Germany's recent debate about immigration misses an important reality: for Germany, and most all developed countries, attracting educated and skilled foreign workers is a matter of economic survival.
The United States is far less divided on immigration than the current debate would suggest. An overwhelming majority of Americans want a combination of tougher enforcement and earned citizenship for the 12 million illegal immigrants in the country. Washington's challenge is to translate this consensus into sound legislation that will start to repair the nation's broken immigration system.
Virtually all politicians experience something of the tempering effects of public office, but it is rare indeed that an American president reverses his position on a major issue. Yet Ronald Reagan seems to have done just that, picking up the pieces of a human rights policy he tried very hard to dismantle in his first days as president. It was a hesitant and somewhat opportunistic shift, but ironically it may help to strengthen the policy he inherited.