By The Editorial Board
What is America coming to? The question needs to be asked at the highest levels of government, and on Wednesday, that’s what Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey did.
In a powerful speech on the Senate floor, he painted a bleak picture of the country’s ongoing foray into ever-harsher immigration enforcement. He told how reckless workplace raids and a broken immigration-detention system were brutalizing citizens and legal residents, spreading fear through immigrant communities and undermining the Constitution.
“Together we need to face a blunt reality,” Mr. Menendez said. “Our legitimate desire to control our borders has too often turned into a witch hunt against Hispanic Americans and other people of color. Common sense repeatedly loses out to hysteria, and agents of intolerance repeatedly jump over the legal protections to which every single American is entitled.”
You can watch the first part of the speech here:
and the second part here:
And read it here.
Throughout the long presidential primary campaign, we waited for Senators John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to speak out forcefully against the foolish, crudely disproportionate tactics the government is using to drive illegal immigrants underground or out of the country. Unlike their pandering rivals on the Republican side, those three hold sensible views on immigration reform — but they have usually expressed them quite mousily.
The restrictionist clamor for unchecked immigration enforcement has led to many bad things. It has frightened a lot of politicians into silence or mumbling. On Wednesday, Mr. Menendez made a clear and courageous plea for justice and restraint.