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The More Things Change……Words About Immigration From 2007 Still Ring True

February 5, 2018

In May 2007 I posted on this blog comments which sided with President Bush concerning immigration policy.  What has not happened since then with policy making has been a travesty.

For the record the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 passed in the Senate on May 25, 2006, along a 62-36 vote. The bill included provisions to strengthen border security with fencing, vehicle barriers, surveillance technology and more personnel; a new temporary worker visa category; and a path to legal status for immigrants in the country illegally if they met specific criteria.  Then-President George W. Bush commended the Senate “for passing bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform” and said he looked forward to working with both chambers.

But the bill was never taken up by the House.

Then in 2013  a bill backed by Democrats and 14 Republicans, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act passed the Senate on a 68-32 vote on June 27, 2013.

It rotted in the GOP House.

In 2018 Dreamers are being held hostage by the GOP congress. 

Which takes me back to the words I penned in May 2007.   The words are exactly as they appeared then and show that the more things change the more they remain the same.

We need a strong President now with the ability to pull a consensus immigration bill through Congress, and sign it into law in the Oval Office.  But the political chasm that exists in our country, and the state of the Presidency today will most likely mean that this immigration bill is never to be passed.  Unless some of us decide that good immigration policy should trump loud politics.

It should concern us all, both Democrats and Republicans that national policy requiring Congress’s action will wither and die.  It should madden us that conservatives can hijack public policy through their manipulation of the airwaves, and the layers of echo that they produce daily across the country.

I know I should be amused as a liberal to see the conservative political attacks that Bush loved to use these past six years against the Democrats, now being used against him.  Truth is I am not amused.  I enjoy political theatre more than most, but I also have a deep appreciation for the art of policy making.  And right now for a variety of reasons a strong and coherent immigration bill needs to become the law of the land.  And when policy proposals are destroyed, as the conservatives are now doing, I think we all need to make a statement about the direction of the country.  And so on the immigration proposal I stand with President Bush, and ask that you do the same.

This is much more important than my political differences with President Bush. It is more important than your political differences with President Bush.  This is about the heart and soul of how our government should operate, the way Congress should be allowed to craft legislation, and the way our country should deal with pressing national needs.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Pkarm permalink
    February 6, 2018 12:10 AM

    As my predecessor, President Bush, once put it, they are a part of American life.

    Now here is the thing. We expect people who live in this country to play by the rules. We expect those who cut the line will not be unfairly rewarded. So we’re going to offer the following deal: If you’ve with been in America more than five years. If you have children who are American citizens or illegal residents. If you register, pass a criminal background check and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes, you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. That’s what this deal is.

    Now let’s be clear about what it isn’t. This deal does not apply to anyone who has come to this country recently. It does not apply to anyone who might come to America illegally in the future. It does not grant citizenship or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive. Only Congress can do that. All we’re saying is we’re not going to deport you.

  2. Pkarm permalink
    February 6, 2018 12:06 AM

    From Clinton’s 1996 State of the Union address:

    But there are some areas that the federal government should not leave and should address and address strongly. One of these areas is the problem of illegal immigration. After years of neglect, this administration has taken a strong stand to stiffen the protection of our borders. We are increasing border controls by 50 percent. We are increasing inspections to prevent the hiring of illegal immigrants. And tonight, I announce I will sign an executive order to deny federal contracts to businesses that hire illegal immigrants

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