- The Washington Times - Friday, November 20, 2009


Rep. Lamar Smith’s article (“Obama encourages illegals,” Opinion, Wednesday) laments certain immigration rule changes that President Obama has made. Although I have no desire to defend the actions of Mr. Obama, Mr. Smith should blame himself and his fellow anti-immigrant cohorts in Congress for encouraging illegal immigration.

As students of free-market economics know, economic forces are as strong as forces of nature. Immigration is no exception. If we severely restrict legal immigration, as our government has done for 88 years, it should not be surprising that illegal immigrants will follow in the wake of bad laws restricting their legal entrance. They have no alternative.

We do not need better enforcement or more troops on the border. What we need is a legal alternative that doesn’t take a generation to obtain a green card legally. When law and reality come into conflict, reality always makes the law irrelevant. That is what is happening in the immigration arena. One would think that a self-proclaimed conservative like Mr. Smith would understand that.


Policy analyst

Competitive Enterprise Institute


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