Why George W. Bush Is Calling For A ‘Religious Awakening’ On Immigration Reform

The former president recently spoke on a panel titled “Immigrants and the American Future”

Former president George W. Bush believes the immigration system is broken. More importantly, he thinks America’s leaders, including pastors, have given up on trying to fix it.

“There’s been a lack of leadership on this issue because it’s become too politicized. Once an issue becomes politically hot, it’s very difficult to paint a positive picture that rises above the noise,” he said during a recent webinar titled “Immigrants and the American Future.”

Bush is trying to jump-start a more productive debate by quite literally painting a more positive picture of immigration. In his new book, “Out of Many, One,” he pairs portraits of immigrants with brief essays on their incredible lives, as my colleague, Hunter Schwarz, recently reported.

“People who view immigration with alarm forget about what immigration has done for our country,” Bush said during last week’s event.

In critiquing the current state of immigration politics, Bush didn’t pull his punches. He criticized even America’s religious communities for letting partisan politics interfere with reform efforts.

“It seems to me that, in the recent past, churches have become, and particularly white evangelical churches, political instruments,” he said.

Moving forward, churches need to refocus on the “right mission” and bring that focus to immigration-related discussions, Bush added.

By Kelsey Dallas for DESERET NEWS

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