How times have changed. A video of George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan discussing immigration during a Texas Republican primary debate in 1980 is going viral — again. California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom first shared the video on Facebook back in February, but it's making the rounds once more for how it stands in contrast to the rhetoric we've heard from Donald Trump and other Republicans this election cycle.
"This video is shocking," wrote Newsom. "The way that Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush talked about immigration and the US/Mexico border in 1980 — during a presidential debate — you would think that they were Democrats. What has become of the Republican Party?"
This video is shocking. The way that Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush talked about immigration and the US/Mexico...Posted by Gavin Newsom on Sunday, February 28, 2016
The video starts with an audience member asking the Republican candidates whether children of undocumented immigrants should be allowed to attend Texas schools free or whether their parents should pay for their education.
Bush answered by saying that the kids should get "whatever it is that society is giving to their neighbors" and that undocumented immigrants are "really honorable, decent, family-loving people," even if they are in violation of the law. "The answer to your question is much more fundamental than whether they attend Houston schools, it seems to me," Bush added.
"If they're living here, I don't want to see a whole thing of 6- and 8-year-old kids being made, one totally uneducated and made to feel that they're living outside the law. Let's address ourselves through the fundamentals." He ended by saying, "These are good people, strong people."
Reagan followed up on Bush's comments, saying, "Rather than talking about putting up a fence, why don't we work out some recognition of our mutual problems, make it possible for them to come here legally with a work permit, and then while they're working and earning here, they pay taxes here."
What would the two former presidents think of Trump's comments calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals and advocating for a massive wall along the US-Mexico border?