Tuesday, April 25, 2006

When Bush is Right...

Bush-bashing has underestandibly become very popular lately. As much as this blog may agree with most critics of this administration, we've got to say that it is not fun to beat a dead horse.
And to be fair, the president happens to say sensible things at times - as for instance on the anti-immigration debate:
I know this is an emotional debate but one thing we can't lose sight of is that we're talking about human beings, decent human beings. Massive deportation of the people here is unrealistic. It's not going to work.
He said it yesterday at the Orange County Business Council. Now in case you don't know, Orange County exemplifies the split within the Republican party over the issue of immigration. It is a Republican stronghold south of Los Angeles (60% voted for Bush in 2004) and it is also the 5th largest county in the United States. It is one of the richest but it also has a lot of legal and illegal foreign-borns (about 30 % of its 3 million residents are of Hispanic or Latino descent).
But this is according to the 2000 census and the number today is most certainly higher, and it does obviously not not take into account the number of illegal aliens.
So on the one hand it is a conservative and suburban county where many whites advocate for tougher anti-immigration law enforcement (it is the birthplace of the Minuteman Project, the volunteer border patrol group praised by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger), but on the other hand, the local economy is quite dependent on the cheap labor provided by illegal immmigrants.
There are also signs that the longtime Republican dominance is beginning to wane mostly because of the increasing hispanic population and a more liberal population attracted by the booming economy.
So the Republicans have courted the hispanic vote.
But no matter what the reasons migh be, I have to admit that Bush has been consistent in his views on immigration. The point needed to be made - we are talking about human beings.
One last note - it is worth noticing that Europe and the United-States are dealing with similar issues. Only the difference is that French Minister of Interior (and presidential candidate) Nicolas Sarkozy believes in the deportation of illegal aliens (the so-called 'undocumented'). But depite the rhetoric, it has not really worked.

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