Jeb Bush: Illegal Immigration Not Always A ‘Felony,’ Sometimes An ‘Act Of Love’

April 6, 2014 3:20 p.m.

This post has been updated.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) on Sunday said that it shouldn’t be considered a felony every time a person enters the country illegally, according to the Washington Post.

He said that many come to the U.S. without documentation “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,” Bush continued. “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.”

Bush spoke at an event celebrating the 25th anniversary of the presidency of his father, former President George H.W. Bush. The interview was later broadcast on Fox News.

Jeb Bush also said that the U.S. needs a better way to address those who came to the country legally, but overstayed their visas.

“A great country ought to know where those folks are and politely ask them to leave,” he said, according to the Post.

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