WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Former Florida governor and potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said that although his pro-immigration views are not in line with his party’s base, he’s “not going to back down” on the country’s “immigration problem.”
Speaking Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Bush said he’s “not going to back down” on immigration, insisting the country has an immigration problem and needs a path for illegal aliens
“I think we have immigration problem,” said Bush. “It’s a system that’s broken. The legal system is broken. We need to narrow family petitioning expand economic immigrants. We need to enforce the law. We can’t use this, keep having this be political issue when we’re missing opportunity to create growth that everybody could benefit from.”
Bush continued, “I’m for a path for legalized status. People get provisional work permit, pay taxes, learn English, don’t commit crimes, don’t receive federal government assistance and earn legal status. They don’t earn citizenship. They don’t cut in line with people who have been patiently waiting on the outside. That seems to be a fair system. Those opposed to that don’t have plan to deal with the 11 million people that are here illegally.”
Regarding President Barack Obama’s executive orders on amnesty, he said the Supreme Court “will overturn it.”
“I think it’s unconstitutional,” said Bush. “I’ve written a book about this. Simple fact is, doesn’t have the authority to do what he did — he knows that. He’s doing this for political purposes to create a wedge for democrats to win election.”
Bush said a GOP candidate will only become president if the party can “reach out to everybody in our country, not just those that have already decided that they are conservatives and Republicans.”
“The next Republican that will win will reach out to the Latino community, will campaign among Asian-Americans, will campaign in the black churches and on college campuses,” said Bush.
Bush urged Congress to reauthorize the Patriot Act as the National Security Agency lost authority to track suspected terrorists through mass collection of phone records and other surveillance methods. Senate lawmakers are in gridlock as Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., lauded the first curtail to the NSA’s surveillance tactics. Bush said “there’s no evidence, not a shred of evidence, that the metadata program has violated civil liberties.”
“We need to protect the homeland. The Patriot Act has been a device, along with other strategies, that have kept us safe,” he added to KNOX-TV.
Paul, the libertarian-leaning 2016 Republican candidate, has taken the opposite stance on the NSA program he says infringes on civil liberties more than it protects national security.
“Yesterday, I forced the expiration of the NSA’s illegal spying program,” tweeted Paul.
Bush, the younger brother of former President George W. Bush, said the elder Bush won’t be a problem should he decide to run for president in 2016.
“My brother’s not going to be a problem at all. I seek out his advice. I love him dearly. I’ve learned from his successes and his mistakes,” Bush said. Bush counts among those successes “protecting the homeland” in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, said Bush.
“You can talk about a lot of stuff, but when you’re president of the United States and you’re confronted with that kind of event, to respond the way he did is admirable. And I’ve learned from that.”