Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) admitted that the immigration reform bill passed by the Senate in June does not constitute “amnesty,” undermining the chief criticism levied against the legislation.
Appearing at a town hall in Rock Rapids, Iowa on Wednesday — in a Congressional district represented by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) — Grassley said that undocumented immigrants would have meet certain “conditions” before attaining full legalization. “I would call the immigration bill of 1986 amnesty because there wasn’t any conditions on it,” Grassley, the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in response to a question about the term. “Putting conditions prior to legalization, I would say would pre-empt the use of the word amnesty.”
Watch it (via America’s Voice):
Incidentally, Grassley, who also explained that he voted against reform because it did not include adequate border security provisions, is not the only Republican to debunk the amnesty myth. During a town hall in Oklahoma earlier this month, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), argued that “It’s not amnesty” and detailed the various hurdles that immigrants would have to overcome before becoming citizens under the bill. “They’ve got to learn English, you have to have a background check, you have to pay all of your taxes, you have to pay a fine, you have to go to the back of the line. That may not be enough, we can debate that. That’s not amnesty,” he said. Immigrants would have to wait at least 13 years to become citizens under the measure.