Jeb Bush’s Past Immigration Remarks Come Back to Haunt Him

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File
Washington, DC

With illegal immigration being a critical issue for the Republican Party’s grassroots conservative base, past remarks made by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush are coming back to haunt him in a big way and may even derail any planned campaign.

Bush is on record telling Univision it was “ridiculous” to think that so-called DREAMers, or children brought to the US illegally, shouldn’t enjoy an “accelerated path” to citizenship.

“I’ve never felt like the sins of the parents should be ascribed to the children, you know,” Bush said in 2013. “If your children always have to pay the price for adults decisions they make — how fair is that? For people who have no country to go back to — which are many of the DREAMers — it’s ridiculous to think that there shouldn’t be some accelerated path to citizenship.”

Meanwhile, Team Bush is busy trying to push back against the newly unearthed comments. “Governor Bush has been extraordinarily clear that we need to address the border crisis by fixing our broken immigration system. Border security is a key and chief component of sustainable and effective immigration reform,” said a spokesperson. But that may not travel well across a Republican base that feels it’s been consistently lied to by the GOP on the issue of border security.

Jeb Bush’s past rhetoric appears to fall squarely in what many characterize as the ‘open borders’ camp associated with an unpopular GOP establishment.

He even suggested the mayor of Detroit — the economically depressed Midwestern city where he’s giving his first policy address of the 2016 campaign on Wednesday — use immigration to “repopulate” the city.

“It just seems to me that maybe if you open up our doors in a fair way and unleashed the spirit of peoples’ hard work, Detroit could become in really short order, one of the great American cities again,” Bush said then. “Now it would look different, it wouldn’t be Polish…But it would be just as powerful, just as exciting, just as dynamic. And that’s what immigration does and to be fearful of this, it just seems bizarre to me.”