The Corner

That “Conservative Statement”

I agreed with most of the first half of it, although I might disagree with the signers on just what it means to say that “America is a nation of immigrants” or that conservatives “believe in legal immigration.” But things take a sharp turn for the worse with the conclusory line “It has become clear that the only viable approach to reform is combining enforcement with additional legal avenues for those who wish to work in our economy, while also addressing the situation of those already here in the U.S.” No argument is provided for this claim, although the preceding lines do have bearing on it. Of course, “statements” of this sort are not under an obligation to provide arguments. I gather that the point was to establish that there are conservatives who support higher levels of legal immigration, a partial amnesty for illegal immigrants, and the rest. Fine: I have no trouble conceding that, although there aren’t a lot of conservative voters who agree with those positions. I am also happy to learn that Stuart Anderson and Tamar Jacoby are conservatives; I had no idea.

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.

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