As I noted below, many religious folks have taken a "compassionate" position in the immigration debate, a position (by the way) that tracks very well that taken by the Chamber of Commerce (somewhere--is it heaven or is it hell?--Adam Smith is smiling). I cant quarrel with the religious principles involved--above all, hospitality toward the stranger--but a substantial portion of the overall policy direction depends less upon this principle than upon the prudential judgment that border enforcement cant work. With that position, Im more willing to quarrel.
Whats more, it seems to me that many who are prepared to be compassionate to immigrants (folks like my dad and mom, both immigrants themselves, albeit through legal channels) also want, first and foremost, border security. Might it not be a wise political move, perfectly consistent with the high principles involved, to support the kinds of border security reassurances that that the high walls folks say they want? Whats objectionable about (so far as is practicable) sealing the borders while also providing a path to citizenship and/or a guest worker program for those who are among us? If the religious principle is, as has been claimed, consistent with a concern for national security (not to mention national identity, to which, by the way, I find no objection, at least as a matter of temporal concern, in someone like St. Augustine), then why cant the religious folks reach out to the border security folks and cut a deal--fences, on the one side, for legitimacy, on the other?
Im sure that there are extremists on both sides--hypernativist Know-Nothings, as well as rootless cosmopolitans (to put it nicely)--who would object to one or the other term of the deal, but sound public policy would benefit from marginalizing them, showing them how small their real constituencies are.
What say you. gentle readers?