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A Reagan Legacy: Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants
All Things Considered ^ | July 4, 2010 | NPR Staff

Posted on 11/23/2011 12:43:17 PM PST by ez

As the nation's attention turns back to the fractured debate over immigration, it might be helpful to remember that in 1986, Ronald Reagan signed a sweeping immigration reform bill into law. It was sold as a crackdown: There would be tighter security at the Mexican border, and employers would face strict penalties for hiring undocumented workers.

But the bill also made any immigrant who'd entered the country before 1982 eligible for amnesty — a word not usually associated with the father of modern conservatism.

In his renewed push for an immigration overhaul this week, President Obama called for Republican support for a bill to address the growing population of illegal immigrants in the country. This time, however, Republicans know better than to tread near the politically toxic A-word.

Part of this aversion is due to what is widely seen as the failure of Reagan's 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act. However, one of the lead authors of the bill says that unlike most immigration reform efforts of the past 20 years, amnesty wasn't the pitfall.

"We used the word 'legalization,' " former Wyoming Sen. Alan K. Simpson tells NPR's Guy Raz. "And everybody fell asleep lightly for a while, and we were able to do legalization."

The law granted amnesty to nearly 3 million illegal immigrants, yet was largely considered unsuccessful because the strict sanctions on employers were stripped out of the bill for passage.

Simpson says the amnesty provision actually saved the act from being a total loss. "It's not perfect, but 2.9 million people came forward. If you can bring one person out of an exploited relationship, that's good enough for me."

Reagan And Amnesty

Nowadays, conservative commentators like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh often invoke the former president as a champion of the conservative agenda. Sean Hannity of Fox News even has a regular segment called "What Would Reagan Do?"

Simpson, however, sees a different person in the president he called a "dear friend."

Reagan "knew that it was not right for people to be abused," Simpson says. "Anybody who's here illegally is going to be abused in some way, either financially [or] physically. They have no rights."

Peter Robinson, a former Reagan speechwriter, agrees. "It was in Ronald Reagan's bones — it was part of his understanding of America — that the country was fundamentally open to those who wanted to join us here."

Reagan said as much himself in a televised debate with Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale in 1984.

"I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally," he said.


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: aliens; amnesty; immigration; reagan; ronaldreagan
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"I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally," Ronald Reagan said in 1984.
1 posted on 11/23/2011 12:43:19 PM PST by ez
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To: TitansAFC

Up to you if you want to add this to the ping list.


2 posted on 11/23/2011 12:44:49 PM PST by ez ("Abashed the Devil stood and felt how awful goodness is." - Milton, "Paradise Lost")
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To: ez

You are not going to help Newt by pushing this BS.


3 posted on 11/23/2011 12:47:02 PM PST by BarnacleCenturion (Heartless & Inhumane)
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To: ez
No mention in the article that the Dems scuttled funding for the security part of that deal.

  • Deport illegal aliens on contact with LE.
  • Enforce the law vigorously on employers of illegals.
  • Strong border security. Build the physical fence and use high-tech surveillance.
  • Eliminate entitlements for illegal aliens except for true emergency care.
  • End the "anchor baby" policy.

Do those things and illegal aliens will self-deport rather quickly and pay for the trip themselves.

4 posted on 11/23/2011 12:49:37 PM PST by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: ez

It failed.

It FAILED.

You cannot bargain with leftists!

That is the lesson we learned.

Hey, rape someone long enough and you become family! is a retarded idea.


5 posted on 11/23/2011 12:49:45 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: ez

“I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally,” Ronald Reagan said in 1984.

We made a deal with some of these people, what, 25 years ago? Ahh screw them, let’s pack em up and send them back to ... nothing. It’s all gone now.

Wait aminute...25 years ago? Isn’t that....


6 posted on 11/23/2011 12:50:02 PM PST by jessduntno ("They say the world has become too complex for simple answers... they are wrong." - RR)
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To: ez
By Reagan's own accounting, Simpson pestered him about this bill for five long years. God only knows what interests the old ratbastard phoney was serving at the expense of his president. (You think it was a coincidence that obama hauled his senile ass out of obscurity to serve on the "debt reduction" panel?)

Of course, the bill as signed was complete with safeguards which were then ignored. Simpson knows this but has been a degenerate liar so long he may actually have come to believe his own lies.

7 posted on 11/23/2011 12:50:45 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: ez

30 million + illegals only contribute to the growth of government. After all, congressional districts are set based on census numbers and comes to somewhere in the range of 50 congressional seats that need not exist.

A vote for amnesty is a vote for a permanent democrat majority and is frankly treasonous.


8 posted on 11/23/2011 12:51:09 PM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
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To: ez

Babe Ruth didn’t always hit home runs.


9 posted on 11/23/2011 12:51:53 PM PST by re_nortex (DP...that's what I like about Texas.)
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To: ez; everyone

Let’s get one thing perfectly clear:

“IF reelected,” the Marxist will initiate full amnesty for all illegal aliens here and all who want to enter through our wide open Southern border, which will never be secured under his watch.

It’s imperative that we elect TEA Party Patriots to the majority in both the US HOUSE & SENATE.

Also remember, that not one vote has been cast in any primary.


10 posted on 11/23/2011 12:54:04 PM PST by onyx (PLEASE SUPPORT FREE REPUBLIC:DONATE MONTHLY! Sarah's New Ping List - tell me if you want on it.)
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To: ez
The US Courts say we MUST offer them education k-12. Our hospital emergency room posts a no one turned down sign (NY).

There are millions of people in this country who are not citizens and don't want to be. What benefit is there to citizenship?

We are no longer a mixing pot. We are all sitting around the pot...dipping as needed.

11 posted on 11/23/2011 12:54:06 PM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: ez
Salvadoreans were a primary beneficiary of Reagan's bounty.

It provided a safety release valve for Salavadorean society, which was torn in a conflict between oligarchists and Communists. I believe that our amnesty was a major factor in turning the tide against the Communists.

The influx of so many hard-working people turned the tide in many inner cities. However their children got co-opted by ghetto culture and drug dealing resulting in the Maratuchas and other gangs.

Many times our choice is between two bad options...
12 posted on 11/23/2011 12:55:28 PM PST by kenavi (1% of the 1% were born in the 1%.)
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To: ez

Sorry. Your source is tainted. Independent verification of this story is needed before I believe a word. It is obviously designed to prop up Hussein.


13 posted on 11/23/2011 12:55:44 PM PST by Jacquerie (Think outside the pizza box.)
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To: onyx

Then we had best be sure we run a candidate who is strong on illegal immigration. Sorry, Newt.


14 posted on 11/23/2011 12:56:20 PM PST by SuzyQue
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To: TigersEye

Actually, it does mention that in the article if you go to the link. I didn’t post the entire article. I agree with your 5 bullet points. Just tired of watching all the zealots around here demanding perfection from every candidate. They all have flaws. Who will do the best job saving America?


15 posted on 11/23/2011 12:58:57 PM PST by ez ("Abashed the Devil stood and felt how awful goodness is." - Milton, "Paradise Lost")
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To: Sacajaweau
Compare Calvin Coolidge on IMMIGRATION with Ted Kennedy's stance in 1965:

"First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same. Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset. Contrary to the charges in some quarters, (the Immigration Reform Act) will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia. In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs."

16 posted on 11/23/2011 12:59:35 PM PST by re_nortex (DP...that's what I like about Texas.)
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To: ez
Who will do the best job saving America?

Of the current roster of candidates? Michele Bachmann.

17 posted on 11/23/2011 1:00:22 PM PST by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: Jacquerie
"I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally," Ronald Reagan said in 1984.

Well there's a perfect excuse for not facing facts.

18 posted on 11/23/2011 1:01:30 PM PST by ez ("Abashed the Devil stood and felt how awful goodness is." - Milton, "Paradise Lost")
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To: SuzyQue
Illegal immigration is a huge issue, ditto for foreign policy, a role often overlooked in presidential politics when in fact, the role of POTUS is really Commander-in-Chief. Don't count Michele Bachmann down and out either.
19 posted on 11/23/2011 1:02:36 PM PST by onyx (PLEASE SUPPORT FREE REPUBLIC:DONATE MONTHLY! Sarah's New Ping List - tell me if you want on it.)
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To: ez

OK, I went to the link and I don’t see it there. ???


20 posted on 11/23/2011 1:04:12 PM PST by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: TigersEye

I am warming to Bachmann. She needs to stop reading her entire bio everytime she speaks and start focusing on real policy. And stop attacking the front-runners.


21 posted on 11/23/2011 1:05:08 PM PST by ez ("Abashed the Devil stood and felt how awful goodness is." - Milton, "Paradise Lost")
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To: TigersEye

“The law granted amnesty to nearly 3 million illegal immigrants, yet was largely considered unsuccessful because the strict sanctions on employers were stripped out of the bill for passage. “ It’s in the part I posted, sorry.


22 posted on 11/23/2011 1:07:26 PM PST by ez ("Abashed the Devil stood and felt how awful goodness is." - Milton, "Paradise Lost")
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To: ez

Ronald Reagan did make a few mistakes. We should not base future decisions on them. The people have sp9oken loud and clearly, NO AMNESTY! With Newt buying Hispanic votes, he is no different than Obama in my book.


23 posted on 11/23/2011 1:07:28 PM PST by Paperdoll (quences of their misgivings.)
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To: onyx

I think the ideal ticket would be Cain/Bachmann. I would prefer that Bachmann be on top of the ticket but I don’t believe they could win that way.


24 posted on 11/23/2011 1:12:11 PM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
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To: ez

I remember the very day hearing on CNN about Reagan’s amnesty passing. Loved Reagan, but thought it was a terrible, terrible mistake. Indeed it was. Even more than I could have ever imagined back then. Another amnesty will be the end of the country for good.


25 posted on 11/23/2011 1:12:49 PM PST by greene66
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To: ez

Yeah, after several decades of consuming “News,” I am skeptical of certain sources. Dan Rather and NPR are at the top of any historic list of questionable sources. Believe them if you wish. Without independent verification, I don’t.


26 posted on 11/23/2011 1:17:01 PM PST by Jacquerie (Think outside the pizza box.)
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To: ez
"I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally," Ronald Reagan said in 1984.

So?

Even Reagan admitted to his son Michael that the Immigration Reform bill was the biggest mistake of his political career.
27 posted on 11/23/2011 1:17:27 PM PST by SoConPubbie
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To: jessduntno
We made a deal with some of these people, what, 25 years ago? Ahh screw them, let’s pack em up and send them back to ... nothing. It’s all gone now.

The Amnesty Bill of 25 years ago, applied to those who were illegal at that time. It has no bearing on those who have come here illegally since then.

Furthermore, if that Amnesty Bill was so effective, why are we dealing with many, many more illegals now?
28 posted on 11/23/2011 1:19:14 PM PST by SoConPubbie
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To: greene66

I can remember the days when it was really unusual to see a hispanic, now I feel like a minority in my own country.

Something has got to be done.


29 posted on 11/23/2011 1:19:30 PM PST by TexasFreeper2009 (I had considered voting for Gingrich... but on second thought ... it would not be "humane")
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To: ez

I don’t see any mention that the Dems were responsible for that or that they scuttled the funding which are the two things I commented on.


30 posted on 11/23/2011 1:19:34 PM PST by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: greene66

I don’t support amnesty. Newt actually said

“I don’t see how the party that says it’s the party of the family, is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families that have been here a quarter century,” the former House Speaker said. “And I’m prepared to take the heat for saying ‘let’s be humane and enforce the law without giving them citizenship but by finding a way to create legality so they are not separate from their families.’”
That is not as extreme as what Reagan said in 84. Create legality, not give them citizenship. Get the difference?


31 posted on 11/23/2011 1:19:52 PM PST by ez ("Abashed the Devil stood and felt how awful goodness is." - Milton, "Paradise Lost")
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To: TigersEye

No, it only says that the provisions were stripped from the bill, but does not place the blame where it belongs on Democrats. You are correct on that.


32 posted on 11/23/2011 1:21:48 PM PST by ez ("Abashed the Devil stood and felt how awful goodness is." - Milton, "Paradise Lost")
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To: Sacajaweau
The US Courts say we MUST offer them education k-12. Our hospital emergency room posts a no one turned down sign (NY).

So if a law, or a court says something must be so, I guess we should just give up and accept it right?

Given your logic, we should all just give up and accept Roe vs. Wade as inevitable and unchangeable, right?
33 posted on 11/23/2011 1:22:23 PM PST by SoConPubbie
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To: cripplecreek

Right now, I don’t think we have anything close to an ideal ticket or an ideal candidate. I think I’m very thankful for Thanksgiving this year and I wish you and your family blessed and very happy Thanksgiving!

Leaving this primary season and politics off my table! I’ll actually be glad to watch football games! LOL.


34 posted on 11/23/2011 1:24:54 PM PST by onyx (PLEASE SUPPORT FREE REPUBLIC:DONATE MONTHLY! Sarah's New Ping List - tell me if you want on it.)
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To: All

the only thing RR did wrong was to trust democrats to honor their word. Kinda like the current leaders hoping the democrats would deal in good faith on the “stuper committee”. Trust the democrats as far as you can throw Nadler.

Anyone that thinks the democrats will even act in good faith gets the failure they deserve.


35 posted on 11/23/2011 1:25:17 PM PST by newnhdad
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To: ez
Yes, I was right...

No mention in the article that the Dems scuttled funding for the security part of that deal.

36 posted on 11/23/2011 1:25:19 PM PST by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: ez
the former House Speaker said. “And I’m prepared to take the heat for saying ‘let’s be humane and enforce the law without giving them citizenship but by finding a way to create legality so they are not separate from their families.’”

Sounds like amnesty. They get to stay, their crime is forgiven and no doubt they keep drawing entitlement benefits to boot. Probably get to vote too.

So, what part of being a citizen do they not have? The responsibility and accountability?

37 posted on 11/23/2011 1:29:59 PM PST by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: ez

“I don’t support amnesty. Newt actually said ... Create legality, not give them citizenship. Get the difference?”

No.
Because there is no difference. If by “creating legality” you mean making what was illegal, legal ... well—that’s the definition of “amnesty”.

We’re used to this kind of obfuscation from Zero (and Clinton). Spare us the bovine excrement.
You and Newt are full of beans.


38 posted on 11/23/2011 1:31:36 PM PST by tumblindice ("I didn't say raise taxes. I said I thought `payroll premiums' were a good idea." Doktor Newt)
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To: ez

This tells only half the story. The 1986 bill included a number of provisions that would have radically reduced the number of illegals coming here: that was the bargain Reagan drove: amnesty for certain illegals, and Congress was going to impose measures that would curtail the continued invasion. But it didn’t work, and it didn’t work for two reasons: 1) Reagan failed to realize the Congress was (is) unscrupulous and had no intention of living up to the enforcement and border security parts of the deal and 2) Reagan failed to remember that you get more of any kind of behavior that you reward. Total FAIL.


39 posted on 11/23/2011 1:32:36 PM PST by La Lydia
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Comment #40 Removed by Moderator

To: La Lydia

I agree. Reagans believed the left and they screwed him like they always do. I am not arguing for amnesty. I am arguing that reaction to what Newt said is over the top.


41 posted on 11/23/2011 1:42:55 PM PST by ez ("Abashed the Devil stood and felt how awful goodness is." - Milton, "Paradise Lost")
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To: TigersEye

I think the point of not giving them citizenship would be to keep them from voting or holding public office.


42 posted on 11/23/2011 1:47:26 PM PST by ez ("Abashed the Devil stood and felt how awful goodness is." - Milton, "Paradise Lost")
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To: ez

You think so but you really have no idea.


43 posted on 11/23/2011 1:54:18 PM PST by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: ez

I think most Freepers already know Reagan gave amnesty to millions.

He also made some pretty disparaging remarks about blanket deportation. I don’t think he ever anticipated immigration would become the issue is has become today.

I doubt he’d do it all over again; but I also think it’s pretty clear he wouldn’t call for blanket deportation, either.


44 posted on 11/23/2011 1:58:31 PM PST by TitansAFC ("..then propose a reasonable program for the 12 million (illegals) who broke our laws" - Herman Cain)
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To: ez

I thought that Reagan did a great job as prez. Not a perfect job. He screwed up by signing that bill. The proof? Look how many illegal aliens we have now.


45 posted on 11/23/2011 2:16:09 PM PST by Scotsman will be Free (11C - Indirect fire, infantry - High angle hell - We will bring you, FIRE)
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To: SoConPubbie

Killing babies and educating children are hardly comparable.


46 posted on 11/23/2011 2:27:11 PM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: SoConPubbie

The Amnesty Bill of 25 years ago, applied to those who were illegal at that time. It has no bearing on those who have come here illegally since then.”

If you took the time to look at what he said, you would see that was who he was talking about. He then said;
Secure the border
Make English the language
Sort out what to do with the others.

Man, the blood is in the water and even the black and white transcript doesn’t matter.


47 posted on 11/23/2011 2:42:42 PM PST by jessduntno ("They say the world has become too complex for simple answers... they are wrong." - RR)
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To: onyx

>>“IF reelected,” the Marxist will initiate full amnesty for all illegal aliens...<<

.
The bad news — IF reelected you can be sure that this country will be finished and will never get another chance.

The good news — Illegals will leave for sure because there will be nothing left for them to stay.


48 posted on 11/23/2011 4:32:05 PM PST by 353FMG
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To: Scotsman will be Free

There is a bit of RINO in every Republican.


49 posted on 11/23/2011 4:34:03 PM PST by 353FMG
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To: Sacajaweau
Killing babies and educating children are hardly comparable.

And yet the underlying concept I was pointing out applies to both, does it not?
50 posted on 11/23/2011 7:14:52 PM PST by SoConPubbie
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