Photo: Jeb Bush's Book on Immigration - No citizenship
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Monday that he is against granting citizenship to undocumented immigrants, though a path to citizenship is seen by many as a cornerstone of immigration reform.
“Our proposal is a proposal that looks forward, and if we want to create an immigration policy that’s going to work, we can’t continue to make illegal immigration an easier path than legal immigration,” he said on NBC’s TODAY Show.
The Republican appeared to retract earlier statements that let it be known he supported a path to citizenship for the country’s estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants.
A new book on the topic by Bush and co-author Clint Bolick, “Immigrations Wars: Forging an American Solution,” comes out this week.
“There has to be some difference between people who come here legally and illegally,” Bush said Monday. “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,” said the former governor, who is the son of President George H.W. Bush and the younger brother of President George W. Bush.
During the interview he said that many immigrants with illegal status don’t even want to become U.S. citizens, citing data from the 1986 amnesty.
“Half the people in ‘86 that could have gotten amnesty didn’t apply,” Gov. Bush said. “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 their families.”