The Divide Over "Amnesty"

NPR.org, May 24, 2007 · One source of contention in the immigration debate is the concept of amnesty — not punishing immigrants who came into the country illegally. The latest immigration overhaul proposal in Congress would offer a way for the 12 million illegal immigrants already in the United States to receive legal status. Here is a sampling of opinion about whether the proposal actually gives amnesty to illegal immigrants.

 
 

Immigration Deal A Plan for Amnesty

The Intelligencer Editorial Board

The (Wheeling, W.Va.) Intelligencer

Take away the points and other press-release policy contraptions, and that's exactly what Bush and his congressional immigration allies have agreed to: Amnesty. Washington's denizens should try listening to voters, who overwhelmingly want the nation's government to simply do its duty and control our own national border.

Don't Fear The A-Word

by Eugene Robinson

The Washington Post

I think I could make a good argument that technically this is not amnesty, but ... It should be enough to point out that their alternative — round 'em all up, kick 'em all out — is truly insane. It would be lunacy to order the deportation of 12 million people, assuming you could find them, and it would be impossible to actually do such a thing.

Make This Reform Work

The News-Press Editorial Board

The (Fort Myers, Fla.) News-Press

Although the proposal would offer quick probationary legal status to the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the country if they can pass background checks, it places important requirements in the paths of those seeking renewable four-year visas or permanent residence. Those are the real goals, and would require fines of $5,000 for a visa and another $4,000 for residency. That's not "amnesty."

Amnesty by Another Name

by Cal Thomas

Tribune Media Services

It's a safe bet that once the U.S. government legalizes the illegals, many will not abide by the conditions. What then? The president can say the Senate measure isn't amnesty, but that doesn't make it something
else.

Yes, They're Breaking the Law. So Have Many Others.

by Raul Ramos y Sanchez

Author's Diary

There's a mantra the nativist love to chant indignantly: "Illegal immigration is a crime. These people are breaking the law." In reality, Americans have willfully broken the law en masse several times in our nation's history. When that's happened, we've usually had the good sense to change the law. And in some instances, we've even called the lawbreakers heroes.

Will Compromise Measure Make Any Difference?

Review-Journal Editorial Board

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Proponents would thus be more honest to call their current proposal another "amnesty." Perhaps we're not supposed to remember that 20 years ago, in 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed a "one-time-only" immigration amnesty law ...

The Amnesty Fraud

by Thomas Sowell

Townhall.com

All this elaborate talk about the steps illegal immigrants must go through to become citizens is a distraction from the crime they committed when they crossed the border illegally. ... Just as we don't need to solve every crime and catch every criminal, in order to have deterrents to crime, neither do we have to ferret out and deport every one of the 12 million illegal aliens in this country in order to deter a flood of new illegal aliens.
 

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