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Originally published April 25, 2013 at 4:27 AM | Page modified April 25, 2013 at 6:01 AM

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President Bush optimistic about immigration bill

President George W. Bush says he's encouraged by signs of progress in overhauling the U.S. immigration system.

The Associated Press

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WASHINGTON —

President George W. Bush says he's encouraged by signs of progress in overhauling the U.S. immigration system.

But the former president also says he hopes the bill passes on its own, and not because of lawmakers' fears of alienating the Hispanic community.

Bush tells "CBS This Morning" he understands the politics of fellow Republicans softening their stand on immigration after last year's presidential election. But he also says, quote, "I hope that's not why it happens. I hope it happens because that's the right thing to do."

On another controversial issue, Bush demurred when asked if he supports gay marriage.

He tells CBS anchor Charlie Rose, "I'm not weighing in on these issues because I made a decision to get off the stage, so I'm off the stage."

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