WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid criticized former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for “devolving” on immigration reform and making a “fool of himself.”
“Let’s wait for a few minutes and see how Jeb Bush changes his mind again. His opinion on immigration is not evolving; it’s devolving. He keeps going backwards. I think he’s, frankly, made a fool of himself the last 24 hours,” Reid said at the Capitol on Tuesday.
“Frankly, on this issue, I don’t think Jeb Bush is a Florida leader. I think Marco Rubio is. Bush has been elected to nothing lately. Rubio is the leader on immigration. And he’s — wants to have an immigration bill. I appreciate that.”
Bush’s new book, “Immigration Wars” says an immigration reform bill should not include a pathway to citizenship for the approximately 11 million people currently living in the U.S. illegally.
“Permanent residency in this context, however, should not lead to citizenship. It is absolutely vital to the integrity of our immigration system that actions have consequences — in this case, that those who have violated the laws can remain but cannot obtain the cherished fruits of citizenship,” the book says, which is co-authored by Clint Bolick.
“To do otherwise would signal once again that people who circumvent the system can still obtain the full benefits of American citizenship. It must be a basic prerequisite for citizenship to respect the rule of law.”
Bush backed off that position Tuesday, explaining that it was developed before the 2012 election.