MSNBC host Rachel Maddow pointed out on Thursday that Republicans’ staunch opposition to comprehensive immigration reform did not begin during President Barack Obama’s administration.
“Not that long ago it was President [George W.] Bush pushing for immigration reform and [Sen.] Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (R-AL) and Rush Limbaugh beating him so he would not get it,” Maddow said.
Maddow showed footage of a 2006 address Bush gave promoting a “middle ground” in immigration policy, which in turn led to a 2007 bill that he hoped to push through Congress. But the bill failed in the Senate despite generating bipartisan support, with 33 Republicans voting it down.
At the time, Maddow said, critics of Bush’s policy were “elated” to see it fail. Sessions openly credited conservative talk radio as being “a big factor” in the opposition, saying proponents wanted to rush the bill through “before Rush Limbaugh could tell the American people what was in it.”
“A Democratic senator by the name of Barack Obama voted for that Bush bill, by the way,” Maddow said on Thursday. “But not enough Republicans did, even though the Bush White House wrote the bill.”
The Bush administration subsequently moved unilaterally to implement immigration reforms, Maddow explained, despite losing so decisively.
(Sources: MSNBC and RawStory.com)