No, Ronald Reagan Did Not Grant Amnesty. Neither Did Bush.

Propaganda: GOP Hero Ronald Reagan granted amnesty! Republicans are hypocrites! Obama should have the same rights as Reagan! 



Democrats are pointing to the Immigration and Control Act of 1986 to draw a comparison to Obama’s intended executive order on immigration, amnesty, purported to affect more than 15 million illegals currently within the United States. Here’s the problem with that comparison:

  • The Immigration and Control Act of 1986 was a law not an executive action.
  • The Immigration and Control Act of 1986 was drafted by Rep Romano L.Mazzoli (D) and Sen Alan K. Simpson (R). In other words, it was a bi-partisan action of the House and Senate.
  • The Immigration and Control Act of 1986 granted Amnesty to illegal immigrants who entered the country before January 1, 1982, but it had harsh “control” mechanisms to make sure America didn’t have to face the illegal immigration problem in the future; said “control” mechanisms being firmly ignored in subsequent Congressional and Executive administrations.

Per Wikipedia:

The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), Pub.L. 99–603, 100 Stat. 3445, enacted November 6, 1986, also known as the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, signed into law by Ronald Reagan on November 6, 1986, is an Act of Congress which reformed United States immigration law. The Act[1]

  • required employers to attest to their employees’ immigration status;
  • made it illegal to hire or recruit illegal immigrants knowingly;
  • legalized certain seasonal agricultural illegal immigrants, and;
  • legalized illegal immigrants who entered the United States before January 1, 1982 and had resided there continuously with the penalty of a fine, back taxes due, and admission of guilt; candidates were required to prove that they were not guilty of crimes, that they were in the country before January 1, 1982, and that they possessed minimal knowledge about U.S. history, government, and the English language.

Congress intended the Immigration and Control Act of 1986 to seal the border, stop future illegal immigration, stop future hiring of illegals, and make those here illegally pay penalties for their illegal entry. It insisted these new citizens possess knowledge of American history and speak the English language.

In other words, it insisted illegals become “American”.

Obama, driven by anti-American activists including La Raza, intends to grant amnesty with no conditions to pay penalties or make restitution, no requirement to speak our language or adopt our culture, and with no intent to secure our borders.

And (and it’s a big “And”) – with no legislation.

Reagan did not grant Amnesty. He signed a law passed by Congress.

Obama, in defiance of Congress, is decreeing Amnesty by fiat.


The initial propaganda (suggesting that Reagan granted Amnesty by executive order) exposed, liberals are now suggesting equivalence between actions Reagan and Bush took to expand the Immigration and Control Act of 1986 and Obama’s forthcoming Amnesty decree. It’s continued deception:

  • The Immigration and Control Act of 1986 gave Amnesty to illegal immigrants who were in the country prior to January 1, 1982. However, the law didn’t address family members who were in the country as of 1986 but not as of 1982. Reagan acknowledged that it would be immoral to deport family members of illegal immigrants who could pass the 1982 test. So, Reagan granted a deferral of deportation for children under 18 who were living in a two-parent household with both parents legalizing, or with a single parent who was legalizing under the new law.
  • President George H. W. Bush recognized that family members over the age of 18, and in the same circumstances as the children above, needed the same protection. He provided it under the “Family Fairness Policy” direction to the INS, which was later codified into law by Congress in 1990 – less than four years after the original law’s passage.

Where is Obama’s Immigration and Control Act of 1986, that “sweeping overhaul” (as Huff-Po describes it) of immigration law that was passed by Congress? He has none. Congress has not passed a law to amend Immigration in over 28 years.

And as Congress has not passed new Immigration Law in 28 years, Obama is not “amending” anything. He’s writing new law on his own. He has no Constitutional authority to write law.

This piece of  liberal propaganda depends on you not recognizing the difference between a President taking action to implement a law that has recently passed and a President taking action to write a Law Congress refuses to pass.

Be smarter than that.


  1. Bayhuntr · · Reply

    It seems the argument is Reagan signed an executive order creating more amnesty as an adjustment to a “New” law for humanitarian reasons; not breaking up families. Obama has signed an executive order creating more amnesty as an adjustment to an “Older” law for humanitarian reasons; Young people brought here as babies and no nothing but being American. Can anyone explain to me where the New / Old requirement comes from? It sounds like an excuse that was made up, to make a Republican action and a Democratic action, although the exact same action, different. Both created more amnesty, both are not what was written into the existing law; new or old. Both were done because they didn’t have the votes to get it done at the time.
    Now I was and am against blank check amnesty, that is what we got from Reagan, it is not what we have gotten from Obama, yet, and we wont. I have empathy for children brought here when it wasn’t their choice and this nation is all they know. I have no empathy for their parents, they are still criminals, not violent criminals, most likely good people in every other way, but still broke our laws (btw, These are the people covered by Reagan’s amnesty by executive order). If this had been dealt with years ago, we wouldn’t have the problem at this level today. Unfortunately, between the Latino lobby and the “Lower wages” Corporate lobby, here we are today. Obama empowers the Latino lobby and Reagan empowered the Corporate lobby and people here are arguing about “New” and “Old” Shesh!


    1. victorgolfcharles · · Reply

      No, the corporate lobby are keeping minimum wage as low as possible — preferably $7.50 an hour (varies between states) — because they’re sick of the shiet being hurled at them by liberal union McDummy crybabies (which is a big redundancy) that want $15 an hour just to put a pickle on a bun.

      –Victor Golf Charles, AMERICAN


    2. Desiree · · Reply

      So you’re saying that we should allow children of bank robbers to keep the stolen money, because they were innocent and it wasn’t specifically THEM who took the money – it was their parents who stole the money for them.

      Got it.

      So even though us taxpayers put out insane amount of money to give these kids free education which will give them a leg up in the world no matter where they move to, that they simply wouldn’t be able to acclimate to their native homelands, despite the fact that the overwhelming mass majority of them constantly go visit their native homelands with their parents to see close and extended family.

      The overwhelming mass majority of them are bilingual and would get by just fine and prosper in their home native lands. In fact, they would help their native lands prosper, which would then lead to less illegal immigration from those countries into United States.

      Additionally, the mass majority of these immigrants vote for anti-American values. They vote for socialism/communism/anti-Constitutional rights/anti-liberty and freedom.

      It’s a win-win by deporting them all. They drain our resources (most of them are negative tax contributors), and hurt the quality of life for United States citizens by saturating the market for things like housing, labor, etc. American citizens should always be the first priority. Get your priorities straight please. We are suffering from this madness.


  2. Obama is doing this to get votes


  3. This article is just what kind of lie that gets out to the public and many people don’t bother to research for themselves, they just take it as the truth. I know many on the Right will try very hard to try and use the bills passed and signed into law by congress before the Executive Actions were issued by Pres’s Reagan and Bush to adjust deportations to keep families from splitting up. But try as they might, it just does not hold water. Pres Obama is not doing anything different from the two previous Republican Pres’s. If the GOPer’s in congress did not raise a stink then, they have no standing to raise a stink now. He has the authority as Pres to make adjustments that will be implemented by a department governed by the Executive branch. I wish people would take the time to learn things for themselves.


    1. Obviously, you have not read the post. It gets better after the title.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. victorgolfcharles · · Reply

      You’re full of shet. I can tell because there’s a few squiggles missing from Reagan’s signature there.

      –Victor Golf Charles, AMERICAN


  4. Michael R. · · Reply

    Really I think we’re missing a key point of understanding here. Reagan, Bush, and Obama all have created executive orders of deferred action that tell their branch of government to de-prioritize legal actions against a subset of the illegally immigrated population. It’s not full on immunity as was granted under the law by Congress during Reagan’s presidency, although that’s what it is being publicized as. All three Presidents were directing how the resources under their direction would prioritize enforcement of criminal activities WITHOUT CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL.

    The timing of the law and the “common sense” of an action is irrelevant to the argument. Both of the previous Presidents acted in a manner to shield people from enforcement actions that were already specified and deemed necessary by Congress under the law. Whether it was 4 years or 24 years, they are all three directing prioritization and deferred action until Congress acts in a definitive manner to close the gaps. The reality is that the previous immigration act did not in fact or in substance stop illegal immigration

    The other issue that gets missed is that this is part and parcel to balance of power. While we look at balance of power as the Veto, it’s not the only mechanism. Executive direction is also a means of counteracting and in some cases empowering laws coming out of Congress, just as Congress has the ability to de-fund or re-prioritize funds as a means of keeping the Executive branch in check or getting around laws they don’t like but can’t repeal. The other option both sides have is to go to court and let the Judicial branch be a tie breaker.

    At the heart of this debate we’re keep skirting the real issues with illegal immigration, which has little to do with welfare, border enforcement, immunity, or executive orders and everything to do with DEMAND. The IRCA and the Immigration Reform Act were failures because they cannot curb the demand for low wage, high risk workers. Companies simply found new ways to obtain those workers and subvert the laws. Until the demand for such workers is reduced and/or eliminated they will continue to find ways in and the number will continue to grow. Businesses and business owners have the primary responsibility in this. Many will use contractors or subcontractors to absolve themselves of documentation requirements. Yet at the same time see that their workforce is largely non-English speaking, bottom of the pay scale, and at high risk of being undocumented and do nothing to ensure that the law is being followed. They can simply use the excuse “we didn’t know, those people came from a contractor.” When common sense would suggest that they would be at least suspicious and minimally demand some clarity from their contractor.

    However, how do we shut down the demand for this type of labor without further expanding the size of government and the enforcement effort necessary to hold these businesses accountable. Likewise, how do we put controls in place to ensure the workers are legal without putting undue burdens on the business, increasing costs and reducing profits.


    1. Well thought out response. Let me opine…

      Regardless of whether you agree that Reagan and Bush acted properly (I do not – they should have gone back to Congress), you cannot say their situation is equivalent to Obama’s. For Reagan and Bush, there was first a new law. Their amendments were designed to better implement that law. For Obama, there is no new law. For Reagan and Bush, Congress passed Amnesty. For Obama, Congress has not passed Amnesty. The two environments are not equivalent.

      Your contention that Obama, like Reagan and Bush, is simply deferring action until Congress “closes the gaps” is, again, situationally unaware. In the 1980’s, Congress had already passed Amnesty. And that bill was intended to be the end of it. In 2014, Congress has not passed Amnesty. And there is no guarantee that it will. To suggest Obama can act to “close the gaps” until Congress acts denies the reality that this Congress may not act. And which “gaps” is Obama closing? For Reagan and Bush, extending legislative amnesty to family members was a “gap”. Are you saying 15 million immigrants here illegally is a “gap”?

      To your balance of power argument, The Constitution has no provision that “Executive direction is also a means of counteracting and in some cases empowering laws coming out of Congress”. As correctly states, “The President is responsible for implementing and enforcing the laws written by Congress”. That our Constitution sets up some sort of legislative balance of power between Congress and The Executive is fantasy. And more fantasy is that SCOTUS exists to break ties between the Executive and the Legislative branches when they disagree on law. SCOTUS exists to make sure laws are written within the confines of the Constitution, not to referee laws written by the Executive and Legislative branches. For six years, Obama has routinely ignored the constitutional role of the Executive branch, ignoring the barriers between it and the Legislative and Judicial, so I can see how people get confused.

      I agree with many of your points on the “Demand” issue, however you don’t address the welfare issue. If we imposed harsh penalties on business who hire illegal workers (and we should) there would still be a flood across the border so long as we allow them access to our social welfare programs. Even if you can’t find a job here Uncle Sam will still take care of you. Why not come?

      We, obviously, have to do something about the tens of millions already here. But that “something” must be done by Congress – not the President. And we’re going to be reliving this in another 28 years if we don’t close the border. We’re kidding ourselves if we fail to enforce border security.


  5. coolelegans · · Reply

    Actually liberals are not pointing to that bill. Liberals are pointing to an executive action that Reagan signed after the bill was passed, in order to expand it. So we are comparing apples to apples. Reagan signed an executive action, and Obama will do the same, on the same topic of illegal immigration.

    You can read about it here:

    Ironically you guys keep calling liberals stupid, but you don’t actually know your history.


    1. Propaganda. Reagan made a common sense adjustment to a law that was passed by Congress. Amnesty was granted by the law, not EO. Obama is granting Amnesty absent any new law. And unconstitutionally making immigration law, which is the province of Congress not the Executive branch.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. victorgolfcharles · · Reply

      And now that you’ve blown your history assignment, coolelegans, we’re gonna have to take back your diploma. Sorry.

      –Victor Golf Charles, AMERICAN


  6. victorgolfcharles · · Reply

    In before the shetstorm of comments by burnt-out-bulb liberals. And yes, I said liberals are not merely dim — their lightbulbs are totally burnt out, thereby rendering them incapable of rational thought. C:

    –Victor Golf Charles, AMERICAN

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: