In 1986, US lawmakers passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), this move gave official pardon to all illegal immigrants who had successfully eluded justice for many years or were illegally working in the nation. Consequently, 2.83 million illegal immigrants were accorded amnesty and made US citizens. Records show that the pardoned persons have produced at least 142,000 dependents to date. Besides, other legislation such as the NACARA, the Haitian Act, and INA (Section 249) has additionally pardoned more than 500,000 illegal immigrants over the years. Amnesty continues to add millions of individuals into the mainstream population, indeed, a research conducted by the Immigration and Naturalization Service made astounding findings: the average person that is offered amnesty had only reached seventh grade and had an annual salary of less than $9,000. When a person is pardoned, he becomes the burden of the state and public finances are used to upkeep such individuals. Amnesty to illegal immigrants has a direct and negative impact on the economy, a study by the Center for Immigration Studies showed that the IRCA pardon costs the economy more than $7.
8 billion annually. Amnesty to illegal immigrants strains the economy, the education system, social amenities and rewards those who break the law (Simcox, para. 3). Therefore, this practice must be stopped by current and future governments if any positive gains are to be made on the economy.
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Amnesty to Illegal Immigrants rewards those who Break the Law
Granting amnesty to illegal immigrants rewards illegal conduct to those who crossed borders without the necessary papers or those who have expired visa. It sends the message that one can break the law now, and receive forgiveness later, from the government. In addition, it makes fun of the official immigration system, in which persons who obey the law wait for years to be given official immigration papers. This amnesty encourages more persons to partake in illegal activity with the hope that they too will receive pardon and become citizens.
Therefore, in principle, amnesty to illegal immigrants increases the number of persons living in the country illegally (Ivereigh, para. 3).
Amnesty does not Reduce Illegal Immigration
A close look at immigration figures in Europe over the last three decades shows that granting amnesty to illegal immigrants does not reduce illegal immigration. The tables below show illegal immigration numbers in Italy and Spain the last three decades: