Former undocumented immigrant at Bush naturalization event
July 10th, 2013
10:58 AM ET
1 year ago

Former undocumented immigrant at Bush naturalization event

Dallas (CNN) - Former President George W. Bush on Wednesday welcomed newly sworn-in citizens at a naturalization ceremony, offering each individual a certificate and handshake before giving his own address on immigration reform.

Among the newly naturalized at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Danny Diaz admitted he illegally crossed the U.S.- Mexico border in 1994 in a long journey from his native Guatemala.

Bush welcomes new citizens in soft push for immigration reform

It took nearly a decade for Diaz to receive legal residency status and finally citizenship.

"It's a long wait. It's a hard wait too. But if you work for it and you prove you know how to behave in this country everything comes through," Diaz said.

Asked for his thoughts on immigration reform, Diaz called it "a good thing."

"There's a lot of good people out there who don't have papers."

Lance Corporal Antonio Miguel Villaceran, a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, was unaware Bush would be in attendance. "I love what George Bush is doing right now."

Akshaya Bandaru, who immigrated to the U.S. from India, received a private meeting with the former president along with the other newcomers and their families.

Bandaru said the former president was funny.
"I told him I was going into medical school and he said 'I hope it's geriatrics,'" Bandaru said.


Filed under: George W. Bush • Immigration • Texas
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Data Driven

    Bush in the news a lot lately. Why? Bored with painting portraits of rich friends' dogs?

    Maybe he's trying to get his party a clue on how to behave about immigration.

    July 10, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Look at the value and work ethic immigrants provide to this country. God Bless America! Now cough up those taxes. lol

    July 10, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  3. just sayin

    why bother having any immigration laws at all??? why bother securing the border??? just a waste of time and money if all we are going to do is make them all citizens in the long run. let's just let the country be overun by anybody and everybody that wants to come here? using the liberals logic, our country would then be an economic paradise right?

    July 10, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. PJ

    @Data Driven:

    I agree:
    Do you think maybe he is gearing up for his nephew's run for Texas Railroad Commissioner? He's just
    taking pracitice runs until Geo P Bush throws his hat in the ring. The Bush Dynasty at work....again.

    July 10, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. Gop usa

    The illegal Mexican Invasion Traitor bill is a slap in the face to all American Workers and taxpayers. People think that Illegal Mexicans only take jobs like picking beans or washing dishes, that is the furthest from the truth.....they take good middleclass jobs and lower the wages on them till the jobs are no longer considered a middleclass job an American can afford to take. Americans don't live 30 people to a house and pay almost nothing for rent so they can save their money and send it back to the country they love so much Mexico, doing nothing for our economy..............20 million illegals going into the job market will lower wages,hurt the labor market, and last but not least they are criminals for breaking our laws and yet want to be rewarded. Illegal Mexicans do nothing but bankrupt our schools and communitys, our social services, our emergency rooms, welfare, I can go on and on what illegal Mexicans do to our American workers and taxpayers.............Illegal Mexican Criminal invaders should never be rewarded...........They demand Amnesty while shaking their fists at rallys waving their Mexican flags they love so much while demanding rights here lol..........They do not love America, They only love what they can get from America..............Typical Latino takers who love Mexico....DEPORT THEM ALL

    July 10, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Maybe he's trying to get his party a clue on how to behave about immigration."

    For the GOP to bring Bush out of hiding is a step I hadn't anticipated. Apparently GW still has some pull within his own party. Or the media is overplaying that GW has any accountability left within the GOP. This wouldn't be the first time our media friends have overplayed their polling data where the GOP is concerned.

    July 10, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. Romney is STILL NOT My Hero

    @ just sayin –

    Let's do away with that saying too, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Oh, sorry – It's inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. We can't do away with what our country stands for.

    July 10, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  8. Fair is Fair

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Look at the value and work ethic immigrants provide to this country.
    ------–
    That they do, Dutch, that they do. And by the way, NO ONE is against immigration. Lots of people are against ILLEGAL immigration. Everyone should, especially the hard working, value-add, highly ethical ones you mention.

    July 10, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. Data Driven

    "Gop USA" demonstrates, at length, the real objection to immigration reform: the fear of brown-skinned hordes "invading" the country we took from them 170 years ago, lol. By the way, a slight decrease in low-pay service jobs resulting from newly legalized immigrants wouldn't be so harmful if the minimum wage was a little higher, but why interrupt the freely flowing hate with policy details?

    July 10, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. just sayin

    Romney is STILL NOT My Hero
    @ just sayin –
    Let's do away with that saying too, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Oh, sorry – It's inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. We can't do away with what our country stands for.
    ---

    you are right. we need to update the statue of liberty. how about... america, free for the taking

    or maybe....

    america, no immigration laws enforced, free welfare, free foodstamps, free healthcare, free cell phones, free housing, free citizenship, we'll even force our citizens to speak your language, thanks for invading us.

    July 10, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  11. Al-NY,NY

    Gop usa

    .......I can go on and on what illegal Mexicans do to our American workers and taxpayers.............
    -------

    oh by all means.. please go on, and on, and on with your babble. Next please inform everyone just where the money is going to come for your mass deportations? Wait wait...let me guess...repeal ACA? defund EPA, PP, and NEA? What about children born here? They are citizens. Going to deport them too?

    July 10, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. Gurgyl

    We pile up all these h1-b, j1 and crossover river grande then till we get that 11million number we give all at once citizenship–again we do the same process–they reap the benefits–again we cry on SS, Medicare etc. very pathetic idiots we are electing–karma, karma, our karma!!!!

    July 10, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    The right wing is against "amnesty" for illegal immigrants. The right is yelling out, "Deport them. No amnesty." They think that everyone is from Mexico, and that you can simply drive them to the border and say, "GET OUT!"

    Do they have any idea what it would cost to track down and deport an estimated 11 million people? Do they care? What country(s) is going to accept some or all of that 11 million people? How long will it take on average to arrest and deport one person? While that person is awaiting uncertain deportation, what is the cost to incarcerate the person? Does the right wing have any idea of the logistics and costs associated with deporting 11 million people?

    July 10, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. just askin

    what is it about the word illegal that the democrats do not understand? people are here illegally. no one forced them to come here. they knew they were breaking the law when they came here in violation of our immigration laws or over stayed their visa. why is it that the democrats always want to coddle and protect criminals and criminal behavior?

    so when they pass this farce of an immigration bill that will not secure our borders, will the democrats still maintain their sanctuary cities? of course. what about all the people still coming here illegally? will they allow locaql law enforcement to arrest them and will they be deported? of course not.

    so this is all another scam by the democrats. why are we falling for this again? didn't we learn our lesson in the 80's when they screwed the country over in favor of these illegal country invaders?

    July 10, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda/Minnesota
    Apparently GW still has some pull within his own party
    -------------------------------------------------
    Bush stayed so deep underground (perhaps out of a beltd sense of shame and mea culpa) that they wouldn't even allow him to surface last year for the traditional spot as ex-CIC at the Republican Convention. Now, as you correcty noted, he's starting to be heard from more and more.
    What that indicates to me is that the Republican Party has lost it's compass, moral and otherwise. The Teatardic cancer that has taken a stranglehold of a Party that once used to believe in compromise, the common good, and could boast of a few good leaders has bumped the Crawford Village idiot (Duhbya) to be the sanest, and most rational voice in an otherwise intellectual desert.
    It is pitiful and quite telling that through the self-immolation of the Republican Party George W. Bush could very well be turning out to be the best clown in their circus tent.

    July 10, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. Fair is Fair

    Data Driven

    "By the way, a slight decrease in low-pay service jobs resulting from newly legalized immigrants wouldn't be so harmful if the minimum wage was a little higher, but why interrupt the freely flowing hate with policy details?"
    -------
    How extraordinarily stereotypical of you to assume that immigrants would only affect "low-pay service jobs".

    July 10, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    What is the right wing's solution for the people already in this country? If you plan to say "deportation", please give me an estimated cost and how you would plan to pay for it. I'll even take uneducated guesses without complaint. Who knows what it would cost to deport 11 million people, but I can expect it would range into the trillions of dollars over a decade.

    July 10, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    The right wing is against "amnesty" for illegal immigrants. The right is yelling out, "Deport them. No amnesty." They think that everyone is from Mexico, and that you can simply drive them to the border and say, "GET OUT!"

    Do they have any idea what it would cost to track down and deport an estimated 11 million people? Do they care? What country(s) is going to accept some or all of that 11 million people? How long will it take on average to arrest and deport one person? While that person is awaiting uncertain deportation, what is the cost to incarcerate the person? Does the right wing have any idea of the logistics and costs associated with deporting 11 million people?
    ------
    Yes, we're aware. It's a reflection of the federal government's inabliity to provide oversight to immigration and to enforce laws to prevent illegal immigration in the first place.

    But since you asked financial questions, is the left wing aware of the cost to provide services to these illegal immigrants of the course of their lives? Tell you what – it's FAR more than we'll ever collect in taxes and FAR, FAR more than deporting them.

    July 10, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    just askin

    what is it about the word illegal that the democrats do not understand? people are here illegally. no one forced them to come here. they knew they were breaking the law when they came here in violation of our immigration laws or over stayed their visa. why is it that the democrats always want to coddle and protect criminals and criminal behavior?
    -----------------
    So, what is the solution? Deporting 11 million people is almost logistically impossible, and an unrealistic answer.

    July 10, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  20. RUDY HAUGENEDER -- CANADA

    Whoa America. Just how many people does the United States need — and when does the population cross the line and become dangerous for a variety of social, economic, and especially environmental reasons?
    At 315 millions today compared to a paltry 76 million in 1900 and 139 millions at the end of the Second World War by which time all the major rivers had been damed, the Mississippi banked and straightened so it cannot meander as it has done for tens of thousands of years, the grasslands turned into mono-cropped fields that need tons of fertilizer even season to remain productive, the natural and large forests turned into, comparatively, tiny treed woods, thousands of natural animals — on land, air and sea — made extinct, rapidly expanding deserts, vast cities that are artificial small mountain ranges that affect weather and climate, and on and on.
    America was doing well with its population at the end of the last great war (139) millions when it was at the peak of its economic and military power which, no matter what politicians tell you, has slowly been declining ever since, with the downdraft speeding up even if there is a slight economic recession reprieve right now.
    Illegals account for only 4% of the population and do most of the dirty work average Americans hate to perform, but as technology improves, less and less existing population people are needed for everything from performing surgeries, write code, to picking apples.
    More immigration into the USA — very, very. very stupid.

    July 10, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  21. truth hurts but reality bites

    Rudy NYC
    What is the right wing's solution for the people already in this country? If you plan to say "deportation", please give me an estimated cost and how you would plan to pay for it. I'll even take uneducated guesses without complaint. Who knows what it would cost to deport 11 million people, but I can expect it would range into the trillions of dollars over a decade.
    ---

    Not true. You simply start enforcing our laws. You give notice to all illegals in this country that on January 1, 2013 all of our immigration laws will be STRICTLY enforced. All local law enforcement will be empowered to arrest and detain anybody here illegally and hand then over to the federal government for imprisonment until deported. (lots of room in Sheriff Arpaio's detention centers). I can guarantee you, many will decide to do the right thing and head home. Those that do not leave by Jan. 1, 2013 would then be subject to a two year prison term, before being deported.

    It is all very easy and logical. The costs are irrellevant. If our laws are too costly then get rid of the laws. Maybe we can ask the 47% that pay no federal income taxes to start helping out?

    July 10, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  22. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    What is the right wing's solution for the people already in this country? If you plan to say "deportation", please give me an estimated cost and how you would plan to pay for it. I'll even take uneducated guesses without complaint. Who knows what it would cost to deport 11 million people, but I can expect it would range into the trillions of dollars over a decade.
    --------–
    Trillions, eh? ONE trillion would be $100K each. At that price, you'd be better off giving each one 10 grand and a plane ticket. They'd leave in droves.

    July 10, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Look at the value and work ethic immigrants provide to this country.
    --–
    That they do, Dutch, that they do. And by the way, NO ONE is against immigration. Lots of people are against ILLEGAL immigration. Everyone should, especially the hard working, value-add, highly ethical ones you mention.
    --------------------------------------------–
    True indeed Fair. True indeed. I for one am against illegal immigration. However , I'm not for deporting 11 million people who've been here forever. I am for what is stated in the Gang of 8's bill. They must pay a fine, pay back taxes, have no criminal record and then and only then will they be offered a pathway to citizenship.

    July 10, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. just askin

    isn't amazing that liberals and leftists are only concerned about the costs of enforcing our immigration laws??? all other government programs, they could care less. the sky is the limit. but immgration enfocrement? just too darn expensive to be done. total dishonesty on their part.

    July 10, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. Fair is Fair

    "True indeed Fair. True indeed. I for one am against illegal immigration. However , I'm not for deporting 11 million people who've been here forever. I am for what is stated in the Gang of 8's bill. They must pay a fine, pay back taxes, have no criminal record and then and only then will they be offered a pathway to citizenship."
    -------
    First of all, 11 million haven't been here "forever". Most have been here 10 years or less. Second, if they have a criminal record, what are they still doing here? Third, whatcha gonna do with those who don't want to pay a fine or back taxes unless you deport them? And finally, how are you going to prevent new illegals from entering?

    July 10, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |