Every president needs some big issue that they can go against the grain on.
Something that can be their 'Nixon in China' moment. It was said that Nixon
was able to muster the political support to open the doors to communist
China because he had such strong anti-communist credentials.
For Clinton, the issue was welfare reform. If a Republican had tried to go
in and make such huge sweeping changes in the welfare laws, he would have
met with much opposition.
Now George W. Bush has defined his Nixon in China issue as immigration reform.
It is obvious that he is doing this now during an election year to pander to the growing Hispanic vote. But I applaud his effort anyway because it is long overdue and it needs to be done. The illegal immigrants that I met when I was growing up were some of the hardest working people I have ever known. They provide a needed service in our society and they should be allowed to do so without the constant fear of deportation hanging over them. This will also free up our border patrol people to concentrate on the real problem areas - the drug smugglers and the terrorists coming across the borders.
I hope that Bush will stick to his guns and not give in to pressure from both the right and left to abandon this initiative.