The District of Columbia has just completed a parking-ticket amnesty: the kind of amnesty we should have for immigration. In it, you ceased being a scofflaw by paying your outstanding tickets, but the extra penalties for past non-compliance were waived. Applying this model to immigration, illegal immigrants would be given, say, six months to get their affairs in order and comply with the law (i.e., go home) and those who did so would suffer no additional penalties for the string of subsequent crimes that stemmed from their original violation of immigration law — document fraud, identity theft, perjury, failure to appear in court, absconding from a deportation order, lying to a federal agent, etc., etc., etc. What “comprehensive immigration reform” supporters are calling for is more than amnesty, since illegal aliens would both avoid prosecution for these offenses and avoid paying their outstanding parking tickets, as it were.
(And no, I didn’t have any unpaid tickets.)