The Republican establishment's preferred White House hopeful described illegal immigration as an "act of love" by people hoping to provide for their families. The backlash from his own party was swift and stinging.
The issue could be one of Bush's biggest obstacles to the presidential nomination in 2016. But some Republicans see an opportunity to repair relations with the country's fast-growing Hispanic population, which spurned Republican nominee Mitt Romney in 2012.
Comprehensive immigration legislation remains stalled in Congress. That means the Republican presidential candidates are likely to face the issue again when they campaign.
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