Tags: Barack Obama | George W. Bush | Immigration | Obama | Bush | speech | immigration

Obama Borrowed Heavily From Bush 2006 Immigration Speech

By    |   Friday, 21 November 2014 01:29 PM

In his Thursday night address on immigration, President Barack Obama often cited previous presidents to justify taking executive action and even cited his immediate predecessor, who called immigrants "a part of American life."

In fact, White House speechwriters used a May 2006 Oval Office address delivered by George W. Bush as a framework for Obama's remarks, reports USA Today.

"It really did strike me as a clearer statement of compassionate conservatism than Bush ever really was able to make," University of Mary Washington professor Chad Murphy told USA Today.

"That the speeches are so similar really confirms that for me. He's basically saying that if you work with us and start paying taxes, we welcome you. If you don't, we will punish you."

For example, in his address, Bush countered his critics who maintained his policy was akin to amnesty, saying that "some in this country argue that the solution is to deport every illegal immigrant and that any proposal short of this amounts to amnesty. I disagree."

Last night, Obama said: "I know some of the critics of this action call it amnesty. Well, it's not."

A video montage produced by CNN demonstrates the striking similarities between the two speeches.

Story continues below video.


It was not the first time Obama has borrowed from Bush on immigration.

"This speech could almost word for word have been delivered by George W. Bush on the exact same subject," former Bush speechwriter Matt Lattimer told The Los Angeles Times after reading text from a speech Obama delivered on immigration in July 2010.

Although the presidents' rhetoric may be similar, the nature of their executive action differ.

"It is true that President Ronald Reagan utilized executive action in 1987 to grant a limited deportation reprieve to certain spouses and young children of immigrants. But his order was a logical and direct extension of, not a departure from, an existing amnesty law Congress had already passed. His exemption and a subsequent extension by his successor, President George H.W. Bush, were later incorporated into a new law passed by Congress," notes Fox News' Gregg Jarrett.

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In his Thursday night address on immigration, President Barack Obama often cited previous presidents to justify taking executive action and even cited his immediate predecessor, who called immigrants "a part of American life."
Obama, Bush, speech, immigration, borrowed, executive action
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2014-29-21
Friday, 21 November 2014 01:29 PM
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