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Why States Shouldn’t Control Immigration

Published: May 7, 2012 9:15 am By: ADAM COHEN

"The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, which never passed, showed what Congress could do. That bill would have created a clear path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the U.S. It also had real get-tough provisions, including increased enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border and a national database for employers to check the immigration status of job applicants.

States cannot do anything this ambitious. They may be able to hound individual immigrants into leaving the country or drive the ones who remain to live their lives in the shadows. But states cannot give people a path to citizenship or create a national database. They cannot fix a national system that almost everyone agrees is badly broken."

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