The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

Immigration Reform

"[O]ver the generations we have received energetic, ambitious, optimistic people from every part of the world. By tradition and conviction, our country is a welcoming society. America is a stronger and better nation because of the hard work and the faith and entrepreneurial spirit of immigrants. Every generation of immigrants has reaffirmed the wisdom of remaining open to the talents and dreams of the world. And every generation of immigrants has reaffirmed our ability to assimilate newcomers - which is one of the defining strengths of our country." - President George W. Bush, January 7, 2004


More Rational and Humane Immigration Laws

  • President Bush proposed a Temporary Worker Program, reforming immigration laws to be more rational and humane by addressing the problems and dangers faced by undocumented workers and reflecting the economic needs of the country.
  • The President’s proposal would match willing foreign workers with willing American employers when no American can be found to fill the job.
  • Immigration reform would offer legal temporary worker status to undocumented men and women employed in the United States as of January 7, 2004, and to those in foreign countries who have been offered employment here. These workers will be protected by American labor laws, able to obtain legal documents, and able to deal openly with authorities.
  • The President has proposed financial incentives for workers to return to their home countries after their work period has expired.
  • President Bush is opposed to amnesty. Illegal workers will not be given unfair advantage in the citizenship process. The temporary worker program preserves the citizenship path for those who follow the normal application process while bringing millions of hardworking men and women out of the shadows of American life.
  • The Bush Administration has increased the size of our Border Patrol by more than 1,000 new agents. The size of the Patrol on the northern border between ports of entry has nearly tripled. And the Border Patrol is also installing monitoring devices along the borders to detect illegal activity.
  • The President proposed a five-year, $560 million plan to reduce the backlog of immigration applications to bring processing time to 180 days.
  • President Bush signed an Executive Order to allow expedited naturalization for active-duty military personnel.

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