Press Statement

UnidosUS Mourns Passing of President George H.W. Bush

December 3, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC—Janet Murguía, UnidosUS President and CEO, today extended condolences to the Bush family on the passing of the 41st President of the United States George H.W. Bush last weekend and noted President Bush’s strong and fruitful relationship with the Latino community during his time in office.

“We join millions of other Americans in remembering and honoring President George H.W. Bush for his seven decades of service to our country,” Murguía stated. “He was a war hero who served with distinction in World War II, a true patriot and a statesman who believed deeply in the ideals and values of this nation.

“And from day one of his administration, President Bush made a strong commitment to the Latino community. He was the first U.S. president to have multiple Hispanics in his cabinet, and he kept an open door to the community throughout his presidency, including to our organization. In fact, he was the first sitting U.S. president to address our Annual Conference.

“President Bush’s willingness to both work across the aisle and to engage national Latino organizations on issues ranging from immigration to education to health led to some notable policy accomplishments that still directly affect our community today. In 1990, for example, we worked closely with his administration on the 1990 Immigration Act, the last major reform of our legal immigration system. Thanks to that law, hundreds of thousands more Americans were able to reunite with their families, and hundreds of thousands more immigrants were able to stay and work legally through the creation of the Temporary Protected Status program.

“And it was President Bush who signed the first executive order on Hispanic Educational Excellence, the first time that the federal government was mandated to better serve Latino students. My predecessor, Raul Yzaguirre—who considers the executive order one of his signature achievements as NCLR President and CEO—was very proud to have served on President Bush’s Advisory Committee that helped implement the order.

“President Bush’s legacy as perhaps the greatest friend to the Latino community of any Republican president is especially striking and resonant today as our community grapples with one of our most challenging political environments that we have ever experienced. May he rest in peace.”

UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Through its unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS simultaneously challenges the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels. For 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger. For more information on UnidosUS, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.