Ms. Charen says lots of good things in her most recent op-ed.
I’ve been quiet on this debate because I find myself in the unfamiliar position of moderate. I cannot rejoice with so many of my conservative friends over the defeat of immigration reform, yet neither would I have been happy to see the legislation passed in the form it was offered.
I persist in feeling well disposed toward those who wish to become Americans (particularly Catholics from Latin America, as I believe these are eminently assimilable populations), and I do fret that the Republican Party may have inflicted serious political damage on itself by appearing to be anti-immigrant.
I have heard nothing to convince me that the illegal immigration problem is not a reflection of legal immigration quotas that are too low. We have a full employment economy and a poor neighbor to the south. Is it any shock that employers are loath to turn away willing workers or that impoverished people are streaming across the Rio Grande? Are these low-skilled workers? You bet. Do we need them? Arguably yes.
Quotas are too low. The bill tried to deal with it by allowing temporary workers, but did nothing about quotas.
The greatest benefit of immigration by far is not what it does for the immigrant (though that is huge) but what it does for America — assuring a steady stream of newcomers who do not take the blessings of liberty for granted but cherish them. Many opponents of immigration are worried about diluting our culture. I’m far more worried about the hollowing out from within. We scarcely teach our own children to love America, far less inculcate patriotism in immigrants.
Again spot on.
If I were writing the law all by myself, I’d increase the legal immigration levels, beef up border enforcement, establish a national ID card so that we could really know who is here, and reform welfare so that only those who truly want to work would be tempted to immigrate. I’d also reform education to convey the greatness of this nation (warts and all). So here I am, in the awkward middle.
Well, except for the national ID card (how is this different from RealID?), not much to really argue with. So why don’t the politicians get it?