If immigration reform passes, in the 1,000 page bill now before Congress, get ready for a one-party state. Red states will turn purple, purple states will turn blue, and federal politics will resemble the single-hued state politics of California. Oh, there will be subtle differences between moderate liberals and hard core progressives (“liberals in a hurry”), but there won’t be anything we’d recognize as a real opposition. Oversight hearings will be a love fest, rumors of corruption will be confined to a few blogs, congressionally appointed Inspectors General will be selected for their ability to go with the flow. We’ll see politicians with the smarts of Chuck Schumer but the ethics of Marion Barry. We’ll end up looking a lot more like Argentina.
What the Republicans missed, in their grand bargains, was the opportunity to shut the door on family preferences. That’s the only kind of bargain that made sense for them, and for the country as well. Sure, immigrants are important. But why force good ones to go to other countries that pay attention to the economic benefits they confer on natives?
Are you more optimistic than I about the proposed legislation? I may be wrong. But here in Washington that’s exactly what Democrats privately tell you they expect to result from the bill.