The Corner

Re: Details Matter

Mark, your report on the family unification provisions is an eye-opener. The shift from family unification to merit-based immigration has seemed to be one of the only good things about this bill. Certainly the media has presented family unification reform as a major concession to conservatives, and liberal legislators have voiced concerns about just this part of the bill. Based on your report, however, it begins to look as though the family unification provisions are actually a major defeat for conservatives. I posted last week on the dangers of immigration via family unification. When applied to cultures built around extended families, chain migration through family unification is a recipe for failed assimilation. If you’re right about what Kennedy has achieved with clever writing, then this bill is more than just a bad compromise for conservatives–it’s an utter rout. On the good side, maybe senators will find it easier to back off of the so-called compromise by pointing to this trick and saying that, after reading the fine print, they can no longer support the bill.