Immigration reform: Balancing act
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The great immigration reform balancing act is upon us once again. Maintaining that balance will be the key to anything even remotely resembling acceptable.
On Monday, an unlikely bipartisan group of eight senators — including liberal Democrats Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin and conservative Republicans Jeff Flake and Marco Rubio — unveiled an expansive compromise plan that strikes the necessary balance between more stringent border security and necessarily stringent rules to give the estimated 11 million illegal aliens in the United States the opportunity to become legal.
And despite the rhetoric from both sides, and given the climate in Washington and the nation, these goals cannot and should not be attempted on a mutually exclusive basis. For failure would be automatic.
President Obama outlined his plan on Tuesday. And while it appears that his and the senators' blueprints are pretty much the same, there's significant worry — even among Democrats — that Mr. Obama somehow could gum up the works by demanding that a pathway to legal status and/or citizenship be given a higher priority. It raises the specter of the failed 1986 amnesty that, sans immediate and stricter enforcement measures, enticed millions more illegals to enter the country.
Indeed, there are valid economic concerns about the imbalance between costs and benefits of any legalization plan. And those must be thoroughly vetted and extrapolated. But even those effects can be ameliorated with the kind of concomitant and comprehensive border security required to end illegal immigration's vicious cycle.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- The IRS scandal: FBI games
- Greensburg Laurels & Lances
- Saturday essay: A special tinsel
- Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
- More ObamaCare fallout: Medicare disadvantage
- PSERS time bomb: Tick, tick, tick, tick ...
- ObamaCare’s latest black eye
- Alle-Kiski Tuesday Takes
- Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
- The Thursday wrap