Reuters, April 9, 2006
WASHINGTON — U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader John Boehner on Sunday rejected efforts to establish a guest worker program in the United States, despite calls from U.S. President George W. Bush to make provisions for millions of current illegal immigrants.
Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said he supported a bill already passed by the House that focuses on tightening up the nation’s borders but does not include a program for temporary workers.
“You can’t begin to talk about a guest worker bill until you secure the borders,” he said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” program. Otherwise, he said, “We’re going to have an endless parade of illegal immigrants here in our country.”
Boehner’s position pits him directly against Bush, who on Saturday blamed Senate Democrats for failing to approve a bipartisan Senate plan that created a temporary guest worker plan and provided a path to citizenship.
Boehner said both the House and the Senate could resolve their disagreements.
Still, he said, “Until we begin to secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws, I don’t think we ought to be talking about a more comprehensive approach.”
Allowing illegal immigrants to stay and work “sounds too much like amnesty for most Americans,” he said.