Former President George W. Bush made the case for continuing to fund foreign aid programs and offering a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in a recent interview with NPR.
Although Bush refrained from directly criticizing President Donald Trump in his comments, they contrast with the current Oval Office occupant’s call for dramatic cuts to the foreign aid budget and his hard-line rhetoric on immigration.
“When you have an entire generation of people being wiped out and the free world turns its back, it provides a convenient opportunity for people to spread extremism,” Bush said, arguing for U.S. aid to programs like those that fight AIDS in Africa. “I believe in this case that it’s in our national security interests as well as in our moral interest to continue funding this program.”
On immigration, Bush argued that the pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that he proposed as president will eventually become policy. “There needs to be a way for somebody to be able to get in line to become a citizen so long as they met certain criteria,” he said.