Historically, the business community has embraced liberal immigration policies. More immigrants mean more workers competing for jobs.
However, many conservatives view immigration (legal and illegal) as a means for outsiders to tap into America’s entitlements, health care and other programs.
On the Democratic side, supporters of more open immigration tout this as part of the American dream. But some in the party object to expanded immigration because of the potential to lower labor costs and out of concern for the environment.
More people mean more consumption, more energy use, more sprawl and more degradation of nature.
So if both parties now say they want to reform immigration rules, does this take the issue off the political table? Not necessarily.
“Reform” comes in many shapes. The two parties may embrace immigration reform in theory, while continuing to squabble over it in practice.
You may have noticed that happens a lot in Washington.
Mitchel Olszak is a columnist for the New Castle (Pa.) News.