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Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Minority Issues





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Immigration reform is made up of two differing extreme positions, but by seeking common ground, a more fair and balanced approach may be adopted in the best interests of all.Rather than trying to analyze positions as conservative or liberal, it makes more sense to view the extremes as a “closed border” versus “open border” approach. The extreme positions will not work, so a more middle-ground position would require a thoughtful examination of a number of issues. Those issues are what are the costs and benefits of removing those already illegally here; what role should the federal, state, and local governments play; and how much are we willing to impose sanctions upon citizens in the name of immigration control? Attempting to answer these questions will be difficult, but beginning this process will enable a movement inward from the extremes to a more just immigration policy.

The history of American immigration is dramatic and made up of extreme positions both calling for reform, when a middle-ground might serve as a starting point for the implementation of some thoughtfully-conceived measures to address our current immigration situation. The rhetoric associated with the contemporary immigration debate is often harsh; yet it pales by comparison with the extreme discussions in earlier periods of our history. In the process, seeking a common ground from the extremes might increase the likelihood of the formulation of an equitable approach to immigration reform.

Recommended Citation

Bill Piatt, Immigration Reform from the Outside In, 10 Scholar 269 (2008).