Jeb Bush on Immigration

Former Republican FL Governor


End heartless policy of family separation at southern border

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Monday called on President Donald Trump to end the "heartless policy" of separating parents and children who cross the U.S. border illegally. [Under the Trump administration's zero-tolerance immigration policy, US authorities hold illegal immigrant adults in jail while their children are sent to government shelters. DHS announced that nearly 2,000 kids had been separated from their parents during a six-week period ending last month. Many of those children are being held in juvenile detention centers.]

"Children shouldn't be used as a negotiating tool. @realDonaldTrump should end this heartless policy and Congress should get an immigration deal done that provides for asylum reform, border security and a path to citizenship for Dreamers," Bush said online in a tweet replying to Trump.

Source: Politico.com on 2018 Trump Administration , Jun 18, 2018

Are we going to ban Muslims from India & Indonesia?

Q [to Gov. Chris Christie]: How do you respond to Donald Trump's plan to ban Muslim immigration?

CHRSTIE: After spending seven years as a former federal prosecutor, right after 9/11, dealing with this issue-- Here's the way you need to deal with it. You can't just ban all Muslims. You have to ban radical Islamic jihadists. You have to ban the people who are trying to hurt us.

BUSH: Are we going to ban Muslims from India, from Indonesia, from countries that are strong allies? Of course not. What we need to do is destroy ISIS. I laid out a plan to do that and it starts with creating a "No Fly Zone" and "Safe Zones" to make sure refugees are there. We need to lead a Sunni led force inside of Syria. We need to embed with the Iraqi military. We need to arm the Kurds the directly.

Source: Fox Business Republican 2-tier debate , Jan 14, 2016

When students ask questions in Spanish, I answer in Spanish

Q [to Trump]: You have criticized Governor Bush for speaking Spanish on the campaign trail. You said, "He should really set an example by speaking English in the United States." What's wrong with speaking Spanish?

TRUMP: We have a country, where, to assimilate, you have to speak English. I'm not the first one to say this: This is a country where we speak English, not Spanish.

BUSH: Well, I've been speaking English here tonight, and I'll keep speaking English. But the simple fact is, if a high school kid asks me a question in Spanish, I'm going to show respect and answer that question in Spanish. Even though they do speak English, and even though they embrace American values.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

My wife is Mexican and she wants a wall on Mexican border

My wife is a Mexican-American. She's an American by choice. She loves this country as much as anybody in this room, and she wants a secure border. But she wants to embrace the traditional American values that make us special and make us unique. We're at a crossroads right now. Are we going to take the Reagan approach, the hopeful optimistic approach, the approach that says you come to our country legally, you pursue your dreams with a vengeance, you create opportunities for all of us?
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

OpEd: Vigorously booed as moderate, by deep conservatives

Jeb Bush was never going to be the favorite of the RedState crowd. During the convention's debate watch party Thursday night, he was vigorously booed, especially over his more moderate remarks on immigration. But the former Florida governor's high-energy performance Saturday was a marked contrast with his lackluster debate performance, and he was well-received, proof that in his stronger moments, he can engage--if not win over--skeptical audiences.

He tore into Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration over the Keystone Pipeline and foreign policy, messages that went over well in the room, and some in the audience also applauded his vigorous criticism of Donald Trump. He didn't convert many attendees, but he showed he could hold his own in deeply conservative territory.

Source: Politico.com on 2015 GOP RedState Gathering , Aug 7, 2015

Eliminate sanctuary cities, plus more enforcement

Q: You released a new plan this week on illegal immigration focusing on enforcement, which some suggest is your effort to show that you're not soft on that issue. Last year you said, "They broke the law, but it's not a felony, it's an act of love. It's an act of commitment to your family." Do you stand by that?

BUSH: I do. I believe that the great majority of people coming here illegally have no other option. They want to provide for their family. But we need to control our border. I did come up with a comprehensive strategy that really mirrored what we said in the book, which is that we need to deal with E-Verify, we need to deal with people that come with a legal visa and overstay. We need to be much more strategic on how we deal with border enforcement, border security. We need to eliminate the sanctuary cities in this country. It is ridiculous and tragic that people are dying because of the fact that local governments are not following the federal law. There's much to do.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Immigrants are an engine of economic vitality

Q: At Congressman King's Iowa Freedom Summit, a whole host of potential Republican candidates for the presidency appeared, but someone who was not there is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. He said this at an event in San Francisco:

JEB BUSH (VIDEO CLIP): Immigrants are an engine of economic vitality. We need to find a way, a path to legalized status for those that have come here and have languished in the shadows. There's no way that they're going to be deported. No one is suggesting an organized effort to do that.

Q (to SEN. RICK SANTORUM): Is he right that immigration is the engine of economic vitality?

SANTORUM: Immigration can be, if immigration is done the right way. Immigration policy in America has to put America and American workers first. The focus of immigration policies [should be] on where we need certain skills or certain people to come to this country to help gin up and encourage our economy.

Source: CNN SOTU interview on 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit , Jan 25, 2015

OpEd: Disagrees with Tea Party on immigration and education

Jeb Bush is likely to draw a Tea Party challenger in the Republican primary based on his several issue stances where his views differ dramatically from the Tea Party view. Immigration, which is one of Jeb's core issues, is the most likely issue to draw an anti-immigration opponent in the Republican primary. Jeb supports comprehensive reform, as outlined in his book "Immigration Wars," while the Tea Party supports sealing the Mexican border.

Jeb also differs from the Tea Party on their core issue of education reform: Jeb agrees with the national standards of Common Core; while the Tea Party supports local control over national standards.

"Repealing and replacing" ObamaCare is a core tenet of the Tea Party, with which Jeb does not agree. Jeb is not a hard-core repealist on healthcare: he says we should let ObamaCare fail on its own. A key question for Jeb in 2015 is whether his anti-ObamaCare stance is strong enough, or if a Tea Party opponent will challenge him on this issue in the primary.

Source: Jeb vs. Hillary On The Issues, by Jesse Gordon, pp. 72-3&169 , Dec 10, 2014

OpEd: Rational sympathy rather than economic logic

If Bush does run, it's likely that another passage in that Fox News interview will supply his detractors with some of the ammunition that they will use against him: "It's not a felony. It's an act of love."

Bush's position makes a lot of sense but unfortunately--and he knew when he uttered those words--only one phrase will be remembered: "act of love." Suffice it to say that this son and younger brother of presidents will be endlessly mocked by many, if not most, conservatives for expressing what will be depicted as a bleeding heart liberal's view of illegal immigrants. That Bush would campaign as an advocate for immigration reform--a position that is considered anathema by many in the Republican Party's grass roots--was never in doubt. But what makes this a political gaffe of a sort is that Bush chose to make the argument for a rational approach to the fact that 12 million illegals are in the country by playing the sympathy card rather than an appeal to cold, hard economic logic.

Source: Commentary Magazine, "What's Love Got To Do With It" , Apr 7, 2014

Immigration is 'not a felony' but 'an act of love'

Jeb Bush said the debate over immigration reform needs to move past derisive rhetoric describing illegal immigrants. The former Florida governor said that people who come to the US illegally are often looking for opportunities to provide for their families that are not available in their home countries.

"Yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony. It's an act of love, it's an act of commitment to your family," Bush said. "I honestly think that is a different kind of crime, that there should be a price paid, but it shouldn't rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families," he said.

"I think we need to kind of get beyond the harsh political rhetoric to a better place." Bush acknowledged that his comments would be recorded. "So be it," he said before discussing immigration reform, an area where he splits from many in the Republican Party in lobbying for a comprehensive overhaul.

Source: Dana Davidsen on CNN Politicker, "Act of love" , Apr 7, 2014

Immigrants are committed to family, even if illegally here

On immigration, there's an elite consensus behind "comprehensive immigration reform" that would provide legal status and a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants. Bush is a particularly impassioned spokesman for this consensus: "Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans, over the last 20 years," Jeb said at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in June 2013. "Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact families, and they bring a younger population. Immigrants create an engine of economic prosperity."

This Sunday, he went further in describing the motives of some undocumented immigrants in deeply positive terms: "Yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony," Jeb said. "It's an act of love. It's an act of commitment to your family."

The problem: The only people absent from this consensus are the leaders of his own party. House Republicans have for a decade bottled up "amnesty."

Source: Ben Smith on BuzzFeed.com, "Terrible Candidate" , Apr 7, 2014

FactCheck: Yes, immigrants are more fertile

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's comment "Immigrants are more fertile," sparked debate on twitter. Fertility can mean the ability to have children, but it can also refer to the birth rate of a population--and that's the way we evaluated Bush's statement.

Bush, speaking at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference, made a pitch for immigration reform, saying America needs more new workers to help pay for retirees--"to rebuild the demographic pyramid" as he put it. "Immigrants are more fertile," Bush said. "And they love families and they have more intact families, and they bring a younger population. Immigrants create an engine of economic prosperity."

Bush's words were on track, and we rate the statement Mostly True.

Source: PolitiFact 2013 fact-checking on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 18, 2013

People come illegally because there's no legal path to come

Q; You don't want to encourage further entry by undocumented workers, is that correct?

BUSH: That's exactly right. The incentives that exist today are for people to come illegally because there's no path for them to come legally. We don't have a guest worker program. We have lines that are so long, that in effect, there are no lines. If you--I mean, we have a lottery system where people actually put their names in. That's the reaction to our immigration system being so clogged up.

Q: This isn't really about the pathway to citizenship, is it? Isn't this about what everybody has called the empathy gap? That people look at the Republican Party and they think mean old white guys, mainly.

BUSH: I think that immigration is a gateway issue for people that have some part of the immigrant experience. It's a gateway issue if you can get past that, whether it's the empathy gap or actually having a positive agenda, then you have to make a case on a broader set of issues.

Source: CNN SOTU 2013 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Mar 10, 2013

Limit family reunification: no siblings nor parents

Our immigration policy is driven by an overriding preference for family reunification. Unlike every other country, in America family members of existing immigrants account for a large majority of new lawful entrants into our country, crowding out most others.

When parents & siblings are given immigration preference, their entry in turn creates an entitlement to other extended family members to gain preference as well--a phenomenon called "chain immigration."

In terms of cost/benefit analysis, extended family members typically do not produce the economic benefits that work-based immigrants do, and they impose far greater costs.

We propose limiting guaranteed admissions to spouses and minor children of US citizens. Reuniting married couples and their children is the essence of family reunification. By contrast, siblings and parents cause substantial chain immigration because their children, siblings, and parents then receive guaranteed admission preference as well.

Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p. 18-21 , Mar 5, 2013

Treat illegals with compassion but also rule of law

We need to treat those who have settled in our country illegally with compassion and sensitivity, yet without sacrificing the rule of law that is vital to our national fabric. The wholesale amnesty granted in the 1980s promoted the first of those values while abandoning the second, with the all-too-predictable result that millions more illegal immigrants came into the country.

This time, we need to vindicate both core values On one hand, we should try to put ourselves in the shoes of people who have entered the country illegally: they often faced impossible economic circumstances in their native countries, with a bleak future for themselves and their families, yet had no realistic process of immigrating lawfully to this country. On the other hand, allowing people to immigrate illegally without consequence while millions of others wait to enter through lawful means in manifestly unfair.

Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p. 40-41 , Mar 5, 2013

To become citizen, pass exam in English and civic history

Assimilation into American culture may begin long before people even enter our country. But assimilation into the American identity--the values on which our nation is based and the constitutional mechanisms designed to perpetuate them--ultimately is far more important yet a much more difficult task.

To become citizens, immigrants must demonstrate fluency in English and pass an examination on basic American civics and history. There are 100 possible questions, from which 10 are asked of prospective citizens. Answering 6 out of 10 questions constitutes a passing grade.

We believe that should not be enough to earn citizenship. Instead, aspiring citizens should be able to demonstrate a fundamental understanding of our nation's values and mechanisms of democracy. Thus we would expand the civic knowledge necessary for citizenship to include our nation's founding documents, the crucial role of a market economy in promoting freedom and prosperity, and the means and importance of civic preparation.

Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p. 58-59 , Mar 5, 2013

Illegals can't "wait in line"; there is no line to wait in

There is one reason above all others that we have millions of illegal immigrants: because there is no lawful avenue for them to enter the country. Unless they receive one of the small number of seasonal work visas or high-skilled worker visas, or unless they are a postsecondary student or a relative of lawful residents, there is simply no mechanism by which they can lawfully emigrate to the US. Saying "they should wait in line like everyone else" is hollow because there is no line in which to wait. The days in which people could lawfully emigrate to the US just because they wanted to pursue the American Dream are as much a memory as is Ellis Island. If we do not provide a lawful mechanism for immigration for such people, we can expect a continued flow of illegal immigration during good economic times, no matter how many fences we build or how many obstacles we place in their path.

Emphatically, the best solution to illegal immigration is a viable system of legal immigration.

Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p.114-115 , Mar 5, 2013

Objections to more multiracial America are misplaced

Even if we did nothing on immigration policy, immigration would continue to impact America. In 2011, for the first time, fewer than half of all children born were non-Hispanic whites. US residents who were born in foreign countries number about 39 million, or roughly 12.5% of the nation's people, not much different than in times past.

What the demographics mean is that Americans will grow increasingly multiracial. Reform opponents raise the same tired arguments their predecessors raised for centuries: that the newcomers will not assimilate; they won't learn English; they are disproportionately criminal, welfare-dependent, and subversive of American values. History repeatedly has proven those objections misplaced. Where would we be if we had allowed those arguments to prevail in the 19th century or at any time since then? Certainly, we would not be the most powerful, prosperous, and generous nation on earth. Nor will we continue to be if we allow those arguments to prevail today.

Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p.139-141 , Mar 5, 2013

GOP wooed Hispanics in 2004; but alienated them by 2012

Bush chastised fellow Republicans for alienating Latinos with anti-immigration rhetoric. "In the 15 states that are likely to decide who control the White House and the Senate in 2012, Hispanic voters will represent the margin of victory," Bush wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. "For the Republican Party, the stakes could not be greater. Just 8 years after the party's successful effort to woo Hispanic voters in 2004, this community--the fastest-growing group in the US--has drifted away."
Source: The Rise of Marco Rubio, by Manuel Rogi-Franzia, p.222 , Jun 19, 2012

1980s: Voter registration for 88,000 naturalized Hispanics

In December 1983, Jeb formally became Dade County's most influential Republican player, the county party chairmanship. Now, a county chair in politics is somewhat like a college education--it is what you make of it. Jeb made a lot of it, putting in place a recruitment program to boost the party's registered voter roll in Dade County.

Between Dec. 1983 & Dec. 1986, the number of Republicans climbed from 150,651 to 238,520, a 58% increase, while the number of registered Democrats actually declined from 425,559 to 422, 205. Certainly, this was to an extent just taking advantage of existing conditions. Miami Cubans had been angry at the Democratic Party ever since President Kennedy had [abandoned] the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Still, Jeb deserves credit for following through with the grunt work part of the operation. His goal was to register all newly naturalized Hispanics, not just Cubans, as Republicans, and he was extraordinarily successful in this, helped by his by-then fluent Spanish.

Source: America's Next Bush, by S.V. Date, p. 78 , Feb 15, 2007

Speaks Spanish; husband and father of Hispanics

Jeb, in his run for governor in 1994 told the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida at an Orlando campaign appearance: "I am the husband of a Hispanic, I am the father of 3 beautiful children who have Hispanic blood running through their veins, my business partner and 75% of the former team members of my business are Hispanic."

In Miami, Jeb didn't need Columba's ethnicity to connect with the Hispanic majority. His ability to speak the language and, perhaps even more important, his long and deep support of Miami's virulently anticommunist foreign policy essentially made Jeb an honorary Cuban.

Source: America's Next Bush, by S.V. Date, p.191 , Feb 15, 2007

Jeb Bush on Comprehensive Reform

Show compassion to illegals with a path to legal status

I have a plan, including controlling the border, dealing with the visa over-stayers, making sure we have a path to legal status, not to citizenship, for those that pay a fine, learn English, don't commit crimes, work and pay taxes. The majority of people that come to this country come because they have no other choice. That doesn't mean it's right. We should pick who comes. We should control our border. Coming here legally should be a lot easier than coming here illegally.
Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina , Feb 13, 2016

We need practical plan; not possible to deport 11M illegals

Twelve million illegal immigrants, to send them back is not possible. It would tear communities apart. It would send a signal that we're not the kind of country I know America is. We have to win the presidency. The way you win the presidency is to have practical plans. What we need to do is allow people to earn legal status where they pay a fine, where they work, where they don't commit crimes, where they learn English, and over a period of time, they earn legal status. That's the proper path.
Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

Prove border is secure, while doing comprehensive reform

Q: In your 2013 book on immigration, you say that pushing for an "enforce the border first" policy is, in your words, "self-defeating," that you're going to need a path to legalization as part of a compromise if you're going to get anything through Congress. Is that still your position?

BUSH: I think you can do both, but the first step is to prove that the border is secure.˙I mean, you could have a conversation about comprehensive reform while you're doing your job. This president committed to comprehensive reform and has done nothing and he hasn't enforced the border to the satisfaction of anybody that's looked at this issue.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 Coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 27, 2015

Earned legal status, not amnesty

I think rather than talking about this as a wedge issue, which Barack Obama has done now for six long years, the next president--and I hope to be that president--will fix this once and for all so that we can turn this into a driver for high sustained economic growth. And there should be a path to earned legal status for those that are here. Not amnesty, earned legal status, which means you pay a fine and do many things over an extended period of time.
Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

There is no plan to deport 11 million people

In a departure from the tone of much of CPAC, Jeb Bush stuck to his more moderate Republican guns. Bush reiterated his belief in immigration reform, saying that his plan "also includes a path to legal status."

[When asked about] this policy fissure with the conservative base, Bush responded, "I know there's disagreement here," acknowledging boos that came from the right wing crowd. "I feel your pain. But there is no plan to deport 11 million people," Bush continued. "We should give them a path for legal status where they work, they don't get government benefits, where they learn English."

And though he prioritized security along the nation's border, he believed the GOP could also broker an agreement on other reform possibilities. "Let's do it. Let's control the border," Bush said. "There's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing that holds back the Republicans from putting a comprehensive plan in place to do it."

Source: CBS News on 2015 Conservative Political Action Conf. , Feb 27, 2015

2009: favored deportation; 2012: favored path to citizenship

Immigration reform is touchy for Republicans specifically, and Americans in general. 48% of voters think undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay, with a path to citizenship--down from 57% in 2013. That statistic, combined with a perceived electoral need to reach out to more Latino voters, has put many Republicans vying for the presidency in a sticky spot. [Our guide, in Q&A format]:

Q: Should the government offer immigrants already living in the US illegally a pathway to citizenship?

A: Yes. Bush flipped from favoring deportation for undocumented immigrants to favoring a path to citizenship "sometime between 2009 & 2012." Since then, he has supported a path to citizenship. "You have to deal with this issue," he said in 2012. "You can't ignore it, and so either a path to citizenship, which I would support--or a path to residency of some kind."

In April, Bush said there should be "penalties for breaking the law" but that coming to the US illegally is often "an act of love."

Source: National Journal 2016 series: Republicans on immigration , Feb 23, 2015

Supports DREAM Act, but not via executive action

Q: Should the children of undocumented immigrants be offered a pathway to citizenship?

A: Yes. In 2012, Bush said he does not support Obama's executive actions on immigration, but does support the DREAM Act. "Having a solution to the fact that we have all of these young people--many of whom are making great contributions, don't have a connection to their parents' former country--yeah, of course I'm for it. But then again, I'm not running for anything, and I can speak my mind."

Source: National Journal 2016 series: Republicans on immigration , Feb 23, 2015

Illegal immigration is act of love: different kind of crime

There are means by which we can control our border better than we have. And there should be penalties for breaking the law. But the way I look at this--and I'm going to say this, and it'll be on tape and so be it. The way I look at this is someone who comes to our country because they couldn't come legally, they come to our country because their families--the dad who loved their children--was worried that their children didn't have food on the table. And they wanted to make sure their family was intact, and they crossed the border because they had no other means to work to be able to provide for their family. Yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony. It's an act of love. It's an act of commitment to your family. I honestly think that that is a different kind of crime that there should be a price paid, but it shouldn't rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families.
Source: Fox News interview at George H. W. Bush Library , Apr 6, 2014

Advocate for residency for illegal immigrants

Bush has taken policy stances against his party's grass roots on the hot button issues of immigration and education. Bush is an advocate for pathways to citizenship and residency for illegal immigrants, positions that House Republican leaders didn't even want to debate in this election year for fear they would cause too big a rift in the ranks.
Source: John Dickerson on Slate.com, "Hard on the GOP" , Mar 31, 2014

My plan is legalization, not self-deportation

Q: What's the difference between that and what Mitt Romney was proposing last year, self-deportation, which you say in your book, made it almost impossible for him to get any Hispanic votes?

BUSH: The difference is that we are suggesting that there be a path to legalization, that people that are here come out from the shadows. That is a far cry from telling people they have to go back to their home country. And the other thing I would say is that our proposal also says for children of illegal immigrants, those who can't come here illegally that were children, that they should have a path to citizenship on a far faster basis. The so-called "DREAM Act" kids.

Q: But in terms of the path to citizenship, that is self-deportation, correct?

BUSH: No, it is not self-deportation; people can stay here. 60% of the people that were granted a process of legalization and citizenship in 1987 did not apply for citizenship. They stayed as legal residents of the country.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2013 interview of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Mar 10, 2013

Path to citizenship or path to legalization: both could work

Q: Politico wrote about your book: "Bush takes a U-turn on pathway to citizenship." Did you change your view on this?

BUSH: My view has been that, in order to get comprehensive reform, we could take either path; either a path to citizenship or a path to legalization. The important point is that illegal immigrants should not get better benefits at a lower cost than people that have been waiting patiently. So assume we pass the law this year--and I hope that's the case--five years from now we should

Source: Meet the Press 2013 series on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Mar 10, 2013

Reform must make it easier to come legally than illegally

Q: For years you supported a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Now, according to your book, you no longer support that, but support a path to legal residency. Why have you changed?

BUSH: I haven't changed. The book was written to try to create a blueprint for conservatives that were reluctant to embrace comprehensive reform, to give them, perhaps, a set of views that they could embrace. I support a path to legalization or citizenship so long as the path for people that have been waiting patiently is easier and costs less, the legal entrance to our country, than illegal entrance. The worst thing that we could do is to pass a set of laws and have the exact same problem we had in the late 1980s, where there was not the enforcement and it was easier to come legally than illegally.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2013 series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Mar 10, 2013

6-part proposal for comprehensive immigration reform

    A Proposal for Immigration Reform
  1. Fundamental Reform: Comprehensive interrelated approach because system as a whole is broken, and to achieve bipartisan consensus.
  2. A Demand-Driven Immigration System: Replace overriding preference for family reunification with work-based immigration.
  3. An Increased Role for the States: Share federal authority over immigration policy [such as] social services and providing benefits.
  4. Dealing With Current Illegal Immigrants: We propose a path to permanent legal resident status for those who plead guilty to having entered our country illegally as adults and who have committed no additional crimes of significance.
  5. Border Security: Broader immigration reform is an essential component of border security; we can't do one without the other.
  6. Toward a More Vibrant Future: Getting immigration policy right will allow us to reclaim the prosperity that in recent years has eluded our grasp.
Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush,p. 12-62 , Mar 5, 2013

There is no realistic pathway to citizenship for most people

Some people are allowed to become legal residents automatically, even if they do not work and will consume enormous social services. (Indeed, some immigrants are forbidden from working!) Others who would contribute a great deal have to wait decades for a visa, if they can get one at all.

Of the many serious and legitimate criticisms that can be leveled against our current immigration system, two in particular stand out in terms of hugely detrimental impact:

There is a single major explanation for both problems: our immigration policy is driven by an overriding preference for family reunification, which in turn is very broadly defined.
Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p. 17-19 , Mar 5, 2013

Path to legal resident status: pay fines & no criminals

It is in no one's interest for illegal immigrants and their families to live in the shadows. We need everyone to participate in the mainstream economy, to pay taxes, to participate openly in their communities, to be willing to report crimes-- that is to say, to be accountable, responsible members of society. That cannot occur when people fear they will be arrested if their immigration status is known.

We propose a path to permanent legal resident status for those who entered our country illegally as adults and who have committed no additional crimes of significance. The 1st step in obtaining that status would be to plead guilty to having committed the crime of illegal entry, and to receive an appropriate punishment consisting of fines and/or community service. Anyone who does not come forward under this process will be subject to automatic deportation, unless they choose to return voluntarily to their native countries.

Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p. 42-43 , Mar 5, 2013

Secure border as component of reform, not as prerequisite

Many on the right say that we must secure the border before we do anything to reform our immigration system. The fact is that we can't do one without the other. Although border security is an essential component of broader immigration reform, broader immigration reform also is an essential component of border security.

Demanding border security as a prerequisite to broader immigration reform is a good slogan but elusive on the details and measurements. What do advocates of such an approach mean by "operational control" of the border? That not a single immigrant will cross illegally? That no illegal drugs will cross the border? That no terrorists will enter our country? What exactly is the magic moment we must wait for before we can fix the broken immigration system?

Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p. 48 , Mar 5, 2013

Education reform more critical than immigration reform

The export of knowledge-driven industry is a far greater threat to our prosperity than illegal immigration, which seems to dominate the news and political discourse. Without a pipeline of homegrown talent to fuel growth, the lure of cheaper labor, lower operating costs, and less government regulation outside the U.S. will be difficult to overcome.
Source: Mike Thomas Blog, Orlando Sentinel , Jan 11, 2011

Pray for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, not AZ law

Jeb Bush and his gang are interested in the type of reform his brother pushed that includes tighter borders and a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the nation. Here's what we received:

Jeb Bush, Conservative Leaders Call on Congress, President to Act on Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Hundreds of conservative grassroots advocates will join a nationwide strategy call with key business and Evangelical leaders to share convictions around the need for immigration reform this year and discuss plans for moving the issue forward.

Conservative leaders will provide an update on the fallout from last week's passage of Arizona's divisive immigration law and pray for a solution to the moral, economic & political crisis caused by our broken immigration system. Speakers will also share strategies for breaking the stalemate in Congress to move immigration reform this year.

Source: Paul Bedard in US News and World Report, "Jeb Leads Fight" , Apr 28, 2010

Share costs of legal immigration between states & federal.

Bush adopted the National Governors Association policy:

Source: NGA policy HR-2: Immigration and Refugee Policy 01-NGA3 on Feb 15, 2001

Federal government should deal with criminal repatriation.

Bush adopted the National Governors Association policy:

Finally, the Governors are concerned about the large number of deported felons that are returning to the United States. A significant number of the criminal alien felons housed in state prisons and local jails are previously convicted felons who reentered the United States after they were deported. The Governors urge the federal government to provide sufficient funds for proven positive identification systems, like the Automated Fingerprinting Identification System (AFIS), to allow for the expanded use of these systems in the rest of the nation.
Source: NGA policy HR-2: Immigration and Refugee Policy 01-NGA4 on Feb 15, 2001

Import farm workers from Mexico.

Bush signed the Southern Governors' Association resolution:

Source: Resolution of Southern Governor's Assn. on 2002 Farm Bill 01-SGA6 on Sep 9, 2001

Other candidates on Immigration: Jeb Bush on other issues:
Former Presidents/Veeps:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
V.P.Dick Cheney
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
V.P.Al Gore
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
Harry_S_TrumanHarry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

Religious Leaders:
New Testament
Old Testament
Pope Francis

Political Thinkers:
Noam Chomsky
Milton Friedman
Arianna Huffington
Rush Limbaugh
Tea Party
Ayn Rand
Secy.Robert Reich
Joe Scarborough
Gov.Jesse Ventura
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

Page last updated: Oct 27, 2021