"Amnesty" has become a dirty word in the immigration debate, as someone has fouled the meme pool by putting out the idea that giving visas to people here illegally is somehow a "reward" for breaking the law.
Back up a bit. How can giving a visa that was previously not available legally to someone be a reward? Only if it is a privilege that others are denied. I am also a vocal proponent of open immigration. The xenophobes are right about one thing: the undocumented immigrant here should not be given preference to those who haven't decided to come yet. Amnesty makes no sense without comprehensive immigration reform.
Time Magazine rarely publishes any controversial stand, but this week's cover story explains, in simple and patient terms, to those who don't get it yet, why amnesty makes sense. I couldn't have put it better, unless you paid me!