Former Florida governor Jeb Bush said Sunday that many who illegally come to the United States do so out of an “act of love” for their families and should be treated differently than people who illegally cross U.S. borders or overstay visas.
The comments came during an event marking the 25th anniversary of the presidency of George H. W. Bush at the library and museum that bears the name of the Bush patriarch. The event was closed to reporters, but moderated by Fox News anchor Shannone Bream and portions of the event were later broadcast on the Fox News Channel.
Asked about immigration, Bush started by saying that a bipartisan bill passed by the Senate last year made “a good effort” at proposing ways to ensure that people overstaying visas leave the country.
“A great country ought to know where those folks are and politely ask them to leave,” he said, adding later that properly targeting people who overstay visas “would restore people’s confidence” in the nation’s immigration system.
“There are means by which we can control our border better than we have. And there should be penalties for breaking the law,” he added.