Jeb Bush calls for more foreign students

Gov. Jeb Bush is out of touch with 
Florida citizens.  By calling for the easing of immigration rules and educational funding for international students he is ignoring the tremendous costs of our current immigration crisis.

At a conference in Miami Gov. Bush stated he wants "to create more scholarships for foreign students".  In an era where Florida's public education has plummeted to a pitiful quality and when schools in the US are already terribly overcrowded with the children of up to 20 million illegal aliens, it is astounding that Jeb Bush wants more educational funding for foreign students.  Because a sizable number of international students illegally remain after their J-1 visa expires such a goal undoubtedly would increase the illegal alien population.  These lofty fuzzy goals never seem to include funding so the end result would be degraded education for taxpaying citizens and immigrants (legal) already here. 

Other choice morsels from Jeb Bush are:

  • "Bush noted that tightening of immigration rules was necessary after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, but said enough time has passed for ``a systemic review of policies and procedures.''"
  • "calling for a loosening of visa rules for foreign students"

The border is still unsecured, interior enforcement almost nil, and tracking of student visa holders virtually non-existent so he is quite incorrect to say that rules have been tightened. 

Citizens voices for better citizen's and immigrant's (legal) education and against his irresponsible call for easing of immigration rules are needed. Please consider a letter to the editor to the Miami Herald.  Instructions are at:  You can also express your opinion of his goals at:







Jeb Bush calls for more foreign students

Speakers at The Herald's Americas Conference called for immigration reform and asserted that China's regional interest is business, not politics.

A forceful call by Gov. Jeb Bush to reform U.S. immigration laws and China's long shadow over Latin America were the buzz of the first day of the Americas Conference in Coral Gables on Thursday.

Participants also looked ahead to the summit of presidents and prime ministers in Argentina in November, with diplomats from Washington and Buenos Aires staking out subtle but clear differences over the summit recommendations.

Observers alarmed by China's increasing forays into Latin America were reassured by Jiang Shixue, the deputy director of the Institute of Latin American Studies in Beijing, who told a morning panel that China has an economic interest in Latin America, not a political one.

''Any kind of cooperation is for the purpose of business,'' Jiang said, and the Chinese have no intention of ``annoying the U.S.''

Congressional leaders and President Bush have pledged to make immigration reform a top priority in their agenda, although Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have shifted Washington's focus to more urgent matters.

But Jeb Bush wants immigration back in center stage, calling for a loosening of visa rules for foreign students and an overhaul of immigration policy in order not to ''choke off'' international ties.

Bush, the opening speaker at The Herald's 9th annual Americas Conference held at the Biltmore Hotel, said that if he had two ''fairy godmother'' wishes, one would be to create more scholarships for foreign students in order to generate ''a strong cadre of leaders'' overseas with an intimate understanding of the United States, and to make the immigration service more efficient.

Bush noted that tightening of immigration rules was necessary after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, but said enough time has passed for ``a systemic review of policies and procedures.''

''Immigration is vital to our prosperity,'' he said. ``I get a lot of e-mails from people frustrated going through Miami International Airport. It's not as user-friendly as it used to be.''

Bush said he's particularly troubled by the crackdown on foreign student visas as that limits the number of well-educated professionals who go back to their countries with close ties to the United States.

In the conference's keynote address, Venezuelan business leader Gustavo Cisneros, one of the top shareholders of the Univisisn television network, also said the government needed to act quickly on immigration.

''There are 42 million Hispanics in the U.S. How many of those are legal? God knows. That has to be resolved,'' he said. ``That would be a good message for Latin Americans.''

He also suggested that the Bush administration form a bipartisan commission to promote Latin American relations and help put the Free Trade Area of the Americas back on the hemisphere's agenda. It could be headed by former presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush, he added.

John Maisto, U.S. envoy to the Organization of American States, spelled out U.S. aspirations for the upcoming summit in Argentina. He said Latin American nations had to reform their economies to make it easier for their citizens to invest and compete in the world, reiterating a Bush administration goal.

The administration, he said, expected the summit to ''express support'' for the Doha round of global talks to lower trade barriers, and produce a ''focused'' agenda.

Asked if President Bush may skip the Argentina summit, as some media reports have suggested, Maisto said that Bush's presence ''certainly is the plan'' but that only the White House could confirm his visit.

Argentina, which has attacked ''neoliberal'' policies espoused by the International Monetary Fund, did not shy away from distancing itself, though subtly, from the U.S. approach.

Rodolfo Gil, Argentina's ambassador to the OAS, said his country's economy had grown strongly in recent years, ``being rebellious . . . from that which Ambassador Maisto was asking for.''

Asked what his message for Bush was at the summit, Gil said many Latin Americans are ''mad'' at the United States because ``during the 1990s they were told -- we would become happy countries; that we would have the American way of life; the American dreams.''

Instead there has been ''more exclusion, more poverty, more alienation,'' Gil added.

The President of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo, urged world leaders to help small Caribbean nations cope with surging crime and economic uncertainty. The imminent removal of age-old trade preferences for sugar and bananas could have ''devastating economic consequences and social upheaval,'' he said.

Jagdeo said small countries like Guyana -- with its population of 700,000 people in the lowlands of South America -- cannot compete with large economies that can mass-produce the same products.

He said U.S. policy in the region was inconsistent, citing a U.S. program that helps Guyanese small businesses while at the same time forcing Guyanese rice farmers to compete with cheap subsidized U.S. rice. The U.S. criticizes Guyana's anti-drug program, he added, while giving only $50,000 a year to the impoverished country to help.

''We do not have the resources to deal with these issues,'' he said.

Panamanian President Martmn Torrijos touted his country's virtues for investors, moving on from a crippling month-long strike earlier this year.

''Panama is in the center of trade, and this is a century when trade is going to be important,'' Torrijos said. Panama offers ``political stability, financial stability for investments for the American company.''

Panama was dogged earlier this year by a strike held to protest proposed social security reforms. Despite that work stoppage, the economy grew 6 percent by July, the president said.

The conference continues today with speeches by Charles Shapiro, the top acting U.S. diplomat for Latin America; Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski, the prime minister of Peru; Sen. Mel Martmnez, the Florida Republican, and OAS Secretary General Josi Miguel Insulza.

Herald staff writers Jacqueline Charles, Frances Robles and Joe Mozingo contributed to this report.



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