The Corner

Sowell on Republican Immigration Folly

Thomas Sowell’s been making sense on public-policy issues for nearly five decades. As NR readers know full well, he has a preternatural gift for dissecting the fuzzy nostrums of the political class and doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

On the home page today, he slices and dices Republican slouching toward amnesty. Just a few lines:

Listening to discussions of immigration laws and proposals to reform them is like listening to something out of Alice in Wonderland.

Immigration laws are the only laws that are discussed in terms of how to help people who break them. One of the big problems that those who are pushing “comprehensive immigration reform” want solved is how to help people who came here illegally and are now “living in the shadows” as a result.

What about embezzlers or burglars who are “living in the shadows” in fear that someone will discover their crimes? Why not “reform” the laws against embezzlement or burglary so that such people can also come out of the shadows?

One of the striking things about the entire immigration debate over the last year is how little discussion there’s been about reform that benefits America and Americans as a whole. Sure, there’s been some talk about how some aspect of “reform” benefits, say, the hospitality industry, Silicon Valley, a political party, or some other narrow segment of the country. But precious little discussion about how “comprehensive reform” makes the United States stronger and improves the lot of everyday citizens. Rather, the overwhelming bulk of the discussion has been about helping and regularizing illegal immigrants.

Shouldn’t our representatives be devoting just a wee bit of attention to us?

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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