Originally Posted by Cherie
As a side-note -- Does anyone here know exactly why the the Conservative Ronald Reagan proposed the first amnesty bill?
I am just curious how many of you were around then (like myself) and remember the discussions or learned the history of it. It was not a simple deal either.
The magnitude of the illegal alien issue was nothing during Reagan's administration compared to today, so comparing the amnesty he put forth to any similar proposal or action today is comparing apples to oranges. The principle is the same, of course, but illegals were just not much of a problem or a concern at the time for a variety of reasons, among which was simply their small numbers.
The problem with what Reagan did was not so much providing amnesty to the (relatively) few illegals around at that time, but in giving a loud signal that encouraged future illegal immigration by providing a sense that it was unofficially acceptable. In this respect, Reagan made a very big mistake in that he did not anticipate the subsequent massive flood of illegals that would result from his action. In all fairness to him, I am not sure anyone else anticiated it either. I was a very strong Reagan supporter, and still consider him one of the best, and the right man at the right time, but his amnesty program IMO was his single biggest mistake as President...