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Bush: Those who've vested time, effort in US would 'be a really good citizen'

Former President George W. Bush said he thinks those who have "vested time and effort" into the country would be good citizens.

During an interview airing Sunday on "Today," Bush was asked whether he thinks it's a good idea for those in the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, or Dreamers, to be allowed to stay in the country.

"Well I think somebody who's vested time and effort and can make a contribution to our country will be a really good citizen," he told NBC's Willie Geist in excerpts released Tuesday.

"See in Texas, we grew up with a lot of people of Hispanic heritage, and we're used to the contributions they have made to our state and to our country."

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Bush acknowledged immigration is a "very political issue."

"I tried to reform it and one of my big regrets is I couldn't get Congress to respond," he said. 

When asked if he thinks it's "practical" to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, Bush said: "I don't see how that would work."
 
"And I'm not sure that's the intention of our government," he said
 
"I think people who are charged with doing that, if that is the charge, I'm not sure it is, but say it's going to be hard to do. Now the idea of running out rapists and murderers, I think all Americans can agree to that."
 
President Obama's DACA program has allowed about 750,000 young people brought to the United States illegally as children to get permission to stay and work in the country.