Immigration Speech Reaction

By: James Steiner
By: James Steiner

Many community leaders watched the President's address tonight, and most that we talked with say they came away feeling that finally someone in the Oval Office is trying to do something about illegal immigration.

I asked people to grade the President's speech, with "10" being a perfect score, and they gave it between a "7" and an "8."

They loved the idea of a temporary worker program, but felt the use of National Guard members to patrol the southern borders was just another form of racism.

Immigration reform is something the owner of the El Adobe Café, in Reno, takes very seriously. Abel Del Real's wife was deported to Mexico several months ago. She took his three American-born children so that he could make a better life for them back in the U.S.

Del Real supports a temporary worker program, because it means his family could return soon. He admits when it comes to hiring illegal immigrants, he's been doing it the wrong way- he has seven undocumented workers at his restaurant.

President Bush said the country needs to hold those employers accountable.

Probably the most heated issue of the "five points" the President made, was that of securing our borders. Hispanic activist Jesse Gutierrez called it a subtle form of racism, because he says Bush is targeting people of Mexican-American descent.

Nevada's Democratic lawmakers agree, but they see the debate as more of a safety issue. They say the National Guard is already stretched too thin, whereas the state's Republican leaders say the President's plan addresses both illegal immigration *and* terrorism.

They say it's important for the American people to know the guard's role is temporary.

The House of Representatives already passed it's immigration reform, making *all* illegal immigrants felons, and subject to immediate deportation. The President urged the Senate tonight to act by the end of the month, so Congress can pass a comprehensive bill.


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