Fred Barnes sums up nicely the conclusion that I am rapidly coming to on the Bush immigration plan. It’s a great idea, but a bad plan. I don’t know that this issue can be debated, however. There are two different views on the role immigration plays with citizenship. The view is held based on our individual backgrounds and upbringings. I don’t know that it can be reconciled.
THERE ARE TWO THINGS to be said about President Bush’s new plan for dealing with illegal immigrants. The first is that the plan reflects a beautiful sentiment. Immigrants slip into the United States illegally for all the right reasons. They want to find jobs, raise families, and decide their own destiny. They enrich America with their energy and their enthusiasm for freedom. This country would be far worse off without them.
The second thing to say about the Bush plan? It won’t work. It doesn’t stand a chance for two reasons. Illegal immigrants who would get special working permits for three years are never going back to their home countries. And the existence of a reward for illegally coming to America, namely the working permit, is bound to spur unlawful immigration, not curtail it.