The New Center—an organization focused on creating the space for a political center in America – today launched its website and an accompanying policy paper entitled “The Immigration Debate: The Poison Affecting Our Politics.”
The New Center grew out of an unlikely partnership between Brookings Institute Scholar Bill Galston and Weekly Standard founder Bill Kristol. In November 2016, Galston and Kristol penned a joint memo in which they made “the case for a New Center, one that does not split the difference between Left and Right, but offers a principled alternative to both.” Last year, the two thinkers oversaw the development and release of a policy booklet called Ideas to Re-center America.
Now, NewCenter.org is being launched as a destination for the millions of Americans who are tired of the overheated and histrionic fare served up by the left and right; and who are searching for a credible counter to the growing bias on both sides.
“The endless tribal warfare between the left and right has made it impossible for our government to solve problems,” said New Center co-chair Bill Galston. “Nowhere is this more evident than the issue of immigration, where there is a broad public majority that would support a long-overdue comprehensive overhaul forged in the center. If our president and the next Congress want to make meaningful bipartisan progress on this issue, they’d do well to consider the recommendations offered in this first paper from The New Center.”
The New Center team will regularly develop and release original policy papers. A second paper exploring the challenges that large technology companies pose to our privacy and public discourse will be released on November 26. Both will be available for download at newcenter.org.
The New Center ultimately aims to become a hub for insightful thinking in the center. The right has The Drudge Report. The left has The Huffington Post. The New Center is the destination for aggregated and original content that both highlights new and ongoing efforts to find common ground and calls out circumstances where the right and the left are overstepping their bounds. The New Center website will feature regular contributors who publish original content, curate stories from the center, and release relevant and exclusive polling.
“There is an urgent opportunity for the vast political center – in America and across the developed world – to reassert itself, with a robust agenda that rethinks the core functions of government and helps citizens navigate and thrive through the technological, social and cultural change that will only accelerate in the years ahead. I believe The New Center will be an invaluable voice in shaping that agenda,” said New Center senior advisor Bill Kristol.
Every policy paper released by The New Center will seek to clarify and simplify the nature of the challenges we face, to present and contextualize the latest public polling, and to offer principled solutions that can be forged in the center.
Here is a brief summary of the solutions offered in the immigration paper.
The System of Legal Immigration
Many other U.S. peer countries — like Canada and Australia — give much more weight to the potential economic contributions of immigrants when deciding who to let in the country. The U.S. should do the same.
Undocumented Immigrants in the U.S.
It is unacceptable to have over 11 million people living illegally in America. But mass deportation is unacceptable too – both morally and logistically. Unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. should be brought out of the shadows and offered a long and rigorous road toward citizenship that depends on them maintaining clean criminal records, paying taxes, and meeting several other requirements.
The U.S.-Mexico Border Wall
It is essential to have a fortified border that allows the U.S. to reliably and consistently prevent unauthorized entry. On some parts of the border, a wall or fence might make the most sense; on others, obstacles make a physical border impractical. A focus on physical barriers, technological improvements, and the renovation of infrastructure along land ports of entry should be coupled with revised legal measures that quicken deportation proceedings to deter crossings.
Internal Immigration Enforcement
Immigration enforcement needs to refocus on unauthorized individuals who conduct criminal activity in the U.S. And employers need to step up to play a lead role in preventing undocumented individuals through the implementation of a universal E-Verify system.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Dreamers
Dreamers should not be held culpable for the actions of their parents, who brought them to the U.S. If they contribute to American society and the economy by working, acquiring an education, or serving in the military, then they should have access to a path to citizenship assuming clean criminal records.
About The New Center
American politics is broken, with the far left and far right making it increasingly impossible to govern. This will not change until a viable center emerges that can create an assertive agenda that appeals to the vast majority of the American people.
“This is the mission of The New Center, which aims to establish the intellectual basis for a viable political center in today’s America.
“We create and promote ideas, news coverage, and commentary that helps people see common sense solutions to the problems we face.”