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Defining Amnesty for Boehner

A new "Q&A" page on Speaker John Boehner's website says that the new immigration principles released at last week's GOP retreat are not an amnesty

Isn’t your approach “amnesty”?

No. Just the opposite is true. Right now, there are few, if any, consequences for living here illegally. What we have now is amnesty. Using tough standards, the House’s approach would prohibit a special path to citizenship for those living here outside the law. Before anything else, these individuals would have to admit they broke the law. In addition, they would have to:

However, no matter how the speaker spins it, his principles do constitute an amnesty according to every definition of the word.

A Q&A on Speaker Boehner's website maintains it is wrong to say that his Immigration Standards propose an amnesty.

According to Black's Law Dictionary, the definition of amnesty is: "A pardon extended by the government to a group or class of persons ... the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act provided amnesty for undocumented aliens already present in the country."

Current law states that individuals who come to this country illegally, or overstay their visas, are subject to prosecution and removal. Taking away the threat of deportation constitutes "a pardon extended by the government to a group or class of persons," or in other words, an amnesty. On top of this, the speaker's plan would give permanent legal status and work permits to illegal aliens, giving them what they came to this country illegally or overstayed their visas to achieve.

 ·         Merriam-Webster Dictionary

"AMNESTY: The act of an authority (as a government) by which pardon is granted to a large group of individuals."

·         American Lawyer Media -- Legal Dictionary

"AMNESTY: The action of a government by which all persons or certain groups of persons who have committed a criminal offense are granted immunity from prosecution."

·         The Oxford Dictionary

"AMNESTY: An undertaking by the authorities to take no action against specified offenses or offenders during a fixed period."

Boehner, Obama, the ACLU, the spokesmen for the Southern Baptist and Catholic churches, and all the other supporters of "comprehensive immigration reform" do everything they can to deny that they are seeking an amnesty because they know Americans are repulsed by the concept.

So, they try to say that if lawbreakers pay fines for their offenses, anything granted them can no longer be called an amnesty.

But think of the disparity in size of the penalty they would apply compared with the size of the penalty under the law. The rule of law says a person in this country could be penalized in a lot of different ways, but the biggest penalty is that that person must give up the illegally-gotten job and leave this country. Boehner and Obama would wipe away those penalties and say, you can keep your job and stay in this country for life as long as you pay a fine.