Bush re-entered the immigration debate a decade after he helped inflate the emerging real-estate bubble by allying with real-estate companies and banks to increase mortgage-lending to middle-class or lower-class minorities.
“Fewer than half of the Hispanics and half the African-Americans own their home,” Bush said at the October 2002 White House Conference on Increasing Minority Homeownership. “That’s a homeownership gap. It’s a — it’s a gap that we’ve got to work together to close for the good of our country, for the sake of a more hopeful future.”
The program to aid home purchases by immigrants will add an “additional $256 billion to the economy by encouraging 5.5 million new homeowners in America,” he said. “This project not only is good for the soul of the country, it’s good for the pocketbook of the country, as well.”
In 2006 and 2007, the real-estate bubble burst, affecting many indebted Hispanic homeowners in California and the other southern states.
Since then, more than 5 million homeowners have foreclosed, the median-wealth of African-American and Hispanic families has fallen by a third, President Barack Obama won the 2008 and 2012 elections, and unemployment has risen.
Roughly 23 million Americans are unemployed, underemployed or have left the labor market.