September 5, 2009

UM, NOT REALLY...:

Can we now debate immigration? (EDWARD SCHUMACHER-MATOS, September 5, 2009, North County Times)

Along U.S. borders and across the country, measures begun under the George W. Bush administration and refined and extended under President Barack Obama are reducing illegal entries, cracking down on employers and deporting immigrants with criminal records.

The results so far are such that, for the first time in its history, the nation is getting a handle on the enforcement side of controlling immigration. Some of the numbers are dramatic.

More adjustments are needed, especially the development of fraud-proof worker ID cards that would allow for even tighter control over jobs and employers, the most effective enforcement of all. But implementation of that will take more than a decade, and the current electronic system required of all federal contractors and in a growing number of states is now passably working.

What all this means is that it is now time for political leaders in both parties to take the debate away from the shrill extremists and give what upward of two-thirds of all Americans repeatedly tell pollsters they want, in addition to enforcement: Bring the roughly 12 million unauthorized immigrants out of the shadows by offering earned legalization that requires they undergo background checks, learn English and pay taxes; and expand temporary work programs that meet future needs for immigrant workers.


It was slowing economic growth--not least by killing immigration reform and botching the initial bank bail-out agreement--that slowed the immigrant flow. Legalization will crank the economy back up and restore the flow, not only via family reunification but because it will demonstrate once again that the wages of illegal immigration is amnesty. That's why reform should just open the borders for regularized mass immigration.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 5, 2009 7:50 AM
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