George W. Bush Calls Immigration ‘A Blessing,’ Urges Washington To Tone Down Rhetoric

By By Nelson Oliveira, New York Daily News

Former President George W. Bush praised America’s immigrant roots and urged elected officials to change the country’s immigration laws.

“America’s elected representatives have a duty to regulate who comes in and when,” he said during a naturalization ceremony Monday in Texas. “In meeting this responsibility, it helps to remember that America’s immigrant history made us who we are. Amid all the complications of policy may we never forget that immigration is a blessing and a strength.”

The former president was speaking at a George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, where dozens of people were taking an oath to become U.S. citizens. He was joined by his wife, former First Lady Laura Bush.

The remarks come days after President Trump issued his first veto blocking a bill that sought to stop his February emergency declaration, which gives him power to fund a wall in the border with Mexico without congressional approval. Democrats are challenging the declaration in several courts.

Bush, who’s been at odds with Trump over immigration and other issues, appeared optimistic that lawmakers would soon take action on immigration.

“Whatever the opinion of one retired politician might be, I believe we will see our way to clear immigration policies that are just fair and in the interests of the whole nation,” he said. “That starts with recognizing a plain responsibility at the border. And in an often chaotic situation, being willing to state the obvious — borders are not arbitrary and they need to be respected along with the fine men and women of the immigration services and the border patrol.”

Bush acknowledged that the immigration debate can get pretty heated, but he urged politicians to work together.

“When the laws are outdated and ineffective they must be rewritten,” he said. “I hope those responsible in Washington can dial down the rhetoric, put politics aside and modernize our immigration laws soon. “

This article provided by NewsEdge.