Basically, the people who are here illegally are here to stay and we might as well stop the rhetoric and face that realization. America's ecomony depends heavily on migrant workers and to attempt to deport them will have a tremendous negative impact on our ecomony. Hughes points this out and explains why the critics of illegals are wrong and out of touch when it comes to dealing with the problem.
From the Christian Science Monitor
They're part of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the US, located especially in Western states. Many have crossed furtively and illegally into the states that border Mexico, making the hazardous desert crossing in search of more prosperity than they can hope for in their homelands. If not caught by immigration agents, some will spend their lifetimes here, creating families of children born as US citizens.
They're part of America's enormous challenge of illegal immigration, which must be resolved. It isn't being solved by the Border Patrol agents who are catching only a fraction of those who continue to cross over illegally. It cannot be resolved by the self-appointed "minutemen," who recently stationed themselves on the Arizona-Mexico border in an effort - more symbolic than effective - to stanch the flow. And clearly, the 11 million already here can't all be transported back to their homelands.
The American economy, particularly in agriculture and construction, has become dependent on large numbers of migrant workers. What's needed is some form of temporary legal work permit for those who come here, and then strict enforcement of the immigration laws presently being broken.
Two proposed laws address this problem: one, drafted by Senators McCain and Kennedy, seeks to establish a reasonable temporary worker program; the other, proposed by Senators Kyl and Cornyn, argues for much stricter enforcement. There needs to be an accommodation that would encompass both goals.
The crux of the problem is the 11 million illegal immigrants already here. The proponents of both pending bills agree that the migrants have broken US laws and must pay a penalty. But the suggested punishments vary greatly. The Kyl-Cornyn bill would require illegals to leave the country and reapply for permission to return legally. The McCain-Kennedy bill suggests that they each pay a $2,000 fine and all back taxes, and then have a probationary six-year period to learn English and study civics before seeking permanent status.
Neither the voluntary departure of 11 million people nor their enforced deportation seems likely. Indeed, such an exodus would cause a crisis in some areas of the economy, particularly agriculture.
As Tamar Jacoby writes in the conservative Weekly Standard: "Sooner or later we all will have to face the fact that most of the 11 million are here to stay, and it is in our interest as much as theirs to find a way for them to do so legally. There is simply no practical alternative. The only real question before us is how to structure the transition."
City officals and hate groups like the Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control (CTCIC) don't want to face reality when it comes to immigrants. For city officals, their only concern is to give the impression that they're doing something being that this is an eleciton year (why didn't they try to do somehting last year, or 2003?) and people like the CTCIC only want to spread their rhetoric as they have no realistic solution and like the Minuteman, they're more symbolic than effective.
We need our public officals to offer real solutions and less rhetoric and spin or else we'll never be able to effectively deal with this dilemma and things in Danbury will not change.