Skip to comments.Bush Calls For 'Rational, Humane' Guest Worker Program
Posted on 02/01/2006 12:04:11 PM PST by Icelander
Advocates on both sides of the immigration debate said President Bush missed an opportunity in his State of the Union address Tuesday night to direct Congress on immigration reform, weeks before Senate lawmakers begin to tackle the divisive issue.
Breezing by the issue in just a few sentences, Bush endorsed a program that would allow foreigners to work temporarily in this country, saying the nation needs orderly and secure borders but that the economy couldn't function without immigrants.
His brief mention drew a disappointed rebuke from Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., who has led an effort to tighten the nation's borders and enforce immigration laws.
Bush could have "broken the Washington stalemate and secured the most significant immigration reform in a decade," Tancredo said.
Angela Kelley, deputy director of the pro-immigrant National Immigration Forum, also said Bush fell short. "It's really important for him to step up and provide some leadership on this issue," she said.
Senators are expected to take up immigration legislation in the coming weeks.
Immigration has featured heavily in Bush's State of the Union speeches in past years. But with his own party deeply divided over the issue, he devoted just over a paragraph to the subject Tuesday.
Still several lawmakers praised Bush.
Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, said he was pleased Bush "called for an immigration system that deals with the influx of illegal immigrants realistically. Now it's time for both the House and the Senate to rise to the president's challenge and enact meaningful, comprehensive immigration reform."
How to deal with the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country now _ and the thousands crossing the border each year _ has divided Congress and is becoming an increasingly volatile issue at the state and local level.
Even non-border states are wrestling with how to provide government services, such as health care, to illegal immigrants and whether to restrict drivers' licenses and withhold benefits to illegal workers.
Jennifer Allen, who directs the Border Action Network, based in Tucson, Ariz., said immigrants she works with are watching anxiously as Congress talks about building walls at the Mexican border and increasing the penalties for being in the country illegally.
She and other advocates are loudly calling for Congress to fix the nation's troubled immigration system.
This summer, Democratic Govs. Bill Richardson of New Mexico and Janet Napolitano, of Arizona declared a state of emergency in their border counties to free up money for immigration-related needs.
Richardson said Bush's brief mention in the State of the Union was a signal the White House would not make it a major issue in the coming months.
"The message I received is that on immigration, we're going to leave the burden on the states like New Mexico and Arizona, and it's sort of like 'You're on your own,'" Richardson said.
In the Senate, Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and John McCain, R-Ariz., and Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., have proposed programs that regulate when and how immigrants can come to the U.S.
Kyl said Tuesday that he would have liked to hear more from Bush about immigration, but he was glad "the key elements were there" in his speech.
"It is a very serious problem for Arizona," Kyl said. "I think everyone in the Senate wants to get something done ... whether the president mentions it or not."
It's your town. You pick them. :)
You know what I never see in these posts?
Logic from OBL-ers who on one hand claim we can't deport all the illegals here...then demand we bring in more to do those "Farm" jobs that the illegals already here won't do any more...they have moved on to Carpentry, Plumbing, Masonry etc.!
Meanwhile the Labor Unions do everything they can to obstruct automation for a LOT of the Farm Industry!
So when does this OBL free-for-all end? When will you idiots ever learn?
It's all about the Slaver Labor market, and Industries being able to depress wages to lower their overhead...those savings aren't passed on to the consumer, btw!
So, you all are full of excrement...and we see what Uncle Jorge has in store for Americans...
"Ahead Sell-Out Factor 10, Mr. Chertoff!"
The amount of time a President devotes to any given subject in his SOTU speech speaks loudly about how much he cares about that issue.
Bush said so little about the border that you could have completely missed it by going to the fridge for some refreshments...
Chris Cannon needs to be retired by his constituents.
What, you're bringing facts to a lynching?
Sounds very reasonable to me.
Add: REQUIRED to learn English.
Get what? Food, or guest workers?
I agree let's be rational.
After the workers are here for six years there will be about a million sympathetic news reports featuring Juan and Juanita and their family, home, church, schools, jobs, friends and community.
Any politician thinking about forcing them back home will fold in a heartbeat.
They will never go back home.
...probably won't make a difference. ;o)
You're playing the race card? I'm confused...
Unless, since the Bushes have invited Bubba into the family, perhaps that makes GW the second black president in history??
I agree 110%....I been saying that for 20 years and those that know / knew me thought I was nuts and it wasn't that big an issue. Gee.....Why is Congress and W soooooo quite and deaf on this issue?
I'm just glad someone as hateful as you won't be determining US immigration policy. (And if the Mods are notified of this "abusive" post, please note that I didn't call the other poster "excrement.")
Rational: What if guest worker(s) decided that he/she likes his/her life in the US a whole lot better than in Mexico and decides to just stay?
Who rounds up thousands of "stay put" guest workers?
I can't afford the reduction in income.
The entire State of the Union Address was rendered useless by Bush, once again, doing the Texas Two-Step around the illegal alien invasion. Bad move, President Bush.
I saw on FOX News a sheriff from Ohio who is billing the US Government for the cost of illegal alien incarceration of illegal aliens in his Ohio jurisdiction.
We all talk of the cost of medical care of illegal aliens, but the cost of incarceration of thugs and low-lifes from Mexico and other foreign nations is stratospheric in cost also.
Anytime Bush mentions "guest workers" and fails to mention the BILLIONS we pay for medical care and jailing them is time when you take the remote and just zap Bush off.
Sad to say, many of us will zap Republicans at the polls in 06 and 08 due to the failure to enforce our borders and the destruction of our national sovereignty. Will the RATs be any better? No, they will be worse. But we count on Republicans to be the "reasonable party" and the Republican'ts have failed in their duty.
So that's the real concern here, is it?..."little mexicans"?
How exactly do you 'require' an illegal to learn English?
You can't even get em to obey the immigration laws.
Everybody here already knows that, but thanks for playing.