Linda Chavez

Few Republicans have the courage to take on the well-funded radicals who want not only to eliminate illegal immigration but also to severely restrict legal immigration. And while they're at it, these extremists want to discourage Americans from having babies and encourage old and sick people to die -- at their own hands if they become burdens. John Tanton, Garrett Hardin and Richard Lamm -- founding fathers of the modern immigration restriction movement -- have written and spoken admiringly of assisted suicide, various forms of euthanasia, sterilization and China's one-child policy. Hardin and his wife, both members of the Hemlock Society, committed suicide when they became infirm, which Tanton paid tribute to in an essay.

Why pro-life Republicans are in bed with the likes of these guys remains a mystery to me. But maybe there's hope yet that they will come around to embracing a way out of the anti-immigrant swamp they've wandered into. Sen. Rubio offers a path out. They should take it.

The alternative is to consign those who were brought to the United States illegally through no fault of their own to live in the shadows, unable to work, study or contribute their many talents to the only country many of them have ever known. Of course, the opponents of the DREAM Act will say these young people should simply leave. They aren't likely to -- and if they did, it would be the United States' loss, not just theirs.

We're talking about kids who want to serve in the military and put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us. We're talking about bright youngsters who would earn college degrees and become respected members of their communities. And we're talking about future taxpayers who would help pay for the Medicare and Social Security benefits many of those who oppose their staying here now receive.

Republicans should seize this opportunity not only to pass the DREAM Act but also to restate the values and principles that have made this country the greatest in the history of the world.

Linda Chavez

Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .

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