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George W. Bush Calls on Congress To Do Away With 'Harsh Rhetoric About Immigration'

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Former President George W. Bush (R) is calling on Congress to tone down the “harsh rhetoric about immigration.”

Speaking with CBS’s Norah O’Donnell, Bush shared that he believes he can add a positive tone to the debate around immigration and challenged Congress to do the same.

“I don’t want to be prescriptive. I don’t want to tell Congress 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,'” Bush said in the interview released on Sunday.

He added, “I hope I can help set a tone that is more respectful about the immigrant, which may lead to reform of the system.”

Check out part of the interview below:

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Touching on his time in office, he told CBS one of his biggest disappointments was not passing any “meaningful” immigration reform.

“The problem with the immigration debate is that someone can create a lot of fear — ‘They’re coming after you’ — but it’s a nation that is willing to accept the refugee or the harmed or the frightened,” Bush said.

He added, “To me, it is a great nation, and we are a great nation.”

The former president recalled he “campaigned on immigration reform” and “made it abundantly clear to the voters that this is something I intended to do.”

In an op-ed published by The Washington Post last week, Bush shared how he believes the United States can restore faith in the immigration system, as IJR reported.

Bush wrote he is confident the nation can “be both a lawful and a welcoming nation at the same time.”

He expressed hope around the idea bipartisan reform is possible and wrote the nation will “see immigration for what it is: not a problem and source of discord, but a great and defining asset of the United States.”

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