Very often discussion on Senate Bill 1070 in Arizona implies that it is liberals who oppose this kind of measure, and conservatives who support it. The linked essay, which criticizes Democrats for pushing for a national ID, suggests that there is a case to be made from conservatism to a more open border policy.
This also is a good time to question the entire idea of the national government trying to “seal the borders,” pick winners and losers among immigrants, decide who gets all the welfare benefits of being a legal immigrant and who is not even allowed into our golden door. Invariably, when the federal government imposes its way on immigration, we get some immigrants who come in with legal sanction and quickly become dependents of the U.S. government—whereas illegals are probably not net beneficiaries of the welfare state, legal immigrants might very well be. What’s worse, plenty of people are denied peaceful and legal entry when all they want is to enter the job market, improve their situation and that of their families, and join in the American dream. Of course, despite the state’s distinction between legal and illegal immigrants, most illegal aliens are de facto invited by the American people—by those who employ them, rent to them and associate with them as part of the community and in the glorious network of voluntary exchange known as the market economy. Since conservatives often say our rights come not from the government but from God and the nature of man, it is not for the government to decide whether someone should have the right to live here or not—it is up to individuals and communities, which obviously are able to sustain a fair number of illegals. Moreover, constitutionalists in particular should question the very notion that the feds have legal authority to crack down on the border, since immigration is not an Article I, Section 8 authority of Congress. Conservatives especially should follow Reagan’s example and embrace immigration amnesty.