Rendezvous with Reality
There are a number of issues on the horizon that cannot simply be hoped and changed away or dismissed with the now accustomed ‘hit the reset’ button/’Bush did it’ throw away line.
Take illegal immigration. There were always two redlines in the debate.
For conservatives it was the improbable notion that they were going to deport 12-20 million illegal aliens en masse–a mass exodus along the lines of partition between Pakistan and India.
Amnesty or Deportation?
It was easy to damn “amnesty”-given its serial history of only encouraging more illegal immigration. But the trick was always coming up with something less drastic instead like “earned citizenship,” that culled out through deportation felons, and recent arrivals, while allowing the crime-free, long residing, and hard-working to pay some sort of nominal fine for breaking the law even as they applied for citizenship. I doubt this is what is meant by the euphemism “comprehensive immigration reform”, but it is a workable idea when coupled with an end to federally-mandated bilingual documents and interpreters, and salad-bowl state-mandated ethnic separatism.
In other words, we say to the illegal alien: if you are working, if you have not committed a crime after arriving here illegally, and if you are willing to stay in a country that makes no special allowances for those who speak languages other than English or who claim some privileged ethnic heritage, then, yes, you can find a path to citizenship involving fines for your initial crime of breaking the law, and necessary background checks and testing of basic acquaintance with American citizenship. Such earned citizenship will fail of course, unless the border is closed through walls, increased patrolling, employer sanctions, and a change of popular attitudes about illegality; otherwise the process become serial, as it was in the past, and news of its magnanimity only encourages more to get northward asap.
For liberals, the no-go area was always open borders, or the Mexifornian notion that national borders mattered little, and if most cities ended up like Los Angeles (the world’s second largest city of Mexican nationals), then all to the good, given the likely future voting propensities of today’s alien/tomorrow’s Democrat. It was always lethal for a Democratic politician to mount the podium at one of those crazy Cinco de Mayo marches where Mexican flags and Che placards outnumbered red, white, and blue, as the crowd shouted “The borders crossed us!” or (my favorite) “Get over it! We’re here to stay!” (Lately some astute Democratic consultants have ensured Old Glory is in front of the cameras and the more La Raza sloganeering at the rear of the crowd.)
That said, at least three new developments have altered calculus of the recent immigration debate-and in ways Obama probably does not appreciate.
First, the daily grind of televised killings, gruesome torture, and kidnapping along the border is spilling into the American Southwest. The mayhem and police corruption are reminding more and more Americans why it is a bad idea to allow such lawlessness to filter into the U.S. If illegal immigration is unchecked and assimilation caricatured, then why would not the carnage simply be replanted north of the border?