Nitpicking the immigration bill

You can nitpick the immigration bill. That may not help you understand why it went down in flames.

It went down because enough of the public did not like it. Millions of us badgered our politicians to vote against it. The bill simply did not fix what folks think is broken.

Now lots of pollsters have asked Americans what they want. What they want seems pretty clear.

They want us to control our borders. They donít like it that thousands can sneak into this country every day. They donít necessarily want to keep the illegals out. But they do feel we should know who they are. And how many they are. They feel we should be able to keep tabs on them in this country.

They want us to stop the automatic citizenship for babies born here. Millions have come into America pregnant. Or they aim to get pregnant as soon as they sneak in. Or while they are visiting relatives. They want their babies to be born here. So they can easily become citizens.



They want us to see that people who sneak into America have broken a law. The punishment we mete out is another matter. Right now too many of our authorities do not see that a person commits a crime when he or she sneaks into this country.

They donít want illegals to become citizens by virtue of breathing our air. They feel illegals should have to do something more to become citizens.

Now many Americans hold positions more extreme than these. To the left and to the right.

On the right: Send Ďem all back. If they have no documents we deport them.

On the left: Welcome to all. If they manage to sneak in they are entitled to stay.

Also on the extreme left: Borders mean nada. We are all one people. Come on in.

These extreme views are held only by small numbers. So the politicians did not write in any of their demands when they stitched this bill together.

What they tried to do was to satisfy as many voters as they could. Enough to constitute a majority. Their efforts came up short. The bill really did not comfort enough people on the issues I listed above.

No bill would have made everybody happy, of course. From what I read and hear - and from what the pollsters tell us - they might have done better with another bill.

A bill that made a real effort to control the border. Letís face it. Most of us would feel we were doing something wrong if we snuck across the border of another country. And we know most countries would punish us for doing so. And so we figure sneaking across our border is wrong.

Most people would feel better about immigrants if we took steps to control who came in. And if we kept track of them once they came.

A bill that did not allow automatic citizenship to babies of illegals.

A bill that did not reward illegals. One that recognized illegals as that - breakers of our laws. Amnesty for millions does the opposite. It rewards them for illegal behavior.

A bill that made citizenship something they must work toward. Something they must achieve. By learning our language and laws and customs. And by staying out of jail.

I suspect that sort of bill would pass muster with most Americans. Unlike the current hodge podge of a bill, which failed.

From Tom ... as in Morgan.

For more columns and for Tomís radio shows (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com.

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