Sunday, March 26, 2006


It seems there is an amnesty bill pending in Congress, and we are unsure what to do about it. This messy, raucuous, rude experiment we call democracy has lost its short-term memory. Many of us don't recall that amnesty has been used in the past. I Googled 1985 Illegal Amnesty and found this link.
Until 1986, the United States had never forgiven the act of illegal immigration in other than individual cases and had never rewarded large numbers of illegal aliens with the opportunity for U.S. citizenship.

Congress has passed 7 amnesties for illegal aliens, starting in 1986.

1. Immigration and Reform Control Act (IRCA), 1986: A blanket amnesty for some 2.7 million illegal aliens
2. Section 245(i) Amnesty, 1994: A temporary rolling amnesty for 578,000 illegal aliens
3. Section 245(i) Extension Amnesty, 1997: An extension of the rolling amnesty created in 1994
4. Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) Amnesty, 1997: An amnesty for close to one million illegal aliens from Central America
5. Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act Amnesty (HRIFA), 1998: An amnesty for 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti

6. Late Amnesty, 2000: An amnesty for some illegal aliens who claim they should have been amnestied under the 1986 IRCA amnesty, an estimated 400,000 illegal aliens
7. LIFE Act Amnesty, 2000: A reinstatement of the rolling Section 245(i) amnesty, an estimated 900,000 illegal aliens
8. Nine current bills are vying to be Amnesty No. 8

I thought I remembered that we had already tried amnesty, and sure enough, we have. Most knowledgeable observers recall that amnesty in the past led to a bigger illegal program.

As I have said before in these pages, I truly like and respect every Mexican I have ever personally met. The people I have met, even briefly on the street, seem to be good, gentle, hardworking people who only want a better life for themselves and their families.

It is fun to look at the links and see who is watching us deal with this problem. Here is an article from Al-jazeera. I would wonder why the premier Arabic news organization is concerned with illegal immigration along one small border in the United States... hmmm. They are probably just providing balanced news coverage. Yeah.. right.

I don't know what the answer is. Hell, I don't even know the questions we need to ask. I do know that the experts say that amnesty leads to bigger problems. I also know that until we get control of our borders, anything we try is doomed to fail.

Lets get control of the borders first, then tackle the problem of illegal immigrants currently in the country.

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