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Who set the precedent granting amnesty to illegal aliens? Blame Pres. Ronald Reagan
Congressional Record, 7/21/01, Pg. S8039-S8041 ^ | 12/12/03

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 assumed—correctly, it now seems—that they might get in on another amnesty sooner or later. [END EXCERPT]


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alien; aliens; amnesty; bush; illegal; immigrant; immigration; reagan; reaganaliens; reaganamnesty; reaganillegals; reaganimmigration; reaganman; reaganmexican; reaganmexico
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Despite the fact that most FReepers probably consider the signing of the 1986 immigration reform act to be among his worst mistakes, most FReepers would also agree that Ronald Reagan is among the greatest U. S. presidents ever.

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?

1 posted on 12/12/2003 1:00:51 PM PST by Wolfstar
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To: Wolfstar
Well done.
2 posted on 12/12/2003 1:04:00 PM PST by leadpencil1 (Neds Atomic Dustbin)
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To: Wolfstar
I bet President Reagan would not make the same mistake twice.
3 posted on 12/12/2003 1:08:33 PM PST by ambrose
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To: Wolfstar
I don't recall Regan bloating social government programs the way W has.
4 posted on 12/12/2003 1:10:22 PM PST by Bikers4Bush (Bush and Co. are quickly convincing me that the Constitution Party is our only hope.)
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To: leadpencil1
Kill your television..
5 posted on 12/12/2003 1:10:41 PM PST by Bikers4Bush (Bush and Co. are quickly convincing me that the Constitution Party is our only hope.)
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To: Wolfstar
No one is perfect. Even Ronnie. His good far out weighed his bad. I will have a toast to the Gipper.
6 posted on 12/12/2003 1:11:59 PM PST by JackDanielsOldNo7 (On guard until the seal is broken)
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To: Wolfstar
Yeah, sure why not. CFR, bloated pork barrel budgets, amnesty for illegals, nation-building, kowtowing to China and slapping down Taiwan, all is forgiven.

And since he won't be running for reelection after 2004, he won't be pandering to his base supporters like he has in the first 4 years. /sarcasm
7 posted on 12/12/2003 1:14:55 PM PST by CO_dreamer
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To: Wolfstar
Reagan later admitted that it was one of the biggest mistakes of his two terms.
8 posted on 12/12/2003 1:19:24 PM PST by RJS1950
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To: Wolfstar
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.

9 posted on 12/12/2003 1:28:49 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Wolfstar
Can you white wash Bush with a comparison to Reagan? The voters were not split 50/50 in his day and in danger of illegals tipping the scale forever left in this country, and there was a landslide for Reagan. Bush has slapped conservatives in the face during his first four years in office. I shudder to think what he can manage when he isn't worried about being re-elected.

There was alot at stake when Reagan made his little mistake. That little mistake has balooned to the point that nothing he accomplished can offset the damage he did. So no, the answer is I wouldn't vote for Reagan now if given the chance and the hindsight.
What's at stake now is beyond human language to express.

As bad as I hate them, Demonrats could never have gotten the damage done that Bush has. The Congress, Senate, and the general public wouldn't have tolerated it.
10 posted on 12/12/2003 1:30:24 PM PST by MissAmericanPie
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To: Wolfstar
My single issue is illegal immigration which encompasses:

1) Sovereignty
2) National security
3) Social security
4) Medicare "$1 billion for illegals
5) Welfare (food stamps, WIC,housing,all Free to illegals)
6) Education (schools are too crowded)
7) English ( the US is quickly becoming the "tower of babel"
8) Infrastructure (highways are overcrowded)
9) Enviromental issues
10)Lawlessness (the word illegal explains it. Latino Gangs, smugglers, ect.

Consider me a single issue voter.

11 posted on 12/12/2003 1:31:00 PM PST by texastoo (What a Continent!!! (sarcasm))
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To: Wolfstar
How dare you print facts......be logical.....and please do duck and cover!
12 posted on 12/12/2003 1:31:01 PM PST by OldFriend (DEMS INHABIT A PARALLEL UNIVERSE)
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To: Bikers4Bush
President Reagan spent $3 for every $1 coming into the treasury.

To pay for lowering the marginal tax rates he raised taxes on corporations....I believe $200,000,000 was the amount.

13 posted on 12/12/2003 1:32:05 PM PST by OldFriend (DEMS INHABIT A PARALLEL UNIVERSE)
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To: Wolfstar
Thanks for post. This was one of his real bad mistakes.
14 posted on 12/12/2003 1:36:49 PM PST by lilylangtree
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To: OldFriend
All well and good but I still don't recall Reagan bloating a single government social program the way Bush has fed Medicare.

15 posted on 12/12/2003 1:38:31 PM PST by Bikers4Bush (Bush and Co. are quickly convincing me that the Constitution Party is our only hope.)
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To: texastoo
You forgot rapists next to #10.

As in the 5 illegals that gang raped that woman in New York. I'm sure she'll be glad to hear that thousands like them will soon be legalized.
16 posted on 12/12/2003 1:40:05 PM PST by Bikers4Bush (Bush and Co. are quickly convincing me that the Constitution Party is our only hope.)
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To: Wolfstar
I've been seeing more of this kind of defense of W's maladinistration: Reagan = Bush.

Uh, no. I knew Bush wasn't Reagan the day he paid the Communist Chinese ransom money for the return of our servicepeople and disassembled super-secret aircraft. And it's gone downhill since then.
17 posted on 12/12/2003 1:48:42 PM PST by warchild9
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To: Wolfstar
Is that really true? I believe FDR (warning: I have garlic and a crucifix and several wooden stakes) authorized the/a bracero program that allowed Mexican laborers into the US during the 2nd World War (the war that that man and his hideous wife knew was about to start but did nothing to block the sneak attack) to do work the work that Americans in uniform could not do. I thought some were allowed to stay with some sort of permanent status.

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.

18 posted on 12/12/2003 1:56:19 PM PST by Tacis
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To: Wolfstar
President Reagan made a serious mistake by granting amnesty to illegal aliens back in 1986. Given an opportunity to correct such a decision, I highly doubt, Reagan would do it again.

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.

19 posted on 12/12/2003 2:06:02 PM PST by Reagan Man (The few, the proud, the conservatives.)
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To: RJS1950
I agree. It was. In fact, I think it was the worst mistake of his presidency. But that doesn't diminish the respect I have for President Reagan's overall record.
20 posted on 12/12/2003 2:46:44 PM PST by Wolfstar (Ronald Reagan Freedom Man)
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