Arrests of illegal crossers along the Southwest border dropped more than two-thirds from 2000 to 2010, from 1.6 million to 448,000.The article goes on to describe bored border patrol agents falling asleep on the job because there's "no action." The hyperbole leads me to believe that the article might be propaganda, and fellow tea partyers have anecdotal evidence that the border is not so secure. It seems likely that the increase in border patrol agents and the fewer border crossers are verifiable, but even at 448,000 apprehensions, and who knows how many get away, we can't really say the border is secure. Thomas Sowell takes exception to Newt Gingrich's ideas, and doesn't so much rebut them as make the case for securing the border. His key points.
When you import people, you import cultures, including cultures that have been far less successful in providing decent lives and decent livelihoods. The American people have a right to decide for themselves whether they want unlimited imports of cultures from other countries.Fair enough, and even true. But Sowell doesn't really address the issue of what to do with the illegals already in the country, which is what Gingrich was addressing.
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Moreover, in an age of terrorism, everyone who comes across the border from Mexico is not Mexican. It is the height of irresponsibility to leave that border open and the people who cross it a protected group.
Pushing back against the charge that he supports “amnesty” for illegal immigrants, Newt Gingrich outlined another immigration reform proposal that would have “citizen juries” to decide whether illegal immigrants are fit to be granted legal status—but not citizenship.
On the trail in Florida on Friday, Gingrich explained that he would grant “path to legality” to upstanding illegal immigrants with deep family ties who could prove they could support themselves without federal welfare or other benefit programs.I like two things about Gingrich's plan. First, there will be no citizenship for those who have come here illegally. Second, those here illegally will have to show their ability to support themselves and their families. Gingrich's full immigration plan is here, like me, he starts with "secure the border." He has sensible ideas that are worthy of examination by those in the tea party movement.
I'm not sure what those who oppose Gingrich's plan would do with the current illegals. They need a legal status and deporting 11 million people is frankly impracticable. Do conservatives really want a government powerful enough to round up 11 million people for deportation? Do we really want the federal government getting practice at interning that many people? If not, then we better deal with the situation at hand. We need these people out of the shadows and paying taxes and drawn into a law abiding culture. Isn't that a worthwhile conservative or libertarian goal?
Finally, from a political perspective, getting this issue fixed is in the long term interests of the Republican party. When Hispanics see that we are willing to allow legal immigration, with proper controls, for workers from Latin America, the belief that Republicans are racists will disappear. Peter Skerry has this to say in yesterday's WSJ.
Liberals may advocate the maximalist position of full citizenship rights for illegals, but they're content with the status quo. They know that keeping illegals in limbo works to the political advantage of liberals and Democrats. Republicans ignore this at their own peril.
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Whatever the plight of individual illegal immigrants, the problem of 11 million of them constitutes a blemish on the body politic that taints us all—and one that certainly won't be healed by the draconian policies most Republican candidates seem to advocate. Mr. Gingrich's proposal, or something like it, could actually address this genuine dilemma while acknowledging the legitimate anxieties that many Americans have about illegal immigration.
From Gingrich's web site.
1. No “comprehensive” plan can work. President Bush could not pass one during six years with a Republican Congress. President Obama could not pass one with a Democratic Congress. Immigration reform can be outlined as a complete proposal but has to be passed in a series of steps, with each one understood and passed on its own merits.
2. Under no circumstance can a path to citizenship be created which would allow those who have broken the law to receive precedence over those who patiently waited to become residents and citizens via the legal process. Those who adhered to our immigration law cannot be usurped by those who violated it.
3. We must reconcile the goal of legality with the reality that there are millions of immigrants currently here outside the law, some with a long set of family and community ties, and some with no ties. A system has to be established that establishes legality but no citizenship for those with deep ties, repatriates those with no family or community ties in a dignified way, and quickly sends home those who have committed criminal and other destructive acts.