The President's speech on Monday on immigration is an opportunity to take back the initiative on this subject and potentially reverse what appears to be policy drift over the past several months. By the grace of G*d perhaps Josh Bolten and Karl Rove have gotten their act together and crafted a smart, initially unpopular but ultimately workable policy on immigration.
There isn't a clear 'good' choice here which is why the Bush administration I think has dithered so long. Any policy that appeals to the conservative base has the likelihood of alienating Hispanics and compromising the cultivation of the Hispanic vote that the Republicans have done in recent years. A sensible immigration policy does not have to be racist but the demagogues on the Left know they can effectively pimp race once again.
So what can Bush do? I recommend the following:
- The Mexican/US border is CLOSED to ILLEGAL immigration effective IMMEDIATELY. This will be enforced by the National Guard. The construction of a security fence commences immediately. Immediately might sound draconian but it's necessary to prevent thousands or more of taking advantage of any free option if a date in the future is given.
- Current illegal immigrants will have a specific window (2-3 months) to declare themselves and their families. Those who are not guilty of any serious crimes (felonies) GET TO STAY. Those who are GET DEPORTED. Those found later who have not declared themselves within the alloted time frame GET DEPORTED.
The Left will be outraged, outraged, outraged. The Right won't be happy with the "amnesty". This will be more fodder for scum like Castro and Chavez.
But it will work. And we take a big step towards being a nation of laws once again.