President Bush gave his immigration address tonight. Here are a few reactions:
Hugh Hewitt offers some positive reaction:
President Bush did exactly what he had to do tonight: Hit the middle, agreeing to the fence, to a large increase in Border Patrol personnel and funding, tamper-proof identification, National Guard back-up of ICE for at least a year, the end of catch-and-release, blunt talk on the impossibility of mass deportation, an insistence on English, and a commitment to a guest worker program that will take pressure off enforcement by funneling large numbers of immigrant workers into the legal line.
Dan Riehl says President Bush ensured his irrelevance on this issue:
Unfortunately, visitors to a Bush ’43’ Library may have to cross the border into Mexico to take it all in. In a speech which was as much a eulogy for the so-called Reagan Revolution, as it was an unfortunate beginning to a pending political battle on immigration, President Bush all but declared himself irrelevant to the conversation. In essence, the sitting President of the United States through up his hands and declared, “No mas.”
Sure to be a tremendous disappointment to the majority of center right and conservative Americans, they could easily come to see themselves as leaderless on domestic issues for the next two years. And perhaps they are.
Greg Tinti has the video of Bush’s address and says the speech will not have any effect on immigration in the long term:
Before I say anything about the speech itself, I think it’s important to acknowledge that it will have little to nada long term impact on the immigration debate. It’s good that the President addressed the immigration issue in a prime time speech, but it certainly wasn’t the result of a want to do so. Pressure from the President’s base necessitated it and I know that despite the speech, many are still angry about the President’s position on the issue.
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) has the best comments of the night:
“President Bush made one step forward and one step backward during tonight’s address. I am encouraged by his plan to increase our security by positioning National Guard troops on the border. This will provide essential — but temporary — security along our porous and vulnerable borders. The better alternative is to enact a comprehensive border security program by constructing fences, bolstering our border patrols and improving our surveillance capabilities.” “I strongly disagree with the President’s call for a guest worker program. A guest worker program is nothing more than amnesty wearing make-up –it’s easier to look at, but just as ugly underneath. The simple truth is that is that if you break the law to come to this country, you will not respect it once you’re here.”
Drudge is reporting that CNN cut to President Bush live as he practiced his address. What a lousy stunt.