Sound Off on the Immigration Reform Deal


ACRU Staff


May 20, 2007

Wall Street, or at least the Wall Street Journal, seems quite satisfied with the immigration deal brokered late last week between the White House and the Senate. Said the opinion editors of the esteemed business journal, it “looks like the best chance in years to balance border security with human and economic realities.” In the article, “Immigration Opening: The Bush-Kennedy Proposal’s Vices and Virtues,” the editors look favorably upon the smooth glide path to legal status provided for the 12 million undocumented aliens living in the U.S., thinking that good for the American economy. However, the Wall Street Journal looks less favorably upon the merit-based restrictions the deal would purportedly put on future immigration. And they strongly dislike the harsher “guest worker” policies, border control provisions, and employer-sanctions against those who would hire illegal aliens.

Meanwhile, many other conservatives are up in arms about the whole deal. Regardless of what the bill’s proponents want to call it, these critics say it amounts to amnesty, of rewarding foreign nationals for breaking our immigration laws. Further, they say that the new “restrictions” this deal would impose on immigration and “guest workers” are highly fungible, likely to be ignored as so much chaff, just as previous laws and restrictions have been so cavalierly ignored following past immigration reforms. And the bill’s attempt to tighten the sieve that is the U.S.-Mexican border amounts to a Band-Aid on a porous dike, that will be quickly overwhelmed by the great demand created through our awarding of amnesty to previous waves of illegal aliens. Perhaps most devastating, some of these critics reveal that fifty years of history with such huge immigration reform bills has shown, again and again, that the results are always far different than those predicted by the bills’ sponsors, and have always resulted in the opening of the illegal immigration floodgates.

With various views in between, the above summarizes the “basically pro” versus the “definitely con” views of the pundits following word of the immigration reform deal brokered last week by national leaders. Though it must be said that at 700-plus pages, crafted in secrecy, details of the bill are still trickling out.

What do you think?

Last week I provided a link to, and summarized the broad principles outlined in, a Backgrounder paper penned by ACRU Policy Board member Ed Meese and Dr. Matthew Spalding of the Heritage Foundation. Is this bill consistent with the principles and policy recommendations laid out in the paper, “Where We Stand: Essential Requirements for Immigration Reform”?

Other questions: Do you believe this bill will be signed into law? Should it be? Why or why not? Is this true immigration reform or more of the same? What do you think of those who hold the views summarized above? If you believe reform is needed, what should that reform look like? What, broadly speaking, would you propose?

Let us know what you are thinking.



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