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C-SPAN Sets Up Separate Phone Line for Illegal Immigrants to Call In


"We beg the American people to forgive us for being here illegally..."

For years, C-SPAN has taken phone calls for its daily call-in shows from Republicans, Democrats and Independents.

On Monday morning, the public affairs channel set up a new phone line for a segment on illegal immigration — one that illegal immigrants could use to call the show.

"We do have a fourth line for this segment," said C-SPAN host Paul Orgel. "These are for folks who are here in the U.S. illegally, illegally here in the U.S."

"Your number is 202-585-3883, we certainly hope you'll call in as well and share your situation and your thoughts on everything that's happening here in Washington," he said.

The show featured a Los Angeles Times reporter, and during the 43-minute segment, two illegal immigrants called in. Dan, an illegal immigrant from New York, insisted that he was "playing by the rules" because he paid his taxes every year, although he indicated his legal status in the country is not certain.

When asked if he had a message for Washington DC, Dan indicated that Congress should find some way to grant legal status for skilled workers. Dan said he is a tailor who makes hand-made clothes, and has a daughter.

"I don't know why the Republicans and the Democrats cannot come to a solution where they can actually give at least the skillful workers… focus on skillful workers," he said. "The people who are paying into the system, they're going by the rules on everything."

Another man, Francis from Virginia, implored Republicans to allow flexibility for people who have lived in the country for years. Francis said he has been in the United States for 24 years, and admitted he violated U.S. immigration laws.

"We have committed a crime, and we beg the American people to forgive us for being here illegally," he said.

But Francis said "Republicans are the problem" for not allowing a debate and a vote on legislation that would make illegal residents legal.

"We're sorry America, we're begging you," he said.

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