'Course he was a Democrat in spirit and a Republican in name only: In Nov. 1986 Reagan signed a bill which granted amnesty to 2.5 million illegals in this country. Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 | Ask.com Encyclopedia In brief the act: required employers to attest to their employees' immigration status. made it illegal to knowingly hire or recruit unauthorized immigrants. granted amnesty to certain seasonal agricultural illegal immigrants. granted amnesty to illegal immigrants who entered the United States before January 1, 1982 and had resided there continuously.