Story at a glance

  • Speaking to CBS News, former President George W. Bush debuted portraits of immigrants that will be featured in a forthcoming book.
  • Bush said that he hopes the book can help shift the tone of immigration reform in Congress.
  • He also said he still maintains communication with members of the Republican Party.

Former President George W. Bush sat down for an interview with CBS News that aired Sunday, when the network took an exclusive look at Bush’s forthcoming book celebrating two things: his newfound passion for painting and America’s immigration system.

Discussing the latter, Bush says the mission of his book, titled "Out of Many, One: Portraits of America's Immigrants,” will help shift Congress’s outlook on the nation’s immigration policy.

“Please put aside all the harsh rhetoric about immigration,” he says, addressing Congress. “Please put aside trying to score political points on either side.”


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With the publication of his book, featuring portraits of various American immigrants, he hopes to usher in a more “respectful tone” on Capitol Hill.

Bush, who served as president from 2001 to 2009, has supported a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants provided they pass a background check and pay any back taxes.

He told CBS’s Norah O’Donnell that the lack of substantial immigration reform was one of the biggest disappointments of his presidency.

“The problem with the immigration debate is that ... one can create a lot of fear,” Bush says. “A nation that is willing to accept the refugee or the harmed or the frightened, to me is a great nation. And we are a great nation.”

Bush said he is currently working within the Republican Party to support this type of legislation, but is not sure whether his advice will be heeded.

This follows a changing Republican Party that has been pushed steadily right on most issues, especially immigration. 

Bush commented on this, saying that humility has been missed in the White House, highlighting the past four years of former President Trump in office. 


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Published on Apr 19, 2021