Trump sets up a grand bargain on immigration

Those who argue that the wall won’t work have something of a point. Although a wall is a mighty symbol, and symbols matter, it’s far from clear that a wall would stop illegal immigration. Nearly half of the illegal immigrants are visa overstayers; they might land at Kennedy Airport or Los Angeles International Airport with, say, a tourist visa, then overstay the visa and quickly disappear in this big country.

The only way to truly curtail illegal immigration may require that all employers use an electronic system like E-Verify to certify the legal status of newly hired workers, accompanied by sizable penalties for employers who break the law.

Those who argue that getting rid of chain migration is racist are just throwing scare words into the fire to choke debate. Our current system lets a new immigrant eventually sponsor the entry of her brother, who can then sponsor the entry of his wife, who can sponsor her father, who can sponsor his sister, and so on. Does it really make sense for one entry today to eventually lead to a visa for the immigrant’s sister-in-law’s aunt?