I guess I know what is meant, but…

The Tennessean reported that State Sen. Bill Ketron is drafting a bill that would criminalize illegal immigration, but attorneys are working to make sure the bill conforms with the state constitution.

via The American Independent.

… when we speak of “criminalizing” that which already is a violation of U.S. law, it shows how confused and confusing the immigration debate is.

[Afterthought 1/2/11]  I shouldn’t have been so sarcastic about somebody who fails to think clearly about the problem of illegal immigration since I myself do not have a good answer as to what to do about it.

I don’t think open borders are feasible; I don’t think the United States or any other country can preserve the structure of its economy or society and have unlimited immigration.  I don’t think it is feasible to expel the tens of millions of illegal immigrants already in this country.  I don’t accept the presence of a vast underclass that is outside the protection of the law and available for exploitation.

My ideal would be a wide gate and a high wall – a generous immigration policy, including a path to citizenship for those already in this country, but with no entry except in compliance with the law, but I don’t see a practical way to achieve that ideal.

Many liberal people, including the leaders of the Unitarian Universalist Association, want to finesse the issue by blurring the difference between legal and illegal residents, and by opposing or obstructing enforcement of immigration laws.   I think their hearts are in the right place.  I sympathize with people who take high risk to achieve better lives for themselves and their families.  But non-enforcement of laws is not a policy.  The question is what the law should be.

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