Bush re-en­ters fray on re­form

Af­ter years of si­lence, ex-pres­i­dent urges im­mi­gra­tion changes. ‘Belt­ing It Out’ would in­clude 36 bronze belts bolted to rail­ings.

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - Her­man B

DAL­LAS — Five years af­ter his own party killed his im­mi­gra­tion re­form plan — and a month af­ter a crush­ing bal­lot­box de­feat that has some in his party re­think­ing the is­sue — former Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush del­i­cately but def­i­nitely re-en­tered the fray Tues­day.

He’s hop­ing it goes bet­ter this time. So should ev­ery­one who re­al­izes the sta­tus quo on im­mi­gra­tion is not a vi­able op­tion. There seems to be grow­ing con­sen­sus on that, but the jury’s out on ex­actly what should be done.

That’s why the Ge­orge W. Bush In­sti­tute con­vened Tues­day’s con­fer­ence on im­mi­gra­tion and eco­nomic growth. The two, speaker af­ter speaker said, are ir­re­vo­ca­bly linked.

This was not a two-sided fo­rum, but some­thing of an im­mi­grant­fest to make the case im­mi­grants have a pos­i­tive ef­fect on our na­tion’s econ­omy.

The event played out for about 150 in­vited guests at the Fed­eral Re­serve Bank of Dal­las. Bush ad­vo­cated noth­ing spe­cific, but he chose to make a rare foray in front of a bank of TV cam­eras.

“Im­mi­grants come with new skills and new ideas,” he said. “They fill a crit­i­cal gap in our la­bor mar­ket. They work hard for a chance for a bet­ter life. … Not only do im­mi­grants help build our econ­omy, they in­vig-

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