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The George W. Bush Presidential Center Releases New Podcast Celebrating Immigration

The Story of U.S. shares accounts from the children of immigrants celebrating the multigenerational impact of new Americans.

September 24, 2021

DALLAS, TX – Immigration has always been an important part of our Nation’s history, but the value immigrants bring to our country isn’t limited to the immigrants themselves. In the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s new podcast, The Story of U.S., we talk to the children of immigrants, learn more about their families’ stories, and celebrate how the rich diversity of new American families strengthens our communities – across generations.  

The Story of U.S. is part of the Bush Institute’s broader policy work in immigration, which provides bold, principle-based solutions on immigration reform. As President George W. Bush once said, “At its core, immigration is a sign of a confident and successful nation. Immigrants' talent and hard work and love of freedom have helped us become the leader of the world.”

Hear from Fred Ortiz, the lead architect of Globe Life Field; Hollywood actress Sara Paxton; Alan Smolinisky, entrepreneur and co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Ali Noorani, President and CEO of the National Immigration Forum; comedian Gus Constantellis; Anita McBride, Former Chief of Staff to Mrs. Laura Bush; and Daphne Palasi Andreades, author of the upcoming novel, Brown Girls.

ALAN SMOLINISKY

“My dad really fell in love with America, the very first day, and if you were American, you were into baseball…. To be American meant ‘I’m going to work hard, I’m going earn, I’m going to save, I’m going to have my own business, and I’m going to love baseball.… I always remember feeling really American at a baseball game.”

On his children’s legacy: “We want them understand the gifts they have been given and the biggest gift they have been given is American citizenship.”

FRED ORTIZ

"My mom and dad... want[ed] to have a better life. To them, maybe the perception of living across the border was so much better... they put themselves in a position where they could provide a better platform; the best opportunities for their kids."

"The best phrase of all it is my motto for life, ‘what the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.' "

SARA PAXTON

“My grandmother always had this dream of coming to America.… She would find magazines and things that people had thrown in the trash and read the articles about life in America, and it just seemed so amazing to her. Her dream was to live the American dream.”

ALI NOORANI

"It doesn't matter if your family got to the U.S. a year ago or 100 years ago. That aspiration to make sure that your kids are going to be better than you is consistent across the board."

GUS CONSTANTELLIS

"I love using humor to share stories about my immigrant family and bridge the gap between different cultures in America."

"I think it is so important to know a second language in America. I think it is a value that I could have never expected to have at this point in my life."

ANITA MCBRIDE

"Sixty years later, it was a really wonderful experience for me to take [my father] through [Ellis Island]... look at where he had come from in all that time, look at how things had changed. Look at where his daughter was; I was now working in the White House. You know, in one generation, how much things had changed."

DAPHNE PALASI ANDREADES

“I really see my mother’s journey as something even more brave and courageous than getting to pursue writing. I still imagine leaving family behind, leaving a country I know behind. It was really a crazy gamble and sacrifice.”

To learn more about The Story of U.S., visit https://www.bushcenter.org/publications/podcasts/channels/story-of-us/index.html, or listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Play.

This project was made possible in part by Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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About the George W. Bush Institute

Housed within the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the George W. Bush Institute is an action-oriented, nonpartisan policy organization with the mission of developing leaders, advancing policy, and taking action to solve today’s most pressing challenges. Through three Impact Centers – Domestic Excellence, Global Leadership, and an Engagement Agenda – the Bush Institute delivers measurable results that save and improve lives. To learn more, visit www.BushCenter.org.