You Keep Using That Word. I'm Not Sure It Means What You Think It Means
Amnesty, by definition according to Random House is:
1. a general pardon for offenses, esp. political offenses, against a government, often granted before any trial or conviction.
2. Law. an act of forgiveness for past offenses, esp. to a class of persons as a whole.
3. a forgetting or overlooking of any past offense.
There's a great deal of yelling going back and forth on whether the proposed immigration "reform" bill is amnesty or not. The answer hinges on opinion as much as fact. Because the bill removes the current penalty for illegal immigration (deportation) and (maybe) replaces it with a fine a few years down the road (and does anyone want to take bets on how activist judges will rule on that?) supporters can claim it doesn't let them off the hook completely, and there isn't amnesty. But that's pretty much a distinction without a difference.
The truth is that millions of people, no one knows exactly how many, are being offered an escape from the stated consequences for their illegal behavior. Call it a pork chop, call it a parole, call it a pickle...none of it makes any difference. This abomination of a "reform" frees illegals from the penalty of the law, and "punishes" them by giving them what they wanted in the first place. Please don't throw me in the brier patch indeed.