The Corner

Don’T Be Sorry, Ramesh

I don’t claim to be on intimate terms with this plan either. And I, too, look forward to Mark’s takeout which I’m sure will be very persuasive. But if my sources are accurate Mark’s case is against “amnesty” for illegal aliens. I agree with that — and the Bush folks claim they agree, too. Now maybe they’re just lying liars telling lies but let’s at least consider the possibility that they mean what they say. The administration is arguing that unlike the blanket amnesty enacted in 1986, their plan would not reward illegal aliens with an automatic path to citizenship. President Bush is asking instead for legislation that will offer only temporary worker status for those illegal aliens gainfully employed – not for those illegally aliens who are unemployed. That implies that once this legislation is in place there would be less incentive for someone to cross the border illegally to look for work since (1) employers would be less eager to ignore his illegal status and (2) being an illegal alien would be a more serious matter. Again, it may not work out that way in practice, but is the idea so bad? It’s not perfect, but why make the perfect the enemy of the good – especially when we know that the perfect is not politically achievable? And this approach, if it succeeds, would promote what you correctly say should be the goal of limiting the total number of legal immigrants and reducing the number of illegal immigrants.

Clifford D. MayClifford D. May is an American journalist and editor. He is the president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a conservative policy institute created shortly after the 9/11 attacks, ...