Skip to comments.Bush: Massive Deportation Is Unrealistic
Posted on 04/24/2006 7:13:42 PM PDT by Revel
Apr 24, 6:11 PM (ET)
By JENNIFER LOVEN
(AP) President Bush makes remarks at a 'John Porter for Congress' luncheon in Las Vegas, Nev. Monday,...
IRVINE, Calif. (AP) - President Bush had a blunt message Monday for fellow Republicans focusing only on get-tough immigration policies: He said sending all the nation's estimated 11 million illegal immigrants back to their home countries is not the answer.
"Massive deportation of the people here is unrealistic - it's just not going to work," Bush said. "You know, you can hear people out there hollering it's going to work. It's not going to work."
With Congress coming back from a two-week spring recess to a long election-year to-do list and tensions flaring nationwide over immigration, Bush urged lawmakers to adopt a middle-ground policy. He called a Senate bill, which creates a way for illegal immigrants to work legally in the United States and for many to eventually become citizens, an "important approach."
"It's just an interesting concept that people need to think through," Bush said of the bill sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., which stalled before the congressional break.
As for Bush's comment on deportation, a Time magazine poll in January found 50 percent of the country favored deporting all illegal immigrants. But even Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., one of Congress' most outspoken advocates for tougher immigration laws, does not advocate mass deportation.
Well aware that November elections could end GOP control of Congress, Bush is walking a fine line on the emotional immigration issue, between his party's conservative base which wants a clampdown on illegal immigration and business leaders who believe the economy needs immigrants to fill jobs.
All sides are exerting pressure.
With armed citizen patrols popping up in border states, leaders in Arizona and New Mexico have pleaded for better policing of U.S. borders while other communities complain about the pressure that burgeoning immigrant populations are placing on local services. At the same time, tens of thousands of Hispanic and others - a potentially important voting bloc - have taken to streets across the country in the past few weeks to demand more immigration-friendly policies.
Reflecting that debate, when Bush turned to the audience assembled by the Orange County Business Council for questions, three of the eight queries he took were on immigration, including one from a woman who asked for his solution to emergency rooms crowded with poor people seeking routine care. Southern California's Orange County is a heavily Republican swath of sprawling Los Angeles suburbs that has been known - even parodied - as white, rich and conservative. But minorities now make up a majority of residents.
Bush said community health centers are the best place for the poor to get primary care. "There needs to be a campaign to explain what's available for people so that they don't go to the emergency rooms," he said.
He sought to highlight the contributions of immigrants to American society, and lamented the harsh - and sometimes deadly - conditions that many people face trying to illegally enter the country.
"One thing we cannot lose sight of is that we're talking about human beings, decent human beings that need to be treated with respect," the president said.
The House has passed a law-and-order immigration bill that would erect fences along the Mexican border and treat people who sneak across as felons to be deported. An alternative Senate measure would set up a temporary guest worker program, like the McCain bill, but require all illegal immigrants to leave the United States before they could apply for the visas.
As he has before, Bush stopped short of directly endorsing the McCain bill. The White House will go no further than to call it an attractive vehicle to keep negotiations moving.
The bill, also sponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., would boost border security but also create three-year visas for guest workers. Those who have been in the country longer than five years would not have to return home to apply for the visas. It would also allow for the workers to apply for legal permanent residency after paying a $2,000 fine, learning to speak English and working six years.
In an apparent, though indirect reference to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Bush said the McCain measure had been derailed by "needless politics." Republicans have been blaming Reid, D-Nev., for blocking the bill because he failed to reach agreement with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. on a procedure for voting on amendments sought by GOP opponents of the legislation.
"President Bush likes to point his finger on immigration and many other issues. Isn't it about time we moved beyond that?" Reid said Monday on the Senate floor. "The Senate can move forward on immigration if the president will stand up to those in his party who are filibustering."
Bush's immigration speech, and a later event at a Las Vegas casino that raised $400,000 for Rep. Jon Porter, R-Nev., ended a four-day stay in California. Bush is to meet at the White House Tuesday with a bipartisan group of senators on immigration.
I have a dream. Mass deportations.
Well I never understood why if we need these workers so much then why can't they get legal guest worker permits and come here legaly. The whole argument for allowing illegal entrants to this country to stay here goes down the drain then.
..as long as politicians make major decisions, he's right...but come November, we get to make major decisions
He's right on mass deportations. The McCain-Kennedy bill is utter swill and needs to be tossed into the slop bucket.
As for educating these people to go to free clinics, why? They've learned that you can just call for an ambulance if you don't have a car and just get a free check-up. Just take the whole family in. Many a Spanish radio station recommends this very concept.
Then they show up in the ER and yell at doctors, nurses, hospital staff, medical students, and residents because they don't know how to speak Spanish. I've seen it happen on numerous occasions.
This is about the tenth thread on this today. Congress has to allocate funds for mass deportation and they aren't doing it so it won't happen.
BS!!! Take away their free healthcare, education and other welfare half will leave. Instaed they all tell their friends and family to come!! Sand Nazis are the biggest threat and we still invite them here!!
"This is about the tenth thread on this today. "
That's news to me. I guess I did not have the time to sit here all day and watch them go by. I did a search on a couple variations of the title and did not come up with anything.
Isn't it odd. I's not OK to go to Canada to buy cheap medicine but it is OK to get cheap labor from Mexico. Both are illegal but only one is OK.
Very odd, indeed.
We can now go to Russia and pay for a ride on a MIG, but we can't go to Cuba or have their cigars.
I remember when I supported Bush 100% but he mostly lost me when he said it's OK for people to invade us. What does he care? He has his ranch (thanks to taxpayers and a little stadium deal) and security for life. And good for him but he might consider what paying for all the illegals does to us working stiffs.
We've become a nation of contradictions. We can't buy Cuban products but we can buy Chinese products made by political prisoners.
..they always get the message, it's getting them to get off their fat a$$'S TO ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING!!! Social Security Taxis Immigration Homeland Security Security Leaks ....all issues that they all point fingers and DO NOTHING I actually thought for the longest time that GW had a spine and with controlling the House and Senate...SOMETHING out of the list above would have been taken care of.....nothing.
Bush doesn't get it.
The American people are not interested in hearing him tell us it's not going to work. The American people are interested hearing how he is going to make it work.
Amnesty is a non-starter. Sooner he gets that dialed in, the better.
At what, 10 cents a day and loss of God-knows-what for being 'tardy'?
We are living in 'interesting times', that's for sure.