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The Senate's Immigration "Compromise"

Now that the immigration bill has snagged, it is time to assess whether it deserves to pass. When I heard the word "compromise," I knew I would be uneasy about it. In no particular order, some thoughts about where this discussion will go next:

• In any compromise, it means somebody blinked. I didn't want my side to blink. My side wanted far tougher borders and serious consequences for those who have broken our laws to get here. Any bill that Ted Kennedy and Harry Reid can support simply does not do that. Sadly, the same might be said of the support expected from President Bush.

• Bill Frist energized the conservative base for a few days with a bill that focused first on tougher borders. This bill probably ends that, for now.

• Sometimes people don't want compromise. Sometimes they want the cleansing struggle of an honest fight. One side is right, the other wrong. One side wins, the other loses. We have hard questions to face about what fate should await the millions who have violated U.S. law to send wages back across the border. These Senators can blow congratulatory smoke at each other all day, but at the end of the day, this bill does not provide a satisfying solution. Our leaders remain paralyzed by the fear of alienating Hispanic voters, who in a sane world would be the harshest voices of all against illegal immigration.

• This bill perpetuates the myths of "jobs Americans won't do," and "labor we cannot do without."

• Ultimately, I smell elected officials who far preferred the happy air of a back-slapping news conference to the hard job of standing up for the unpleasant truth.

- Mark Davis
Host of The Mark Davis Radio Show