on Monday praised the positive impact immigration has had on America as he described it as both “a blessing and a strength.”

The Republican former president also called on Washington to “dial down the rhetoric, put politics aside and modernize our immigration laws soon” during his address for dozens of new U.S. citizens at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.

Bush acknowledged that his administration “came up short” with its at comprehensive immigration reform.

Borders had to be respected, he explained, but so did the country’s history of welcoming immigrants as he struck a tone that was markedly different than the anti-immigrant stance often taken by President and members of the current administration.

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