There are plenty of reasons the thought of President Newt Gingrich makes me shudder. But on this hard, defining American issue, he’s shown a combination of brains, heart and guts that puts the rest of his party to shame.
Immigration is a subject that brings out the best and the worst in Americans.
As taught to my fourth-grade daughter this semester, the story of the peopling of America encourages us to celebrate our identity as the land of e pluribus unum. It reminds us of the tolerance required to coexist in a culture of many cultures. It honors the courage to uproot your life so your children can have a better one.
As it is practiced in our politics, the subject often dredges up darker feelings: tribalism, xenophobia, envy, a pull-up-the-ladder stinginess. This is not new. The English and Dutch colonists resented the immigrant waves of Irish and Germans, who resented the later waves of Italians and Poles and Jews.
But wait. Why are we even talking about this?
I hate to distract you with actual facts, but here are a few that have been overlooked in the din of alarm: illegal immigration is falling ...