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Local views on immigration policy

Street Smarts

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Congress is attempting to tackle immigration policy and reform. Of course, it’s not the first time. Might it be the last, at least for a while?

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Michael Mangan of the west side is a security officer

What are your thoughts on immigration reform? I think reform would be a good thing, because our economy is hurting, and jobs should go to legal residents first. I was a Marine, and you always take care of your own first.

What about the children of illegal immigrants, who were brought here by their parents? If the kids have grown up here, and have been here a decade or maybe 15 years and they speak English, then it should be easier for them. Speaking English would really help.

Does your faith or your religion have any influence on your opinion? No, it's not a huge influence on my opinion. Some things are strictly political — like rules and regulations.

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Joseph Gatelein of the central area is a landscaper

What do you think the goal of immigration reform should be? To reduce the number of illegals, and reduce the number of people working under falsified documentation. They should eliminate that as a problem.

Does your faith or your religion have any influence on your opinion? No. I'm a Buddhist, and we stay out of politics. Each sect is different, but the one I'm in is neutral.

Will reform affect you, or your friends or family directly? No, not really. Most of the people I know and work with were born and raised here.

If you had any input for the upcoming discussions in Congress, what would it be? Stop the "fast track." It's not fair to people who took the proper steps to get here legally.

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Julia Richmond of the north side is retired military

How do you feel about immigration reform? There definitely needs to be reform, because what we have in place right now isn't working. A process needs to be in place.

What do you think the goal of reform should be? It should be fair, so that recent immigrants don't get better benefits than service members or citizens. Service members are sensitive to protecting our benefits.

Does your faith or religion have any influence on your opinion? No, not at all.

Will reform directly affect anyone you know? No, we were in the military for 20 years, so it won't really affect anyone I know directly.

Do you think you could pass the test for U.S. citizenship? Yes; in one of our leadership classes we had to pass the test, and we did pretty well.

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