Thursday, April 12, 2007

NYT on immigration

Yesterday the NYT published a great editorial on President Bush's speech in Yuma, which was intended to keep momentum going for immigration reform. Some highlights:

It proposed new conditions on immigrant labor so punitive and extreme that they amounted to a radical rethinking of immigration — not as an expression of the nation’s ideals and an integral source of its vitality and character, but as a strictly contractual phenomenon designed to extract cheap labor from an unwelcome underclass.
The thrust of Mr. Bush’s speech leaves little room for a vision as crabbed and inhumane as the one he and his party have circulated. It’s hard to tell whether his plainspoken eloquence in Yuma was meant to distance himself from those earlier and benighted talking points, or whether he has simply been talking out of both sides of his mouth.

I think the last point is perhaps the most important. It remains to be seen whether the White House proposal was meant just to throw a bone to Bush’s rabidly anti-immigration supporters or whether it will constitute a huge obstacle to legislation based more on common sense.


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