Jeb Bush: Actually, I could support a path to citizenship in theory

posted at 10:41 am on March 5, 2013 by Allahpundit

WaPo’s selling this as a semi-reversal of yesterday’s full reversal on citizenship for illegals, but I’m not sure that’s true. Watch the clip below (via Think Progress). He’s not saying that he’s suddenly changed his mind and now prefers citizenship to permanent residency. He’s saying that, hypothetically, if you could grant citizenship without creating a huge incentive for more people to cross the border, he’d be okay with that. Since there’s no way to do that, though, he’s sticking with the permanent residency option.

But wait. Here’s what he said yesterday on the subject of citizenship:

“Half the people who could have gotten amnesty in 1986 didn’t apply,” Bush said, referring to an immigration bill signed by President Ronald Reagan. “Many people don’t want to be citizens of our country. They want to come here, they want to work hard, they want to provide for the families, some of them want to come home, not necessarily all of them want to stay as citizens. That’s point number one. Point number two, there has to be some difference between people who come here legally and illegally. It’s just a matter of common sense and a matter of the rule of law. If we’re not going to apply the law fairly and consistently, then we’re going to have another wave of illegal immigrants coming into the country.”

He’s right about that. Citizenship is key to comprehensive reform not because it’s something illegals necessarily want but because it’s something Democrats want for them. But if citizenship isn’t a top priority for people crossing the border, why worry that creating a path to it will act as a “magnet” for them? It’s legalization that’s a magnet, not citizenship, because legalization ensures that illegals who are here can stay and continue to work. And both Bush’s permanent residency plan and Rubio’s Senate bill (on day one!) guarantee legalization. Mark Krikorian made a similar point this morning in arguing that Bush’s half-a-loaf residency plan is not only a red herring but one which will achieve less for the GOP politically than Rubio’s more forthright amnesty:

Once the illegal population is legalized, the game is over — the amnesty will obviously never be revoked, and the Democrats will then launch a campaign against Republicans accusing them (correctly) of imposing on helpless Latinos a Jim Crow-style system of second-class status, something more appropriate to Saudi Arabia. If they go this way, the GOP candidate in 2016 will look back fondly on Romney’s 27 percent of the Hispanic vote — and he’ll have sabotaged his own base as well, resulting in an even further drop in blue-collar white turnout and Republican share.

Another thing. Bush writes in his book in arguing against citizenship, “It is absolutely vital to the integrity of our immigration system that actions have consequences.” Okay, but in that case why would you even hypothetically support a path to citizenship? Even if one could be devised that satisfied Bush’s concerns about acting as a “magnet” for illegals, shouldn’t he still oppose the path on grounds that “actions have consequences”? As Byron York says, he’s making two different arguments here, one from pragmatism and one from principle. Yesterday he seemed to oppose the path on principle, as an improper reward for lawbreaking irrespective of the “magnet” effect. Today he’s all about the magnet, lawbreaking or no.

Hold on, though. Turns out the citizenship rhetoric isn’t even the most controversial part of Bush’s plan. Quote:

But the former governor also stakes out a position far to the left of those voters on border security that would only complicate a potential presidential bid. In the book titled Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution, Bush is skeptical of the demand from many conservative Republicans – including Rubio – that illegal immigrants cannot seek legal residency until the border is secure. In fact, Bush echoes President Obama by pointing out that the border security is tighter than ever.

“Demanding border security as a prerequisite to broader immigration reform is a good slogan but elusive on the details and measurements,” the book says. “What exactly is the magic moment we must wait for before we can fix the broken immigration system?”

So Bush isn’t pounding the table, as Rubio is, for considerably stronger border enforcement before we start legalizing people? Why on earth would a guy who’s worried about a “magnet” effect from the new amnesty be sanguine about that? If anyone should be a stickler for tighter border control, it’s someone who worries about “waves” of new illegals being induced to cross over once a more forgiving immigration policy is enacted.


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Can we say, DEATH TO THE ESTABLISHMENT GOP (though that’s redundant and repetitive, I know…)!” yet?!

Czar of Defenestration on March 5, 2013 at 1:07 PM

GOP just stay out the Bushes. Last thing we need is another one.

bgibbs1000 on March 5, 2013 at 1:09 PM

LOL, and when Bush is nominated it will be the same crap: “Look, he’s not my first choice either, but get with it you knuckle-dragging purist socon!!! Jeb is infinitely better than voting for The Commie!!!!!” Regular as clockwork.

ddrintn on March 5, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Can’t we just ignore him until he goes away? Let the MSM fawn over him if they want, they can keep him!

FloatingRock on March 5, 2013 at 1:13 PM

WAAAAAAAHHHHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Poor Crown Prince Jeb. He’s “working hard to be heard” among all the hick/hayseed/pro-life filth that fills the party.

http://www.wtsp.com/news/topstories/article/302231/250/Jeb-Bush-working-hard-to-be-heard

PappyD61 on March 5, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Jackoff Jeb!

KOOLAID2 on March 5, 2013 at 1:18 PM

The Bush family are a bunch of liars anyway, you can’t trust a thing they say. His dad said, “read my lips no new taxes”, and then raised taxes, and his brother said ‘no more nation-building’ and then bankrupted the country with all of his nation-building.

FloatingRock on March 5, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Can’t we just ignore him until he goes away? Let the MSM fawn over him if they want, they can keep him!

FloatingRock on March 5, 2013 at 1:13 PM

…the MSM wants to pick our candidate… again!
…then…they’ll ignore him… unless they can pound him.

KOOLAID2 on March 5, 2013 at 1:22 PM

‘A huge Marco fan’

Bush may be determined to wait until next year to focus on a possible presidential run, but Rubio already is on the move.

Rubio, 41, a member of that bipartisan Senate group on immigration, delivered the official Republican response to the president’s State of the Union Address in January. He’s just back from a trip to the Mideast that burnished his foreign policy credentials. At the end of last year, he just happened to keynote an event in Iowa, site of the opening presidential caucuses.

Rubio’s rising profile has put a bit of pressure on Bush to decide his own intentions, or at least take some steps (CPAC, anyone?) to make sure the door doesn’t close on him.

In 2009, after Florida Sen. Mel Martinez announced he wouldn’t run for a second term, Rubio went to Bush’s law office in Miami to discuss the race for an hour. “If he were to run, no one would challenge him in the primary – certainly not me,” Rubio explained in his book An American Son, published last year. Only when Bush called to say he had decided against seeking the seat did Rubio seriously weigh getting in.

No such conversation has taken place between the two men about the presidential race, Bush says.

“We haven’t talked about 2016,” Bush says. “But I’m a huge Marco fan and I’m inspired by him and I think he’s doing a great job as a senator, and we’re friends. That’s the level of our relationship. I’ve always been a fan of him from when he was, like, 26 years old and a city councilman in West Miami. I knew he had a gift.”

“…..as a senator.”

Sounds a lot like what Barbara Bush said about Palin a few years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLJ4vQEp6B8

PappyD61 on March 5, 2013 at 1:23 PM

They’re supervillains.

Then, they’re Pinkie and the Brain level incompetents. Daddy lost the Presidency in 1992. McCain blew out Dubya in NH and probably would have taken him out in 2000 if McCain didn’t have bozos for advisors. (Didn’t John Weaver lead that campaign?) George W. is hated. The only person Jeb Bush has been able to take down recently was Charlie Crist, an Orange-y closeted careerist who made the world’s dumbest political mistake by running for the Senate rather than Governor. And even that created Jeb’s current problem.

This might be a stretch, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Romney and McCain lost Ohio, Florida, and Virginia because of the Bush Network holding back to let Jeb run in ’16 — he did come out with a Hispandering book recently.

McCain lost because of the financial crisis and an incompetent campaign staffed by backstabbers (i.e. Wallace and Schmidt). Romney lost because of Hurricane Sandy and Chris Christie and his own remarks (47% comment).

But I also think you’re right in suggesting Rubio may have double-crossed them. We’ll see what happens. Worst case scenario, we get a Rubio/Bush ticket.

Punchenko on March 5, 2013 at 12:23 PM

The way George W. won in 2000 was by clearing the field before the primary. That is the only way that Jeb wins in 2016. I think that this won’t happen this time. As much as I hate him, do you think that Krispy Kreme is intimidated by Jeb Bush? And it does seem that Rubio made Jeb look might silly with his book release. I don’t think that any of the new GOP cares. The field will be crowded by people who can actually be President in 2016 rather than a clown show.

But the fact that Rubio has to take down Jeb Bush and the Bushes in the primaries is probably a good test for him because he’ll have to take down the Clintons in the general. And unlike the Bushes the Clintons are competent at hanging onto power. They’ve been plotting 2016 ever since Hillary lost in 2008.

Illinidiva on March 5, 2013 at 1:28 PM

All legalizing the current crop of illegals will do is create a new crop of illegals who will work for untaxed, under-the-table below minimum wage.

Too bad white voters chose to abandon labor solidarity voting for the GOP over the last 30 years.

libfreeordie on March 5, 2013 at 1:43 PM

I support a path for Jeb Bush to have citizenship in Mexico and the shorter that path the better. If Jeb Bush is the Republican nominee the democrats will win even if they nominate Maxine Waters.

VorDaj on March 5, 2013 at 2:26 PM

He’s saying that, hypothetically, if you could grant citizenship without creating a huge incentive for more people to cross the border, he’d be okay with that. Since there’s no way to do that, though, he’s sticking with the permanent residency option.

Don’t kid yourself, if Jeb ever becomes President it’s open borders amnesty all the way!

RJL on March 5, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Too bad white voters chose to abandon labor solidarity voting for the GOP over the last 30 years.

libfreeordie on March 5, 2013 at 1:43 PM

I support a reasonable level of legal immigration but do not want to throw open the floodgates to just anybody who sneaks into the country stay and vote, often living at taxpayer expense. If tens of millions of people who already have a political ideology that is anathema to our own, for example if a hundred million communists decide to move here in the next four years, then it will destroy everything that is good about America, the Constitution and Bill or Rights.

Can you think of any word to describe those who would allow foreign enemies of the American way to just move in and take over?

No, I’m not saying there is a concerted effort by some power to take over America, but that just allowing so many people with established ideologies that are opposed to our own, in an age when many illegals continue to emerge themselves in foreign media outlets that reinforce their former ideologies.

Most of the illegals here now don’t all fall into a specific category, but most of them are of one Marxist persuasion or the other. Let’s call it world-socialism. The rest of the world also seems to like soccer, not that I care, but it’s another way in which the rest of the world is different. The rest of the world outnumbers us. If we allow the worlds population to equally distribute over the habitable land mass of the planet, the US population would increase several times.

If America doesn’t want to round up all the illegals and deport them and we don’t want them to vote to stop them from turning America world-socialist, then we need to address the tax inequity. They need to start paying their share, and I think the platform of my party should stand for the elimination of all federal taxes and implement and national sales-tax similar to the fair-tax. I recommend something like we have up here in Washington State, combined with the contributions that Time Eiman (sp?) has made to limit some of the governments attempted abuses.

If we had a national sales tax then illegal aliens, by living and consuming here, would anonymously pay into the system.

FloatingRock on March 5, 2013 at 2:44 PM

“Half the people who could have gotten amnesty in 1986 didn’t apply,” Bush said

Yet the number receiving amnesty in 1986 was twice what the wizards in our government estimated.

If Bush is correct that only half applied, yet the facts are that twice the number of the government’s estimate did receive amnesty, that would mean the problem in 1986 was four times greater than the government told us. Using that historical guideline the claimed 12 million illegals of today could actually be four times that number.

RJL on March 5, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Sounds a lot like what Barbara Old Lady Bush said about Palin a few years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLJ4vQEp6B8

PappyD61 on March 5, 2013 at 1:23 PM

bw222 on March 5, 2013 at 3:01 PM

do you think that Krispy Kreme is intimidated by Jeb Bush?

Illinidiva on March 5, 2013 at 1:28 PM

I know I’m staying home if this is Hillary’s only “conservative opposition, and knowing the all powerful elitists control-freaks in the GOP–after all the charades of the faux primary’s–it will be our only other choice.

Don L on March 5, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Yet the number receiving amnesty in 1986 was twice what the wizards in our government estimated.

RJL on March 5, 2013 at 2:49 PM

According to Newt Gingrich, the government wizards estimated 300,000 in 1986. The real number was 2.7 million.

bw222 on March 5, 2013 at 3:02 PM

John Adamns + John Quincy Adams = cool! George H.W.Bush + George W. Bush = Un-Cool! + Jeb Bush = WTF! Hell no!

MCGIRV on March 5, 2013 at 3:12 PM

This country isn’t being destroyed by Democrats and Lefties but by the people of all political affiliations that live inside the Beltway media bubble.

They have to be the ones removed.

Marcus Aurelius on March 5, 2013 at 3:16 PM

I know I’m staying home if this is Hillary’s only “conservative opposition, and knowing the all powerful elitists control-freaks in the GOP–after all the charades of the faux primary’s–it will be our only other choice.

Don L on March 5, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Oh.. I’ll vote for neither Christie nor Jeb Bush in a general election. I also will not vote for Huntsman.

BTW.. I forgot one thing to add to the great and powerful super-villains. The 2000 Florida debacle.

Illinidiva on March 5, 2013 at 3:37 PM

RINO label affixed…check!
Has already lost the election that he has not yet entered…check!

They just can’t seem to help themselves. Rand Paul is the only one in D.C. who isn’t a power hungry snake oil salesman.

cajunpatriot on March 5, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Rand Paul up on Hannity radio now after 4PM EST news; something about Drones on U.S. Soil.

bluefox on March 5, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Who cares what he wants? He is irrelevant to me.

theaddora on March 5, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Won’t EVER vote for another Bush. EVER. Hillary will clean his clock. He will be saddled with the Florida chad vote recount and hounded 24/7 over his role as governor in that deal. A big distraction from day one. We don’t need another establishment that is not going to win. Good gawd. If the PUBS can’t do better than choose the next it’s my turn establishment candidate, again, the party needs to die a quick death.

they lie on March 5, 2013 at 9:05 PM

Rand Paul up on Hannity radio now after 4PM EST news; something about Drones on U.S. Soil.

bluefox on March 5, 2013 at 4:03 PM

I dare right-wingers to call him a conspiracy nut on this.

MelonCollie on March 6, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Appeasers get you killed in the end. Appeasement never ever works against an implacable enemy.

Jeb Bush like the rest of the ‘stablishment is merely an appeaser.

These uneducated idiots will be our doom.

Note Romney is not an educated man either.

For that matter our side has had pitiful crap to choose for presidential candidates for two elections.

Thanks Bushes!!

Sherman1864 on March 7, 2013 at 2:50 AM

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