A bipartisan task force will recommend today that the United States overhaul its immigration system in response to national security concerns, saying that the country should end strict quotas on work-based immigrant visas to maintain its scientific, technological and military edge.
"The continued failure to devise and implement a sound and sustainable immigration policy threatens to weaken America's economy, to jeopardize its diplomacy, and to imperil its national security," concluded an independent Council on Foreign Relations panel, co-chaired by former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R) and former Clinton White House chief of staff Thomas V. "Mack" McLarty III....
The panel also recommended "earned legalization, not amnesty" for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants now living in the United States, requiring those who wish to stay to work, pay taxes, learn English, pass background checks, pay fines and wait their turn behind legal immigrants. ...
Edward Alden, the task force's director and a CFR fellow, said the involvement of Bush, a prominent national Republican and the brother of former president George W. Bush, and McLarty, a Democrat and senior international fellow at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, was intended to create political space for centrists in both parties.
"Politically what this group shows is a consensus is possible on this issue," Alden said. "There is a commitment on all sides of the political debate to much tougher and more consistent enforcement . . . The trade-off on the other side is, you've got to have a flexible enough system in which it will be possible to adjust" employer-based immigration based on economic conditions, he said.
Also serving on the 19-member panel were Eliseo Medina, international executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union; Raul H. Yzaguirre past president and chief executive officer of the National Council of La Raza; Robert C. Bonner, former head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Drug Enforcement Administration; and Richard D. Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's ethics and religious liberty commission.
These kind of efforts to slide amnesty by us by assembling an Establishment Republican and Democrat coalition of the Great and the Good always remind me of Guy Crouchback's reaction to the Hitler-Stalin Pact at the beginning of Evelyn Waugh's WWII trilogy, Sword of Honor:
Just seven days earlier he had opened his morning newspaper on the headlines announcing the Russian-German alliance. News that shook the politicians and young poets of a dozen capital cities brought deep peace to one English heart . ... But, now, splendidly, everything had become clear. The enemy at last was plain in view, huge and hateful, all disguise cast off. It was the Modern Age in arms. Whatever the outcome there was a place for him in that battle.