Saturday, April 08, 2006

Realism on Immigration

If a government were creating its immigration laws in a vacuum, it would put in place laws that would allow for levels of immigration consistent with the needs of the country. It would provide for an administrative system that would be sufficient to manage its immigration program. It would create structures that would appropriately secure the nation's borders and that would require that anyone entering the country do so appropriately or face deportation.

Many people discussing the current immigration debate seem to argue as though laws are being passed in a vacuum. They are not.

America's immigration system, both in terms of processing those entering the country legally and in terms of keeping out those entering illegally, has been a mess for decades. The result is a national illegal immigration population that is somewhere in the neighborhood of twice the population of Tennessee. Those on the left who talk as though that can be ignored and that it is somehow not relevant that U.S. laws are openly flaunted are wrong. On the other hand, those who would respond to the decidedly non-vacuum situation we find ourselves in with tough talk and incarcerations are not talking in realistic terms, and may end up doing great damage.

The United States needs secure borders, and along with them a reasonable immigration policy. Along with it, the United States needs to arrive at a solution to the presence of large numbers of illegals who are in such a state partly as a result of an immigration labyrinth that bears no resemblance to a system.

Those who think we can roll in buses and send them all away are living in a world that does not exist.

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