March 27, 2006

Illegal immigration seems to be the issue most in the news these days, so I thought I would briefly state my own position. I am firmly in favor of expanded legal immigration to the United States. I love our status as a nation of immigrants and a land of opportunity for all, and I deeply respect those who go through the legal procedures to become citizens and declare themselves Americans. For that reason, I also oppose illegal immigration. I believe that illegal immigration makes a mockery of the efforts of those who worked so hard to come here legally. I understand that many people have positive motives for immigrating illegally, but I do not believe that their motives can justify their decision to flaunt U.S. law as their first act upon entering the country.

Of course, the most difficult aspect of the illegal immigration debate is what to do about it. I am not incredibly knowledgeable on the issue, but I know that I do not favor mass deportation or, on the other side, blanket amnesty. I certainly believe that we should strengthen our borders to stem the flow of new illegal immigrants and that any illegal immigrant convicted of a felony should be deported. I think these are sensible measures that would enjoy majority support. I also believe that we should increase our ability to accept new, legal immigrants each year, especially from countries in the developing (or "third," if you prefer) world. This would require additional staff and streamlining the process in many cases, but I think it would be worth it. I have also considered an enhanced path to citizenship that would allow a far greater number of people to live and work in the United States while applying to become citizens. I am still very open to debate on solutions to this question and would appreciate any comments or suggestions others might have.


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