Behold the awesome power of Your President Speaks!
Earlier today, in speaking about comprehensive immigration reform, President Bush misspoke. He told a group, “You know, I’ve heard all the rhetoric – you’ve heard it, too – about how this is amnesty. Amnesty means that you’ve got to pay a price for having been here illegally, and this bill does that.” This has been construed as an assertion that comprehensive immigration reform legislation before the Senate offers amnesty to immigrants who came here illegally. That is the exact opposite of the president’s long-held and often-stated position.
President Bush has noted repeatedly that the comprehensive reform he supports is not an amnesty bill. Amnesty means forgiving wrongdoing without imposing punishment. The immigration reforms passed in 1986 granted amnesty. The legislation under consideration this year does not. This measure imposes significant punishments on those who came to this country illegally between 1986 and the beginning of this year. In fact, the White House website addresses the myth that the measure is amnesty.