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Should Illegal Immigrants Be Legalized? | Commentary

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.

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