George W Bush warns against Trump-style immigration policies in resurfaced 2011 clip

Greg Evans
Sunday 12 January 2020 13:30
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A video has resurfaced of George W Bush which virtually denounces everything that Donald Trump currently stands for.

In case you haven't been paying attention for the four or five years, Trump isn't a big fan of immigration or any sort of US expansion.

He has been trying to build a wall or the border with Mexico for what seems like an eternity, has attempted to keep Muslims out of the country and doesn't seem keen on the US being tied to any deals or treaties that he doesn't fully endorse.

This is a far cry from the days of Obama or even Bush where American was seen as a far more open country, full of opportunities for all.

While Bush faced strong criticism throughout his presidency for his handling of 9/11, the invasion of Afghanistan and the war in Iraq he couldn't be accused of adopting an isolationist agenda.

In this resurfaced clip from a 2011 interview with C-SPAN, Bush is interviewed by journalist Brian Lamb and his comments on immigration are fascinating, especially in the climate of 2020.

During the conversation he is asked a question by a student from Garland, Texas named Jaywin Singh Malhi who asks the former president:

In the upcoming decade, what if any, significant progress in immigration reform do you predict?

Bush's answer to this, is fascinating.

First, I not only differ from my party but people in the other party too, just so you know, like - the reason immigration reform died wasn't just because of one party. It's because people were nervous about a populism that started to emerge.

My view is, is that we are a land of immigrants and we ought to recognise that. As a matter of fact, I believe America's soul is rejuvenated when people come to our country and work hard to realise dreams.

There is an orderly way to have immigration and that is to recognise people are coming here to do jobs Americans aren't doing, are not capable of doing, are unwilling to do. And we ought to have a process that enables people to come and do those jobs.

It's good for our economy. I think it's - and I think it prevents people from having to sneak in. There are labourers who do jobs people won't do. But there are also incredibly bright students who come. And I think it is a foolhardy policy to limit the number of workers that can contribute, for example, to the productivity of the United States in the internet world.

I do believe there'll be a rational immigration policy eventually passed. I think there's going to have to be some time. What's interesting about our country, if you study history, is that there are some "isms" that occasionally pop up - pop up. One is isolationism and its evil twin protectionism and its evil triplet nativism.

So if you study the '20s, for example, there was - there was an American First policy that said who cares what happens in Europe? Well, what happened in Europe mattered eventually because of World War Two.

There was Smoot Hawley which was a part of an economic policy which basically said we don't want trade. In other words, let's throw up barriers. And there was an immigration policy that I think during this period argued we had too many Jews and too many Italians; therefore we should have no immigrants.

And my point is that we've been through this kind of period of isolationism, protectionism, and nativism. I'm a little concerned that we may be going through the same period. I hope that these "isms" pass which would then allow for a more orderly look at immigration policy but I'm - look, I was raised in Texas. And you know, there's a lot of focus on the Hispanic population. I mean, if you're raised in Texas, you understand what it means to interface with Mexican-Americans who are Texan.

And you realise that we share the same values. Faith, family, you know, hard work, commitment to service and I think we ought to welcome people from different cultures to America.

The great thing about America is we ought to be confident in knowing that everybody becomes an American. And we share the same value system. In other words, there's a great capacity for our society to assimilate people.

The video has resurfaced on Twitter after it was shared online by political scientist Brian Klaas and people and people have been left saddened to think of the current rhetoric that is being spewed in the White House.

More: Donald Trump used an old George W. Bush phrase and it backfired badly

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