Tony Blankley

 The other component of ending the flood is to reduce the attractions to illegal entry in the form of employer sanctions for hiring illegals and denial of social services to illegals. The latter may be unconstitutional under recent case law and is, in any event, not considered to be even plausibly passable into law. The president briefly mentioned employer sanctions, about which much more must be defined into law. The key is to have prison term penalties for CEOs of companies that hire illegals and a practical means of illegal identification available. The president's proposed biometric ID card is a good first step. Sen. Jeff Sessions has proposed a fuller method that will end employer excuses.

 If -- and it is a big if -- all of that can be gained by congressional negotiations over the next two months, the question remains whether the anti-illegal immigrant and resident movement should accept some undesirable guest worker or path to citizenship provisions -- if that is the price we have to pay for getting a secure border.

 This is where the sanity matter comes into play. Especially regarding the guest worker provision, if we pass no legislation this year, we will continue to have a de facto guest worker program with millions of new arrivals every year and no secure border. Moreover, it is inconceivable that the November election will elect a congress more amenable to our cause. The next congress will have, if anything, more Democrats. Disgruntled conservatives will have no way of strengthening the anti-illegal immigrant vote: Their choice will be a soft Republican, a bad Democrat or abstention (which in effect is the same as a bad Democrat). It would seem to me that we lose nothing by trading an otherwise inevitable de facto guest worker condition for a genuinely secure border and employer sanction regimen.

 On the other hand, the path to citizenship is not inevitable and should be fiercely resisted. Granting sacred citizenship to scofflaws is reprehensible, and if we pass nothing, at least we won't pass such a citizenship provision.

 Americans, and particularly we conservatives, take unjustified pride in refusing to compromise. But the genius of American politics is precisely our capacity to politically compromise. Our founding fathers were master compromisers -- and not just on secondary issue. At our constitutional convention-after heavy negotiations -- the big states got the House and the small states got the Senate. More or less, the big government Hamiltonians got the federal powers they deemed necessary -- such as the interstate commerce provisions, while the Jeffersonians got the Bill of Rights.

 Even sordid compromises were indulged in to gain even larger objectives. Slavery was permitted and Black slaves were designated three-fifths of a person. That compromise with slavery permitted the union to be born, but necessitated a civil war and 600,000 deaths 80 years later to remedy.

 At our founding we needed a union, and we got it at a high price. Today, we need a genuinely secure border, and we should be prepared to pay a price for that, too.


Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

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