Dan Nowicki
The Arizona Republic
July 19, 2013

For years, critics of comprehensive immigration reform have hurled the A-word — “amnesty” — like a political slur.

It was deployed to help torpedo reform efforts in 2006 and 2007 and figures prominently in the vocabulary of opponents of the proposed pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants that was included in sweeping legislation passed by the Senate on June 27.

Although “amnesty” remains ubiquitous in the Twitter feeds, websites and Facebook pages of anti-illegal-immigration activists — and is coming up even more frequently now that the debate has moved to the House of Representatives — some veterans of the drive toward reform say the word no longer packs the emotional punch it did six or seven years ago.

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