What Would Reagan Do?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006
OpinionJournal - Featured Article: "This view was apparent in Reagan's public statements well before he became President. In one of his radio addresses, in November 1977, he wondered about what he called 'the illegal alien fuss. Are great numbers of our unemployed really victims of the illegal alien invasion, or are those illegal tourists actually doing work our own people won't do? One thing is certain in this hungry world: No regulation or law should be allowed if it results in crops rotting in the fields for lack of harvesters.' As a Californian, Reagan understood the role of immigrant labor in agriculture.

In 1980, according to the book 'Reagan: His Life in Letters' (page 511), the then-Presidential candidate wrote to one supporter that 'I believe we must resolve the problem at our southern border with full regard to the problems and needs of Mexico. I have suggested legalizing the entry of Mexican labor into this country on much the same basis you proposed, although I have not put it into the sense of restoring the bracero program.' The bracero program was a guest-worker program similar to the one now being proposed by President Bush. It was killed in the mid-1960s, largely due to opposition from unions."

Update: a comment from Terrye, proving once again that she's the smartest of the bunch of us:
"And I can not imagine Reagan building a wall. His thing was tearing them down."


terrye said...

That is true about the Bracero program. As long as that program existed there was not a lot of trouble with people staying. They came, they worked, they left. Once the program was done away with, they sneaked in, they stayed.

And I can not imagine Reagan building a wall. His thing was tearing them down.