Magazine June 7, 2010, Issue

The Immigration Impasse

(Roman Genn)
To move beyond it, conservatives must plot a course of compromise with one another

The new Arizona law against illegal immigration has brought to the surface an intraconservative division that has not been in public view since the failure of President Bush’s push for immigration legislation in 2006–07. Most conservatives, like most of the public, have supported the law, but the initial comments of several prominent conservatives — notably Karl Rove, Marco Rubio, and Jeb Bush — were hostile. Some conservative columnists and activists have also attacked the legislation.

The Right’s division on immigration cuts across the usual lines: There are social conservatives, hawks, and economic conservatives in each camp. The division goes deep: It …

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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