Greg Sargent reports on how those GOP House members who want to pass comprehensive immigration reform intend to get enough of their caucus on board to do it. He includes their re-exploration of this doozy: keep the rough outline of the Senate’s path to citizenship, but require people to admit their guilt—and instead of calling the middle category “legal status,” call it “probation.” Problem solved: we’re still Tough on Crime!
If the current bipartisan push leads to serious immigration reform, we'll all be the better for it. But what constitutes serious reform?
As you head south out of San Antonio, you begin to enter the brush country. It’s something of a cross between a desert and a briar patch. Cacti abound, and almost every plant has thorns or spines of some kind. Everything is armored and protected. Even the cacti are on the offensive. It is this brutal and scorched countryside that thousands of Mexicans brave each year as they cross the border looking for a share of the legendary wealth of los Estados Unidos.
What should U.S. immigration policy be, given that half a million immigrants enter the U.S. illegally each year and the total number of undocumented residents in the country is about 11 million? For the far right, the answer is obvious: close the borders. This view is regularly touted on Fox News, where commentators decry the porousness of U.S. borders, argue for stepped-up policing—perhaps even a fence along the entire U.S.-Mexico border—and for a crackdown on those who employ or aid undocumented migrants. They imply that illegal immigrants must be sent home. Read the CENTURY editorial.