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Kidding Ourselves About Immigration

O.K., we can't let in everybody. But let's at least decide what the threshold should be

Samantha Appleton / NOOR for TIME

Gumption and hard work: That's the tradition of all immigrants.

What you are supposed to say about immigration--what most of the presidential candidates say, what the radio talk jocks say--is that you are not against immigration. Not at all. You salute the hard work and noble aspirations of those who are lining up at American consulates around the world. But that is legal immigration. What you oppose is illegal immigration.

This formula is not very helpful. We all oppose breaking the law, or we ought to. Saying that you oppose illegal immigration is like saying you oppose illegal drug use or illegal speeding. Of course you do, or should. The question is...

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