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  2. Glossary
  3. Amnesty

Immigration Amnesty is a governmental pardon for n  policies related to immigration. Full amnesty would include the federal government forgiving individuals for using false documentation such as social security numbers, identification cards, and driver’s licenses, in order to gain employment in the U.S. and continue to remain in the country. Amnesty would allow illegal immigrants or undocumented aliens to gain permanent residency in the United States.

Amnesty is believed by many to be an application of forgiveness and fairness towards those who have, immigration status aside, otherwise participated in our society in good faith. An economic argument made for amnesty for illegal immigrants is that they would be allowed to qualify for higher paying jobs, scholarships, and other services. According to the Center for Study of Immigration Integration, if California alone were to adopt an amnesty program, they would benefit by $16,000,000,000. A study by RAND Corporation found that a Mexican immigrant woman by age 30 who becomes a legal resident can obtain a college degree. With a college degree she will pay $5,300 more in taxes and cost $3,900 less in government expenses each year compared to a high-school dropout with similar characteristics.

Amnesty was first applied in the United States in the 1980s. The Immigration Reform and Control Act was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on November 6, 1986. It granted amnesty to about 3 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

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