5/3/2016 The Wall Street Journal
For decades it suited citizens on both sides to ignore the U.S.-Mexico border for labor contracting purposes; federal law even provided a de facto amnesty with a five-year statute of limitations on illegal entry.
Today, if anyone cared to, illegal immigration could easily be solved by introducing a fraud-proof national ID card with biometric information; make it illegal, with real penalties, for employers to hire anyone, citizen or immigrant, who doesn’t have one.
Voilà, no need for a wall, though we also detect no appetite for a real immigration solution. Most Americans continue to favor eventual legalization for those already here. Even Donald Trump’s incessant thumping has only raised immigration to a middling issue. Right now, the net people flow is toward the south. Their economy is growing faster than ours. There’s even reason to suspect the U.S. border crackdown has hindered movement back to Mexico.