Former President George W. Bush said Wednesday that he hopes a "positive resolution" will be found as Congress considers reforms to the "broken" U.S. immigration system.
"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," he said during a naturalization ceremony for new citizens at the George W. Bush presidential library in Dallas.
"And I hope, during the debate, we keep a benevolent spirit in mind, and we understand the contributions immigrants make to our country," the former president said.
Bush's own second-term push for immigration reform was thwarted by his fellow Republicans.
"We can uphold our tradition of assimilating immigrants, and honoring our heritage of our nation built on the rule of law," he said Wednesday. "But we have a problem. The laws governing the immigration system aren't working; the system is broken."
The Democratic-controlled Senate last month approved an immigration reform bill that opens the way to legalization and eventual citizenship for undocumented immigrants, strengthening the monitoring of the border with Mexico and establishing a series of measures to control potential future immigration flows.
On Wednesday, leaders of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives will analyze behind closed doors their strategy for comprehensive immigration reform.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is meeting on Wednesday with Democratic Hispanic lawmakers to discuss the need for immigration reform. EFE