Shortly after the new bipartisan immigration bill was released this week, one opponent, Republican Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, said it contained "a fatal flaw:" the provision for a 10-year process through which some illegal immigrants could gain citizenship.
"It legalizes almost everyone in the country illegally, also known as amnesty, before it secures the border," Smith said. "As a result, the Senate proposal issues an open invitation to enter the country illegally."
Smith voices a common fear among border-security hawks: That any so-called "amnesty" or legalization plan will somehow spur more foreigners to make unauthorized dashes across the border. A recent poll by the Rasmussen company found that nearly half of respondents thought a pathway to citizenship would lead to more more illegal immigration.
But here's one thing that might allay those fears: Mexicans, who make up the plurality of illegal immigrants, are feeling better and better about their country, and fewer are interested in moving across the border.