Bush Speech on "guest worker" program
We see millions of hard-working men and women condemned to fear and insecurity in a massive, undocumented economy.
Boo hoo, drug dealers live in constant fear of being arrested too.
Out of common sense and fairness, our laws should allow willing workers to enter our country and fill jobs that Americans have are not filling. (Applause.)
Who is applauding? Chairman of the Hispanic Alliance for Progress, Manny Lujan. Gil Moreno, the President and CEO of the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans. Roberto De Posada, the President of the Latino Coalition. And Hector Flores, the President of LULAC.
Fourth, new laws should provide incentives for temporary, foreign workers to return permanently to their home countries after their period of work in the United States has expired.
The wording is important: "incentives" to return home. Not "force them" to return home. We are going to give them Social Security in their home countries!
I propose a new temporary worker program that will match willing foreign workers with willing American employers, when no Americans can be found to fill the jobs. This program will offer legal status, as temporary workers, to the millions of undocumented men and women now employed in the United States, and to those in foreign countries who seek to participate in the program and have been offered employment here.
Does anyone else want to continue to debate me on whether or not this "plan" is amnesty? Anyone?
All participants will be issued a temporary worker card that will allow them to travel back and forth between their home and the United States without fear of being denied re-entry into our country. (Applause.)
Some temporary workers will make the decision to pursue American citizenship. Those who make this choice will be allowed to apply in the normal way. They will not be given unfair advantage over people who have followed legal procedures from the start. I oppose amnesty, placing undocumented workers on the automatic path to citizenship.
This is a departure from the current law which does not allow criminal aliens to gain citizenship. If this isn't amnesty then nothing is.