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‘You need to speak English’: Americans debate immigration crisis

Dec 08, 2023


Immigration continues to be a topic of debate among everyday American citizens and within the halls of Congress. As migrants and refugees pour into the United States over the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. immigration courts struggle to process their cases. U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recently hinted that mass amnesty might be required to help resolve the immigration dilemma—something which has not been done in roughly four decades.

In this 34-minute episode of America Speaks, political analyst and pollster Dr. Frank Luntz asks Americans what they think of immigrants and the immigration crisis, and whether President Biden or former President Donald Trump is better positioned to resolve the challenges associated with immigration.

Hello, and welcome back to the latest installment of America speaks right here on straight arrow news. Before I get to this week’s topic, one of the most contentious issues in America today, I want to urge you to go back to the America speaks homepage. So you can listen to and learn from Americans just like yourself, as they discuss and debate the biggest issues of our time. From the Middle East to China, from inflation to health care, from African students talking about the future, to the voices coming from American college campuses today. Every week, there’s a new discussion, a new conversation, and something new to learn. Please check them out. This week, we tackle the multifaceted issues and controversies surrounding immigration, build a wall and act the DREAM Act, make immigration easier or harder. Our diverse panel of Americans have a lot to say about immigration viewer warning, it’s going to get very heated. So get ready. And let’s get right to it.

One of the most contentious issues in America today is the issue of immigration, which allowing more or less people

the requirements of what we insist on if someone applies for citizenship, whether this is adding or detracting from our economy. So you’re America, when you hear the word immigration, what do you think of first and why. And I want to start with the people who are on the border. So Nina from Texas, kick out in this conversation.

I think of overcrowding, I think of how scary it is that we are not betting people that are coming into our country, I think of 911. And I think of our poor poor cities, like Eagle Pass, and that, you know, we’ve ruined complete people’s lives that are on the border. And these border towns, they closed their businesses early because they’re afraid to be out after dark. Their properties have people coming on them and they’re afraid to let their kids be on their own yards. It’s frightening. And you’re from California, your border state. What do you think of the take of immigration? Oh, well, let me tell you two things. Number one, I am all for legal immigration, whatever it takes to come here legally, do it the right way properly through through the channels that are set a do it that way. But secondly, I am passionately against illegal immigration, people who come in here with an agenda. That’s not to help our cause. It just doesn’t work me I can I can just walk into Mexico anytime I want. The free trade that’s great for business. On the other hand, people coming in from not just Mexico, but all over Central America, South America, Europe and Asia, coming here illegally taking jobs, and, you know, taking money out of the economy, that’s meant for the US. I am totally against that. I will do I will do whatever it takes not to have that happen here. And you’ll Arizona border state. Where do you stand on immigration?

Well, let’s just make for what’s happening right now Luke Ville, Arizona, the border control ad to go ahead and go to another sector. So this is people with Rocky Point. Route Phil’s gone. And we’re looking at what they said 1400 a day are crossing our borders in Arizona right now. And I do agree, legal immigration, but how are we going to do that? When it takes seven to 10 years? With the bureaucratic stuff that goes on with our government? They’ve got to speed it up. David, California in the fourth quarter state persevere. Yeah, it’s to me immigration is just it’s a legal process. But the problem is, like Daniel was just talking about it takes for ever to you know, to obtain that sort of legal status. And then you have the other hand you have the reason why, in my opinion, is the desperation. There’s a lot of like political wars and a lot of poverty and God forbid everything else that’s going on in central South America. These people I mean, I feel for them, I get it. They’re desperate. Why would you travel 1000s of miles and the in your bare feet practically with your kids, but on your back and wherever you can carry it. It’s desperation. So I get it, but there has to be a expedited legal process and I mean, the Biden administration, whoever is our next president at this has to really be worked on and expedited, and we’ll see what happens Okay, Bella, I’m gonna go to you and then to Ruby.

Your view when you hear immigration as summons bounced, come from elsewhere, your reaction? Yeah, I feel like it needs to be illegal immigration, my parents spent two years and all their savings trying to come to America legal. Blood tests, paperwork, tickets.

I feel like, you know, it needs to be regulated. Just don’t me wait, I feel bad for the people who have to bring their children and travel with water and, you know, borders, but it needs to be legally, Ruby, go ahead. My parents came to this country.

But they did it the legal way. And they came here, above all, even who had they not come here illegally. My parents came here with a lot of love for this country. And that’s what breaks my heart. And why I failed to have compassion for the majority people that I see coming through New York in which is why we’re in transition of moving out of New York into South Carolina, because they’re destroying this state, as they’re destroying many other states, our country, I don’t appreciate people who are barging in our country, taking rights away from us, as Americans. And then on top of that, having such a high level of ingratitude and disdain for this country, and they blatantly tell you, and I know because I talk to them, I speak their language. And I used to very actively help illegals in the past


to get assimilated, but this generation that’s coming through this is not the hungry, mad, hungry, masses yearning to be free. These are people who just want to come in and cause a riot. And I don’t appreciate that.

Anybody want to respond? Let’s open up to everyone here, jump in. I think she made a great point on assimilation. We don’t see you know, people are coming here and not wanting to assimilate to our ways of life. And I think that’s important. You know, and I do appreciate the fact that the people that come here legally, they probably know more about our country than some of the kids that schools and they love this country, people that come here and go through all that. It’s a process. I’ve good friends that done it, Rob, and then Madeline. So I’m second generation, my grandparents all emigrated. They did it legally. And they’re, you know, they came here for a better life in same thing they were passionate about the country and, you know, made made a better life for their kids and their kids made a better life for my generation. And we’re doing the same for the next so but But I agree there needs to be a legal process, there needs to be limitations on numbers, because the country and cities can only handle so many more beauty, tapping our resources. And and there needs to be some rules about assimilation, because this is tying into the education thing. You can’t have education systems accommodating every single, you know, language and other cultural differences. It taxes the education system too much. I mean, there has to be some there has to be some pact of assimilation, when someone agrees to come to this country, they have to agree to learn the language. And that’s it and sort of join the process. And and that’s, you know, that that’s a handshake, that’s an agreement, that’s a legal agreement that needs to happen with any immigration from from if we are emigrate to another country, I expect the exact same thing, right? It’s not, you know, most countries do that. Does anyone disagree with that?

And no, but it seems like without having even a legal status, a lot of those illegal immigrants are getting benefits that healthcare and food, all sorts of assistance. And there’s just so wrong, because they just support that illegal status. And that needs to be fought against because they’re just not right. And not fair towards all of us. A lot of people have a lot to say about immigration. But I wanted to know from our panel, what really matters and what their real priorities are. Some of what they told me was expected. But there were several surprising moments. Let’s listen. Okay, I believe those they pay taxes. They live by the rules like all of us, but when it’s illegal way to support it. It just my nobody. That’s it.

up in front of a veteran, or a family here or die here that’s in need. Alright. So I actually don’t like anyone that comes here illegal, because you have people in these United States that cannot get benefits for food, calls housing, but they come in, and they get all the resources that we have been here all our lives for. I shouldn’t have to give you 20 pieces of paperwork to say, I have this money to buy this home, but you can come here illegally, and get a house quicker than I can. I’m totally against that. And if you’re gonna come here, you need to learn American culture, learn how to speak our language, learn how to do the work like we do, don’t compare. And then you want to say, Oh, I feel it’s been you know, you’re in America, you need to speak things. Now. And it’s so frustrating nerding in New York to see that the black community if you go out to Brooklyn, where you see the black community, homeless, living in these houses that you’re like, wow, how who lives in these places? They’re like, shut down, break, missing windows, etc. But yet we have money in the same city to take on all these illegals and put them up into a hotel in the federal Exactly. dollars a night. No, I learned there. And I still


cannot please jump in. I have one issue with with immigration. In the question I would like to ask where’s the black leadership? Because these immigrants are coming here they are. They are mainly working the job and pocket where there some poor and less educated Americans will not be supposed to feel that they are taking these labor jobs. I see a sea of come here illegally. They cut our grass. They work on the highway, you know, illegal immigration is big businesses. So my My thing is, I have no problems with anybody I’m talking about for for African American people. Where is the black leadership on this immigration issue? Because I will like he is totally solid, because we are both more effective than any other racial group in the United States. Over I think immigration made everyone realize just how America First they are. I think that there was a lot about that, that was looked frowned upon at a previous administration that put America first. But now that you have this trampoline of our borders, and you are seeing it in your cities, not just in Texas or Arizona, I think people are realizing just how America First they really are when they see a lot more things coming out of their communities, this conversation, and how it’s impacting how illegal immigration is impacting the black community.


Well, I’m not worried people that’s coming to the United States illegal. I think everybody should follow the protocol when it comes when you know, when you’re applying to come to the US. With the black American community, the only problem is the illegal immigrants that come here are willing to do the bad jobs. And where you have an African American community, a lot of people are lazy, they just want to sit home they don’t they want to make easy money, they don’t want to do nothing. So in that it’s it’s a it’s a big it’s a broad topic. Because when you have somebody that’s willing to do anything to make ends meet for their family, and then you have somebody that’s living here that don’t want to do anything, they want to get assistance from the state. That’s the problem. But that was more so in the in the earlier waves of immigration because the new waves of immigration don’t want to work. And they they work they Governor Hotel in New York offered them work permits and then walk them I was eating and also the Roseville Hotel The all over the place. And that’s fine. Yeah, I’m in a like a meal that they get. They don’t want a sandwich they want to steak and they don’t want to be in a what is it Ebbets Field or something? This is really new wave of immigration of the I know I agree with you. I live in New York. I really doubt not the group that’s coming in to work. Because I live in I mean, the sanctuary cities. It’s their cutting caught policeman on the beat. Now it’s impacting the money because they’d rather sit there, but why should the taxpayers and other states have to make to pay extra money because we don’t follow the law. And the Biden administration is closing down everything Governor Abbott is trying to do to control our borders. That doesn’t make any sense. We just had the a judge vote on or I mean, say that we can’t have the buoys out now. I mean, it’s everything we tried to do to try to stop this because when it comes does it mean to you and it keeps getting shut down? For Democrats? You can’t have a comprehensive conversation about immigration without talking about the Dream Act.


For Republicans, they must propose building the wall. But it’s now eight years since Donald Trump first proposed it, and it receives a decidedly mixed response. The next question about immigration is the dream.


To America, as a child, you have the right to pursue.


If you follow a certain set of priorities that definitions are different, but it says that you’re not going to be sent back, and you’re gonna have the right does ship? Who’s in favor of the Dream Act? Here? Raise your hands, he talked about DACA, right? DACA? Yes. Who is against that? No, no, no, I’m in favor of it. I’m gonna kill you. against it.


Okay, I want to use when, in your own words, why we need the DREAM Act, and that it will do.

First, someone in someone explain why the DREAM Act is so important.

I had jumped in. Okay, I’m David Yeah, the you know what, it’s unfair to punish a child. Think about it, he’s brought the child as brought in here, quote, unquote, illegally, or whatever, you know, whatever means they got in here. So to punish them by sending them back. It’s psychologically it just messes up those kids. And like I said, before the legal process, so DACA, the whole whole approach is that you give these kids um, it takes a takes a few years, the way the system is. So give the kids a chance, illegal process, and adult and don’t starve them for lives by throwing them back to their native country, because this can be the same cycle over and over again, coming back to you’re going back there. So I like the whole DACA thing when they’re when they’re young, I just think the intent is good, and just let the legal process work its way through. Okay, well, it’s a chance to it’s a chance to capture productive members of society, you you’ve heard there have already been here for a period of time, and now you’re putting the RU illegal with what David just said, a legal filtration system that checks out some of the things similar to people legally immigrating into the country through a process. It’s a process. It’s just an intermediate process, and you’re checking at a certain point, do you say you’ve been here for a while? If they pass the process, then then invite them in? And I agree with that absolutely. Agree 100% 100%. The only part of it is it didn’t go through Congress, they went through an executive order. And too many of the Presidents now are bypassing Congress because Congress isn’t actively doing their job. Yeah.


Why when Congress doesn’t do their job?


What do you do with? What do you do with parents? Okay, you give that chance to their children. But it’s still so complicated and confusing to me. What do you do with the parents, their parents in the ear, not just the parents, now they want to bring the parent of the parent who now will bring their siblings and then their siblings bring their children? So where does it stop and visit me in the applicants for DACA are not children. We’re noble nation, we hear oh, daca for children, they have the right to dream. Yeah, we all have the right to dream American kids also have the right to drink. Oh, where does a swipe? Right children, many of them are adults who signed up for a bartending class. And technically, now they’re in school. Right? Right. They can stay with they so they can stay and get benefits, too. I don’t think so. And monitoring as they come in there. Now the education that people here in America still need to be getting, right. Like we’re paying for someone that has come into this country illegally, to get education and to stay here, because they’re a part of this dream act. But we got people that sit every day that want proper education, and they can’t get it. So we’re going to waste that money. I’m just against it, because that’s money that could be tied up into the homeless population. That’s all over the streets of North Carolina, Los Angeles, and so forth. So now I’m jumping.


Is there a specific solutions? Build the wall? I support building a wall between the US and Mexico red strand?


And how many you’re close to it?


I’m abstaining. Because it I don’t know that the will be effective is


the wall is one of the most compassionate things we can do. Because it sends a message that in I say, Build a wall but we also fix our legal immigration system so that we people can get here and it doesn’t take a lifetime to do it. But agreed. If you don’t know


No, but if you you know, we send a message that right now the board is open. So the people that are coming, it’s like pretty if we don’t protect the reason that people come, which is for freedom and opportunity, they won’t be here when they get there because we’re being overrun. And laws don’t matter anymore. The country that people come for isn’t here isn’t going to be here. And we need to put everybody to work. I’m in stamping, and we can’t put everybody to work. I get cards all the time, DHS cards and everything. And people are just not going to just hire everybody that comes in the border, they still don’t have the skill set that some people are looking for. Yeah, by


the wall, building the wall is the illusion. Because as long as we as Americans keep traveling, traveling throughout the Caribbean, and Mexico, on our spring breaks, and on a summer vacation in these poor, poor people working on all these resorts, seeing us living this lifestyle into Mexico and the Caribbean is the first objective they want to do well, I want to come there where I can have honey and make the money and so I can vacation, just like everybody else. And we help start legally, legally.


Legally, I feel like you know what, the wall, you know what the wall?


Is there, you have a pot, no politician wants to deal with the humanitarian crisis Once it crosses our border, correct. We’re making.


Most countries have secure borders, do anything to help our border patrol those what I wanted to comment about legal immigration, if I may rose, my grandparents, my grandfather came here as a PhD student as a professor. And that’s how we came here three generations ago, I feel like there should be priority for two types of immigrants, number one, academics. And number two,

immigration for investments. So EB five visas, I feel like that would help America, number one become a more scholarly nation. And number two, bring some additional funding, more resources, more money to help our economy. And now it helped trickle down. Some some things that will help everyone. Again, this is all for legal immigration. And those are the two big top priorities that would help us in the long run. As far as illegal goes, Yeah, I want to help and I want to do what we can. But there just isn’t enough funding for everybody. So I feel like that should have priority. So hold on, Sam, do we build a wall? Yes, we build a wall. For two reasons. One, it’s not really the wall itself. That’s important, Frank, what’s important is symbolically we are accent allowing people who had the legal right, who will follow procedure will take the three to five to 10 years to come here legally, and do it the right way. It’s going to mean it’s going to cost a lot of money. It’s good. They’re going to have to be more highly skilled, as far as technical skilled, let’s say in engineering, or science and math, but they want to do it the right way. Illegally you come here you come at your own risk. We may or may not help. But in the long run, you’re taking that risk upon yourself. It’s an individual action. It’s not something that the government is responsible for. You come here if you’re safe and you can make it that’s great. If not, that’s your top luck. I don’t think you can build the wall I mean, that’s like a road sign that has the suggested speed limit when you go around a bend 15 miles per hour you’re just gonna ignore and drive extremely fast regardless, so wasted time wasted resources. We’re in a unique country not too many countries were built on immigration. So we need to be careful of how we mitigate that have due process make sure it doesn’t take forever and get the educated brilliant minds in here so we can progress our nation.


We already have the wall. We just need to put it up. Do you do do you build a wall on Canada to build a wall on Canada to while I build one candidate side on the border with Canada? That’s that’s always done.


Don’t worry. You don’t have you don’t you don’t have rampant illegal immigration from Canada there’s only a few populous Arts where the borders are highly controlled by the roads but the other ones are inaccessible. Let her with cartels.The cartels, the fentanyl, all of that. Anything that’s any apartment property go to has a gate around it. Is that going to keep everybody out? No, it’s a deterrent. And we need anything we can put up outside of this country that says we deter you to come in here illegally. But you’re more than welcome to come in here legally and we welcome you. Our panel was evenly divided between Biden and Trump.

I’m supporters. But when it comes to immigration, Trump has a clear advantage. Even none of the above did better than Joe Biden. Let’s hear why. I don’t care what you support for President. I don’t care who you voted for. I want to know which presidential candidate Joe Biden or Donald Trump is better able to solve the immigration challenge. What if it’s neither Frank Trump? Okay, why do you say neither Madeline, because I don’t see anything that Biden or Trump will be doing to help this. I think they’re pumping money out here for all of this. And we have issues right here in America that we need to take care of first and foremost. Who a time respond. Yeah. I say, if you’re going to talk about the two men to the immigration Trump is the strongest candidate. However, however, he did separate families, and that really played a big precedent of why I did you know, well, I didn’t vote them in 2020. Because of the separation. That to me was heartbreaking. But as far as strength goes, he is the strongest one. So can I get a vote from you? And then you’re gonna explain why we think Trump is better able to handle this raise your hand

Wait. Even number of Trump supporters the Biden’s so Biden, you think Trump is good on this issue? Maybe not other? Anybody get the numbers? Look at Colin willing to Biden isn’t willing to enforce the law. The current law in Trump is here and we don’t mind while we’re going to change Trump’s school with Trump. Because we live in Georgia.


And the mother wins moment that I asked Trump or Biden is the moment that the commonality and this goes that out.


Oh, Will this really cynical look at the numbers of crossings and illegal crossings from when President Trump was in office and President Biden. Because the cool thing about


Trump is he’s a clown. He’s with what’s going on. I’m not even gonna go here and for you, because if you’re looking at presents right now,

telling the truth in this is not the truth. They got you got pulled out here about immigration and Trump that says that Trump and destroy Trump is dead. And they do these polls about numbers don’t lie. It’s not polled. 100 and over 150 million people voted in the last election. What these polls show info 1800 people is not

for Biden, if he drove the bus of immigrants over the border, I don’t think it’s gonna make like Trump, even when you don’t like something you think he’s a clown, we were sad or when he was around. When we ordered wars, everything was money in our pockets, no inflation. Oh, my God.


That’s what you said. See, that’s the type of dysfunction that we have become used to it we making that the norm. Trump is a dysfunctional candidate who does nothing but make money in his selfish foot. So he gets not

getting all that money, money trail. Money is so much money to be made with that you’re receiving every one of the relatives is not going to it’s not it’s not going to do anything by immigration.

Worker to a power, how many illegal aliens work at Trump Tower, how many wants to deport people back to the country can see well, what are we supposed to do with them? You put them in your house? The truth is neither neither because there’s no room for them in New York. Neither. America was built on a melting pot. It doesn’t belong.


Neither neither immigration Immigration, right. Is there anybody on this call except for you? That would think that we are better off now under this administration than we were under President Trump honest to God on everything?


What either one? Why is that oh, not by the way either. We’re we’re a million times better now than under Trump, but neither candidate has been great on immigration is just just ignore that Trump was all talk and did nothing. I just hasn’t really done anything and as long as you know. It’s not working. But he’s you know what, at the end of

The day, we’re in a better place with our current administration, because the last administration screwed up a lot of stuff. And by paying this way dollar for eggs, and your gases didn’t go up.

Let me send yes, you’re an egg. They’re not squandered dollars. I just bought them they were $3 and our dollars growing, you all know, and I’m going to talk through this, I am going to play three minutes of that what you just did right now, because I want to show America that this is America, your eyes for three minutes, no one can hear anything. It was a cacophony of like a debate. Good seat as they’re going to ask you why you’re so rude. I’m going to call on you guys, because that’s the only way to get this done.

Doesn’t Have you trust, who would be better at immigration, Trump or Biden? believe Trump will be better than Biden at immigration. But we have to remember that it’s a second chance for both of them. Both of them had the chance to address immigration. what’s essentially a four year presidency, neither did Trump made the bigger promises. And so I’m hopeful that he would have

I guess, more infrastructure in place better plan. And he would have to speak to the fire a little bit more, because you’d be running for the second time on the same promises that he didn’t completely deliver on the first time. Alex should be better from, I think, you know, just even looking at what he actually did, whether it’s 100 miles of wall or 500 miles of wall, depending on what you actually believe he was actually doing something about it, he was enforcing the law. And I believe something estimates are somewhere in the range of five to 7 million illegals have come in just under the Biden administration. Put that into context. That’s the entire Atlanta metro population, the fourth largest city in the US, the entire metro population. Nothing’s being done about it, at least Trump waves the stick even if he’s not doing anything about it. I think some of it is rhetoric. And when you tell everybody around the world that you’re not going to enforce our borders, then that’s a welcome open invitation for people to come across. Guess who would be better?


I would say Biden, because Biden has proven to show stuff for immigration, just because he’s helped other countries come here to work. While Trump, on the other hand, is deport he wants to deport everybody back to their country. So I’m gonna go with Biden, Madeline, who would be better? Neither. Because and I say that because they didn’t. None of them have proven to me that they’re going to handle the situation. We have people here in America, that that money could be spent on pilots population being one, but having something to do with immigration, I just think that’s a waste of money. Rob, it would be better.


I’m gonna say neither. I think that something needs to be done. And I agree with Eugene. It’s a combination of Congress not being functional right now. And having a leader who has a realistic and strong immigration policy, not just talk, I think Trump has to, I think Trump was all talk and didn’t do anything. And Biden is just not doing well. David, it would be better, um, Trump would be proactively better. Unfortunately, he would do it in humanely, a manner. That’s a style. So you know, it’s pick your poison. Basically, I want to close this essential conversation with one polling fact. We asked Americans whether they would support legislation that has three components. First, complete the security barrier on the US Mexican border. Second, immediately accept and embrace the DREAM Act, allowing people who are brought to America as children to get onto a path to citizenship. And third, open up more avenues to legal immigration for those who want to come to America the legal way. More than three quarters of Americans said yes to this proposal, proof that there is a middle ground that can satisfy Democrats, independents and Republicans. The immigration conversation will continue, but our conversation must end. So on behalf of America speaks on straight arrow news. I’m Dr. Frank Luntz. See you next time.

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