The New Amnesty Isn't Amnesty Except It Is - Part V

Don't worry. The new amnesty is absolutely not amnesty, say the drafters of the new amnesty plan.

Don't worry. The new amnesty is absolutely not amnesty, say the drafters of the new amnesty plan.

Two members of the bipartisan group of lawmakers crafting an immigration reform proposal in the House said that the bill they'll produce will not include "amnesty" for illegal immigrants already in the nation.

That sounds good. So we can assume then that the new plan will not legalize illegal aliens and then put them on a path to citizenship. Right?

Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) offered the beginnings of an outline to the comprehensive immigration reform package they and a handful of other lawmakers are working on in the House on CNN Sunday and said they hoped to unveil a proposal by year’s end.

"1986 was amnesty. Just basically, show up, get a green card. That is not what we are doing now," said Gutierrez.

He insisted today's reform effort would not take the same tack as immigration reform in the mid-eighties, which provided immediate legal status to millions of immigrants.

The Illinois lawmaker suggested the bill would instead have a system of steps towards legalization, beginning with giving undocumented immigrants Social Security cards and work permits, after which they can apply for green cards and get on a path towards full citizenship.

So the new tactic is to talk down the 1986 amnesty by pretending that the 2013 amnesty will be nothing like it. The 1986 amnesty was also a series of steps that began with Temporary Resident Status and then moved up to Permanent Resident Status later.

It's always a series of steps. But it's where the steps go to that matters. Amnesty is still amnesty. The final outcome is a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented Democrats. That's the endgame here. And as long as that is the endgame, then it's amnesty. All the talk about fines, earned paths to citizenship and all the rest is just branding.

Pro-amnesty pols will go to great length to avoid using the A word. Rand Paul and Marco Rubio are both allergic to it insisting that their plans aren't amnesty. They insist we focus on border security and not the path to legalization, even though the border security is just there to make the amnesty palatable, just as the various control and security measures were in the 86' amnesty.

Amnesty is defined by its final outcome. The 1986 amnesty was a path to citizenship. So is this amnesty.