Immigrant-oriented immigration policies for the past two decades have been flashy and made for good TV and newspaper shots, but its like treating the flu with cough drops rather than with an antibiotic.
Lost in this whole immigration debate is why Americans want to be so harsh on the people who, in so many ways, enable them to sit on their fat asses. Why set our crosshairs on the humble, servile people? I'll tell you why. Because we're bullies.
Arizona's law is racial profiling at its worst, and it forces police officers who know better but are just doing their jobs to harass millions of innocent legal immigrants who have done absolutely nothing wrong.
Only 5,000 green cards a year are issued to low-skilled workers seeking permanent residence. Clearly, we should expect a black market in labor to arise when demand for workers far exceeds the legal supply.
A recent University of Arizona study found that Arizona's immigrant workers paid an estimated $2.4 billion in state taxes, and accounted for $44 billion in economic output that created 400,000 full-time jobs.
In the past, as now, nativism, bigotry and fear of competition from foreign workers dulled the collective American memory of its own immigrant history and democratic ideals. We must not go down that road again.
While the Reid-Schumer-Menendez immigration proposal would go a long way toward reforming the immigration system, worryingly, it continues many of the current inequities, and leaves many questions unanswered.