How to deal with illegal immigration appears to be the question of the day. The Washington Post has an article about it, wherein the political tactics of both parties are analyzed, but the actual underlying issues are, in my opinion, given short shrift, like so:
As the Senate begins debate on revamping the nation’s immigration laws, the issue poses multiple challenges for both political parties, while offering no clearly expedient solution. Two huge electoral prizes, the Southwest and Florida, are potentially up for grabs, as are millions of Hispanic votes elsewhere. But also in play are the votes of angry residents in border states and beyond who feel overwhelmed by the rising tide of illegal immigration.
All of that is true, but I think the political prize will ultimately go to the party that articulates a clear statement of principle that leads to a workable solution, in this case, that anyone who wants to come to the US and play by the rules deserves a fair shot.
This principle would lead to expanding the number of legal immigrants we accept every year. By making it easier to immigrate legally, we would cut down tremendously on illegal immigration and its concomitant enforcement costs. Our border patrol could turn its attention to people who were actually up to no good without being distracted by many who just want a better job.
While the widening of legal immigration might draw criticism at first, it is a much more practical solution than creating second class citizens through a guest worker program, trying to deport every illegal we can find. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Open the doors, tell everyone they are welcome if they work hard and do right, and then enforce the laws zealously. It’s the best way I can see to fix this problem.