Former President George W. Bush on Sunday named the inability to reform U.S. immigration policy as one of his biggest regrets from his presidency.
Bush appeared on CBS’ “Sunday Morning,” where he lamented the failure to deliver on his campaign promises of immigration reform.
“Is it one of the biggest disappointments of your presidency, not being –,” the show’s anchor, Norah O’Donnell, asked.
“Yes, it really is,” Bush said. “I campaigned on immigration reform. I made it abundantly clear to voters this is something I intended to do.”
“Do you want to be involved in the immigration discussion?” O’Donnell asked.
“Yeah, I do, in a way, in a way,” he responded. “I don’t want to be prescriptive. I don’t want to, you know, tell Congress how to do this or that. I do want to say to Congress, ‘Please put aside all the harsh rhetoric about immigration. Please put aside trying to score political points on either side.’ I hope I can help set a tone that is more respectful about the immigrant, which may lead to reform of the system.”
“The problem with the immigration debate is that one can create a lot of fear: ‘They’re comin’ after you,'” he said of former President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric. “But it’s a nation that is willing to accept the refugee or the harmed or the frightened, that to me is a great nation. And we are a great nation.” (RELATED: PATEL: Is Populism Going To ‘Fritter Over Time’ As George W. Bush Predicts?)
Additionally, Bush said he is lobbying the Republican Party to support President Joe Biden’s prospective immigration reform.
“Whether my own party listens to me or not’s another question,” he conceded.
“New Americans are just as much a force for good now, with their energy, idealism and love of country, as they have always been,” Bush wrote in a Friday op-ed published in The Washington Post.