While speaking at a majority Hispanic church in Orlando, Florida, on Monday, former governor and current GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush said that a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally must happen. Moreover, Tampa Bay Times political editor Adam Smith reported on Twitter, Bush said the idea of self deportation or the idea of rounding up people in the country illegally is “not an American value.”
MyNews13 reporter Caroline Rowland said Bush spoke to “about 100 local pastors” at the mostly Latino church. The first five minutes, she added, were focused on his Christian faith.
A number of people on Twitter were not impressed with Bush’s call for what many see as amnesty. One person said that what the former governor “really means its not a BUSH FAMILY value.”
“Being flooded by illegals isn’t an American value either,” another person said. “Jeb’s tenuous grasp of ‘American Value’ or ‘acts of love’ are why he has ZERO support beyond the DC Cartel,” another critic tweeted.
Bush, Smith added in another tweet, also said he has “long been a supporter of statehood” for Puerto Rico. The National Review Online, however, disagreed with Bush, observing that voters in Puerto Rico have rejected several opportunities to become a state.
“In Washington, the issue has long been more of a Democratic cause — the state would be reliably blue — but some Republicans have warmed to the idea on political grounds, too, thinking it will win over Hispanic voters, especially the growing population of Puerto Ricans in Florida,” the NRO editors said. “Bush surely believes what he said (his brother was sympathetic, too), but if this is a political ploy, it’s an unwise one.”
But the subject of illegal immigration has been a sore one with conservative voters tired of seeing what amounts to an open southern border. Conservatives, of course, blame the Obama administration with its executive edicts and lax rules which often scream “lawlessness.” They also blame Republicans who campaigned on promises to secure the borders and stop Obama’s executive amnesty but backed off when it really mattered.
A post at the conservative Right Scoop, for example, wondered if Bush now supports open borders. “Because,” the blog adds, “we cannot have a border if we have a no-deportation policy. It’s just impossible. No matter how ‘welcoming’ and lax your immigration policy there are simply going to be some deportations.”
Bush’s stand on the issue is no surprise. As we reported in 2013, Bush said America needs more such immigrants to help bolster the economy and the population because of their productivity and fertility.
“Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans,” he said at the time. “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.”
His message did not sit well with many. “So long, Jeb,” Human Events’ John Hayward tweeted at the time. Many others issued similar messages.
Bush’s basic position, which essentially mirrors that held by liberals like Obama, has not changed with time. Worse yet, his tendency to “make nice” with those on the far left is not going to win him much support from conservatives.
At one point, Smith tweeted, Bush said that if given an hour, he could find an area of agreement with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who was once called “mind-numbingly stupid” by South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy. At the time, Pelosi claimed a House vote of contempt against then-Attorney General Eric Holder was part of a grand conspiracy to undermine his fight against voter suppression. Gowdy also suggested Pelosi “schedule an appointment” with a doctor.