April 6, 2006

Migration Mitigation

Just a bit of follow-up on the illegal immigration subject, mainly riffing off what was said in comments.

There are two kinds of "guest worker" programs. The first, I'll call the "bad" type, offer the chance to work, but no chance at citizenship. This is the typical European model and the kind that Bush is proposing. The "good" kind of program offers a road to eventual citizenship. Erin in comments has pointed out the difficulties of immigration to Europe and Fareed Zakaria makes the case here:

These people must have some hope, some reasonable path to becoming Americans. Otherwise we are sending a signal that there are groups of people who are somehow unfit to be Americans, that these newcomers are not really welcome and that what we want are workers, not potential citizens. And we will end up with immigrants who have similarly cold feelings about America.

While I can and do make the case that we should steal the European model for health care, we should not under any circumstances steal the European model for immigration.

A good discussion on the struggle Bush faces on the issue, between his better and worse angles (yes he does have better angles, at least on this issue.) The one commendable thing about Bush is his move away from the old racial-baiting tactics of the GOP past. Of course, he replaced it with patriot-baiting tactics, so let's not give him too much credit.

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