Panel Video: Amnesties: Past, Present, Future

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) hosted a panel discussion, Amnesties: Past, Present, Future, on Monday, January 14 at 9:30 a.m. ET at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Representative Lamar Smith will delivered opening remarks. Following his remarks, a panel of experts discussed the impact of past amnesties, the potential effect of a future amnesty, and what this administration’s track record reveals about how a legalization program would be run.

This timely panel discussion came as the White House has announced it will begin a push for an immigration bill whose centerpiece would be a legalization program for the 11-12 million illegal immigrants in the United States. It also came 26 years after Congress enacted what was supposed to be the one and only illegal-alien amnesty (Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986).


Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies

Jon Feere, Legal Policy Analyst

David North, Fellow

Mark Krikorian's Introduction

Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of CIS, introduces both the topic as well as the panelists, Rep. Lamar Smith, Jessica Vaughan, Jon Feere, and David North.

Rep. Lamar Smith's Statement

Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) discusses the implementation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the possible implementation of a future amnesty.

Jessica Vaughan's Statement

Jessica Vaughan, the Center's Director of Policy Studies, discusses the changes needed in order to have an effective enforcement policy as well as discusses the implementation of DACA.

Jon Feere's Statement

Jon Feere, Legal Policy Analyst at the Center, discusses the implementation of the DACA program, detailing some of the caveats regarding the acceptance of applicants with a criminal background.

David North's Statement

David North, a Center Fellow, discusses past immigration amnesties, focusing on the 1986 IRCA amnsty.

Question and Answer Session

Mark Krikorian, Jessica Vaughan, Jon Feere, and David North field questions from those in attendance.