There seems to be a clash of values among our citizens on the illegal immigration issue, which seems beyond reconciliation -- it's almost as bad as the abortion issue, which I am certain is beyond reconciliation.
Some people are so imbued with the spirit of compassion and sanctuary that they even refuse to use the word "illegal" in describing these immigrants, which of course obfuscates the issue, because to fail to distinguish legal from illegal immigration denies the actual existence of what, to their opponents, is the principal issue: people entering this country in violation of our nation's laws. As a result, pro-illegal-immigrant groups can paint their opponents as xenophobic and racist, which is a false characterization for many. (I have no intention of denying that there are some among the anti-illegal-immigrationists who are xenophobic and racist, but certainly many, probably most, are not.)
On the other hand, on the other side are folks who insist that any action short of mass deportation constitutes an amnesty. It offends me to see the McCain-Kennedy bill characterized as an "amnesty" bill, since the illegal immigrants would have to pay penalties before being granted legal status. A true amnesty would mean automatically granting them this status.
Since the positions are so far apart, with the pro-illegal-immigrant groups apparently insisting on nothing short of a true amnesty and the anti-illegal-immigrant groups calling any attempt at compromise an amnesty, I cannot see any solution.
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