Jeb Bush’s Immigration Flip Flop Stuns Reformers
After years of building a reputation as the “good” Republican on immigration, Jeb Bush shocked the reform community on Monday by ruling out a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, a position solidly to the right of prominent GOPers like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
The news stunned immigration activists and aides working on a bill and who have long insisted that anything short of citizenship is a dealbreaker for reform — especially given that Bush was decisively in the pro-citizenship camp just months ago. It also was a head scratcher for political observers, giving Bush an unexpected opening in 2016 to attack not only Rubio, but several possible presidential candidates, as overly liberal on immigration reform.
“Wow,” Marshall Fitz, director of immigration policy at the liberal Center For American Progress, told TPM in an e-mail. “For a guy who has been a luminary on this issue for the GOP, his endorsement of such a regressive policy is deeply troubling.”