Just a few thoughts on a debate in which very few are performing honorably:
- It remains a stubborn fact that 75 percent of Republican voters support immigration reform "that combines increased border and workplace enforcement with a guest-worker system for newcomers and a multiyear path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here."
- Even so, the Senate bill is deeply flawed and must not pass in its present form, as this Washington Times editorial argues. For example, there's no reason why the bill should prohibit state and local police from detaining illegal aliens for being in the country illegally. The legislation is full of little goodies like that.
- Still, I cannot shake the feeling that the hard-core opponents of comprehensive immigration reform are using the many flaws in the Senate bill as excuses for opposing it. Those folks would oppose anything short of requiring all illegals to leave the country.
And everyone ought to consider trying to implement the will of the great majority of Americans who want comprehensive reform.
Update: Ruben Navarrette, whose writing on this subject is always excellent, observes:
Putting off immigration reform until we "secure the border" is like saying we're going to put off welfare reform until we end poverty, or that we shouldn't curb racial preferences until we end inequality. Here's the thing: We're never going to end poverty or inequality, just as we'll never totally secure the border. If we wait for that goal to be achieved before going on to the next phase, we'll be waiting forever.Read Navarrette's entire piece, especially his ideas about what "comprehensive enforcement" means. If you think he's an "open borders" advocate, you will be surprised.
It doesn't help that with their knee-jerk "enforcement only" approach, House Republicans took a powder on the tough issue -- namely, what to do with 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants who are already in the United States. In fact, these wannabe hard-liners don't even have the faintest clue about how to prevent additional illegal immigrants from entering the country. They might understand the issue better had they paid more attention to the experts during their recent round of photo-ops, er, I mean, field hearings, on immigration reform.
Update 2: I forgot to link to Navarrette in my initial post. With apologies, here's the link.