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  • Bush Renews Support for Immigration Reform

    Source: AP Latin America


    By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer

    SANTIAGO, Chile - President Bush (news - web sites) renewed his support Sunday for changes to U.S. immigration law that would allow undocumented laborers to work legally, but stopped short of pledging to Mexican President Vicente Fox (news - web sites) that he would push for enaction of the nearly year-old proposal.


    AP Photo


    Reuters
    Slideshow: APEC Protesters Arrested in Chile

    Bush Seeks Support on N. Korea, Iran
    (AP Video)



    Bush made plain that terrorism was his top concern when it came to immigration issues.


    "I explained to the president that we share a mutual concern to make sure our border is secure," Bush said after meeting with Fox on the sidelines of an economic summit here. "One way to make sure the border is secure is to have reasonable immigration policies. I assured him that we want people from Mexico treated with respect and dignity."


    Sitting next to Fox for brief remarks to reporters, Bush did not say how he would press for the reforms, which he first proposed in January. The Republican-controlled Congress did not move on his proposal this year.


    "I told President Fox that I had campaigned on this issue," Bush said, although he gave the proposal "” unpopular with his conservative base "” a very low profile in his re-election campaign. He mentioned it infrequently, mostly early on in the race, in Southwestern border states or before Hispanic audiences where advisers believed it could give him a boost.


    In the session with journalists, Fox did not raise the immigration reform issue specifically, instead talking about his commitment to create jobs in Mexico that would help solve the problem from his side of the border. He did suggest further talks in Washington, hinting he would seek "some form of agreement between the two countries" on the matter.


    Fox said afterward he expected meet with Bush in Washington this February or March to discuss migration and trade.


    Asked on CNN whether Bush had promised to move the immigration legislation forward, Fox said: "What I got, and very firmly, is his will, his will to attend this issue."


    While the administration said the temporary worker initiative would be a legislative priority next year, Bush did not set a deadline for getting it passed.


    Bush's plan would allow undocumented workers to get visas to work legally, but the visas would be only temporary and provide no path to citizenship "” an approach that Mexican officials have signaled they would embrace, even if reluctantly.


    Bush and Fox avoided talking about subjects where they differ, such as Iraq (news - web sites) and Cuba, administration officials said.


    With the meeting with Fox, followed by a state visit with Chilean President Ricardo Lagos later Sunday and a brief stop in Colombia on Monday, Bush is aiming to dispel the perception of U.S. neglect of Latin America and burnish an American reputation damaged by the Iraq war. It's a second-term diplomatic offensive in the region akin to his recent courting of Europe.


    The high-profile meetings with the Chilean leader are Bush's Exhibit A for how free trade can benefit two countries, said a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity. The two countries signed a free-trade pact last year. That could be helpful as Bush pushes for forward movement on a hemisphere-wide accord, resisted by countries such as Brazil and Venezuela.


    The Colombia visit, and a brief "pull-aside" conversation with Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo during the 21-nation Asian-Pacific economic summit, also could help the president focus on lowering trade barriers. The United States is in the process of negotiating an Andean free-trade pact covering those two nations as well as Ecuador.


    Mostly, the several hours of meetings Monday with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, a conservative whose war against narcoterrorists and leftist rebels has received major funding from the United States, allows Bush to make a very visible statement about the U.S. commitment to fighting terrorism. It also was meant to highlight American contributions that have helped to bring some stability to a country ravaged by decades of guerrilla war, the official said.


    "We put a lot of political support into Uribe," the official said. "We want to underscore that commitment and show that this is something that, number one, is paying big dividends for the American people, it's paying big dividends for the Colombian people."


    But turning around the U.S. reputation in South America will not be easy.





    The Iraq war is deeply unpopular in Latin America. The administration's commitment to open, freer economies is viewed by some as an unwelcome dictate from Washington. And there is a feeling that the needs of the Western Hemisphere have been neglected by the Bush administration.

  • #2
    Source: AP Latin America


    By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer

    SANTIAGO, Chile - President Bush (news - web sites) renewed his support Sunday for changes to U.S. immigration law that would allow undocumented laborers to work legally, but stopped short of pledging to Mexican President Vicente Fox (news - web sites) that he would push for enaction of the nearly year-old proposal.


    AP Photo


    Reuters
    Slideshow: APEC Protesters Arrested in Chile

    Bush Seeks Support on N. Korea, Iran
    (AP Video)



    Bush made plain that terrorism was his top concern when it came to immigration issues.


    "I explained to the president that we share a mutual concern to make sure our border is secure," Bush said after meeting with Fox on the sidelines of an economic summit here. "One way to make sure the border is secure is to have reasonable immigration policies. I assured him that we want people from Mexico treated with respect and dignity."


    Sitting next to Fox for brief remarks to reporters, Bush did not say how he would press for the reforms, which he first proposed in January. The Republican-controlled Congress did not move on his proposal this year.


    "I told President Fox that I had campaigned on this issue," Bush said, although he gave the proposal "” unpopular with his conservative base "” a very low profile in his re-election campaign. He mentioned it infrequently, mostly early on in the race, in Southwestern border states or before Hispanic audiences where advisers believed it could give him a boost.


    In the session with journalists, Fox did not raise the immigration reform issue specifically, instead talking about his commitment to create jobs in Mexico that would help solve the problem from his side of the border. He did suggest further talks in Washington, hinting he would seek "some form of agreement between the two countries" on the matter.


    Fox said afterward he expected meet with Bush in Washington this February or March to discuss migration and trade.


    Asked on CNN whether Bush had promised to move the immigration legislation forward, Fox said: "What I got, and very firmly, is his will, his will to attend this issue."


    While the administration said the temporary worker initiative would be a legislative priority next year, Bush did not set a deadline for getting it passed.


    Bush's plan would allow undocumented workers to get visas to work legally, but the visas would be only temporary and provide no path to citizenship "” an approach that Mexican officials have signaled they would embrace, even if reluctantly.


    Bush and Fox avoided talking about subjects where they differ, such as Iraq (news - web sites) and Cuba, administration officials said.


    With the meeting with Fox, followed by a state visit with Chilean President Ricardo Lagos later Sunday and a brief stop in Colombia on Monday, Bush is aiming to dispel the perception of U.S. neglect of Latin America and burnish an American reputation damaged by the Iraq war. It's a second-term diplomatic offensive in the region akin to his recent courting of Europe.


    The high-profile meetings with the Chilean leader are Bush's Exhibit A for how free trade can benefit two countries, said a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity. The two countries signed a free-trade pact last year. That could be helpful as Bush pushes for forward movement on a hemisphere-wide accord, resisted by countries such as Brazil and Venezuela.


    The Colombia visit, and a brief "pull-aside" conversation with Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo during the 21-nation Asian-Pacific economic summit, also could help the president focus on lowering trade barriers. The United States is in the process of negotiating an Andean free-trade pact covering those two nations as well as Ecuador.


    Mostly, the several hours of meetings Monday with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, a conservative whose war against narcoterrorists and leftist rebels has received major funding from the United States, allows Bush to make a very visible statement about the U.S. commitment to fighting terrorism. It also was meant to highlight American contributions that have helped to bring some stability to a country ravaged by decades of guerrilla war, the official said.


    "We put a lot of political support into Uribe," the official said. "We want to underscore that commitment and show that this is something that, number one, is paying big dividends for the American people, it's paying big dividends for the Colombian people."


    But turning around the U.S. reputation in South America will not be easy.





    The Iraq war is deeply unpopular in Latin America. The administration's commitment to open, freer economies is viewed by some as an unwelcome dictate from Washington. And there is a feeling that the needs of the Western Hemisphere have been neglected by the Bush administration.

    Comment


    • #3
      Anybody optimisitic about Guest Work Program being implemented soon?

      Comment


      • #4
        Nope. There should be no immigration reform. Everyone needs to line up the way us legal people did?

        Why should some people get a short cut?

        Comment


        • #5
          JohnDoe - Point Taken!

          I am just asking based on recent circumstantial evidence from the Bush administration on this issue, is it likely that it will go through?

          Comment


          • #6
            I doubt it will. Republicans hate immigrants anyway.

            Even if it passes, it will be so hidden in words it wont make anyone happy.It wont be an amnesty

            Comment


            • #7
              I know it will not be an amnesty, thats the whole idea of the "Guest Work Program"... But it will grant illegals a legal status for them to work... will this at least break the ice?

              Bush is actually talking about this as I post. This is becoming a more serious issue than you think.

              Comment


              • #8
                Lets see how it goes. Do you know that people think that it will be to live here permamnently?

                The initial proposal was for it one to be valid to work here legally for the 3 years, and apply for renewal after that.

                It will be more of like the H1B, only that this is targeted at Mexicans mainly working undocumented under the table.

                Time will tell.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It might benefit people who can not adjust in the US, and use it as a transition status to adjust for greencard... if they were inadmissable. My main concern is how long could some thing like this could take, it has been active as a proposal for a year? - Bush says this is a high-priority for him, how long does a high-priority take to work, if it works?

                  6 months/a year/couple years? - There is only 3 more years until the next election year, and surely by then a whole new bills will be proposed.

                  Thanks

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If DwYa wants this 'guest worker' for illegals to go through the legislature would have to address people who are outside of the U.S. and are subject to 3/10 year bars. The logic goes why someone who remained in the country now eligible for some benefit while others who left aren't. If he wants this to pass the 3/10 year bars have to go as well.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      With USA immigration, it never pays to try to follow the law.They have a way of making law abiding people feel stupid at the end.

                      After the 1986 amnesty, many people felt brave to get here and stay illegally in the hope something will be done and they will be legal.Now, their dreams are almost coming true.

                      I however think that Dubya is just trying to fool people. I cant see anything like this happeneing.Do you notice that he is the only one who talks about it? And he makes it such a big deal.I think hes buying time, especially now thats theres no more elections for him.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Bush is not the only who talked about this issue. The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary talked about it (and they support it), USCIS head - Aguirre testified on proposed Temporary Worker Program back in February, he also supports it. The senior administration officials of the white house always bring this issue up (more often these days), whenever the issue immigration comes up. I am sure the DHS and other agenicies associated with USCIS commmented about this issue too...

                        So, it is something that has been around long enough everyone to talk about at the federal level. And they are all familiar with how serious the immigration is troubled, and feel it should be adressed on one way or another.

                        Just my $0.02

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Actually, the President pushed for the intelligence bill the immigration provisions were part of--and lost. They aren't bringing the bill (minus immigration provisions) to a vote, supposedly BECAUSE the immigration provisions were stripped from it.

                          Anyone counting on Bush to be able to ramrod his guest worker program through easily sadly overestimates the power of a president, even with his own party.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I didnt know that The Guest Work Progarm was a provision on an intelligence bill. The immigration provisions that were stripped from the intelligence bill were anti-immigration provisions, to crack down illegals instead of helping them, and nothing to do with the proposal Bush made in January.

                            I am not suggesting that Bush will get this GWP through easily, we all know it's down to the congress, but it's a proposal that will transform the immigration as far as illegals are concerned, and eventually putting them on a tracking system - which there isnt any right now for those reside in the US. The government knows that continous neglect on illegals is a serious security issue for this nation.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The guest worker program was not in the intelligence bill, but provisions to get tough on immigration were.

                              I brought up the guest worker program because Bush is making noises again about pushing that through. He may manage it, but it's not likely to be a walkover, and will cost him a lot of political capital. His own party has a lot of factions which united to get him elected, and now each wants pay back (and some of them conflict with each other, or with some of his objectives). Remember, too--any guest worker program that gets through will have to have strong enforcement of all immigration laws, or it will be a total bust. Not the best "leagacy" for a president to leave if it doesn't work, and no guest worker program so far has worked. As Bush proposed, if there is a guest worker program, it will mean persuading illegal aliens to sign up for renewable 3-year visas with the understanding that there is no guarantee of a green card or even continuing legal status. What will Bush do about the illegals (and employers) who DON'T sign up and continue to work illegally? [There won't be any convenient excuses left for not enforcing the laws.]

                              Comment

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