The Corner

Amnesty for Terrorists

I generally stay out of the immigration debates around here. But I just have to chime on Mark’s post from last night in which he says a vote for amnesty is a vote to give citizenship to terrorists. I am against blanket amnesty (though I’m sure my definition of amnesty differs from Mark’s). And I am certainly against amnesty of any kind for terrorists. But let’s say for the sake of argument that we could come up with a form of amnesty or earned citizenship or something that most conservatives could agree on. Does it really make sense that such a plan should be scuttled because it might accidentally cover the .000000001% of immigrants who happen to be terrorists already living on our soil? Doesn’t this argument work for any public policy? I mean, I’m against nationalized medicine. But if I have to resort to saying that we can’t have it because it will result in members of al Qaeda getting prostate exams on my dime, I think I’ll have already lost the argument. These sorts of extreme-case arguments have a whiff of desperation to them.

Update: Math is hard! A reader takes out his calculator:

I love hyperbole better than anyone or anything at all, but your percentage seems silly. If I counted zeros properly, there would need to be 10 billion immigrants to have one terrorist among them.