Jeb Bush urges House to pass immigration reform
July 1st, 2013
09:06 AM ET
1 year ago

Jeb Bush urges House to pass immigration reform

(CNN) – The U.S. House of Representatives should pass the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform package with a few additional requirements, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush co-wrote in an opinion piece.

The Republican reiterated his stance that immigration reform needs to be tailored to boost the ratio of visas issued for skilled workers and reduce those granted for family members beyond spouses and minor children.

"Family preferences crowd out the work-based immigration this country needs," he co-wrote in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal with Clint Bolick, vice president for litigation at the Goldwater Institute.

The authors chided rules that force foreign students to leave after graduating, rather than staying and contributing to the U.S. economy. "In both high- and low-skilled industries, the actual alternative to importing workers is not hiring more Americans but exporting jobs."

Last week the Senate passed a bipartisan bill, which includes a pathway to citizenship for most of the country's 11 million undocumented workers and tightens border security, in a 68-32 vote. About a third of Republicans supported the measure.

Criticizing the pathway to citizenship provision and what they consider a weak border security timeline, top House Republicans have firmly said they have no plans to take up the bill but will craft their own legislation instead.

Bush and Bolick, however, said the Senate bill covers most of the "flaws in the current system" and does not "provide amnesty" or a "pardon."

"Overall, the bill satisfies a criterion that is essential to the rule of law: It makes it easier to immigrate legally than illegally," they wrote.

But the House can make some improvements, they added, including border security "triggers" that must be in place before undocumented workers can start gaining legal status–an idea that has acceptance among many conservative Republicans. Legislation should also strengthen civics education, they proposed.

"New citizens should be required not only to learn English but to fully understand the nature and workings of our democratic and free-enterprise systems," they wrote.

Bush, considered by some as a potential 2016 presidential contender, has long been an advocate for immigration reform. Speaking publicly about the issue last month, he made headlines for an inarticulate reference to immigrants' fertility rates, saying immigrants were "more fertile" and thus a great benefit to American society.

– CNN's Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.


Filed under: Immigration • Jeb Bush
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Wishful thinking Jeb, but it ain't happening. Your party is on suicide watch. And with all this anti-immigrant, war on women and hateful rhetoric, we will make sure that we put the GOTP out of commission permanently next year.

    R.I.P. G.O.P.

    July 1, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  2. rs

    Sorry, Mr. Bush, you belong to a far more rational Republican Party than those current members in the House of Representatives. They are on a suicide mission of rights taking: anti- Civil Rights; anti-Voter's Rights; and anti-Women's Rights. The time to expel and shout down the lunatics in you midst is growing short.

    July 1, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  3. Data Driven

    Jeb Bush is wrong.

    We need 40 million Americans on point lined along the border, rifles pointed resolutely at Mexico. We also need the Eye of Sauron atop a big tower, incessantly sweeping the swath of land from California to Texas. Utter, mindless, vigilance. Keep them out! Keep them out! RAR!

    Lunatics!

    July 1, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  4. Former GOP

    OMG......a SMART GOP.............He SURELY wont have a shot...........

    July 1, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  5. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Ya, Know,
    After immigration reform was defeated about 7 years ago all the illegals could have returned to their home country and got in line to become citizens and would have been half way here by now. You want to become a U.S. Citizen? Go home, get in line. That is the only way you will be a U.S. Citizen !! Million's are already doing it. The American people see what is coming if this bunch are granted Citizenship. They are going to fund the welfare state for another 11 million. No Thanks.

    July 1, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  6. tom l.

    @Dutch,
    I'm just curious how you (and all of your liberal friends) are able to take the leap from a concern for illegal immigration to being anti-immigration. You guys are amazing how you do that; it's quite impressive. So someone who feels that the rule law should be followed all of the sudden is against all immigrants. Interesting. A little intellectual honesty would be good.

    July 1, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    tom l.
    @Dutch,
    I'm just curious how you (and all of your liberal friends) are able to take the leap from a concern for illegal immigration to being anti-immigration. You guys are amazing how you do that; it's quite impressive. So someone who feels that the rule law should be followed all of the sudden is against all immigrants. Interesting. A little intellectual honesty would be good.
    -----------------------------------------------
    Get Klansman Sessions opinion on immigration. Your Paula Dean party are heading to oblivion. Don't take my word for it. Just as your College Republican Committee.

    July 1, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    -tom l.

    @Dutch,
    I'm just curious how you (and all of your liberal friends) are able to take the leap from a concern for illegal immigration to being anti-immigration. You guys are amazing how you do that; it's quite impressive. So someone who feels that the rule law should be followed all of the sudden is against all immigrants. Interesting. A little intellectual honesty would be good.
    *****************
    If the law is changed, and you don't like the outcome, would you accept it? Ask yourself that. The cost of engagng in massive, continuous sweeps through out the country runs counter to the professed desire for smaller government.

    July 1, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    To do so, would require that we declare the 4th of July, a day of mourning for America, as we become a Totalitarian state.

    July 1, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Jeb Bush appears to be one of the last Republicans able to read.
    The handwriting on the wall is quite clear, the GOP is on its' last knee (and I meant knee not leg).

    July 1, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  11. abiodun omoloso

    if house republican refuse to pass immigration reform i will never vote for the party again,the refform is good for our economy it will reduce our deficit,they want to buy car and pay insurance,travell and buy their ticket,buy house and pay their mortgage,but i see republican party as enemy of progress,but democrat love this country,so speaker boehner need to be impeach,and republican need to learn their lesson in the last election

    July 1, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  12. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    The Real Tom Paine
    -tom l.

    @Dutch,
    I'm just curious how you (and all of your liberal friends) are able to take the leap from a concern for illegal immigration to being anti-immigration. You guys are amazing how you do that; it's quite impressive. So someone who feels that the rule law should be followed all of the sudden is against all immigrants. Interesting. A little intellectual honesty would be good.
    *****************
    If the law is changed, and you don't like the outcome, would you accept it? Ask yourself that. The cost of engagng in massive, continuous sweeps through out the country runs counter to the professed desire for smaller government.
    ------------------------------------------------
    You can't claim that you're for small government after what Gov. Kasich did last night while you were sleep.

    July 1, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  13. tom l.

    @Dutch
    "Get Klansman Sessions opinion on immigration. Your Paula Dean party are heading to oblivion. Don't take my word for it. Just as your College Republican Committee."

    What a thoughtful, rational response. So, Sessions is not a Klansman (the last Klansman in Congress was democrat Robert Byrd); perhaps he has a different opinion on illegal immigration but I'm not sure why that makes him a klansman. Paula Dean is not part of the republican party so I'm not sure what you're talking about there. Maybe you can answer my question as to how someone who would like to solve illegal immigration is against immigration. How does that work?

    July 1, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  14. tom l.

    @The real Tom Paine
    "If the law is changed, and you don't like the outcome, would you accept it? Ask yourself that. The cost of engagng in massive, continuous sweeps through out the country runs counter to the professed desire for smaller government."

    I would have to accept if the law was changed but this bill does nothing to stop illegal immigration so maybe, just maybe, that's why people aren't supporting it. I'm not saying to round everyone up, that's impossible to do and doesn't solve the problem either. I'm saying that we need to prevent more from happening before we make those here legal; I'm not sure how that is such an unreasonable position to take. How about we penalize/criminalize an employer for hiring an illegal immigrant? How about we have true border protection where we have the most illegal immigration and prevent more from coming over? Why not build a fence? How is that so difficult to do?

    July 1, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  15. Anonymous

    republicans are wicked they dont care about the blacks and the latinos.they care only for themselves.but come 2016 pay back time they will not see white house for long time .do they know how immigrants are going to be citizens before 2016 and they expect the immigrants to vote for them 2016 only an idiot will vote for them.

    July 1, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  16. ST

    Oh! Jeb, you called Latinos "fertile people". That was a huge mistake you made. You shouldn't mentioned it. What you said was the truth BUT not to the interest of your Party. Those people you called "fertile", they more they breed, the more (in the thinking of your Party), the more they become Dems and hence vote for them. Your Party Jeb, are not fond of this. Just ask them.

    July 1, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  17. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Aw,Gee,well,
    The Republician Party is on it's last legs?? Who you trying to convince, you or me? It is the Liberal's that are screwing up the country. They don't care if you have to bear the brunt of the Welfare State. They are trying to Tax the Job Creators, maybe more Republician's than Democrats, to high Heaven. Of course that means less jobs for who? You guessed it, regular people many who are Democrats. The Conservatives are the only ones trying to save your butt, but you keep voting against yourself. Your latest *uc* up is Obama Care. Careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

    July 1, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  18. Gurgyl

    The most horrible congress in USA history. Remove all.

    July 1, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  19. tom l.

    @Dutch
    "You can't claim that you're for small government after what Gov. Kasich did last night while you were sleep."

    What on earth does that have to do with what we're talking about here, Mr. Ad Hominem Attack? For the record, and since I am intellectually honest, I don't support someone just because of their political party. I know that is very hard for you to understand as you feel that everyone on your team (dems) must be supported and you can never be critical of them. That's why people like you, Domincan, Sniffit, rs, Lynda and the rest of your cohorts have zero credibility. I, on the other hand, find it very easy to criticize repubs because I can be honest. So, I think what Kasich did is wrong. Too much govt. Too much govt.

    July 1, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |