Former President Bush’s Immigration Policy

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - COMMENTARYI remember when former U.S. President George W. Bush tried to reform the immigration system so that it would eliminate many categories of the undocumented and help make immigration to the United States far less difficult for those who followed the rules. It was extremely sad that his fellow Republican legislators in the U.S. Congress did not heed Bush’s advice, and in effect totally sabotaged what might have been the single greatest immigration reform process since the presidency of Ronald Reagan. It did not happen then, it did not happen under succeeding U.S. President Barack Obama, and it certainly is not happening under current U.S. President Donald Trump.

One of the legacies of former President Bush is the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas. One of the issues the presidential center deals with is the question of immigration. The information on the center’s website is revealing. On the subject issue, “A Nation Built by Immigrants,” the website provides facts about immigrants and immigration. It explains that 13.5 percent of the population are immigrants (in keeping with historic trends), and that currently 30 percent of all immigrants now come from Asia (especially China). Immigrants start businesses that employ Americans, and many recent immigrants are in fact college educated. So much for the belief that America is being overwhelmed by immigrants, are taking American jobs, and that they are poorly educated and are coming primarily from Mexico.

But myths die hard, and even with the facts and figures being provided by the George W. Bush Presidential Center and many other impartial sources, too many Americans believe in the “illegal alien threat.” This is why U.S. President Trump is trying to build his wall across the U.S.-Mexico border; this is why until recently Trump had a policy of forcible separation of families; and this is why Trump and many other politicians demonize immigrants whether they are legal or undocumented. If most of the the immigrants coming to America are coming from Asia, then what use is the border wall? But like the Bush presidential center, I am not likely to be able to convince many Americans that immigrants are NOT the enemy. Immigrants are sadly being used as scapegoats, and our current outdated immigration laws are being held hostage to fear and hysteria—just like in former President Bush’s time.

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