Meet Paula Rendon: The Mexican Immigrant Who Helped Increase George W. Bush

One girl had a defining affect on George W. Bush’s views on immigration: Paula Rendon, an immigrant from Mexico who left her personal kids to assist elevate Bush and his siblings.

“First immigrant I’ve identified,” former president advised CBS Information a latest interview from his ranch in Texas. “I used to be 13 years previous. Mom and pa employed her to come back and assist with our household. She left three kids behind in Mexico. I am going to always remember opening the doorways – pouring rain in Houston – and there she was, a tiny little girl curled up and scared to loss of life. And he or she taught me quite a bit about immigrants and desires. ”

Portrait of Paula Rendon by former President George HW Bush.


Rendon is one in all 43 immigrants Mr. Bush painted for his e-book, “Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants.” By sharing their tales, Mr. Bush seeks to humanize these on the middle of the immigration debate.

Rendon was residing in a small home with a mud flooring in Cuernavaca, Mexico, when she went to work for the Bush household in Houston, based on the e-book. Her husband had just lately handed away and she or he wanted to assist her kids, whom she later dropped at america and who are actually United States residents.

The previous president mentioned she was a second mom to him and his siblings. She was robust, beneficiant and loving, he mentioned.

She moved to the White Home when former President George HW Bush was elected.

“I do not assume Dad would have grow to be president with out Paula Rendon,” Marvin Bush, the youngest sibling, mentioned within the e-book. “His presence gave Mother and Dad the consolation of touring and constructing the relationships that have been important to Dad’s skilled success.

Mr. Bush mentioned that Rendon, who got here to america within the late Fifties, would have a tougher time coming into the nation now.

“Effectively, she may include a piece visa, however the issue is that work visas are too arduous to get,” he mentioned. “Irrespective of how determined she was – she would have been – there would have been no authorized approach for her to come back.” And due to this fact, for the system to work higher, Congress wants to consider find out how to develop its work. visas. “

Mr. Bush has lengthy supported a path to citizenship for immigrants. In 2006, he delivered a speech within the Oval Workplace saying, “We’re a nation of legal guidelines and we should implement our legal guidelines. We’re additionally a nation of immigrants, and we should uphold this custom, which has made our nation stronger. in some ways… These are usually not conflicting objectives – America could be each a authorized society and a welcoming society. “

Paula Rendon with the Bush family
President George HW, First Woman Barbara Bush with their daughter, Doro, watch Paula Rendon bake Thanksgiving pies at Camp David on November 23, 1989.

Presidential Library and George HW Bush Museum

George HW Bush and Barbara Bush put collectively a retirement plan for Rendon, however Mr. Bush mentioned she refused to retire. She continued to assist the previous first girl oversee the family till the age of 95. She died in 2020 on the age of 97, shortly after Mr. Bush completed his portrait. A number of Bush siblings attended his funeral.

“We’ve discovered quite a bit from Paula,” writes Mr. Bush. “She taught us what it means to work arduous. She taught us what it means to sacrifice for the household. And he or she taught us to be grateful to immigrants, who make the American dream come true by making it come true and bringing it to the information. generations of diligent, decided Americans. ”

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