Former President George W. Bush gave opening remarks today at a conference on the benefits of immigrants to the U.S. economy.
The conference was hosted by the George W. Bush institute and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
It is part of a Bush Institute Initiative on finding ways to achieve a 4% gross domestic product growth.
A book the institute released over the summer notes immigrants help grow the economy by increasing the labor force and filling niche jobs.
"America can be a lawful society and a welcoming society, at the same time. As our nation debates the proper course of action relating to immigration, I hope we do so with a benevolent spirit and keep in mind the contribution of immigrants. Thank you for having me." said Former President George W. Bush
When Bush left office, he warned the Republican Party not to become "anti-immigrant." congress defeated his promised overhaul of immigration policy in his second term.
Leading lawmakers, including fellow Republicans, thought provisions such as a guest worker program amounted to amnesty for illegal immigrants.