The Corner

Re: Marco Rubio, Rush Limbaugh, and the Crux of the Matter

Mario: I’m confused. You started your post by defending Rubio’s “comprehensive” amnesty proposal, but at the end you make a strong case for universal use of the E-Verify system. So why not just pass E-Verify, and see how it goes? Such a measure could be combined with, say, amnesty for illegals who came before age ten, as a way to give each side something. That’s the kind of “piecemeal reform emphasizing empirical security benchmarks,” in the words of the NRO editorial, that can actually lead to progress.

The Ted Kennedy Testimonial Immigration Plan that Rubio has lashed himself to, on the other hand, is guaranteed to lead to a whole new crop of illegal aliens a few years down the road because the promised enforcement will be abandoned as soon as the illegals are amnestied, which happens on “Day One” in the words of Chuck Schumer, whose staff actually wrote the proposal. What’s more, the Democrats will relabel the green-card-lite that all illegal aliens will get (which allows a work permit, Social Security number, driver’s license, etc.) a “Jim Crow immigration status” forced on them by the evil Republicans, and campaign against it. As a consequence, Republicans might get even less of the Hispanic vote than they do now, and the same Republicans calling for amnesty now will be saying we have to bow to political reality and convert all the probationary visas into green cards.

We can’t “solve the problem of illegal immigration,” as you write, in our generation or any other. Rather, we will need to manage immigration, and work to minimize lawbreaking, as long as our Republic continues. Targeted, incremental reforms are the best way to achieve that, rather than the comprehensive, Obamacare-style approach that Schumer, McCain, Obama, and Rubio are pursuing.

Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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