we're currently in.

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DB 1 year, 3 months ago

We still do not see any discussion about what's to be done about the majority of the trespassers that will be unqualified or unwilling to abide by the law. There will be millions that will not fit into the "pathway". What does our lame leadership and media plan to do and say about that?

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notblind 1 year, 3 months ago

People that have no moral or legal justification for being inside our borders are transforming our country into North Mexico. Thank you to all the politicians, bureaucrats and business people that have rammed this down the throat of the rest of us.

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sndeak 1 year, 3 months ago

Comments like those here are why we cannot have a serious discussion about what needs to be done and how to do it. You can't just put 12 million people on a bus and "send them home". If they have committed violent crimes, lock em up, and process them for deportation. But the home countries are at fault here too. If 70% of an adult population is unemployed, what do you expect people to do?

Let's not forget these are human beings, not some fodder.

We have got to get people out of the shadows and integrated/contributing to society. We have created an environment where many immigrants, legal or not, have self-segregated. Directv, Comcast, Bank of America, etc have perpetuated this by selling foreign language services and products.

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news2me 1 year, 3 months ago

But the home countries are at fault here too. If 70% of an adult population is unemployed, what do you expect people to do? Let's not forget these are human beings, not some fodder.


As I and many others have suggested for YEARS, many of these Illegal Aliens should have stayed in their own countries and fought for their rights and freedoms on their own land. They have invaded the US, brought crime and drug and gun cartels with them! So you are right - the conditions in Mexico are worse because they know they can just send their poor here and get rid of the problem. The US accepts the poor and uneducated and rejects the the self sustainable and highly educated.

When the majority of US citizens are against Illegal Immigration - speaking out is how we are are fighting for OUR country! We are not running away from our problems - that is what you should do for the love of your country and it's survival! There are countries all over the World where people stay and fight for their homeland. Illegal Immigration is a national security issue and that is the biggest issue I have with it. Yet we are critized as being racist and inhuman. Really?

Our country can't continue down this path. When will the next 11 million invade and DEMAND amnesty? Perhaps we should invade Mexico and clean it up for the Illegal Aliens that ultimately would rather KNOWINGLY be back in their home country in the first place? Protect our country with returning troops and give them something to do. Protect our borders IMMEDIATELY!

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news2me 1 year, 3 months ago

DavidBrown, most of what sndeak wrote is no where close to balance towards your side of the argument. Have you even bothered to help these poor innocent children yet?

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R 1 year, 3 months ago

@David Just how many have you personally adopted?

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R 1 year, 3 months ago

Why discriminate so? According to many, they were ALL forced against their will to come here, so crimes were just what they did/do to "survive"...

Why if you were truly compassionate, you'd simply hand over the keys to your OWN home or apartment to these down trodden individuals right now...

Immigration reform overdue? Absolutely...

Is the solution that's about to be rolled out of Washington and put before us the"Holy Grail"? Not on your life.

Measured, compassionate responses might include a "legal" status but citizenship? It doesn't even need to be in the cards at all.

Those who demand it are being untruthful about their intent. If the goal is to bring honest people out of the shadows, that can be dealt with in other ways.

The first thing that must be done is to clearly make illegal entry, including visa overstays a FELONY so we NEVER come back to this EVER again. The band-aids applied since 1908 haven't worked, so before any further discussion of repeating 1986 or serving up rewarmed 2007 as "new and improved!" lets get real for once.

Telling anyone that we as a nation can't fix our internal problems because its the fault of another country's government is misguided. We may be a tolerant melting pot, but even the melting pots have a recipe for success- open borders as a "one step" or a "Washington two step" is definitely NOT it.

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TOWG 1 year, 3 months ago

No meaningful discussion of immigration reform should take place until our borders are 100% secure. Once that happens we can talk. Not before.

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notblind 1 year, 3 months ago

The hijacked 14th Amendment is what has allowed the illegal aliens and their advocates to become a force in our politics.

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R 1 year, 3 months ago

No voting citizens "sleeping at the switch" from both sides of the aisle did this. The corrupt on both sides just took advantage of you / US and still are RIGHT now.

FUBAR borders: An example of the bi-partisanship some think that they want more of.

Is this really what all those soldiers since 1776 DIED for? Is this really what they fought and died for during World War Two?

Bi-partisanship without principles even makes gridlock look good in comparison.

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kevin 1 year, 3 months ago

"Leaders;" what leaders? You all forget that this problem is due solely to the fact the U.S. government DOES NOT enforce its laws like it forces the rest of us to do. How much longer are you all going to allow the same people to remain in office over and over. How stupid you are. You reap what you sow. Never re-elect!

There isn't much to discuss. Illegal is still illegal, which means against U.S. law. If you want to keep all the illegals here, then give them a special status and they will have 8 yrs to become a citizen or get deported. However, this would be impossible since our wonderful government doesn't know where half of them are but yet you people are probably hiring them. Why not make sure you only hire Americans? Aren't the people blogging here educated enough to figure that out by now? You are part of the problem. illegals should have the same rights in this country as a jailbird. The U.S. is the only ignorant country where illegals have more/easier rights and access to things than its own citizens do. I see no point in arguing with a bunch of politically correct idiots about this issue.

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RiggaTony 1 year, 3 months ago

i have adopted a policy of demanding to see the passports and/or greencards of every person I see who I suspect of an illegal alien. If they cannot produce the documents, I issue a citizens' arrest, pull out my (LEGAL!) gun and make them get into my car so I can drive them to the police station for booking. I would encourage all reading this to do the same.

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Karl 1 year, 3 months ago

You do a great service to all of us, RiggaTony. I saw you make a citizen's arrest on that Canadian grandmother the other day in Lawrenceville. Hope you roughed her up a bit before taking her to the precinct.

I suggest you submit an expense report for your gas to the police as well, or maybe it should be sent to Homeland Security.

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RiggaTony 1 year, 3 months ago

As soon as heard her ask about the price of apples in dollars per kilogram, I knew she was mine.

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R 1 year, 3 months ago

Apparently there really are county expense reports for this ...

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Why_not 1 year, 3 months ago

Now that's funny....no matter who you are....hahaha

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NewsReader 1 year, 3 months ago

Well, of course you cannot possibly engage in any serious discussion about anything where the representative imbecile, Hank Johnson, is involved. This clown is the biggest laughing stock on Capitol Hill short of his predecessor, Cynthia McKinney.

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kevin 1 year, 3 months ago

that goes to show you who live in his district that keeps voting for this nut to keep his seat in Congress. Sometimes Hank doesn't even realize what he is saying or talking about. He just likes to stand in front of a microphone and praise his counterparts, Obama & company..

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AliceJohnson 1 year, 3 months ago

So all you nice conservative people would deport the wife of a disabled vet? This veteran has had several tours in Iraq and one in Korea and is disabled. His wife came here as a teenager from Mexico. They have been married a long time and have kids. No.... but you want to deport her. Sweet. This is what they teach you in your churches?

http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/News/disabled-war-vet-fights-battle-wifes-deportation/story?id=18883421#.UWDVWsqqIuA

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kevin 1 year, 3 months ago

It is Fedeal law; something Liberals do not like to enforce.

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Haughton 1 year, 3 months ago

Last time I checked Illegal Aliens were disliked on both sides of the aisle. Also, churches don't entact legislation. Confused as how religious institutions can be villified and downplayed as insignificant, yet you argue they control and legislate everything here in the US. Which is it?

Two lawmakers reacted positively to their plight: "James said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) expressed sympathy and that Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nevada) seemed particularly eager to help." If you read the quote carefully, the Republican lawmaker seems more willing to come to their aid than big shot Democrat Harry Reid.

Finally, no where in your link does it mention Christianity as being a hinderance in their legal matter, they created this problem on their own.

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LilburnsFuture 1 year, 3 months ago

I understand your point. If they are here as a minor. What are they supposed to do, leave for Mexico as a minor while their parents live in the US and apply? They reason the family members are in the US is to find employment, flee from crime, or because they simply want opportunities they do not have in their country. (If they are caught with drugs, prosecute and deny future passage).

What is absolutely stupid is that we should have the opportunity for parents to sign their children up to be citizens to attend schools or to collect welfare or housing assistance whatever. In other words, add a page saying you want education for your children and they are immediately given citizenship to obtain that education. Before anyone complains, what about the cost?! Wait a minute, the schools already have those children in their classrooms. Anyway, that makes too much sense so it will likely not get anywhere.

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