We should be open-minded about big issues like immigration reform, because if we’re viewed as anti-somebody — in other words, if the party is viewed as anti-immigrant — then another fellow may say, well, if they’re against the immigrant, they may be against me.
-- Pres. Bush to Brit Hume on Fox News Sunday
To the end, George Bush can't escape his elitist culture. If you are a comfortable elite, you very well may see immigration as a humanitarian or civil rights issue, a chance to show how open you are to everybody and how much better you are than the narrow-minded working classes.
But if you are working class, you know good and well that immigration is often about whether you or somebody you know keeps a job or whether the wages/working conditions/benefits in your occupation stagnate or decline.
Can't you have just the slightest empathy for Americans who oppose bringing in more foreign workers to compete with all those extra unemployed Americans? Can't you see that your blind, utopian dreams of open borders cause YOU to be viewed as "anti-somebody." That is, your immigration positions have always portrayed you as anti-American-worker.
This is not primarily about immigration, Pres. Bush -- it is about the working Americans for whom you took an oath of office to support and protect.
The fact is that when the American people hear you talk about your thoughtless support for both high legal and high illegal immigration, they think, "well, if he's against the anti-amnesty groups, he may be against me."
The New York Times, in joyfully reporting Bush's comments noted that they were made in ...
... clear reference to the bruising fight he had with members of his own party when he was trying to push a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws two years ago ... A major goal of Mr. Bush’s tenure was to make sweeping changes in the immigration system, including creating a process to give legal status to those who lead productive and law-abiding lives in spite of arriving here illegally. Throughout the fight, which he ultimately lost, Mr. Bush and his Republican allies on immigration had warned his Republican opponents that they risked alienating immigrants, particularly Hispanics.
NumbersUSA's professionals who are daily on Capitol Hill report that within congressional offices most Republicans do not appear to share Bush's view.
The nation's workers -- Hispanic, Black, Asian, American Indian and White -- desperately need leadership that is less worried about looking anti-immigrant and more worried about deserving the label "pro-American worker."
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA
Click here to read NumbersUSA's letter to Barack Obama concerning joblessness.
Updated: Mon, Jan 19th 2009 @ 10:58am EST