HOOVER, TRUMAN, EISENHOWER, AND BONO
It may seem incongruous to see the names Hoover, Truman, Eisenhower, and Bono in a title, but let me tell you they had something in common. The first three were Presidents Of The United Stated of America, and the last served in The United States Congress. They all voiced opposition to illegal immigration.
In 1929, Hoover authorized the Mexican Repatriation program to combat rampant unemployment. This was an attempt to help in ending The Great Depression by deportation of Illegal immigrants. In 1929, Herbert Hoover (August 10,1874-October 20,1964) the 31st President of The United States authorized the Mexican Repatriation program to combat rampant Mexican immigrants who were taking American jobs, and demanding publics services which were in short supply due to sagging government revenues. The program was largly a forced migration of approximately 500,000 Mexican illegals and also regretably Mexican Americans got caught up in the rush. FDR continued the program through 1939
This forced repatriation was based on the Quota Act of 1924 which limited immigration from over 1,000,000 people annually to under 100,000 people annually. This program was overseen by Secretary of Labor William Doak and nearly 20% of those deported were Mexicans. They were herded back over ihe US Mexico border. Some were put on trains and delivered deep into Mexico to discourage their return.
To this date there has been no apology of the US Federal Government for this action although some hispanic members of congress have introduced resolutions to extract such apologies. The State of California is the only state to apologize in 2005.
At the end of World War II, Harry S. Truman (May 8,1884-December 26,1972) the 33rd President of the United States found himself in a similar situation by 1948. Returning veterans found their jobs unavailable due to high levels of illegal immigration. The US economy fell into a post-war recession. As a result of the unrest among returing unemployed veterans Truman deported over 2,000,000 illegal aliens during this time.
Truman did succesfully integrate the US military in this time frame so his immigration action was based on legal action and lacked any tinge of racism. Truman also fired General Douglas MacArthur when he was defied in his stance in the Korean conflict. MacArthur wanted to nuke the Chinese but Truman who had previousy nuked the Japanese held firm in his decision. With “Give em’Hell Harry there was no doubt who was in charge. He showed true compassion for those who had been oppressed, but he was a tiger if his authority was challenged.
I often hope that I meet Truman in the afterlife. I would really like to know the torment of the decision to use the worlds first Nuclear Bomb.
Following his election in 1952 Dwight David Eisenhower (October 14,1890-March 28,1969) became the 34th President of The United States. He carried on with Truman’s anit-illegal immigration policy. The hero of the ETO (European Theater of Operation) was an overwhelming favorite of the public. The only question concerning his election was which political party affiliation would he choose. Growing up in conservative Abilene Kansas, Ike chose the Republican Party as he thought they best reflected the values instilled in him from the time of his birth.
Eisenhower went one better than Truman on anti-illegal immigration policy. Burgoining numbers of illegal Mexican immigrants prompted Eisenhower to institute “Project Wetback” in 1954 under the auspices of The Customs and Immigration Service. He appointed longtime friends John Cox and General Joseph Swing as INS Commisioners. Eisenhower had a sense of urgency about illegal immigration upon assumption of office and communicated such in a letter to Senator William Fulbright. In the letter he quoted an article in the New York Times that stated that illegal Mexican border crossings had exploded to a sum of over 1,000,000 cases per year.
During implemtation of this program over 500,000 illegal Mexican immegrant fled voluntarily across the border for fear of being caught. Others were put on farries and taken over 500 miles south. The INS drove many illegals across the border on foot and others were herded by train. The combined efforts of Truman and Eisenhower resulted in approximately 13,000,000 illegals being deported. Ike much as his predecessor was the man in charge.
Now we come to the one person on the list who seems inconguous. What could Salvatore Phillip “Sonny” Bono ( February 15,1935- January 5, 1998) possibly have in common with the three great presidents listed above?
In 1994 during Sonny’s congressional run I personally saw a TV reporter ask him a question as he was rushing through the airport to catch a plane. The reporter asked ” Mr. Bono what is your position on illegal immigration?” Sonny logically replied,”It’s illegal.”
Kudos, Sonny gave a great reply direct, to the point, and not capable of being misunderstood.