The Corner

Re: It’s Not Just Illegals

Ramesh: You are of course right. In fact, part of the education process on

this issue is getting across to people that (A) responding to illegal

immigration, and (B) forming a coherent, sustainable, and nation-enriching

immigration policy are two very-nearly-independent issues. I suggested in a

column recently that they are in a sense OPPOSITE issues, like arson and


There is no logically-necessary connection between your opinions on A and

your opinions on B. (Though, human nature being what it is, in practice,

knowing a person’s opinions on A, it is not hard to make a decent guess

about his opinions on B, and vice versa.)

There would for example be nothing logically untenable about simultaneously

believing that illegal immigrants should all be rounded up and deported

without the option, AND believing that numbers of legal immigrants should be

hugely increased. I actually know someone who seems to hold these views.

(Though, in line with my previous parenthesis, I think that person is a

rarity.) You might even, though it would be a real logical stretch, believe

the converse thing: that illegal immigrants should be left alone, while

legal immigration should be stopped completely.

What is unconscionable is to go around referring to people who would like to

see the laws enforced “anti-immigrant.”