Skip to comments.Who set the precedent granting amnesty to illegal aliens? Blame Pres. Ronald Reagan
Posted on 12/12/2003 1:00:50 PM PST by Wolfstar
President Ronald Reagan was the first president in history to grant amnesty to illegal aliens. On November 6, 1986, he signed into law the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986, [PUB L 99-603]. In so doing, he set a precedent whereby the United States would not seek to deport illegal aliens, but to reward their lawbreaking by granting them full citizenship.
Following is a brief excerpt from lengthy remarks by none other than Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W-VA), speaking on the senate floor in July 2001 against proposals for another amnesty [DOCID:cr23jy01-105]:
Such an amnesty suggests that it is possible to gain permanent residency in the United States regardless of whether you are an alien who arrived here legally or illegally.
That is the message that was sent in 1986 when President Reagan proposed a blanket amnesty to 2.7 million illegal immigrants based largely on the mere fact that they had lived in this country at least since 1982. I supported that amnesty, after accepting the arguments of the Reagan administration that such an amnesty would reduce illegal immigration when combined with tougher sanctions on employers who hire illegal aliens.
What happened instead, was that the United States sent a message to the world that illegal immigrants could gain legal status in the United States without having to go through the normal processes. Consequently, illegal immigration jumped from an estimated 5 million illegals in 1986 to somewhere between 7 million and 13 million illegals today--and these estimates do not even include the 2.7 million illegals who were granted amnesty in 1986. [END EXCERPT]
The following paragraph is an excerpt from an April 29, 2002 editorial by The Eagle Online, further detailing the damage done by President Reagan's precedent:
President Reagan tried a similar status readjustment as part of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. The idea that this might diminish the problem of illegal immigration by taking the onus off of law enforcement to seek out the illegals and deport them had such broad appeal, even Pat Buchanan liked it at the time. But these newly legalized residents brought with them new problems, while exacerbating the old ones. Not only did they desire reunification with many relatives who had not yet crossed the border, they raised hopes for other prospective border-crossers who assumedcorrectly, it now seemsthat they might get in on another amnesty sooner or later. [END EXCERPT]
There are positives and negatives in all human endeavors even the very best of them. When confronted with the possible occurrence of what one considers a negative policy move, the wise participant in civic affairs does not do the political equivalent of stamping his or her feet like a child with a temper tantrum (i.e., well, that's it for me, I'm never going to vote for him again).
Instead, one does everything possible to influence policy. We are not helpless children. We are adults with the ability to write letters, make phone calls, contribute to PACs and organizations that lobby for our point of view, and so on.
And, most importantly, we should have the good sense not to be reactive, single-issue voters, but to weight both the positives and negatives of any elected official, and those of his opponent, and vote accordingly. How many of us, if given the miracle of a chance to vote for Ronald Reagan again, would not do so because he shortsightedly signed that act in 1986?
Of course I wouldn't. One should learn from the past. "Shortsidedness" is now 18 years old.
As Tancredo said, the Republican want cheap labor, the Democrats want votes.
I think this is "true," but limited. Both Republicrat factions are dominated by corporate interests that understand that Americans' wages are "costs", and costs can be cut by undermining the wage market. Naturally if the illegals were CEOs and accountants the borders would be shut down pronto. Market power and "free" trade is not for the little people. Bush can pass a huge corporate welfare bonus for drug industry and bar the little guy from buying the same drugs cheaper in Canada. Go figure.
People endlessly cite how the Republicrat immigration policy of destroying the low end labor markets (now reaching IT personnel and other middle classes), is not good for the economy in the long run, or for the people short or long. So what? IN the short term the owners and officers of certain industries gain money. They in turn contribute to candidates, they create think-tank front groups that shape the debate and foment arguments that appeal to left and right wing prejudices and assumptions.
It's about money for certain people...who can afford for their policies to prevail and dominate. Both parties are complicit.
The candidate that explains the truth to American citizens most effected, disproportionately Hispanic and Black, without racist overtones wins the next election hands down if he comes from a major party. Pym Fortuyn showed the power of this strategy, gaining 20% of the Dutch vote for a previously non-existent party - with strong immigrant backing. The idea that "Hispanic" citizens want mass immigration is untrue.
So as for Reagan, if he tried it twice, darn right I'd call him on it.
To pay for lowering the marginal tax rates he raised taxes on corporations....I believe $200,000,000 was the amount.
That President Reagan blundered is no reason to excuse the failure of President Bush to defend the nation against the invading Mexican illegal alien criminals who are striping the wealth of American property owners and sending it back to Mexico where Presidente Fox and his PANista thugs skim a share.
PresBush has the passing of time working to his advantage. He shouldn't be considering amnesty to illegal aliens under any circumstances and especially not after the events of 9-11.
Amnesty isn't a smart option for PresBush.
When you take Bush`s signing of the CFR bill into law, his increasing education spending like never before, okay`ing the largest farm subsidy bill ever and then last week, approving the largest government entitlement program in 38 years, adding amnesty to that list of wrongheaded centrist policy, won't gain him any support among his conservative base. It may gain him some moderate support and will defintiely lose him some conservative votes in 2004.