- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 4, 2012

DALLAS — Former President George W. Bush says as the U.S. debates immigration policy, he hopes “we do so with a benevolent spirit and keep in mind the contribution of immigrants.”

Bush on Tuesday opened a conference on the benefits of immigration hosted by the George W. Bush Institute and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

One of the Bush Institute’s focuses is economic growth. The conference is part of an institute initiative to find ways for the U.S. to achieve 4 percent gross domestic product growth.

Bush notes that a book the institute released over the summer on achieving 4 percent GDP included chapters on the importance of immigrants to growth.

Bush says immigrants come with “new skills and new ideas” and also “fill a critical gap in the labor market.”

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