RUSH: Well, no, no, no. I understand. Hey, we are so far away from turning into the Democrats, based on where they are right now, that doesn’t concern me. If there is any concern on this, that I have, it is I think you represent a large body of thought in the country. If you go back to Arizona, Arizona had Proposition 200, which was designed basically to allow illegals to come in and access the healthcare system in Arizona. John McCain wrote an op-ed in the paper out there saying it was a stupid thing. It passed. It passed by — What was it? — almost 60%, and 44% of immigrants voted the right way on this. It’s clearly something that people in Arizona, New Mexico, California, Texas wanted. It’s a huge issue to a lot of people. What I’m trying to do is understand it, and as best I can understand it, it boils down to being a temporary worker program with amnesty, and it’s based on the assumption that we can’t round up thousands and thousands and thousands of illegals and deport them.
It’s based on the fact that that’s impractical, that that wouldn’t work, that it’s not a picture that we want seen, and that it’s not a step that we’re prepared to take. So they’re here, and let’s do what we can to authenticate them, identify them, match them up with their employers, and then give them a temporary card that legalizes them, and then after a passage of time, forces them to make up their minds. Are you going to stay? If so, then become legal. If not, then you go. I think that’s pretty much it, although there may be variations of this on either side of it. But the president made it plain in the debate. He referred to these people as ‘temporary workers,’ but no amnesty. In fact, let’s go back. He was asked, ‘What should we do about the 8,000 people that cross our borders illegally every day?’
His answer was: ‘We are increasing the border security of the U.S. There ought to be a temporary worker card that allows a willing worker and a willing employer, so long as there’s not an American willing to do that job, to join up. I don’t believe we ought to have amnesty. I don’t think we ought to reward illegal behavior. There are plenty of people standing in line to become citizens. If they want to become a citizen, they can stand in line too — and here’s where my opponent and I differ. In September 2003 he supported amnesty for illegal aliens.’ So the president said, ‘I don’t believe we ought to have amnesty.’ I misspoke earlier when I thought I’d heard him say that during the debates. Clearly, this is something that a lot of the American people are fed up with, and when you put it in the context of national security, when you put it in the context of protecting the borders so that terrorists can’t find an easy way to immigrate. Let’s face it, not everybody that gets in is going to try to find an employer in the first place.
There are going to be some here that don’t go to work, and one of the problems is, some come here for the express purpose of accessing the so-called safety net, and they do it, and this is infuriating to people. As long as, you know, an undocumented worker is not taking the job that an American is willing to do, you know, that’s one thing, and if you want to find and locate those people and match them up and give them a period of time to get legal, okay. I understand that. But that cannot allow a lax attitude about people that come here illegally without any intention whatsoever of getting a job, being matched up with an employer. Let’s face it, with all these people crossing the border, each and every day, you have to make a reasonable assumption that some of them are up to no good. Some of them are here for all kinds of potential nefarious reasons and they need to be ID’d as well and gotten rid of. The moment they’re found. Here’s Jim in San Diego. You’re next, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. Mega dittos.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: There’s massive enforcement on these borders. I mean, there may be some impression out there — I’m in San Diego. We deal with this every day for years. There is an army, effectively. There’s massive enforcement of these — of these immigration laws, which ought to be enforced, but — but the president says 300,000 people come in a year anyway. I mean, there simply aren’t the resources to do this. So I completely support the president.
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait. There aren’t the resources to do what? Round them up and deport them?
CALLER: Just what you were saying earlier, to round these people up. There are millions, apparently, in the United States right now, and it actually takes human beings who have federal jobs and pensions and so forth to go around and try and find these people. I mean, there simply aren’t the federal resources to do it, and I agree with the president. Let’s give them legal status if they actually have a job here, and after a while like the old Bracero program of 50 years ago, let them go back to Mexico at the end of three years, and this is a very dangerous issue politically because I saw out here Pete Wilson virtually destroy the Republican Party on this issue with Prop 187. And we have the results of it out here right now. We’re a blue state, thanks in some parts to Pete Wilson just jumping right on this thing.
RUSH: Because of immigration is what —
CALLER: Yeah. Well, I’m telling you, whether people like it or not, this kind of activity is viewed as, I hate to say the word as a conservative but this is viewed as racist by the Mexican-American community, and we can cock all we want about having gone from 35% to 44% in the elections. It didn’t happen here in California and it happened in Texas where Bush is very familiar with these problems. He has a sensitivity on both sides of these issues because it’s a problem. It’s a very serious problem going both ways. But there is a serious political cost to this, and it will show up, and people like me and George Bush who live on the border and deal with this and realize that we have bi-cultural societies here, parts of families on both sides of the borders and so forth and so on, it’s not just a cut and dried issue. I am — I and George Bush am completely opposed to illegal crossings, but I am in favor of putting people in a legal status for a temporary time to fill jobs —
CALLER: — that Americans want them to have.
RUSH: Look, that’s okay. Listen, let’s set that aside for a moment. I don’t even want to argue about that. We’re still not talking about the problem of the illegals coming across the border. We can sit here and implement this policy all day long and what we’re going to end up doing is saying, “Come on over, be illegal, we’ll absorb you and we’ll let you find a worker and so forth in and in three years we’ll match you up and if you match up, we’ll put you in line to become a citizen.” Meanwhile, we’re doing nothing about the influx. If we’re going to allow ourselves to be stopped, controlling our borders, because it’s “racist…” You know, I’m tired of acting defensive about this. As a conservative, all my life I’ve been impugned, as we all have: “Racist! Sexist! Bigot! Homophobe!” Screw it! I don’t care what they say! Doing the right thing is what matters here, and it’s not racist anyway to act defensive about it. The president doesn’t have political concerns, all right? The president’s not running for re-election. The president’s got a clear four-year agenda here. He’s not setting up a vice president. There’s nothing he has to be political about, in terms of doing the right thing if he wants to. He doesn’t have to worry about his opinion polls.
He doesn’t have to worry about whether it’s going to factor into his own re-election or Cheney’s because neither are going to be on the ballot. Now I’m sure he’s got some loyalty to the Republican Party and I’m not saying he shouldn’t and doesn’t. But believe me, if we want to expand our base and if we want to actually stand up for the country and its values. This is an issue that’s made to order here, and if we’re going to kowtow to all this talk, “Well, it’s racist and the usual suspects are going to stand up and call us racist.” I’d say Jesse Jackson’s pretty much been marginalized, folks. I mean, these calls and charges of racism have been made so often that they’re baseless and empty by now, and the same thing is going to happen. It’s not racist to enforce the law. It’s not racist to tell people they’re coming here. Are we supposed to let the charge of racism force us to sit back and have the taxpayers of this country provide healthcare and education for people who don’t even have jobs here and who are here illegally? This business: We’re a bi-culture country; we’re a multi-culture country,” but we actually shouldn’t be.
There is a dominant — there used to be, anyway — a dominant American culture that immigrants came here and found and learned and became a part of. Too much of this is led to Balkanization. We got this culture living over there; we got this culture living over there; we got that culture living over there. Yeah, it’s a melting pot but the people that came here and formed this country came because there were distinct values in this country they were denied elsewhere. They did not come here and set up their own little quasi-countries within ours, set up their own ways of living, and then get in everybody’s face about it. That has been happening for the longest time. Well, I guess pretty long time, 30, 40 years, and it’s simply based on the fact that we got lax and didn’t force people to acculturate into the American system, and there’s nothing wrong with forcing people to do that. It’s actually the greatest benefit they can have by moving here, to acculturate themselves into the United States of America — and the bilingual arguments have been going on all these years and it’s led to this quasi-Balkanization, but I really sort of flip a switch here when I — when I’m told that we can’t do this or do that because they’re going to call us racist. I know. They just did. They called us racist throughout this campaign. Bigots, sexists, all this sort of names. I mean, there’s so much hate from the left these days and it’s killing them, not us. None of this makes any sense. These defensive measures, “Don’t do it because what are they going to see about it! Don’t do it because of what the charges are going to be! Don’t do it because of the politics of it!” Redefine the politics of it. Redefine what the right thing is to do, to heck with the politics of it. That’s what I meant earlier by saying, “Okay, look, we’ve won the election but we haven’t won the game,” and there’s a thing that we need to do now, above and beyond just counting the votes, and that is, in addition to realigning the country party-wise, it’s time to get a conservative agenda out there so that it can be seen by all these brand-new people paying attention and understand that it is the way they lead their lives already; it’s time for them to start voting this way.
It’s time to advance conservatism in this country. It’s time to advance. We’ve got a good start here, but just because we won the election doesn’t mean it’s time to say, “Okay, we won.” Now we go back to trying to get along with these people. That’s not how we got where we are. They don’t want to get along with us. I’m not talking about the immigrants. I’m talking about the liberal opposition, which claims to speak for these people. But you have these immigrants come into this country. Those that do get acculturated and those that do find work and do become citizens, they agree with me. They don’t want a bunch of illegals coming in taking their jobs after a while. You know, they become Americans. That’s the whole point here, and I think this is a great opportunity to advance politically, the political concept of Americanism. Call it conservatism or whatever you will. Constitutional liberty — and this is an excellent issue on which to do it. It’s just an opportunity waiting to be embraced by somebody who can make a name and a career on this. We’ll be back on this. Stay with us.
RUSH: I have to remind some of you of a little story. Some of you have not probably heard this. It goes a ways back. I was talking to my grandfather, oh, two or three years after this program started so I guess it would be 1990 or ’91, and he wanted to know what the big issues were that we were talking about. I said, “Pop,” and this is 1990, 91, “Immigration, that’s all anybody wants to talk about it, and they’re fed with it and they are concerned. They’re convinced that this Mexican immigration is going to be the ruination of the country,” and he laughed at me and he said, “You know, it reminds me of my high school debate topic in like 1910.” His high school debate topic in 1910: Resolved: Southern European immigration will destroy America,” and he said, “You know, we argued about it back then and it was at the birth of the country, practically, when all these people were coming in from Southern Europe,” and he meant Italy and Greece and other places. He sort of laughed and he said, “People have just been afraid of this all over the place.” Now, are there any differences between southern European immigration and what’s happening today?
See, most people’s historical reference begins the day they were born and that’s why a lot of people think they’re living in the worst times ever because they weren’t alive when times were really bad, and so, you know, history, education, is what it is and in some places that’s good; in some places it’s bad but immigration has been a constant in the debate in this country and it’s always had its cadre of people who think it’s going to ruin us — and illegal. I mean, his debate topic, illegal immigration, Southern European illegal immigration will destroy the country. Now it’s immigration from Mexico, the Southern Hemisphere, the militant Islamists and this sort of thing. Is there any difference today? Is there any difference between immigration and who is coming in and immigration in the early 1900s and who was coming in then? And some way say, “Hey, you know, we had all kinds of different criminal gangs and elements that came into this country from their own countries, and then when the Soviet Union blew up, you know, the Russian Mafia ended up operating out of the Bronx and out of Queens and so forth and they quickly took over as the baddest guys in town in New York and that happened in the ’90s.”
You read stories about that in the ’80s and the ’90s. So is there really any difference today, and of course everybody living today would say, “Hell, yes, there’s a difference! Couldn’t possibly have been as bad back then. Didn’t have nuclear weapons. You can take these variables and throw them into the mix,” but I’ll tell you what, as you ponder that, because it is interesting to ponder, that it’s been a debate and a visceral debate for as long as we’ve had the country. Illegal immigration has just fired people up like you can’t believe. But let’s say that you do conclude, and let’s say that the president — this is hypothetical — will conclude that it’s worse now than it’s ever been and we got to do something about it. All right? So here comes: “Well, we can’t do anything about it, Mr. President. The political ramifications.” I mean, if you single out immigration from a particular country, why, the representatives of that country in this country are going to call us racist and so forth and so on. So how do we deal with this?
“Well, we need to bring these individual groups in and talk to them. We need to cut deals with these people.” No, no, no. See, that’s where we go wrong in all this. You go wrong if you want to get something done. Let’s say you want to pass a bill or make an outreach to the black community, or the Hispanic community. The tendency in this country is to go to the representatives of those groups. So you’d bring in Al Sharpton or the Reverend Jackson or whoever the presumptive head of the group is and then you go to the Hispanic leaders and bring them in, and all you do is get stonewalled. Okay, then you go to their Congressmen. You go talk to their Congressmen and strike a deal with people that represent them. That’s a mistake too — and I’ll tell you, the lesson for how to get anything done in this country has been taught by countless presidents. It was taught by FDR; it was taught by Ronald Reagan, and it was taught by George Bush in this last election. You know what the lesson is?
You don’t mess around with members of Congress — I mean, for things like this, you don’t — and you don’t mess around with the individual representatives of these different and disparate constituency groups. You don’t go bring in some labor union leader and say, “Hey, I want the support of your people because he can’t guarantee it anyway. All he’s going to do is want your money and a seat of power at your table. You need to go to the American people.” Yes, my friends, you simply go right to the American people. That’s what Bush did in this campaign, and it worked. It had all the liberals out there trashing Bush left and right, but he just was who he was, presented himself as he is to the American people. Look what happened. Reagan, mainstream press tried to ruin and defile Ronald Reagan’s reputation. He didn’t care. He went right to the American people. He spoke to the American people during his press conferences under the guise of answering questions from Sam Donaldson. Just go to the American people with it. If it’s immigration, go to the American people. Don’t worry about whether you’ll be called racist or not. Go to the American people. Because you know who they are? They’re the voters. And that’s how you get things done. You go to the voters, folks, whatever the issue is.