The 1980-1992 El Salvadorian Civil War created thousands of illegal entries along the southwest borders. Some were legitimate refugees but most entered for economic reasons, such as jobs. There were also criminal elements, suspected members of the MS-13, a very violent gang affiliation who also entered the U.S. illegally. All who requested political asylum due to fear of death or persecution were usually granted a stay of deportation by Immigration Judges. Suspected criminals to anyone “with a wish” to remain in the U.S. claimed asylum when they were arrested by immigration officers.
The First Amnesty Immigration Reform Act was passed in 1986 and opened the “floodgates of illegal immigration and crime upon the nation. There were insufficient law enforcement agents to control the Borders and interior cities for labor sanctions violations or investigate fraudulent admissions.
The arrival of illegal aliens from China also became a national problem.
The Chinese Asylum bill was passed by Congress in 1989 due to the (one child per family) and forced sterilization policy in China to control population growth. Human trafficking organizations in China soon had an “endless” supply of people who were loaded on “rusty” sea going freighters to container cargo ships. The criminal cadres supplied information on obtaining public assistance, names of Immigration lawyers to false document venders. The average price for ocean passage to the United States was $30,000 per Chinese national smuggled into the country. When apprehended, Chinese Nationals were given a Notice to Appear, bonded out and disappeared into society with little fear of being found by authorities.
Extortion was a common factor with all human smugglers regardless of country. Smuggling fees had to be paid by the undocumented aliens or reprisals included the threat of torture or death. Violence directed against law enforcement officers was also escalating. On September 6, 1989, U.S.B.P Special Agent Keith Connelly was killed in a “hail of gunfire” during the arrest of alien smugglers in Fresno, California. Special Agent Ted Jordan was also seriously wounded during the incident. Both were enforcing criminal statutes of 8 USC 1324 long after the 1986 Amnesty and were my partners on a National task force investigation.
Organized crime cadres that make millions of dollars yearly smuggling people is still a national problem .
The first and only Amnesty has never really ended despite political proposals of another comprehensive immigration reform act in 2011.
The continual influx of illegal aliens since 1986 is a known factor in Washington. In 1994 Congress approved a temporary rolling Amnesty for 578,000 Illegal Aliens under Section 245 (i) .
There was also a 1996 Citizenship USA program which required the Immigration Service to reduce the two year period of time for immigrant applications to six months in many areas of the United States. The taxpayer funded Citizenship USA was geared to provide new voters prior to the 1996 elections and was directed by Vice President Gore.
The normal criminal background checks and fingerprints checks were not done or done in haste to meet the scheduled political goals. . 1.3 million immigrants benefited from the program including 80,000 new naturalized citizens that had criminal backgrounds found on fingerprint cards that were submitted. Politics and the Immigration Service are forever intermingled it seems and it doesn’t matter which party is in power.
In 1997, the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act allowed one million people legal status. In 1998, the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act was created which allowed additional legalization for Haitian nationals.
The late Amnesty Act of 2000 was rather remarkable in politics. This Act was an Amnesty for 400,000 illegal aliens residing in the U.S. who claimed they should have been granted Special Agricultural Worker status under the fraud filled 1986 IRCA.
The Life Act Amnesty was the best example of political lack of common sense.
This Act, a re-instatement of Section 245 (i) allowed Amnesty for 900,000 illegal aliens who might have been qualified as Special Agricultural Workers in 1986 if they had presented documentation, I-705s prior to the deadline for admissions. Usually a deadline in a sensible society means “that’s it” end game or close of business, no more applicants accepted at any office. The U.S. Government has a very liberal immigration policy and accepts more legal immigrants than any other nation in the world .On illegal immigration issues, over stay visas, criminal sections of the law, elected officials have sought to reward law breakers for decades with few restrictions.
Amnesty has continued over twenty years for Agricultural Workers, Guest Workers by Congressional authority and year after year, the American people are led to believe there is a “shortage of laborers” in the United States. The H1 B “needed foreign worker” Visa program has been in effect long before this writer patrolled the Rio Grande in 1972. Needed skills could be anything from an experienced sheep herder, agricultural worker to technical fields in science. Sponsors were required to prevent fraudulent entries, overstays and was effective. Stats source: http://www.fairus.org/