June 8th, 2007
11:55 AM ET
12 years ago

White House: Bush wants immigration bill back

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled the immigration bill from the Senate floor Friday night.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush considers it premature to declare the immigration reform bill dead in the Senate, White House adviser Dan Bartlett said Friday.

A motion to cut off debate on the measure failed Thursday night, stopping the proposal from coming up for a vote. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had said earlier that if the motion was not approved, it would be "over with ... gone."

But Bartlett told CNN that Bush wants Reid to consider putting the bill back on the table.

Bartlett was asked about the bill - one of the president's top legislative priorities - as Bush prepared to leave the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, for Poland.

The procedural motion to cut off debate and move toward a vote on the bill drew only 45 votes in favor, well short of the 60 required for passage under Senate rules. Fifty senators voted against the motion.

Reid, D-Nevada, had said that if it failed he would pull the bill from the floor to let the Senate proceed to other issues.

Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Don, Los Angeles CA

    I voted for Bush twice, now I am sorry. He has turned out to be the worst president in history.

    June 8, 2007 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. Mike Simpson

    I hate this bill, but pulling it to move on with a no-confidence vote on Gonzalez and continue treading water with Iraq funding threats? How about a no-confidence vote on Reid, Bush, Kennedy, McCain and Graham? Throw them all out.

    June 8, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  3. Mark, Greenville, Tx

    I only voted for him once... (his first run at the Tx. governorship). I didn't like what I saw after that...

    June 8, 2007 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  4. Donna

    This bill is nothing but amnesty in disquise. We the people must take our country back and run it like it was meant to be run. We will not have to put up with a president who wants to unite our country with Canada and Mexico too much longer. This is the first step to reclaming our country.
    Everyone should congratulate their Senator who voted to ditch this bill.

    June 8, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. travis

    Maybe this time they should as the CITIZENS what they want. Either that or enforce the laws. Just a though...

    June 8, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. DJ, Los Angeles, CA

    I don't get it?!

    Why does President Bush want to continue to beat a dead horse...when obviously most of his own party is against it?

    Yes Bush is looking like the worst President in history. Continually goes after the wedge issues and for causes that have little or no support.

    June 8, 2007 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. Tina, Lowell, Michigan

    I also voted for Bush twice. Now I feel he no longers wishes to listen to the people who put so much faith in him. President Bush has lost his base while searching for a legacy.

    June 8, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. Dave, Palmer, Massachusetts

    Me too. I grudgingly voted for "Voodoo Economics" 41 and this guy...the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree. These Marxist thugs will push this through regardless of what we, Democrats, Republicans and Independents think. I reckon they consider themselves Rulers and not Representatives.

    June 8, 2007 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  9. H. Trueba, Carson City, Nevada

    I voted twice for Bush, but will be glad to see him out of the White House so a decent conservative can be put in.

    He's made an immoral choice to support cheap labor over national security. The government of Mexico exports its problems here so they don't have to clean up their mess.

    June 8, 2007 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |


    June 8, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. Heather

    As normal citizens, we can only whine to our congressman and vote them out of office. We succeeded by doing the prior, now we need to do the latter. Nothing wrong with a major house-cleaning.

    June 8, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. Tom Hartmann, Mission Viejo, CA

    First off, I am conservative / libertarian/little 'r' republican. Aside from the emotions of the immigration debate, it ought to be looked at from a wider view point. Most of use Americans believe the government has done a poor job in handling immigration over the past 20+ years. We can't go back and change this however.

    The tough pill to swallow is that we cannot deport 20 million illegal aliens, many of whom are already integrated fully into the economy. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to relieve that the food industry, cleaning services, and low wage jobs, would be severely affected by removing a substantial percentage of the work force. It goes without saying that the growth of our economy and population is tied to immigration, illegal and legal. While most of Europe and Japan face declining populations over the next 50 years, the US has managed to keep a positive growth rate only through immigration, albiet not your homogeneous white population.

    Is the problem too many immigrants? Probably too many, too quickly to successfully integrate into our society. Too many ethnic enclaves that remain perpetually under pressure from new immigrants, unlike past waves of immigration where the flow of immigrants stopped for a period of years.

    Is the problem Mexicans? Not really. Let's not be racist. Many who come here are hard working, looking to better their lives. Nothing inherently wrong with that. So we need all of them and their families...not really.

    The burden we get is whether or not they pull their weight in our society. 100 years ago or more it wouldn't have been a problem as there were less entitlement programs. Now these folks don't adequately pay into the system.

    So what to do? My suggestions...
    1.) Fix the cuota system for legal immigrants, stop anchor babies and low level family followers.
    2.) Put pressure on Mexico on Central America to adopt social reforms in order to stop the exodus of their people.
    3.)Legalize many illegal immigrants in the United States. No Citizenship, however. But they will pay into the system and be granted all rights, except voting. Let them own homes and have a vested interest. They will care about their neighborhoods once they have a vested interest to maintain it.
    2a.) Crack down on business that continue to employee illegal labor. If they need more visas, create a better system. But we cannot import sweatshop labor.
    3.) Seasonal labor. Prior to 1950, Mexicans would cross the border and come work the crops, and then return home to Mexico in the offseason. Now, with crossing the border such a struggle, once in the US it is daunting to return. perhaps an easier, but regulated, flow of labor across the border would alleviate some pressure.
    4.) Pressure Mexico heavily to fight the racist divide in their country. Invest heavily in education and resources outside the oligarchy. Mexico should be a First World country with all the natural resources and sizable population.
    5.) Consider heavily restricting immigration for a 5-10 year period to allow some 'assimilation'. To take some pressure off the ethnic enclaves and get the second and third generation immigrants to establish solid roots in this country.

    June 8, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. M.M Gaithersburg, MD

    Thanks the Lord that these people didn't get AMNESTY. Go back to your countries. This is our land, our schools, our hospital, and our culture!

    June 8, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. Hugh G. Rection, Musquito Lagoon, FL

    WHERE'S THE FENCE? My preference is that any Senator complicit with Teddy Kennedy on this trash proposed law does not deserve to be re-elected. Secure the border. Send those with expired student VISAS home to help their own countries. Illegals now in jail should be transported (once they serve their sentances) to their former countries with a boot in thier
    respective butts.

    June 8, 2007 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. Rick Martin

    It is totally plausible to deport all 20 million illegal aliens. It just has to be done tactfully. You cannot deport all 20 million at once, true. But you can deport a handful at a time. This is like an addicting drug that we must be weened off of. Our borders must be secured properly first, then the employers must be sanctioned heavily for hiring them, all government benefits must be cut off, and the impunity these 'sanctuary' cities have must be lifted. Pretty much enforcing the laws on the books. In this case, the situation works for you since they cannot live and must leave. Any statement made that says you cannot deport all of the illegal aliens is truly a cop out. This isn't very hard to comprehend, you just have to take the PC blind fold off. Beyond all of this, our borders being secure is the most important of all. Any one that says Al Qaeda and Hamas isn't already here due to our porous borders is a fool.

    June 8, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. Dennis Johnson, Moorhead, MN

    Neither Democrats nor Republicans in years past have shown ANY inclination to enforce immigration laws. Now, they want to pass a new immigration law. I beieve Americans are kidding themselves if they believe there will be any changes in enforcement, whether its a new law or a continuation of the old laws.

    C'mon Congress - how about this. Enforce the present immigration laws for FIVE years. THEN when you have our trust that laws will actually be enforced, we can talk about a new law.

    June 8, 2007 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. Bill Exrepublican

    They are repealing the 14th amendment against slavery. They are beyond corrupt.. these are evil people. We look evil in the eye. I am deeply ashamed of voting republican for 30 years. I am such a hypocrite. I am really a Libertarian. Republican was a compromise against communism. I have not been true to myself. I promise to be more principled and do what is right even if I cannot win. I will never vote republican again untill the boder fence and reall security are in place. You will note that we are the only ones that cannot come or leave at will. They will get no more of my money... Et Y Tu Lott?

    June 8, 2007 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  18. Stephanie, Los Angeles, CA

    There won't be a need for mass deportation– these people came here understandably to work. Absent the ability to work, many well seek employment elsewhere.

    But there must be enforceable borders and enforcement of current laws.

    June 8, 2007 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  19. Andy Clayton, GA

    This amnesty bill is the final nail in the coffin of Repbulican Pary and Bush. The Republican base and most people are dead against it and will pay at the polls. I will vote against anyone that supports this terrible bill.

    June 9, 2007 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  20. Don, Moorpark CA

    BUILD THE 700 MILES OF FENCE THAT WAS SIGNED INTO LAW LAST YEAR. The thing the government doesn’t get is that the American Citizens don’t believe that will enforce the “new” Immigration laws because they don’t enforce the current immigration laws. Until that happens American Citizens will not accept rewarding the Illegal Aliens with the object of their crime, Legal Status.
    Build the Fence, enforce current law for a couple of years and show the American Citizen that the government is serious about enforcement and then come back the a legalization package.

    June 9, 2007 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  21. M. Denver

    I am glad that the current bill is in trouble and hope that it never sees the light of day. I don't think that we need a comprehensive solution that our Congressional leaders believe is a must. Obviously, a "comprehensive" bill provides them with political cover regardless of how they vote - that will not be available when they have to vote for individual provisions. I would like to see it broken up into multiple bills and each passes or fails on its merits...but as you all know, our "so-called" representatives will NEVER go for it!

    One of the first item should be to separate "right to work" from the "right to residency." These do not have to be linked. I think more American would find it palatable if we said that all illegals who can prove that they are currently working can get a 2-year work-permit. This "work-permit" is just that - a permit that allows them to work until such time that they are no longer needed. This only makes sense...but sense is not what Washington is all about! This would allow us to evaluate what the final number might be...so that we can estimate what the true impact of any amnesty would be to the nation.

    As much as we hate it, the parents of US citizen children should not be deported. The "anchor baby" laws have to change - but until it does, it is not fair to put American minor children to manage without their biological parents. I would be okay with allowing these parents to stay.

    The bill has MANY provisions that are not good for the working people. I am in technology. I am always competing for work with ordinary Indian "H1-B" and "L" visa abusers. Very few of these visa holders are actually "extraordinary" as the law requires them to be. Most of them lied about their qualifications and are pawns of the companies that supply unqualified contractors to businesses that manage to stay just below the "radar". The whole system is froth with fraud. I do not want the quota to be raised at all because I do not see that these individuals are "extraordinary" at all! All they bring are cheap laborers so that most American companies can artificially depress wages. Why is Congress anxious to take away our livelihood? They could not care less what happens to the IT workers in the US.

    I would like to see that the H1B be used for people who truly posses extraordinary merit and abolish the "L" visa altogether. I doubt that will happen until I can vote the idiots out of office. They do not care about what it is doing to the mobility and maintenance of the middle class! And now we are adding all kinds of categories to depress other wages as well...Hell NO...not as long as I vote!

    I would like to see H1B numbers stay at 65,000 or less per year. and restrictions placed on L-visas. No importation of temporary workers until the borders are secured and we have a system to enforce employment verification.

    Everytime Congress thinks that they need to rush to do something after ignoring it for 20 years of non-enforcement, they have something mighty up their sleeve...and my recommendation is to resist it!

    June 9, 2007 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  22. Rich, Indianapolis, Indiana

    If Bush and Senators like Kennedy, Reid, McCain and Graham et. al. have their way and this EXTREMELY BAD immigration law is passed, our great nation will eventually disappear like YUGOSLAVIA. This will be George W. Bush's legacy to the United States. I voted for that man twice, AND REGRET IT! He is the worst President in our nation's history! The American people overwhelmingly oppose this amnesty for illegal aliens, but those fools in D.C. don't care! The politicians who do oppose it (Senator Sessions, Congressman Tancredo, etc.) must stand up to that man in the White House and their colleagues who support this crummy legislation.

    June 11, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |