The Corner

Debating Immigration on the Right

The Washington Post reports today on an effort by some conservative proponents of comprehensive immigration reform to discredit the opponents as a bunch of pro-abortion population controllers. These attacks are unimpressive, and the people making them — including, I’m sad to say, the editors of Human Life Review – should be embarrassed.

Take, for example, the criticism of the Center for Immigration Studies that HLR published. It mentions a handful of unpersuasive CIS papers, some of them dating back 24 years, that fret about overpopulation in the U.S. These bits and pieces become “many research papers and other writings about population control” and “much of their material” — and a reason for pro-lifers not to listen to anything CIS says. Never mind that these papers don’t even mention abortion or euthanasia.

The HLR article concludes, “Organizations that would limit population growth through abortion, drugs, sterilization, and other methods are pursuing a radical anti-life agenda that undermines our country, freedom, prosperity, and morality” and calls for pro-lifers to denounce CIS and other groups. It presents zero evidence that CIS has promoted any of the methods mentioned.

Sometimes CIS and its executive director Mark Krikorian (a frequent contributor to NR and NRO) persuade me on immigration-related matters and sometimes not. I’m not going to stop considering what Krikorian has to say because his group publishes a wrongheaded paper now and then.

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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