Immigration Bill Brings Out 'Best,' 'Worst' of America

New Republic warns 'draconian' measures will follow if compromise fails
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2007 2:22 PM CDT
Donna Newnan protests an immigration bill and shows her displeasure with Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., near Chambliss' office in Smyrna, Ga, Thursday June 7, 2007. Chambliss just as he gears up for a...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Calling the immigration bill currently fighting its way through the Senate "the best that liberals are likely to get," the New Republic's editors tepidly endorsed the legislation that would bring 12M laborers closer to US citizenship even as they condemned the implications of the bill's proposed guest-worker program.

Insisting that it’s time to act on immigration lest "nativism" grow in coming years, the center-left editors nonetheless deliver a stinging rebuke of the guest-worker proposal, which would bring foreign workers into the US without any path to permanent residence. Though the ultimate compromise is worthwhile, it comes at the cost of a program that, they write forcefully, follows the "unsavory tradition of the African slave ship, the Chinese coolie, and the Mexican bracero."