This is good stuff from Dan Henniger at the Journal:
Indeed the proprietor of this column was released from the burn ward just days ago after arguing last week in this space that some 12 million illegal workers employed by seven or eight U.S. industries across numerous states was an important market signal and that it was not in the interests of conservatives to dismiss market forces as irrelevant.
Conservatives for market forces? Very strange. It seems that the grassroots consists of Conservatives Against the Market and Christians Against Forgiveness.
There are at least 12.5 million illegal Hispanic-origin workers in the U.S. now. If the opponents want at least 6 million of them out of the U.S., they should write up legislation that will achieve that goal, tell the American people that this is indeed the explicit purpose and then let voters convey their desires to the Members of Congress.
If expulsion is not the goal but if "unearned" citizenship remains intolerable (and politically, that may well be so), then the one feasible option is for the political system to create a temporary guest-worker program that rises and falls with the tides of the U.S. economy.
There can’t be too many people in this debate more upset with the status quo than those who emailed me about last week’s column. What galled these readers, often small businesspeople, was the feeling of rank unfairness; they incur costs for liability and workers comp, which they believe the hirers of illegals evade. However angry, most of these Journal readers want to move forward, not back, as summarized here: "By the way, this doesn’t make me anti-immigrant or a racist, either. If labor shortages are that big of an issue then lobby to adjust our legal immigration and work visa policies." Agreed.
Of course, that’s why it is in the bill.
Oh, and Henniger points out Mitt Romney’s shameful flip-flop.
The truth is that if Gov. Romney’s public stance on "temporary Z visas" for illegal workers has migrated from support to opposition, it has little to do with civility and a lot to do with the blowtorch of opposition from Republicans to anything — from A to Z — having to do with illegal workers from Mexico or Latin America.