Amnesty or Border Security?

Amnesty or Border Security?

Washington editor Chris Hayes and Pat Buchanan debate immigration reform.


Morning Joe heats up when Pat Buchanan and The Nation‘s Washington editor Chris Hayes debate immigration reform. Hayes argues that the only solution is comprehensive immigration reform, based on his opinion that immigration will achieve a level of equilibrium based on the labor market. Buchanan argues that the solution is as simple as securing the borders first then going after each business that hires illegal immigrants. But the arguments become less clear-cut when the issue of sanctioned racial profiling comes into play.

"Being in the country illegally is not a crime. It is a civil infraction, it is not a criminal infraction," Hayes explains. "This is an important distinction." Buchanan counters with, "Thanks for the ACLU argument…American people have said very clearly we don’t want a path to citizenship, we don’t want amnesty, we want the laws of the United States enforced. Why is the President of the United States…not enforcing laws?" But Hayes disagrees, arguing that enforcing the borders is impractical. And Buchanan argues that granting amnesty will only entice more illegal immigrants to come.

Host Joe Scarborough summed it up best when he said, "It doesn’t help politically for Democrats to support sending illegal immigrants back, and it doesn’t help Republicans in the long-term to be seen as overly harsh."

–Morgan Ashenfelter

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