Immigration Debate : Ed Norris Show on CBS Affiliate24 May 2007
On Monday, May 21, 2007, I was on a 2 hour radio talk show at the local CBS affiliate in Baltimore, with emcee Ed Norris, former New York and Maryland Police Commissioner.
On my panel were the former ICE agent William Ramey and Pat McDonough, the Maryland Delegate both of whom are strong anti-immigrant advocates. I believe that they are well meaning but they do not really seem to understand the nuances of immigration law and the incredible benefits that immigrants can bring to America! Among the three of us on the panel, the two of them kept trying to hit hard about how immigrants take away all our resources, commit crimes and are bad for the economy by using health care facilities and working in jobs that Americans can. I kept pointing out with statistics and data from various AILA and AILF materials along with articles from the New York Times and other media the net benefit to the U.S. economy with immigrants.
At the end, they seemed to say that it was not fair that they had to respond to a strong pro-immigrant person who in their opinion is not the “normal” type of “free loading” illegal immigrant to the U.S. so that I may have been giving a skewed perspective with my own life and example as a successful immigrant. I disagreed with them even on this issue which they thought they were giving me a compliment by responding that I know that I am just one of many, many successful immigrants in the U.S. In fact, it is a fact that so many wildly successful entrepreneurs of technology and other businesses are immigrants and that without them the U.S. economy would be much worse off. We would not be the world leader in things like information technology without the contributions of our immigrants.
At the end, Mr. Norris, the radio talk show host said he really found the discussions and debate enjoyable and vibrant and he wants to invite me back regularly for his talk shows on immigration law and policy!