- The Washington Times - Monday, April 24, 2006

[2:17 p.m.]

IRVINE, Calif. - President Bush today ruled out deporting current illegal aliens as part of the solution to immigration, saying the government cannot do it.

“Massive deportation of the people here is unrealistic. It’s just not going to work,” he said. “You hear people out there hollering it’s going to work. It’s just not going to work.”

He also called a Senate plan that gives many illegal aliens an automatic path to citizenship “an interesting concept that people need to think through,” but said he still believes illegal aliens need to get at the back of the millions-long green card line.

He said if Congress thinks the green card line is too long, it must raise the number of green cards.

“If Congress wants a shorter line for a particular nationality, they increase the number of green cards,” he said.

Mr. Bush does seem to have backed away from his own call for a three-year program, renewable one time, as he and his cabinet officials articulated over the last two years. Instead, Mr. Bush said yesterday he will accept whatever Congress sends him on that.

“The definition of ‘temporary’ will be decided in the halls of Congress,” he said.

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