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Restoring the Rule of Law Through a Fair, Humane, and Workable Immigration System–Center for American Progress

This is one of the best pieces I have seen on a rational way forward to enact bipartisan immigration reform.  I implore you to read it in its entirety, but I will be quoting excerpts over the next few days.

Introduction and summary

The immigration debate in America today is nearly as broken as the country’s immigration system itself. For too many years, the conversation has been predicated on a false dichotomy that says America can either honor its history and traditions as a nation of immigrants1 or live up to its ideals as a nation of laws by enforcing the current immigration system.2 Presented with this choice,3 supporters of immigration—people who recognize the value that immigrants bring to American society, its culture, and its economy, as well as the important role that immigrants play in the nation’s continued prosperity—have traditionally seized the mantle of defending America as a nation of immigrants.4 By doing this, however, rather than challenging the dichotomy itself, supporters have ceded powerful rhetorical ground to immigration restrictionists, who are happy to masquerade as the sole defenders of America as a nation of laws.5 The fundamental problem with this debate is that America is, and has always been, both a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws. Debates over a liberal immigration policy actually predate the start of the nation itself; they infused the drafting of the U.S. Constitution, America’s founding document.6