Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

June 23, 2011

Goshen's first illegal immigration forum sets a tone

GOSHEN — Significant disagreements remain, but a civil conversation has begun.

The Community Relations Commission’s forum on immigration filled the Goshen High School auditorium Thursday evening, with healthy representation from both sides of the issue in the audience, as well as on stage. Of those on the stage, the first to take the microphone after introductions was keynote speaker Steve Nolt, who discussed the historical background of immigration in the United States, which he called the narrative of the country’s history.

According to Nolt, more people have entered the country than left every year from 1600 to the present with the exception of 1932-35, during the Great Depression. Additionally, the percentage of U.S. residents that were foreign-born remained at a relative constant of between 13 and 14 percent for much of the country’s history, but hit an odd low point in 1970 of just 4.7 percent before climbing back to 12.5 percent by 2009. Nolt believes that is significant.

“If you want to know what issues are difficult for policymakers to deal with, look back 40 years, what life was like 40 years ago,” Nolt said. “Because often the most important, most influential policymakers at any point in time are people whose formative influences are 40 years old.”

Taking control

Immigration wasn’t controlled until 1875, Nolt explained, when the U.S. Supreme Court designated immigration as an exclusively federal domain. For the following 40 years or so, various restrictions were put in place, largely aiming to block Asian immigrants, but Mexico and Canada were repeatedly exempt from those measures. It was not until 1942 with the Bracero worker program that Mexicans were directly addressed by U.S. immigrations policy, followed by a 1954 program to round up those Bracero workers who did not return to Mexico and send them back.

It wasn’t until 1965 and the enacting of the Hart-Celler Act that the roots of modern immigration law were put down. The act did away with racially discriminating categories from earlier 1924 legislation, limited the number of immigrants from the western hemisphere for the first time, officially ended the Bracero program and retained a cap on the total number of immigrants allowed into the country each year, but allotted visa slots in a way that “de-emphasized work skills and employment preferences,” according to Nolt.

Since 1990, Nolt said, the emphasis of debate on immigration has been on border enforcement.

For his part, respondent Bob Schrameyer of Citizens for Immigration Law Enforcement said his main argument is simple.

“We have laws on the books, we just need to enforce them,” Schrameyer said. “Why haven’t they been enforced? Power and money.”

Schrameyer referenced the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which he said gave amnesty to more than 2 million illegal immigrants and created the I-9 citizenship form, used by employers to verify employees’ identification. Schrameyer said the act was a failure because the law wasn’t enforced and the borders were not secured.

“So, who’s the loser in all this?” Schrameyer said. “The American worker.”

Schrameyer also referenced estimates that the U.S. cost related to illegal immigration is roughly $113 billion each year, with approximately $84 billion absorbed by the states, $608,000 by Indiana.

Text Only
Local News
  • GN140421 easter egg hunt 05 Local churches worship, have fun on Easter holiday GOSHEN Encouraged by bright blue skies and near-perfect temperatures in the low 70’s, families and churches from all across Goshen took to their yards Sunday afternoon to participate in a time-honored tradition: the Easter egg hunt. Included among th

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • GN140420 ysk kalil 01.jpg You Should Know: Anthony Kalil GOSHEN -- Goshen native Anthony Kalil has been awarded a Richard Trucker Career Grant, which includes a $10,000 cash prize. He currently lives in New York. The grant is awarded to three of America's top young opera singers who are selected after a by

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140420 The 39 Steps Taking 'Steps' in Bristol BRISTOL -- The Elkhart Civic Theatre crew is set to present the classic Alfred Hitchcock mystery "The 39 Steps" at The Bristol Opera House. Performances of "The 39 Steps" are planned for two weekends -- this coming Friday and Saturday and May 2 and 3

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140420 Kokomo Tornado 03 Recent decisions by FEMA have frustrated state and local leaders KOKOMO, Ind. -- Pamela Jackson thought she was lucky to escape harm as a tornado bore down on her neighborhood last November. She huddled in a bathroom with her two disabled sons, critically ill husband and six other family members as the twister ble

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140418 ghs high mileage team 12.jpg Goshen High School Super Mileage team to compete in national competition for third straight year GOSHEN -- The Goshen High School Super Mileage team is heading to Houston this week to compete in the Shell Eco Marathon for the third consecutive year. The team, led by engineering technology teacher J.J. Johnson, is taking two cars to the competiti

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • BIZ GN0420 tech talk image Mistakes businesses make with their home page Mistakes businesses make with their home page

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140420 boston marathon 04.jpg Undeterred by last year's bombing, several locals return for Monday's Boston Marathon GOSHEN "Boston Strong" is the moniker that emerged from Boston a year ago, describing the way people dealt with the tragic events that marred the 117th annual running of the Boston Marathon. Three spectators were killed and 264 more people injured w

    April 19, 2014 5 Photos

  • GN140419 good friday 04 Local Christians reflect in advance of Easter Sunday GOSHEN - Members of the community gathered at First Presbyterian Church of Goshen to observe Good Friday with a Stations of the Cross tour.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Briefly Elkhart Store opens at mall Creative Life Memories is now open at Concord Mall. The store is owned by Jose Elizalde, a native of Chicago, Goshen College graduate and resident of Elkhart County. CLM specializes in engraving and personalizing small gif

    April 19, 2014

  • GN140419 cyclists return 05 Trio of GC alums return from Pan-American trek GOSHEN — The dream for a pan-American cycling adventure was born for Levi Smucker, Abe Stucky, and Michael Miller on the couches in a dormitory room at Goshen College in late 2010,

    April 18, 2014 5 Photos


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest