Thursday, July 5, 2007

Victor Davis Hanson: The Revolt on Illegal Immigration

I read something today that VDH wrote about the real reason why the latest "comprehensive immigration reform" legislation was defeated. It wasn't because of talk radio, or conservative bloggers, or racist xenophobes - it was because so many regular Americans were against it, and made their voices heard to their "representives" in the Senate. He did a much better job of putting into words what I think:

If the American public wants the border closed first, and discussion of everything else later, is that really such a bad thing?

Were the government to enforce laws already passed - fine employers for hiring illegal aliens, actually build the approved fences, beef up the border patrol, issue verifiable identification - we would then soon be dealing with a static population of illegal aliens. And that pool would insidiously shrink, not annually grow.

Some of the 12 million here illegally would willingly return home. Some with criminal records could be deported. Some would marry U.S. citizens. Some could be given work visas. Some could apply for earned citizenship.

The point is that our formidable powers of assimilation would finally catch up and have time to work on a population that would be at last fixed, quantifiable and identifiable. As aliens were more readily integrated with the general citizen population, Spanish would evolve into a helpful second, not a single alternate, language. Wages would rise for workers already here - many of them soon to be Mexican-American citizens - without competition from a perpetual influx of illegal aliens who work more cheaply.

Go read the whole thing.

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