Jeb Bush Speaks Sense on Immigration

Plenty in the GOP will disagree


Yesterday Florida's former governor,  Jeb Bush (R), said that many people who come to the U.S. illegally do so as "an act of love." Bush made the comments at an event marking the 25th anniversary of his father's presidency.

Bush's comments below:

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.

Analysis and Commentary

Over at The Daily Caller Mickey Kaus, who calls Bush's comments on immigration "seemingly jejune," considers why Bush said what he did:

1) He's running in 2016 and thinks he can compensate for giving amnesty to all the illegal border crossers (mainly from Mexico) by cracking down and even deporting visa-overstayers (who aren't so much from Latin America).  It's a weak attempt to appease immigration hawks–but it's also a double-pander to many Latinos, who (rightly) resent politicians who talk about building a Southern fence while ignoring the visa-overstay problem. Clever!  I don't think the immigration hawks will be fooled, though, since Bush also endorsed the Gang of 8 bill, which legalizes instantly while postponing enforcement until later.

Or …

2) He's not running, but he's making space for Marco Rubio. Look at it this way: The GOP establishment is desperate to suppress Tea Party conservatives and also obtain the immigration amnesty they  believe will win Latinos and relieve them of the need to do too much rethinking in other areas. The problem for the establishment is lack of candidates. Rubio was a favorite, but he sabotaged himself among core Republican primary voters with his disingenuous, flip-floppy championing of the Gang of 8?s bill. That left Christie–but then Christie got caught in a traffic jam. That left Jeb, probably the establishment's original choice–but it turns out that Jeb is still a Bush, and even the Bushes are sick of the Bushes. That leaves … well, Rubio again. Maybe he can be rehabilitated in time for the primaries! How? Hmm. Well, if Jeb takes a stand way far out in a squishy idealistic pro-amnesty direction, that creates space for his quondam protege, Rubio, to stake out a position that's seemingly tougher–e.g. "Jeb's off base there. Saying it's an 'act of love' obscures the very real problems illegal immigration can cause, which is why I am strong on border enforcement, etc." Of course Rubio would still be for amnesty, and the establishment would know this. But it might help smuggle him through the primaries.

Bush has said that he will decide on whether he will run for president in 2016 by the end of this year.

National Journal's Emma Roller writes that Bush's comments set him apart from other possible Republican 2016 contenders:

Coming out in favor of comprehensive immigration reform would set Bush apart from virtually every potential contender in the Republican presidential field—perhaps with the exception of fellow Floridian Marco Rubio. As Philip Rucker and Robert Costa have reported, power players within the Republican Party are working to draft a Bush 2016 ticket (Bush has said he'll make a decision by the end of 2014).

This is not the first time Bush has voiced his support for immigration reform. He originally supported a path to citizenship, but has since toned down his position—most notably in a book he released last year. Instead, Bush has advocated for looser visa laws for families, increased visas for technically skilled workers and entrepreneurs, and a path to citizenship for children brought into the U.S. illegally.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), another possible 2016 contender, recently said that the Republican Party needs to "get beyond deportation." 

From CNN:

Rand Paul said Tuesday it's critical for Republicans to broaden their message on immigration to the Latino community if the party is going to have a chance at gaining support from the politically imperative group in future elections.

"We're not just the party of deportation. We got to get beyond deportation to get to the rest of the issues," the senator from Kentucky said at a Latino media forum in Washington.

Paul, a potential 2016 contender, has been open about his presidential ambitions.

This year, Paul has taken his libertarian-leaning message to longtime Democratic strongholds, pushing for a more inclusive Republican Party in the wake of President Obama's 2012 re-election victory over Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

Reason on Immigration

Writing about Bush's recent comments Reason's Nick Gillespie says that if the GOP can't get a grip on the immigration issue they risk losing support from most Americans:

If the GOP faithful cannot understand, empathize, and deal with the 12 million or so illegals in the country—except to tell them to get the hell out, build a wall that would have made Erich Honecker proud, and mandate a worker verification system that will be a nightmare on tech and constitutional grounds—they will forever write off the votes not simply of Latinos but most Americans. A 2013 Reason-Rupe Poll found that 70 percent of people favored letting illegals stay and get on a path to citizenship (55 percent), gain legal residency (4 percent), or become guest workers (11 percent). Of course they do: Even people who feel threatened by newcomers recognize that immigration isn't simply in the DNA of America, it is the DNA of America.

We've all heard the standard line: "I don't mind immigration, it's the illegal part of it I don't like." Each time a Republican says that without then explaining how they plan to expand legal immigration, you know that he is full of it on the immigration issue.

Reason's Ed Krayewski listed five reasons to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants in February last year. They are:

Immigration Is Good for the Economy Illegal Immigrants Already Pay Taxes Most Illegal Immigrants Are Otherwise Law-Abiding Immigration Is a Natural Right There Are Too Many Illegal Immigrants To Do Anything Else Watch Reason TV's video featuring Reason Foundation senior policy analyst Shikha Dalmia on "5 Reasons Why Low Skilled Immigrants are Good for the Economy" below:

NEXT: Even Game of Thrones Shows Rule of Law, Not Just Power, Important in Politics

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  1. So we are now to make or enforce law, not based on its intrinsic value or benefit to the society – but whether people have good intentions for breaking it? So perhaps we should all just withhold paying taxes out of “tough love” for the drunkards in Congress? Or eliminate malpractice concessions because, while it killed the patient- the doctor did it “out of love?”

    Once again this author confuses “immigration” with the differences between legal and illegal immigration. Alabama’s imperfect and austere immigration law showed that not only did unemployment sink, it did so lower than neighboring states and the nation. I’m not suggesting that is the solution for the country but the shallow economic case made, ignoring the enormous costs of welfare and educational burdens, (not to mention cultural assimilation) is just staggering in it’s naivete’.

  2. Illegal immigration an “act of love” if your option at home was truly limited and you risked everything for your family. Otherwise, you could have just applied for a citizenship (which many people do) and qualified for benefits and protections afforded to legal citizens. This too, is an “act of love”. Immigration of any kind is as “act of love” if your interests concern someone other than yourself.

    Most people who come here are not the Irish who fled a famine from their homeland. They usually fly in here, coexist among their friends and families in peace, and will return and function their motherland if things don’t work out in America. No bridge is burned.

    Jeb Bush, Obama, and Mccain are as far removed from immigrants as any typical American. Many immigrants snicker at their pandering, because it’s exactly what it is. The issues and hardships they actually encounter are almost never discussed by those in power.

    Unsurprisingly, the wage equalization movement is catching on with the undocumented worker crowd. CA is well on its way to 13 dollars an hour min wage and unionization of illegals. Will the Dems come to the aid of Asian small business owners when illegal workers rat them to the IRS or stage strikes? I’m not holding my breath.

  3. The story fails to mention that Bush also made a point of reaffirming his support of Common Core, a stand which in and of itself should disqualify him from running as a fiscal conservative or a civil libertarian.

  4. Start working from home! Great job for students, stay-at-home moms or anyone needing an extra income… You only need a computer and a reliable internet connection… Make $90 hourly and up to $12000 a month by following link at the bottom and signing up… You can have your first check by the end of this week…………

  5. Attention all people here in the US illegally: You may reside, free of charge, and use freely the facilities at the following two addresses:

    On the west coast:

    5737 Mesmer Ave.
    Los Angeles, CA 90230

    On the east coast:

    1747 Connecticut Ave., NW
    Washington, DC 20009

    If you are a citizen of Central or South America, make these two addresses your destination. They belong to you.

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