Speaking at a summit in Abu Dhabi, former President George W. Bush critiqued President Donald Trump's handling of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally at a young age to remain in the country.
“America's their home,” Bush said, according to the Associated Press. "They've got to get it fixed.
“There are people willing to do jobs that Americans won't do," he continued. "Americans don't want to pick cotton at 105 degrees, but there are people who want [to] put food on their family's tables and are willing to do that. We ought to say thank you and welcome them.”
Last fall, Trump announced the program would be coming to an end, giving Congress six months to pass legislation to address the approximately 700,000 “Dreamers” in the country.
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“It is important for our economy and also important for our soul that the immigration system functions well,” Bush said, according to Reuters. “I view it as a relationship vital for our economy and for our stability. We've got to enforce our borders and we've got to enforce our laws.”
While in the United Arab Emirates capital, Bush also touched on interference by Russia in the 2016 presidential election.
“There's pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled,” he said. “Whether they affected the outcome is another question.”
President Trump has repeatedly denied any “collusion” with Russia.
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