What Immigrants Contribute: A Special Event on Immigration, Texas and Economic Growth


July 10, 2013

View photos and video from the event.

The George W. Bush Institute will honor America’s immigrant heritage by opening this special event with an official immigration naturalization ceremony.  President Bush will deliver keynote remarks before America’s newest citizens take the oath of allegiance to the United States and receive their certifications of naturalization.  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.

Naturalization Ceremony

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. CDT
Master of Ceremonies: Amity Shlaes, Director, The 4% Growth Project
Remarks: President George W. Bush 

Read a transcript of President Bush’s remarks


10:00 a.m. CDT

The Honorable Mark Langdale
President, George W. Bush Foundation

The Honorable James K. Glassman
Founding Executive Director, George W. Bush Institute

Panel Discussion 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, The 4% Growth Project, George W. Bush Institute

Stephen Moore
Editorial Board Member, The Wall Street Journal

Pia Orrenius
Assistant Vice President and Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Javier Palomarez
President and CEO, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Panel Discussion 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 and CEO, ImmigrationWorks USA

Eric Cohen
Executive Director, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Ali Noorani
Executive Director, National Immigration Forum

Manuel Pastor
Professor, University of Southern California

Richard Vedder
Distinguished Professor of Economics Emeritus, Ohio University
Fellow, The 4% Growth Project, George W. Bush Institute

Panel Discussion 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
Fellow, The 4% Growth Project, George W. Bush Institute

Isaac M. Castro
Mayor, City of Hamlin, Texas

Captain Eustaquio Castro-Mendoza
U.S. Navy

Colonel Miguel Howe, U.S. Army, Ret.
Director, Military Service Initiative, George W. Bush Institute

Vinay Jain, MD , FACP
Texas Oncology-Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center

Suzii Paynter
Executive Coordinator, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

About the 4% Growth Project

A George W. Bush Institute initiative, The 4% Growth Project aims to generate national conversation focused on how the U.S. can achieve real, sustained GDP growth of four percent annually — a level that will ensure Americans better jobs and lower debt and vastly increase opportunity and prosperity.  Directed by Amity Shlaes, author of three New York Times best-selling books on economics, the project spurs research and develops innovative initiatives to engage multiple generations in an economic conversation focused on growth.  To date, the Bush Institute has hosted several conferences and published a number of books, including The 4% Solution and Growth and Immigration.  The program also hosts annual, nation-wide high school economic debates. Learn more about the 4% Growth Project