Bush: Massive Deportation Not Realistic
IRVINE, Calif. – President Bush, rebutting lawmakers advocating a law-and-order approach to immigration,
said Monday that those who are calling for massive deportation of the
estimated 11 million foreigners living illegally in the United States
are not being realistic.
“Massive deportation of the people here is not going to work,” Bush
said as a Congress divided over immigration returned from a two-week
recess. “It’s just not going to work.”
In addition to speaking here, Bush was meeting Tuesday with a bipartisan group of senators at the White House to press his case.
Bush spoke in support of a stalled Senate bill that includes
provisions that would allow for eventual citizenship to some of the
illegal immigrants already here. Some conservatives say that would
amount to amnesty.
“This is one of the really important questions Congress is going to
have to deal with,” Bush said. The president said he thought the Senate
“had an interesting approach by saying that if you’d been here for five
years or less, you’re treated one way, and five years or more, you’re
Standing in the center of a theater in the round-type setting with
an audience full of business people, Bush spoke sympathetically about
the plight of foreigners who risk their lives to sneak into the United
States to earn a decent wage. He said the U.S. needs a temporary guest
worker program to stop people from paying to be smuggled in the back of
“I know this is an emotional debate,” Bush told the Orange County
Business Council. “But one thing we can’t lose site of is that we are
talking about human beings, decent human beings.”
Several hundred demonstrators from both sides of the immigration issue protested outside Bush’s speech.
More than an hour before Bush arrived, protesters from the Minuteman
Project — the volunteer border patrol group whose co-founder ran for
Congress in Orange County — were chanting “Go back to Mexico” and “God