In an interview with Ron Hutcheson of the McClatchy Newspapers, President Bush couched the current national debate over the Senate’s compromise immigration bill, which he backs, as a “struggle for America’s soul and its reputation as a welcoming nation.” He further charged opponents of the bill as “trying to rile up people’s emotions.”
In supporting this bill, President Bush claims that he is in favor of the bill because, growing up in Texas, he has seen “the decency and humanity of the Hispanic people,” and he has seen “”firsthand the beautiful stories of people being able to take advantage of opportunity and make solid contributions to our society.”
He also pulls the “race card”, stating: “a lot of this immigration debate is driven as a result of Latinos being in our country.”
President Bush has no sense of shame. First, people who are opposed to the bill are not simply trying to “rile up people’s emotions.” People are very concerned about the nature of this bill. Rewarding illegal immigration with a “path to citizenship” only brings on more illegal immigration. We were promised in the mid-1980’s that the Simpson-Mazzoli immigration act would legalize those illegal immigrants who were here, while stemming the tide of future illegal immigration. Unfortunately, the proponents were dead wrong. With Kennedy-McCain, we provide amnesty to an even larger group of illegal immigrants with no concrete assurances that illegal immigration will be stemmed.
According to Rasmussen, only 16% of those surveyed believe that Kennedy-McCain will reduce illegal immigration. 74% believe it will not (and of that group 41% believe it will actually increase illegal immigration.
Further, 75% believe that bill should be changed to increase border security to stem the tide of illegal immigration.
After what Americans have seen in the past these are not concerns based upon emotion, but based upon experiences. President Bush’s reasons for backing the bill, the decency and humanity of his former neighbors and the beauty of their ability to succeed here, are totally emotion-driven. And his “struggle for the soul of America” and it’s reputation as a warm and fuzzy welcoming place are just pleas to the emotions of Americans. And they are insulting to me, and many like me.
Finally, the most infuriating thing of all is the President’s claim that those of us opposed to the bill are doing so because these illegal immigrants are Latino. Shame on you, President Bush. This isn’t about race. This is about upwards of 20 million people, breaking our laws, not just in entering this country, but then in stealing identities of law-abiding citizens. Now we reward them, while those who have waited patiently, abiding by the law still wait. Cheating the system does not make one a candidate for being a good citizen. It’s not about race. It’s about integrity of our system of laws and security for our people.
If anyone wants to convince me that this bill is good for my beloved country, show me some concrete proof. I’m not going to back it based upon warm and fuzzy anecdotes, nor will I be bullied into backing it by someone implying I’m a racist. Frankly, President Bush, your rhetoric is beginning to sound like a Democrat’s. I thought you were better than that.