Why Amnesty Remains America’s Best Immigration Policy

As Ronald Reagan Knew, a Country That Doesn't Forgive Will Turn Against Itself

One afternoon in July 1985, President Ronald Reagan met with his domestic policy council in the White House cabinet room. The question: should he keep pushing legislation to offer amnesty to undocumented migrants?

Some Reagan aides wanted him to drop his support for amnesty, the term for granting legal status to people in the country illegally. Reagan’s pollsters had told him that the public opposed amnesty. And the president’s championing of amnesty had produced defeats. Reagan’s first bill to legalize immigrants failed in Congress in 1982. In 1984, Reagan had convinced …

How Ronald Reagan Peddled Laundry Detergent

Borax Promised Americans a Ticket to the Middle Class and a Mythic Piece of the Western Frontier

One fall evening in 1881, a prospector named Henry Spiller knocked on the door of Aaron and Rosie Winters’ modest stone cabin about 40 miles due east of Death Valley …

Why Won’t America Go Metric?

Our Centuries-Long Ambivalence About Meters and Liters Mirrors Our Ambivalence About Our Place in the World

We Americans measure things our own way. Our yardsticks are marked in feet and inches (and eighths of inches), measures that are unfathomable to foreigners, nearly all of whom have …