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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

HOW AMNESTY BROUGHT YOU THE CAMERA PHONE

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To hear anti-immigrant activists speak, you would think that the three million unlawfully present immigrants who legalized in 1986 were a bunch of welfare cheats who went out and committed crimes in between stealing a job or two. What we don't hear is just how successful that program was in terms of allowing many, many people to come out of the shadows and lead productive - some very product - lives.



My friend Sam pointed out that an individual I profiled last month was one of those beneficiaries. Philippe Kahn, the founder of software giant Borland and the inventor of the camera phone, came to the US on a tourist visa in the early 80s, overstayed and then was able to legalize his status in 1986 in the legalization program. Kahn landed a job with Hewlett-Packard in 1982, but lost the job because of his immigration status. After getting the green card in 1986, Kahn went on to achieve greatness.



For all those who attack the concept of "amnesty" will you surrender your cell phones in protest?

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  1. TX's Avatar
    Wow Greg, I had no idea. I wonder how many other beneficiaries of the amnesty went on to achieve great things? Or better yet how about how many other great inventions will we sacrifice by not passing the dream act? Do you remember the case of the undocumented high school students from AZ who went on to win the national championship with the robots they invented? I wonder what happened to those kids.
  2. Another voice's Avatar
    This is a good story I am sure there are plenty more out there that we don't know about. Its too bad that main stream media will not report them during the Immigration debate of any measure.
  3. TX's Avatar
    While searching the web on this I was surprised to come across many stories on brilliant undocumented kids that could certainly make a difference in this country if givin a chance. This one is a good one, it seems like this kid is highly intelligent. I still can't believe that the Senate is not doing anything to make sure that this country retains these bright individuals.

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/brown/540787,CST-NWS-brown04.article
  4. paul's Avatar
    But he was from Europe and from a different crowd. He was well educated too and had a Master's in Math. Don't expect the same achievements from today's lettuce pickers.
  5. Another voice's Avatar
    Hey all immigrants contribute to this country today and have contributed some how in the past at different levels. The point of this is that there are contributions that you never hear of because the anti- agenda depicts all immigrants as welfare suckers and criminals.
  6. paul's Avatar
    True, the labor of all immigrants is needed and valuable. What I was trying to say is that Paul Kahn is a better example for the need of immigration reform that targets high-skilled immigrants rather than for the so-called "amnesty".
  7. Legal and waiting's Avatar
    The disctribution of educated/uneducated in todays illelgal population is the same it was in the illegal population in 1986, there is just more of both. There is a bunch of people who came on studen or work visas and stayed illegally. But that is not what's important. What's impaortant is the talents of children of whose who should be legalized. Children of immigrants generally raise up the challenge and get college degrees at a much higher rate than that of econimically comparable natives.
  8. JoeF's Avatar
    The story that TX referred to:
    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.04/robot_pr.html

    There is a fund set up for them: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.04/donate.html

    These kids are really great and deserve to be able to go to college.
  9. TX's Avatar
    Thanks JoeF. I was looking for an update on these kids this morning. I was thinking that maybe these kids were deported as well, you know, since the anti's have nothing better to do with their time then go after innocent kids who could really make a difference.
  10. TX's Avatar
    This is how the DREAM was lost.

    http://www.mmdnewswire.com/alipac-activists-helped-defet-drem-act-amnesty-2302-2.html

    We can call learn something from these anti's so the next time around it's our voices that our louder.

    Time and time again, and even this time around I wrote to both my Senators, even knowing full well that both TX senators will probably never support this bill, but I wanted them to hear me anyway. I got a sorry update from Cornyn instead about how he was successful in making sure that non-defense related items are not attached to defense appropriations. Funny how these same Republicans never talked about non related items when Republicans held the Senate. I wrote back (I hope his staff actually reads my email) asking him to do something about his own bill, the SKIL bill.
  11. 's Avatar
    I think Paul wanted an example of a "lettuce picker" and "illegal" but managed to become a great inventor or successful businessman. I think you can find a lot of those stories.
  12. indianGuy's Avatar
    What I don't understand is simple. There is a visa for these talented (which, undoubtedly, the wirednews kids are) kids to come to America and styudy. It's called the F-1 visa. And guess what, there is no cap on the number of F-1 visas. So, theoretically, 10 million students can be admitted every given year. After finishing their studies, these talented students can work in USA legally on anoher visa. It's called the h-1b visa. They can then work towards their greencards and eventual citizenship. Why should there be a BACKDOOR PROCEDURE for certain kids who happen to be undocumented?
  13. USC's Avatar
    "This is how the DREAM was lost."

    I am sure that ALIPAC wants us to buy this. But all this is a case is of them blowing their own horn. My understanding is that they had little to no impact.

  14. drew from immigrants list's Avatar
    You're right about ALIPAC being nothing. They raised something like $70,000 this year & have spent $50,000 without actually contributing to anyone. Last year Walter Jones Jr of NC was the only person they actually contributed anything to. They also talk about their number of "hits" but a hit isn't the same thing as a visitor.
  15. Another voice's Avatar
    "What I don't understand is simple. There is a visa for these talented (which, undoubtedly, the wired news kids are) kids to come to America and study. It's called the F-1 visa."

    When these kids were brought here they did not have knowledge of the F-1 visas and their parents most of them are low skilled workers that did not know the language and many things about coming here legally nor they could qualify to do it. Most of them did not have a choice they had a bad life and were looking for a better one. Kids are paying the price for a decision that they did not make yet they like any other human want a better life for themselves and their families.


    And guess what, there is no cap on the number of F-1 visas. So, theoretically, 10 million students can be admitted every given year. After finishing their studies, these talented students can work in USA legally on another visa. It's called the h-1b visa. They can then work towards their green cards and eventual citizenship. Why should there be a BACKDOOR PROCEDURE for certain kids who happen to be undocumented?

    Most children in this situation unlike in India come from countries that were not a British colony therefore they did not speak English until they came here and grew up in the US which is where they learned it. Basically they never had a choice of coming here legally they found themselves here illegally since they were little kids with no other course of action. That is why Dream is important.
  16. INSpector's Avatar
    Continuing the another voice comments regarding "The Indian Guys Posts"

    Those kids are not elegible to ask for an H1B because they are already considered illegals, so plain and simple there are not options for them evrn the H1B, TN or O visas.

  17. indianGuy's Avatar
    I think some of the points raised are valid. They indeed will be considered illegal when applying for student or work visas and thus may not qualify for them. Well, my suggestion then is that create a new category of visas for them so they can work or study legally in this country. Visas but not green cards. For green cards and citizenship they should stand in the same line we are in.
  18. hmm's Avatar
    IndianGuy: I am sure "dream act kids" would settle for any legal status, but in a bargain it never hurts to ask for more.

    BTW, even illegal immigrants can join the military. They might start joining in greater numbers if it secured them a green card, but perhaps most people who wanted to risk their lifes in Iraq have already joined the army, so it is not clear whether Dream Act would really help the army.

    P.S. For those who do not remember I advocate legalizing all illegal immigrants (adults included), so do not jump on me.
  19. Legal Immi's Avatar
    "P.S. For those who do not remember I advocate legalizing all illegal immigrants (adults included), so do not jump on me."

    I dont think most of the visitors to this blog have a problem with legalization or amnesty for undocumented immigrants.

    Most of the people would have problem if the rules are changed for them exclusively.E.g. Exclusive elimination of country wide quotas in Dream Act or Legalization while retaing these country quotas in Legal immigration system.
  20. Legal Immi's Avatar
    "BTW, even illegal immigrants can join the military. They might start joining in greater numbers if it secured them a green card, but perhaps most people who wanted to risk their lifes in Iraq have already joined the army, so it is not clear whether Dream Act would really help the army."

    I am not sure if someone can join army without being a permanent resident or citizen.
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