The murder of Mollie Tibbetts is reason to loosen immigration laws, not restrict them

The lesson in the tragedy of the Tibbetts murder is that people who want to come here and work will find a way to do it, regardless of the bureaucratic barriers placed in their path. Need a Social Security number to get hired? A state ID? Anyone with sufficient motivation can procure those things — and migrants, legal and illegal, are a self-selecting group of highly motivated people.

Immigration hardliners will reply, not without reason, that just because some people break the law doesn’t mean we should reward them by changing the law. That’s a fair point, but it only goes so far. After all, we as a nation are currently in the process of doing away with long-standing prohibitions on marijuana for no other reason than a critical mass of people persist in using it despite the prohibitions. We have decided, in effect, that smoking weed is a victimless crime, and therefore prohibiting its use makes no sense.

Suggesting that illegal immigration is also a victimless crime will no doubt be met with howls of outrage from the right, especially after the heinous murder of a young woman by an illegal immigrant, to say nothing of the specious claim that illegal immigrants undercut wages for American workers.

But the reality is that the vast majority of illegal immigrants, like legal immigrants, come here to work.