Saturday, May 26, 2007

Some thoughts on immigration debate

I followed the immigration debate this week, but I have to admit that gradually I started tuning it out. There is only so much hysteria I can take, not to mention contradictory arguments (e.g. it will hurt Asians! It’ll help Asians!). What bothers me the most is that opponents—whether they come from the left or the right—generally offer no alternatives and often do not recognize that in a democracy you have no choice but to negotiate with people whose views are very different from your own.

If you think the bill has merit but some problems, then suggest specific ways it can be improved, accompanied by a an explanation of how you’d get the votes for those changes. If you think the bill should be killed, then suggest specific ways that a new bill could be constructed and how you’d get the votes.

The worst outcome is no bill and no concrete suggestions (vague pronouncements like “secure the border” are not valid suggestions). We’ll get more hot air and uninformed yelling for another year while people suffer further discrimination and die in greater numbers.

Maybe I’m just cranky and need some more coffee.


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