Comment: Negotiating CIR


"It comes down to whether conservatives are willing to trade something beyond headcount, beyond fantasies of a US in which the undocumented are deported in vast numbers and the border is miraculously closed as it has never been since 1965... Conservatives, however, are not the only ones who need to show some flexibility. Let me admonish my friends in the mainstream center right and left. Conservatism is a thing. Get used to it. Learn the theory and the vocabulary... So to my liberal friends, have a little more confidence in your own values. Be tolerant of others, Be prepared to accept that conservatives have some valid points, and that creating a workable system implies incorporating some of those considerations. You won't melt, and the world won't end because you conceded the validity of some conservative concerns."

"We have now more than a year before migrant policy is likely to resurface on the legislative agenda. While my readers left and right are pondering who is allowed to talk to whom, I am thinking about the data and analyses we will need to answer some fundamental questions about policy options -- and about the time and money implied. For policy-setting purposes, we don't really know enough about the demographics of the undocumented residents in the country. And we know almost nothing about corporate hiring behavior in the real world with respect to undocumented migrants. Both will be critical to creating sustainable policy. Further, we will require months to resolve certain disputed points between liberals and conservatives. But importantly, the key is not to convince the other guy of one's moral superiority, but to craft a deal for each stakeholder which is superior to the alternatives from their own perspective. That is the key condition for success. Because we are dealing with a black market, that opportunity exists -- if the stakeholders are willing to contemplate a broader deal beyond pure headcounts. There is a lot of work to be done. Instead of complaining about the other guys, let's use the time to organize ourselves and work through the issues at the policy level."

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