Now that President Bush has put immigration back into play with a visit to the Arizona border, it is time for Republicans and Democrats in Congress to act like adults and deal with the nagging issue.
The TV shouting match last week on Fox between Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera on immigration illustrates again how anger is getting us nowhere on solving the problem.
Everyone agrees there is no easy solution. Bringing all views to a worthwhile compromise requires patience and legislative skill and a White House in action.
The worst example of heading into more darkness is the presidential bid of Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado. He is basing his campaign on this issue alone, taking a hard line and reactionary view to appeal to our worst instincts.
This is one issue where Bush is taking a reasonable stance. He favors a work permit program that would allow some existing illegal immigrants to remain in the United States and try to qualify for citizenship. As a former border-state governor, Bush needs to mend some fences with Mexico.
Right-wing Republicans in the House are the biggest obstacle. They want punishment and fences and enforcement. Some Democrats are plugging their ears to reason, too, and have their own accountability problem.
When the new Democratic Congress came to town in January, Bush cited immigration as an issue on which the two parties could reach an agreement. If the president is sincere, he will call in some chits with the obstinate members of his party even though he is an unpopular lame duck.
This immigration mess is such that we don't need blowhards like O'Reilly and Rivera to set the tone for the debate.
There has been far too much shouting and posturing in Congress and the media already. Some hard work by all sides would be more fitting.
Is that asking too much?