Continuing the discussion...
Joan Schaan cites numbers, saying between 10 and 30% of crossers get caught, and 10% have a criminal record, though she thinks that might be low.
Charles Foster says "criminal records" will include a lot of minor infractions, and any large group will have some bad actors.
Curtis Collier stumps for the border fence and brings up terrorists. Gordon Quan reminds him that Homeland Security has found no cases of suspected terrorists crossing the Mexican border to enter the country.
A guest who neither Ree-C nor I can identify notes that it costs $5K to pay a coyote to be smuggled into the country.
Alberto Cardenas with Vinson & Elkins and Americans for Immigration Reform puts the blame on Congress for not creating a solution. "We can agree on border security, but what do we do after that?"
Orlando Sanchez reiterates the point that immigrants come from all over, not just Mexico, and agrees with Prof. Salinas about "vilifying" them; he also blames Congress.
Schaan: "The profits of human smuggling are approaching those of drug smuggling."
Angela Blanchard says we'll be insecure until we provide a path to legalization for the current undocumented immigrants.
Erika de la Garza reminds everyone that illegals pay into Social Security but won't be able to collect it.
Lots of statements of problems, but not much in the solutions department, which Patricia Gras is trying to get people to focus on.
Massey Villareal: "We have too much emotion on this issue. It doesn't do any good to yell at each other across the street, we need to sit down at the same table and talk to each other."
More speechifying, still no solutions.
Foster: We had no quotas on Latin American immigration until 1968. With a legal program, many immigrants who come here with their children would maintain ties back home and some would return.
Back to comprehensive immigration reform: What does it look like?
Back row commenter: DREAM Act is earned citizenship, it is not given.
Collier says "take amnesty off the table" and stumps for "earned citizenship".
Cardenas says we have 60,000 non-citizens serving in the military. "We need an ability to begin a registration process for the undocumented immigrants here in order to move forward."
Dan Patrick: "We have to remove the fear from all sides." Calls "amnesty" a buzzword, and says a small group of people in this room with 30 days to come up with a solution would be able to do so. I must say I agree with him. There may be hope yet. Ree-C is with me on this.
Blanchard: "Amnesty is about forgiveness. We've done it before, we'll need to do something like it again."
People who haven't spoken yet are being given the chance to comment. One of them notes that retiring baby boomers are going to need to be replaced in the workforce somehow.
I'm going to hit Publish now while I can.