Too much of an illegal thing?

Fred Barnes is spot-on in his analysis of President Bush’s immigration reform proposal. Barnes’ verdict? “Good idea, bad plan.” According to Barnes:
“There are two things to be said about President Bush’s new plan for dealing with illegal immigrants. The first is that the plan reflects a beautiful sentiment. Immigrants slip into the United States illegally for all the right reasons. They want to find jobs, raise families, and decide their own destiny. They enrich America with their energy and their enthusiasm for freedom. This country would be far worse off without them.
“The second thing to say about the Bush plan? It won’t work. It doesn’t stand a chance for two reasons. Illegal immigrants who would get special working permits for three years are never going back to their home countries. And the existence of a reward for illegally coming to America, namely the working permit, is bound to spur unlawful immigration, not curtail it.”
Supporters of the Bush plan argue that the status quo is a muddle and that we can neither deport most illegal immigrants (even assuming that this is a good idea) nor prevent more illegal immigration. The first two points are well-taken, I think. The third point is debatable. As Tony Blankley points out, it is not as if there has been “a failed Herculean, decades-long national effort to secure our borders.” In any event, the Bush plan will likely encourage much more illegal immigration than is occurring under the status quo. Unless one favors a completely open border, Barnes’ verdict seems correct.


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