"NOT OFTEN do I disagree with your views, but on illegal aliens we are a world apart," writes V., one of many readers I heard from after suggesting last week that the best solution to our illegal immigration problem might be to make more immigration legal. "My view, unlike yours, is to secure the borders by whatever means possible. Arrest, imprison, and heavily fine employers who hire illegals. Apprehend and deport illegals no matter how long it takes -- years, if necessary.
"The American people," V. concludes, "overwhelmingly want these illegals out of the country."
Actually, only about one American in four feels that way. According to a new Gallup poll, when asked to choose among three options -- deporting all illegal immigrants, allowing them to remain temporarily in the United States to work, or allowing them to stay permanently and become US citizens after meeting certain conditions -- a majority, 59 percent, chose permanent legalization. Fifteen percent favored the temporary-worker option. Just 24 percent supported deportation. Even when broken down by party loyalty, legalization remains the preferred course.