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.
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-