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Jeb Bush: Illegal Immigration Could Be “Act of Love”

Submitted by on April 7, 2014 – 11:09 amNo Comment

Possible 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush stated at an event this weekend that illegal entry into the United States is in some cases an “act of love,” and should be treated as such. The statement allies him with Republicans eager to woo the nation’s millions of Latino voters, but puts him at odds with the party base which virulently opposes any leniency in the matter.

“The way I look at this is someone who comes to our country because they couldn’t come legally, they come to our country because their families — the dad who loved their children — was worried that their children didn’t have food on the table,” said Bush at an event in Texas in honor of the 25th anniversary of the presidency of his father, George H.W. Bush. “And they wanted to make sure their family was intact, and they crossed the border because they had no other means to work to be able to provide for their family. ”

“Yes, they broke the law,” he added, “but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love. It’s an act of commitment to your family.”

Bush stated he felt such a crime was “different,” and “shouldn’t rile people up.”

Before he began his remarks, Bush noted that he was being recorded, saying he realized his comments might cause a stir. The event was private, but portions were filmed and later aired on Fox News.

It’s unclear exactly what he meant by saying that the crime is “not a felony.” Literally, many instances of illegal entry into the US are not a felony, though repeat offenses might be.

Immigration has deeply divided the Republican party. Gov. Rick Perry suffered greatly in the 2012 primaries after defending a law that allowed undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition at school.

Texas has the second largest population of undocumented immigrants in the country; third is Florida, where Bush was governor.

In the same interview, Bush said he would decide by the end of this year if he will run for president in 2016.

[via Washington Post]

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