Amnesty in the 21st Century In 1986 amnesty allowed 3 million illegal aliens to become legalized, and without proper enforcement has helped to lead to the now 11 million illegal aliens now living in the United States. These immigrants have not done any harm to Americans, and thus should not be treated as though they have done so. Joseph H. Carens, author of “The Case for Amnesty: Time Erodes the State’s Right to Deport”, states that it is only right for illegal aliens who have been here a period of time to receive amnesty; Carens point also relates to the fact that it would be almost impossible to deport every illegal immigrant. Amnesty should therefore be allowed to illegal aliens, but with restrictions. The legalization of immigrants should be allowed to those immigrants and their children who have been in the U.S. for a number of years via the Dream Act and new policies; amnesty should also pertain to non-criminals, along with future proposals and tougher enforcement to ensure that more illegal immigrants will not be coming in without legal permission. The only way to deal with the problem of illegal immigration is to enforce amnesty with restrictions and enforcement, so that the problem does not occur once again in the future. All immigrants come to America for one underlying reason: to live a better life for themselves and/ or their families; amnesty would help immigrants to live the “American dream”. David DeCosse, director of the campus ethics programs at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University in California, believes that immigrants share motives that all humanity holds. DeCosse is stating that not only is migrating to a new country for a better life natural, but also pertains to motives of all living humans. If the United States were to become poor and economically disabled, American’s would also migrate to other countries just as immigrants are migrating to the U.S. Joseph Carens also agrees with DeCosse in this subject matter by stating that, “living with one’s family is a fundamental human interest.” (3) It is morally unsound to take a person away from their family, and is the reason why immigrants should not be deported if they have lived in the U.S. for a certain amount of years.
Undocumented children, whom are growing in numbers, must not be left out when talking about future legalization policies. The Dream Act, introduced by Senator Dick Durbin in the Senate and Representative Howard Berman in the House, is a form of amnesty that applies to undocumented immigrants; The Dream Act has been established for illegal immigrants who are willing to contribute to society through the armed forces or college, and creates a path to citizenship and allows states to determine eligibility requirements for instate tuition. Through the Dream Act, an undocumented immigrant must be of sixteen years or older, and have been resided in the United States for 5 years or more (Palacios). Just as stated in Carens argument, The Dream Act emphasizes time tremendously and it has been effective in doing so. According to Robert Gonzales, an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington School of Social Work and author of “On the Rights of Undocumented Children”, states that undocumented children face a number of social, economic and legal barriers in which a great number of them live in poverty with a number of stressors. The Dream Act has been established to help illegal children receive the help they need, but amnesty should also be applied to the parents of illegal children who are stressing far worse than the children are. In the Bipartisan Framework, it is said that the United Sates needs to do a better job at attracting and keeping the world’s best and brightest—The Dream Act helps this concept thrive. If the Dream Act is a functioning form of amnesty, it is possible that a functioning form of legalization for all illegal immigrants could be established. The only way to