None other than DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano agrees that adoption of an amnesty might prompt additional illegal immigration. In her testimony in the Senate on April 23, she said, “One of the things that happened after 1986 was there was a surge. We do not want that to happen again.” She was referring to additional illegal immigration of persons who came in after the 1986 law was enacted in hopes of gaining amnesty. Since the 1986 amnesty contained the provision that one had to have been in the country since before 1982, many tried to qualify for the amnesty and succeeded by using false documents for the benefit.

Her suggestion for dealing with this problem was advertising widely that the cutoff date for the proposed amnesty is December 31, 2012. The question that Senators hearing that statement might have asked her is whether publicizing the cutoff date would have any effect on deterring new illegal immigration when the screening process for the provisional legal status will be based on easily falsified pieces of paper such as affidavits – the same way that the 1986 amnesty legalized tens of thousands of ineligible illegal aliens who used fraud to gain the benefit.