Jeb Bush: Illegal Immigration 'Act of Love' That 'Shouldn't Rile People Up'
On Sunday, potential 2016 presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said that illegal immigration is a crime of love and should not rile up Americans.
Bush made his comments in an interview with Fox News' Shannon Bream at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M in College Station. It was the 25th anniversary celebration of George H.W. Bush's presidency.
"It's an act of love, an act of commitment to their family," Bush noted after saying that he felt illegal immigration was not a felony because illegal immigrants crossed the border to provide for their families. They do so, he added, because they do not have the opportunities in their countries that they would have in the United States.
"It's a different kind of crime," Bush said. "It shouldn't rile people up."
Bush recognized that the United States could do better with border security and visa overstays, which account for 40% of the country's illegal immigrants. However, he emphasized that the country's current immigration laws end up "trapping these people when they could make a contribution" to their families and the country.
He did not mention that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office determined that the Senate's immigration bill, by granting amnesty and awarding even more guest-worker visas, would lower the wages of American workers and make it more difficult for American citizens to provide for their families.
A vast majority of Mitt Romney's donors are reportedly pushing Bush to run in 2016, and his prospects on the establishment side of the bracket have increased since New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's Bridgegate scandal.
Though Bush may be the top choice among the GOP elite, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that half the country would "definitely" not vote for Jeb Bush in a general election, which undermines the "electability" argument that the Republican establishment is pushing when promoting a potential Bush candidacy.