Why do They Call It Amnesty?

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary Several agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are suing the federal government over the student deferment program that was recently initiated by U.S. President Barack Obama. They contend that the program is an “amnesty” and as such is “against current immigration law.” The executive order allows those high acadenic young people who have been in the United States since they were at most 16 and have not only a good academic record but also no criminal record to stay in the United States and go on to college. After they complete college or university they can apply for residency which must be renewed. Hardly an amnesty. But this whole thing is being portrayed as an amnesty by not only anti-immigrant individuals but also by powerful anti-immigrant groups like the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform (FAIR).

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, FAIR is a racist, anti-immigrant organization that wants to cut immigration to the lowest levels possible and also wants to largely curtail non-white immigration. The founder of FAIR, John Tanton, has even called the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which ended decades of the racist immigration quota system, a “mistake.” Clearly, in the eyes of those who seem to have no problem with the way the immigration system is running now, they think it should be made more draconian. Even though this student deferment program affects a certain number of young people, there are those anti-immigrant fools who are crying “foul.” What these young people are getting is not amnesty. They have to earn this status. They have to stay clean in ways ordinary teenagers born and raised in this country do not have to do. They must NOT get in trouble with the law in any way. They must maintain a high grade point average in high school. They must clearly go on the college, and stay there to complete their required work to graduate. They cannot drop out.

Of course, there are those who do not see this. In their demented minds, these young people are all “illegals.” It does not matter if they were brought here by their parents, and it certainly does not matter to these racist, white supremacists that these kids did not make their choice to come here in the first place. In the view of these sick anti-immigrant fanatics, it does not matter that these kids might become an important asset to the future of America. They simply want to overturn any chance to reform an immigration system that is broken and is far from humane. Even this small change in the system is unacceptable to them. And so they will all call it “amnesty.”

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