The President described the illegal immigrant problem and set out a series of steps for addressing it. The skeptics who have turned cynics are upset because the plan did not include massive fences along the entire US land borders and the immediate removal of more than ten million illegal aliens in the country. These cynics are often on the fringe right and are using this issue to rationalize their disappointment in not achieving perfection in what they though the President would do for them.

Victor Davis Hanson described what has worked and what hasn’t back on March 31 in The Protests — Whose Backlash?

Bilingual education in our schools, multicultural romance about a mythical Aztlan in our universities, guest worker programs that institutionalize helot status, salad-bowl separatism, and millions who cross the border illegally, all have contributed to the present disaster. But as we see with second- and third-generation model Mexican-American citizens, English immersion, acceptance of an American identity, integration, intermarriage and assimilation, legal and monitored immigration in the thousands from Mexico–all that guarantees immigrants success and energizes us the host.

The President’s speech provided rather strong proposals to inhibit those things that don’t work and provided accomodations to support those that do. He mentioned the role of Congress and the current debate that is being waged for all the wrong reasons. The stakes are quite high. The right reasons for the right actions needs to become paramount.

Americans recoil at the volatile ethnic enclaves in France and the Netherlands–and can understand how such tribalism could quickly escalate to sectarian violence in Iraq, the Balkans, and Rwanda. Unless we curb the present influx, return to the melting pot, and salvage a legal remedy from the present illegal disaster, what we saw this week may only be the beginning of something far more dangerous from both sides of this avoidable crisis.

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