From Classy To Trashy—The Transformation Of GOP Immigration Stance

Priyanka Prasad
A video showing George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan discussing immigration demonstrates exactly how crazy the Republican party has become.
Reagan And Bush Sure Sound Different On Immigration Than Today...

The Bush-Reagan Republican primary debate over illegal immigration played out very differently in 1980 than it's playing out now. #GOPdebate

Posted by Newsy on Thursday, January 14, 2016

In 1980, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan participated in a Republican primary debate; one of the topics they discussed was illegal immigration.

Newsy recently posted video footage of portions of the debate in which Bush and Reagan go back and forth on illegal immigration, and it is completely shocking—these revered Republicans sound like Democrats.

The dignity, class, empathy, and common sense both Bush and Reagan exude when deliberating on illegal immigration is astounding in its stark contrast to the current GOP field.

Reagan says, “Rather than talking about putting up a fence, why don’t we work out some recognition of our mutual problems, make it possible for them to come here legally with a work permit?”

Donald Trump would find this logic abhorrent.

Bush notes that, “We’re creating a whole society of really honorable, decent family loving people that are in violation of the law…These are good people, strong people.”

Let’s take a minute to compare this statement to what Trump believes Mexican immigration is doing: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best…They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

It’s deeply disturbing to see the disparity between the two, and how far the GOP and its voters have sunk.

Both Reagan and Bush advocate for opening borders and rationally recognizing the impact Mexican immigrants have on the American economy. As Bush puts it, “I’d like to see something done about the illegal alien problem that would be so sensitive and so understanding about labor needs and human needs.”

Now, we see no Republican candidates with such pragmatic and sympathetic views. Instead, we have Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, who would heartily deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. These are our front-runners.

Ronald Reagan is probably turning in his grave.