I'm here at work late-ish (hey, I start early) getting ready for a teleconference with some folks in Washington State and just caught a headline that had me breaking into a grin: President Obama announces National Guard troop deployment to US-Mexico border.
I'm smiling not just because I think it's *good for business* (I'm gainfully employed through mid-2012, thank you very much) but because I think it's the right thing on many levels.
First of all, if we have a porous border, it opens us up to tons of legitimate national security threats that have the potential to make 9/11 and Pearl Harbor seem small by comparison. That's way more of a threat, in any sense of the word, than are the droves of undocumented immigrants who enter the country each year.
That said, undocumented immigration IS a problem that needs to be addressed, for the strain it creates on the social services and communities it affects most.
As for the millions already here, they ought to be placed on a path towards permanent residency, and, potentially, citizenship.
Yes, it's been done before, and it's been successful in many respects; it has not, however, been accompanied with real, truly serious measures to start securing our borders.
To try to think we can somehow deport, let alone identify, let alone find, even a meaningful percentage of the millions who live here now "without papers" is preposterous. From any point of view, it makes way more sense to bring them INTO the fold -- doing that is pretty much a win-win for both the tax man and the society writ large.
But that's not the whole answer. As John McCain said today, the President's move today is a great start but it's not enough...most likely, we'll need even more National Guardsmen to accomplish this mission.
Whether you think that makes me a bed-wetting liberal, or a rifle-toting conservative, I have no idea.
But if I could pick, I'd opt for "big-hearted pragmatist."