Watch the sequencing of events. If the regularization precedes the toughened border measures, we may be witnessing a substitution of resources within the host country so as to preclude additional (undesirable) illegal immigration, as modeled by Hillman and Weiss in the European Journal of Political Economy. If the toughened border measures precede the regularization, the point of those measures might be to fine tune the flow of desirable illegal immigration, as argued by Karlson and Katz in Economics Letters.
Already the wails of the immigration restrictionists are rising, insisting Republicans lost because they weren't tough on keeping illegal border-crossers out. Not true. The test was in Arizona, where two of the noisiest border hawks, Representatives J.D. Hayworth and Randy Graf, lost House seats. Graf lost in a seat along the Mexican border, where illegal immigrants flock.
What Americans want is a full-blown solution to the immigration crisis. And that will come only when Republicans come together on a "comprehensive" measure that not only secures the border but also provides a way for illegals in the United States to work their way to citizenship and establishes a temporary worker program. If Republicans don't grab this issue, Democrats will.
AN INCENTIVE TO KEEP RESEARCHING. A Fred Barnes post-mortem in Weekly Standard offers an observation about immigration policy.