George Bush: Republicans Need to Be ‘More Respectful About the Immigrant’
'Please put aside all the harsh rhetoric about immigration'
Former President George W. Bush has called for Republican lawmakers to be more respectful to immigrants.
During an interview on “CBS Sunday Morning,” anchor Norah O’Donnell asked:
“Do you want to be involved in the immigration discussion?”
“Yeah, I do, in a way, in a way. I don’t want to be prescriptive."
"I don’t want to, you know, tell Congress how to do this or that," he added.
"I do want to say to Congress, ‘Please put aside all the harsh rhetoric about immigration. Please put aside trying to score political points on either side.’"
"I hope I can help set a tone that is more respectful about the immigrant, which may lead to reform of the system.”
Bush gave an Oval Office address on immigration in 2006, which he said:
“We are a nation of laws, and we must enforce our laws. We are also a nation of immigrants, and we must uphold that tradition, which has strengthened our country in so many ways."
"These are not contradictory goals – America can be a lawful society and a welcoming society at the same time.”
“It’s been 15 years.”
“I know it.”
“Still nothing’s been done.”
“No, a lot of executive orders, but all that means is that Congress isn’t doing its job.”
“Is it one of the biggest disappointments of your presidency, not being – ”
“Yes, it really is. I campaigned on immigration reform. I made it abundantly clear to voters this is something I intended to do.”
“The problem with the immigration debate is that one can create a lot of fear: They’re comin’ after you."
"But it’s a nation that is willing to accept the refugee or the harmed or the frightened, that to me is a great nation. And we are a great nation, and we are a great nation.”
“The former president supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants if they pass a background check and pay back taxes. And if that were the proposal by President Biden. would you lobby your own party to support that?”
“I am right now. Whether my own party listens to me or not’s another question.”
“But it’s a part of hopefully creating a better understanding about the role of immigrants in our society."
"Mine is just a small voice in what I hope is a chorus of people saying, ‘Let’s see if we can’t solve the problem.'”