News Release

What’s Behind Bush’s Immigration Move?

With a meeting scheduled next week between President Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox in Mexico, the following analysts are available for interviews about Bush’s new proposal on immigration:

RAUL YZAGUIRRE, [via Lisa Navarrete]
Yzaguirre is president of the National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Latino civil rights organization. He said: “The president’s proposal is limited to creating a potentially huge new guestworker program for immigrant workers with no meaningful access to permanent visas or a path to citizenship for those working, paying taxes, and raising their families in the United States. Immigrants would be asked to sign up for what is likely to be second-class status in the American workforce, which could lead to their removal…”
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ROBERTO RODRIGUEZ
Co-writer with Patrisia Gonzales of the weekly syndicated “Column of the Americas,” Rodriguez said today: “Will it get through Congress? This is an election year. This is meant to place the president in a favorable light among Latinos. Both immigrant rights advocates and anti-immigrants agree with this. We can expect the draconian (more money for border enforcement) and exploitive measures (the creation of a new bracero program) to sail through, but no one should expect a humanitarian measure to pass before the election.”
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OSCAR CHACON
Director of international programs at the Heartland Alliance (an umbrella group of human rights and human needs organizations in the Midwest) based in Chicago, Chacon said today: “Certainly Bush saying that our immigration system is dysfunctional is a good step. But people who are working in the U.S. should have some pathway to become part of our society and be citizens… The root causes of migration have to do with how few opportunities there are for people in other countries. Life for campesinos or urban workers in Mexico for example has not gotten better.”
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JOHN TRUMPBOUR
Coauthor of the article “Unions and Latinos: Mutual Transformation,” Trumpbour is research director at Harvard University’s Trade Union Program.

SARAH ANDERSON
Anderson is the author of the article “The Equity Factor and Free Trade: What the Europeans Can Teach Us” and director of the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. She said today: “The European Union offers its citizens the right to work and live anywhere they want, while mitigating migration pressures through substantial development aid. The U.S. government has rejected proposals to include aid or migration policies in the North American Free Trade Agreement and other such deals.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167