Jeb Bush’s Conservative Immigration AgendaPundits who claim he is for ‘amnesty’ are wrong. His goal is to bolster the economy and the nation’s security.Right, it's worse than amnesty—he wants more legal immigration—and he wants to focus more on providing cheap labor for employers.
By Clint Bolick
Wall Street Journal,
January 1, 2015
As Jeb Bush explores a 2016 presidential bid, several conservative pundits are inciting the Republican base against him by reducing his immigration agenda to a one-word caricature: amnesty. “Jeb Bush wants it,” Rush Limbaugh said on Dec. 17. Iowa talk-show host Steve Deace said four days later; “He’s not just for amnesty; he’s an apostle for it.”
Such critics either don’t understand the meaning of the word amnesty, or they are unfamiliar with Mr. Bush’s positions. He has set forth a comprehensive proposal to reform the nation’s immigration policies—and if conservatives get past false depictions and consider his ideas on the merits, they will find much to applaud.
Mr. Bush is passionately pro-immigration, which may set him apart from some on the right. But he is also passionately pro-rule of law, a principle that guides his entire immigration strategy.
That principle led him to strongly criticize President Obama for his executive actions first legalizing the status of young people brought here illegally by their parents in October 2012, and then deferring enforcement action against the adults in November. Mr. Bush does believe that children who were brought here illegally and some adults should be eligible for legalized status once certain conditions are met. But he knows that the Constitution gives authority over naturalization to Congress, not the president—and that short-term, politically expedient executive actions do more to stifle enduring reform than to aid it.
Mr. Bush’s immigration agenda is set forth in “Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution,” which he and I co-wrote in 2013. His agenda focuses less on the people who are here illegally than on who is allowed and not allowed to come legally, because that is the root of the problem with the immigration system. [More]
All of those reforms further Mr. Bush’s goal of making it easier to come legally than illegally and thus bolster the economy and the nation’s security.We do know the meaning of amnesty, by the way. The literal meaning of "amnesty" is forgetting that someone has committed a crime, and letting them get away with it. That's Jeb's plan. There's an even more disgusting part of it:
Recognizing that the rule of law requires consequences for illegal actions, Mr. Bush proposes that illegal immigrants who came as adults should be subjected to penalties and not be eligible for citizenship. That proposal ignited a firestorm among liberals when the book was published, even as it helped forge a conservative alternative to the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” immigration bill in 2013. Yet now the proposal is derided in some circles as “amnesty,” when it is anything but.Jeb Bush is a Republican politician. By legalizing illegal labor, but not letting them vote Democratic—that's what caused the "firestorm"—he's hoping to keep his own job safe, while endangering the livelihoods of everyone else in America.
Steve Sailer discussed all this when the Bush/Bolick book came out.(John Derbyshire's conclusion, reviewing the same book: "Jeb Bush just doesn’t like Americans very much." )I mentioned the same phenomenon in Gingrich And Super Rich Against American Workers—”Red Card” Program Means GOP Congressmen The Only Americans Whose Jobs Will Be Safe.
Mexican illegals didn't come to America for American citizenship. They're patriotic Mexicans. They came for American dollars. That's what Jeb Bush's amnesty would let them keep.
Reforming our nation’s defective immigration system requires courage, leadership and bipartisan compromise, all of which is a heavier lift than sniping from the sidelines. Mr. Bush’s detractors should engage his proposals rather than merely dismissing them with one-word epithets.The nation’s immigration system isn't defective—it's the deportation system that's not working.