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Transparent Statement:
I support amnesty, but mainly for practical reasons.

It is easy to talk tough on immigration and suggest we are going to kick out more than 10 million illegal immigrants and then build a wall up to the sky so that no more can enter the country illegally. That is a crock, to put it lightly.

In fact, President Ronald Reagan granted amnesty — and a path to citizenship — to millions of immigrants in the 1980's in a compromise deal with Congressional Democrats in exchange for enhanced border security.

It is just not practical to round up 10 million people and FedEx them out of the country. The vast majority are hard-working people who have built a life here and are part of the community. Yes, they committed a crime in coming here. But we have also committed a crime in letting them get settled.

If politicians truly wanted to get rid of immigrants, we could simply enforce our existing laws, particularly those requiring companies to ensure every person they hire is legally permitted to work in this country. We do not do that, mostly because businesses like the cheap (albeit illegal) labor.

While I agree that it is wrong to illegal enter this country and people should not be rewarded for doing so — let alone incentivized with the prospect of amnesty — from a practical perspective, we can either becomme a police state or find a solution that enables them to be productive (and tax-paying) members of the community.

The alternative is to just continue on and pretend they are not here, which is a disservice to both them and to us.

Steve Rubenstein for Governor | Privacy Policy