WSJ Editorial: “A path to citizenship would also assist the process of assimilation that has been one of America’s historic strengths. The U.S. should not want a permanent class of residents who can never be citizens and thus have less incentive to adapt to U.S. cultural mores, speak English, or move out of segregated ethnic enclaves.”Immigration Breakout
Wall Street Journal
January 29, 2013
In return, the four Democrats, led by New York’s Chuck Schumer and Mr. Durbin, have agreed to accept substantial enforcement guarantees and procedural hurdles before such a citizenship path would be open. This has been a sticking point for GOP cooperation and should help Republicans rebut the false charge that this amounts to an “amnesty.”
In Mr. Rubio’s description, this path would require that illegals come out of the shadows, register for a special residence visa, pay a fine and back taxes, prove a work history, and then wait in line behind others who have already been waiting to get their green cards. Congress will debate the details, but the process could take as long as 15 years.
A path to citizenship would also assist the process of assimilation that has been one of America’s historic strengths. The U.S. should not want a permanent class of residents who can never be citizens and thus have less incentive to adapt to U.S. cultural mores, speak English, or move out of segregated ethnic enclaves.
Which brings us back to Mr. Obama. The President will lay out his own reform principles Tuesday, but the question is whether he wants an achievement or a political issue. If he wants a genuine reform, the Senate framework shows how much Republicans have already moved his way. GOP leaders can read the 2012 exit polls, and thanks to the persuasion of Mr. Rubio, Jeb Bush and a few others, more conservatives are now more amenable to reform.
Yet neither Mr. Obama nor his White House have reached out to Mr. Rubio, and many Democrats want to use the immigration issue to drive turnout in election after election. Their goal is to have a legislative dance and then blame Republicans for killing reform sometime in 2014.
If that is Mr. Obama’s real goal, he’ll demand too much—by gutting the guest-worker program again or complicating it with too much bureaucracy, or by insisting on a quick and easy path to citizenship for illegals. Mr. Obama will have to decide if he wants a legacy of reform, or more partisanship.
Read the entire editorial here.