President Bush met with Mexican President Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin last week in Texas to discuss the topic of immigration policy and the guest worker program.
According to an article in the New York Times, “Bush promised leaders of Mexico and Canada on Wednesday that he would continue pressing for changes in U.S. immigration policy. At the same time, he sought to lower expectations that a guest worker program would gain momentum on Capitol Hill, where it has faced resistance for years.” With all of the hard work this industry has been doing in the past couple of years, this was not the best news we have heard lately.
Bush was quoted in the article as saying, “‘you don't have my pledge that Congress will act, because I'm not a member of the legislative branch,’ Bush continued. ‘But you will have my pledge that I will continue to push our Congress to come up with rational, common-sense immigration policy.’”
Currently, Republicans are split over the immigration issue because some of the more conservative party leaders are looking for “stricter border controls and other moderates [are] supporting the administration's call to give some illegal immigrants amnesty after they have been in the country for at least three years,” the article stated.
The purpose of the meeting between the three leaders was to discuss national security, immigration and environmental policy in order to increase economic cooperation, said New York Times.
Fox stated in the article, “‘We are seeking an objective balance between the concerns that have to do with security and those that have to do with having a good and agile flow of goods and people across the borders,’ Fox said through an interpreter.”
“As for concrete results from the Texas summit, Fox said that a dozen working groups would convene over the next three months to address the issues the leaders had discussed. ‘All of us have a sense of urgency,’ he said, ticking off energy, education, technology, security and natural resources as among their top issue priorities,” said the article.
Bush did, however, let the leaders and the citizens of the United States know that “With immigration at the forefront of their talks, Bush voiced criticism of U.S. citizens along the border who have taken it upon themselves to enforce security. ‘I'm against vigilantes,’” the article stated.
Though nothing seemed to have been immediately accomplished, the issue was discussed and hopefully soon the guest-worker programs will be on the front burner again and make the green industry’s life much easier.