"He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water." Isaiah 49:10

Friday, June 1, 2007

The White House and Immigration


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 1, 2007


Room 350
Eisenhower Executive Office Building

1:26 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Please be seated. First, I thank you very much for your hard work on a comprehensive immigration bill and your concern about our country. And the two go hand-in-hand. I believe that now is the time to address the issue of immigration. I think it's in our national security interests, and I think it's in the interest of making sure America never loses sight of who we are.

This is a difficult issue for a lot of folks. I understand that. But because it's difficult probably means we need to work doubly hard to get it done. And now is the time to get it done. No matter how difficult it may seem for some politically, I strongly believe it's in this nation's interest for people here in Washington to show courage and resolve and pass a comprehensive immigration reform.

My administration is deeply involved in this issue. I feel passionate about the issue. I believe it's in this country's interest to solve the problem. I believe it's in our interest when we find a system that is broken to fix it, and the immigration system today is broken. And I've asked Michael and Carlos Gutierrez to work the issue on the Hill, and these men are doing good work. They understand the issue, they understand the bill, and they understand they need to work with the Republicans and Democrats to get the job done.

I say the system isn't working because there's a lot of Americans who say that the government is not enforcing our border. I say the system is broken because there are people coming into America to do work that Americans are not doing, and there are good, decent employers who unknowingly are hiring them, which is against the law.

The system is broken, in my judgment, because there are 11 million to 12 million people living in the shadows of a free society. The system is broken because there are people who are exploiting human beings for material gain. There are coyotes-- those are human smugglers -- charging decent people large sums of money to come and work to put food on the table for their families.

There's a document forgery industry in place, because the system is broken, providing people with false documentation so they can do work that Americans are not doing in order to provide for their families. There are so-called innkeepers providing substandard hovels for people who are smuggled into our country. In other words, we have got a system that is causing people -- good, decent people -- to be exploited. And therefore, now is the time to get it fixed.

For those concerned about border security, this bill focuses on border security. For those concerned about making sure that we have workers available to do jobs -- decent jobs to make sure our economy continues to grow, this bill addresses that issue. For those concerned that we must enable 11 million to 12 million people to come out of the shadows of our society, this bill addresses that. To those concerned about whether or not America will still have the capacity to assimilate the newly arrived, it addresses that issue, too.

This is a good piece of legislation. I'm sure some of you in the audience here will say, well, it's not perfect, there are some aspects of the bill that I would like to see changed. On a piece of legislation this complicated, the question people have to answer is, are we going to sacrifice the good for the sake of the perfect? And my call to you is, is that we need to work on a comprehensive bill together. First of all, I know you're already doing that, so I'm really here to thank you.

I want to address a couple of the key issues that people are addressing. If you want to kill a bill, then you just go around America saying, this is amnesty. In other words, there are some words that illicit strong reactions from our fellow citizens. Amnesty is when a person breaks the law and is completely forgiven for having done so. This bill isn't amnesty. For those who call it amnesty, they're just trying to, in my judgment, frighten people about the bill.

This bill is one that says, we recognize that you're here illegally and there's a consequence for it. We can argue about the consequences, but you can't argue about the fact that there are consequences in this bill for people who have broken our law.

People say, well, the bill is really -- is not going to do much to enforce the border. Well, the truth of the matter is, certain aspects of the law don't come into be until certain border measures are taken. But I would remind people that you cannot fully enforce the border so long as people are trying to sneak in this country to do jobs Americans aren't doing. You can try, but doesn't it make sense to help the Border Patrol do their job, by saying, if you're going to come and do a job, there is a legal way to do it, so you don't have to sneak across in the first place? If you're interested in border security, you've got to recognize that giving people a chance to come and work here on a temporary basis makes it more likely the border will be enforced.

There are some who -- I don't know if they say this explicitly, but they certainly allege or hint that probably the best way to deal with 11 million to 12 million people is to get them to leave the country. That's impossible. That's the kind of statement that sometimes happens in the political process aimed to inflame passion, but it's completely unrealistic. It's not going to happen. And therefore, the fundamental question for those who disagree -- and there's some good folks who disagree on both political parties, I might add -- is, what's the solution?

This bill is not amnesty, but it recognizes that it is impossible for this country to rout people out of our society and "send them home." It's just not going to happen. And so good people have come together and derived a solution based upon compromises that addresses this problem in a humane way.

I recently gave a speech at the Coast Guard Academy, and I was preceded by a young man, a Latino, who stood up as the head of his class, addressing his classmates and their families and the President of the United States. And he talked about his migrant grandfather, how proud the migrant grandfather would be. It struck me again what a remarkable country it is where a person with a dream for his immediate family and future family could come to this country, work hard, make sacrifices, and have his grandson address the President and his class.

This has been the American story for decades and decades -- waves of people looking for a better life, seeking something better for themselves and their families, willing to sacrifice and work hard. And we've got to understand -- and great successes have resulted from that spirit. And this country must never lose sight that what has made us unique and, in my judgment, great is that we welcome people like that in a legal way; that throughout our history there have been the stories of people who have enriched our soul and lifted our spirit by coming to America.

One of the great things about our country is we've had the capacity to welcome people throughout our history. And we've become all Americans. We've got different backgrounds, different heritages, our forefathers may have spoken different languages, but we're all American. We've been able to assimilate under the laws and traditions of our country. And as a result, we're a stronger nation for it.

America must not fear diversity. We ought to welcome diversity. We ought to have confidence in what we have done in the past, and not lose confidence about what we will do in the future.

And so I want to thank you all for joining on a really important piece of legislation. It's the right thing to do. It's the right approach to take. It is right to address a problem. It is right to work with people in both political parties. It is right to argue for what you believe, and recognize that compromise might be necessary to move the bill along. And it is right to take political risk for members of the United States Congress.

I say -- I don't think this is risky, frankly. I don't view this as risk reward. I, frankly, view it as doing what you ought to do. See, people ought to be running for office to do what's right for the United States of America. That's what I believe people run for office for. And so I want you to know that you've got an administration that looks forward to working with people. I will do my best to make sure that this debate does not denigrate into name-calling and finger-pointing. And we'll spend energy and time and effort to help you advance a really important piece of legislation for the good of this country.

I've come by to say thanks. Chertoff and Gutierrez can tell you how the bill has gotten this far and what we see in the future. But I'm looking forward to signing a bill, and I think we will. I truly believe that when people with goodwill and good heart, and focus on helping this country come together, that we can get a good piece of legislation out. And I'm looking forward to signing it. I hope you'll be there when I do.

God bless. Thank you. (Applause.)


  1. JOE ORTIZ: Author of Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation and The End Times Passover is a rare breed among evangelicals.

    By Martha Gonzalez

    Joe Ortiz, author of a two new books entitled Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation and The End Times Passover, considers himself an “evangelical Christian,” but not necessarily beholding to the political fanaticism that is rampant among many of today’s evangelicals. Ortiz can make claims to being an evangelical Christian if that perception is in agreement with the Christian gospel. He also believes in the emphasizing of salvation by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ, through personal conversion, the authority of Scripture, and the importance of preaching the word of God as contrasted with religious ritual, ceremony and tradition. He doesn’t believe in the evangelical principles that require he has to belong to any political party or any denominational church to be a good Christian or an American patriot.

    While Ortiz does not belong to any specific group, he does believe he has been called as a messenger of the Gospel, as is best reflected by the word “evangelist.” However, he is cautious of calling himself an evangelist primarily because that word nowadays connotes a fire and brimstone preacher or an Elmer Gantry-like figure hustling dollars from his audience in exchange for favors from God, an image that he abhors immensely.

    “The etymology for the word ‘evangelist’ derives or comes from the word *angel, or messenger,” said Ortiz, who added; “but, believe me, I’m no angel in the sense of purity but instead one who has learned much of life’s painful journey from past mistakes.”

    “I believe that being a Christian is not about proclaiming to have obtained a holy lifestyle, nor projecting a higher moralistic picture of ourselves to those around us,” adds Ortiz. “But, rather it’s recognizing that all of us humans have been dealt with the card of imperfection, and we need to acknowledge this to one another, carry each other’s burdens, and allow God to work His own righteousness through us.”

    Ortiz is a rare breed among evangelicals. The most well known Hispanic evangelicals more than likely were born in and found in predominately Spanish-speaking countries. However, through the heavy migration to this country from Mexico and other Latin American countries, many Hispanic evangelists can be found amongst a growing amount of Spanish-speaking churches in the United States. Ortiz, however, is primarily a middle-class 3rd generation Mexican American who was born, raised and educated in this country, He became involved in public service after serving in the Air Force as a military policeman, and achieved much acclaim in English-language media and within the Los Angeles political network. His experiences were all in English and he doesn’t make any excuses about not being able to articulate as well in Spanish.

    “I was born at a time that if you even spoke in Spanish during school time, you were either slapped in the face by teachers or sent to the principal’s office,” said Ortiz. “Due to that mind set, I mastered the English-language at a very, very young age, which actually helped me succeed in mainstream broadcasting.”

    Ortiz, who has the distinction of being the first Mexican American in the U.S. to host an English-language talk show on a commercial radio station, distinguished himself on radio and television and as a syndicated newspaper columnist for over 20 years in the highly competitive Los Angeles media market. He began his first job in 1971 at KABC Talk Radio, Los Angeles. Throughout his adult career, Ortiz worked at several social service agencies focusing on job training and occupation development, as both a Job Agent and Parole Officer, and as an educator for several school districts and two colleges in Los Angeles.

    “Most of my social service jobs were motivated by my concerns for underprivileged individuals in the barrios and ghettos of Los Angeles,” said Ortiz. “I also used the platform that radio broadcasting provided me to articulate the problems in those respective communities.”

    He became a born again Christian in 1975. Although he was born and raised a Catholic, he adopted the Assemblies of God doctrine and dropped out of media and social service work for awhile and worked as an evangelist from 1979 to 1985. During this period he also operated as a free-lance public relations company and began writing The End Times Passover in 1984, which would take him about twenty years to complete. In the meantime, in 1986 he returned to broadcasting, this time in the Christian radio market. But he soon dropped that after one year and then hosted straight (secular) talk programs until 1992. Ortiz felt it would be hypocritical to stay in the Christian broadcast field solely to hustle dollars.

    “I’m afraid I became disillusioned by Christian broadcasting,” Ortiz sighed, because he saw how the so-called electronic church spent so little time on teaching and Bible study. “About 85% of their broadcast time focused on entertainment and tactics designed to solicit money for their respective ministries.”

    Ortiz’ secular radio show [Prime Time with Joe Ortiz] became a big hit and he even co-hosted a bigger hit a year later with Mornings with Joe & Cris on KPZE-AM Radio in Anaheim, California, featuring comedian Cris Franco as his co-host.

    “Those shows were lots of fun and it was very much a pioneering venture to see two Latinos, for the first time in history, hosting a daily drive time, 6 to 9 a.m. slot, and killing the competition.”

    But, yet, through all of the success of hosting two prime time shows, and operating a highly successful public relations consultancy, Joe experienced a burn out in the jet set lifestyle of media and politics and left Los Angeles for his hometown of Palm Springs, California. He went to work for Catholic Charities of San Bernardino/Riverside in June 2000 as its Director of Public Relations and Fund Raising and also managed its homeless shelter in Palm Spring until he injured himself in July 2003.

    “That period of time was the most spiritual and redeeming time I ever spent in my life,” said Ortiz, who resided at the shelter he managed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for two and a half years, without a vacation. “Yes, it was hard work, but, very, very gratifying, and it also afforded me the opportunity to finish writing The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation, which I completed both in May 2004.”

    Ortiz’ book has been examined by several writers in the eschatology genre, including Dave MacPherson who wrote several books, including The Rapture Plot, The Incredible Cover Up, The Great Rapture Hoax, Unbelievable Pre-Trib Origin and Late Great Pre-Trib Rapture.

    “The End Times Passover, the book by Joe Ortiz, is not just another prophecy book out of thousands. But I dare not tell you the conclusion because I don't want to spoil your journey. Whatever you do, don't pass over Joe's well-thought-out and scriptural work,” (Dave MacPherson, March 8, 2002)

    Other writers of theological matters have also read Joe’s book and praised it, including Bill Somers, who hosts the End Time Prophetic Vision web site, and Richard Deem the founder and editor of GodAndScience.Org.

    “The reader will find The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation to be a scholarly sound and profound work that will straighten out a lot confusion surrounding biblical issues related to end times prophecy. It will cause many teachers and students of the Bible to rethink much of what they have accepted as 'fact' concerning the end times. Joe Ortiz has done a magnificent job of researching and writing this important book. This is the book I wish I would have written, and I'm sure there are a few others who will wish they had written it as well,” (Bill Somers, May 28, 2004).

    "Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation" is one of the best short books on end times prophecy, and is an excellent rebuttal to the prevalent pre-tribulation rapture teaching. The text is written in an easy to read style, yet cites the relevant scriptures to back up its interpretations. The book has changed the way I look at some end times events, and has clarified my picture of the end times. It is highly recommended reading for those interested in end time's interpretations."
    Mr. Richard Deem is an editor with GodAndScience.Org, an Internet web site that believes there is harmony between the Bible and science, and is also employed as a Researcher/Specialist in the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (4-02-07)
    Humbled by the glowing response, Ortiz still has certain apprehensions about his book. Not that his book isn’t based on profound Bible study and sound theological references, but because much of what he presents goes across the face of orthodoxy and the traditions of many current Protestant doctrines, especially Premillennialists and Dispensationalists. Ortiz stated the adherents of these two doctrines believe that the state of Israel is God’s time clock to Armageddon, and that all Christians should support the State of Israel in all cases, or they will be punished by God. They also believe they will be spared from the wrath of God due to a miraculous event they call The Rapture. This is an event they believe will see Jesus Christ secretly coming down from Heaven to snatch Christians back to Heaven while all hell breaks loose on earth.

    In his new books, Ortiz not only challenges and shatters the Premillennial and the Dispensational doctrines, he provides Biblical documentation that refute many of the notions held by traditional evangelicals and contemporary theologians, including proof that the Christian Church is not the Bride of the Lamb, that there will be no 1000 year (millennial) reign of Christ, that the human soul does not go to Heaven upon death, that the church of God was formed thousands of years before The Day of Pentecost, and that Christians will not be “Raptured” to Heaven. He also presents sound Bible answers that challenge the erroneous notions by certain right wing evangelicals that the Jewish people of Israel are the chosen people of God, and that the region now known as Israel in the Middle East is the Promised Land.

    “The facts I present in my book will upset many right wing evangelicals and people who support the government of the State of Israel,” said Ortiz, who adamantly claims he is not anti-Semitic, but rather a person who loves all of mankind, including Jews, Arabs, Asians, Hispanics, Anglos and blacks and all nationalities, as well. “My book is a treatise that makes a clear distinction between people who actually have faith in Jesus Christ, as opposed to certain factions that believe they have been chosen by God, based on their (unfortunate) interpretation of scripture.”

    Ortiz said that when he started doing the research and writing of his book, he emptied his head of varying doctrines and religious traditions, in an attempt to discover and present the facts as he found them without any influence. Ortiz, who believed in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture for over ten years, said the more he delved into the Greek and Hebrew texts to find out the true meaning of key words in the Bible (through a rigid application of the science of Etymology), the more he realized that premillennialists and dispensationalists have been misguided by former teachers and (more importantly) they have failed to discern God’s word correctly.

    “I have found that most religious people are slow to change the belief system they have been indoctrinated with; some won’t even accept the true facts if they were presented to them on a golden platter.” said Ortiz. “However, if Premillennialists and Dispensationalists will read this book all the way through, I’m certain they will conclude that the Left Behind notions they have been fed are blatant lies and anathema to God’s will.”

    Yes! Joe Ortiz indeed is a rare breed among evangelicals. While he still has a passion for supporting members of the Hispanic community with problems related to the poverty, education and health issues, he is driven more so by his theology.

    “Let’s face it; regardless of how much involvement I spend on these (minority community advocacy) issues, the bottom line for me,” says Ortiz, “if it isn’t in concert with what the Bible tells us, then any thing I do differently will never coincide with God’s will.”

    Martha Gonzalez is a freelance writer based in Redlands, California
    Joe Ortiz web site is http://groups.msn.com/TheEndTimesPassover

  2. I heard about the two books written by Joe Ortiz, obtained them, and want to extend kudos to him for such excellent authoring. Both books show exactly, with careful scholarship, how the end times will play out. They are far from the run-of-the-mill, rehashed, sensational, rapture-rush-jobs so prevalent in many bookstores, which is why I value them so much. I'm convinced that coming world conditions will cause bookstore owners to feature the solid works of Ortiz instead of the frothy rewrites issued by authors such as Lindsey and LaHaye.
    Grateful to Ortiz, Irv