Irvine, CA (APE) – President Bush on Monday spoke to a largely conservative Republican group of 450 members of the Orange County business Council and in a “lemonade out of lemons” fashion seemed to back away from the hard stances on immigration put forth by some in his own party and link immigration to “The American Dream”. He urged Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration bill that would put illegal immigrants “in the back of the bus” as they worked through a daunting process to become a citizen of the United States.
Bush stated that many illegal immigrants simply came across the border to “put food on their families”, one of the major tenets of today’s “American Dream”. In so doing, many had been victimized and even killed by smugglers. Bush argued that the compassionate thing to do would be to “incorporate this smuggling industry and turn it into a rational policy.”
“We cannot lose sight of the fact that we’re talking about decent, cheap working human beings,” he said. “A massive deportation is unrealistic. We haven’t got the manpower to secure the borders enough to stop them coming in, so how would we ever be able to do the process in reverse?”
The crowd applauded when Bush further advocated stiffening the requirements for citizenship, stating that “a person should never be granted automatic citizenship” and that all citizens ought to be required to undergo frequent retesting and recertification, or “go to the back of the bus” if they’re not willing to serve their country in the war on terror. “We’re a nation at war, a welcoming nation, a nation that honors people’s traditions, no matter where they are from, so long as they are willing to fight for them.”
Bush initially attempted to briefly touch on the Iraq war. He seemed to reverse an earlier position this year in which he held that it would be a future American president that would be considering the final withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, stating, “I believe that were going to win a victory in Iraq, no matter how many buses Bin Laden and his lieutenants blow up.”