The Conversation

Enforce the Law and All Else is Possible

The latest Fox News poll reinforces the public's apparent "schizophrenia" on immigration--which is actually just common sense. 4 out 5 voters are prepared to give illegal immigrants some way of becoming citizens. And yet 3 out of 5 voters believe the borders are not secure and want to see tighter enforcement, even restrictions.

This is only a contradiction if you think the latter position arises from racism, intolerance, selfishness and/or xenophobia. What people are actually saying is that we are prepared to legalize millions if that is the last time we have to do so. Without that guarantee, which has fallen through in the past, immigration reform will fail.

The message to our politicians is that the first priority must be reforms that improve border security and law enforcement. One sensible way to do it has been suggested by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who has advised enacting those, then waiting five years to see if they are enforced before enacting "path to citizenship" reforms.


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