If Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff’s border tour with anti-immigration lawmakers this week is a sign that President Bush is ready to give up on comprehensive reform, that will be unfortunate. Then again, some sort of House-Senate compromise is better than none, especially if it includes a way for the 11 million illegal immigrants already working here to do so legally. A proposed compromise authored by Chertoff’s hosts, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Tex., and Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., would do that — after border security is tightened. But it would also require those here illegally to report to “Ellis Island” centers in Mexico to apply for work permits. Would people really do that? Or would they just remain in the shadows of the American economy? One good move this week: Homeland Security announced it will stop the “catch and release” of non-Mexican illegal immigrants, few of whom showed up for their deportation hearings.
Posted by Rhonda Holman
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