On Tuesday Representative Paul Ryan was interviewed by radio talk show host Mark Levin on immigration reform. It’s a very good interview. Mr. Levin, a harsh critic of immigration reform, asks direct and informed questions. Representative Ryan answers them in a precise and knowledgeable way. He is clearly in command of the issue.
It’s fair to say, I think, that Levin simply doesn’t believe any bill under consideration will do what needs to be done–that claims of increased border security and e-verify screenings are illusory. We’ve been promised them before, and they have never come to pass. Mr. Ryan, on the other hand, argues that even if immigration legislation is imperfect, the right policies, if written into law and enforced, would dramatically improve the current situation (in which we have, among other things, de facto amnesty).
As Ryan laid things out, he favors a House bill that includes (a) objective and enforceable border triggers; (b) a genuine verification system that has to be in place before proceeding with changes in the status of undocumented workers; (c) a legal immigration system that takes some of the pressure off the southern border, which will lead to greater security; and (d) a way to get the economy the labor it needs in order to achieve greater economic growth.
Whichever side one is on in the immigration debate, this discussion is a good (and civil) one, and it’s worth listening to.