While I agree that the Dinkins comparison is over the top, I don’t think Krikorian was objecting specifically to Giuliani’s position on whether illegal immigration should be treated as a crime rather than a civil infraction. Krikorian, as a supporter of attrition through enforcement, is taking issue with Giuliani’s oft-stated view that illegal immigrants who don’t commit violent crimes or break other laws should generally be allowed to stay in the country.
Sure, there is a difference between illegally working as a sous chef and being a violent criminal — just as there is a difference between being a violent criminal and being a squeege man. Applying the “broken windows” theory to immigration enforcement would suggest that cracking down on lesser offenders would strike a blow against the overall climate of illegality.
I happen to agree with Giuliani’s enforcement priorities — deporting murderers, rapists, and drunk drivers is a better use of resources than deporting sous chefs — and some moderate restrictionists like Robert Samuelson think reducing the inflows is more important than doing something about the illegals already here. But Giuliani does still support amnesty, and I think a strong argument can be made that even his new pro-enforcement posture doesn’t go far enough in addressing the incentives for illegal immigration.
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