Immigration Reform

Despite the bitter political divide in Congress over the solution to the nation’s illegal-immigration problem, a sensible consensus already exists: our boundaries must be secured and the massive flow of immigrants across the Mexican-U.S. border regulated, while at the same time a path to citizenship must be made available to the more than 11 million undocumented aliens already in the country.

How to police the border and what steps illegal immigrants should be required to take to qualify for citizenship are rightfully matters of debate and eventual political compromise. What should be rejected out of hand, however, is the call for mass deportation of those here illegally. Regaining control of immigration does not necessitate turning the United States into a virtual police state.

Despite his problematic proposals for a guest-worker program, technological quick fixes, and deployment of the National Guard, President George W. Bush fortunately sought to steer a middle course on this issue in his speech last month. The president’s own party (especially House Republicans) is having none of it, however. The draconian bill passed by the House in December calls for mass deportations, the militarization of the U.S.-Mexican border, and the prosecution of those—even social workers—who assist illegal immigrants. The House bill is shameful political posturing, as unworkable as it is inflammatory. Thanks...

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