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May 20th, 2010
06:30 AM ET

Gut Check: Illegal immigrants responsible for crime?

By Carol Costello and Ronni Berke, CNN

(CNN) – Politicians and some police say Arizona's tough, new immigration law is desperately needed to stop a wave of violent crime committed by illegal immigrants "pouring over the border." Critics say this kind of talk is an excuse to use racial profiling to lock up people who are less likely to commit crimes than American citizens.

In Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio is all about finding and arresting illegal immigrants. According to his Web site, his deputies have questioned, arrested or detained more than 38,000 of them to date. Three weeks ago, Arpaio said, “Right now and in this area, we have 100 people in jail right now charged with murder that are here illegally.”

It's a scary number for those living in a state bordering Mexico, a country with a violent drug cartel problem. But, critics say, while some illegal immigrants do commit violent crime, Arpaio's assertion that they are terrorizing Arizona en masse is simply false.

“When we look at the data, when we look at the real numbers, we find that those claims are wildly exaggerated, if not outright untrue,” says Professor David Harris of the University of Pittsburgh Law School.

According to the FBI, violent crime in Arizona dropped by nearly 1,500 reported incidents between 2005 and 2008. Property crimes also fell. Professor Harris says immigrants, legal and illegal, are five times less likely than native-born Americans to be involved in crime.

In Trenton, New Jersey – where 23% of the residents are immigrants – police agree. They say illegal immigrants are more likely to be victims of crime than criminals. Instead of aggressively pursuing illegals like Wendy Ochoa, Trenton embraces them, by allowing community groups to issue undocumented immigrants a "community identification card," that gives them access to libraries and doctors' offices.

Trenton police are not allowed to ask about immigration status, unless they suspect a felony. Police officials say most officers like the policy because it builds the community trust they need to fight crime.

“I haven’t had the opportunity to speak to the authorities in Arizona,” says Detective Bob Russo. “I don’t know if they've recognized to the extent that we have that the immigrant population can actually be an asset to us.”

In parts of Arizona, that argument doesn't fly. Governor Jan Brewer says 600 illegal immigrants convicted of serious criminal offenses are in Arizona jails, costing taxpayers millions of dollars a year. Supporters of Arizona's law say cities like Trenton only make things worse.

“They add to the schizophrenia within our public about whether we believe in the immigration rule of law or not,” says Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute, a think tank. “They add to the problem of a magnet into the country where people know that if they can get across the border illegally, they basically are home free,” she adds.

Filed under: Gut Check • Immigration
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. Sandra Thorne

    I have a daughter-in-law who is mexican and now is an american citizen, by following the steps of legality. My thought on illegals is if you don't follow the law of becoming legal than you should go home. And for Professor Harris to insinuate that native americans are more likely to commit crimes over illegals is hogwash. There are crimes comitted by all people but there first crime is by crossing the border without papers. And one crime if left unchecked leads to more. My last input is I'm Native American and we were americans long before Professor Harris was.

    May 30, 2010 at 12:30 am |
  2. Its economics

    Immigration to any country is about economics. About the supply and demand of labor force. In a capitalistic society this is even more so. The US needs to reform the outdated immigration laws to reflect our econmic needs and economic responsabilty to the region. Our laws are not fully enforcable because doing so would cause economic strains aside from being inhumane. The immigration laws of the late 1800s and early 1900s when many of our great grand parents came to America where not nearly as strict and insensible as today. We need reform asap!

    May 26, 2010 at 12:13 am |
  3. becky shue

    I fell the government should fine companies big $$$$ for hiring illegal and if they do not file 1099, then the company should have to pay the taxes owned to the U.S. Government, that will fix part of the problem. If we could get our own representatives to stop using illegals for cheap labor. The other we should adopt Mexico laws. This would fix everything. Most illegal's are here because they receive government assist. Ex: food stamps, housing, medical and education, etc. They do not pay taxes, they work for cash. People can argue all they want; my son is in high school and alot of the boys are illegal immigrations. They brag about being here and getting a bunch of free stuff from our government. They believe our government is stupid. This is sad because it hurts the one's that do not abuse the system and just want a better life. I look around and see alot of SUV, Trucks being brought by illegals with no license and insurance.

    Most of all most guy illegals have no respect for the United States. They do not care about what the American flag stands for or how luck they are that our government want deport them.

    May 25, 2010 at 9:38 am |
  4. Xena

    Hey Gordon, just saw your "chat." Why do you not use the correct terms? Those violating federal and state law, by being in this country ILLEGALLY, are NOT "immigrants. They are ILLEGAL ALIENS (CRIMINALS). Those non-US citizens legally allowed to be in the US ALREADY have to carry with them identification. It is federal law and arrestable if they do not.

    May 25, 2010 at 8:54 am |
  5. Jackie

    I love watching CNN but honestly it is so disappointing to see how you report on this topic of ILLEGAL immigration. You make AZ out to be the racist bad guys and give so much airtime to the supporters of illegal immigration and illegal families.

    What about the sad stories of families that are separated for years because they are following the law and wait their turn for a permanent visa? Our country is founded by immigrants, legal ones, who came to this country and followed our laws, believed that being here is a privilege not an entitlement. They came here and loved and respected the US and contributed to the tapestry of our country. As a first generation Hispanic American, I find it troubling that CNN reports as if all Hispanics are pro-illegal immigrants – if you did more research you would find that many Hispanics do not.

    May 25, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  6. unknown

    How funny it is to listen to all the idiocracy in a person's message. Many of the comments being made here are so uneducated in response. There are those who need to find the facts and not judge by what others think or say. It's so sad that in our society ignorance seems to be the treat of the day. Don't judge and think for a moment that many of the immigrants legal or not are so stupid that they wont be able to do anything. Just wait and see of how they respond there's no need to be letting the best of our convictions.

    May 24, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  7. Rialto

    Trenton Police are trying to deal with a situation in a humane and morally correct manner. Let's be reasonable and read into what's behind the protocol that they follow. They are a law enforcement organization and do not advocate nor promote illegal immigration. They don't embrace it, either.
    The department simply recognizes that immigrants, whether legal or illegal are a fabric of every American community. The officers are sworn to serve and protect everyone. That doesn't exclude illegal immigrants.
    Under the NJ Attorney General's Guidelines, New Jersey Police Officers are not permitted to probe into immigration status unless the person is involved in the commission of a crime under the criminal code of New Jersey. The exception to that would be a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). Municipal and State Police cannot enforce federal law, either.
    Arizona's laws are quite different, as far as when they can and cannot probe into immigrant status.
    Crime is statictically rare among the immigrant community in Trenton. These people are, by far, victims rather than suspects. They are preyed upon by gangs and thugs, whose values are in complete contrast with those of the immigrants. These people come here to work, enjoy quality of life, and support their families.
    The Trenton Community ID cards are issued to any resident of the Trenton Community, who may have difficulty obtaining a photo ID card, for a variety of reasons. They are not issued only to immigrants.
    The cards contain medical information about the recipient, in the event that they are found to be ill or unconscious, The cards are a tool for the police investigator, and could possibly save someone's life. Trenton Police agree that every member of their community has a right to be safe and healthy.
    There is an obvious need to address the security at our U.S. borders. However, once these people are here, they are entitled to certain protections under the law, and to be treated as human beings.
    It would appear that the federal government has done little to address illegal immigration, or immigration reform, and basically left this issue to the hands of the individual States to deal with.
    In that absence of stricter Federal or State giudelines the Trenton Police Department is dealing with this situation in a reasonable and humane manner.

    May 24, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  8. Michael

    Criminals are responsible for crime. The status of their citizenship is irrelevant. It would be interesting to see what percentage of illegal immigrants are victims of crime because of their illegal status?

    May 24, 2010 at 7:27 am |
  9. Myopinion57

    Plus....If both or one parent are NOT LEGAL Citizens of this country...Their child even if they are born here....Should NOT be legal...That just gives them their anchor ......And if both parents are not legal....Their children should not be allowed to go to school ect. Plus, if they are legal....Teach your children ENGLISH!! Why should work books a t school be in Spanish, Too??!! What are people doing??? English as a second Language??? Where Are WE living!! United States of America!! Not Mexico!!! Oh, and the Social Security Cards....?? Like there's not MASS ones out there that are FAKE or they bought someones ...DL....Green card ect...... America is in such a mess!! People need to read "Theodore Rossevelt's view on Immigration....." Perfect....

    May 23, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  10. Myopinion57

    What are they thinking?? Here's a reward for you! You"r here Illegally...We don't care....Illegal's should all go to Trenton! I just do not get it, why people and Our So, called Government can not and won't Understand Illegal and Legal??! I'm with Arizona...At least they are doing something right! Not rewarding them??!! Oh, and Indians were not here Originally, they to came from somewhere else...Sorry, Folks and It's not always about the Bad White People....There are Bad ones in EVERY RACE! Quit blaming all of your crap on us... People have been fighting for land or whatever for centuries......LIFE, Progress, Change.....or we would still be living with nothing. The States that were part of Mexico..You Lost, again Sorry.....Just think though IF they were still Part of Mexico, You would not have what you have now, being in the USA!!! You still want to act like your in Mexico (How you live and Speak) And we let you..Wrong!! So, wrong...Your in America, Act like it ...Like you actually CARE about, this Country!! And follow our Immigration Laws!!! I wish ALL of these States would follow Arizona!! Again Trenton......You are so, Pitiful ....Weak...Scared...Like most in OUR Government!!! Thank god, for a few who care about us! That's why I'm a Republican Now.....(Bush,No) The stupid So,called Immigration bill...?? Amnesty.....Which Obama wants...He'll sell us all down the river......??!! And places like you..Trenton.... Where are our Strong and Brave Leaders, who Love this Country?? Gone...

    May 23, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  11. Gary

    “When we look at the data, when we look at the real numbers, we find that those claims are wildly exaggerated, if not outright untrue,” says Professor David Harris of the University of Pittsburgh Law School.


    When we look at the data.....we find that claims of racial profiling are wildly exaggerated, if not outright lies. says me.

    May 22, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  12. Logicwatcher


    "They say illegal immigrants are more likely to be victims of crime than criminals."

    Yes, but that's because there are millions of illegal immigrants ... of course more of them will be victims of crime than criminals ... that's true of all groups.

    Except the group of criminals ... but context indicates the author means "illegals who commit crimes in addition to being illegal immigrants."

    May 21, 2010 at 11:47 pm |
  13. american

    Ilegal is ilegal, , they get a lot of free things, lot more than some of americans that been here. Yes there has been a problem for many years with ilegals coming into the USA, but not until recent of terrorist coming across the border, since maybe even before 911. My cousin has a ranch somewhere around del rio, she told me some people living around there turn up missing and still they try to fine the bodies, rough country, isolated. There ranch home has been broken into and some food things taken, (by ilegals coming through the area) good no one was there, wonder what would happen if so.

    May 21, 2010 at 11:09 pm |
  14. anon

    I am a Trenton, NJ Police Officer and I am totally against this. They say that the immigrants deserve ID's and the likes. They deserve to go home. There is no reason that I have to pay for high day care and health care in this State when they get it for FREE. FREE and they don't even belong here.

    May 21, 2010 at 11:14 am |
  15. Mike

    If we allowed the elected official to apply only the law's that will get them reelected then we should send a massage to all by getting them out of office. Because if we are unwilling to enforce the rule of law in this country and defend its borders, it will be the beginning of the end of this country. Let's remember what happened to the once great Roman Empire, they fell the day that they lost the interest to defend there way of life.

    If we allowed this to happen here we are next.

    May 21, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  16. Mike

    I totally support AZ on there stand against illegal immigrants an that LA major that is obviously a complete ignorant. Immigration is good if is done under the law, but illegal immigration is a crime against this country and its people. Also an insult to the ones that are doing the right thing by entering the country legally.

    May 21, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  17. Bob

    Many people seem to be utilizing the fear of racism in order to combat our efforts to maintain our borders. This is actually a smart tactic, because they know this country is so afraid (for good reason) of the appearance of racism, in the interests of political correctness, we won't solve the problem. My wife is Cuban and she and her family waited 10 years to immigrate to this country legally. There are many immigrants who enter this country legally every year and we should (and I believe do) enthusiastically welcome them. If you're an honest, law abiding individual, stand in line like everyone else ... unless you don't believe the rules apply to you. This is a country based on the rule of law and if we don't enforce our laws, then our society suffers.

    May 21, 2010 at 9:04 am |
  18. Angel

    Why are the illegal immigrants in this country being blamed for Unemployment? In the US the most important thing you need to get a job is a Social Security Number. illegals dont have SSN's therefore illegals arent the ones to blame. Blame it on the US debt, and many small business shutting down causing Americans to lose jobs.

    May 20, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  19. Estoban

    In October of 2008, a study was reported on crime by illegal aliens by Maricopa County Attorney Thomas. Illegal aliens represent 9% of Maricopa County's population, yet were responsible for over 18% of ALL felony convictions. The breakdown:• 12.8 percent of aggravated-assault convictions.• 33.5 percent of drug convictions.• 35.8 percent of kidnappings.• 13 percent of robberies.• 20.3 percent of felony DUIs.• 20.7 percent of crimes with weapons.• 10.6 percent of murders and manslaughters.• 96 percent of smuggling cases.• 44.4 percent of forgeries and frauds. • 85.3 percent of false-ID convictions

    Any of these studies that include legal immigrants are worthless.

    May 20, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  20. Mike

    I live in New York State and am very surprised by all the outrage over the immigration bill. I do sympathize for the many familes that have been here in this country and worked hard to build a successful lifestyle for their themselves but they risk a lot by entering into the country illegally. The fact of the matter is that do something that is illegal you one day will will get caught and get in trouble. It is something my parents taught me at an early age. This illegal activity and lack on monitoring is slowly creating what philosophers likes Thomas Hobbes would call a "Leviathan." The government knows this and is seeing that a monster is being created out of all the ongoing continuous flow of illegal immigration into our country. I agree immigrants are hard working and do the jobs nobody else wants to do but that is not the point. I am italian and born of this country. I am have very dark tan complexion and have dark brown hair and brown eyes. Would I be annoyed if I was stopped by an officer in Arizona asking proof that I was a legal citizen..Um, Yes! Would I be annoyed if I cam home from a bar one night and randomly pulled over by a cop because he suspected me of drinking and driving..Umm Yes!! Do I get annoyed that I have to constantly show proof that I am 21 when I buy beer and show proof that I am 18 to buy cigarettes..Um, YES!.. Laws are in place for a REASON PEOPLE. To PREVENT a BIGGER and GREATER issue! Stop using racial profiling as a scapegoat. Don't you see that illegal immigration is a SERIOUS problem in Arizona!!! Suck it up! and prove your citizenship. Just because someone has been here illegally for 20 years does not make it right. It just means you are very lucky! Same reason someone who sells drugs illegally may have done so for 20 years am just all of a sudden gets caught. What he or she did is ILLEGAL and lack of enforcement for that period is not an excuse. If you choose to come here illegally that is the risk YOU take in the long run.

    May 20, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  21. i.gina

    What is it that people don't get. If you come into this country illegal,
    that's breaking our laws. What if the Haitans, Cubans, Columbians,
    Saudis, would just want to come without visas. Think about it...
    Not a problem, if everyone individual wants to come, please apply
    for visas.

    Think about all the money that is spent on social services and the
    prison system. We are all paying for it.


    May 20, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  22. Jay

    to those people who say they are immigrants or married to immigrants:

    Surely as someone having gone through the immigration process you will recognize that that the system through which legal immigration occurs is intensely drawn out, and has proven itself to be incapable of handling the massive influx of people seeking entry to this country.

    the problem arizona (and a handful of other southern border states) has with illegal immigrants is NOT going to be solved by more stringent efforts within the country, it can only be solved by updating our procedures and systems to accommodate the populace.

    in short, jails dont solve problems, they contain problems that cant be solved, REFORM solves problems.

    May 20, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  23. H.Thompson

    Whether undocumented workers commit crimes after entering the U.S. is not the point. The first crime is entering the U.S. illegally.

    When people want to talk about this kind of immigration, they never want to preface their immigration with the word "illegal."

    Thie entry is akin to someone looking at the outside of your home and liking it, pushing their way through your closed door and expecting to be welcomed, afforded the same rights as your family, provided food, shelter, medical help and education at your expense.

    If apprehended and threatened with, why is it suddenly our heartless fault? Even if a mother and child face the threat while the husband is in the armed forces, is it our fault that her consequences stem from
    a forced entry into the U.S. without documentation?

    Get real. Felons are responsible for the choices they make and the actions they take.

    May 20, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
  24. John Sprissler

    Nobody is talking about the cost of all of this! Whos paying the bill? There is an estimate of 50,000 children born to parents that don't have papers. They are US CITIZENS! They can't be deported! Who raises them? Do they go into to foster care? I think if this holds up, Arizona is in for one of the largest Tax increases in it's history. If ICE goldbricks the process than the law is Meaningless! OK you sue and it takes 5 years to go through the courts! This could end up a great big deal of hoop la over a nothing law. I am sure CNN, MSNBC and Fox news aren't complaining!

    May 20, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  25. Justin

    I have had a lot of work done at my home recently. I did have lots of people bid for the work. I asked everyone that applied for the jobs if they were US citizens or authorized to work in the country. I also just hired a gardner and a maid. Both US citizens. I did have illegals underbid everyone that I have hired. So stop the complaining that they are doing jobs Americans will not do. Americans will do those jobs. Interesting enough a good friend of mine was dating an illegal. She was doing one of those jobs that lazy Americans won't do. She was an accountant for a restaraunt. Wake up America, take interest in your country, while it is still your country. A huge part of the health care crises, if there is a health care crisis, comes from illegals going to the ER and never paying their bill. That is why you have crazy mark up on your bill.

    Illegals are a drain on society not a benefit to society. In general they do not pay taxes. They either work under the table or have numerous fake SSN. This allows them to have numerous part time jobs and declare an exemption. They send a chunk of the money they make back to their home country, which takes from our economy. So they basically use our resources with out paying for any, then take their ball with them at the end of the day.

    May 20, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
  26. Maureen

    If everyone wants to talk about criminal and illegal....then how about all of the employers who are hiring the "illegal" immigrants in the first place!!! They get a slap on the hand whereas the workers are the ones arrested and imprisoned. Corporations and businesses that knowingly hire individuals who are here in the United States without the proper documentation to work here should be penalized to the full extent of the law!!

    May 20, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  27. David

    I am with Arizona. Isn't ignoring and not asking a bit like "don't ask don't tell"? Why is that wrong? Why not ask if they are legal?

    May 20, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
  28. Kim

    reform the laws and allow non- criminals and non – terrorists to immigrate. I would rather have mexican immigrants than those from countries that are coming here to destroy the united states (infiltrate) Most mexicans I know are here to work and help their families improve their lives. Many other immigrants from other countries are here to carry out terrorist attacks and destroy the united states. I would trade all of arizona's mexican "illegals" for all the muslim illegals / asylum grantees milking the welfare teat in washington state. While many arabs / muslims are here to better their families – others are here to destroy the united states from within

    May 20, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
  29. JustForThought

    v May 20th, 2010 12:15 pm ET

    i'd say the bigger problem is that american citizens can now commit a crime and illegals now will not step up to make sure that person is caught. for example, if a citizen murdered someone and an illegal was the only witness, this person would not come forward. would you rather have a american murderer in your town or an illegal immigrant?

    Neither, why should I have to chose? Are you saying that an illegals are the only ones witnessing crimes? Are you saying that legals are the only ones commiting crimes? I'm not following your logic here v...

    May 20, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  30. Nick

    You know what, living in this country is a privilege not a requirement! If all these people are so upset with the way the American government is running things they are more than welcome to Leave!! If the Mexican Government wants to keep criticizing US laws, why doesnt he put effort into making his country more appealing so that "its own citizens" would stay there!! I agree 100% with the law and wish a few more american would think and act like Seriff Joe Arpaio! He is hands down the best Sheriff in the WORLD and isnt affraid to enforce the law no matter who it could offend!!

    May 20, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
  31. lolyrox

    Everyone does understand the difference between a criminal and civil statute? illegal status is a civil thing, illegal immigrants are tort feasors not criminals, if you have ever littered, then you my friend are also a tort feasor. =D

    May 20, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  32. James G Jenson

    Logically, Mexican criminals crossing the border will not wait until they arrive at at their destination state to commit a crime. Alleging that statistics from Arizona must be inaccurate because they differ so much from Trenton, New Jersey's content illegals is no doubt a deliberate distortion. If you journalists would exercise a little common sense and look for the real truth instead of using Prof David Harris sound bits etc., I could actually learn something of value by listening to you!

    May 20, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
  33. jon

    How about the billions of dollars, us Arizonians are paying to educate, feed, and heal these criminals. All illegal immigrants are criminals. Federal law is now going to be enforced to rid us of them. Obama rang the dinner bell at the border with his health care bill. Now we have to pay, which is wrong. I am from MN. originally and I miss being safe and the high quality of life. PLEASE support AZ. because you do not want these criminals in your neighborhoods and states. They will be flooding from AZ. to your state soon, then you too will know our problem. July 29th will be one of the greatest days in America when the people fight back and take control of our state and country, where everyone here has to follow the law and be equal.

    May 20, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
    • Wesley

      If you don't like the way this state is, you know doesn't have that "safe" feeling, then go back to MN. You just sound like a racist, ignorant prick. Do you not understand that yes there is a small percentage of illegals guilty of violent crimes, most are here to better their lives. You know, like your ancestors. Unless you are a Native American, your ancestors came here most likely the same way illegals are here.

      May 20, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  34. JustForThought

    Here's a little statistic for you: 100% of the illegals here commit crime. 100%!!!! Each and every one of them crossed an international border illegaly – that's a crime!

    May 20, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  35. Steve Miller

    They invade our country the moment they are breaking our Border Laws.

    Why is this allowed when we have a Legal Immigration System?

    Secure our borders and enforce the laws we already have – simple.....

    May 20, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  36. v

    i'd say the bigger problem is that american citizens can now commit a crime and illegals now will not step up to make sure that person is caught. for example, if a citizen murdered someone and an illegal was the only witness, this person would not come forward. would you rather have a american murderer in your town or an illegal immigrant?

    May 20, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  37. Sylvia

    I am not opposed to immigrants.....I, too, am the child of an immigrant. One that went through the proper channels, one who learned the language and prided herself on becoming an American Citizen on her own. Pride is key.

    "Illegal" is illegal ... if we allow these people to live in this country and become legal buy the signing of a bill, then we will have discriminated against all those who followed procedures in the past. How do we then ask future immigrants to follow procedures; why should they since millions of others did not.

    We need to take a stand and say "NO"....Illegal is Illegal. America has enough on her plate, rules are in place for a reason.. otherwise, we have set a precedent for many other issues to come......I can only image the twist attorneys will use by the legalization of an illegal act. This issue is and will become must broader than the issue at hand.

    May 20, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  38. john

    Most of the schools you are hearing about are Title 1 schools which means that its students average lower socioeconomic and income levels. Title 1 schools are on the free breakfast and free lunch program, and by free breakfast Im not talking about a glass of milk and a roll- but a full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices that would make the Marriott proud. The waste of this food is monumental, with trays and trays of it being dumped in the trash uneaten.
    I estimate that well over 50% of these students are obese or at least moderately overweight. About 75% or more DO have cell phones. The school also provides day care centers for the unwed teenage pregant girls(some as young as 13) so they can attend class without the inconvenience of having to arrange for babysitters or having family watch their kids.
    Free medical,free education,free food, free day care etc, etc, etc. Is it any wonder they feel entitled to not only be in this country, but to demand rights, privileges and entitlements?
    To those that point out how much these illegal immigrants contribute to our society because they LIKE their gardener and housekeeper and they like to pay less for tomatoes: Spend some time in the real world of illegal immigration and see the TRUE COSTS.
    Higher insurance costs, medical facilities closing, higher medical costs, more crime, lower standards of education in our schools, overcrowding, new diseases. For myself I will pay more for tomatoes.

    May 20, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  39. ayesp2

    You need to understand that Arizona is not a very sophisticated area and the level of education there falls way below the national average That's why you have people like Arpaio, Pearce and Brewer getting elected The population on this area is easily brainwashed into hate by politicians

    May 20, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  40. Stephen Jackson

    Attack on US values
    I believe the United States founding fathers, constitution, separation of religion and state, and common English language created a system of government and conditions that has allowed freedom, prosperity, and the pursuit of happiness for all of it’s citizens. These values are in jeopardy by the Muslims and illegal immigrants who oppose the United States culture and strive to propagate the Spanish language, Mexican culture, Muslim culture, and Muslim belief that combine instead of separate religion and state. We need to enforce immigration laws and assure that United States citizens know US history, accept US values, and speak English.

    May 20, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  41. nancy

    Geesh ~~ what part of "ILLEGAL" don't these bleeding hearts understand? I also think the companies that "knowingly" hire and employ ILLEGALS, need to be fined..

    May 20, 2010 at 9:29 am |
  42. bob graham/highlands ranch, co

    Has anyone looked at the figures for prisoners inside our prisons? Only a small percentage of criminals get caught, especially those with no real ties to responsibility, like illegals who bounce all over the map, yet there is a very large percentage in prison where Mexican Nationality is evident in high numbers which are growing exponentially, DAILY.....

    Instead of adding to the confusion, why not do real "due diligence", compile all of the numbers before addressing the problem....I for one will bally hoo the first network to do so honestly....AND I realize I am not in the minority of Americans, who also look for resolution, while most of the dumping of old school legislators comes from this issue alone....Once again, "Ask the people"....

    May 20, 2010 at 9:09 am |
  43. michael

    Lets get this right other Michael,all these states were payed for by the USA! You are the biggest traitor,so you think these states are property of mexcio?You are the problem!This is the way most of them feel,take a good look at Michael,This is the agenda!By the way Im a latino myself,so lets not play the race card.I also served as did my father,his father,and my sons currently!All these young people can do the same to obtain citizenship!So whats the hang up?Free ride!May I suggest you ask some of these people where their loyalties are,USA FIRST?You are going to be surprised by the answer,NOT!Nothing comes free in this country,and Im sure that alot of these people will be good citizens,but breaking the law is NOT the first thing you do when you want to come here.Why not try to change your country?So you dont have to risk your life to break the law in another?

    May 20, 2010 at 8:48 am |

    wow! so much hate for illegals. im sorry i cross "your border" illgaly when i did not ask to.i was bhrought when i was 11 not by my parents but by somebody else (dont know who it was)i lived in a tailer park with an "uncle"when i was old enough i move to a bigger city.where i learned that i had to work to eat.and live.learned english in a esl school.learned about taxes how and when to file them with a TAX ID # i have not one DUI even tough i drive to and from work i have not been pulled over (thank god)i have not or intend to commit a crime.and here i am 24 years later .living every single day like theres no tomorrow.go ahead and hate for what i am an illegal. but im very sure that most of you have done more dammage to other peoples lives that i have done to yours.TAHT..TAHT..TAHTS ALL FOLKS.

    May 20, 2010 at 8:45 am |
  45. ammmoment

    I'd like to see more news coverage on the companies that hire illegals. It's those companies that are a big problem for America, yet nobody wants to hold these companies responsible for aiding in the flood of illegals.

    May 20, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  46. ronvan

    You are watching the "Death of America" day by day! We cannot WIN trumped up wars overseas. We cannot control our own borders. We cannot agree to do anything, just talk and accuse each other. OUR "elected children" have PROVEN that they are not interested!
    Illegal immigrants: Question? IF an illegal commits a crime what do we do with them? If charged with murder do they go to trial, get sentenced, or even the death penalty? OR are they just shipped back to their country where they could return later? There are to many "do gooder" groups that always want to jump on the band wagon to strut and preace THEIR cause! It is going to be OUR RIGHTS that finally break this country!

    May 20, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  47. Matt

    I wonder if we are missing the point with respect to illegal immigration. Doesn't every country enforce it's customs and immigration laws? Not to mention their labor laws.
    Millions of undocumented people are not here because they happened to missed the bus.Maybe someone is employing them with little concern for American labor laws.

    May 20, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  48. Dave

    There are two groups breaking the law. The people entering (or staying in) the country illegaly and the employers that are hiring them so they can pay less than market value for their work. The solution seems simple:
    1. Severely fine an employer that knowingly hires an illegal alien. The second offense should be the loss of their business (license or confiscation of property). This will dry up the market for these illegal jobs, force the employers to pay fair market value, help unemployment and increase tax revenues.
    2. Increase the number of guest worker visas. This would eliminate the argument of "jobs Americans won't do".
    3. Split the fines assessed with a person that turns in illegal workers.
    4. Use the other half of the fines to fund the enforcement program.

    Take away the market for illegal employment and the problem reduces exponentially. Increase the visas and there is an increase in taxes and a reduction in paying low wages.

    May 20, 2010 at 8:24 am |
  49. Sandra Schroeder

    I grew up in San Diego, CA and have seen the influx of illegals that is constant. Yes, they are coming in illegally, but the real problem of the cause of influx lies with those who are and have been willing to hire them. If they weren't able to easily get jobs they wouldn't be rushing and risking their lives to come here. Why hasn't CNN asked the real question of the Gov. of AZ and others in All states, how many strawberries have you eaten that were picked by illegals? How many times has your house been painted by illegals? How many other jobs have been done for you by illegals. We are all part of this on going problem which has admitedly gotten out of hand. Most are people trying to provide for their families and are really doing the jobs that others here were not willing to do until the economy went into the toilet. Blatant blaming of one nationality for our problems is wrong and hasn't that always been the way in America.

    May 20, 2010 at 8:21 am |
  50. michael

    Sorry but to me Trenton police are aiding and abbetting to commit a feloney!That is very sad.So this is what Americans can look foward to?Go ahead and spit on the people who came here according to the law.And when are we going to give the Bill to these countries for taking care of the people they cannot?I thought this was a country of laws?And to hear the president of mexcio come here and belittle the people of Arizona for enforcing the laws on the books is SO WRONG!60 + % of the country wants something done about the dissreguard of LAW,So all you politicians take a close look at this!The president is being a coward by not adressing this,AND it's been over a year since I was employed,Im a electrician and see tons of these guys working and Im not?Guess I am doing the job that americans wont do?DARE someone to say that to my face!Im a democrat,but will vote with the party who has the courage to ENFORCE THE LAW!You GO ARIZONA!

    May 20, 2010 at 8:21 am |
  51. Clarice

    Many of the illegals work at jobs that most of our unemployed wouldn't do. They would rather gripe about having no job and illegals taking their jobs than actually get out work. Plus, we sure like to eat their food. There are plenty of ethnic restaurants doing thriving business. How many of those people cooking & serving the food, cleaning up are here illegally?

    May 20, 2010 at 8:19 am |
  52. tony

    I bet your producers will not air this.... we as a nation do not wan't to allow those here what you call illegally. No matter how long they have been here. Well then we all need to export any non mexican & native american as recognized by the union. Any court would agree buying a state or nation for a few beads or blanets infested with small pox is a fraudulent & deceptive trade practices. We stole the land by decpetion & murder now it isone of the richest they are now atttempting to hold us to treaties we signed.

    May 20, 2010 at 8:18 am |
  53. Michael

    The unemployment in the US is not because of the illegal immigrants. The unemployment is from Us companies sending work abroad because it is cheaper. The computers we use, the cell phone we talk with, and the TVs we watch cable or dish with are all made out of the country.
    The US has had an illegal immigrant problem since the mayflower came over. The US at that time was inhabited by the american indians, in case all of you forgot your american history. At that time in New Mexico, Texas, and some other western states there was a population of Hispanic americans. They were part of a place callled Mexico, which again was taken by the White Illegal American settlers. Please, before you pass judgement look in the mirror, are you one of the few non Illegal immigrants, called the american indian. If you are, you probably wouldn't be on a computer, they are some of the poorest american citizens due to the greed of the white illegal immigrants. We stole their land, we killed them for not obeying our laws, and we gave them some of the worst land to live on in the United States.

    May 20, 2010 at 8:16 am |
  54. September

    One problem with illegal immigration is that sometimes children are born here to illegal parents.
    Being born on US soil makes the children automatic citizens. The solution is to change the constitution. No one born on US soil to illegal parents should be an automatic citizen. That way the entire family can be sent back without the discussion of separating the parents who are here illegally from the children who are born here and are now citizens.

    May 20, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  55. Pankaj

    Send the illegals to washinton DC ,Let the president Find Jobs for them.......with 10% unemployment , wonder how he's going to work that out???.

    Also all the illegals are working , some with fradulent documents , while the legal resident and citizens collects Unemployment . let them
    in congress try fixing that.

    May 20, 2010 at 8:11 am |
  56. David

    Understanding that geography plays a huge role in this matter, Arizona's issues may be more aggressive in terms of criminal activity, largely because of the issues across the border, but that is comparing apples to oranges in the bigger scheme of things. The bigger issue is fixing this immigration policy that has been broken. I believe that Trenton is on the right road, they see that immigrants are an asset. The umbrella of blame that we as a society impose on an issue is ridiculous, we need to deal with issues more progressively with a proactive approach rather then reactively with a scapegoat appeal.

    May 20, 2010 at 8:11 am |
  57. John

    I am a US citizen and have been married for almost two years to a Finnish national. My wife and I have two daughters, one is only seven months old. I have been going through the slow and tedious process of getting them here while traveling back and forth to Helsinki. My wife is a pediatric nurse and is very educated. As well, Finland has one of the highest levels of education in the world. Why is it okay for illegals to be granted immunity for breaking the law when I still have to go through the legal process of getting my wife and children here? Should I just bring them here and hid them? I think my girls should have the same opportunity to be here as those who break the law.

    May 20, 2010 at 8:11 am |
  58. Jeff

    What part of ILLEGAL do these Trenton idiots not understand? These police officers should be fired for not upholding the law and arresting anyone in this country ILLEGALLY!

    May 20, 2010 at 8:10 am |
  59. Deena

    Then Trenton should take all of AZ immigrants and relieve them of their troubles. I bet they'll have a different perspective then. The problem is that people are scared to speak up in fear of being called a racist. Simply put illegal is illegal. I don't know any other country were one can break the law and still expect to not be punished. It's a shame because Americans can afford basic care for their citizens yet we continue to take on the burben of countries which fail their citizens. Look at California, we are cutting basic services to health services but we provide financial, food and health services to non-citizens under Programs like CAPI. California and Texas need to follow AZ leadership.

    May 20, 2010 at 8:09 am |
  60. kevin donaghue

    if our screwed up country is going to pick and choose which law are going to be enforced, then get rid of all laws. This is just another example of how incompetent and corrupt this country has become,rewarding law breakers. GREAT JOB!

    May 20, 2010 at 8:09 am |
  61. Michael Davis

    It seems to me from what I have heard and read is that is is ok to break the law. We will just overlook it and then give you rest and comfort. That is what seems to be proposed by the Trenton ID cards. How about we do the same for all felons that are convicted of all non-violent crimes? As far as the children go, if a citizen has children and is convicted of a crime and goes to jail, what happens to their children? Secure the border AND punish the law breakers, whether they have children or not. Quoting joe Capozzoli – Illegal is illegal.

    May 20, 2010 at 8:09 am |
  62. Trina

    Those that would employ illegals, rent to illegals, issue false cards or papers to illegals, defend illegals in court, etc. are aiding and abetting criminals. We should penalize them to the fullest extent of the law as well.

    May 20, 2010 at 8:07 am |
  63. laura hales

    Are we really interested in having no consequences for those that sneak into our country illegally? If so, lets open the borders and stop pretending that we have an interest in screening the individuals that enter our country.

    May 20, 2010 at 8:06 am |
  64. Trish

    My husband, who is Japanese, and I just went through the LEGAL immigration process. He learned to speak English, he got his green card, he pays taxes to the USA. We spent two years going through the process of immigration, we paid our dues. I find it a slap in our faces when the illegal aliens here want the same rights that my husband and myself worked so hard to get. He hasn't broken any laws to become a legal resident of the USA. What does he get for following the rules? Do we get our money back for all the costs we incurred while going through immigration legally?

    May 20, 2010 at 8:05 am |
  65. eric

    I wonnder if I were to commit a felony in Trenton, if they would reward me too. Why is it that some people refuse to address the fact that these people are breaking the law just by being here without due process? Trenton has lost its sense of reality. Congratulations to Arizona for doing the right thing.

    May 20, 2010 at 8:04 am |
  66. peter

    We have legal terrorest trying to blow thing up and those who are trying to be loyal legal american are being forced out and ostrasized..

    May 20, 2010 at 8:02 am |
  67. Grace

    Gov Brewer stated that 600 illegals are in jails there for "serious crimes." How many native born americans are in jails there for "serious crimes." As a caucasian, if I was here illegally, wouldn't I want to blend into the woodwork, I am sure that most illegals are hiding. When I lived in California, and went to the doctor's office, people who may have been illegals all paid cash for their treatment. Now, it's not right for people to be here illegally, but a solution must be found and it's not the state's job to do it. Pres. Obama wants to fix the country but the GOP seems to be sidetracking him to deal now with illegal immigration so they can keep blaming him for other problems, which are the result of their party's policies under the former administration.

    May 20, 2010 at 8:02 am |
  68. Lawrence

    It is not only illegals taking our jobs, it is also Fortune 50 companies bringing in "trainees" from foreign subsidiaries . How come we can train an American in two weeks to do a job but it takes 1 year for guests from abroad.? This is a loophole that needs to be closed as it allows jobs to be exported abroad.

    May 20, 2010 at 7:53 am |
  69. Debbie

    How weak the we appear to the world when Big Oil is making the rules and illegals(and states) are picking and choosing what laws they will follow. We have to take care of business at home.

    May 20, 2010 at 7:29 am |
  70. John Stanton

    What matters is that they are commiting felonies by being here and working illegally in this country. With 10% unemployment, it's a disgrace.

    Also the pain caused to those standing in line waiting to come here legally is unacceptable.

    May 20, 2010 at 7:14 am |
  71. joe Capozzoli

    I don't understand what is it about illegal that is hard to understand.
    My family leagally imigrated from Ireland and Italy. They went to night school, learned english, knew the presidents, states and capitals. They learned to be citizens. They took an oath, sent their sons to war and worked in peace. Paid their taxes.
    It is illegal to speed, rob, murder, but not if you are an ilegal. We should be compassionate and be understanding. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
    Illegal is Illegal.

    May 20, 2010 at 7:09 am |
  72. Lafenmom

    “Right now and in this area, we have 100 people in jail right now charged with murder that are here illegally.”

    May 20, 2010 at 7:03 am |
  73. Sam

    The so called critics believes that American citiZens much more likely to commit crime than the illegal immigrant which is completely wrong. I would rather ask how many of those are naturalized and how many of them are from Mexico or other Latin Americans.

    When sheriff arpaio says illegal immigrants are terrorizing America than why shouldn't they will be called terrorist?????

    Trenton, new jersey should be moved to some southern state connecting Mexican border.

    May 20, 2010 at 7:00 am |
  74. Debbie

    If Russo had the chance to walk a mile in Az. shoes he wouldn't feel the same way. He is not upholding the law. What other laws is he letting slide? How much is this costing the taxpayers? They don't have any support so how can you blame him. Wait until all the illegals flee north......He'll be changeing his tune.

    May 20, 2010 at 7:00 am |
  75. Tim

    Arizona has passed laws that are very similar to the same federal laws that is not being enforced. Illegal aliens are criminals as soon as they cross the border with out proper papers they are breaking the law. By saying that they are 5 times less likely to commit crimes might be true, well besides the first crime of just getting here. The states are left to police their own state for the protection and security of it's citizens. How many people are deported by the INS or stopped by border patrol? Is Arizona doing a good job in that regard? I only have one more thing to add my wife is a naturalized citizen, and she is that way because we followed the law. Thank you.

    May 20, 2010 at 6:58 am |
  76. Sammy

    Mexicans and illegal immigrants advocates may have teach the small child to ask first lady about illegal immigration.

    Immigration is good for this country but there are so many criminal illegals who should not get the legal status even If govt pass the legalization bill.

    John should consider and think more than 3 times that who will fill his position when he is off. Anchor's job is to read the news or discuss it without any biase. This guy is completely pro illegal immigrant.

    May 20, 2010 at 6:39 am |