Jeb Bush on ImmigrationBush has great sympathy for immigrants who enter the country illegally, saying that while their behavior is indeed a crime, it is a “different kind of crime” that is often done as “an act of love” for their families. He suggests that immigrants who overstay their visas should be “politely asked to leave”.
JEB BUSH: “So the Senate bill attempts to do that, and I think it was a good effort to try to do exactly what you're saying, which is that the rule of law requires us to be able to – for example, 40% of illegal immigrants come with legal visas, and they overstay their bounds. A great country ought to know where those folks are and politely ask 'em to leave. So okay, now you've cut out 6 million people, and if you did that from the, you know, kind of as it occurs, it would restore people's confidence. There are means by which we can control our border better than we have.
“And there should be penalties for breaking the law. But, the way I look at this, and this is not, you know — I’m going to say this and it will be on tape, and so be it. The way I look at this is someone who comes to our country because they couldn't come legally, they come to our country because their family's 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.
“Yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony. It’s kind of - it's a, 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 should be, there should be a price paid, but it shouldn't be - it shouldn't rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families. And the idea that we're not going to fix this but with comprehensive reform ends up trapping these people, when they could make a great contribution for their own their families but also for us.
“So, I think we need to kind of get beyond the harsh political rhetoric to a better place. The great number of people that come here to this country, come because they have no opportunities in other places. They may love their country, but they come here because they want to provide for their families and they can make a contribution to our country if we actually organized ourselves in a better way.”
6 April, 2014: Bush is interviewed on FOX News (0:58 – 3:02)