The claim that "Right-wing critics say the only workable solution is to punish American firms employing illegal migrants." ignores the range of opinion on this topic. Gaylord Nelson, Barbara Jordan, A. Philip Randolph, and David Brower are not examples of "right wing critics".
Border security enhancement is an important step-but it is far from certain that Bush and Chertoff can be trusted on this point. They`ve had lots of time to address this issue. Why now? Furthermore, minimizing the side effects of enforcement of immigration law is going to become even more important. I also expect we have only seen the start of populist outrage against the wealthy US elites that have profited from the practice of illegal immigration-and immigration expansion in general. Bush`s about face is not without reservations among immigration restrictionists:
"If you have a boat with numerous holes in it, the boat will sink unless you plug all of the holes effectively,"said Michael W. Cutler, a former senior immigration enforcement special agent who is now a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington research group. "He is only addressing a few of the holes, meaning he may slow the flow but it will not solve the problem in the long run." [Homeland Security Chief Tells of Plan to Stabilize Border, By Eric Lipton, NYT, August 24, 2005]