There is much talk about immigration and bigotry ranging from Arizona to the Comments in the UK.
Lets start off with that placing immigration policy off the table itself leaves room for fringe groups like the KKK and to a lesser extent the BNP room to breathe. The problem with mainstream parties is that they become addicted to getting votes. They make the political calculation that showering benefits on people boosts their numbers.
Another problem is that every action has unintended consequences. The VAWA Act had some very serious and noble goals. Nobody should be forced into remaining in a domestic violence situation for acquiring residence. I met lawyers who specialize in this area the other day and I can say their integrity and zeal is a credit to the profession. Yet even in an area as serious as this there does remain some fraudulent cases.
The problems in the area of asylum and refugee cases are even more pronounced. Few people would have issue with allowing immigration of people who are persecuted like Christians in the Middle East and Tibetans. Over time this lofty program has come to add Chinese Family Planning as well as female genital mutilation. Legitimate questions if these issues really fit the intended purpose of the plan are not bigoted.
The problem with law in general is incrementalism. Nobody in their right mind should ever criticize the intended goals of programs like VAWA and the Asylum law. Protecting mostly women and children as well as persecuted minorities is something all of us should agree is a societal goal. Yet the reality is that every noble action does produce a counter action of shady cases and scammers. I also want to make clear that the legal arena is open to novel ideas. At a certain point the argument will be made that women in the USA whose husbands force them into polygamous unions or accept a second wife are also covered.
Placing the subject of immigration policy off the table for discussion creates bigotry. The obviously flawed system allows marginal types from the KKK to LARAZA breathing room.
We are going to get some type of immigration reform. The question is can Obama do it now while he has a stronger hand or later with a weaker hand. The case can be made that after the health care debacle we want Obama to be weakened so a better bill will be passed.