This is what immigration used to be: the Statue of Liberty, your grandparents’ journey across the ocean and the institution that made our country great.
This is how it can seem today: out of control, breaking the law and stealing American jobs.
Those are not necessarily two sides of a debate. Americans are very capable of exalting immigration in the past even while fearing it in the future. But we need to move away from that paradox in order to manage immigration in the present.
We’ve been locked in a stalemate over immigration for more than a decade. Political polarization is certainly at fault. So are the many people — including anyone who eats vegetables or uses a computer — who benefit economically from the status quo. But our public disagreements are matched by private conflicts. When it comes to immigration, we are not only a divided nation — we have a divided brain.