Rich Lowry

Another 400,000 people a year would come into the country as guest workers on visas good for two years and renewable only three times. Will we have the will to hold them to that? In a nod to the fact that importing so many low-skill workers makes no sense, the deal would put a new emphasis on skills rather than family unification in admitting new legal immigrants. But before doing so, it would work through the current backlog of applicants, admitting another roughly 4 million people over the next eight years.

All of these provisions would never pass on their own without the cover of enforcement. Which raises the question, Why not just do the enforcement? Backers of amnesty reply that it's impossible to deport 12 million illegal immigrants. So it is. But that's not necessary.

Last year, 221,664 illegal immigrants were deported, an increase of roughly 20 percent from the year before. If we determined to keep that pace of increase during the next few years, the number of illegals deciding to come here and deciding to stay would decrease with the realization that the climate of tolerance for illegality had ended. Then, the magnitude of the problem would be more manageable, but that's not what the bipartisan political elite wants. Instead, it wants its rotten deal.

Rich Lowry

Rich Lowry is author of Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years .
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