Immigration Reform and Control Act (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: A new immigration law provides for the legalization of illegal aliens and establishes sanctions against employers who hire undocumented workers.
Summary of Event
The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on November 6, 1986. The act (Public Law 99-603) amended the Immigration and Nationality Act and was based in part on the findings and recommendations of the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy (1978-1981). In its 1981 report to Congress, this commission had proposed that the United States continue to accept large numbers of immigrants and enact a program of amnesty for undocumented aliens already in the United States. To deter migration of undocumented aliens to the United States, the commission also proposed to make the employment of illegal aliens a punishable offense.
These proposals were incorporated into the Simpson-Mazzoli bill, a first version of which was enacted by the Senate in 1982. In the five years between its introduction and its enactment, the bill ran into opposition from a variety of quarters. Agricultural interests, especially growers of perishable commodities, were concerned that the proposed employer sanctions would jeopardize their labor supply. Mexican American advocacy groups also opposed employer sanctions, while organized labor and restrictionists who were concerned about the massive influx of...
(The entire section is 1438 words.)
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