[White House spokesman Trent Duffy] said the president delivered a passionate defense of his immigration plan, telling the Republican caucus that his policy is not a political ploy.
"He said he didn't do it for politics [but] because that's what he believes is good for the country," Mr. Duffy said, adding that Mr. Bush drove his point home by saying, "I'm from Texas and I know this issue."
Meanwhile, here are Powell's November 9 remarks in Mexico City:
...In our meetings, we reaffirmed President Bush's plan to work with our new Congress on developing a temporary worker program to match willing foreign workers with willing U.S. employers. The president is committed to making this a high priority in his second term...
On the first question, I can assure you that the president remains committed to migration reform. As he noted in his January 7 speech, he wants to move forward with a temporary workers program. And now that our election is over, and as we also are coming out of the 9/11 period and doing a better job of securing our borders, and as we have the president re-elected for a second term and a new Congress coming in as well, we think that the environment has improved significantly for this kind of reform.
At the same time, we don't want to over-promise. What I said to Secretary Derbez is that when the new Congress comes into place in January, we will make an assessment with the new Congress the pace at which we can proceed with temporary worker programs, and how fast and how far we can move in what period of time.
We don't have congressional elections next year, but our next set of elections for Congress will be 2006. And so this upcoming period as we get ourselves organized, listen to ideas on this program from our Mexican colleagues, and then make an assessment with the new Congress, I think this is an important period as we move forward. [i.e., if we do this now, the citizens will forget by the time the 2006 elections come around -- LW]
There are other issues that we know that our Mexican colleagues wish to look at -- regularization [i.e., a massive amnesty -- LW] and all of the other aspects of migration reform -- and all of these issues are on the table. But we want to start with the temporary workers program and make sure that we get this right and do this well with our Congress...
Proposition 200 is a state proposition and solely within the purview of the state of Arizona and the people of Arizona to make a judgment on. We are still studying the elements in the proposition, and if we have any concerns about elements in the proposition which would make the proposition inconsistent with the federal laws, we will certainly make that view known. But I am not an expert in the proposition, but we will be watching it and its development with great care... [i.e., if it starts affecting the flow of cheap labor we'll try to fight it somehow --LW]
Immigration2004 · Wed, 11/10/2004 - 12:32 · Importance: 1