June 15th, 2007
10:37 AM ET
3 years ago

Bush: 'We must resolve the status of illegal immigrants'

Bush spoke at the Hispanic organization Esperanza Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The morning after U.S. senators reached a hard-fought, bipartisan agreement to revive an immigration bill for debate, it appeared apt that President Bush should speak to the Hispanic organization Esperanza - "Hope."

"I continue to work closely with members of both parties to get past our differences and pass a bill I can sign this year," the president said Friday at Esperanza's annual National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast. More than 750 clergy and community leaders belong to the faith-based organization, according to its Web site.

"At this breakfast we set aside our politics and come together in prayer," Bush said. "Each day our nation fails to act, our problem only grows worse," he said. There are 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States, most of them from Mexico.

The contentious immigration bill stalled in the Senate last week, preventing many senators from offering amendments. Thursday night's agreement would allow about 20 amendments to be considered - half from each party. Debate could begin late next week.


Filed under: Immigration • President Bush
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Tricia M Chtown PEI Candaa

    I believe Lou Dobbs' comments regarding immigration last night on 360 were right on the money.

    He said, President Bush has had years to do something about immigration and the lack of border security in America, yet failed to do anything.

    Why now is he making this such an important issue? It's been an important issue since he took office! Yet, to date he has done nothing to correct the situation or secure the American borders.

    Maybe another last ditch effort to try to embellish his record as President before he leaves office? Of Course most know that would be a waste of time, as it will take much more than an Immigation Bill to change the world's negative perception of his Leadership! But, Good Luck with that Mr. President.

    June 15, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  2. Terry Gloege

    If the President was serious about illegal immigration he would secure the border first.

    June 15, 2007 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. Steve, Ripley MS

    In all of the talk about this bill, I keep hearing everyone say "illegal" (including the President)which lands people in jail when they do something that is considered this. So if you are going to let these people stay, shouldn't all citizens get one free "Get out of Jail" card.

    June 15, 2007 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  4. Jerry Lucas P.O. Box 40 Port Richey,Fl 34673

    You can say all you want to about why Bush is pushing immigration, but the fact is, he wants it so it will give the dying republican party approx. 6-8 million more votes. It,s the same dirty trick that he pulled in Florida to become president the first place in 2000. How he can call himself a man of God is beyond me, since all he has ever done in politics is lie about the war,Gonzalas and now immigration and his heroic duty in the armed services.
    J. Lucas
    Port Richey,Fl

    June 15, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. DJ, Los Angeles, CA

    Yes it may seem he is trying to get hispanic votes...though that is not the real reason.

    It is because BIG $ corporate consituents and lobbies want it. They want to continute to reap the rewards of not having to pay employees benefits, overtime and in many cases not even the minimum wage.

    This is why he also gave a speech yesterday to a contruction developers organization yesterday.

    All lies to the public yet again. It has zero to do with reform. Greedy big $ lobbies can exploit the endless pool of cheap labor this way.

    Take a look at the lobbies whom wants this bill and where Bush makes his speeches at...enough said.

    June 15, 2007 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. Jeannie M. Sacramento, CA

    Bush is a corporate lap dog. He and his corporate buddies have made a fortune on the backs of illegal aliens. That, dear friends, is the bottom line - big money! Sad....

    June 15, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. Bill W, Coatesville PA

    Lou Dobbs also said "Give it a rest, Mr. President." And I agree.

    The other poster is correct – this is not about votes, though that is a benefit. Bush and the Republicans are in bed with big business, and this is all about cheap labor for the Walmarts, Tyson Foods, and other sweatshops.

    Another blow to the middle class. And if anybody believes thisbill will strengthenthe border, they are mistaken. The money in this bill will be wasted when the money for security is handed over to the likes of Haliburton and other businesses – who will take it and do nothing.

    The end result of this bill will be that millions more of Mexico's citizens will be told that it is OK to come here by whatever means, legally or illegally, and once you're here, nothing else matters. So as soon we "legalize" all the illegals here now, another new crop of illegals will start immediately.

    We made the mistake once in the 80's. But Bush is determined to do it again. He has not learned from history, and so we're doomed to repeat it.

    June 15, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. Diane Elizabeth Pennsylvania

    Where was Bush today? at a Hispanic luncheon. If we survive, in ten years we will learn of the hidden agenda behind the immigration bill. Bush's legacy will be that he gave away America.

    June 15, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  9. Jaclyn, Maryland

    If the immigration bill is not 100% right it will cost the United States $2 trillion. The illegal immigrants will deplete our social security system and welfare. It is better to wait until the next president of the united states can look at the legislation with a fresh set of eyes.

    June 15, 2007 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  10. Melissa, Batesville, Arkansas

    most of our major poltry factories here in Arkansa prefer to employ illegal immigants! I personally know of many LEGAL Americans whos job aplacations were turned down by these companies! I'm sorry but these illegal workers are for sure taking our jobs from us!! What exactly is our "GOVERNMENT" going to do about this? Apparently they just want to give them citizenship instead of forcing the Department of Imagration to do their job by sending them back to their own country!!! Enough is enough Mr. President we already have good immigration laws that if you would have focused on enforcing all along, wouldn't be such an issue now!

    June 15, 2007 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  11. AL GARCIA SAN ANTONIO TEXAS

    Hey guys! I have just been hired to pick lettuce. come all ye complainers, apply today and quit complaining! take our jobs back from those illegals!!

    June 15, 2007 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  12. M.L. Stark

    Mr. Bush's continued campaign to expand the endless supply of illegal aliens to fat cat business people in his camp is indicative of his failed life.

    Mr. Bush can paint an outhouse any color he wishes, but the outhouse (his Administration) remains what it is. The saddest part of the Bush/Cheney Regime is not the regime itself, but the failure of Congress to expel the Gruesome Twosome from Washington.

    Early in Mr. Bush's occupancy of the White House, I believed he was a person who made poor choices in life. As his attempted dynasty grew, I came to see him as a bad person.

    How interesting that Congress was prepared to literally put President Clinton on the gallows, but George Bush has received a 6 year pass on his despicable conduct.

    Go Figure ! ! !

    June 15, 2007 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  13. rich

    My god get him out of office he is a traitor to the American people and has violate his office by not secureing our border from invasion he can take congress with too He is the enemy combatant against Bush is the Terrorist

    June 16, 2007 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  14. Beverly, Peoria, AZ

    We beg you not to let this bill go thru. We need control of our borders and the fence that Congress passed into law last year and promised all of us; a fence would be built 800+ miles of it . However, the signing of the bill was nice in the rose garden with the President however, everyone involved forgot to mention one little detail that they didn't give any money to build a fence. This is why Americans don't believe you will do anything for us out here again. Until we see the borders really able to work, the fence really in place we don't think you should have the right to pass any other bill. Other than a stand alone bill for money for the fence.
    The next bill you should pass following the first one is that all LAW ENFOPRCEMENT be able to do their jobs of stopping illegal immigrants at the border and turning them back, arresting criminals who are illegal immigrants and putting them in our jails since if we send them back they just return and commit more crimes they are now looking for an illegal immigrant who has killed 7 people all at different times yet he is still free. Allowing Ice to do its job with the help of the local Police and FBI otherwiae disband them since they can't do their job why are we paying them?
    Our sons are fighting for this country in Iraq yet the Congress leaves our borders wide open and our sons familes are left alone unprotected and in danger. How can you ask us to give you our children and then not protect their families and send them to this war.
    Next, Enforce the laws on the books let Ice do their job and arrest illegals, send them back or to jail if they have committed a crime. The news is full of more and more murders, robberies, rapes, kids missing and when they find who did it the person turns out to be 8 out of 10 times an illegal immigrant. Then of course the problem of importing gang members who have no problem just shooting people on the street. What would you do if they decided to do this in Vegas on the strip, Times Square, Hollywood, We deserve protection, we deserve the laws to be enforced and we deserve to see bills I remember the Sunshine Law that is not being followed in this bill.
    Fine employers who hire illegal immigrants not this $75,000 you speak of but a large fines $200,000 per person found. You can start with McDonalds Resturants or any other chain, Shasta Pools, Construction companies, car companies, car washes, I could go on and on because this is where illegals are working also not picking the fruit but taking jobs from our American kids. Teens use to be able to get their first job experience in the fast food places or the amusement parks but not anymore. It is illegal immigrants and they don't care that they speak Spanish and you can't understand them. Immigrant who used the front door of this country worked and raised a family and learned to speak English but not illegal immigrants they have no intention of becoming citizens or of speaking English they take the money they earn back to Mexico and to their family where they can live really well.
    Evidently when we can walk into a resturant sit down have a meal and hear people who you don't even know talking about this and joining in on the conversation. You know you have trouble. And this is the way it is; or in the store more and more Americans are speaking out on this take a bus tour of a US city and find out for yourselves America wants no part of guest workers we have had them up to our eyeballs and have been taken the hit in the pocket for a long time. We definitely don't want or need Amnesty again you tried it once in 86 and look what it got us. Americans with Less jobs less money and more crime.
    A money supplement added to this bill is not going to fly we are not stupid this is another of the back room deals to try to fool the public. Americans are paying more and more attention to all of you because of the War and this and you need to do what is right for American CITIZENS and for no other group. This is our turn.

    June 16, 2007 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  15. Roger, Fishers, IN

    If we can't enforce our current immigration policies–why are we to believe a new bill will better serve Americans. Enforcement???????

    June 16, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. Steve Trattner, Washington DC

    congress needs be honest with the public. In the first place, many people who oppose the current bill are not necessarily against the idea of granting citizenship to the illegal immigrants who are here. And it may be that we need the millions of them who are here to do work for our econonmy. But if the bill does not stop future illegal flows like we have seen in the past, then we will be faced with this same problem years from now and it may be that our economy does not need or can support them and then what do we do since Congress tells us that we can not reallly seriously consider deporting 12 million people. So my problem with the bill is that Congress and the President did not take seriously their commitment to stop illegal immigration. I can say that without reservation becasue it took a near breakdown to finally get them to increase funding for border security by $4.4 billion. But they still do not have in place the most effective means of stopping illegal immigrants coming through which is a fence along the entire border–or for more than what they have in the bill. And we know that the fence works as shown by the signifant decrease in San Diego with their fence and the reduction of suidcide bombers in Israel by 90% as a result of their fence. Congress did not fund the money needed to stop illegal immigration that they promised in the 1976 legislation to do the same, and thus the public should be sceptical of them. Securing the borders is also a matter of national security and we have heard vertually all members of Cogress say that. But then why do they refuse to be honest with us and pretend that illegal immigration will stop without a fence and added funds to enforce it. I know that some will say that they will use technology but that response is lame at best. Technology does not stop people from crossing in the first instance. It only helps find them, and it costs more and is not as effective. So I urge all citizens of both sides of the aile and independents like me to urge Congress and the President to become responsible and be straight with us. Make sure that securing the borders is going to be a reality by entending the fence as some have proposed far more than the bill provides, and delay the path of citizenship until that has been done and the new ID system has been implemented and tested so that employers will not dare hire an illegal immigrant who came hrer after the bill has been passed since there will be money allocated to put those employers in jail. With that in place, then most illegal immigration will cease since there sre no jobs for them.

    It is not that difficult. It merely requires the President and members of Congress to put the interests of the country above party politics.

    Steve Trattner( a registered independent for over 30 years)
    Washington DC

    June 16, 2007 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. Allen, Pa

    America is doomed to fail with clowns like Bush in control. I hear Switzerland is nice. Maybe I will go there when America falls apart.

    June 19, 2007 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. JAMES WALLACE... WILKES BARRE, PA

    YA KNOW THERE WAS A PEOPLE WHO HAD A PROBLEM LIKE THIS I THINK IT WAS OH HMMMM 2200 YEARS AGO. THEIR SOLUTION CAN BE SEEN FROM SPACE THEY TELL ME. AND ANSWER THIS IF YOU WILL. IF WALLS AND FENCES DO NOT WORK WHY IS IT NEARLY EVERY PRISON IN THE COUNTRY HAS ONE,MOST SEVERAL.

    June 22, 2007 12:07 am at 12:07 am |