2016 Candidates Stance on Immigration—Jeb Bush
Official Immigration Plan
Securing the Border and Enforcing Immigration Laws | Official Campaign Website
FAIR offers the following analysis on five key immigration issues: amnesty; legal immigration; border security; interior enforcement; and taxpayer benefits to illegal aliens.
The core of Bush’s immigration plan is mass amnesty for the 12 million illegal aliens in the country. According to the plan, Bush supports “a path to earned legal status” for all illegal aliens. His plan details six provisions that must accompany amnesty (not precede it) calling it a “practical way of solving the problem.” He does however support an expedited path to citizenship for so-called DREAMers, illegal aliens who claim to have been brought to the country unlawfully as minors. Finally, Bush said he would keep President Obama’s executive amnesties until Congress passes legislation to replace it.
Bush supports increased legal immigration. He has said that in order to create high, sustained economic growth we need to “dramatically expand immigrants that are coming to work.” He has said that we have to reduce chain migration but suggests that instead immigration should be focused on work.
Bush’s plan appears to reject completing a double-layered fence along the Southern border and instead calls for fencing and other barriers “where appropriate.” Additionally, Bush’s plan includes three points: 1) a forward-leaning border patrol that allows them more flexibility to get where they are needed; 2) use of new technologies for border surveillance; and 3) bolstering border infrastructure and improving access to federal lands. Notably, the Border Patrol Union has publicly objected to the “forward operating bases” near the border that Bush supports.
Bush’s plan calls for a “strong E-Verify system to ensure that American businesses are not hiring illegal immigrants.” Bush supports “rapid implementation” of a biometric exit system but does not specify whether it should be implemented at all ports of entry. Finally, Bush proposes withholding federal law enforcement funds from sanctuary cities and reinstating 287(g) agreements with State and local law enforcement.
Taxpayer Benefits to Illegal Aliens
Bush has supported giving driver’s licenses and in-state tuition to illegal aliens.