Culture and Society

When has the U.S. government granted amnesty to illegal aliens?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. Amnesty often has been given to individual illegal immigrants who otherwise would have been deported. However, there never was any large-scale, group amnesty given in the U.S. until 1986. The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act gave amnesty to roughly 2.8 million illegal aliens. At least six other group amnesties have been granted since then, sometimes to specific nationalities. For example, almost 1 million Central American illegal immigrants were granted amnesty in 1997 and 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti received amnesty in 1998.

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