Unil 1986, the United States had never forgiven the act of illegal immigration in other than individual cases and had never rewarded large numbers of illegal aliens with the opportunity for U.S. citizenship. Congress has passed 7 amnesties for illegal aliens, starting in 1986. 1. Immigration and Reform Control Act (IRCA), 1986: A blanket amnesty for some 2.7 million illegal aliens 2. Section 245(i) Amnesty, 1994: A temporary rolling amnesty for 578,000 illegal aliens 3. Section 245(i) Extension Amnesty, 1997: An extension of the rolling amnesty created in 1994 4. Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) Amnesty, 1997: An amnesty for close to one million illegal aliens from Central America 5. Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act Amnesty (HRIFA), 1998: An amnesty for 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti 6. Late Amnesty, 2000: An amnesty for some illegal aliens who claim they should have been amnestied under the 1986 IRCA amnesty, an estimated 400,000 illegal aliens 7. LIFE Act Amnesty, 2000: A reinstatement of the rolling Section 245(i) amnesty, an estimated 900,000 illegal aliens 8. Nine current bills are vying to be Amnesty No. 8 Click here for a printable version of chart above What is Amnesty? Amnesties are all too common legislative efforts to forgive the breaking of immigration laws and to make it possible for illegal aliens to live permanently in the United States. Amnesties represent a system of federal rewards and assistance for illegal migrants, and they entice an even greater number of illegal migrants. Census 2000 results indicate that 700,000 to 800,000 illegal aliens settle in the U.S. each year, with an estimated 8-11 million illegal aliens currently living in the United States. According to INS estimates released in October, 2000, the amnesties granted in 1986 as a result of the Immigration Reform and Control Act significantly contributed to an increase in illegal immigration as the relatives of newly legalized illegal immigrants came illegally to the United States to join their family members. In the decade following the 1986 amnesty, illegal immigration increased dramatically. You can read the details of all these amnesties at http://www.numbersusa.com/interests/amerworkers.html -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Current Bills Vying to Become Amnesty #8: S. 1033 - would give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, increase legal immigration by almost half a million each year, and create a massive new worker-importation program. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is the bill's main sponsor. H.R. 2330 - The Kolbe-Gutierrez bill is an amnesty/increased immigration/foreign worker importation bill. It would sell amnesty to every illegal alien who can was employed as of May 12, 2005, is still employed, and can pay the $2,000 fee. Spouses and children would get amnesty, too. Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) is the bill's main sponsor. Votes on Amnesties that have not become law: S. 778 - the Section 245(i) Extension Act of 2001,would have allowed for a one year extension of the Section 245(i) amnesty by extending the filing deadline until April 30, 2002. The eligibility requirement to apply for a Section 245(i) adjustment of status under S. 778 is January 14, 1998. S. 778 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by a voice vote H.R. 1885 - Introduced by Rep. George Gekas (R-PA), H.R. 1885 would have again extended the reinstatement of Section 245(i) that was included in the LIFE Act of 2000 four months past the current deadline of April 30, 2001. H.R. 1885 passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 336 - 43 in May, 2001. H. Res. 365 - is a version of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 that originally passed the House of Representatives as H.R. 3525 in December of 2001. But under heavy pressure from the Bush Administration, an extension of the Section 245(i) amnesty was added to the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 and it was again voted on as H. Res. 365. would extend the Section 245(i) amnesty until November 30, 2002, with an eligibility cut off date of August 15, 2001. H. Res. 365 passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 275 - 137. Farr amendment to H.R. 4775 - Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) introduced the Farr Amendment to H.R. 4775, a supplemental appropriations bill. The Farr Amendment would have re-instated the Section 245(i) amnesty for four months, with the same provisions as those contained in H. Res. 365. Rep. Farr's amendment was offered as a substitute amendment to the Serrano Amendment for a permanent 245(i) extenstion. The House Appropriations Committee voted against the Farr Amendment by a vote of 27 - 32.