Thomas Sowell

The ease with which people can move back and forth between the United States and Mexico -- as contrasted with those who made a one-way trip across the Atlantic in earlier times -- reduces still further the likelihood that these new immigrants will assimilate and become an integral part of the American society as readily as many earlier immigrants did.

Claims that the new immigration bill will have "tough" requirements, including learning English, have little credibility in view of the way existing laws are not being enforced.

What does "learning English" mean? I can say "arrivederci" and "buongiorno" but does that mean that I speak Italian?

Does anyone expect a serious effort to require a real knowledge of English from a government that captures people trying to enter the country illegally and then turns them loose inside the United States with instructions to report back to court -- which of course they are not about to do?

Another fraudulent argument for the new immigration bill is that it would facilitate the "unification of families." People can unify their families by going back home to them. Otherwise every illegal immigrant accepted can mean a dozen relatives to follow.

"What can we do with the 12 million people already here illegally?" is the question asked by amnesty supporters. We can stop them from becoming 40 million or 50 million, the way 3 million illegals became 12 million after the previous amnesty.

The most fundamental question of all has not been asked: Who should decide how many people, with what qualifications and prospects, are to be admitted into this country? Is that decision supposed to be made by anyone in Mexico who wants to come here?

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate