ATTRITION NOT AMNESTY: With mass deportation not a realistic physical possibility, and wholesale amnesty a mockery of our laws and values, a middle-way idea is taking hold: attrition of the illegal population through tough enforcement. A new paper by
Jessica Vaughan, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Immigration Studies, finds that according to the government's own cost estimates, an attrition strategy could cut the illegal population by nearly half in five years, with an additional investment of less than $2 billion, or $400 million per year — an increase of less than 1 percent of the President's 2007 budget request for the Department of Homeland Security.A recent Zogby poll reveals that the public overwhelmingly prefers such an attrition approach over the other two options. Vaughn says the approach would be workable and affordable. But don't count on the White House to head in that direction unless nudged hard by the conservative base. Bush/Rove seem bound and determined to chase big dreams of big GOP tents, the premise being that going soft on illegal immigration will send welcoming signals to Hispanics in general, eventually putting the Democrats out of business. Bush's Cinco de Mayo pandering, in addition to being pathetic, shows the extent to which "racial issues" are at play in the immigration controversy — but not in the way we usually think. Shelby Steele is spot on with his cogent claim that much of what fuels bad thinking on issues of race is white shame, which leads so many self-styled "decent" whites to abandon moral clarity (on immigration and countless other issues) because they desperately want to prove how free of racism they are.