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President and Mrs. Bush Meet with Dreamers and Others Impacted by the Immigration System

The conversation underscored the shortcomings of our immigration system.

March 29, 2022
Photo by the George W. Bush Presidential Center

Dallas, Texas (March 29, 2022) – Today, President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush welcomed four Dreamers, an immigration attorney, and an agricultural immigration advocate to the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The conversation underscored the shortcomings of our immigration system. 

During the conversation President Bush said: 

“This is an issue that is dear to our hearts. Most people realize the system is broken, and most people want to solve it for the sake of our security, our economy, and our culture. Take DACA for example – we have all these young talented people who want to create jobs, but it’s hard to create jobs when you are unsure of your future. And reforming the worker program will relieve a lot of tension at the border. By reforming the immigration system, we can better secure the border, and that benefits our state and our country.” 

A photo from the gathering is attached. 

The United States needs an immigration system that ensures the future prosperity, vitality, and security of our Nation. Our current system has failed Dreamers and essential workers in agriculture and other industries, and our border policies need to address migrant increases more effectively. 

In early 2021, the Bush Institute released a series of whitepapers outlining bold and politically viable solutions that will change the trajectory of America’s immigration system. The series offers an in-depth analysis on smart border policy for the 21st Century, solutions for the undocumented, creating pathways to citizenship, how the United States can bolster the economy through employment-based immigration, and the importance of leading on humanitarian immigration.

More than 75% of voters across party lines are in favor of providing a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers; a proposal ensuring a legal, reliable workforce for America’s farmers; and strengthening border security, according to recent polling from The LIBRE Initiative and Americans for Prosperity. Additionally, voters also indicated Congress should act on border security before the 2022 elections.

“Our immigration system has neglected many people who are the backbone of this Nation. Congress has an essential role in enacting meaningful and enduring reform that will protect Dreamers and others who help our economy thrive and at the same time ensuring security at our borders,” said Holly Kuzmich, Executive Director of the Bush Institute. “It’s time that we build an immigration system that prioritizes human dignity, smart border policy, and America’s economy.” 

The individuals who joined President and Mrs. Bush included:

  • Gerardo Casas— Dreamer; Youth Pastor
  • Rebeca Gurrola— Dreamer; Therapist
  • Dip Patel— Dreamer, Clinical Pharmacist
  • Athulya Rajakumar— Dreamer, Journalist
  • Kate Clark— Senior Director of Immigration Services & Lead Immigration Attorney, Jewish Family Service of San Diego
  • Shirley Peckosh— Legislative Committee Chair, American Nursery & Landscape Association 

For more information about the Bush Institute’s efforts to support immigration reform, visit www.bushcenter.org/immigration.   

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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.