Then there is the issue of immigration. There is a misperception out there (even promoted by Bush) that conservatives don’t like immigrants. That is not the case, and it is not the issue. The key is that immigrants need to follow the laws in order to become citizens.
When President Bush pushed for his comprehensive immigration bill, he tried to make it seem as though it was a tough approach to lawbreakers, but it was not. In fact, as many noted, it was amnesty by another name.
The most disturbing aspect of the president’s support for this approach was how it conflicted with his own War on Terror. A porous border, without any real examination of who is entering the country, is an open invitation to terrorists. I critique the president on this policy because it contradicts his own aims. Yet he didn’t recognize the problem.
Again, this is part of the “compassionate conservatism” philosophy that he espoused throughout his terms. No one wants to appear callous to those who are seeking a new start in life. That’s understandable. But a president’s first priority, as Bush himself would agree, is to protect and defend the American people. Why then endorse a policy that undercuts that priority?
Why do so many want to come to America?
I believe this political cartoon explains the reasons quite well.
So, I am disappointed with President Bush on matters of the economy, federalism, and immigration. There is one more area in which he failed as well. That will be the subject of the next (and final) post analyzing the Bush presidency.