"Amnesty for Illegals? Try Again"

The Christian Science Monitor comes out against both Bush's and the Democrat's plans:

The Latino vote has some chance of tipping the presidential election this year. That's why both Democrats and Republicans are dancing around different ideas about amnesty for illegal aliens.

Actually, amnesty isn't a word used too much anymore in the immigration debate. Since the amnesty of 1986, opposition has grown stronger against rewarding those who bust US borders, especially after Sept. 11.

Still, the "almost amnesty" proposals are worth some campaign debate. The issue has been helped along by two recent studies. One, from the Center for Immigration Studies, found the average yearly earnings of US-born men between 1980 and 2000 decreased by an estimated $1,700 as the number of immigrant workers rose. The other study, by the Inter-American Development Bank, calculated that the 16.7 million Latin American-born adults in the US send back more than $30 billion each year to their home countries, while contributing $450 billion to the US economy. One third of those adults are illegal aliens. Such benefits and costs of illegal immigration, however, are secondary to the corrosive effects of such massive lawbreaking.

The debate also has been enlivened by the work of Harvard Prof. Samuel P. Huntington...

Immigration is certainly a worthy issue for campaign debate. But proposals that are simply a backdoor approach to amnesty and designed mainly to woo a small percentage of votes are a stealthy way to a bad solution for a serious problem.