ABC's Raddatz incorrectly reported that Bush's guest-worker program would allow participants to "eventually gain citizenship"

››› ››› RAPHAEL SCHWEBER-KOREN

On ABC's World News Tonight, ABC chief White House correspondent Martha Raddatz incorrectly reported that the temporary-worker program that President Bush promoted in his May 15 prime-time address would "allow immigrants to work temporarily in the U.S. and eventually gain citizenship." In fact, in his speech, Bush clearly stated that he supports a guest-worker program that provides temporary work permits and requires participants to leave the country when their work permit expires.

On the May 15 edition of ABC's World News Tonight, ABC chief White House correspondent Martha Raddatz incorrectly reported that the temporary-worker program that President Bush promoted in his speech later that evening would "allow immigrants to work temporarily in the U.S. and eventually gain citizenship." In fact, in his speech, Bush clearly stated that he supports a guest-worker program that provides temporary work permits and requires participants to leave the country when their work permit expires. Bush said that he wants a program that would "create a legal path for foreign workers to enter our country ... for a limited period of time." He also stated that "temporary workers must return to their home country at the conclusion of their stay." Such a program would appear to not provide a path to citizenship for participants.

It appears that Raddatz conflated Bush's comments on the guest-worker program with his statement that some illegal immigrants already in the United States "should be able to apply for citizenship," a separate proposal.

From President Bush's May 15 prime-time address to the nation:

Second, to secure our border, we must create a temporary worker program. The reality is that there are many people on the other side of our border who will do anything to come to America to work and build a better life. They walk across miles of desert in the summer heat, or hide in the back of 18-wheelers to reach our country. This creates enormous pressure on our border that walls and patrols alone will not stop. To secure the border effectively, we must reduce the numbers of people trying to sneak across.

Therefore, I support a temporary worker program that would create a legal path for foreign workers to enter our country in an orderly way, for a limited period of time. This program would match willing foreign workers with willing American employers for jobs Americans are not doing. Every worker who applies for the program would be required to pass criminal background checks. And temporary workers must return to their home country at the conclusion of their stay.

A temporary worker program would meet the needs of our economy, and it would give honest immigrants a way to provide for their families while respecting the law. A temporary worker program would reduce the appeal of human smugglers, and make it less likely that people would risk their lives to cross the border. It would ease the financial burden on state and local governments, by replacing illegal workers with lawful taxpayers. And above all, a temporary worker program would add to our security by making certain we know who is in our country and why they are here.

From the May 15 broadcast of ABC's World News Tonight:

Nearly half of the nation's Guard has already been on at least one deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. So they will be the least likely to be deployed to the border. Those who are sent will be involved in support work, operating sensors, surveillance cameras, or doing office work to free up border agents. Mr. Bush hopes that his plan will also reap political benefits by bringing on board critics of his so-called guest-worker program. That program would allow immigrants to work temporarily in the U.S. and eventually gain citizenship. Tonight, the president will argue again for that program. "There are many people who will do anything to come to America to work," the president will say. "This creates enormous pressure on our border that walls and patrols alone will not stop." Not everyone is convinced. Today, the guest-worker program continued to be the hot topic among conservatives.

Posted In
Immigration, Immigration Reform
Network/Outlet
ABC
Show/Publication
ABC World News Tonight
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