Tags: Immigration | presidency | immigration | reform | bush

George W. Bush: Not Passing Immigration Reform One of My Biggest Disappointments

George W. Bush: Not Passing Immigration Reform One of My Biggest Disappointments
Former U.S. President George W. Bush and Laura Bush arrive to the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on January 20, 2021.  (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 14 April 2021 03:20 PM

Former President George W. Bush says he regrets not passing immigration reform during his tenure, calling it one of the biggest disappointments of his presidency.

“I campaigned on immigration reform. I made it abundantly clear to voters this is something I intended to do,” he told host Norah O’Donnell during an interview with “CBS Sunday Morning,” set to air April 18.

Bush told O’Donnell he’s ready to re-enter the debate on immigration, a hot-button issue as border crossing have surged since President Joe Biden took office, including lobbying his own party on the issue.

"Still, nothing's been done,” O’Donnell says in an excerpt of the interview released Wednesday.

"No, a lot of executive orders, but all that means is that Congress isn't doing its job,” Bush responds.

"Is it one of the biggest disappointments of your presidency, not being –" O’Donnell asks, to which Bush interrupts: “Yes, it really is.”

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol reported a total of 100,441 encounters in February at the U.S.-Mexico border, up from 36,687 last February. U.S. agents took more than 171,000 migrants into custody last month, according to agency figures that contradict Biden’s claims that his administration is facing a surge similar to years past.

“These numbers suggest a new level of challenge for the administration as they look for a sensible border strategy, particularly given the rise in the number of families,” Andrew Selee, president of the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute, told the Washington Post earlier this month.

“They’re facing a set of tough options for trying to manage the flow in a way that’s consistent with the desire for humanitarian treatment and yet dissuades people from coming,” he said.

Bush’s push for immigration reform in 2007 was defeated by a conservative revolt against amnesty for unauthorized immigrants.

The legislation called for the biggest changes to immigration law in more than 20 years, offering legal status to millions of illegal immigrants while also attempting to secure the border.

Members of the Republican Party abandoned him in droves, with just 12 of 49 Senate Republicans sticking by him on the key procedural vote that determined the bill’s outcome.

Former Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, the chief Democratic architect of the bill who is now deceased, said senators “voted their fears, not their hopes.”

“We know what they don’t like. What are they for? What are they going to do with the 12 million who are undocumented here? Send them back to countries around the world? Develop a type of Gestapo here to seek out these people that are in the shadows? What’s their alternative?” he asked.

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Former President George W. Bush says he regrets not passing immigration reform during his tenure, calling it one of the biggest disappointments of his presidency....
presidency, immigration, reform, bush
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2021-20-14
Wednesday, 14 April 2021 03:20 PM
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