(Photo: Reuters/Larry Downing)
Immigration reform should reach a "positive resolution," former President George W. Bush has urged this week, as he also warned against disparaging immigrants.
Bush said, "We can uphold our tradition of assimilating immigrants, and honoring our heritage of our nation built on the rule of law. But we have a problem. The laws governing the immigration system aren't working; the system is broken."
The former president was speaking on Wednesday morning at a naturalization ceremony for new citizens, and although he refused to specifically comment on the current fierce legislative debate on the Capitol, he did gently address the general immigration situation.
Bush chose in this instance to speak about the positive contribution immigrants have made to the United States, "I don't intend to get involved in the politics or the specifics of policy, but I do hope there's a positive resolution to the debate. And I hope, during the debate, we keep a benevolent spirit in mind, and we understand the contributions immigrants make to our country."
Just last month comprehensive immigration reform legislation was passed in the Senate, and now House Republicans are fiercely debating what their response should be.
Some members of the GOP are arguing that Republican support for passing immigration reform is essential to the party going forward. Since Bush's re-election in 2004 the Republican Party has lost ground with Hispanic voters, and this became increasingly apparent in President Barack Obama's re-election. With the Hispanic vote continuing to grow in influence, a number of key Republican members are pushing for their party to support immigration reform.
However, critics have said that the Senate-passed legislation does little to enforce the security of the border between the United States and Mexico, and although some have stated they support immigration reform they believe the current proposals are not what is needed.
The House GOP is meeting on Wednesday to debate the issue, and some analysts believe they will try to move along certain elements of immigration reform in waves, but that border security will be high on the agenda for many.