Presidential Candidates and Campaigns


George W. Bush On The Issues 2000

George W. Bush 2000 On The Issues


Governor Bush believes that immigration is not a problem to be solved, but the sign of a successful nation.  As Governor of a border state, he knows first-hand the benefits legal immigrants bring to America. While he is strongly opposed to illegal immigration, he believes more should be done to welcome legal immigrants. Therefore, he will establish a 6-month standard for processing immigration applications, encourage family reunification, and split the INS into two agencies: one focused on enforcement, and one focused on naturalization and immigration services.

Governor Bush’s Approach

Welcoming legal immigrants:  Governor Bush is committed to welcoming new Americans with respect and open arms, and to comprehensive INS reform to change the policies that create needless obstacles to legal immigrants and that frustrate family reunification.  

Enforcing the border:  Because it is a federal responsibility to secure the border, Governor Bush supports increased efforts along the border, such as “Operation Hold the Line” that have been successful in El Paso, Texas at limiting illegal immigration.

Encouraging free trade:  Governor Bush understands that a healthy Mexico is good for America and that family values do not end at the Rio Grand River.  He believes the long-term solution to illegal immigration is increased trade with Mexico.  Free trade is the best way for Mexico to grow a strong middle class and improve the quality of life so that fewer people will want to leave.

Expanding temporary visas:  Governor Bush supports expanding the H-2A temporary agricultural workers program so that willing workers can provide much needed help to America’s farmers, and increasing the number of H-1B visas so that we can fill the need for more high-tech workers in our vibrant economy. He believes, however, that the long-term solution to the increasing demand for skilled workers is to improve America’s public schools. That is why he has proposed a comprehensive education reform plan.

Governor Bush’s Immigration Reform Proposals

Governor Bush has proposed a comprehensive reform of the Immigration and Naturalization Service to help change its character and to make America more welcoming to new immigrants.  As President, Governor Bush will:

  • Establish a 6-month standard for processing immigration applications.  Currently, the INS takes 3-5 years or more simply to process an immigration application.  There is no justification for processing to take 3-5 years; an INS properly focused on service would move much faster.  Governor Bush believes every INS application should be fully processed within 180 days of submission. To meet this 6-month standard, and to fundamentally alter the approach of the INS, Governor Bush will:

  • Restructure the INS:  Governor Bush will support legislation to divide the INS into two separate agencies:  one to deal with the enforcement components of border protection and interior enforcement, and another to deal with the service components of naturalization.  Both agencies will be headed by an Associate Attorney General for Immigration Affairs, who will supervise both functions, and make sure that the agencies are taking consistent legal and policy approaches.

  • Introduce performance incentives to the INS:  Governor Bush has already proposed a comprehensive set of civil-service reforms, ways to make government more responsive to its customers.  He will follow the same principles with the INS.  In particular, he will introduce performance incentives for employees to process cases quickly, and make customer satisfaction a priority.

  • Propose an additional $500 million over 5 years to fund new personnel and increased employee incentives to provide quality service to all legal immigrants.
  • Encourage Family Reunification: Governor Bush will change the INS policy so that spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents are allowed to apply for visitor visas while their immigration applications are pending.  He will reverse the presumption that such family members will violate their terms of admission, and will encourage family reunification for legal immigrants.

    Position Proposal

Source: George W. Bush for President 2000 Web Site

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