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Bush: As Senate debates immigration, president rejects amnesty, calls for guest worker program.

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From the White House, President Bush's immigration policy proposals.

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

________________________________________________________________

For Immediate Release March 27, 2006

Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Securing Our Border, Enforcing Our Laws, And Upholding Our Values

Today's Presidential Action

Today, President Bush Attended A Naturalization Ceremony And Discussed His Vision For Comprehensive Immigration Reform. The President supports comprehensive immigration reform to secure our border, improve enforcement of our laws, and uphold our values. The President also discussed his proposal for a temporary worker program that rejects amnesty, allows foreign workers to fill jobs no American is willing to do, and reduces smuggling and crime at the border.

Ø America's Immigrant Heritage Continues To Shape Our Society. Our Nation is bound together by liberty and a conviction that all people are created with equal dignity and value. Through the generations, Americans have upheld that vision by welcoming new citizens from across the globe. Immigrants have helped shape our identity and sustain our economy.

Ø The President Strongly Believes America Is Stronger And More Dynamic When New Citizens Are Welcomed. The President has called on Congress to increase the number of green cards that can lead to citizenship. He supports increasing the number of visas available for foreign-born workers in highly skilled fields. The President signed legislation creating a new Office of Citizenship at the Department of Homeland Security to promote knowledge of citizenship rights and procedures; the Office of Citizenship created a new official guide for immigrants, and the Administration is working with faith-based and community groups to offer civics and English-language courses. In July 2002, the President signed an Executive Order making foreign-born members of our military immediately eligible for citizenship. Over the past four years, more than 20,000 men and women in uniform have become citizens.

Ø Every New Citizen Makes A Lifelong Pledge To Support The Values And Laws Of America. New citizens have an obligation to learn the customs and values that define our Nation – including liberty and civic responsibility, equality under God, tolerance for others, and the English language.

The President Welcomes A Civil And Dignified Debate On Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Congress is now considering immigration reform proposals. Immigration is an emotional topic, and we need to maintain our perspective as we conduct this debate.

To Keep The Promise Of America, We Must Enforce The Laws Of America

President Bush's Proposal For Comprehensive Immigration Reform Includes Three Critical Elements – Securing The Border, Strengthening Enforcement Inside The Country, And Creating A Temporary Worker Program. These elements depend on and reinforce one another. Together, they will give America an immigration system that meets 21st century demands.

The First Element Is Securing Our Border. Since President Bush took office, funding for border security has increased by 66 percent. The Border Patrol has been expanded to more than 12,000 agents, an increase of more than 2,700 agents, or nearly 30 percent. The President's FY07 budget funds another 1,500 new agents. Agents are being provided with cutting-edge technology like infrared cameras, advanced motion sensors, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Protective infrastructure, such as vehicle barriers and fencing in urban areas, is being installed. Manpower, technology, and infrastructure are being integrated in more unified ways than ever before.

Ø The Administration's Border Security Strategy Is Getting Results. Since President Bush took office, agents have apprehended and sent home more than 6 million people entering the country illegally – including more than 400,000 with criminal records. Federal, State, local, and tribal law enforcement are working together. More than 600,000 illegal immigrants were apprehended through the Arizona Border Control Initiative last year – an increase of more than 50 percent increase over the previous year. The men and women of our Border Patrol have made good progress – but we have much more work ahead, and we will not be satisfied until our agents have full control of our border.

Ø The Administration Is Ending The Practice Of "Catch And Release." The President has set a goal to end "catch and release" over the next year. Most illegal immigrants from Mexico can be returned to Mexico within 24 hours. Non-Mexican illegal immigrants present a different challenge. For decades, government detention facilities did not have enough beds for the non-Mexican illegal immigrants caught at the border – so most were released back into society. They were each assigned a court date, but virtually no one showed up. The Administration is ending the practice of "catch and release" by increasing the number of beds in detention facilities by 12 percent this year; the President's FY07 budget proposes increasing that number by another 32 percent. The Administration is expanding the use of "expedited removal," which allows us to send non-Mexican illegal immigrants home more quickly.

· We Are Making Progress In This Effort. Last year, it took an average of 66 days to process a non-Mexican illegal immigrant. Now, the process is taking only 21 days. This has helped us end "catch and release" for illegal immigrants from Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua caught crossing our Southwest border. Since last summer, the total number of non-Mexican illegal immigrants released into society has been cut by more than a third. There is more work ahead, and the Administration will work with Congress to close loopholes that make it difficult to process illegal immigrants from certain countries and will continue pressing foreign governments like China to take back their citizens who enter our country illegally.

The Second Element Is Strengthening Enforcement Of Our Laws In The Interior Of Our Country. Since President Bush took office, funding for immigration enforcement has increased by 42 percent. These resources have helped agents bring to justice smugglers, terrorists, gang members, and human traffickers. For example, through Operation Community Shield, Federal agents have arrested nearly 2,300 gang members who were in America illegally, including violent criminals like the members of the "MS-13" gang.

Ø Better Interior Enforcement Requires Better Worksite Enforcement. Last year, President Bush signed legislation to more than double the resources dedicated to worksite enforcement. Next month, the Administration will launch new law enforcement task forces in 11 cities to dismantle document fraud rings.

The Third Element Is Creating A New Temporary Worker Program That Would Not Provide Amnesty. A temporary worker program would make the system more rational, orderly, and secure by providing a legal way to match willing foreign workers with willing American employers to fill jobs that no American is willing to do. Workers would be able to register for legal status on a temporary basis. If workers decided to apply for citizenship, they would have to get in line. This program would help meet the demands of our growing economy and allow honest workers to provide for their families while respecting the law.

Ø A Temporary Worker Program Is Vital To Securing The Border. Creating a separate, legal channel for those entering America to do an honest day's labor would dramatically reduce the number of people attempting to sneak back and forth across the border. That would help take pressure off the border and free up law enforcement to focus on the greatest threats to our security – terrorists, drug dealers, and other criminals. The program would also improve security by creating tamper-proof identification cards that would allow authorities to keep track of every temporary worker who is in America on a legal basis and help authorities identify those who are here illegally.

Ø A Temporary Worker Program Should Not Provide Amnesty. Granting amnesty unfairly allows those who break the law to jump ahead of people who play by the rules and wait in the citizenship line. Amnesty would also encourage future waves of illegal immigration, increase pressure on the border, and make it more difficult for law enforcement to focus on those who mean us harm. For the sake of justice and the sake of border security, the President firmly opposes amnesty.

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8 Comments

The "Temporary Guest Worker Program" must include definite limits. A program that would allow a 6 year stay would be tantamount to "Temporary Amnesty" and would result in many undocumenteds counting on such a program to result in final amnesty. Such persons would become imbedded in their respective communities and produce families and other societal attachments that would virtually make it ipossible or impractical to deport absuers of the "Temporary Guest Worker Program"

'

Dear Presient Bush:

I am against a policy that allows and rewards people who are breaking the law by entering this country illegally.

We do not have any idea how many ilegally people are in this country, there could be 12,15,20,30 or 40 million, we do not know.

Our resourses can not pay for all of these people, like schools and medical.

We do not know any thing about the background of the illegally people, they could have TB or have a crimmal background.

We need to consider English as our country's language. Why do we have to learn their language, try that in France, England, Germany, Norway, Japan, China etc.

Our country is going fall within, just like the Roman Empire if we do not stop this trend now.

Please Mr. President listen to the silent majority and do the right thing on illegal mmagation.

Thank You for listening
Mr President.

George Roark

As I watched the marches in Los Angeles, I noted the waving of the Mexican flag. Interesting, I thought. Weren't the Mexican immigrants here because things weren't so good in Mexico? America has provided job for this group, medical coverage, and has paid the bill for this coverage. One would think that this group would be grateful for everything that America has done for them. Instead of gratitude, they rail against America, and March waving the Mexican flag, a country that has done none of the things mentioned above. At one time the white/caucasian was the primary race in the Los Angeles area, now they are in the minority. At one point in American history, people came to America because they appreciate the freedom, and the chance to build a better future for themselves. They were proud to become Americans. Now they March against the government that has given them the opportunities their own government failed to give them. America's immigration policy is in shambles. As politicians play politics with the future, and have failed to protect America's borders, they have laid the ground work for its demise. Think for a moment, when immigrants will be able to enter this country almost at will, and with the reluctance of politicians to protect our borders, Muslims, Hispanics, and other nationalities will soon become the majority, while those who love America for what she once was, become the minority. When that happens, whose interest will be served? America has become the frog swimming comfortably in the water. As the water is heated and eventually comes to a boil, the frog is cooked. America is slowly being cooked by special interests, and in the not too distant future, the American dream will become a memory. In its place will stand a country that serves the interest of the world, being governed by the people of that world. Grab another beer America, continue watching Sex in the City, and Desperate Housewives, while your country is sold down the river. It will be interesting to see what evolves out of this situation. Rest assure whatever evolves it will not share the dream of America's founders. It will be a secular, spiritually dead world, governed by those who have no values other than to serve oneself. America is dying and the politicians are placing nails in the coffin.

The key word here is illegal. Immigration is fine. We are a nation of immigrants. When people enter this country illegally they are breaking our laws and that should not be tolerated. If all those people marching and waving Mexican Flags directed that energy towards Mexico maybe it might be a decent enought country that they would want to stay there. It's sad that so many of us are called racist just because we think our laws should be obeyed.

You know it's funny, some of my family used to say the same thing all of these other people are saying, like "oh God, America is going to shambles and we should keep all these people out of our country", blah blah blah...The day I brought my "illegal" spanish boyfriend from home to meet my family, I though some of them would never speak to me again. The funny thing is, once they got to know him, they came to realize what a wonderful person he is and how well he speaks English after only being in our country for 3 years, and how he treats me like gold. My family accepted him. It was uncomfortable at first because it was DIFFERENT. I even doubted myself at times. I never in my life imagined myself being with a spanish man, and here I was with an ILLEGAL spanish man. We got married last October. Not because it would make him legal, because it didn't ( it doesn't work that way anymore), but because we love each other. We want to have a family together and be together forever. What some people don't realize, is that, these "immigrants" are people too. My husband and I can't do anything right now because of his legal status. We can't buy a house, he can't obtain a drivers license, and we can't start our business because he is illegal. This new law would change our lives. It would give us a chance. Do you people not have hearts? Do you not see that the only difference between "immigrants" and us Americans is their culture and their language? There is nothing wrong with that. These immigrants want to share our culture and are completely infatuated by it. If it helps someone else, why are we pushing them away? Racism and greed is strong in America and it's very sad. It's not only racism and greed either, it is people who are afraid of something different. People are petrified of things they don't understand. Life is too short to worry about other people. Worry about yourself and please stop attempting to have control over the whole world, because it will never happen. These immigrants will continue to come into this country whether you like it or not, it's a fact. It's probably a good time to get used to it. Grow a heart, and follow your God.

Bush is stretching the truth again. His "Temporary Worker" program is amnesty by another name. Another name is "Guest Workers." No matter what you call it, the truth is that it is amnesty.
Now, they are saying that the illegals may be as high as 20,000,000. Can you imagine the impact of this many on the job market not to mention that we taxpayers will still be paying for their medical care and schooling for their children. Most of the money they make is funneled back to Mexico while a small portion is spent in the U.S. for their expenses. Note that they do not pay taxes or Social Security, but they claim they are eligible to receive Social Security. Any Mexican baby born in the U.S. is an automatic citizen. This must be stopped at once. Who dreamed up such a stupid idea? Finally, what part of the word ILLEGAL does Bush not understand?

Thank you and God Bless you.

Mr. president, before you to give amnesty, I want you first convict businesses who hired, aided, and abetted undocumented people in our country. For several years americans were not being hired, because it was profible to hire illegal immigrants for tax reasons.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 27, 2006 11:05 AM.

McClellan on Immigration: ``A pressing legislative priority.'' was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet column: On immigration reform---Senate approach, unlike House, has a realistic chance to become law. is the next entry in this blog.

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