Saturday, April 1, 2023 Apr 1, 2023
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Portraits of Immigrants by President George W. Bush

His book is titled Out of Many, One. An exhibition of the same name runs at the Bush Center through January 3.
By Tim Rogers |

The Conservative Political Action Conference was held in Dallas last weekend, as you likely know. Here’s video of a panel discussion about the immigration crisis at our southern border, which the panelists seem to agree is a creation of the Democratic Party. At about the 5:30 mark, you can watch U.S. Congressman Brian Babin, a Republican representing the 36th District (northeast of Houston), say that the Democrats are trying to replace the American electorate with immigrants. He refers to a “renegade presidency that will not enforce the law.” Addressing the border wall, he says, “My goodness. That was the thing that was really working. If it didn’t work so well — if the Democrats thought it was so immoral, why did they put up a double perimeter of wall around the U.S. Capitol? That made no sense whatsoever.”

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is bullshit. People cross our border for all sorts of reasons, none of them being a plan by Democrats to replace the electorate. Here’s a short piece in TIME explaining why people come here. A big reason: to escape violence perpetrated by one of the world’s largest gangs, MS-13, which was created in the United States. As for the barrier around the Capitol, that was erected to protect lawmakers like Babin from American insurrectionists. Arguing that it’s inconsistent to support the Capitol barrier without supporting the southern wall is like saying you can’t take aspirin without also taking Rohypnol.

Why bring all this up? Just to provide contrast.

George W. Bush is the most famous Republican in Dallas. He did not attend CPAC. But he did just publish a book of paintings titled Out of Many, One: Portraits of American Immigrants. The book begins with an essay by Bush about immigrants and what they mean to this country. It’s thoughtful and compassionate. Many of the portraits are of immigrants who live in Dallas and have done amazing things here; they are accompanied by biographies. We published part of that essay and some of the Dallas portraits in the July issue of D Magazine. Today we put that stuff online.

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