Being a USA election year the Republican congressional demagogues are once again trotting out immigration “reform” legislation to energize their bigot base. The current proposal will criminalize illegal immigration and is heavy on other enforcement provisions, despite the fact that the futility of attempting to prohibit the supplying of a market demand has been repeatedly demonstrated. Of course, these congressional chowder heads are the same dumb asses who renamed the french fries served in their subsidized cafeteria to “freedom fries”, so there’s no reason to expect the type of rationality suggested by Fareed Zakaria in his spot on Washington Post commentary, excerpted below.
“Many Americans have become enamored of the European approach to immigration — perhaps without realizing it. Guest workers, penalties, sanctions and deportation are all a part of Europe’s mode of dealing with immigrants. The results of this approach have been on display recently in France, where rioting migrant youths again burned cars last week. Across Europe one sees disaffected, alienated immigrants, ripe for radicalism. The immigrant communities deserve their fair share of blame for this, but there’s a cycle at work. European societies exclude the immigrants, who become alienated and reject their societies.”
“One puzzle about post-Sept. 11 America is that it has not had a subsequent terror attack — not even a small backpack bomb in a movie theater — while there have been dozens in Europe. My own explanation is that American immigrant communities, even Arab and Muslim ones, are not very radicalized. (Even if such an attack does take place, the fact that 4 1/2 years have gone by without one provides some proof of this contention.) Compared with every other country in the world, America does immigration superbly. Do we really want to junk that for the French approach?
“The United States has a real problem with flows of illegal immigrants, largely from Mexico (70 percent of illegal immigrants are from that one country). But let us understand the forces at work here. ‘The income gap between the United States and Mexico is the largest between any two contiguous countries in the world,’ writes Stanford historian David Kennedy. That huge disparity is producing massive demand in the United States and massive supply from Mexico and Central America. Whenever governments try to come between these two forces — think of drugs — simply increasing enforcement does not work. Tighter border control is an excellent idea, but to work, it will have to be coupled with some recognition of the laws of supply and demand — that is, it will have to include expansion of the legal immigrant pool.”