Jeb Bush to GOP: Stop being an ‘obstacle to immigration reform’

Jeb BushIn suggesting that immigration is a gateway issue for Hispanic and Asian voters, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Republicans must “cease being the obstacle to immigration reform and instead point the way toward the solution.”

Co-authoring a Wall Street Journal editorial with Clint Bolick, director of the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation, Bush said House Republicans should “respond” to the requirements of the “Hastert Rule,” giving Speaker John Boehner the majority support he needs to bring immigration legislation to the floor for a vote.

Directly disputing those who oppose the Senate bill, Bush wrote:

“No Republican would vote for legislation that stifled economic growth, promoted illegal immigration, added to the welfare rolls, and failed to ensure a secure border. Yet they essentially will do just that if they fail to pass comprehensive immigration reform — and leave in place a system that does all of those things.”

With a strong focus on the economic impact of immigration reform, Bush claims working-age immigrants contribute to the economy and more to social services than they consume,” adding that “America needs more of them.”

It’s not clear if the reference to “working-age immigrants” includes those here illegally.

Falling back on Congressional Budget Office projections, Bush echoed the claim that the Senate bill would reduce the budget deficit by more than $1 trillion over 20 years, boost the economy and increase productivity, without reducing the wages of U.S. workers.

Former Sen. Jim DeMint, now president of the Heritage Foundation, dismissed the idea that the CBO could be trusted with calculating the bill’s costs, because it is bound by the way that Congress asks it to add the numbers.

“CBO said Obamacare wouldn’t cost us anything—they’re basically puppets of the Congress and the assumptions that they put in the bill,” Demint said back in May during an appearnce on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

Bush offered suggestions on how to improve the Senate bill, to include “clearer and more objective border security triggers […] and a stronger E-Verify system, even as he repeated the fallacy that reform will “earn goodwill among citizens of Hispanic and Asian descent.”

After all, isn’t that what immigration reform is really all about, earning goodwill?


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Tom Tillison


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