Immigration Control Act Of 1986 Essay

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In 1986 the Reagan Administration signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. The bill, which had been passed by the democratically controlled congress, essentially granted amnesty to 2.7 million immigrants living illegally in the United States. One of the justifications for the legislation was to bring people out of the shadows of society, and give them a sense of ownership in the country. While there were stipulations placed on the immigrants in order to gain citizenship, which included English proficiency, clean arrest records, and civics testing. Critics argue that it set in motion a massive migration of illegal immigrants. It seems only rational when looking at it from a 2008 prospective, that part of that bill should have had clear provisions in it…show more content…
While there were a few provisions that covered enforcement, they were either too limited or rarely enforced. Illegal immigration continued to take place at levels in great excess of levels prior to the legislation being enacted. Some would argue that, this increase was due to the fact that other potential immigrants saw an easier path to being granted U.S. Citizenship. This path, as they saw it, would be through future legislation, much like the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, as opposed to enduring the traditional channels of naturalization. Local and state governments in recent years have become increasingly more sensitive to this dilemma. Many of these governments have put into place laws that venture into the realm of immigration enforcement, which has traditionally been the jurisdiction of the federal government. These local and state governments argue that they have the right to protect their citizens from the negative effects of illegal immigration, particularly when the federal government fails to do so on their behalf. I would argue that there are two clear factors that would give these governments the right to enact such laws; public safety and strains on public
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