- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Illegal immigrants who gained tentative legal status under President Obama’s 2012 amnesty for so-called Dreamers have issued a challenge to would-be 2016 GOP presidential candidates, demanding to know whether the Republicans would deport the Dreamers and their parents.

With former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s announcement Tuesday that he is actively exploring a presidential bid, the Dreamers said it’s time for him — and the rest of the field — to say whether they would cancel Mr. Obama’s amnesty.

“The GOP’s attacks aren’t against the president, they’re against our families,” the Dreamers say in a video showing them confronting a number of GOP lawmakers, many of them potential presidential candidates, and demanding to know what the lawmakers would do will illegal immigrants.

In a special appeal aimed directly at Mr. Bush, Dream Iowa, an organization of Dreamers, challenged him to come speak to them as he pursues voters in the first-in-the-nation caucuses. They also called on Mr. Bush to boycott a January forum hosted by Rep. Steve King, who has led the fight against illegal immigration, and to instead meet with Dreamers.

“Governor Jeb Bush has been a strong ally to immigrant families in the past and we would love to meet with him on his next stop through our state to have a respectful, productive conversation about how our shared faith impacts our actions on immigration,” said Harold Heie, founder of Our Iowa Neighbors.

Spokesmen for Mr. Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio and former Sen. Rick Santorum have all said they want to see Mr. Obama’s order rescinded now, and Mr. Rubio, Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul all voted for a motion by Mr. Cruz this weekend that tried to declare the president’s plan unconstitutional.

But it’s unclear how they would handle the nearly 12 million illegal immigrants now in the U.S. if they win the White House.

Mr. Rubio helped write a bill last year that would have legalized most illegal immigrants and revamped the legal immigration system, but he has since backed away from it, saying he believes the issue must now be tackled in pieces.

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