If Michael Barone is right (as Joe suggested below) and the time is ripe for some sort of immigration omnibus bill, I hope some consideration--some deep consideration--will be given to the work of Victor Davis Hanson in this piece from the Claremont Review of Books and elsewhere. He is the only author I have seen who seems to grasp the fullness of the human problem at the heart of the immigration debate. And he’s not afraid of the tough questions or the tough answers. For example:
In some sense, guest workers are far more destabilizing than a one-time amnesty. The former constantly enlarges the number of exploited and soon to be disillusioned aliens; the latter ends it. The prohibition of bilingual government documents and services, and of a racially chauvinistic and separatist curriculum in our schools and universities, would also send a powerful message that one should not come north unless he is willing to become a full-fledged American in every linguistic, cultural, and political sense of the word.
In other words, he wonders if amnesty--though hugely unpopular--isn’t in reality a better solution than an on-going "guest worker" program because "guest worker" would only extend and exaccerbate the problems associated with illegal immigration. Of course, we would have to be serious about the amnesty being a one-time thing and the border would have to be tightened up in a serious way first. Hanson takes seriously the need to assimilate immigrants in a way that few other commentators have. If you haven’t looked as his work on this subject, you should. As I recall, he also had a great essay published on this subject awhile ago in Hillsdale College’s Imprimis.
Update: Yes, he did. Here it is.