President and the Constitution
President George W. Bush left a legacy after his two terms in government. His entire term involved attempts to change some fundamental policies of the constitution that saw him either supported by his Republican counterparts or criticized by His Democratic rivals. Since his election in 2000, his term has had major events (Bush, 2010). Some of which led him to make the drastic attempts at change of policy. His tenure has been roughened by 9/11 terrorist attacks, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and Hurricane Katrina.
Some of the major changes he attempted were on the administration response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, reorientation of important aspects of domestic policy and efforts to enhance a dominant Republic majority.
The main electoral strategy used by Bush pre-empted the traditional Democratic issues like education and healthcare. It could be noted that the size of the federal budget and national debt grew substantially during his terms.
The United States is deemed as a country of immigrants and has a wide variety of nationalities. It functions on three values; democracy, freedom and equality (Bush, 2010). As a result, there has been a rise in the number of immigrants into the country. Some are legal while others illegal. Those who support immigration of non Americans argue on the basis that the immigrants do low paying jobs that otherwise would not be done by the Americans. They also argue that they pay taxes and are too many to be removed from the country. In contrast, those who advocate for more restrictive immigration policies argue that illegal immigrants use social services that are funded by the tax payers’ money and commit offences while getting away with them. They also say that they fill jobs that should be done by the Americans. In addition, they also say that they threaten internal security and create opportunities for terrorists to enter the country.
In President Bush gave an outline of his plan on the change of immigration policy in 2006. He suggested that a new investment would be made on border security and by 2008; the border patrol would be doubled (William, 2004). He would also temporarily deploy 6000 National Guard troops. The second plan was to establish a temporary worker program, which included a tamper proof identification card. There would also be stricter immigration enforcement at businesses. The immigrants would be helped to assimilate by the requirement of learning English. Lastly, a rational middle ground on granting an automatic path to citizenship and a mass deportation program would be enacted.
His efforts to implement it came under great criticism because conventionally, the Republicans were not pro – immigrants while the Democrats did not approve of a Republican getting the credit for reform. Despite his display of reform, it seemed like the new policy would be a dilemma to the immigrants who had lived for a long time in the United States (Edwards, George C. III and Desmond S. King, 2010). Their hard work and toil was recognized but they to go back to their native country so as to legalize their citizenship. If they left, they would have no chance of coming back to the States until after 10 years. This would make an otherwise legal alien illegal. In May 16, 2001 Republican George Gekas introduced House Bill 1885 which waived the return requirement.
However, after the September 11 terrorist attack, the Bush administration turned to draconian enforcement and racist policies. They no longer focused on immigration reform. It has been further documented that after the September 11 terrorist attacks the Bush administration enforced policies that enabled racial profiling. Those targeted were the Arab Americans and Muslims. They were constantly targeted by law enforcement officers.
The criteria that they used included; ethnicity, national origin and religion. The targeted groups were constantly harassed at the airports and enforcement of visa regulations was tough on them. On a broader scale, the profiling resulted to detaining, extensive monitoring and forced registration of individuals who were of Middle Eastern descent.
Human Rights Commissions define racial profiling as the act of assuming that people of a particular race are more likely to engage in offences than others. They further say that the concept belies the fundamental tenets of equality in the constitution. Since the 5th amendment of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment does not allow enforcing law selectively based on race.
President Bush allowed the federal officials to round up many Arabs, Muslims and Arab Americans in their hundreds. They were rounded as material witnesses in investigations on the terrorist attacks. They were even detained on minor immigration violations.
Since 9/11, 5,000 people had been arrested and detained by the FBI and USCIS on charges relating to terror. No convictions have been made but most of them were deported for minor visa offences.
The Bush Administration policy changes left the immigrants unfairly treated and unprotected. The new immigration policies created rights that were based on national origin, race and ethnicity.
Through his tenure, these hot issues on immigration and racial policy tainted his image as a president in the country as well as internationally. However, he still maintains the idea that he is a strong leader and decisive in what he wants.
Bush has been described as the most polarizing president in polling history. In the first Gallup poll, he was found to be having the highest level of disapproval of any new president since polling began.
To conclude we can find out that president Bush did so many things during his time as a president. Some of the things which he focused on were health and education. There was also another issue of immigration. United States was filled with a lot of immigrants may be because of its three values; democracy, freedom and equality. Since people were comfortable in United States, they moved there as immigrants. Some people were for immigration while others were against it. Those who were for it argued that immigrants were involved in low paying jobs and never got quality services as non immigrants got. Those against it argued that immigrants enjoyed services funded by tax payers’ money. President Bush intended to come up with policies which were a bit favorable to immigrants. For instance, there was to be restriction before getting in to business and they had to learn English. It was not very automatic for immigrants to get citizenship. However these policies was to be in a way that it favors immigrants. However the problem came after the 9/11 attacks. The policies to favor immigrants were ignored and brought policies which enabled racial profiling. Those targeted were the Arab Americans and Muslims. They were constantly targeted by law enforcement officers.
Bush, W. G. (2010). Decision Points. Retrieved 14th April 2010 from m http://www.randomhouse.com/crown/features/decision-points-by-george-w-bush/
Edwards, George C. III and Desmond S. King, (2010). Introduction. 1-28
William, F. (2004). Bush Policies Encourage Racial Profiling; U.S. Panel Says (2004). Final Call.com News. Retrieved 14th April 2010 from http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/article_1651.shtml