The Simple Truth About Amnesty Conservatives Don’t Want to Acknowledge

ronald-reagan-1The topic of immigration has been making the headlines for weeks now.  It’s a topic that’s taken us back to our original debates about sensible immigration reform and, of course, amnesty.

See, “amnesty” is what many conservatives claim is driving illegal immigrants to come to our borders.  Though I’d argue that it’s the law that was signed by George W. Bush in 2008 that’s led to the surge in immigrant children from Central and South America to our border.

But what exactly are some of the arguments for and against amnesty?

Well, some Americans claim that amnesty just makes sense.  That it’s not feasible, or logical, to try to deport well over 12 million people.  Heck, some even say it’s not even economically sound.

Then there are some who claim that amnesty is lawlessness in its purest form.  That it’s rewarding those who willfully violated our laws.  That it’s blatantly unconstitutional and un-American.

Amnesty is nothing more than “radical liberal policies run amok,” they say.

Many anti-immigratnt advocates claim that President Obama’s attempt to pass amnesty is part of some diabolical plan to fundamentally change the demographics of the United States.  There have even been some who have suggested if the president dares to bypass Congress to get some form of amnesty legalized, it would be grounds for impeachment.

Needless to say, arguments on both sides of the debate have been fairly passionate.

But who are these people – these un-patriotic, unconstitutional, lawless Americans – who would outrageously support a president who would dare to pass an amnesty law?

Well, that answer is simple: Ronald Reagan supporters.  Considering it was Reagan, in 1986, who signed an immigration bill into law which gave amnesty to undocumented immigrants who met a fairly rigid set of criteria.  An amnesty law which is very similar to the one President Obama wants passed.

Though now that President Obama is pushing for a common sense approach to illegal immigration, suggesting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, it’s now suddenly a “radical liberal way to change the demographics of our nation.”

Funny how that works, isn’t it?

So the next time a conservative goes off about how amnesty is un-American, unconstitutional and lawlessness incarnate – just remind them that it was in fact “conservative legend” Ronald Reagan who signed an amnesty bill into law in 1986.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • William Fite

    Hey Allen why don’t you give all the facts about that amnesty Bill that Reagan signed into law. What else was supposed to be done within that aw that was never funded by the democrat house? What have the republicans been saying needs to be done first before we consider any type of immigration reform? Republicans were not in favor of Reagan granting amnesty without certain concessions from the democrats. We got those concessions but the liberals NEVER followed through on their part.

    Now that we have passed a Bill that will help with the situation on our borders. Tell Harry Reid to come back to town put it up for a vote. If it passes then Obama needs to sign it into law. If this does not happen it will show the true colors of the democrats and what they really want. And right now Obama’s poll numbers on the border are horrible. 2014 is starting to look,like another 2010. This time the senate will be easy pickings.

    • Kenneth Johnson

      “What else was supposed to be done within that law that was never funded by the democrat house?” Well, he could have vetoed it. But he did not. End of story.

      • William Fite

        The 1986 Bill was a bi-partisan effort. One of the main parts of the Bill was border enforcement. That was the part that was not funded properly. The funding part came after the law was signed. So no he could not veto it.

      • Nick

        Why would Reagan have wanted border enforcement? That would have only made it harder for Noriega…

      • William Fite

        Do you have anything to contribute other than trolling.

      • giankeys luvs shemale porn


      • Andy Morgan

        That’s not accurate, William. The post-1986 problem had less to do with available funding than a need to identify precisely what specific security increase program needed to be funded. Meaning, of course, that we had the same problem then that we have now: What criteria do you use to establish whether the southern border is “secure?” The current Senate Bill 744( Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act) languishing without a House vote includes “border trigger” provisions requiring the Secretary of Homeland Security to identify specific increases in border security before increasing and approving increased numbers of amnesty applications. The problem is in choosing the metrics which reliably serve as proof of increased border security. This is not a new problem under Obama; Reagan had the same problem before signing immigration reform into law in 1986. The failure to reduce the number of illegal immigrants post-’86 was not due to liberal or conservative games in Congress; it was due to simply not having effective measures for identifying gaps in border security. That is always going to be a problem along the southern border.

    • JimNauseam

      You need to keep up. The bi-partisan immigration bill already passed the Senate and went back to the House, where Boehner refuses to let it come to a vote. Same with the minimum wage bill. If Obama wants it Boehner opposes it, simple as that. All part of the plan.

      • William Fite

        I have kept up. The reason I did not bring up the Senate Bill is that it reminds me too much of the 1986 Bill that was not funded properly by the then democrat controlled House. We need to fix the enforcement of the border first before we do anything else. The Bill from the house is a start. It also fixes the loophole in the law that was sponsored by democrats and signed by Bush in 2008 and then extended by Obama in 2013.

      • giankeys luvs shemale porn

        I like that——-!!!
        “signed by bush”
        why didn’t HE veto it???

      • Andy Morgan

        “Loophole?” You’re making that up, William. President Obama is applying President Bush’s 2008 law specifically and on its terms. As for the “concessions” that you claim Liberals failed to later honor, how about identifying those specifically?

      • Nemisis

        So The Secure Fence Act of 2006 signed into law by His Bushyness was successful then?

        hmm…did these kids just go around the fence…or did someone leave a gate open?

        We do need to fix the security at the border.

        By building a bigger fence. When that is done.

        We can fix these kids a wishmeat sandwich and toss down some newspaper for them to potty on while we wait for their legal process as laid out in that 2008 law, also signed by Bubba Jr., to run it’s course. If that takes a few minutes longer than you had hoped perhaps you should have said something when R&B were destabilizing the area in the 80’s giving gangs and criminals a better way of live that eventually culminates into the debacle that is now the border crisis of 2014…not to be confused with the border crisis of 2006 because that guy was white, and this guy is Hawaiian…

    • chaserblue

      You people keep saying that, that you’re going to “sweep” the elections. But you don’t. And for a very simple reason—you’re the hate party. You do nothing at ALL in the house and senate but try and pass laws against people. You want to pass laws against women, against two people you don’t even know getting married, against immigrants, against poor people, against people of color…you’re the hate party. Everyone knows it. You’ve disenfranchised yourself right out of the running. Then you lie to yourselves and can’t believe it when you lose an election. (See “Turd Blossom” during the last presidential) You cannot go around hating everyone but a small segment of the population, namely rich old white men, and then expect a great turnout for your party. So smarten up. Quit legislating everyone into hating you. Or don’t. You’ll just keep losing.

      • William Fite

        Were you not around in 2010? What happened in that election?

        House – GOP +56
        Senate – GOP +6
        Governors – GOP +6
        State legislatures – GOP +11

        I guess you missed that. Right now the polls are showing the GOP are doing better now than in 2010. The reason for the pickups the democrats made in 2012 was because Obama was running for office at the time. He is not in 2014 and he did not in 2010. Do you see the connection?

      • giankeys luvs shemale porn

        again,,,,,,,,,,,,,,correct in 2010

        I remain amazed as2 how U regressives have an excuse for everything; especially when it doesn’t go ur way–
        in the TOTALLY unlikely event that congress in effect remains unchanged,,,,,,,,,,, what would Ur excuse be?
        fallacious ballot stuffing?

      • Nemisis

        only happens in Florida, and that is a gop state…
        well the ballot machines are anyway.

      • Nemisis

        Not really, what I see is 10 years of gop control followed by at least 8 years of digging our asses out of economic decline. Don’t worry the gop will take it all back in 2024 and fuck it up by 2025.

    • giankeys luvs shemale porn

      really? easy pickings with the shutdown of GOVT by repubs ( see: HOUSE) and the ACA now working better than anticipated?
      if I do recall I remember the FOX “news” pundits claiming that 2012 was going2 be another rise in tea party seat replacement in congress
      how did that go>?

    • Nemisis

      What concessions? They looked the other way as Reagan continuously violated our laws. I would say the lack of jail time was sufficient concessions. Anyway it was a Reagan pushed agenda backed by corporate greed.

  • Marshall Weaver

    I would think people would be over joyed,cheap, uneducated labor. Exactly what corporations want.

    • Jim Bean

      Here’s the deal. You folks who have a heart-felt need to turn our country into a giant orphanage are quite welcome to do so, so long as its funded by donations from you and those who support the project. I, however, am among the 48% of Americans who pay income tax and I DON’T support it. So leave me and my tax contributions out of it. I want them spent on other things.

      • digitlburn

        Nice job, Jim Bean. Apparently you’ve been drinking too much Jim Beam and can’t do math (or probably, more accurately, you’re one of the knuckle-draggers that couldn’t do math if you were stone-cold sober). More than 48% of Americans pay income tax. And if you get to choose to not pay taxes for amnesty, I get to choose to not pay taxes for wars and corporate tax breaks. If we make out tax system work like that, I wonder who will get the bigger tax refund? Hmmm…

      • Nemisis

        I choose not to pay taxes that give corporations welfare. Unless they are from a foreign country here just trying have a better life…

      • Nemisis

        You don’t get to decide where your tax dollars are spent.

    • rossbro

      Corporations WANT illegals so they can pay less money in wages.

    • Nancy

      If they are “illegals” they can be fired & sent home, when they’re not needed.

  • William Fite

    After doing a little more research on the immigration Bill of 1986, to my surprise, the co-sponsors of that Bill one democrat and the other republican have claimed that it did not work. So why do we want yo do another Bill that does not work?

    Why don’t we get tough on the illegal immigration and just make it easier for legal immigration?

    • giankeys luvs shemale porn

      the subtext is that repubs claim Obama wanst to make ” new voters” in this; yet they turn a blind eye to THAT idiotic statement when saint Reagan is brought up with nearly exact legislation
      as we all know– its bushs baby which opened the borders in the early 2000’s
      …………………………….again/ repubs run from even discussing that– yet blame Obama for solar flares ( quip)

    • Nemisis

      Ah, now your talking…
      “Legal immigration is just too slow and costs too much, and is very race bias.”

      That is the argument I hear a lot.

      The implied meaning is “Help wanted, if your brown don’t bother.”
      I don’t subscribe to that.

      The reality is it is easier to walk than swim.
      No puns, or insult intended, Swimming from Europe takes some dedication, walking from the south to the north is fairly easy.
      That being said, we still have illegals from the eastern hemisphere.
      It is a disproportionate amount coming up from the south.
      Mainly because that is were the troubles are. Since Canada no longer is forced to deal with Bieber they pretty much stay up in the attic.
      Although they do apologize for it.

      How do we make legal immigration easier and cost effective.
      Annexation of Central America. Just make them States.

  • rossbro

    Reagan can walk on water, Repubs want to hold Pres. Obama UNDER water.

  • Nancy

    I really fear for our country, if this partisan, anti-Obama, crap continues. A handful of lunatics is thwarting the will of the people.

  • Nemisis

    Ah…St. Reagan…The original democrat republican.