You know, it seems to me that the hunt for
the Great White Whale comprehensive immigration reform is actually impeding immigration reform. There’s a limited group of measures that have broadbased public support and I’ll bet a shiny new dime could actually get bipartisan support in Congress including reforming the law that requires Central American kids who present themselves at the border be treated differently than Canadian or Mexican kids that do the same, some version of the DREAM Act, and stricter enforcement.
However, that won’t satisfy the activists on either side. I don’t believe that legislation is being held hostage by rank-and-file Democrats or Republicans. I think it’s being held hostage by the most extreme on each side.
One last observation: if we want to be more like Canada or Australia we’re going to need immigration laws more like Canada’s and Australia’s. The linchpin of our policy, family reunification, is a much lower priority for the Canucks and Aussies. I don’t think we want our policy to be like Mexico’s where irony of ironies, immigration law is much more restrictive and severe than it is here.