The lesson from the 1986 experience is that such an amnesty did not solve the problem. There was extensive document fraud, and the number of people applying for amnesty far exceeded projections. And there was a failure of political will to enforce new laws against employers. After a brief slowdown, illegal immigration returned to high levels and continued unabated, forming the nucleus of today’s large population of illegal aliens.
The immigration problem is literally out of control now. Innocent people are dying. The southern border is rife with deadly violence and anarchy, as Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona eloquently explains: