March 11, 2008. Boulder, CO. Authorities arrested two teenagers who physically assaulted a Latino male named Ivan Ponce De Leon-Najera. The teens confronted the man outside of a local convenience store, began calling him racist names, and then began pushing and punching him. As they beat him, reports recounted that they asked “Why are you stealing our jobs?” See the story here.
March 17, 2008. Washington, D.C. George W. Bush addresses the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for the last time as president. [View a full transcript of the speech here.] He praises Hispanics for their “entrepreneurial spirit.” He also laments the failure of a comprehensive immigration bill to reach his desk, saying he is “confident that the day will come when a President signs an immigration bill that secures our borders, respect our laws, and treats people with dignity.” He then transitions to the focus of his address, a discussion on trade. He frames it as both an issue of remaining competitive as well as being altruistic, saying it “adds to our prosperity, but as importantly, it adds to the prosperity our trading partners.” He defends NAFTA, while extolling the as-yet-to-be-ratified trade agreement with Colombia. He says:
Look, I know a lot of folks are worried about trade. There’s neighbors worrying about neighbors losing jobs. People say, well, trade causes us to lose jobs. And I fully understand that. Sometimes trade causes people to lose jobs.