Monday, April 10, 2006

Illegal Alien Issues Are Personal for Bush - Los Angeles Times

Alien Issues Are Personal for Bush - Los Angeles Times:

"During the 2000 election, Bush previewed a campaign video from ad-maker Lionel Sosa that used emotion-laden themes to woo Latinos.

As he watched, Sosa recalled, Bush's face lighted up. 'How much do you need for this?' Bush asked as the two men sat with Rove in the governor's mansion in Texas, Sosa said.

Sosa replied that it would take $3 million. According to the ad-maker, Bush then turned to Rove, saying: 'Give him five.'

Four years later, Sosa produced a variation of that video for the 2004 campaign that was mailed to Latino voters across the country.

The video includes images that would probably rile those who today are calling for the most restrictive immigration laws.

At one point, Bush is shown waving a Mexican flag. The footage was shot, Sosa said, during a Mexican Independence Day parade in San Antonio in 1998, when Bush was running for reelection as governor.

The five-minute video, narrated by Bush, opens with an image of him fishing on his property near Crawford, Texas, as he essentially described millions of Americans who populate his home state as the true foreigners in someone else's native land.

'About 15 years before the Civil War, much of the American West was northern Mexico,' Bush says in the video. 'The people who lived there weren't called Latinos or Hispanics. They were Mexican citizens, until all that land became part of the United States.

'After that, many of them were treated as foreigners in their own land,' Bush adds.

He says the 'Latino spirit' was fueled by 'strong conservative values' of family, a strong work ethic, faith in God, patriotism and personal responsibility. 'These values are my values,' Bush says. 'I live by them, and I lead by them.'

As Bush speaks in the video, the background music — a Latin beat — grows louder. The president is pictured waving the Mexican flag, hugging a Latino woman, and then holding a Latino baby."

Now, Levine runs her company, MFI International Manufacturing, with her husband, employing hundreds of people in plants in El Paso and across the border in Juarez.

She said Bush understood the nature of border cities in Texas, where their Mexican counterparts are essentially pieces of the same community. Now, Levine said, she can drive from her home in El Paso to her plant in Juarez in half the time it takes her to get from home to the plant in El Paso.

"It's not like we're two communities. We're one region," she said. "People in other places don't realize that."

And neither the U.S. Constitution, nor the Mexican constitution acknowledges that(yet.)

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