A Few Words About Amnesty
I want to get back to this amnesty issue, even though the McCain folks don’t like it (who can blame them). The 1986 law President Reagan signed didn’t provide for automatic amnesty, even though Reagan said it conferred amnesty on 2-3 million illegal aliens. I went back and looked at the Heritage Foundation’s Matt Spalding’s piece on this, which was excellent, and he reminds those who care that the Reagan bill stipulated several requirements to receiving amnesty, including
payment of application fees, acquisition of English-language skills, understanding of American civics, a medical exam, and registration fro military service. Individuals convicted of a felony or three misdemeanors were ineligible. Despite these requirements, all agree that the 1986 law amounted to amnesty.
See more here
for a reminder of just how bad the McCain-Kennedy bill was.