Immigration

Jeb Bush Doubles Down on Pro-Immigrant Stance

The 2016 hopeful said 11 million undocumented immigrants deserve legal status.

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Jeb
Gage Skidmore

In a speech yesterday to a friendly audience, presumptive 2016 candidate Jeb Bush (R–Fla.) reiterated that he thinks the roughly 11 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally ought to be given the opportunity to stay. Reports the Huffington Post:

In tone and substance, Bush stands out among the many Republicans lining up for the GOP's next presidential primary, where conservatives who oppose an immigration overhaul often hold outsized influence. As he moves toward a presidential campaign, the brother and son of former presidents has not backed away from his defense of immigrants in the country illegally and a policy that would allow them to attain legal status under certain conditions. 

"We're a nation of immigrants," Bush said at the National Christian Hispanic Leadership Conference that brought several hundred Hispanic evangelical leaders to Houston this week. "This is not the time to abandon something that makes us special and unique."

A successful immigration overhaul is more than simply strengthening the border, Bush said, referring to "11 million people that should come out from the shadows and receive earned legal status." He said such immigrants should be required to pay taxes, work and not receive government benefits.

Many political observers view Bush's support for immigration reform as a black mark on his record that will hurt him with base conservatives as he vies for the Republican nomination this year and next.

But others have noted that a lack of support among Hispanics will severely hamper the GOP's ability to take back the White House in 2016. Pew Research found that 71 percent of Hispanic voters went for President Barack Obama three years ago, compared to just 27 percent who cast ballots for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate who famously championed "self-deportation" as a strategy for dealing with illegals.

Shortly thereafter, a post mortem of the 2012 election from the Republican National Committee came to the following conclusion:

If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States (i.e. self-deportation), they will not pay attention to our next sentence. It does not matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy; if Hispanics think we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies. …

We are not a policy committee, but…we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our Party's appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only. We also believe that comprehensive immigration reform is consistent with Republican economic policies that promote job growth and opportunity for all.

Bush is clearly betting he can convince his party that a gentler stance on immigration will be good for it in the long-term. I've dinged him for backtracking on religious liberty on the campaign trail, but credit where it's due: While the rest of the Republican presidential field drones on about the need for a more secure border, and as two in three Republican voters still favor stopping the flow of illegals into the country and deporting the ones who are already here (per a recent poll from CNN), the former governor of Florida and husband to a Mexican immigrant isn't backing down.

CORRECTION: Two out of three GOP voters supported deportation in a February CNN/ORC survey.

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  1. I thought a RINO like Jeb was supposed to run to the right in the primaries and then to the middle in the general. If this is him running to the right, he’s doing it wrong. Would he be somewhere to the left of Hillary in a general election?

  2. Still not going to be president.

    1. No – but maybe he can land a gig as an editor at Reason.

  3. Pro-Amnesty, Pro-Common Core… I don’t think there’s anything you can do to salvage my opinion of you, Jeb.

    Though I have set up a Foundation selling political absolution to candidates for the low low price of $250Million a dose. You can erase one political sin today!

    …but that still won’t make me vote for you.

    1. What will he do next? Come out for higher taxes to reduce income inequality? My impression was that he was a decent governor, but he’s running as a left/establishment Republican, which seems idiotic.

      1. I keep saying it, but this guy is almost nothing like the governor. I blame the pod people.

        1. At least on Immigration, Jeb Bush- indeed all of the Bushes- has been pretty consistent.

          1. Yeah, I wasn’t really talking about immigration, just his general statist bullshit since he started running. “Jeb, you changed, man!”

    2. Ah, ethics credits. I was going to get into that gig.

  4. Legal guest worker status maybe. I do love this country mostly but I’m not jingoistic enough to think that everyone coming here for a job wants to stay here as a citizen. We need a guest worker program that works. Unfortunately the unions and the Democratic party will never go for that. In addition those who do want to become citizens need a streamlined process to do so.

    1. I’d be okay with a guest worker program under the codition that the workers don’t get to drag their families along as we expunge the jus soli citizenship mistake from law. Have a citizen parent or go through the naturalization process.

    2. As long as we have birthright citizenship, there ain’t no such thing as a guest worker program.

      1. +1 to this. And marriage-right citizenship. And the notion that deporting people is a violation of their “rights.” That’s why we support it.

      2. As UnCivil said if they can’t bring their families along it would be that much harder. But you make a good point. I suppose you would have to prevent pregnant women from staying. That would never pass muster with the SJWs but that would have to be written into the guest worker law.

        1. I personally would prefer that guest workers bring their families along with them. If they are legally earning money, I would rather they spend as much of that money in the states rather than what many do- spend the bare necessities here and send the rest back to their home country.

          The problem of birthright citizenship is not as big a problem as many think. If your parents have to leave due to their guest worker status expiring, there is no reason why you cannot be forced to go with them when they leave. This happens today in a lot of immigration cases. The parents say “Oh noes, my citizen child will have nowhere to stay if we leave.” and the judge says, “then take them with you. Their citizenship doesn’t guarantee you residency.”

          The key is to get these people in the system and working on an easy-to-use guest worker program. One form gets you the green-card, and into the tax-paying job.

        2. Our country has a lot of guest workers, you might want to look at it as a model.

          http://www.theguardian.com/wor…..24/israel1

    3. What’s wrong with the policy we proposed in our amnesty and immigration surge act?(i.e. S 744)

  5. I’ve got a banner ad to the right advertising green card renewal services featuring a picture of an extremely attractive SE Asian woman, or possibly someone of South American indigenous extraction.

    Either way, would bang.

    1. Ha, I got the same ad.

      Oh, and looks like Jeb picked up the Shikha Dalmia vote.

      1. The bots clearly know which few of us on this board are actually straight.

  6. “11 million people that should come out from the shadows and receive earned legal status.”

    FTFY

    1. They all have legal status, in their own countries.

  7. Ol’ Jeb is a Bush for sure. Big Gov, Big Church, Big Immigration, Big War, Big Security State.

    1. Don’t forget Big Bailout

  8. Legal guest worker status maybe. I do love this country mostly but I’m not jingoistic enough to think that everyone coming here for a job wants to stay here as a citizen. We need a guest worker program that works. Unfortunately the unions and the Democratic party will never go for that. In addition those who do want to become citizens need a streamlined process to do so.
    Agree.

  9. Jeb is a useless idjit, but not for this.

  10. Jeb is a useless idjit, but not for this.

    Indeed.

    A successful immigration overhaul is more than simply strengthening the border, Bush said, referring to “11 million people that should come out from the shadows and receive earned legal status.” He said such immigrants should be required to pay taxes, work and not receive government benefits.

    Note that neither citizenship nor benefits are in Jeb’s legalization plan. This side of the debate needs to get out there and be heard by the media who, hearing only Democratic talking points, automatically think “legalization” means “citizenship and benefits”.

    1. “Note that neither citizenship nor benefits are in Jeb’s legalization plan. This side of the debate needs to get out there and be heard by the media who, hearing only Democratic talking points, automatically think “legalization” means “citizenship and benefits”.”

      You can just hear the cries of “Apartheid” now. Legalization is but a stepping stone.

      1. Apartheid is restricting residence and employment based on one’s citizenship. Apartheid is exactly what the US has now.

        If anyone, regardless of citizenship, can live and work in the US, that is ending Apartheid.

        Granted, this extremely simple argument may be over the heads of the overly emoting media.

        1. “If anyone, regardless of citizenship, can live and work in the US, that is ending Apartheid.”

          Nonsense. You can’t end apartheid until everyone has the same rights, that is… to vote, use public services, and receive benefits.

          Look at the media cries of “separate but equal!” whenever someone proposes civil unions instead of “marriage”. Doesn’t matter if your proposition is perfectly reasonable.

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