Yep, even the Gipper could be wrong. That George H.W. Bush could also be wrong will come as no surprise to anyone outside of the extensive Bush clan.
The 1986 law that Reagan signed was known as the Immigration Reform and Control Act which coupled amnesty for some three million illegal aliens with requirements that proof of citizenship be provided to employers and sanctions against employers who knowingly hired illegal aliens. Amnesty was the only thing the bill accomplished as employers quickly found means to evade the law.
Edwin Meese, close Reagan friend and confidant, and Reagan’s Attorney General, believes that Reagan would have learned from his mistakes on immigration:
The idealistic views Bush and Reagan evinced in 1980 have been proven naïve and wrongheaded.
Mexico’s economic problems would have been better addressed by that nation opening up to American capital and Catholic teaching. Instead, it remains closed to most of the American investment it could gain, sinks further into immorality and corruption, and forces millions of the least among them to go far from home and family, into an alien land whose language is alien to them.
Where’s the effort among U.S. bishops to unite with their fellow bishops in Mexico to rescue Mexico from corruption and secularism?
Everyday in my work I see men and women with criminal records who were charged with one, sometimes much more serious, crime be given the opportunity to salvage their lives through the process of plea bargaining. I have seen it on multiple occasions for the same person and more often than not(of course there are those who continue their lives of crime for numerous years) they settle for a life where the criminal acts cease in the wake of a period of some criminal activity.
I have never heard this called amnesty.
It is a clear downgrading from a more serious situation but it is NOT amnesty.
This is what should be done in some circumstances involving illegal immigration.
It should either be done away with for all or it should be available for all, depending upon the crime(s) involved.
It is not a good situation to leave people without status for long periods as is the case now. Nor is it good to simply say, you entered illegally, you must return to your home country. Complex circumstances are not amenable to simple solutions; just as quick fixes are seldom good in the long run and often do more harm, in the long run, then the good they did in the near term.
I wish I had more wisdom, since I have serious concerns whether this country can even survive as a single entity in the face of the wave of change brought by the large numbers of diverse immigrants since the seventies. But, what is cannot be returned to what was. We must deal with what we have now. Now we have a very large number of people without lawful status. This cannot continue.
We are at a crossroads in our history how we respond to our many active, pressing problems will have much to do with the survival of America as a nation. A disunited country will not survive in the long term. A “unity” of the least common denominator is a failure in progress.
God, save America.