14

May 29, 1865: Amnesty Proclamation

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Eventually President Andrew Johnson and the Radical Republicans in Congress would come to bitter blows over the issue of amnesty for former Confederates.  However, for now they were in agreement, and the Presidential Proclamation of May 29, 1865 outlined the oath to be taken by former Confederates and the classes of individuals excluded from taking the oath:

Amnesty Proclamation

 

Whereas the President of the United States, on the 8th day of December, A.D. eighteen hundred and sixty-three, and on the 26 day of March, A.D. eighteen hundred and sixty-four, did, with the object to suppress the existing rebellion, to induce all persons to return to their loyalty, and to restore the authority of the United States, issue proclamations offering amnesty and pardon to certain persons who had directly or by implication participated in the said rebellion; and whereas many persons who had so engaged in said rebellion have, since the issuance of said proclamations, failed or neglected to take the benefits offered thereby; and whereas many persons who have been justly deprived of all claim to amnesty and pardon thereunder, by reason of their participation directly or by implication in said rebellion, and continued hostility to the government of the United States since the date of said proclamation, now desire to apply for and obtain amnesty and pardon:

To the end, therefore, that the authority of the government of the United States may be restored, and that peace, order, and freedom may be established, I, ANDREW JOHNSON, President of the United States, do proclaim and declare that I hereby grant to all persons who have, directly or indirectly, participated in the existing rebellion, except as hereinafter excepted, amnesty and pardon, with restoration of all rights of property, except as to slaves, and except in cases where legal proceedings, under the laws of the United States providing for the confiscation of property of persons engaged in rebellion, have been instituted; but upon the condition, nevertheless, that every such person shall take and subscribe the following oath, (or affirmation,) and thenceforward keep and maintain said oath inviolate; and which oath shall be registered for permanent preservation, and shall be of the tenor and effect following, to wit:

I, _______ _______, do solemnly swear, (or affirm,) in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the union of the States thereunder; and that I will, in like manner, abide by, and faithfully support all laws and proclamations which have been made during the existing rebellion with reference to the emancipation of slaves. So help me God. Continue Reading

15

Class and Amnesty

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Usually forgotten in the debates over illegal immigration is the class aspect.  A good example of this is why the House  GOP leadership embraced amnesty yesterday.  For Democrats an embrace of amnesty is obvious:  more Democrat voters down the road based on current voting patterns.  The reason why Republicans would agree to such a plan brings out the class dimension.

I can only imagine the amount of money the Chamber of Commerce and other pro-illegal alien groups must be throwing at the House GOP leadership for them to embrace amnesty, a policy hated by almost all rank and file Republicans.  Go here to read about the plan proffered by the GOP leadership which is barely disguised amnesty for illegal aliens.  The desire of many businesses for a continuing stream of illegal aliens from south of the border, drawn by the lure of eventual legalization, as occurred with the 1986 amnesty, is a betrayal of our own native workers at a time of high unemployment.  Senator Jeff Sessions (R.AL) explains this largely ignored aspect of the immigration debate:

Once again, we have  the same recycled talking points—crafted, it would appear, with the help of the same consultants and special interests. Each time, the talking points are followed by legislation that fails to match the promises—legislation that, at bottom, ensures only the amnesty and not the enforcement. The leadership talking points look like an attempted repackaging of the tired Gang-of-Eight-style formula that has been proposed, rejected, and re-proposed for years. It is no surprise then that Senator Schumer and former Speaker Pelosi are so encouraged by these developments. But while Democrat leaders and interest groups appear satisfied, this document was not voted upon by the GOP conference and clearly does not represent the consensus of Republican members. Is it not time we pushed aside the stale proposals stitched together in concert with the same lobbyists, and asked what is in the best interests of the hardworking American citizen—and the nation?

In three fundamental respects, the House leaders’ emerging immigration proposal appears to resemble the Senate plan: it provides the initial grant of amnesty before enforcement; it would surge the already unprecedented level of legal lesser-skilled immigration to the U.S. that is reducing wages and increasing unemployment; and it would offer eventual citizenship to a large number of illegal immigrants and visa overstays.

Rank-and-file House Republicans are the last line of defense for working Americans. Now is the time for rank-and-file House Republicans to claim the leadership mantle and to say, firmly: our goal is to transition millions of struggling Americans from welfare and joblessness to work and rising wages. The President has not only dismantled enforcement but has delivered for a small group of special interests and CEOs by forcing through the Senate legislation that drastically surges the future flow of new immigrant workers competing against unemployed Americans. There is a reason why these increases are never mentioned in the slick ads and radio spots: the American people reject them. Americans earning under $30,000 prefer a reduction to an increase in current record immigration levels by a 3-1 margin. Republicans have the chance to be the one party giving voice to the real-world concerns of the everyday worker whose wages have been flat or falling for more than 10 years.

House leaders should support—not ignore—the immigration officers pleading for help. They should stand with—not against—unemployed American workers. And they should expose—not join—the President’s campaign to pass an immigration plan that will hollow out our shrinking middle class. Continue Reading