George W. Bush spoke out on immigration reform during a wide-ranging interview aired on ABC’s This Week on Sunday. You can see the entire video by hitting the button up top. Or you can skip directly to the ex-president’s comments on immigration reform by going ahead to about the 7:30 minute mark.
As you’ll see from the interview with George W. Bush and his wife Laura, he doesn’t explicitly endorse the comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed through the Senate 68 to 32 in late June. Fourteen Republicans crossed over to join 52 Democrats and two Independents to vote in favor of the bill.
But the bill is expected to struggle in the House, and President Obama has released a statement asking the public to pressure their legislators to pass the bill.
Former president George W. Bush and Obama met briefly this week in Tanzania while in Africa to attend a ceremony to remember the victims of the 1998 embassy bombing. However, Bush said that they didn’t talk “policy.”
Nonetheless, during his careful phrasing, Bush seemed sympathetic to the attempt to get the immigration reform ball rolling.
He told ABC that he regretted not being able to pass that reform during his own administration, saying that the legislative process can sometimes be ugly:
“It’s a very difficult bill to pass because there is a lot of moving parts…it takes time for some of these complex issues to evolve. And [it] looks like immigration, you know, has a chance to pass….
“The reason to pass immigration reform is not to bolster a Republican Party, it’s to fix a system that’s broken. Good policy yields good politics, as far as I’m concerned.”
Jeb Bush, his brother and former governor of Florida, has also spoken out recently in favor of immigration reform. In a far stronger statement, he said that immigrants are “more fertile” and that America would decline without their energy.
Many other topics, including the former president’s new campaign to fight cervical cancer in Africa, were addressed in the new interview with George W. Bush.
[George W. Bush photo by Eric Draper/White House]