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The Boston Globe

Metro

Enforcement key to latest attempt at immigration bill

In November 1986, US Representative Dan Lungren stood in an ornate room in the White House, beaming as President Ronald Reagan signed a bipartisan immigration bill plucked weeks earlier from certain death.

The bill legalized the largest number of immigrants in US history and, for the first time, made it a crime to knowingly hire unauthorized workers. But the celebration ended there: Over the next three decades, ­illegal immigration soared in Massachusetts and most other states.

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