Thursday, June 30, 2005

Amnesty by any other name

Randall Parker notes a survey of arrested illegal immigrants in which 45% of those surveyed said their decision to illegally immigrate was influenced by rumors of amnesty. Apparently, even if you don't think Bush's guest worker plan is amnesty, many Mexicans disagree, and thus we get the negative effects of amnesty, even though Bush's proposal isn't close to getting through Congress. (Caveat: I do entertain the possibility that illegal immigrants that get caught aren't a representative sample with respect to this question.)

Parker quotes the Washington Post saying "63 percent of more than 800 immigrants arrested along the nation's southern border said they had heard from the Mexican government or media that Bush was offering amnesty." The use of "was" threw me; surely everyone knows Bush's guest worker plan is still just a proposal? The Washington Post article is in turn based on this Judicial Watch analysis, from which it isn't clear whether 63% of the survey participants believe amnesty is available or if they think amnesty will be available in the future. My guess is that most of them think the latter.

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