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1986 AMNESTY SENT IMMIGRATION NUMBERS SOARING
Yahoo News ^ | Aug 29, 2005 | Georgie Anne Geyer

Posted on 08/29/2005 8:26:17 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer

ON THE SAN YSIDRO BORDER CROSSING WITH MEXICO -- Three or four years ago, most of us who were complaining about the lack of border and immigration controls were using the figure of 3 million to 4 million illegal aliens in America. That figure seemed bad enough.

Then the numbers started to boggle the mind. Month after month, in reputable news magazines and from responsible analysts of border affairs, the estimated numbers of aliens in the country kept going up and up and up.

Suddenly, the number was 5 million; then, only a few months later, 8 million. Then some sources started using 12 million as the standard and even, finally, an astonishing 20 million! When the census bureau was to release the 2002 statistics on illegals in America, it had found 10 million more than it had planned for. (In fact, the bureau gave a press conference on a Friday afternoon, when no one would report on it.)

All of this has led to agitation over illegal aliens and an "invasion" that the country has not hitherto experienced. In only the last few weeks, the Democratic governors of both Arizona and New Mexico have declared an "immigration emergency," and Nuevo Laredo on the Mexican side of the border with Texas has had so many murders it is being looked at as the drug/murder capital of the region.

But here on the San Diego end of the border across from Tijuana, for officials who have worked realistically with immigration -- and suffered eternally under the lack of leadership from Washington -- the question of where these estimated numbers of illegals has come from is hardly a mystery.

Pete Nunez, the former U.S. attorney for San Diego and a lifelong fighter for immigration control, told me in a recent talk: "Why are those numbers today so high? Because of the amnesty of 1986! Those 2.7 million illegals amnestied were then able, in the decade of the '90s, to sponsor their family members. That decade turned out to have the highest number of legal immigrants practically in our history, because of the amnesty."

Here at the busy port of entry, in my long conversations with officials of the Department of Homeland Security, which encompasses immigration, border patrol and customs, there is unanimous agreement with this interpretation.

"The '86 experience definitely led to family reunification," Lauren Mack, customs and border protection public affairs officer, agreed. "We watched that amnesty -- it only created more fraud and more problems."

Immigration law has become so tortuous and contradictory that probably no one in America really understands it. The best analysts wring their hands as they speak. But they know what their experience tells them.

As opposed to fencing and physically and technologically controlling the border, as has been done here at San Ysidro in the last 15 years while the adjoining states' borders are in chaos, the Bush administration first proposed still another form of amnesty (its contours never really clear), and now it suggests some form of guest worker program.

It sounds good. One would suppose that a "guest worker" program would include controls from the American side and responsibilities on the immigrant workers' side. But that is not the way it turns out.

The 1986 amnesty was not to be the first of many amnesties, nor a kind of experimental plug in the flow of human beings from a poor country to a rich one. To the contrary, it was to be the "last amnesty." Pushed by liberals in Congress like Teddy Kennedy, it was supposed to settle and legalize the illegals already in the United States, while controlling future immigration. It was to be the solution.

Instead, those 2.7 million settled in America and, under the dominating "family reunification" policy, were able immediately to sponsor almost any number of relatives, some bringing in 80 or 90 persons. And because the enforcement aspects of the law were never put into practice, the 1986 amnesty left the gate open to still more massive numbers. Meanwhile, the proposed new guest worker programs before Congress almost all provide for some kind of amnesty that will lead only to a repeat of 1986.

America is at a crucial turning point. Everyone knows that immigration is out of hand. Everyone who fairly studies the economics of it knows that "immigrants only take jobs that Americans won't take" (that wonderfully false mantra) because immigration allows the greedy growers and companies to forgo more expensive technology that would make these jobs attractive to unemployed Americans. Everyone who is not overcome by self-interest knows that immigration policy is determined not by the citizens who suffer from it, but by the constituencies that gain money and power from it.

This is the moment to go beyond all the old platitudes and self-destructive pretend policies and to realize that our half-measures are leading to numbers that this country simply cannot absorb, and continue to remain what it is.

As the San Ysidro border shows, it is a question of analysis, of intention and of will, all three of them in short supply in Washington.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aliens; americanculture; amnesty; borders; illegalimmigration; immigrantlist
The 1986 amnesty was not to be the first of many amnesties, nor a kind of experimental plug in the flow of human beings from a poor country to a rich one. To the contrary, it was to be the "last amnesty."
1 posted on 08/29/2005 8:26:17 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: hedgetrimmer
That's not even the most shocking line. Try this on for size: "Instead, those 2.7 million settled in America and, under the dominating "family reunification" policy, were able immediately to sponsor almost any number of relatives, some bringing in 80 or 90 persons." 80 to 90! Apparently, it really does take a village... to destroy America's cultural fabric.
2 posted on 08/29/2005 8:29:13 PM PDT by Lejes Rimul (Paleo and Proud)
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To: gubamyster; HiJinx

FYI


3 posted on 08/29/2005 8:29:27 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: hedgetrimmer

Reagan's biggest mistake. I think he honestly felt it was the best thing we could do at the time.

About to be repeated by Bush.


4 posted on 08/29/2005 8:31:11 PM PDT by RockinRight (What part of ILLEGAL immigration do they not understand?)
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To: Lejes Rimul

And people wonder why Mexican and Illegal Alien are considered synonymous......


5 posted on 08/29/2005 8:31:57 PM PDT by moehoward
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To: RockinRight
About to be repeated by Bush

Not if the American people have anything to say about it!
6 posted on 08/29/2005 8:35:12 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: hedgetrimmer

Correction: Not if a fanatical fringe group has anything to say about it.


7 posted on 08/29/2005 8:36:35 PM PDT by Dat
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To: hedgetrimmer

But GWB "doesn't have time" while in CA to meet with Ahnold!

Well Californians, I guess when the GOP calls you for a donation you'll know what to say..."sorry, I just don't have the time!"


8 posted on 08/29/2005 8:36:40 PM PDT by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1st Battalion,5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Div. Viet Nam 69&70 Semper Fi)
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To: hedgetrimmer
To the contrary, it was to be the "last amnesty."

Yeah, and World War I was supposed to be "the war to end all wars."


9 posted on 08/29/2005 8:36:46 PM PDT by Prime Choice (E=mc^3. Don't drink and derive.)
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To: RockinRight
Reagan's biggest mistake. I think he honestly felt it was the best thing we could do at the time. About to be repeated by Bush.

Bush's "amnesty" is not a repeat of Reagan's amnesty.

10 posted on 08/29/2005 8:40:59 PM PDT by FreeReign
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To: hedgetrimmer
The Immigration Reform & Control Act of 1986 was meant to be a one time amnesty. The key was employer sanctions that were suppose to control unauthorized immigration to the United States. It contained strong legislation that prosecuted, fined and punished employers who hired illegals. The IRCA was also suppose to secure the borders better.

The IRCA of 1986 was not fully and properly enforced. But the laws are still on the books.

11 posted on 08/29/2005 8:53:40 PM PDT by Reagan Man (Secure the borders;punish employers who hire illegals;halt all welfare handouts to illegals.)
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To: FreeReign
Immigration Reform Must Seize Moral Ground, Says Texas Lawmaker

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims and sponsor of the "Save America Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act" or HR2092, explains why her bill is attracting many immigrant rights advocates.

A: My bill tries to correct the mistakes of the 1996 immigration reform. It doubles the number of visas for family reunification -- to 900,000. It doesn't put the burden of proof on asylum seekers as the 1996 law does. It makes less damning misdemeanor offenses committed by juveniles, which the 1996 law turned into felonies, that make them subject to deportation to countries they may have been born in but haven't been to in the last 20 years or so.

***

What we are up against.
12 posted on 08/29/2005 8:56:57 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: Lejes Rimul
Pete Nunez, the former U.S. attorney for San Diego and a lifelong fighter for immigration control, told me in a recent talk: "Why are those numbers today so high? Because of the amnesty of 1986! Those 2.7 million illegals amnestied were then able, in the decade of the '90s, to sponsor their family members. That decade turned out to have the highest number of legal immigrants practically in our history, because of the amnesty."

There is a major problem with his logic. Granted, the number of legal immigrants from Mexico has been greater in the last 15 years, than from all of Europe, however, the number of legal immigrants under the family reunification is strictly limited to 226,000 per year, and Mexico only receives a portion of those visas. To think each Mexican sponsored 80 or 90 family members who immigranted legally is simply not possible.
13 posted on 08/29/2005 8:58:20 PM PDT by GarySpFc (Sneakypete, De Oppresso Liber)
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To: hedgetrimmer
I have been saying this since it happened. The Dims want to do it again and that's why they are starting now trying to appeal to the right who are so freaked out by the illegal situation. Amnesty CAUSED this and a new amnesty will make it worse.

We need a guest worker program with strict rules. No families, no government programs, etc.

14 posted on 08/29/2005 9:02:56 PM PDT by tiki
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To: hedgetrimmer

1986 amnesity ? Good grief !

What about Clinton's "Citizenship USA" move in 1995-1996 ?

Over 1 million people naturalized in the 13 months before the 1996 elections.

Almost 88% of the immigrant files lacked sufficient documentation for anything other than deportation.


15 posted on 08/29/2005 9:14:13 PM PDT by stylin19a (In golf, some are long, I'm "Lama Long")
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To: 1_Inch_Group; 2sheep; 2Trievers; 3AngelaD; 4.1O dana super trac pak; 4Freedom; 4ourprogeny; ...

ping


16 posted on 08/29/2005 11:25:21 PM PDT by gubamyster
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To: gubamyster

It all sucks


17 posted on 08/29/2005 11:28:32 PM PDT by wardaddy (windy here now)
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To: hedgetrimmer
The 1986 amnesty was not to be the first of many amnesties, nor a kind of experimental plug in the flow of human beings from a poor country to a rich one. To the contrary, it was to be the "last amnesty." Pushed by liberals in Congress like Teddy Kennedy, it was supposed to settle and legalize the illegals already in the United States, while controlling future immigration. It was to be the solution.

OK, FReepers, time to help out my feeble memory. I seem to recall that faTeddy spearheaded this to get certain Irish terrorists in, also? The illegals from elsewhere and the terrorists, etc., were an unpleasant side effect; as long as his buddies got in....

Please set me straight if I'm wrong.
:-/

18 posted on 08/30/2005 3:12:23 AM PDT by Watery Tart (Cindy al-She'ehan shows her true colors....but does she realize Islamofascists would kill her, too?)
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To: Dat
Correction: Not if a fanatical fringe group has anything to say about it.


19 posted on 08/30/2005 3:15:22 AM PDT by raybbr
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To: hedgetrimmer

The concept of American nationhood is dying fast, but never fear the propagandists who peddle the half truths live well in their gated communities.


20 posted on 08/30/2005 4:22:19 AM PDT by junta (Invade Mexico, aggressively neutralize its corrupt leadership and introduce civilization.)
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To: gubamyster

Thanks for the ping. Interesting.


21 posted on 08/30/2005 4:40:20 AM PDT by PGalt
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To: gubamyster

Protect our borders and coastlines from all foreign invaders!

Support our Minutemen Patriots!

Be Ever Vigilant ~ Bump!


22 posted on 08/30/2005 7:34:11 AM PDT by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: hedgetrimmer
it was to be the "last amnesty."

Americans remember that BIG LIE.

23 posted on 08/30/2005 10:59:04 AM PDT by janetgreen
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To: hedgetrimmer
How about illegal Allen women coming over the border 8&3/4 months pregnant, dropping their babies ,making them automatic citizens. That means the whole family from as far back as the great grand parents come in to support the citizen baby.
24 posted on 08/30/2005 2:41:06 PM PDT by G-Man 1
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