Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a talked-about Republican candidate for the White House for 2016, defended his belief that illegals act simply out of love for their families when they break the law and sneak across the border — albeit with new rhetoric that doesn’t come off as liberal.
At a Connecticut dinner for the Republican Party on Thursday evening, Mr. Bush used different words than a week ago to speak of the GOP’s need to look at immigration policy in a new way, saying: “To be young and dynamic again, we have to be young and dynamic again” and that the GOP ought to look at “immigration reform not as a problem, but as a huge opportunity,” Politico reported.
A week ago, his mantra was more controversial and reeked of Democratic pushes for amnesty. Then, he said illegal immigrants were simply performing an “act of love” when they “broke the law, [and] it’s not a felony.”
Mr. Bush brought up those controversial statements at the dinner.
“This past weekend, I made some statements about immigration reform [that] generated a little more news than I anticipated,” he said, Politico reported. “You know, I’ve been saying this for the last three or four years. I said the exact same thing that I’ve said regularly. And the simple fact is, there is no conflict between enforcing our laws, believing in the rule of law and having some sensitivity to the immigrant experience.”
He also added that it’s “not an American value to allow people to stay in the shadows,” Politico reported.