Leading Republican academics and activists supporting immigration bill

There was a very important letter published in the Dallas Morning News about immigration. It was signed by a number of leading Republicans. Let’s look at some text:

This is the most far-reaching and thoughtful reform of our immigration system in four decades and one that will significantly enhance American competitiveness. As with any political compromise, improvements can be made. But the basic framework is one that conservatives should support. Indeed, for conservatives who opposed last year’s immigration bill, this package represents a step forward.

And:

Border security, the rule of law, national interest, economic competitiveness — these are the conservative concerns at the heart of the agreement. Yet conservatism is also, as Ronald Reagan reminded us, about optimism and self-confidence — about an America sure enough of itself to be a big tent and a beacon.

The Senate framework will allow us to go on attracting immigrants and maintain the rule of law, too. The benefits of the bill far outweigh its shortcomings. We believe it offers the only realistic way forward, and urge conservatives — and all Americans — to embrace the promise it holds out.

Several important points should be made about this. Many of the leading GOP academics signed this letter. For example, Greg Mankiw, a "brilliant", according to Mitt Romney, economic advisor to the Romney campaign; Tamar Jacoby, a senior academic at the  Manhattan Institute (who wrote, along with another Romney advisor Cesar Conda, this wonderful pro-immigration piece about "rational and realistic" plans like this one);  Kevin Hassett, the Director of Economic Policy at AEI; Gary Rosen, the editor of Commentary, a leading Jewish magazine; Joseph Buttom, the editor of First Things, a leading Christian magazine; and many others.

It is looking increasingly likely that this bill will pass. It will be imperfect, but it is serious. I would hope that, for our party and our country, people start following the path that these leaders and academics are setting out. It is particularly appalling to see people like Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Sam Brownback, people who used to support proposals like this, blowing in the political wind on this issue.