‘Shamnesty’ Given New Meaning

alnilam_Camouflage_1The term ‘shamnesty’ was coined to characterize a proposed amnesty passed off as ‘earned legalization.’ It was still an amnesty but the public was being told that it was something different because of conditions such as paying a fine and back taxes, and waiting until those abroad got their visas. Now the Obama administration is proposing a totally new sham to provide amnesty to illegal aliens – this time bypassing Congress.

Since the original ‘shamnesty’ legislative approach has stalled in Congress, the Obama administration has used executive powers to provide a limited amnesty to the so-called ‘Dreamers.’ Providing protection against deportation and work permits for two-years (renewable) to illegal aliens up to age 30 who entered the country as minors set in motion a new trend in accommodating these illegal residents. States that are run by Obama supporters have fallen over themselves to provide these beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) with driver’s licenses, in-state tuition and financial aid.

A newly proposed action by the administration would provide a route not only to legal residence for the ‘Dreamer’ beneficiaries, but also to U.S. citizenship. That should be impossible without the cooperation of the U.S. Congress. However, the administration claims it has found a loophole. Five years ago, Congress enacted a law – Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) that allowed the military to enlist aliens who had special skills needed by the military – foreign language and medical specialty qualification – up to 1,500 per year. This law coupled with earlier legislation that allowed U.S. citizenship to be granted immediately to military personnel assigned to combat zones allowed expedited U.S. citizenship as an inducement for legal aliens to sign up for military service.

Now, the administration is proposing to open up this MAVNI programs to the illegal aliens with DACA status. By doing so, access to U.S. citizenship would also be provided to them.

It appears that besides warping the MAVNI law by opening it to illegal aliens, the administration is going to have to ignore other laws and regulations to implement this proposal. It will have to ignore the law-breaking of the illegal aliens themselves and the immediate relatives who are illegally in the country which would preclude enlistment at present. If the administration implements this proposal, as seems likely, it will have imposed a process that represents not just a full amnesty, i.e., legal permanent residents for the beneficiaries, but also a shortcut to U.S. citizenship while by-passing Congress.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar

    As I’ve said for too many years: Illegal immigration is merely a symptom of a broken, ill advised, hateful, anti-American “system” of LEGAL immigration.

    Unless and until chain migration, birthright citizenship, and refugee/asylum insanity is stopped 100%, we will continue to have more, and more, illegal immigration.

  2. avatar

    Could it be that the real reason our number of U.S. Armed Forces have been DRASTICALLY REDUCED, is because this Administration is just saving the job space for Illegal Immigrants? Now…..what is the U.S. Government going to do with all of the NEWLY UNEMPLOYED AMERICANS this LAYOFF WILL BE CREATING, by GIVING THEIR JOBS to ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS? If Americans think our U.S. Borders and Ports are unsafe now, do you really think we’re going to be safer now?

    Currently, there are 18 million Americans looking for a full-time job, and 11-18 MILLION ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS many of our politicians are attempting to GRANT WORK PERMITS, AND AMNESTY. What will the total number of unemployed and underemployed Americans become, if either one of these is put in place? Let’s don’t wait around to find out.

    Call your Congressmen’s and Representative’s offices, and complain. Find out who is really representing you.. FAIR and NumbersUSA are great organizations to follow.

    • avatar
      David Smith on

      Calling your Congressman is a waste of time as they are on the payroll of the Chamber of Commerce. Just look at the “Occupy Wall Street” movement last year, where thousands marched and camped in parks for months until bulldozers cleaned them out under the guize of a “clean-up” while the power brokers laughed behind glass windows at all those funny people littering the sidewalks

      Flooding the labor market with exploitable illegals to drive down wages and working conditions is part of the plan, along with off-shoring about 5 million mid-level manufacturing jobs and providing “investment tax credits” so corporations can buy robots to replace workers. It is not an accident. Nikita Khrustchev (the Russian Premire in the 1950’s) never said “We will bury you”, he actually said, “Capitalism will destroy itself”. He was right.

  3. avatar
    Dawlene Hautogue on

    They already have amnesty. There is no enforcement of immigration laws and no penalty for breaking them.

  4. avatar
    arnlof sweigeir on

    Shamnesty?? Really…this Bill by all means Iis no amnesty it is actually shameful and an embarrassment to be an American when people twist the meaning if real amnesty with thus Bill which is no amnesty at all….

      • avatar
        arnlof sweigeir on

        It simply states thrr is no amnesty in this Bill but people who oppose it calls it so…. Ignorance is a bliss for those who twist the meaning of the english language and the real issues w it..

        • avatar

          There are no issues with the English (notice capital E) language. Thrr is not a word. The term is “ignorance is bliss” not ignorance is a bliss. Spell check is usually F7 on most keyboards. Call it so, not calls it so. Don’t accuse others of twisting the meaning of the English language when you don’t seem proficient with it yourself.

  5. Pingback: ‘Shamnesty’ Given New Meaning | Fresno New Times

      • avatar

        The GOP is very easy to understand. They think logically for the most part not like pie in the sky liberals.