I’d be interested to hear Mark Krikorian’s thoughts on this Los Angeles Times story. Everything about it is nuts, starting with the headline:
Settlement Opens Up Amnesty For Tens Of Thousands Of Immigrants
What “amnesty” would that be? Some new McCain reach-across-the-aisle deal? A grand Obama inaugural celebration? No, it’s the Reagan amnesty. You remember – the one from nigh on a quarter-century ago. Yes, folks, they’re still admitting applicants to the ‘86 amnesty – illegal immigrants who were turned down back in the mid-Eighties but stayed on to file appeals, class-action suits and what have you. The opening sentence nicely captures the surreal world of US immigration law:
For two decades, Anaheim businessman Erkan Aydin has taken on a task unimaginable for most immigrants like himself: trying to convince the U.S. government that he was here illegally.
And it gets better from there:
The settlement marks Schey’s third and final class-action lawsuit over the 1986 amnesty law. The previous lawsuits, both settled in 2003, resulted in more than 150,000 immigrants being allowed to apply for amnesty…
In the second lawsuit, Schey argued against the rejection of amnesty applicants who had returned home and reentered with a valid visa. Immigration officials at the time held that the reentry was legal, breaking the continued illegal residency required for amnesty. Schey argued, however, that the reentry was illegal because the immigrants would have to have lied about themselves when they applied for the visa to return.
Got that? The US government’s argument is that legally entering on legal, valid US paperwork is legally invalid for US residency, while the illegal immigrant counters that, as his legal paperwork was illegally acquired, it should be sufficiently invalid to be valid for US residency.