By Rachel Janfaza | CNN
Washington (CNN) – Former Republican President George W. Bush is calling for bipartisan action on several immigration measures, calling for a restoration of “the people’s confidence in an immigration system that serves both our values and our interests.”
In a Washington Post op-ed published on Friday, Bush strikes a gentler tone on immigration than the one often uttered at the highest levels of today’s Republican Party, which has largely recast itself in the mold of President Donald Trump, whose demonization of immigrants was a central part of his political strategy.
The op-ed also comes at a time when the US is seeing a surge of migrants coming to its southern border and the Biden administration has struggled to handle the record influx.
“The help and respect historically accorded to new arrivals is one reason so many people still aspire and wait to become Americans. So how is it that in a country more generous to new arrivals than any other, immigration policy is the source of so much rancor and ill will?” Bush wrote. “The short answer is that the issue has been exploited in ways that do little credit to either party. And no proposal on immigration will have credibility without confidence that our laws are carried out consistently and in good faith.”
“President Bush’s op-ed is a refreshing reminder that there exists a middle ground on immigration in an increasingly polarized political world. If both parties can push aside blind partisanship and realize that immigration is a foundational principle of the American Dream, I would be hopeful that we could find a way to accomplish important immigration agenda items such as providing a permanent status for our Nations Dreamers, a path toward legalization for the more than 12 million undocumented persons living and working in America today, and a practical fix to our broken asylum policy that secures our borders, protects vulnerable populations unable to gain the protection of their own country, and disincentivizes human trafficking.”
Darius Amiri, Rose Law Group Immigration Law Dept. Chair