We Asked: pathway to citizenship?

The Question: Do you support providing a path to citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants already in this country?

Alfredo Vasquez
Bilingual education junior from Brownsville

Yeah, I do. Their work is really important here. Not everybody values it, but yeah, I think they help out the economy a lot. A lot of them are exploited. So yeah, I mean, I totally support that.

Adriana Chavez
Economics freshman from Laredo

I would have to say that I don’t support that just because, where I grew up, most people living in there were immigrated and they did not have citizenship, and I feel like most of them get a lot of welfare and child support from funds that shouldn’t be going towards them because they’re not here legally. So giving them the right to be legal in the United States, I feel, would just be like another setback to us. Plus, we have very bad economic issues right now.

Merrill Eng
UT class of ‘08, Bachelor of Architecture, from Austin

Yeah, for sure. I feel like people would be helped if they had all the rights of citizenship, and we would be helping ourselves to retain the best and brightest aspiring workers from whatever nationality. I think it’s in America’s best interest.

Vincent Steil
Electrical engineering junior from Berlin, Germany

In short, yes. Mainly because you’re not going to find and get rid of the undocumented immigrants. And if you want to prevent basically creating a permanent underclass of people living in your country, probably in very bad conditions, you have to find some way of legitimizing the whole thing. Also, I’m pretty sure that every undocumented immigrant is not paying taxes for whatever work he’s doing, so you’re losing out on a large swath of revenue that you could get rather easily because, most often, people who are undocumented immigrants are doing work that Americans — well, I’m going to say white, middle-class Americans — simply don’t want to do. Thus, the negative stigma that it has. But really, you’re not too much in competition for those jobs.

Sarah Biggs
Psychology senior from Amarillo

I would say, Yes, I do. I personally don’t feel very well-versed on this issue, but I have an acquaintance who is here legally, but she’s not currently a U.S. citizen, and so I think she knows more about this issue. And recently she made a post on Facebook, basically saying, “Yeah, I do support this.” Or at least most of what [President Obama] is saying. So, in general, I do think it’s a good idea to try to find a way to help these people become citizens if they want to be, and actually get them to pay taxes and stuff like that, so they’re actually working with the system.

Trisha Talamantez
Business senior from San Antonio

I think I would support it if it required what it is for a person to become a citizen. I think, definitely, if they meet the standards that are set out for them, then I think it’d be fine.

Jonathan Cha
Biochemistry sophomore from Dallas

I do kind of support the idea of how non-citizens could now … become citizens. But I kind of find it a problem that with them increasing in number that they might take away a lot of job opportunities, actually.