Without getting into the intricacies of immigration law, there is one idea that should dominate the discussion-the idea that people who come to America should want to become Americans. As Michael Barone writes:

“And we need to encourage their assimilation into America. Opponents of immigration often express distaste with the growing Latino neighborhoods increasingly visible across the country. One hundred years ago, Henry James expressed similar distaste when he visited the Lower East Side of New York. But in time, those immigrants or their children were assimilated, and today their descendants seem as American as anyone else. Assimilation then had the wholehearted support of leaders like Theodore Roosevelt; today many of our elites have transnational (Samuel Huntington’s word) attitudes and regard assimilation as oppressive. The vast majority of ordinary Americans have better sense. Congress, while rewriting the immigration law, ought to take care to encourage assimilation–Americanization, as TR put it. For immigration is not just a challenge; it’s an opportunity.”