Dallas, Texas – A coalition of immigrant rights organizations across the U.S., acting on behalf of 11 million undocumented immigrants, today extended amnesty to former President George W. Bush. This unprecedented action by the immigrants, in effect, forgives the former president for all the lies and illegal acts committed during his 8-year term. Many of Bush’s words and actions during his presidency hurt the cause of immigrants and communities of color, including Latinos and Asian Americans.
The grant of amnesty to Bush was prompted by his recent public statement at a naturalization ceremony in Texas, whereby he expressed his full support for a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Recently, the U.S. Senate, passed — by a vote of 68-32 –a bill that would strengthen the borders while providing a path to citizenship to the country’s estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants. The U.S. House of Representatives is now debating the Senate bill, but many conservative Republicans are not happy with the upper chamber’s version because it is tantamount to “granting amnesty to those who have violated this country’s laws.”
In his statement, Bush said, “We can uphold our tradition of assimilating immigrants, and honoring our heritage of our nation built on the rule of law. But we have a problem. The laws governing the immigration system aren’t working; the system is broken.” He urged his fellow Republicans in Congress to address the issue as soon as possible. It wasn’t clear whether Bush’s urging will have any impact in changing the minds of lawmakers opposed to the path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Meanwhile, the Democrats in Congress have remained silent on the grant of amnesty to the former president. But sources said that while Democrats may not want to go as far as granting amnesty to Bush, they are also weary that opposing such move might jeopardize their standing with the Latino and other immigrant communities, especially in the next elections.
As he posed for a photo with newly-naturalized citizens from Nigeria and the Philippines (see photo), the former president was asked for his reaction to the amnesty extended to him. He simply winked his eye and blurted out, “he he.”