Speaking at a summit in Abu Dhabi this Thursday, former President George W. Bush said that the U.S. should “welcome” immigrants and thank them for taking jobs that Americans won’t do.
“Americans don’t want to pick cotton at 105 degrees, but there are people who want to put food on their family’s tables and are willing to do that,” Bush said according to The Associated Press. “We ought to say thank you and welcome them.”
Bush took aim at the Trump’s administration’s position on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama-era initiative which protects from deportation undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.
“America’s their home,” he said.
Bush said that the country’s immigration policies need to be fixed, adding that he tried while he was president but was unsuccessful.
“It is important for our economy and also important for our soul that the immigration system functions well,” he said. “I view it as a relationship vital for our economy and for our stability. We’ve got to enforce our borders and we’ve got to enforce our laws.”
As The Hill points out, Trump announced last September that he would end the DACA program, giving Congress a six-month deadline to pass legislation to protect the program’s beneficiaries.
As the deadline nears, lawmakers are still working on a deal that would satisfy Trump’s demands for funding for a border wall and other increased security measures. The Trump administration unveiled framework last month that would include a path to citizenship for nearly 2 million undocumented immigrations, which is more than double the approximately 700,000 Dreamers in the country.
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