In the meantime, read Cynthia Tucker's piece on immigration policy and the lack thereof. This gal has somehow got into my head and used some (but not all) of my best stuff. Via Working For Change.
They're not intended to deal with illegal immigration, either. Not really. To deal effectively with illegal immigration, the GOP would have to crack down on its major patron: business. If a few business executives went to prison for violating federal law, fewer would risk hiring illegal workers. And if Latino workers knew they'd be unlikely to find jobs here, fewer would endanger life and limb trying to get in.
But the fact is that the United States has never had a consistent policy of punishing employers. Indeed, for the past 20 years, the unofficial policy of the federal government has been to accept illegal workers with a wink and a nod.
That's too bad. In addition to national security, there are several good reasons to try to get a handle on illegal immigration. For one thing, illegal immigrants tend to drive down wages for legal laborers. For another, it's exploitative to use undocumented workers for their cheap labor while refusing to give them benefits. It violates America's sense of itself as a land of fair play.
Go read this one.