According to the Daily Caller, Jeb Bush said Sunday that immigrants who enter the United States illegally often do so as an “act of love” for their families.
Bush was speaking with Fox News host Shannon Bream during an event at his father’s presidential library when he made the remarks. Jeb Bush is the 61-year-old son of the 41st president, George H.W. Bush, and the brother of the 43rd president.
“I'm going to say this and it will be on tape and so be it," he said. "The way I look at this is someone who comes to our country because they couldn't come legally ... and they crossed the border because they had no other means to work, to be able to provide for their family, yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony. It’s kind of — It’s an act of love, it's an act of commitment to your family.”
Bush, according to Fox News, has emerged as a promising presidential prospect for the Republican party in 2016. Fox cited an earlier Washington Post story that indicated some top donors were urging the former Florida governor to run. They believe Bush would be a strong alternate to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is still dealing with local scandals, or the more libertarian candidate Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Bush’s comments are sure to upset some members of the GOP, as they signal that he might be open to more lenient forms of immigration reform. The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill in 2013 but the bill stalled in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Republican lawmakers remain deeply divided over the issue.
Bush as a factor in the 2016 election is merely speculation for now. He hasn’t even announced that he'll run. Reuters reports that the decision to run will come by the end of the year.
Bush told Bream on Sunday that one of the considerations he will give much weight to is whether he can deliver a "hopeful, optimistic message” without being drawn in to a political “mudfight."
It seems that for now Bush is content to just let people speculate.
"It turns out that not running has generated more interest than if I said I was running,” he said.