Thursday, May 24, 2007

Senator Blanche Lincoln supports immigration reform (Good for her!)

This is not exactly some sort of breakthrough, but Lincoln does mostly come down on the right side of things. Of course, she's still tough on illegal immigrants. They might have entered legally, at the whim of American economic interests, and the tacit approval of the United States government. Undocumented workers may pay taxes and provide essential services, but let's not forget to be tough. There's absolutely no reason to deny oursleves the delightful sensation of moral superiority.

Lincoln is mostly right. It's a conversation dominated by evil windbags, so I guess we should be grateful for all sane voices.

Washington – U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln Thursday called on Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to fix our nation’s out-of-date and broken immigration system.

“Our immigration system is a difficult and complicated issue and fixing it won’t be easy. The problems we face today with border security and illegal immigration didn’t appear overnight and they won’t be solved overnight,” Lincoln said in a speech on the Senate floor Thursday.

Lincoln called the current debate on immigration the kind of meaningful, bipartisan approach the American people expect of the United States Senate. Lincoln said she strongly believes that Congress should work to complete an immigration reform bill this year because the more time that passes, the harder it will be to get a handle on this ever-growing problem.

Lincoln, who supported last year’s bipartisan effort that passed the Senate, recommended comprehensive immigration reform that is “tough, fair, and practical.”

“Without a doubt, our top priority must be border security. In this day and age, the safety and security of our citizens is paramount, and I will not support any legislation that does not accomplish that goal,” Lincoln said.

“In addition, I believe it is to the detriment of taxpaying Americans if we don’t address the millions of illegal immigrants living in our communities in a practical and realistic way. No reform proposal should grant amnesty. Those who have broken the law – including employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants – must face proper recourse. Any solution must require illegal immigrants to pay taxes they owe and make businesses pay the wage taxes they routinely avoid. By creating an earned path to citizenship and tough enforcement policies for businesses, we can eliminate the shadow economy that encourages illegal immigration.”

Lincoln stated that an enforcement-only policy is impractical and ineffective, does nothing to restore the rule of law, and relies on the same plan that caused the problem in the first place.

“I believe we can make progress for the good of our country and produce a reform plan that reflects our American values if we continue to have the kind of bipartisan debate we’ve seen this week,” Lincoln said.

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