25.3.06

I'LL NEVER LACK FOR WORK. The editorial board at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel weighs in on illegal immigration.

In proposing tougher enforcement standards and a guest worker program, the president simply got the facts right.

Borders must be secure, employers should have the means to discern legal residency and much of the economy would have some difficulty surviving without immigrant workers. But he seemingly recognized also that those already here have been doing yeoman-like labor to keep the economy humming, and he saw also the basic injustice in the country both demanding these workers' presence and condemning it. This speaks to the need to give guest workers a shot at permanent legal residency.

The president must foster compromise and break the congressional logjam. A country that speaks proudly of its immigrant past needs to act to remove the contradictions and injustice existing in its immigrant present.

What contradictions? The policies are completely coherent. In the face of a pool of uncredentialed and low-skilled individuals willing to provide a cheap labor subsidy and able to cross the border in both directions (I told you that Midwest Economics Association conference was productive) the occasional regularization, or periodic offering of in-state tuition for college-age kids, or amnesty by some other name, is optimal.

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