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Abstract

The United States has a long tradition of assimilating diverse peoples into a shared culture and thus developing a transformative, holistic national identity. Despite this historical affinity for immigration, there have also been points during which rose issues with migrants entering the country illegally. Once this happens, politicians must decide how to deal with an influx of undocumented aliens. This paper focuses on amnesty acts, particularly ones past through the American Congress in the past century. The relationship between amnesty legislation and immigration flow will be investigated. Also, an exploration of European policies towards immigration will all be conducted in order to better understand what effect amnesties truly have on immigration trends.