Author, Photographer, Researcher, Artist, Adventurer and Buccaneer Extraordinaire

“Or at least that’s the plan each morning after coffee.”

DL Tolleson.com

THIS UNNAMED GEOLOGICAL formation is the likely result of wind, rain and time eroading away surface material to expose what at one time would have lava (magma) that had cooled and solidified. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
COMING INTO OR out of the Chisos Mountains, this is the northwest view and is several miles south of Panther Junction and the headquarters for Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
THE CLARET CUP is covered in barbed spines and blooms a reddish, cup-shaped flower from about April to June or July in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
THIS VIEW FROM a formation called, “The Window,” looks out from the westside of the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
INDIAN HEAD MOUNTAIN and its southern region offers this “leaning” wall of geology at the western boundary of Big Bend National Park. The rocks of the foreground are boulders ranging from man-sized on up. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
MASSIVE AND TOWERING, this wall of the geology is at least a couple of hundrend feet high and situated in the Indian Head area of Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
WIDE-OPEN PANORAMAS and mountainous terrain such as this are routine along roadside in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
THE SOUTHWEST SIDE of the Chisos Mountains, also known as the Chisos Mountain Basin and home to the lodge in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2011 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
A FALLEN TREE is an impassable barrier in an otherwise debris-free dry riverbed in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
INDIGENOUS TO TEXAS, New Mexico and Arizona, Javelinas in Big Bend National Park genetically differ from swine. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
LOST MINE TRAIL in Big Bend National Park, looking southward over Juniper Canyon, the Chisos Mountain’s Northeast Rim and into Mexico. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
A TREE SILHOUETTED against the night sky as seen from Chisos Basin in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
THIS VIEW EAST of a volcano is an illusion of the setting sun streaming through the Chisos Basin area behind Casa Grande Peak in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
WRIGHT MOUNTAIN in background at Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
A VIEW WESTWARD after sundown from the Indian Head area of Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
A CAMERA COMPENSATION for the limited light after sundown provides this view westward from the Indian Head area of Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson/Camera One. All Rights Reserved.
SANTA ELENA CANYON after sunset, as seen from the Chimneys in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson/Camera One. All Rights Reserved.

Publication History: Why Not Amnesty? Copyright © 2005, 2007, 2019 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved. Excerpts from this work are permissible if author attribution is included. However, beyond this no part of this material may be reproduced in any form or by any means without written permission from the author.

Tolleson, DL. “Why Not Amnesty?”
DLTolleson.com, 2005.
http://www.dltolleson.com/immigrationamnesty.php.

Tolleson, DL. “Why Not Amnesty?”
DLTolleson.com, 2007.
http://www.dltolleson.com/commentary/immigrationamnesty.php.

Tolleson, DL. “Why Not Amnesty?”
TheLighthousePress.com, 2016.
http://www.thelighthousepress.com/dltolleson.com/commentary/immigrationamnesty.php.

Description: Commentary » Political » General—871 words (not including References).

This article footnotes to References containing parallel cites. A parallel cite sources two Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), the second of which is rendered in this differing font color. Each parallel cite will source either a first URL that resolves to the second URL, or source a dead URL that necessitates sourcing the second URL for the same or similar content.

Commentary: Originally this was a 2005 article entitled Immigration Amnesty that was revised throughout the legislative term of the 109th United States Congress (during the fifth and sixth years of the George W. Bush presidency, January 3, 2005 to January 3, 2007). By the year 2006 the text noted that there were “a number of immigration bills before the 109th Congress, at least ten of which grant amnesty in one form or another.”

The bills referenced were:

H.R. 251
Sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX)

H.R. 884
Sponsored by Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT) and others

H.R. 1737
Sponsored by Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL) and others

H.R. 2092
Sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) and others

H.R. 2330
Sponsored by Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) and others

H.R. 3364
Sponsored by Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) and others

S. 359
Sponsored by Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) and others

S. 1033
Sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and others

S. 1438
Sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and others

S. 2611
Sponsored by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and others

None of these bills were passed into law and except for the removal of this list and minor editing to elicit clarity, the text below remains unchanged.

Not unsurprisingly the cites to government URLs have expired. In those instances the Reference cites are appended with links to the original sources as preserved by the Internet Archive at web.archive.org.

—DL Tolleson

WHY NOT AMNESTY?
DL Tolleson

Amnesty is neither a new concept nor a concept that has been presented in a new way. It is usually tied to methods of immigration in ways to make it sound palatable. For example, here’s a few public remarks of the past in that vein...

“…we’re going to create a temporary worker program that will take pressure off the border, bring workers from out of the shadows, and reject amnesty.”

“The program that I proposed would not create an automatic path to citizenship, it wouldn’t provide for amnesty—I oppose amnesty. Rewarding those who have broken the law would encourage others to break the law and keep pressure on our border.”

“A temporary worker program, by contrast, would decrease pressure on the border. I support the number of—increasing the number of annual green cards that can lead to citizenship. But for the sake of justice and for the sake of border security, I’m not going to sign an immigration bill that includes amnesty.”

—President George W. Bush1

“Comprehensive immigration reform legislation should ultimately include enhanced border security, more robust interior enforcement, and an effective temporary worker program that does not provide amnesty, but matches willing foreign workers with willing American employers.”

—Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff2

Giving them an ability to get temporary workers under a system that is not in amnesty, but that is regulated, that has built-in security features is the kind of approach that would answer this economic need and that would also answer the pressure that pushes people to make that trek across the desert. This is kind of basic micro-economics.

—Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff3


As should be plainly obvious from the statements above, government officials typically go out of their way to underscore that various proposed paths to citizenship for illegal aliens are NOT forms of amnesty. Why is that? Well, let’s look at what actually constitutes “amnesty:”

“AMNESTY - Indicates a general remission of punishment, penalty, retribution, or disfavor to a whole group or class; it may imply a promise to forget.”

“An act of oblivion of past offences, granted by the government to those who have been guilty of any neglect or crime, usually upon condition that they return to their duty within a certain period.”

“An amnesty is either express or implied; it is express, when so declared in direct terms; and it is implied, when a treaty of peace is made between contending parties.”

“Amnesty … is an act of the sovereign power, the object of which is to efface and to cause to be forgotten, a crime or misdemeanor… Amnesty is the abolition and forgetfulness of the offence.”

“An amnesty…has the effect of destroying the criminal act, so that it is as if it had not been committed, as far as the public interests are concerned.”

“Amnesty may be granted either before judgment or afterwards, and it is in general given to whole classes of criminals or supposed criminals, for the purpose of restoring tranquility in the state. But sometimes amnesties are limited, and certain classes are excluded from their operation.”

—’Lectric Law Library’s Legal Lexicon4


So there you have it. “Amnesty” is basically a “wiping of the slate clean.” Of course, in order to grant amnesty the slate must first be “dirty.” And that’s the rub: People do not generally like to forgive criminal behavior (and illegal immigration is criminal behavior by default, even before one stolen Social Security number is used or one falsified application is turned in).

Proponents of house bills focus on the presence of steps necessary for illegal immigrants to obtain legal status as the justification for claiming that amnesty is not being offered.

However, the removal of punitive burdens for illegal behavior (illegal entry, presence, document forgery, identity theft, misuse of Social Security, failure to file taxes, etc.) constitutes amnesty. The amnesty is “implied” by the absence of legislative mandated punishment for illegal behavior.

House bills sponsoring “paths to citizenship” thus present two issues while specifically referencing neither: Amnesty and the unequal treatment of two classes of immigrants.

In lieu of punishment, legislative bills typically grant implied Amnesty by offering illegal immigrants abbreviated paths to legal status and citizenship. This would constitute a second, or more precisely, another class of legal immigrants receiving different and preferential treatment over immigrants made legal by virtue of applying for, and going through the process of, citizenship as has been historically required.

In summation, and in addition to the other class of immigrants that the above-mentioned legislation would create, it is important to reiterate that Amnesty is “implied” by the absence of legislative mandated punishment for illegal behavior. Or to put it another way: After illegally entering the country, government permission to remain in the United States of America without punishment for illegal entry, is amnesty.

It is not legislative mandated punishment, to force someone to pay back-taxes, to, “go to the back of the line,” to learn English or any other thing that is ordinarily a requirement of citizenship.

Want to know more—including the economic impact of the influx of massive numbers of non-tax paying immigrants who do not assimilate into the U.S. culture? Then visit Numbers USA at source number 5 in the references below.

References

1 “President Discusses Border Security and Immigration Reform in Arizona.” U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 28 Nov. 2005, Tucson, Arizona, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, https://www.dhs.gov/xnews/speeches/speech_0263.shtm, (Retrieved 2009). https://web.archive.org/web/20120112215600/https://www.dhs.gov/xnews/speeches/speech_0263.shtm, (Retrieved 2019).

2 “Statement by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on the Senate Vote for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.” U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 26 May 2006, Washington, D.C., Press Release, Office of the Press Secretary, https://www.dhs.gov/xnews/releases/press_release_0913.shtm, (Retrieved 2009). https://web.archive.org/web/20120112215439/http://www.dhs.gov/xnews/releases/press_release_0913.shtm, (Retrieved 2019).

3 “Remarks by Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff at the Brookings Institution.” U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 1 Jun 2006, Washington, D.C., Brookings Institution, http://www.dhs.gov/xnews/speeches/speech_0283.shtm, (Retrieved 2009). https://web.archive.org/web/20061101180920/http://www.dhs.gov/xnews/speeches/speech_0283.shtm, (Retrieved 2019).

4 “’Lectric Law Library’s Lexicon: AMNESTY.” ‘Amnesty’ Defined & Explained, https://www.lectlaw.com/def/a050.htm, (Retrieved 2005).

5 “Stop Amnesty.” NumbersUSA, 8 Mar. 2018, http://www.numbersusa.com/content/issues/amnesty.html, (Retrieved 2005). https://www.numbersusa.com/solutions/stop-amnesty, (Retrieved 2019).