What one thing would you do to reform U.S. immigration policy?

Aug. 29, 2009 at 3:29 a.m.

"I would make the application process more effective and economical. The way it is now, it' broken, it takes too long and it's ineffective."

"I think the most important step is giving the people already here a path to gain legal status. Most of them are not here to do something illegal."

"We need to hold employers accountable. If you don't give immigrants a reason to come, they won't. But you should offer a work visa for those who want to come here legally for a better life. I think the Mexican government needs to take some of the responsibility."

"Do away with the border as we know it. Combine that with serious assistance to Mexico in terms of economic development."

"It's important that immigration legislation protects our borders, promotes economic prosperity in Texas and throughout the United States, and is consistent with our American values of compassion, family and opportunity."

"Try to keep the families together. How are we going to determine what part of the family you'll split up?"

"Prosecute illegal immigrants and coyotes instead of just sending them back. Give them heavy fines and jail times. Then send them back to Mexico, El Salvador, Columbia as criminals. That's not any worse than building a wall down there now."

"The immigration laws are OK the way they are. They just need to be enforced. If the people are not satisfied with that, change the laws but put it to the voters."

"I would ask President Obama to stop all deportations, all prosecutions against undocumented immigrants that have been detained. Then, we can talk about reform."

"Prosecute the people who hire illegal immigrants. Hit the work sites in these cities where illegal immigrants just walk freely around."

"Our immigration policies must be based on realities rather than rhetoric. We must build consensus to create a more predictable and affordable means of regulating employment and securing our borders without compromising daily lawful visits and trade along our border."

"I'm going to leave this subject to the experts. There are experts working on this subject who are far better qualified to have opinions than me."

"A free, healthy market is the best solution to this problem. You want to have a generous work program. Immigrants, though, would have to pay their own way."

"We need some mechanism to simplify the legal immigration process. We have positive economic impacts from legal immigration."

"I believe it is important for both state and local governments to take into consideration the concerns surrounding the issue. The most important thing we can do regarding immigration policy is to make sure the necessary resources are available and effectively used to ensure the safety of the American people. It is critical that we have policies in place to make certain that individuals coming into the United States are doing so lawfully, and that those who are not can be identified and dealt with in an appropriate manner."

"You need to punish the people who smuggle immigrants. You need to do to them what they do to others."

"The first change that has to be made is for Washington to finally make this issue a real priority. Immigration is a federal issue, and it's Washington's failure to address it with urgency, both in general terms and in specific matters like border security, that has brought hard consequences, in Texas and elsewhere in the nation. It's time for them to back that up once the polls close."

"I believe that immigrants should be given the chance to work on a green card and if proven to be an upstanding citizen after many years, then perhaps citizenship could be granted. Perhaps then immigrants would look for a legal way to be in our country and not a deadly way."



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