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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 7, 2007 / 26 Mar-Cheshvan 5768

Disincentivizing illegal immigration

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When Hillary Clinton fumbled a recent debate question about New York's plan to grant driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, she helped clarify at least one issue that keeps getting muddied: Illegal immigrants are illegal.

Why, then, are we granting them driver's licenses?

Thus far, eight states allow illegal immigrants to receive licenses or permits (and 10 ten states offer in-state tuition) — all in the spirit of making America a better place.

But we don't want to encourage immigrants to come here illegally.

Gotcha.

The illegal immigrant problem is huge, obviously, and there's no single solution. But there is one word that would get the ball rolling in the right direction and win a lot of voters' hearts: disincentivize. Stop making it so attractive to slip through, over and under the border.

As long as we offer jobs, medical treatment, driver's licenses and in-state tuition to those who come here illegally, why would any right-thinking, would-be immigrant take a number and wait his turn? Why not just throw in the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders and free tequila while we're at it?

Arguments favoring services and privileges for illegal immigrants always point to the broader benefits to society. Healthy immigrants mean a healthier America; an educated populace means fewer jobless dependents; legal drivers are more responsible because, allegedly, they'll also buy insurance and stick around when they have an accident.

The latter seems unconvincing given that illegal immigrants, by definition, tend not to think legally. In any case, by the same logic, we might also say that amnesty is good for the country because then everyone would be legal. Rather than fix something, we simply accommodate circumstances. As in: Kids are having sex anyway, so we'll just give them condoms.

Advocates for licensing also argue that illegal immigrants can't get jobs without a driver's license. Do I hear bingo? Isn't that the point?

On the one hand, we argue that employers should be penalized for hiring illegal immigrants; on the other, we insist that the immigrants need driver's licenses because employers demand them. I'm beginning to see how Clinton got so tangled up. You cannot argue rationally in defense of the irrational.

The Monday morning quarterback is, of course, a brilliant seer and the stands are filled with hindsight prophets this week. Here's one more shoulda for the pile-on. When NBC's Tim Russert asked why she thought New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's proposal to give illegal immigrants driver's licenses made sense, Clinton should have simply said:

"It makes sense for states to seek solutions given the federal government's failure to reform immigration, but I'm not 100 percent satisfied with the licensing plan. Unfortunately, Tim, I'll need more than 30 seconds to outline my concerns."

Or something to that effect. Instead, Clinton called for immigration reform. It's easy to say we need reform. Everybody agrees with that. It's much harder to say we need to stop rewarding "illegal."

Clinton even refused to use the term "illegal immigrant," preferring the blander "undocumented worker," as though people who cross our border illegally are just like the rest of us except for those darned documents. They may be nice, hard-working people, but they're not like other immigrants who, having come here legally, have demonstrated a commitment to the rule of law and fairness.

Surely, we can love our neighbors and be a pro-immigrant nation without granting de facto citizenship to illegal immigrants through a menu of rights and privileges. As is, all that's missing is the oath — and any meaning attached to it.

Beyond principle, there are practical reasons for denying licenses to illegal immigrants. As some reformers have pointed out, the driver's license is more than a permit to drive. It's a nationally recognized ID that implies citizenship, and is the most coveted "breeder document" of terrorists because it allows them access to all the other things they need to blend in — jobs, housing, bank accounts — as well as access to commercial airplanes and rental cars.

Many states still don't verify applicants' identities. In May 2001, when Tennessee dropped its requirement that applicants supply a Social Security number, tens of thousands of illegal immigrants applied for licenses, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

There may be no way to solve every aspect of the immigration problem. Certainly, no serious person thinks we can round up 12 million people and deport them. But it would be refreshing if we began to take seriously what it means to be a citizen and stop making it so attractive to be a lawbreaker.

That would make sense.

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