Like gay marriage and gun control, cooler heads will not prevail on the issue of immigration reform until the last vote and the last campaign dollar have been squeezed out of the base, which is to say, never.
Both sides are guilty of demagoguery, which is nothing new. In a perfect world, we would bring out an enormous sieve, strain it through the American populace to collect all the illegal aliens, and ship each of them back to his country of origin.
At the same time, we would build a crenellated Great Wall of America across our southern border, with embrasures every dozen feet or so, that would afford a clear field of fire for the crossbowmen to keep the barbarian hordes at bay.
Of course, we’d all have to eat off paper plates because no dishes would get washed, and we’d need machetes just to get through our front lawns. Fruit and vegetables? An ounce of Beluga caviar would be cheaper than a chicken Caesar salad.
While it might offend the moral sticklers if a way were found to legalize (some would say, “reward”) those already here, it’s probably the only realistic solution in the long run. But reason is trumped by emotion when it comes to getting people to pull out their checkbooks.
Besides, if the pragmatic solution were ever achieved, we wouldn't be able to scream about the civil rights of the downtrodden being violated any more. Nobody would benefit from that, except the workers and their families who live furtively in a perpetual twilight legal state.
When you look at it that way, why would any politician want to settle?