- At a news briefing on Nov. 19, 2014, White House press secretary Josh Earnest claimed that President George H.W. Bush “expanded the family fairness program to cover more than 1.5 million unauthorized spouses and children. This represented about 40 percent of the undocumented population at the time.”
- During an interview on ABC News’ “This Week” on Nov. 23, 2014, President Obama claimed, “If you look, every president — Democrat and Republican — over decades has done the same thing. George H.W. Bush — about 40 percent of the undocumented persons, at the time, were provided a similar kind of relief as a consequence of executive action.”
Much of the news media has repeated this “Bush did the same thing!” meme as “fact”, but it turns out that what Bush did fell far short of handing out free passes to 40% of all illegal aliens
The landmark 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act allowed nearly 3 million illegal immigrants to gain legal permanent residency. However, under typical immigrant patterns, families tend to not all arrive all together.
Thus some family members were able to qualify under the 1986 act while other members faced deportation. President Reagan first eased the rules to allow minor children to stay; in 1990, President Bush extended this to cover older children and spouses.
These new rules did not apply to all illegal aliens, but only to those with an adult member who had qualified for legal permanent residency. And they did not make legal residents of those who qualified; it merely allowed them to keep their families together as they moved through the naturalization process legally.
Over the next four years, only about 150,000 people applied for this special status.
Barack Obama’s slavishly uncritical media cannot turn
- “illegal spouses and children of legal immigrants” into
- “anybody Obama wants to turn into a new Democrat voter”
nor can they make
- 150,000 magically equal