Former U.S. President George W. Bush just released a new book of his paintings, Out of Many, One, which features some of the many immigrants he says have impacted him throughout the years. This includes a handful of Latinos like Carlos Rovelo, a history and government professor in Texas, and Paula Rendon, his childhood nanny.
In his book, Bush writes about being “a nation of laws” and “a nation of immigrants,” too.
“These are not contradictory goals,” Bush writes. “America can be a lawful society and a welcoming society at the same time.”
Bush adds that throughout the years, the U.S. has “reacted negatively, and sometimes harshly to immigrants. At times, immigration has inspired fear—fear of open borders, fear of job losses, fear of cultural degradation.”
Through his life and career, Bush says he has “had the privilege of seeing the profound and positive influence of newcomers.” By painting portraits of immigrants, he hopes he can help “focus our collective attention on the positive impacts that immigrants are making on our country.”
Rovelo, who is a professor at Tarrant County College in Ft. Worth, came to the U.S. as an immigrant from El Salvador fleeing violence. He is now on the cover of Bush’s new book of paintings.
Bush also honors his childhood nanny Paula Rendon with a painting. She came to the family from Mexico in 1959. He calls Rendon a “second mother” to him and his siblings.
“Over the next six decades, Paula became an integral part of our family,” he writes. “The first immigrant I really knew showed me how hardworking, family-oriented newcomers add to the cultural fabric, economic strength, and patriotic spirit of America.”