Overheard on CNN.com: Are there winners, losers in immigration policy debate?
Readers are debating pros and cons of the Supreme Court's ruling on Arizona's controversial immigration law.
June 25th, 2012
05:24 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Are there winners, losers in immigration policy debate?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down key parts of an Arizona law that sought to deter illegal immigration. The court also let stand a controversial provision that lets police check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws if "reasonable suspicion" exists that the person is in the United States illegally. Some readers kept metaphorical scorecards weighing each side's views about heavier enforcement and possible consequences. With all this debate, are there points where most people can agree?

Supreme Court mostly rejects Arizona immigration law; gov says 'heart' remains

Some of our readers said Arizona got a raw deal.

Bob Jones: "So Arizona is screwed. The Fed won't enforce its own laws and Arizona is told to sit down and shut up and take it with a smile. Thanks for nothing, SCOTUS. This is the first step. Eventually the people will have had enough."

eddiev5: "I think public opinion polls pretty much show time and time again what people are looking for. And it has nothign to do with the rhetoric you hear from the Democratic Party. On this issue, the Republicans are correct."

Gus Seals: "Actually this is a win, it builds a bigger picture over time how the feds are cooking the books on the number of illegals. The state can use the federal resources to check legal status so says the court. In the long run if the state says we stopped ten thousand illegals and the feds refused to do their job, it is not going to look good politically."

For many, Arizona got a big win.

Chaz: "I love how CNN tries to make this seem like Arizona lost here. They got exactly what they wanted and I say good for them. I have a very hard time with commenters from the East Coast who are just so full of 'forward thinking' opinions, but who don't really have a dog in this fight. This is a serious problem for those states who face these issues every day and I'm glad the ability to check a person's legal status is in place. I liked Governor Brewer's laws, as the state of Arizona faces terrible crime and security issues, due to the illlegal aliens. If the Feds can't protect the Arizona citizens, who can? I like the idea of 'self deportation'. The Mexicans think The AMERICAN DREAM is about getting on the government dole. It is about 'freedoms,' not breaking laws. Entering this country illegally was your first mistake. You broke a federal law. If you can't come in the legal way, leave."

Others were excited to see that the state didn't get everything it wanted.

JimmyNelson: "SCOTUS just smacked Jan Brewers hand.. and I like it."

This commenter said they thought Arizona's law is unacceptable.

wial: "Those who are saying AZ won or lost - Arizona is a decent place, a land, with as much potential for good as anywhere, that is currently being controlled by some very messed up, fearful, racist people. They made a morally indefensible law that shames America before the world. They are not Arizona, they are an aberration for the parts of the history books that cover McCarthy, Nixon, the Salem witch trials, Darrell Issa etc. Arizona will win when the Sheriff and all his ilk are forgiven and forgotten."

Zack Morris: "Nonsense. There is nothing 'hateful' about wanting to protect your people from a literal invasion. There are REAL consequences that Arizona faces because of the federal government's inaction to prevent the borders. The thing about you liberals is you can never have an honest discussion. It's always bumper sticker slogans and pigeonholing, but you are never honest about what the other side is saying."

There were also a couple folks who thought the scorekeeping was getting out of hand.

iwlnilla:"It would be nice if we stopped looking a politics as 'winning' and 'losing.' This should not be a spectator sport. ... Pretty telling that a ruling is made that affects a great deal of people, and our biggest concern is what side 'won' and what side 'lost.' The sporting event of American politics is completely out of hand. Burn your jerseys and reject both sides."

Some readers said Obama and the federal government need to do more about illegal immigration.

CitizenXXX: "So when The Feds want power that isn't their they just take it, but when the states try and compensate for the Feds failures the Feds cry foul. Unbelievable."

GoAwayObama: " 'Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues, but the state may not puruse policies that undermined federal law.' That's ridiculous! The Arizona state law didn't undermine anything. All it did was take things that are already federal crimes and made them state crimes as well. All it undermines is the liberals who want to have illegals take over the country so they'll keep voting democrat. Same reason why the democrats are so staunchly opposed to Voter ID laws. Like taking a picture ID is such a huge imposition. As a society we require picture ID for everything; buying cigarettes, buying alcohol, cashing checks, writing checks, using credit cards. But when it comes to voting, its now such a big deal? Yea, its a big deal because democrats get elected by voter fraud."

DontPretend: "So, Obama wants them to not be allowed to ensure the security of their borders, and also doesn't want to help them to secure the borders with Federal support. In case you don't get it, he just told the people of AZ that they are less important than Mexicans. Why? AZ votes Republican."

Should illegal immigration be cut off at the source?

bob5304: "My advice to Arizona is go after the people that hire illegals or rent to illegals. If there are no jobs, they will not come."

Nadbash: "Yeah good luck arresting 50% of the rich people in the country, including a hilarious number of immigrant-hating Republicans."

What's the issue here?

HunterDX77M: "I don't get what the big deal is. If you are in the country illegally, using services you didn't pay for, you should be deported as you are committing a crime. If you don't want to be deported, then come to the country legally by filling out your paper work. My grandparents did it. My parents did it."

ajhowardem: "Thats not the issue, everyone believes that illegals should not be using U.S. resources. It was the way that they were going to find these people, which would have basically boiled down to harassment of illegals and legals that were not white. What we should do is research businesses that hire these people and fine the crap out of them. If we cut off the reason they are coming (low paying jobs), then we can stop them from coming in the first place. However, no one wants to do that ..."

Illegal is illegal, and laws should be enforced, said this reader.

ConservUS: "Look at this way ... if you are at home, and someone you don't know, and who you didn't invite over, and did not ask to come over, rudely and illegally enters your house, are you going to allow that person to stay with you? They don't speak your language, communication is very difficult or near possible. One would do whatever it took to remove them from their house, it is trespassing, and breaking and entering. Most would call the cops, or in Floridas case (which I commend them on), they would most likely be shot on premises (Stand your ground). This nation is too lenient. We are exhausting our energy, money, time, and all else on something that should be 'cut & dry' or 'black & white.' If you are here illegally, you have no respect for us or our laws, therefore we have no respect for you; you are being deported. Simple."

Are we doing a disservice to America?

millerbarber: "A sad state of affairs when the Supreme Court takes the sides of Criminals ( illegal aliens) and against American Citizens. Not a good way to celebrate the U.S. birthday next week."

kathy0715: "It's a wonderful day when the Supreme Courts takes the side of the Constitution, which it has here. Enjoy the 4th."

southernsuga: "The SCOTUS decision determined that laws made by States cannot supercede Federal laws. I just don't see that Sheriff Arpaio was doing anything but enforcing federal laws."

The United States' long history of immigration was a source of conversation.

Constructiv1: "Fact: America was built by immigrants for immigrants. We just need to learn how to deal with them."

Picco: "Exactly, we've forgotten that. All those descendents of illegal white immigrants have changed the rules."

But are we too kind to illegal immigrants?

Evenstar13: "I fully understand the desire of those who immigrate to this country, and I have no issue with immigrants coming here legally. What I can not comprehend, is when these people illegally immigrate to the US, why is it that the US goverment bends over backwards to give them better benifits than the average citizen and legal immigant receives? With out the rule of law, there is anarchy and we perilously close to that now, due to the greediness of the money changers and the respose of the elected gorvernment to the economic crisis we remain burdened with. The federal government must either enforce the law of the land, or abandon it all together. It must be either one thing or the other. It cannot remain in between as it now is, as it is nothing but a paper tiger!"

What's your take? Do immigration policies impact you or someone you know? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: Arizona • Immigration • Overheard on CNN.com • Supreme Court
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. John

    If the large majority of immigrants entered the country legally, this issue wouldn't exist. So this seems like an issue easily resolved if the federal government is willing to devote the resources needed to stop or at least minimize illegal immigration.

    June 25, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bobcat (in a hat)©

    Whenever your children are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God's omnipotence did not extend to His own children.

    After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. The first thing he said was, "Don't."

    "Don't what?" Adam replied.

    "Don't eat the forbidden fruit," God said.

    "Forbidden fruit? We have forbidden fruit? Hey, Eve...we have forbidden fruit!"

    "No way!"

    "Yes, way!"

    "Do NOT eat the fruit!" said God.


    "Because I am your Father and I said so!" God replied, wondering why he stopped creation after making the elephants.

    A few minutes later, God saw his children having an apple break and he was ticked! "Didn't I tell you not to eat the fruit?" God, as our first parent, asked.

    "Uh huh," Adam replied.

    "Then why did you?" said the Father.

    "I don't know," said Eve.

    "She started it!" Adam said.

    "Did not!"

    "Did too!"

    "DID NOT!"

    Having had it with the two of them, God's punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own.

    Thus, the pattern was set and it has never changed! But there is reassurance in this story. If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give children wisdom and they haven't taken it, don't be hard on yourself. If God had trouble raising children, what made you think it would be a piece of cake for you?

    June 25, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Rawr, you do know that, while your joke if funny, (and truthful about parenting), you are opening a big old can of forbidden fruit, right? 🙂

      June 25, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • G. Zeus™

      I noticed your joke completely avoided the "oh no we're nayked" aspect of the story. Am I a buzzkill? Yes.

      June 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      Hey Bobcat,sounds like these republicans being childish,.Thanks for always an enjoyable side on life,its well taken,thanks again!!

      June 26, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lila

    I'm amazed CNN is using the word illegals and putting up the comments that are concerned about the fact they are here illegally. Good for you! There are so many states who want a version of the AZ law in place, one will get it right for the others to copy. The wording will protect the state and its taxpayers but won't violate federal law. At least AZ got an important section upheld, it's a start.

    June 25, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • allenwoll


      June 25, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. tillie lamiisi

    This is good news, My relative has been waiting legally to come here for almost six years. No more waiting, they should come here illegally, collect welfare and food stamps. I am sure the Federal Government will take care of them. In fact
    I should encourage people to come here illegaly. No problem just come to America illegally.

    June 25, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • DanWa

      When the highest court in the land refuses to allow a state to use whatever means it sees necessary to arrest people who are committing a crime then they become part of the problem. It's like saying you can't arrest a bank robber if he crosses over a line, a crime is a crime, little or big. Frankly it cost me $10,000 for my wife's Green Card and if the United States Federal Government is not going to enforce the law then I want my money back; oh I forgot my wife is WHITE EUROPEAN, so it doesn't apply. I was actually told by immigration officials that it would have been easier if she'd been Mexican; 4 years and $10K. The USG is like wet toilet paper, totally useless.

      June 25, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • New yorker24

      You need a SS to apply for wellfare and food stamps. Trust me illegals immigrants do not come to this country to collect wellfare like many AMERICANS!!! who have a kids and dont work to collect wellfare and food stamps!

      June 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. allenwoll

    ELIMINATE DEMAND : EMPLOYERS & LANDLORDS - Individual First Offense : Five Years Hard-Rock Desert-Tent Prison (Second Offense NOT likely) / Corporate First Offense : Dissolution, with heavy fines to Officers AND Stockholders.

    Problem Solved Inexpensively !

    June 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Paul Willson

    As an observer from north of the border may I make a few observations?
    1- Immigration has always been a Federal government responibility .
    2- Any state or in my case province trying to take over that function is way out of line
    3- No local police. or sheriffs department has a right indepentally look into one's immigration status . Sorry SCOTUS.
    4- Stopping people and asking for papers seems a lot like S.A.s old passbook systemn and that was wrong then
    and would be anywhereelse either.

    June 25, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thezel

      perfect response. this isn't even about immigration. It's about an individual's civil rights.

      June 25, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • genomega1

      Has Canada put up signs 80 miles from the US border saying danger do not enter drug dealers control the area? This is what the have done to Arizona.

      June 25, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Patrick15

    Everyone keeps saying that if all of these "criminals" had just entered the country legally, then they wouldn't have to worry about laws like Arizona's. People are furious that these immigrants casually skipped the immigration process, and insist that they get in the "back of the line." What most people don't realize is that for the majority of immigrants, particularly unskilled laborers, there is no "line" for them to get into. The majority of visa's and greencards go to skilled persons- If you have a PhD, M.D., are a tech genius, or have some other very valuable skill, you only have about a 33% chance of getting into the U.S. every 6 months. If a doctor has a 33% chance, you can imagine the chances of an unskilled fruit picker. If you are a skilled worker but don't have a Masters or Doctorate, or aren't a "high priority" skilled laborer, there is a 6-9 year backlog. If you are unskilled worker and have a family member here already (legally) or are from a country with a low immigrant population (i.e. not any central or south American country) you have a slim chance, if not, you have literally no way to get in legally.
    And before you all say we should be keeping all of those unskilled laborers out of the country- if that were the policy of the U.S. of yesteryear, most of us wouldn't be here right now. How many farmers and unskilled laborers came through Ellis Island? And if you think our agriculture industry could function without cheap immigrant labor, you are kidding yourself. I think we'd all be better off thinking of undocumented immigrants as victims of an enormously flawed system, and not as criminals.

    June 25, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DanWa

    I actually have nothing against illegals, they fill a position that is needed and will so in the future. Where my problem lies is the application of law. I like those who argue civil rights for illegals; are you nuts! Don't arrest someone who is committing a crime because you might violate their civil rights; are you nuts? Don't look at their papers because you might violate their civil rights; are you nuts. Pack your liberal butts to Germany, enter the country illegally and try to work there without resident and work permit and watch how fast yoru put on a plane. Liberals are NUTS!

    June 25, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Susan Robbins

    Those who say European immigrants who came here 400 years ago were illegal, please cite the Native American laws that were on the books saying such immigration was illegal?
    Paul Wilson..... White American citizens are asked for their papers all the time....driver's licenses, registrations, birth certificates, license to carry....... why is it so wrong to ask Hispanics? If they are here legally, they have the same papers I do. Only the illegal has something to fear and they should.
    I think all you liberals know without the illegal votes from Latinos, Obama's chance now are dismal.

    June 25, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy©

    Susan, for the last time, ILLEGALS CANNOT VOTE!!!!!

    June 26, 2012 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ray E. (Georgia)

    There is going to be an election in November. Too many people are fed up with their TaX Dollars being spent by Liberals who stick their head in the sand when it comes to the hard choices. States have passed laws requiring people to be citizens before they can take advantage of all the benifits of being a citizen. Non Citizens are excluded. SO, if your an illegal, or apologist for illegals put down your signs and either go back to your home country and get in line to become a citizen or don't come back. We have laws and they are being enforced. The Pilgrimes went thru hell to make the best country in History. Now you want to participate in the spoils without doing the hard work that it requires.

    June 26, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  12. tibs

    Why dont we stop spending hundreds of billions of dollars on a foreign policy we cannot manage and put those troops on our border. Americas military is diluted across the globe in a complex shadowy network of military installations. Why throw away money and lives worrying about the borders between pakistan and afghanistan when we could defend on our country instead?

    Our government is so so horrible. I feel so awful paying my money to help fund this public disgrace. But I guess its better than being thrown in a jail cell.

    June 26, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  13. Showmeyerpapers

    Not only have illegal invaders slit the throats of the working man they are responsible for 75% of the crime here in denver radioreference dot com monitor police and ems frequencies for yourself they must have killed 250000Americans in the last 50 years look at lapd online all most wanted 95% spanic. I knew newt was the sh samich. I dont care if an illegal sailed with washington , REMOVE THEM! The states want the laws ENFORCED PERIOD! Theyll bankrupt EVERY STATE! LOOK AT CALIFORNIA FOR GOD SAKE! Mehico is a cultural catastrophe and our govt has helped them spread their societal ills across our great nation. We would have the highest standard of living on earth if it wasnt for the constant stranglehold on our economy due to the invasion and occupation of our soverign land. Look noone wants to break up families just be sure to get them all on the same bus with the anchor offspring seated up front. What about all the american families torn apart by the federal invasion policy in effect. The

    June 26, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Hamsta

    @Banasy true it is illegal for an illegal to vote but they do it anyway and the democrats help them by striking down voter I.D. laws. Thats right the democrats encourage illegals to vote along with deceased people and felons.

    June 27, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • juan amigo

      My name is JUAN ,,I came here illegally to the U.S. straight from a prison in Mexico!!The Mexican prison that I was released from could'nt afford to feed me since Mexico is one of the poorest countries in the world!!I was convicted of murder and drugsmuggling and received 12yrs!!, after doing 4yrs I was given a option,leave Mexico and go to the U.S or else face a firing squad!( I killed a Police officer) I went to Mexico City and was able to purchase a phony U.S. Social Security Card and a Arizona driver's license and Birthcertificate!!! So far I have commited multiple crimes in the U.S. and because i was never fingerprinted you will never catch me!My name is Juan,,or should I say as (my forged Driver's license) say's Micheal Doherty???Thousands of my friends from jail in Mexico are on their way here!!! BTW the liberal dumb-asses that work at Social Services give me rent and foodstampsand Medical!!!

      June 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Free Your Mind And America Will Follow

    I ask the question, "Free Your Mind And America Will Follow." Well, first of all we cannot get along with each other in any aspect of society even if it is living in the same community, or getting a new job. Second, they need to go after the employers who hire "Cheap" labor that bypass unions and skilled workers that are out of work. It is not the immigrants who are just taking advantage of opportunity. We need to teach our children that flipping burgers is o.k., and if not, someone else, such as immigrants will be proud to do so. If you look now at our children today, they won't do anything, they became overweight without any driving force in life. This is a prime result of our own fault, Congress and our local leaders setting a poor example infront of the next generation of Americans. They fight among each and in the mean while, someone is taking there spot because we are to stupid and busy to realize what is important in life. Don't blame immigrants, start teaching your own to be constructive, not distructive. Free Your Mind And America Will Follow.

    June 28, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
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