The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

Jeb’s ‘act of love’ may help his son, but can also hurt his 2016 chances

Photo of Neil Munro
Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

Illegal immigrants can help the economy, especially if the United States reorganizes itself to make use of them, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said in the same April 6 interview where he also said that crossing the border to find jobs was “an act of love.”

Illegal immigrants “could make a great contribution for their own their families, but also for us,” Bush said. “They can make a contribution to our country if we actually organized ourselves in a better way,” he told cheering supporters at an event marking the 25th anniversary of his father’s presidency.

He offered those “act of love” comments in Texas, at the George H. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station.

Bush’s son, George P. Bush is running for land commissioner in Texas, where Hispanics are a growing slice of the electorate. George P. is also Hispanic: His mother, and Jeb’s wife, was born in Mexico.

The father’s “act of love” comments may help the younger Bush build long-term bonds to Hispanics for 2014 and afterward. Also, the comments about illegal immigrants being useful to the economy are likely to be applauded by many business owners in Texas, where the lightly-regulated, fast-growing economy has a low unemployment rate.

But the open-borders view is toxic to many GOP primary voters, swing-voters and middle-class workers, says a series of immigration reformers opposed to amnesty.

“He’s making a case for unlimited immigration…[and a] virtually borderless society which drives American workers into direct head-to-head competition with the poorest of the poor around the world,” said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

Last March, Gallup reported that 138 million poor foreigners want to settle in the United States.