The Corner

The Limits of The Possible

Many, many pro-amnesty op-eds depend crucially on the idea that there are no alternatives but the status quo, deporting 8-10 million illegals, and amnesty. Stephen Bainbridge has one of these pieces up today at TCS. (He notes that illegals won’t get a leg up on legal immigrants in the race for green cards, based on the president’s words. Fine. But they will still have an advantage over legal immigrants–the chance to work in America, and with official approval. If getting a paycheck here is your goal, are you better off under Bush’s plan waiting in line or having hopped the border? To ask is to answer.) The end of the article is a classic. We are not just told that we can’t deport all the illegals, that it would be undesirable to do so, etc. Instead, we are told that it is a “utopian dream that we can deport and deter illegal immigrants.” A utopian dream! Maybe if the word “all” was in front of “illegal” in that sentence, this would be plausible.

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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