LULAC Remembers a Friend: President George H.W. Bush
Nation’s Largest and Oldest Civil Rights Organization & America’s 41st President Achieved Progress Together for Latinos
Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens is saddened by the passing of a dear and valued friend, President George H.W. Bush who died Friday night at the age of 94 just eight months following the loss of his wife, Barbara on April 17, 2018.
“I had the honor and privilege of knowing President Bush and will always recall him fondly and with enormous admiration as a great American and friend of the Latino community,” says Oscar Moran, former National President during the Bush Administration. “We worked together on some important issues confronting Latinos and it was his courage and leadership, the hallmark of his entire life in public service, that helped us achieve crucial progress on such matters as immigration. Latinos loved President Bush because he genuinely respected our contributions and he always treated our community with dignity. We will miss him very much,” he added.
Former LULAC National President Margaret Moran recalls, “When President Bush arrived in Dallas in 1988 to speak at the Presidential banquet at our annual LULAC convention, Oscar greeted him at the airport. At the banquet, he handed me a folded GHWB dollar bill. I will always treasure it. We have many stories and photos of us with President Bush and some of our board members. A special photo is of Oscar with President Bush on Air Force 2 where he asked Oscar to review the remarks that Peggy Noonan had drafted for him. Knowing my husband, he offered a few remarks which were graciously accepted. By example, President Bush showed no one is beyond learning from others,” she said.
That willingness to embrace new ways of viewing some of America’s greatest challenges allowed President Bush to realize some historic achievements. Latinos are indebted to him for the Immigration Act of 1990, a significant milestone representing the first major overhaul of the U.S. legal immigration system in a quarter-century and a law which remains the framework for today's legal immigration. In doing so, President Bush said, “Immigration is not just a link to America’s past; it’s also a bridge to America’s future.”
History will also record about President Bush his compassion for those individuals with special needs which moved him to sign the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. It affords similar protections against discrimination to Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal.
LULAC shall always celebrate with pride that President Bush included our organization when he spoke so eloquently and said, “This is America: the Knights of Columbus, the Grange, Hadassah, the Disabled American Veterans, the Order of Ahepa, the Business and Professional Women of America, the union hall, the Bible study group, LULAC, "Holy Name"—a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.”
President Bush was a man of deep faith which shone through in his words and deeds. We shall treasure his admonishment when he called upon America to answer a higher calling and said, “We've come far, but I think we need a new harmony among the races in our country. And we're on a journey into a new century, and we've got to leave that tired old baggage of bigotry behind.” Also, his humility was his strength when he shared with the nation his pain at witnessing the suffering of neglected children and said, “where is it written that we must act as if we do not care, as if we are not moved? Well I am moved. I want a kinder, and gentler nation.”
Domingo Garcia, National LULAC President is a lifelong resident of Texas and says President Bush, whose home was in Houston, was devoted to what he treasured most. “Our condolences to the Bush family at the passing of President George H.W. Bush. Having served in the Texas Legislature with his son, then-Governor George W. Bush, and being at numerous events with the late President and his family, I experienced firsthand how he served those he loved, his state of Texas and his country admirably. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Bush family at this time. We have been witnesses to an important era in America’s history,” he said.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.lulac.org.