Skip to comments.A Reagan Legacy: Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants
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.
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.
I think the point of not giving them citizenship would be to keep them from voting or holding public office.
You think so but you really have no idea.
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.
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.
Killing babies and educating children are hardly comparable.
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.
>>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.
There is a bit of RINO in every Republican.
Dems (and sometimes RINOs) run the same play over and over and the GOP falls for it: Make a deal and then don't honor your end of it. Remember Reagan in 1982 "The tax increase is the price we have to pay to get the budget cuts"?
This is the standard stuff coming from the progressives, That Reagan who they demonized as an insane suicidal (nationally) dictator was really one of them on positions like taxes and immigration, in fact it must be everything.
Look leftists, it’s not 1980, not close. So FU
Except that Dems keep trying the same swindle, and I am not confident that the GOP is any smarter than it was 30 years ago.
Amnesty was a mistake. Reagan was wrong. What happened after 1986 with illegal immigration. There was more and more of it. Even Cesar Chavez was strongly against illegal immigration. It undercut wages and his labor movement.
We need to go after the employers who hire illegals, even up to the point of possibly piercing their corporate veil or piercing LLC liability. Make it cost more than it is worth, and they will be reduced, go home, and hopefully do things the rightway to get into the US and become Americans.
“Not really interested in the opinion of someone trying to get everyone to “moderate” their opposition to amnesty and Illegal Aliens as you have been doing today.”
There’s a non-answer, but I really don’t care about what people are moaning about and last time I looked this was an open forum that dealt with what is said, not interpreted.
The transcript isn’t mine. I’m not saying it. The transcript is the record. And I don’t care what all the reactionaries say; the transcripts don’t lie. And I’ve been discussing the reality, not the spin.
I know who is the more electable, experienced conservative candidate and I thought everyone else here did, too. All this shit directed towards me isn’t going to change the facts.
And I ain’t shy about saying so.
What I mean is that this is not the same world or country as it was 30 years ago, not close. So Reagan's policies are not going to be an instant textbook procedure that works for eternity contrary to what some on AM may claim.
Liberals are just using Alinsky Tactics: “Hold the other side to it's own standards” Republicans are too stupid to even think to do that to them back.
Reagan's amnesty is hardly an example we should follow. I agree with the idea that this is not the same world as it was in Reagan's day. Amnesty today would be much worse than Reagan's.
Also, it seems to me that Dems are much more anti-American than in Reagan's day, so that would make it harder to execute a Reagan playbook today. Obama and gang do not even seem to like the USA, so why would they want it to be stronger?
Look y’all. The Reagan amnesty was a disaster because neither party did a damn thing to enforce the provisions in it. Had they been enforced, we wouldn’t have 25 million slobs here, sucking us dry and committing an inordinate number of crimes.
The REAL problem is the lobbyists for the Chamber of Commerce in D.C., who have bought off many POLITICIAN/WHORES in the Republican party. All the COC wants is cheap labor, and plenty of it. The COC doesn’t give a rats ass about the eventual destruction of America.
The REAL problem is the lobbyists for the Chamber of Commerce in D.C., who have bought off many POLITICIAN/WHORES in the Republican party. All the COC wants is cheap labor, and plenty of it. The COC doesnt give a rats ass about the eventual destruction of America.
The CoS(Chamber of Slavery) is currently the biggest threat to the USA and has been flying under the radar for years. THey support the H1-B visa program, they are evil in every sense..