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Wed December 5, 2012
George W. Bush: 'Benevolent Spirit' Can Guide Debate
Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 3:03 pm
DALLAS — During his opening remarks Tuesday at a daylong conference on immigration and the economy, former President George W. Bush urged the nation’s leaders to debate immigration reform with compassion and kindness.
In a brief appearance at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Bush did not advocate for a specific solution. But his statements indicated he supports policies similar to those he championed during his presidency, when immigration reform was last debated in Congress.
“America can become a lawful society and a welcoming society at the same time,” Bush said at the event, which was organized by the George W. Bush Institute and the Federal Reserve Bank. “As our nation debates the proper course of action on immigration reform, I hope we do so with a benevolent spirit and keep in mind the contributions of immigrants.”
Those contributions he referred to included “new skills and new ideas” he said, adding that immigrants “fill a critical gap in our labor market.
“Not only do immigrants help build the economy, they invigorate our soul,” he said at the gathering of students, scholars and economists.