DATE: 1/16/2004 11:22:00 AM
Immigration - Although I'm pleased John Derbyshire isn't jumping off the cliff with other conservatives over the immigration issue, his latest offering in National Review Online is grating. Derbyshire, who is an immigrant, says conservatives and Americans who support the president's initiative are incapable of understanding the issue, or making a distinction between immigrant and illegal immigrant. What condescending rubbish. What Derbyshire is doing here is denying there can be differences of opinion on the issue, and assumes it is just impossible to defend the president's plan on any sort of rational grounds. He ignores the arguments made here and here.
Unlike Bill Clinton, George W. Bush deals with political and economic reality. What do conservatives do? They punish him for it and grow sullen, threatening to withdraw support. Perhaps they would prefer to live in a dreamland where all illegals are rounded up, put in buses or airplanes and taken back to their home countries but the reality of the situation is much more complicated. The president has proposed a first step toward securing our borders that deals with the situation as it exists. If having a president who shows leadership on an issue bothers you, then fine, feel free to leave the party and subject America to a Howard Dean or a John Kerry. But don't complain when a Democrat president gives all illegals full amnesty in the future, as they are likely to do.