Jeb Bush: Legal Status For Immigrants Is The ‘Only Serious, Thoughtful’ Solution

Jeb Bush championed a path to “legalized status” for people in the U.S. illegally on Saturday during a trip to Iowa, calling it the “only serious, thoughtful way” of dealing with the country’s estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants.

“Immigrants that are here need to have a path to legalized status. No one I know has a plan to deal with illegal immigrants — to say that they’re going to be rounded up and taken away. There isn’t a specific plan,” Bush said at the Iowa Ag Summit.

The prospective 2016 presidential candidate stopped short of calling for
reforms that promise eventual citizenship to unauthorized immigrants as long as they meet certain criteria, as President Barack Obama and Democrats want.

“What we need to do is to make sure people pay fines, that they learn English, that they work, that they don’t receive government assistance, that they earn legalized status over the long haul,” Bush said. “That they come out of the shadows where they can be productive with a provisional work permit. This is the only serious, thoughtful way, I think, to deal with this. And we better start doing it.”

Bush’s remarks run contradictory to his party’s leadership in Congress, which has blocked legislation to provide legal status to undocumented immigrants. The issue promises to play a role in the 2016 Republican primary — many conservatives fiercely oppose legalizing those in the country illegally, while some top Republican donors insist that the party must support such a provision in order to win the support of the Hispanic community.

Bush also called for strong border security and reforming the legal immigration system.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: