Skip to main content

President Bush's 5/15 Immigration Speech -- live reactions and reflections

*** UPDATES BELOW--Scroll Down for latest.

Comments and excerpts of Bush's prepared remarks below, and updates as the day and evening goes forward. Of course, I'm going to be live blogging the speech tonight. ***


Fresh content and new posts are below this one. Scroll down for ongoing posts about immigration and the Senate debate on S. 2611.

Welcome Hugh Hewitt and TruthLaidBear readers! Scroll down for other posts related to the immigration issue from earlier in the day.

Hugh Hewitt will have extended coverage on his show tonight, so you'll want to tune in to that.

I have also been invited to share thoughts with the BBC Radio Five Live. You should be able to listen in here (You'll need RealPlayer).

Also, Truth Laid Bear will be tracking the blogosphere's reaction to the Bush speech. Feel free to email me your reactions and thoughts--I'll publish them as I get them. Updates will be published below this, as I publish.

*** Update (3:54pm): ***

LaShawn is already seems everyone is really skeptical.
I predict that his speechwriters will insult our intelligence and present unsustainable and bad argumentation supporting amnesty for border jumpers, including the strawman "We are a nation of immigrants!" and the claim that deporting millions of illegal criminals is impractical. He'll toss us a half-chewed border enforcement bone to throw us off the trail.
I liked that Michelle Malkin talks about a natural attrition process as a way to deal with the current illegal alien population. Again, I don't think there is such thing as "jobs Americans won't do" but our economy IS growing, and there are plenty of jobs for those seeking a better future. Let's enforce our current laws, secure our borders with a physical fence, and improve our legal immigration process so there is an incentive to do things legally. Oh, of course, we need to start providing real consequences to employers that knowingly illegally profit from illegal labor.

I wouldn't be so cynical though. You have to give the administration some credit. Simply, the president is not all powerful. It takes a while to get a large ship turned around. I sure wish they would do a better job of communicating what exactly it is that they are doing, though!!

*** Update (5:42PM) ***

Here are some excerpts of tonight's speach via RNC's eCampaign:
On Border Security:
"Since I became President, we have increased funding for border security by 66 percent, and expanded the Border Patrol from about 9,000 to 12,000 agents . . . we have apprehended and sent home about six million people entering America illegally.

Despite this progress, we do not yet have full control of the border, and I am determined to change that. Tonight I am calling on Congress to provide funding for dramatic improvements in manpower and technology at the border."
I was glad to see this in there:
On enforcing our laws:
". . . we need to hold employers to account for the workers they hire. It is against the law to hire someone who is in this country illegally. Yet businesses often cannot verify the legal status of their employees, because of the widespread problem of document fraud. Therefore, comprehensive immigration reform must include a better system for verifying documents and work eligibility . . .

"A tamper-proof card would help us enforce the law -- and leave employers with no excuse for violating it. And by making it harder for illegal immigrants to find work in our country, we would discourage people from crossing the border illegally in the first place."
I agree with the President on the importance to remember the debate is about human lives--no matter how strong my sentiments in agreement or disagreement on the various issues.
On the tone of the debate:
"We must always remember that real lives will be affected by our debates and decisions, and that every human being has dignity and value no matter what their citizenship papers say."
This, of course, does not take away from the equally important truth--breaking the laws must have consquences.

It is sad to see so many millions so desperate for a better life! But this doesn't mean we open our borders, and it does not mean we stop enforcing our laws. I'll take this moment to remind readers to get involved in making a difference in Latin America. Join your local church mission trips, AND financially support other missionaries or relief charities. Great Commission Latin America and Samaritan's Purse come to mind.

*** Update (8:15 PM) ***
Watching it here.
5 clear objectives
1. Secure the borders.
Inceases funding by 60%? Arrested and SENT HOME 6 million people who have attempted to enter illegaly.

"High tech fences", "barriers in rural areas" it "will take time" The need is urgent. During the period of transition...up to 6 thousand guardsmen.
"Instaling fences and vehicle barriers" Guard units will not be involved in direct law enforcement.
Through state and local law... GREAT! Empower the states. Reduce Federal burocracy! More training at the local level. Good. "They need to be part of our strategy to secure our borders" Every illegal immigrant we catch crossing our border is returned home. Mexicans are sent back home wtithin 24 hours.
Catch and release is unaceptable.
I want to see more action on this, but from my sources, this is a slow process that is happening. Catch and release is in the process of ending.
Expanded detention facilities. Expedited the legal process to enter legaly.
All good thoughts.
2. Temporary worker program.
"Jobs Americans are not doing" Yes!! He did not say jobs americans won't do! Its a small step forward!!
3. Hold employers to account for the workers they hire. "It is against the law to hire somebody who is in this country illegaly."
Better system for document verification. Use biometric... "Leave employers with no excuse for violating" the law.
4. "We must face the reality that Millions illegal immigrants are here already" To deport every illegal immigrant..."it is neither wise or " there is a rational middle ground between a...
Aproval would not be automatic, and would have to wait in line behind those who have followed the rules.
"5th. We must honor the great American tradition of the melting pot. "
He is going into assimilation and the importance of learning English. "Embrace our common identity as Americans." He is talking about shared ideals, "respect for the flag we fly, and the ability to speak and write the english language. " Alright! Well said.

*** Update (8:20 PM) ***
I think my stream is delayed...and my connection is not to good...

"All elements of this problem must be addressed together, or none of them will be solved at all."

Every human being has dignity and value, no matter what their citizenship.

*** Update (8:30 PM) ***
Ok. I guess the speech is done. I missed the last closing comments!! I've got a complaint for the White House web site staff!!

My thoughts: Great speech that hit it on the issues the way it needed. Realistic, and feesable. Some key quotes for me

"Instaling fences and vehicle barriers" and "barriers in rural areas" and "Hold employers to account for the workers they hire." Listen to Hugh Hewitt--he is doing a great round up of reactions to the speech. Like Hugh said it, "It's not nativism" I'm glad.

*** Update (8:32) ***

LaShawn, I would have expected more from you! I'm sorry you just didn't feel this was worth your time. But, I am still looking forward to your thoughts in the days to come.

The thing I don't understand is why are so many conservatives wanting Bush to take some sort of "direct" action on this? Are we not for limited government, and check & balances?

Bush is not king!! He cannot simply legislate from the oval office. More thoughts from the Anchoress.

...I just have to ask all of you people - on every side - who have decided that immigration is one man’s burden, and that every good thing President Bush has done is to be negated because he hasn’t snapped his fingers and done what YOU think is the solution to the immigration problem…what did Clinton do about immigration, what did Bush 41 do? What did St. Reagan do? What did Carter do? What has any president, congressperson or senator done about immigration for the last 30 years, except kick the issue down the road for someone else to deal with?

Reagan, if you remember, was the amnesty president. Clinton was the “borders? What’s borders, everyone is our pal” president.

He did the right thing--outlined 5 important issues that need to be addressed, and called on the House and Senate to come together and do what THEY are elected to do!! I am VERY glad to hear him talk about empowering the states and local governments. They should have been doing this a long time ago.

I would have liked to hear more about the consequences for being in the country illegaly. He talked about taxes, learning English, but those are things we all do. I want the message to be clear--there are going to be tough consequences for entering the US illegaly. Are the fines going to be tough? What if an illegal immigrant can't pay the fines? Will he or she be returned to their country of origin? What about those that avoid these penalties? What about current illegal aliens entering the country? What about increased holding spaced to be able to increase our capacity to hold illegal aliens while waiting deportation.

5 great objectives--the ball is in the Senate's court now.

Don't forget--I'll be on BBC Radio Five Live in 30 or so minutes. They said I would be debating someone in the "opposing" view, so I am not sure what to expect.

Technorati Tags: , Politics, border, Terrorism, Homeland Security, MEXICO, , ,


Popular posts from this blog

Hispanic Trending: Leave your name at the border

Most people miss the fact that Hispanics do not consist of a single ethnic group. Besides that, the heritage that each one of the many nationalities represented in our immigrant population is diverse in itself. As I read Manuel Muñoz's post on his assimilation experience, I can tell you mine was nothing like his. But I can relate to this paragraph. My niece's name is Katie Belle (Sierra). It's intriguing to watch "American" names begin to dominate among my nieces and nephews and second cousins, as well as with the children of my hometown friends. I am not surprised to meet 5-year-old Brandon or Kaitlyn. Hardly anyone questions the incongruity of matching these names with last names like Trujillo or Zepeda. The English-only way of life partly explains the quiet erasure of cultural difference that assimilation has attempted to accomplish. A name like Kaitlyn Zepeda doesn't completely obscure her ethnicity, but the half-step of her nam…

Communism: Good Money for the "El Viejo"

I guess Fidel Castro is doing ok. Forbes lists Castro as one of the richest in the world, right up there with the Queen of England. I bet he didn't like the attention. It was hard to figure it out, but it seems they managed to throw some numbers together.
In the past, we have relied on a percentage of Cuba's gross domestic product to estimate Fidel Castro's fortune. This year we have used more traditional valuation methods, comparing state-owned assets Castro is assumed to control with comparable publicly traded companies. A reasonable discount was then applied to compensate for the obvious disclosure issues.

RealClearPolitics: The Democrats Dither on Trade

The backtracking on free trade in South America has been among the frustrating news for me coming out of the beltway. Considering how the economic downturns in Latin America affect us through the increase in illegal immigration, I would think more Americans would be fighting for this one as loudly as they fought for the failed Immigration legislation. Democratic presidential candidates like to talk about "turning a page" in America's relations with the rest of the world. But what does that mean, in practical terms, on bread-and-butter issues such as trade? Are today's Democrats a party of open markets and economic development, or of market restrictions and job protection?The answer is that leading Democrats seem to want both -- they favor economic development overseas but not at the cost of U.S. jobs. That sounds like a coherent position until you begin to look carefully at the political choices in Latin America, a part of the world where …