While we’re at it, we should call legalization what it is — amnesty. The definition of amnesty in Black’s Law Dictionary would include legalization: “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.” Whether the illegal immigrants pay a fine or back taxes (which is not enforceable) is irrelevant to the definition of amnesty.
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, is the former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and its Immigration Subcommittee. He continues to serve on both.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.