Immigration Poll Raises Debate in DC Area

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    WASHINGTON - APRIL 10: Demonstrators take part in the National Day of Action for Immigrant Justice, or La Marcha, April 10, 2006 on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Protests, marches and rallies were held across the United States today as the issue of immigration rights and justice appears stalled in the U.S. Congress. (photo by David S. Holloway/Getty Images

    The new national poll on immigration in America has stirred debate in the Washington area.

    The NBC/MSNBC/Telemundo poll, which was released Wednesday, showed that 70 percent of whites back Arizona's anti-immigration law while just 31 percent of Latinos do. The poll also showed that 68 percent of Latinos say immigration strengthens America, while 43 percent of white believe so.

    On Twitter, for example, @JoeKlemmer had several thoughts on the Arizona issue:

    "My understanding that only those who break the law are checked. It's simple; check everyone who breaks the law."

    "Not "anti;" "illegal!" Illegal immigration. Legal immigration: GOOD. Illegal immigration: BAD."

    On the NBCWashington Facebook page, one person said the Arizona law is nothing less than racial profiling:

     "It really targets hispanics - you're not gonna see them (the police) approach some american/white looking guy that could easily be here illegally from Russia, France or somewhere else. Don't get me wrong I think anyone who is here should be here legally. If you want to check statuses on people check them on everybody despite what they might look like. Anyone stopped should have status confirmed."

    Another Facebook user agreed with city police chiefs who told Attorney General Eric Holder today that being forced to determine if a person is in US illegally will break down the trust officers have with the community:

    "If this policy is implemented those who are already reluctant to speak to the police will absolutely shut down. And they will become even bigger victims of crime."

    Another online commenter said that Latinos here legally should support the bill and the enforcing of immigration laws.

    "Those here illegally have no respect for our laws or country," the person wrote.

    While the national debate rages on over the Arizona immigration issue and President Barack Obama's decision to send more National Guardsmen to the border, a different issue sparked interest in immigration policies in the Washington area last week.

    A second-grader at a Silver Spring, Md., school asked first lady Michelle Obama about deportations when she visited the girl's elementary school with Mexico's first lady.

    During a question-and-answer session, the girl told Obama that her mom says that "Barack Obama is taking everybody away that doesn't have papers."

    The first lady replied that they have to make sure people living in the United States have the proper citizenship papers.

    "That's exactly right," Mrs. Obama added.

    "But my mom doesn't have papers," the worried girl said.

    "Well, we have to work on that," Obama said. "We have to fix that and everybody's got to work together in Congress to make sure that happens."

    The exchange received national attention and gave the immigration reform debate, particularly the issue of families split up by deportation, a new face -- that of a little girl.

    The commenters on that story saw many different sides of the debate. A person who goes by the name "SRSLY" said to look past our communities and into a larger realm:

    "In today's global society, who cares about citizenship. Honestly. If we Americans are so self-absorbed that we can't agree that all people all over the world deserve the same human rights, freedoms, protections, and rights to the "pursuit of happiness" that we enjoy, regardless of where we were born, we have much bigger issues than how much money is spent giving children free school lunches. Wah. We're getting a soda tax and Metro fares are going up and the Obamas aren't going after one family living in Silver Spring. How pathetic our complaints are in the eyes of the world."

    But an anonymous commenter fired back:

    "The one world nation, open borders policy you believe in is crazy. We can't support everybody, that's the problem. The burden is already too high on hard working income tax payers. Politicians have been slowly distroying this country with progressivism. The government oversteps it's bounds on many social issues but refuses to enforce immigration laws and protect the border. It's time to go back to the basics and follow the Constitution!"

    While many people want to place blame on the current administration or the last president, FEDUPCHRIS believes the problem goes deeper than that:

    "This is not one administrations problem over the other... GET OVER THAT. This one has done as little as the last... its broken and it needs to be fixed.

    Its not about people being heartless or not having open hearts, its about SOME illegals coming over, putting a drain on the social programs, the education programs, the legal programs and the health programs....they don't come over here for the opportunities, they (SOME) come for the freebies. They work and send their monies back home. They (SOME) don't pay taxes on the monies they make under the table and then don't pour alot back into the communities that they drain on... so tell me exactly how people are being heartless in that they don't want their country turned into a 3rd world welfare state."

    What are your thoughts? Post your comments below or join our debate on Twitter using the hashtag #dcdivided.