George W. Bush says 'immigration is a blessing and a strength' during naturalization ceremony

Bush told the group he hopes "those responsible in Washington can dial down the rhetoric, put politics aside, and modernize our immigration laws soon."
George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush honored America's immigrant heritage with an official immigration naturalization ceremony on March 18, 2019.
George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush honored America's immigrant heritage with an official immigration naturalization ceremony on March 18, 2019.Grant Miller / George W. Bush Presidential Center

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By Associated Press

DALLAS — Former President George W. Bush welcomed new U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony in Dallas, saying that "amid all the complications of policy, may we never forget that immigration is a blessing and a strength."

Bush and former first lady Laura Bush both spoke to the 50 or so candidates for naturalization during the ceremony Monday at his institute at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

He told the group that came from more than 20 countries that he hopes "those responsible in Washington can dial down the rhetoric, put politics aside, and modernize our immigration laws soon."

Noting public debate on immigration "can get pretty sharp," he told them that they signed up with a "boisterous democracy." He encouraged them to participate in it and vote.