Only Some Immigrants Need Apply

By The News May 17, 2007

Senators are nearing a compromise on an immigration policy. And we should all be concerned. The latest immigration proposal under consideration is a "comprehensive bill" that includes a point-system which, according to a NYTimes article today, does two things: 1) Determine legal residence by points accumulated and that are based on an immigrant’s education, family ties, and/or ability to take low-wage jobs; and 2) offer legal status to the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants; but citizenship will require people to go back to their homelands and apply for their green cards from there. The article reports:

Although Democrats now control the Senate, the bill incorporates many ideas advanced in some form by President Bush. A draft of the legislation says that Congress intends to “increase American competitiveness through a merit-based evaluation system for immigrants.”

In their race to reform immigration alongside Republicans, I’m afraid the Democrats may be compromising more than their political capitol, but the potential for real progress.