January 20, 2009
I’m certainly glad that these two border agents got a quasi-pardon. This was Bush’s greatest legislative act (or, properly speaking, executive order) since his signing into law of the ?do-not-call list? of 2003. If we throw in the nominations of Roberts and Alito, I now think that Bush is up to four?count ‘em four!? things done while in office that I don?t find disastrous, heinous, or downright stupid.
But we should also admit that the immigration reform movement has been long on symbolism and short on substance for a while now. Yes, we defeated the terrible amnesty bill?that was important?and, yes, these two border patrol agents will be set free. But other than that, we don?t have much to show for ourselves. Immigration has been reduced by the collapse of the housing and construction sectors, not because we?ve enacted meaningful controls. Outfits like NumbersUSA and the like should be commended for their tireless efforts in organizing faxing, calling, and letter writing campaigns and pressuring people on the Hill. But the immigration reform movement as a whole is in need of a new Big Idea or two.
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