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“An Act of Love.” One Republican’s View on Immigration Reform

An earlier blog highlighted a Democratic candidate for President’s views on immigration reform and to keep the conversation going, this blog will highlight a Republican’s views on immigration reform.

Jeb Bush, the former two-term Governor of Florida, is notably the most pro-immigration reform Republican running for President in 2016. Bush has long called for the Republican Party to embrace policies that would show Republicans welcome immigrants. Bush has put forth several immigration reform proposals. As Governor, Bush supported letting undocumented immigrants receive a driver’s license and their children receive in-state tuition at state universities. More recently, in his book Immigration Wars, Bush wrote that there should be a pathway to legal status for adult immigrants that are undocumented.

Bush proposes a path to permanent legal resident status for those who entered the country undocumented and have committed no additional crimes of significance. The next step under Bush’s plan would be to come forward and admit to undocumented entry into the United States and pay fines and/or community service. Anyone that does not fulfill this obligation would then face deportation.

Bush goes on to say that the border should be secured as part of immigration reform, not a prerequisite to reform. Additionally, Bush says, the correct way to get immigration reform is for the President to work with Congress to pass a bill, not through the executive actions President Obama took. As President, Bush has said that he would work to persuade Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration bill that reforms the process immigrants go through to become citizens. Bush is most noted for saying that immigrants that came here illegally did break the law “but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love. It’s an act of commitment to [their] families.”

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