"[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
The Presidents proposal would match willing foreign workers
with willing American employers when no American can be found to fill
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
The President proposed a five-year, $560 million plan to reduce
the backlog of immigration applications to bring processing time to
President Bush signed an Executive Order to allow expedited naturalization
for active-duty military personnel.