Former President George W. Bush criticized the Trump administration’s immigration policies during a speech in the Middle East Thursday.
Speaking at a summit in Abu Dhabi, the 43rd US president slammed Trump’s hardline immigration stance without mentioning him by name, claiming illegals should be welcomed because they’re doing jobs Americans won’t.
“America’s their home,” the ex-head of state said. “They’ve got to get it fixed.”
“There are people willing to do jobs that Americans won’t do,” Bush added. “Americans don’t want to pick cotton at 105 degrees (Fahrenheit), but there are people who want to put food on their family’s tables and are willing to do that. We ought to say thank you and welcome them.”
“Our system is broken but we’ve got to fix it. I had tried, but unsuccessfully,” Bush said, admitting his own failures.
“It is important for our economy and also important for our soul that the immigration system functions well.”
Immigration has been a central focus of the current administration, with President Trump signaling willingness to negotiate a deal with Democrats if they approve a spending package which includes funding for a wall on the southern US border.
Bush also threw shade at the Trump administration’s Russia relations, and claimed Russians meddled in the 2016 election in attempts to regain Soviet superiority.
“There’s pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled,” Bush said. “Whether they affected the outcome is another question.”
“It’s problematic that a foreign nation is involved in our election system,” he stated. “Our democracy is only as good as people trust the results.”
Bush claimed the reason is because Russian President Vladimir Putin has “got a chip on his shoulder” due to the fact he’d like to “regain Soviet hegemony.”
He’s “pushing, constantly pushing, probing weaknesses. That’s why NATO is very important,” Bush stated.
The Trump administration has not responded to the former President’s comments.