Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: A panel discussion on immigration

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jan 24, 2014 4:22 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, January 27, 2014:

immigrants 300 x 170.jpg

State legislatures across the country considered and debated more than 500 immigration bills in 2013.

That's even though the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that immigration law is a federal responsibility in it's 2012 ruling that struck down a series of immigration bills enacted in Arizona.

States have taken immigration upon themselves because the U.S. Congress can not agree on a comprehensive bill that will address the millions of immigrants who are already in this country -- both legally and undocumented.

There was optimism immigration reform would get done last year because the two political parties seemed willing to work together.  Republicans, who often were more focused on border security and deporting undocumented immigrants, fared so poorly with Latino voters in the 2012 election that immigration reform was called a priority.

On Monday's Smart Talk, we'll host a panel discussion featuring an organization that represents immigrants in legal cases, an immigration attorney, another organization that deals with refugees, and an association that represents the needs of farmers.

Guests include: Sheila Mastropietro Office Director at Church World Service/Immigration and Refugee Program, Christian Herr Executive Vice President of PennAg Industries Association, Mary Weaver Executive Director of The Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC) and Oscar Barbosa an ‎Attorney at Diaspora Law.



Sheila Mastropietro, Christian Herr and Mary Weaver

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-01-27 09:29

    A listener emails:

    I thought the Dream Act was for young people who were brought to this country as children and grew up here. Are not children born in the US to immigrant parents Americans with all the rights of Americans?

    • Scott LaMar img 2014-01-27 10:25

      You're absolutely right about the Dream Act. I apologize for misspeaking.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-01-27 09:36

    A listener emails:

    The "Illegals" knowingly and illegally having gained access to this country. Knowing that all they had to do was" lay low" and exist, and have anchor babies. They have an underground culture that I'm sure a lot of us can only guess of. Furthermore there's no such thing as a job an American won't do. But there are jobs that don't "pay" Americans to do. Furthermore we never hear the voice of legal immigrants that have gone through the due process, applied and waited following the rules, only to see this abuse. Whatever it takes to control our borders first, "then see what to do with these millions of illegals. Furthermore the churches that supply a haven should be considered illegal(separation of church and state). And it's not just south and central America, the Asians also have a network that bring in their own. Immigration control should be a priority, we don't know whom or what is here. The future is that the Northern Hemispheres are being over run by those fleeing famine, poverty and some type of conflict. Europe is going through an even worse scenario. But this isn't a temporary surge, this is a situation that needs control. In the interim, there shouldn't be drivers licenses or any other situation to be provided. THEY’RE ILLEGAL.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-01-27 09:37

    A listener emails:

    I disagree with your panelist stating that Americans won’t work the agricultural jobs. If we stop extending unemployment and start forcing Americans to get a job to survive, they WILL work. Our system makes it far too easy for people who CAN work to NOT work and still have the life they want.

  • Scott LaMar img 2014-01-31 15:00

    Rich comments:
    Conversation about immigration reform and the frequent advocacy of reducing restrictions on the entry of more people into the U.S. tends to ignore the impact of U.S. population growth on the carrying capacity of our nation's natural and built environment. The negative impact of continued population growth regionally in the Harrisburg and Lancaster County areas is obvious, including traffic congestion, loss of open space by conversion of farm land into housing developments, and stress on water supplies and social services. Growth in the U.S. population cannot be endless, regardless of continued technological advances, without a significant decrease in the quality of life for present and future generations.

    Discussion of these and other problems of population growth locally and nationally often ignore the elephant in the room: too many people. Are there any thoughtful analyses and policy proposals for responding to this root cause of many of the problems in society? Maybe sometime you could have a program on this topic.


    Rich Carroll

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