September 8, 2014
Different designs of amnesty programs would produce different sets of characteristics for the newly amnestied.
While all massive amnesties should be avoided, particularly those done by executive decree with no congressional input, it is useful to remind observers that establishing different sets of qualifications for those who receive some form of legalization would inevitably lead to granting those benefits to different subgroups of the illegal population.
In fact, it is more complicated than that because different program designs will not only consciously qualify different groups of people, they will also make it easier or harder for certain groups to effectively cheat the system.
Let's use the rules of the current (and deplorable) Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to illustrate these points. Read more...