While there are larger issues driving the electorate to the polls this year, there is no denying that a hot button for many is in the immigration camp. Polls show that a majority of Americans are opposed to creating a path to citizenship for the millions who have come to this country illegally.
The United States, like any country, has the right to control its borders, but too many confuse the question of the status of illegal immigrants with that of anti-terrorism. Almost all of those who flocked here without the proper paperwork merely want to acquire work in the same way previous generations of immigrants did. Scapegoating the foreigner or even the illegal calls into question our basic values as a nation of opportunity.
As such, we find the predilection of candidates for federal office from both major parties to grandstand on this issue to be highly distasteful. Rather than compete for the title of honorary border-patrol officer, what we need from our politicians is the courage to stand against the tide of xenophobia that has distorted the debate on this issue.
We hope that once the dust settles, politicians will regain their senses, and pass an immigration-reform bill that puts both rights and security issues in their proper perspective.