Bill Vallicella asked me.
No. But I strongly suspect that barriers to legal immigration are probably excessive. We do have to keep out people with criminal records.
I think it's probably a false dilemma, or a straw man, to claim that anyone who wants to reform the immigration system simply wants open borders. It also doesn't follow that all "path to citizenship" programs are simply amnesty. Those that I have heard proposed involved paying a penalty, and earning citizenship. (I realize there are a wide range of fairness issues involved in all of this, but the idea that such plans involve our just forgetting that people are here illegally doesn't seem right to me at all).
This is an Ed Montini column which discusses the effort of Tyson Nash, the hockey player (not related to the Suns Steve Nash, apparently), who, in spite of being a model citizen, came close to being deported. It seems to me that I could ask whether we could make immigration easier without advocating open borders.
I am also convinced that we've have to combine a partial immigration reform with an increase in border security. I'd rather stop them before they come in than send them back after they've settled in and started contributing to our community.
As for the illegal immigrants that are already here, there are questions in my mind about what the economic impact of their removal from our community would be. The departures from Prince William County in Virginia, which was the basis for the movie 9500 Liberty, showed that it resulted in a lot of economic harm, and an increase in the rate of foreclosures. In short, illegal immigrants are a mixed curse, since they become part of our community and do contribute to its economy, pay taxes, etc. I'm not even sure it's physically possible to deport all of them, anyway. That flaming liberal Michael Medved said that in order to send all of the back you'd need buses that, laid end to end, would stretch from Tijuana to Seattle.
On the other hand, the people that actually do transport these desperate people over the border are, so far as I can tell, the worst sorts of criminals, and surely we can hit them as hard as possible.
I seriously doubt that 1070 is going to result in very many deportations. The cost in ill will between the Hispanic community and the rest of us, to my mind, far outweighs the improvement in will provide in law enforcement, which I suspect will be minimal.
So, without actually having done a full cost-benefit analysis on all of this, I would say start with security at the border, make the process of immigration more rational but don't just throw it wide open, and then provide some path to citizenship that involves a serious penalty and isn't just simple amnesty.
A fence? Yes, if it would work, no, if it wouldn't.