Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Illegal Immigration - Second Priority

In a post yesterday, I pointed out that the first priority regarding illegal immigration is border security. If border security is effective, the flood of illegal immigrants will slow to a trickle. That leaves us with the problem of what to do with the 11 million illegal immigrants already here. Handling them becomes the second priority.

Betsy's Page points us to a great article by Robert Samuelson. Samuelson argues persuasively that assimilation is essential to resolve our current illegal immigration mess.

Increasing the penalties against illegal immigration will not cause the large number of illegal immigrants to return home. A guest worker program will not prevent the immigrants from staying beyond their permitted time. Thus, to resolve the problem of vast numbers of illegal immigrants, they must assimilate into our society as most past immigrants did. Assimilation will take time, but we have little choice. As Samuelson writes:

We are basically a decent, open and tolerant nation. Americans respect hard work and achievement. That's why assimilation has ultimately triumphed. But I am not a foolish optimist. Assimilation requires time and the right conditions. It cannot succeed if we constantly flood the country with new, poor immigrants or embark on a vendetta against those already here.

Border security will halt future illegal immigration, and assimilation will eventually take care of the illegal immigrants already here.

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