In response to:

Conservatives and Citizenship

Kenneth L. Wrote: Mar 08, 2013 7:20 AM
Ms Chavez, the key point you are missing is encapsulated in the German example you use: "...along with their German-born children." We give citizenship to those born here, and they belong to the generation that will speak English and become acculturated in spite of themselves. I think the legal residency is a good solution. It allows people to come into the open, pay taxes and interact with government, get drivers licenses, etc. But it doesn't "reward" illegal activity. It doesn't move them to the "front of the line." We have a large scale problem estimated at about 11 million people living here illegally. Let's not make a good idea the victim of a perfect idea.

Jeb Bush's recent backtracking on the question of whether we should grant legal residency but withhold citizenship to the 11 million illegal immigrants living in the country today is far less draconian than some advocates for legalization are claiming. It is an idea that has been floated by others who support legalization, including scholar Peter Skerry of Boston College.

As Skerry points out in a recent article for National Affairs, not all immigrants -- and certainly not all of those who came here illegally -- want to become citizens. In 1986, when Congress granted legal status to approximately three million...