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Ronald Reagan On Immigration: “I Believe In The Idea Of Amnesty”

Following up on the clip from a 1980 Reagan/Bush debate that Alex Knapp posted last night, here’s more of Ronald Reagan on immigration from the second 1984 Presidential Debate with Walter Mondale:

Two years later, Congress passed and Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which included a provision that granted amnesty to any illegal immigrant who had entered the United States prior to January 1, 1982 and resided here continuously.

H/T: Andrew Sullivan

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Sam says:

    And thus we now have up to 25 million illegal aliens in the USA.

    To make an attempt to use these words from the standard bearer of the right to suggest that it could be a policy for today is the height of insanity.

    There is not one parallel in the two time periods.

    Here is my comprehensive immigration plan.

    1: Secure the borders. Nothing else will work until you do unless you want open borders.
    2: Set a time frame of ___ years (pick a number over 5) for all illegal aliens to register with the government.
    3: All who register and are free of ANY criminal record, can show there is a work history for some period of time while the alien has been here, (not a burden on the taxpayers, that is Mexico’s job) and maybe add in the legislation, that your children are born here, you then get a work visa ONLY.
    4: For those not registered, ANY ONE of them even stopped for a traffic violation can be subject to removal immediately. Arrested, GONE immediately. Living on the tit of the taxpayer? GONE immediately.
    5: For those who registered, after the time frame agreed to, and you have not been arrested and have proven that your life and family have been responsible, lawful and good neighbors so to speak, you can THEN go on to work on your citizenship papers for you and your immediate family. Citizenship must be made to mean something again to preserve our nation. (we must agree that not all immigrants want to be citizens)
    6: If you registered, and break one or two of the rules, it will be dealt with on a case by case basis. If you break a serious law like rape murder etc, YOU ARE GONE with your non citizen family. (the harsher the penalty, the more these immigrants will think about they actions because many of them are really decent people)

    7: add to the citizenship requirement as you will. The ones we had just 10 years ago were fine.

    8: add what you want but this plan hits all the hot spots. And gives and takes from both.

    I may have added some commentary in the rules which was hard to refrain from and could have done without but….

    Now, my personal belief, many many of those illegal aliens today are not so much illegal aliens, but they are truly
    REFUGEES of a war torn country. They need to be treated as what they are, refugees. Refugee camps or more politically correctly, displaced human savior centers, are the answer.

    Show that I am wrong when I say that there are more killed daily in Mexico, and more precisely, more killed in Northern Mexico, than were killed to date in Libya between the opposing parties.

    We share a border with a country in a war not unlike Iraq or Afghanistan or Israel or any number of country’s taking in refugees.

    Our own government is instigating deadly violence in Mexico’s and America’s drug cartel wars.
    When the war on our southern border is as bad as many across the globe and we are not treating it as such, we are derelict in our duties as a sovereign nation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  2. mantis says:

    That’s cool. Today’s conservatives only believe in the idea of Ronald Reagan, not the actual president.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  3. mantis says:

    @Sam:

    1: Secure the borders. Nothing else will work until you do unless you want open borders.

    What does “secure the borders” really mean? Does it mean that the entire border is uncrossable except legally? That means a whole lot more than a fence. A fence doesn’t really keep anyone from crossing, as non-Americans still possess arms, legs, and the ability to use tools. Do you understand the real cost associated with monitoring every foot of the border, including all of our ocean coastlines? How do you propose we pay for that?

    If you break a serious law like rape murder etc, YOU ARE GONE with your non citizen family. (the harsher the penalty, the more these immigrants will think about they actions because many of them are really decent people)

    This makes very little sense. If an illegal immigrant is proven to have raped or murdered someone, he/she goes to prison. Deportment isn’t really an issue, unless you are talking about after they have served their sentences, but that happens anyway. Do you think a lot of illegal immigrant rapists and murderers, undeterred by the possibility of prison (and possibly the death penalty, depending on the state and crime), will think twice because the INS might also come for them? Silly. We already have harsh penalties for rape and murder.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  4. mantis says:

    Show that I am wrong when I say that there are more killed daily in Mexico, and more precisely, more killed in Northern Mexico, than were killed to date in Libya between the opposing parties.

    The murder rate for the country of Mexico in 2010 was 18 per 100,000 people, annually. At a population of about 112 million, that gives you around 20,200 murders per year. That’s about 55 per day. There are places, especially in northern Mexico, that have exceptionally high local murder rates, like Ciudad Juarez. But your statement about Libya is false. More than 55 people have died in Libya. A lot more.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. Sam says:

    From the speech.

    If anyone can show me a video of a joint session of congress called by the president that had so much one sided sustained applause so many times, please post it.

    “Pass it again right away!” Like we did ObamaCare on Christmas Eve late night.

    “That’s why you should pass this bill right away!” Said 39 times tonight.

    Pass it tomorrow and you wil have to pass it to see whats in it.

    ” You will have to wait longer, wait for more re-election bus tours to hear more of the plan I want you to pass tomorrow.”
    PASS IT NOW! Don’t read it, don’t put it on the internet for 3 days before I sign it, don’t argue the merits on CSPAN like I promised. JUST EAT YOUR PEAS!

    “Buffet pays less tax than his secretary”

    Just what all expected and this will be his last big speech until the election and his loss.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  6. Sam says:

    “Or should we put teachers back to work?”

    Your first stimulus kept all teachers employed Mr President.

    Now the money is running out and states like New York and California and other Democrat led states and cities like Chicago with Rhambo in charge, are laying public employees off. Public UNION employees.

    States like Wisconsin and Texas are hiring and keeping their public employees.

    Obama is talking about foreign competition right now while his JustUs Dept raided Gibson and stole their fretboard material. Putting people out of work.

    Keeping a billion dollar factory closed in South Carolina to build the next generation of aircraft.

    FAILED…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  7. Sam says:

    @mantis:

    Sorry if the issue went over your head, in a war the casualties are not counted in parts per anything. They are body counts of those involved in the war.

    More have been victims in Mexico in 7 years than in Afghanistan in 10.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  8. Sam says:

    @mantis:

    The borders being secured means that more are stopped and very few would attempt the few available crossings left unsecured.

    Much of the border is impassable without fences and all the high tech security used today on the border.

    In San Diego illegal aliens walk across the beach at low tide right around the fence when there is a new moon.
    In the Sonora Desert there is heavy risk of crossing.

    Much of the border is not in need of fences and sensors and cameras unless they are willing to die easily.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  9. Sam says:

    @mantis:

    google this phrase

    acapulco deaths

    read on dude!

    December 9, 2008
    Reporting from Mexico City—
    In a chilling assessment of Mexico’s drug war, the country’s top prosecutor said Monday that more than 5,000 people had been killed in drug violence so far this year, more than double the toll for the same period in 2007.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-mexicodead9-2008dec09,0,1654684.story

    “December 17, 2010 More than 30,100 people have died in drug-related violence since Mexican President Felipe Calderon began a crackdown on cartels, the country’s attorney general said”

    http://articles.cnn.com/2010-12-17/world/mexico.violence_1_drug-war-border-city-drug-related-violence?_s=PM:WORLD

    Take a look at what we are dealing with !
    http://www.blogdelnarco.com/2010/07/fotos-de-3-descuartizados-en-zapopan.html#more

    We must secure our borders to prevent this here any more than it is now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  10. Tsar Nicholas says:

    No. 1’s plan is pretty darn good. I like it. A lot. One thing’s missing, however.

    We also need some sort of safe harbor for businesses to participate in the process of registering their illegal labor. Something along the lines of a business has either x or y number of months to register their illegal labor and to pay a small but not token fine. The larger the business the less time they have to comply. Once in compliance then their illegals are eligible for work visas. All is good. If they register all their illegals no further sanctions are issued against the company. But if the business is caught after the safe harbor period with unregistered illegals then a whole can of whoop ass is opened on them. Draconian sanctions. Instant loss of all licenses. Massive fines. Mandatory jail time upon conviction for their owners and executives, regardless of knowledge. No appeals. So on, so forth.

    We do need some form of amnesty, yes. We’re also a sovereign nation and borders do matter. There’s a middle ground here. Reagan’s major mistake was addressing the illegals’ amnesty without seriously addressing the issues of border control, business amnesty and enforcement and deportation reform.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  11. Sam says:

    @mantis:
    “Deportment isn’t really an issue, unless you are talking about after they have served their sentences, but that happens anyway.”

    THINK DUDE!

    If the border is secure they can be deported and stand little chance to return!
    Let Mexico and YOU TOO pay for them in prison somewhere! NOT my family and children!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  12. Sam says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    “We also need some sort of safe harbor for businesses to participate in the process of registering their illegal labor”

    That is number 8 on the list! Thanks, I think it is a good starting point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  13. Sam says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:
    “Reagan’s major mistake was addressing the illegals’ amnesty without seriously addressing the issues of border control,”

    IF my memory is correct he did indeed call for some changes. They never got done. Just like Obama’s plans that go into the “out years”. They never happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  14. mantis says:

    Sorry if the issue went over your head, in a war the casualties are not counted in parts per anything. They are body counts of those involved in the war.

    I was referencing a murder rate. Murder rates are reported per capita. It’s the only way to compare populations. Sorry if that is over your head.

    In any case, you made the challenge. When I respond, you decide you don’t like the terms you yourself laid out? Weak.

    More have been victims in Mexico in 7 years than in Afghanistan in 10.

    I’ll leave it to someone else to factcheck this one. You showed you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about with the first one.

    Again, do you understand what the cost of truly “securing” the border would be?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. An Interested Party says:

    4: For those not registered, ANY ONE of them even stopped for a traffic violation can be subject to removal immediately. Arrested, GONE immediately. Living on the tit of the taxpayer? GONE immediately.

    Oh yes, please push this one, and make sure as many of your fellow travelers as possible push it as well…the quicker any political party were to do this, the quicker said party would doom itself to irrelevance…

    Just what all expected and this will be his last big speech until the election and his loss.

    This will hardly be his last big speech…as for “his loss”, who will he lose to? Rick “Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme” Perry? Mitt “I made companies profitable by sending jobs overseas” Romney? Good luck with all of that…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. Sam says:

    @mantis:
    “I was referencing a murder rate.”

    In a war!!! Rates are not the issue. BODY COUNT is.

    How many people, involved in the Afghanistan war have been killed? Americans and allies and Taliban and Al Quaida and all affiliated groups?
    I have shown you the numbers in Mexico. That does not include the numbers in America.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  17. Sam says:

    @mantis:

    “Again, do you understand what the cost of truly “securing” the border would be? ”

    We are securing the borders of OTHER countries are we not?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  18. Sam says:

    @An Interested Party:

    “and make sure as many of your fellow travelers”

    Do you understand how insulting and bigoted that statement is?
    Why are you being a racist?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  19. MarkedMan says:

    Sam,
    Just to be clear, what you are describing is an amnesty program. Is that what you meant to do?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. superdestroyer says:

    The reason liberals keep pointing out how much they like Reagan’s position on immigration is that Reagan’s amensty program had turned the State of California into a state that the Republicans are irrelevant.

    Increased immigration means that conservatives will be irrelevant to politics in the U.S. and that the U.S. will function much like California.

    Just because Reagan was stupid on immigration over 25 years ago does not mean that conservatives should continue to be stupid on immigration.

    Any conservative that supports open borders and unlimited immigration is just supporting their own political, economic, and social extinction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  21. An Interested Party says:

    Do you understand how insulting and bigoted that statement is?

    Oh, do tell…

    Why are you being a racist?

    That would only be correct if I were directing my statement towards a particular ethnic group, but since I’m not, better luck playing your race card next time…

    Superdestroyer, why don’t you cut right to the chase? The idea that terrifies you the most is that white people might become irrelevant to politics…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. superdestroyer says:

    @An Interested Party:

    It is not a question of might become irrelevant. Whites will become irrelevant to politics. Considering that blacks, Hispanics, and Asians are organized along ethnic lines while whites are not means that whites will become irrelevant to politics.

    Currently. only whites are independents, Only whites seem to swing between both parties. As whites become a smaller part of the population,politics will become like places like California, Maryland, or Mass. where election are almost irrelevant and one party totally dominates.

    The real question is what happens to the U.S. when most of country functions like Los Angeles County.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2