George Will, a conservative, typically pro-pathway to citizenship nationally syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, has written a fair and honest assessment of Rep. Lamar Smith, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and supporter of immigration enforcement. Excerpts from Will's assessment are below:
...When his ancestors got to Texas in the 1850s, they were immigrants entering an established Hispanic culture. He notes that San Antonio is a "tri-cultural city" - 7 percent African American, 30 percent Anglo and 60 percent Hispanic. America, he says, has the world's "most generous legal immigration policies. We admit as many legal immigrants as the rest of the world combined."
Regarding illegal immigration, however, he proposes a program of "attrition through enforcement." Workplace enforcement, that is.
He says such enforcement has declined 70 percent in the past two years, and fines levied on employers of illegal immigrants are treated by businesses as a bearable cost of doing business as usual. Nationally, 250,000 businesses are using E-Verify, the program that quickly validates the legality of workers, and each week 1,300 more businesses sign up for the system....
Smith does not flinch from questioning the practice of "birthright citizenship" - awarding citizenship to anyone born in America, including children whose parents are here illegally. He cites a Houston Chronicle report that stated 70 percent of births in Houston and Dallas public hospitals in 2005 were to illegal-immigrant mothers. Today births to illegal immigrants account for nearly 10 percent of births nationally....
He favors ending birthright citizenship as currently administered and thinks it is possible to "write a statute to get five votes" on the court. If he does write one, this soft-spoken man will be carrying a big stick of legislative dynamite.
You can read George Will's entire column here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/02/AR2011030206616.html
Updated: Thu, Mar 3rd 2011 @ 1:28pm EST