I was very disappointed by the panel discussion on immigration this Sunday. I suspect it was disappointing because Brit Hume was not there. He has a distinct skill for bringing structure to the discussion.
None of the panelists gave a clear and structured analysis of the issues. The discussion just devolved into the usual “some politicians are bad because they are against immigration and other politicians are courageous because they are standing up for immigration and immigrants” banter. None of the panelists explained that the issue here is controlled immigration v. uncontrolled immigration. After 9/11, is suspect most Americans are strongly in favor of controlling immigration more than we have in the past. It is reasonable to think that we should know who we are letting in this country.
That does not mean they are anti-immigration. We can erect a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and still allow the same number of immigrants. We would just have to change the immigration statute to raise the number of Mexicans allowed to immigrate into the U.S. That is a political debate that I think we should have.
It is actually absurd to create a program of amnesty for illegal immigrants before we control immigration. If we did, we would create an even greater incentive for immigrants to cross into the US illegally so that they can participate in the program thereby worsening uncontrolled immigration.
I challenge you to ask you panelists to defend uncontrolled immigration vs. controlled immigration. I suspect they cannot – because there is nothing we can get from uncontrolled immigration that we cannot get from controlled immigration - except perhaps a greater security threat.
Uncontrolled immigration also harms controlled immigration. We limit legal immigration too much because there is a perception by the public that there are already too many illegal immigrants in this country. As a result, we miss the opportunity to allow more of the best and brightest in the world to come here legally (from Mexico and other countries) so that we can allow “?” to sneak across the border and tarnish his/her first involvement in this country with a violation of this country’s laws.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Fox News Failure
Here is the body of e-mail I sent to Fox News Sunday regarding their March 26, 2006 panel discussion on Immigration Reform. I thought the discussion was disappointing.