Wednesday, June 20, 2007


The immigration bill looks back from the dead, and no one seems happy. According to a Zoby poll. only 3% of respondents are happy with Congress's handling of the issue, only 9% are happy with the president's. Only 38% of respondents support the bill (and I am one who does).

The problem ultimately is that no one trusts the government on this issue. The president has mishandled so many issues that his mishandling of this issue has destroyed whatever political capital he had left. Congress looks little better.

But what is to be done? There are 12 million illegals in the United States. You cannot wish them away or deport them overnight. And no matter how strong the fence and is you post the entire Army on the Mexican border, people will still get through.

Jonathan Rauch suggests an alternative in Reason Magazine. Based on the past several years of economic data, he suggests increasing the number of legal immigrants by about 500,000 per year. And do not limit the new visas to highly skilled people, current illegal immigration trends show that the economy needs unskilled and semi-skilled immigrants as much if not more than skilled ones. He makes sense, provided the plan was implemented with stronger enforcement. Of course, the fact that it makes sense means it will get nowhere in Washington.

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