In today's NY Times, Timothy Egan offers a piece on the immigration bill and the erosion of support for Republicans in the west. Consistent with several reports I've read, support for the immigration reform bill is stronger in the border states than it is away from those states where the population of Mexican illegals represents only a tiny fraction of the general population. I don't bring this up as an endorsement of the immigration bill. I just note it as an interesting phenomenon. I have many thoughts about illegal immigration, but don't hold strong opinions on what to do about it.
Although the state where I live, Illinois, isn't a border state, I don't hear a great deal of locally generated hot wind on the subject. While there is some grumbling, there doesn't seem to be an overwhelming sense of panic (or certainty) in Chicago that one might expect given the intensity of feelings in places that have barely been touched by illegal immigration from Mexico. Illinois trails only California and Texas in the number of Mexican and Mexican-American residents (estimated at over 1 million in the Chicago area); but to hear some bloggers tell it, Chicago area residents should be in cultural and economic crises over illegal immigration. We're not. Not even close. Perhaps inexperience with the issues affords some the opportunity to indulge in certainties that wither in the face of real life experience -- but I'm not sure if that explains the fevered distress of a person spouting certainties from Kansas or Montana.
For now, I'm inclined to give a bit more credence to the views of those with substantial real life experience -- particularly those living near the border.