The Amnesty And The Stupidity—There’s Massive Public (And Journalistic) Ignorance Of Previous Amnesties
December 04, 2014, 12:17 PM
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(My headline above is with apologies to the late Irving Stone, author of The Agony and the Ecstasy.)

There’s a famous definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  This is also how we can describe our country’s immigration policy.  We already know Barack Obama’s unilateral immigration Amnesty is not going to work because we can see how similar programs worked in the past.

We can view the depressingly high number of recent Amnesties in this list conveniently assembled by NumbersUSA:

The Seven Amnesties Passed by Congress
  1. Immigration and Reform Control Act (IRCA), 1986: A blanket Amnesty for some 2.7 million illegal aliens
  2. Section 245(i) Amnesty, 1994: A temporary rolling Amnesty for 578,000 illegal aliens
  3. Section 245(i) Extension Amnesty, 1997: An extension of the rolling Amnesty created in 1994
  4. Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) Amnesty, 1997: An Amnesty for close to one million illegal aliens from Central America
  5. Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act Amnesty (HRIFA), 1998: An Amnesty for 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti
  6. Late Amnesty, 2000: An Amnesty for some illegal aliens who claim they should have been amnestied under the 1986 IRCA Amnesty, an estimated 400,000 illegal aliens
  7. LIFE Act Amnesty, 2000: A reinstatement of the rolling Section 245(i) Amnesty, an estimated 900,000 illegal aliens
(The links within the list are in the original; they access fuller descriptions of the individual Amnesties, all at that same NumbersUSA web page.)

Of course, the first Amnesty above, IRCA, was also supposed to be the last Amnesty Its advocates said, in effect, "Just this once, to solve the problem of illegal immigration, and then never again ..."  It was marked by massive fraud [PDF], especially in the Special Agricultural Worker [SAW] component of the overall 1986 Amnesty.  (Read about Mahmud Abouhalima, SAW beneficiary and poster-child for fraud, here.)

Totaling up all the Amnesties in the table yields about 5.7 million illegal aliens "laundered" into Legal Permanent Residents [LPRs] up to and including 2000.

But that's not all!  As David North of the Center for Immigration Studies has written in Border Crisis or Not, U.S. Continues to Operate a Rolling Amnesty [July 10, 2014], there are also piecemeal processes that steadily convert illegal aliens, one at a time, into Legal Permanent Residents.    These include claiming there would be hardships to citizen blood-relatives if a particular illegal alien were to be deported and dubious marriages to citizens or LPRs.

North gave four such examples of categorical Amnesties for individuals, none of which sound like they are designed to help currently existing American citizens.  In a recent phone conversation with me, he guesstimated that this ongoing Amnesty might run to 100,000 individuals per year.

Assuming this has been going on since at least 2000, that's another 1.4 million amnestied illegal aliens added to the heap.

If we add that to the total number of illegals created by IRCA, that covers 7.1 million illegals now regularized into the United States.

Yet after all those 7.1 million, the semi-official estimate is that there are 11 million illegal aliens in the country—far more than when we started “solving” the problem with Amnesty back in 1986!  

Each new Amnesty is sold to the American people on the grounds that it will end the problem.  But each new program only makes the problem worse.  And as the number of illegals in the country increases, that simply becomes a new argument for Amnesty advocates who shamelessly claim that the United States is simply unable to deport so many people.

In fact, the existence of so many illegals is a warning that the problem of mass immigration will only get worse if it is not dealt with immediately.

Because the Main Stream Media deliberately keeps people ignorant about the history of the immigration crisis, many Americans probably assume that the President is just trying to do his best on what the press tells them is a difficult policy issue.  But as the famous black conservative economist Thomas Sowell wrote recently:

“[T]here is no way of knowing whether anyone is succeeding or failing without first knowing what they are trying to do… [W]hat is there in Obama's background that would justify the assumption that America's best interests are his goal?”

[Success or failure, by Thomas Sowell, Townhall, September 11, 2014]

What, indeed?

In the eyes of the President and many of his supporters, the existence of at least 11 million illegal aliens isn’t a bug, it’s a feature.  They benefit from it.  They have no interest in solving it.  And President Obama implemented this policy in the full knowledge that it will make things worse—as history shows.

Where is the GOP?

Paul Nachman [email him] is a retired physicist and immigration sanity activist in Bozeman, MT.