The Corner

Re: Major Quibble

Heather can more than speak for herself. But since the argument in favor of lax immigration enforcement is largely an economic one — illegal immigrants do the jobs Americans are allegedly unwilling to do, they’re purportedly a net gain for tax revenues because they pay sales taxes (and sometimes social security taxes), etc., etc., — mightn’t it be just a teensy-weensy bit relevant if it turns out that the education, health-care, and criminal justice costs of illegal immigration exacerbate an already bad economy? 

Pace Richard Nadler, the objection to illegals has never been just that they’re illegal. There are all sorts of things that are illegal; we don’t address all of them, and the extent to which we address those we choose to address is a function of what societal damage they cause beyond the mere fact that their illegality promotes disrespect for the law. Why should illegal immigration not be viewed in that framework, just like every other criminal-enforcement problem in a system such as ours, premised on prosecutorial discretion?

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