The Corner

Bainbridge Responds

He concedes that his point would have been stated more precisely as: “It is a utopian dream to deport or to deter all illegal immigrants.” But he thinks the word “all” was implied, and seems to regard my criticism as trivial. I don’t think that it is trivial. The impossibility of deporting or deterring all illegal immigrants can’t be an important reason to support the Bush amnesty. What if there are policies that would substantially reduce the illegal population over time? Shouldn’t we at least give them a try before concluding that it is impossible? Why should a discussion of the issue present the choice as all-or-nothing, and conclude with a truism about the impossibility of deporting all illegal immigrants?

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.