Former President George W. Bush is expected to speak about immigration reform on Wednesday, the Dallas Morning News reports.
“Bush will deliver opening remarks at an citizenship ceremony and immigration forum at the Dallas presidential center bearing his name, where it’s expected he will talk about how immigration reform will be good for America,” Dianne Solis of the Dallas Morning News wrote. “A panel discussion titled ‘What Immigrants Contribute’ will follow. The day will start with 20 immigrants taking a quick pathway to citizenship at an actual naturalization ceremony.”
The Dallas paper noted that it is unclear whether Bush will endorse the Senate “Gang of Eight” immigration bill at the event, but his George W. Bush Institute has pushed some efforts to overhaul the nation’s immigration system.
Thus far, Bush has stayed away from endorsing the bill that just passed the Senate, though he did support similar efforts in 2005 and 2007 when he was president. However, Bush did question during a recent interview with the Huffington Post’s Jon Ward whether the Senate’s efforts were intended to legitimately reform the nation’s immigration system or if they are merely politically motivated.
“I think the atmosphere, unlike when I tried it, is better, maybe for the wrong reason,” Bush told Ward. “The right reason is it’s important to reform a broken system. I’m not sure a right reason is that in so doing we win votes.”
“I mean when you do the right thing, I think you win votes, as opposed to doing something that’s the right thing to win votes,” Bush added. “Maybe there’s no difference there. It seems like there is to me though.”
Bush’s younger brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, has endorsed the Gang of Eight bill. Jeb Bush, a likely 2016 presidential candidate, most recently endorsed the bill in a push to get House Republicans to pass it or a similar version of it.
House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and the rest of House GOP leadership have maintained they consider the Senate bill dead on arrival in their chamber.