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Immigration Amnesty

Immigration Amnesty

Immigration amnesty usually refers to the idea of allowing individuals who reside illegally in the United States to become legal residents or even citizens of the United States. President Ronald Reagan granted immigration amnesty to about 4 million illegal immigrants in the 1980s, and the United States Congress has offered immigration amnesty to specific groups of illegal immigrants on several occasions. The debate over the issue of granting amnesty to illegal immigrants has picked up in intensity in the 2000s There are estimates indicating that there might be over twelve million people residing in the United States without the required documentation, or with false documentation. Some proponents of immigration amnesty say that all illegal immigrants who did not commit a crime – other that residing in the U.S. illegally- should be allowed legal status in the U.S. The same amnesty proponents will often argue that if it were even possible to remove all the illegal immigrants from the U.S., doing so would severely harm the country’s economy. Those who oppose immigration amnesty often argue that all illegal immigrants have already committed crimes – by residing in the U.S. illegally – and should not be rewarded with legal immigration status. Opponents also say that it would be unfair to those who went through the legal immigration process to become residents in the U.S. if those who broke the rules would still be offered legal residency. When running for president in 2008, President Barack Obama promised to work for comprehensive immigration reform, which would include a “path to citizenship” for a majority of America’s illegal immigrants. However, by the end of 2010, President Obama has not yet managed to reform United States Immigration System or give immigration amnesty to the county’s illegal immigrants. Mostly the key reason for this failure is the strong resistance among Republicans against any kind of legislation that involves giving immigration amnesty to the immigrants who live illegally in the United States.

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