Governor Schwarzenegger writes today in the L.A. Times that he supports a guest worker program. At the same time, he says "Granting citizenship to people who are here illegally is not just amnesty...it's anarchy."
The Governor, who of course is an immigrant himself, also discusses the importance of assimilation: "Above all, we owe it to our country and our immigrants to share our values. We should talk about our history, our institutions and our beliefs. We should assimilate immigrants into the mainstream. We want immigrants to not just live in America but to live as Americans."
I think many people would agree with that last point. One of the reasons the protests this week have been divisive is the allegiance of many protestors to Mexico, not the United States; they claim that because California and other states were once Mexican territory, they deserve to be here without following the rules.
No one that I know of opposes legal immigrants. After all, many (most?) Americans are descended from immigrants. My children's heritage includes ancestors from England, France, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Holland, and Canada -- mixed in with some of the "original" Americans, Cherokee Indians.
One of my complaints about the President's approach to illegal immigration is that he doesn't differentiate the issues: He speaks (including in his State of the Union address) as though some Americans resent "immigrants." That's not the case at all. Rather, we are distressed by illegal immigration and its attendant issues: stress on the infrastructure, lack of assimilation, security concerns, and having to deal with the arrogant resentment of those who broke the law to enter the country and believe they are perfectly entitled to be here.
The media and Democrats are all too happy to paint the Republican party as opposed to "immigration," which could hurt conservatives at the polls. I think it's extremely important that Republicans clarify the terms of the debate.