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Friday, July 07, 2006


Amnesty Amnesia and Animosity

- By Chuck Busch

Throughout the U.S. Senate debate on immigration reform there has been considerable disagreement over what the term amnesty entails. Obviously, amnesty means different things to different people, especially to a room full of lawyers. But actually, the literal definition is quite simple and can easily be applied to the illegal alien situation. Amnesty is a "general pardon" extended to a class of people exempting them from punitive measures for illegal activity. It is undeniable then that any plan that allows people who have entered the United States illegally to stay constitutes an amnesty of some degree.

This is not to say that some sort of arrangement or "plea bargain" could not be made to address the present reality of 12 to 20 million who make up a significant portion of our society and economy. The mass protest rallies this spring where the "defendants" demanded their "rights" however did not help their case. Proponents of such a plan say there is no amnesty because the offenders would be "punished" by having to pay a fine and back taxes.

However, if this argument were to hold true, then a vagrant who breaks into a private residence should have the right to remain part of the household if he agrees to pay rent. Wanting to come into the US is not a crime, but illegal entry is. If a thief breaks into an appliance store to steal a television set, is he to be rewarded with the TV for doing jail time? There is no compulsion for our government to provide a "pathway to citizenship" which most certainly would be a road to destruction for the total society. The Senate is seeking a lighter sentence for the illegals and for themselves for disregarding immigration law. If the crime is stealing across the border, then ideally the "penalty" should be detention and deportation, not US citizenship at a discounted price. . .............
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