• George W. Bush Presidential Center

    About Us

  • Through our three Impact Centers -- Domestic Excellence, Global Leadership, and our Engagement Agenda -- we focus on developing leaders, advancing policy, and taking action to solve today’s most pressing challenges.

On Wednesday, July 10th, the George W. Bush Institute will honor America's immigrant heritage with an official naturalization ceremony and a half-day event entitled What Immigrants Contribute: A Special Event on Immigration, Texas and Economic Growth.

Before America's newest citizens take the oath of allegiance to the United States and receive their certifications of naturalization, President Bush will deliver brief remarks welcoming them as his fellow citizens and noting the important contributions of immigrants to our society and economy.

Three moderated panel discussions will follow the naturalization ceremony to spotlight the contributions immigrants make to our economy and our country, with a special focus on Texas. Both events can be viewed via live web stream at www.bushcenter.org/live.

Media instructions:

Press covering the naturalization ceremony should arrive at the north entrance to the George W. Bush Presidential Center (2943 SMU Boulevard, Dallas, TX) between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. 

**A security sweep of all equipment will begin promptly at 7:00 a.m.  Those arriving after the sweep will not be allowed to enter Freedom Hall. **

Press covering the panel discussions will be escorted directly from Freedom Hall to the Bush Center auditorium. 

Anyone covering the panel discussions who did not attend the naturalization ceremony should proceed to the west entrance of the Bush Institute (located off of Bush Avenue) between 9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Parking is available on a first come, first served basis in the Bush Center parking lot located directly north of the Bush Center on SMU Boulevard.

Schedule of events:

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Naturalization Ceremony   

• Faces of America” video
• Opening remarks by Master of Ceremonies Amity Shlaes, Director, 4% Growth Project
• Presentation of Colors
• National Anthem, performed by Laura Smolik, SMU Class of 2013
• Brief keynote remarks by President George W. Bush
• Introduction of Candidates and Oath of Allegiance administered to the naturalization candidates by Robert Looney, Regional Director, Central Region, U.S. Citizen Immigration Services
20 candidates from 12 countries: Brazil, Canada, Grenada, Guatemala, India, Iran, Liberia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan and Vietnam.
• Presentation of Certificates
• Presidential Congratulatory Remarks video
• Pledge of Allegiance, led by new citizens Lance Corporal Antonio Miguel Villaceran, U.S. Marine Corps and Specialist Taofeek Adeyemi Sanyaolu, U.S. Army
• “God Bless America” performed Laura Smolik
• Concluding Remarks by Amity Shlaes, Director, 4% Growth Project

**Media covering the panel discussions following the naturalization ceremony will be escorted to the Bush Center auditorium at this time. **

10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. What Immigrants Contribute: A Special Event on Immigration, Texas and Economic Growth

10:00 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. Conference Welcome
Mark Langdale, President, George W. Bush Foundation

10:05 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.  Introduction
James K. Glassman, Founding Executive Director, GWBI

10:10 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.  Session I:  The Texas Advantage: How Immigrants Drive the Growth of the Texas Economy

A common misconception holds that immigrants are a drag on the economies of border states. Texas, however, proves the opposite is true. Thanks to its high immigration levels, Texas continues to experience strong growth above four percent annually. This panel will explore how immigrants drive the growth of the Texas economy and what other states can learn from the Texas model.


Matthew Denhart, Research Fellow, GWBI


Pia Orrenius, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Javier Palomarez, President and CEO, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Stephen Moore, Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal

11:12 p.m. – 12:10 p.m.          Session II:  Why Naturalization Matters to the Economy

Naturalized citizens enjoy higher incomes and are more likely than non-citizens to have well-paying jobs. These benefits are good for those who naturalize, and they provide a boost to the U.S. economy at large. This panel will discuss how naturalization and immigrant integration are a solution to help achieve four percent growth.


Tamar Jacoby, President & CEO, ImmigrationWorks USA 


Manuel Pastor, Professor, Univ. of Southern California
Richard Vedder, Fellow, GWBI
Ali Noorani, Executive Director, National Immigration Forum

12:22 p.m. – 1:20 p.m. Session III:  How Immigrants Serve America

Citizenship is first and foremost a responsibility. Through their service to America, generations of immigrants have demonstrated they take the responsibility seriously. This panel of military and civilian leaders will illuminate the many ways immigrants continue to serve America today.


Robert Asahina, GWBI Fellow; Author, “Just Americans” 


Captain Eustaquio Castro-Mendoza, Captain, U.S. Navy
Colonel Miguel Howe, Director, Military Service Initiative, GWBI
Isaac M. Castro, Mayor, Hamlin, Texas
Suzii Paynter, Executive Coordinator, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
Vinay Jain, M.D., Texas Oncology-Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center

1:20 p.m. – 1:25 p.m.  Concluding Remarks
James K. Glassman