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Presidential Issues: Immigration


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What does amnesty even mean, anyway?

December 18, 2015

By James Antle, III

When Bill Clinton was president, we argued about the meaning of "is." Since George W. Bush's presidency, we've been arguing about the meaning of "amnesty." Presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are just the two latest Republicans to get caught up in the confusion.

Virtually all Republicans today say they oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants, even though Bush, 2008 Republican nominee John McCain, and many GOP senators supported legislation that was widely described as amnesty. Sometimes for good measure, today's Republicans say they're against "blanket amnesty."

Everything here hinges on what the meaning of amnesty is. Let's explore it.

Opponents (and I'm one of them) of "comprehensive" immigration bills — like Rubio and Chuck Schumer's Gang of Eight legislation, or Bush-era golden oldies like McCain-Kennedy — define amnesty as adjusting the legal status of undocumented immigrants so that they may stay in the country and work indefinitely.

Read the full article at The Week: What does amnesty even mean, anyway?

Issue Categories : Immigration, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz