Thanks for commenting on the piece, Tony!
So let me start my reply by just pointing out that the purpose of this piece wasn’t to advocate for or against any particular policy, but rather to highlight some of the less-than-honest rhetoric that both sides have employed in the immigration debate. That’s why, for instance, I raised the point about crime rates. Your counterpoint is an excellent one — no matter the rates, every crime committed by someone who is here illegally is a crime that would never have happened if they had been deported or stopped at the border. I certainly agree (in fact, I don’t know how anyone couldn’t).
That being said, I do think it’s important to try to stick to facts, and the data we have shows that immigrants — both legal and illegal — commit crimes at lower rates than native citizens. This may not matter much in terms of policy, but when some folks on the right talk as if the people who are here illegally are committing heinous crimes in huge numbers, it calls the speaker’s honesty into question. The more that happens, the harder it is to trust the people on the other side, which in turn makes it less likely that a deal will ever get done — and most people seem to agree that we really, really need to get something done.
In regards to the immigration issue itself, I actually agree with much of what you wrote, especially your point about corporate America’s motivation for opposing the wall and supporting amnesty (cheaper labor), as well as the GOP’s lack of a desire to actually get a deal done. I just didn’t dive into my own personal views about immigration because I didn’t want to distract from the main point of the piece.
I certainly would support a compromise like the one you suggested, though. Secure the borders, deport people who have been convicted of violent crimes and felonies (and perhaps multiple misdemeanors as well if they’re relatively recent convictions), establish either a pathway to citizenship *or* a pathway to legal residency for everyone else (whichever one helps get the deal done), and pass mandatory e-verify. Additionally, I’d also like to see if we can’t make the legal immigration process a little bit cheaper for low-income folks. I do strongly believe that a person’s eligibility to become a citizen should depend on their character and work ethic, not on whether they have enough money to afford all the fees you have to pay throughout the naturalization process (which I’m sure you’re familiar with given your grandfather’s history).
Anyways, I’m starting to ramble! Sorry for the unusually long response, and thanks for commenting! I appreciate it!