On Your World today with David Asman sitting in for Neil Cavuto.
Asman: This is a Fox News Alert, President Bush in Cancun, Mexico, meeting with Mexico’s President Vincente Fox as we speak. We’re expecting videotape and possible comments from that meeting a little later in this hour. As soon as we see it, you’re going to see it, right here on Fox.
Well, it’s expected to be a very touchy meeting. The issue: Illegal aliens from Mexico pouring over the border on a daily basis, sure to be high on the agenda. Welcome everybody, I’m David Asman in for Neil Cavuto, this is Your World.
One area on immigration reform that both Bush and Mexican President Fox do see eye to eye on is the guest worker program. Critics say that amounts to basically amnesty to illegals. So is that fair to legal immigrants who played by the rules to get into this country? No way says Claudia Spencer, a Mexican immigrant who became a legal citizen of the U.S. She joins us now from San Diego. But Maria Elena Salianas, news anchor for Univision disagrees. She is also the author of I Am My Father’s Daughter: Living a Life Without Secrets. Thanks to you both.
Claudia, first to you. Now, you immigrated legally from Mexico, you went through the whole process. Is the guest worker program fair to those people who came here legally?
Spencer: It is not fair at all. But most of all it is not fair to people who were born in this country.
Asman: Why not?
Spencer: It is not fair because people come here illegally are breaking the laws. And nobody that breaks the law deserves to be in this country and be granted with amnesty.
Asman: Sounds very simple, clear, to the point Maria Elena.
Salinas: Well, I can tell you one thing, I was born in this country, I am an American citizen. I do think it’s fair, I do not think it’s not fair. As a matter of fact, my father was an undocumented immigrant and I’d hate to categorize him as a criminal. I believe that undocumented immigrants…
Asman: But he was breaking the law Maria Elena.
Salinas: I don’t like to call them illegal aliens, I like to call them undocumented immigrants, have a lot to contribute to this country. They have been contributing to this country for decades from all over the world, not only the ones that have come in the recent years from Mexico and other Latin American countries. They add to our economy. They contribute at least $22 billion a year to our economy. The do the jobs that American citizens just do not want to accept.
Asman: But Maria Elena, bottom line is… Hold on a second ladies. Maria Elena, if you’re illegal, you are, by definition, breaking the law, are you not?
Spencer: Exactly. You are illegal.
Salinas: Not necessarily.
Spencer: You are breaking the law.
Salinas: There’s a lot of people who jaywalk and are breaking the law. I don’t think any human being can be considered illegal. A person who does not have documents, who is not a citizen or resident, a legal resident, is an undocumented immigrant.
Salinas: And this is a reality of this society. It has been for many years.
Asman: Hold on a second, Maria Elena. Go ahead Claudia.
Spencer: Then if you think these people are not breaking the laws, why do you think the laws were made? Just to laugh at them? There is no reason to break the law.
Salinas: No Claudia, I am sure, I’m sure that there’s law abiding citizens, there’s law abiding legal immigrants, as I’m sure you are. And there are law abiding undocumented immigrants who are here only to work.
Asman: Go ahead Claudia.
Spencer: There is no reason to come to another country and invade it just because we are hungry. Because we need to work. I was work. You were born here. I was born in Mexico. I was born in a very poor, a very poor environment. I was living in a very, very poor house made of cardboard. And you know what? My father worked so hard in Mexico and I went to college. I am an architect today as well as my siblings.
Asman: God bless you Claudia. Maria Elena, that’s testimony.
Salinas: I come from a poor family, and we didn’t live in a cardboard house, but we did live in a house that had a lot of cockroaches unfortunately. So, my father also worked very, very hard to be able to support three daughters and a wife. And I must say that two sisters and I have been very productive citizens of this country. We have contributed very much…
Spencer: Okay Maria Elena… let me tell you…
Salinas: Not only with the taxes that we pay, but to culturally, we’ve contributed to this country.
Asman: Claudia, go ahead. Hold on Maria Elena. Go ahead Claudia.
Spencer: Maria Elena, the issue here…
Salinas: Yes Claudia.
Spencer: is that people are breaking the laws. There is no reason to break the laws. No reason. If people are hungry they should…
Asman: Hold on Maria Elena, let her make her point Maria Elena. Go ahead Claudia.
Spencer: You know what? The United States doesn’t have to pay for the consequences of poorness in Mexico. You know? There is no reason. The United States …
Salinas: Or any other part of the world too.
Spencer: Yes. So, if people want to come to this country, they are very welcome to come. But they should have permission to enter the country before they get here. Be sure…
Salinas: I agree with you…
Salinas: A guest worker program that allows the legal means to allow some of these workers to get in. You have to deal with the necessity in this country for a workforce. And you also have to deal with the ones that are already here.
Asman: Ladies, we have to leave it there. Maria Elena Salinas, of course you did great, we’ve seen you on television before. But Claudia Spencer you also did great. I guess this is your premiere on television. Thank you very much.
Maria Elena kept interrupting Claudia Spencer and didn’t seem to want to let her get her point across.
I think that the most important quote here was from Claudia Spencer:
“The United States doesn’t have to pay for the consequences of poorness in Mexico.”
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