OJJPAC: State of the Union speech
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FAIR Press Release

February 1, 2006

State of the Union Remarks on Immigration Indicate that President’s Amnesty/Guest Worker Proposals are Failing to Win Public Support

FAIR Responds to President's Speech

Washington, DC—In last night’s State of the Union Address, President Bush renewed his call for a program that would allow millions of illegal aliens to remain here temporarily through the creation of a massive new foreign guest worker program. However, after an all-out White House public relations offensive in late 2005, aimed at selling this idea to the American public, the president’s cursory mention of this theme last night indicates that the administration is beginning to understand that the public isn’t buying.

Listen to Dan Stein's response to the State of the Union address via his blog site, the Dan Stein Report (you can post your comments there too). (Windows Media Player). President Bush devoted less time and spoke in less detail about his immigration policy proposals than he did in last year’s State of the Union address. However, it is clear that the administration and the special interest lobbies that have been behind a guest worker amnesty proposal intend to press ahead with their efforts in spite of stiff public opposition.

“President Bush may have talked a lot less about his immigration plan than he has in recent speeches, but what he did say is still not encouraging to millions of hard-working Americans who are struggling to maintain a foothold in the middle class,” observed Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. “Mr. Bush still makes the false argument that there are ‘jobs Americans won’t do,’ rather than wages Americans will not accept.

“Rather than creating conditions that allow American workers to fill jobs at higher wages, what the president is proposing merely converts low wage illegal aliens into low wage workers with visas,” said Stein. “Our economy would have to adapt if the influx of cheap foreign labor is ended, but that is an adjustment strongly desired by a majority of Americans, whether native-born or foreign-born. The concept that our economy must be served by a permanent under-class of foreign guest workers is reprehensible and unacceptable.”

The president referred to ‘hope’ repeatedly in his address. “But there is not much hope for Americans in blue-collar work being able to hold their jobs if the guest worker proposal is adopted,” Stein said. “Concerned citizens will not have much hope that today’s illegal workers will leave the country after being given six-year work permits, and they will simply have to hope that there is still a middle class in a few years. President Bush also talked about ‘stronger immigration enforcement and border protection,’ and we might hope that after decades of broken promises that this time he really means it, but the record does not justify much hope.”

FAIR calls on President Bush and Congress to respond to the hopes of the American public for restoring respect for our immigration law by adopting strong enforcement measures that demonstrate a commitment to protecting our nation’s borders and protecting American workers.