On Monday, March 18, the George W. Bush Institute celebrated America’s immigrant heritage with an official immigration naturalization ceremony. Before 49 of America’s newest citizens took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States and received their certificates of naturalization, President and Mrs. Bush spoke about the significant contributions that immigrants make to our society and economy.

Carnegie Corporation of New York is a supporter of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and the work of the Bush Institute’s Immigration program, which advocates for smart, skills-based immigration reform. Geri Mannion, director of the Corporation’s U.S. Democracy program, explains: “Andrew Carnegie believed deeply that immigrant integration is essential to strengthening American democracy and maintaining our economic vitality. The Corporation’s focus on immigrant civic integration reflects our conviction that American democracy must continue to reflect the core values of inclusion and diversity.”

President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush delivered brief remarks at the March 18 naturalization ceremony, noting the significant contributions of immigrants to our society and economy and the importance of border security.

Prior to the ceremony, President and Mrs. Bush participated in a roundtable discussion supported by the Corporation, which brought together a diverse group of professionals, community leaders, and policymakers, including members of the Dreamer community, who shared their unique, on-the-ground perspectives on immigration.

Roundtable participants included Laura Collins, the Bush Institute’s director of economic growth, Congressman Will Hurd, a former border security chief, an immigration lawyer, and DACA recipient Juan Carlos Cerda. A Yale graduate and Teach for America alumnus, Cerda is currently at the American Business Immigration Coalition in Dallas; read about his remarkable journey in the Bush Center’s “journal of ideas,” The Catalyst.