Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush delivered a speech to a group of Hispanic evangelicals Wednesday in Houston at the National Christian Hispanic Leadership Conference, telling them that undocumented immigrants should be able to gain legal status.
“This country does spectacularly well when everyone can pursue their God-given abilities,” Bush said during the keynote speech, “but it also means dealing with the 11 million undocumented workers who are here in this country, 11 million people who should come out of the shadows and receive earned legal status, where they pay a fine, where they work … provide for their families, not receive government assistance and over a period of time be able to receive earned legal status.” Bush told listeners that the U.S. can become an emerging country once again, but must fix the immigration system which means controlling the borders and making legal immigration easier.
At a conference a day earlier, Bush had listed his immigration reform solutions, but didn’t mention them at the Houston conference where his audience was mainly Puerto Rican evangelicals who are American citizens by birth and are much less concerned with illegal immigration.
Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas spoke in Washington, D.C. about similar issues, but continued to criticize President Obama for only focusing on the pathway to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already here. As part of a forum held by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce held at the National Press Club, Cruz said that a single focus on citizenship for the illegal immigrants already living in our country is equal to “putting a poison pill in the legislation.” He claims that Obama and the Senate Democrats are using immigration as a political hammer, in hopes of scaring the Hispanic community into voting Democratic; “as unfortunately they’ve succeeded in scaring the African-American community to do exactly that.”
The Texas Senator said he wants to pass immigration reform, but stated the way to do so is to focus on the areas of common agreement. A bill that would secure the borders, improve and streamline the legal immigration process, could make it through Congress. “When it comes to immigration I don’t think you have to solve every issue all at once,”