“The immigration debate is a vital debate for our country. It’s important that we have a serious debate, one that discusses the issues. But I urge members of Congress and I urge people who like to comment on this issue to make sure the rhetoric is in accord with our traditions. I look around the table and I recognize that we’ve got people from different backgrounds, different heritages. We all may have different family histories, but we all sit around this table as Americans.
And, therefore, when we conduct this debate it must be done in a civil way. It must be done in a way that brings dignity to the process. It must be done in a way that doesn’t pit one group of people against another. It must be done in a way that recognizes our history. I think now is the time for the United States Congress to act to get an immigration plan that is comprehensive and rational and achieves important objectives.”
– March 23, 2006; Remarks by the President after a meeting on immigration reform with the agricultural community, the faith community, and the concerned citizen community about immigration.