After Arizona, in which direction should they expect reform to go, and in which direction should they push those policies?
As with other crucial questions about our immigration policy, the answers may well lie in a careful examination of American history.
Designed almost five decades ago, that system has ceased to function effectively, to suit the needs and circumstances of today's society and economy, and to retain the support of the public.
It is precisely the failure of that system that has driven Arizona and other states to try to fix the problem themselves, and that has prompted lawmakers at the national level to spend the better part of the past decade in pursuit of "comprehensive immigration reform." That effort has tortured the nation's politics and stoked controversy surrounding questions of race and national identity — and yet has achieved essentially nothing. Here, too, history points to the answer: Our immigration policies, and the role the federal government plays in them, tend to follow American political trends more broadly.
We should not be surprised, then, that our immigration debate has, to date, been similarly inconclusive.
So what should Americans concerned about the very urgent problems posed by our broken immigration system do?
IMMIGRATION AND FEDERALISM The United States Constitution says less about immigration than most Americans assume.
Article I, Section 8, grants to Congress the power "to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization." That's all.
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