The immigration compromise reached last week is a flawed deal, an attempt to “bridge the chasm between brittle hard-liners who want the country to stop absorbing so many outsiders, and those who want to give immigrants — illegal ones, too — a fair and realistic shot at the American dream.” Yet it represents a critical first step toward fixing our shattered immigration system and providing a path to citizenship for most of the 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the country today.
Yesterday on PBS’s Newshour, Jessica Vaughan of the conservative Center for Immigration Studies, argued that the best way to “deal with the problem” would be to make “this a more inhospitable place to be for people who are working in the country illegally.” She added that “people are eventually going to give up and go home on their own. And that’s what the American people most definitely wants to see happen.” Watch it:
Many people on the right wing — such as Vaughan — are opposed not only to this bill, but to any deal that doesn’t immediately deport every undocumented immigrant. CNN host Lou Dobbs recently said that “because this is the United States,” it is possible to deport all undocumented immigrants. Today on NPR, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) advocated that the U.S. government “round them up.”
Additionally, the overwhelming majority of Americans — 80 percent — support the process of earned citizenship.
RAY SUAREZ: Could you really deal with the problem, as you both see it, by simply making this a more inhospitable place to be for people who are working in the country illegally?
JESSICA VAUGHAN: Absolutely. [...]
SUAREZ: What would your organization have done differently in addressing this very large group of people?
VAUGHAN: Well, what we need to do is make it impossible for illegal aliens to find work legally. And we need to cut off the job magnet and eventually people — and make it impossible for people to get driver’s licenses, to live here as if they were legal.
If we simply enforce the laws that we have on the books already — and that doesn’t require any new legislation — people are eventually going to give up and go home on their own. And that’s what the American people most definitely wants to see happen.