The Corner

Legal Status Plus™

Much of the last few days’ debate over the Schumer/Rubio immigration plan has revolved around the issue of what will be required to move from the probationary legal status that illegal aliens will get on Day One (green-card-lite, basically) to full green card status. Critics point out the probationary status is all most illegal aliens will need, since it gives them access to a work permit, genuine Social Security number, driver’s license, the ability to travel abroad, and anything else they’d need to live a perfectly normal life here.

That’s all true, and here’s a way to think about it that just occurred to me. Millions of people have downloaded the free version of popular software programs, like RealPlayer or Flash. But there are pay versions of these programs, too, that include more features. I don’t know what the proportions are, but I’d guess the number of people who download the free versions is orders of magnitude greater than the number who pay for the premium options.

It’s the same with the versions of amnesty offered in the Senate framework. Probationary legal status is the free version which is all most illegal aliens will ever need. Some would want to purchase the premium package if it became available, but even if it didn’t, the free version would be good enough.

Giving away free software may or may not be good practice for a business. But giving away free amnesty is definitely not a good deal for America.


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