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In a surprising appearance, former president George W. Bush decided to play politics again by urging the country to remain “benevolent” about immigration reform, saying that immigrants “invigorate our soul.”

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The ex-president, who has been low profile since his departure from office in 2008, spoke at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas as part of a daylong conference on immigration and the economy. According to Yahoo News, the former president picked up where he left off in 2007 with immigration, the year he failed to pass a deal that would give illegal immigrants citizenship through a lengthy process. 

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“America can become a lawful society and a welcoming society at the same time,” Bush said, according to the Texas Tribune. “As our nation debates the proper course of action on immigration reform, I hope we do so with a benevolent spirit and keep in mind the contributions of immigrants.

“Not only do immigrants help build the economy, they invigorate our soul,” Bush added.

Bush’s stance comes on the heels of President Obama’s re-election, where he won 70 percent of the Hispanic vote, leading some leading Republicans to address immigration reform to keep up with the changing demographic.

SOURCE: Yahoo News