The silliness really needs to stop and we have to move forward with realistic policy formulation. When ads by vodka producers incite the masses and expose the divide in the immigration debate I hope we can agree that our energies are misdirected.
My adopted State, Florida, has been struggling with the issue for some time. The confluence of a collapse of the housing market, the 2005 proposed reforms, and the relatively large population of illegal/undocumented (choose your euphemism) people have created a poster child for reform. The State is considering a number of measures that may or may not make it into legislation and localities are left to decide for themselves how to handle thier individual circumstances with some controversial results.
I hope we can work through the shortcomings of the previous reform efforts and enact legislation that will 1) address border security; 2) deport all undocumented residents that have committed any felonies or any serious misdemeanors (DUI’s, etc); and, 3) create an effective amnesty program. Yes, I said amnesty.
It seems to me that one of the biggest hurdles to overcome in the policymaking process is the disingenuous rhetoric employed by many elements of the debate. Reasonable people need to take back the discussion and move beyond charges of amnesty, open borders, racism, nativism, etc, etc.
This issue promises to divide the country if it is not effectively addressed and has the potential to leave a black eye not dissimilar from the history of blacks in the U.S. Exploitation takes many forms and slavery is but one. This may sound odd coming from a professed conservative but it should not. We own out history and forge our future. We have the ability to assimilate the majority of individuals here without legal status and incorporating them into our economy and into our nation. The alternative is to drive wedges, create divisions, and allocate resources to extricating people in a manner that will become ugly. There will be abuses. Resentment will be fostered. These are not unintended or unforeseen consequences. They are predictable results and we should act accordingly for the best possible future for our nation.