Illegal Immigration and Pardon Panels

05.11.10 | Dr. Stephen Coleman | Comments[2]

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There has been a lot in the news concerning illegal immigrants. Arizona recently passed a tough new law designed to crack down and arrest illegal immigrants. Some think the measure is long overdue, while others fear that it will result in racial profiling.

Closer to home, Pennsylvania Representative Daryl Metcalfe -- a Republican from Butler -- wants the Keystone State to pass a law like Arizona’s. Another Pennsylvania lawmaker from Delaware County -- Democrat and State Senator Daylin Leach -- disagrees. Representative Metcalfe feels getting tough on the estimated 140,000 illegal immigrants in Pennsylvania is long overdue, while Senator Leach fears racial profiling.

Interestingly enough, what is being debated and discussed in Pennsylvania mirrors the debate in Arizona. No doubt the heated debate over illegal immigration will continue. Let’s hope and pray that this issue is discussed with civility and compassion. Keep in mind that America is a nation of immigrants. By the way, despite all the talk about illegal immigration, keep in mind that millions of immigrants came to america legally, following the rules, and in pursuit of the American Dream.

New York Governor David Paterson did a very positive thing last week when he said he would establish a “pardon panel” to make recommendations to him on the pardoning of legal immigrants who may have long ago committed non-violent minor or petty offenses, who represent no threat or danger to society, and who do and will continue to make positive contributions where they live and where they work.  If pardoned by Governor Paterson, legal immigrants applying for citizenship will avoid deportation.

I think Governor David Paterson’s “pardon panel” initiative is fair, reasonable, just, and full of compassion. How about you? Comment below, or send me an email.

cc-wetm - tv- Dr. Coleman also airs commentaries and a public affairs program on WETM 18 Elmira. For more information on these programs, go to


Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 05.24.10 James commented

Dr. Coleman,

I was disgusted to listen to the President of Mexico lecture us about immigration policy when Mexico has some of the harshest immigration laws of any country in the world. What was even more disturbing was the standing ovation he got from some in Congress. Arizona's law against "illegal" immigration was passed by duely elected representatives and applies only to individuals suspected of committing a crime. It does not allow racial profiling and puts the onous of proof on the arresting officer. Mexico's law is the exact opposite. That to me is the heighth of hypocricy. Shame on President Obama for not condemning this agrecious affront to our national sovereignty.

on 05.24.10 Robert commented

Dr. Coleman,
You are right not to call for the deportation of legal immigrants suspected of petty crimes. If we shipped back every immigrant who got caught committing a minor offense, there's be a devestating effect on our service sector, farm labor, and retail industries.