Immigration News Today: Jeb Bush Calls for 'Rigorous' Path to Legal Status
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush revealed a six-point immigration plan involving border security and addressing "illegal" immigration.
Ahead of the former Florida governor's Voters First Forum in New Hampshire on Monday night, Bush's six-point plan first starts with border security, a common theme among the Republican presidential candidates field.
Bush called for more "forward-operating bases" that would improve border agents' time stationed at the border. Bush's analogy is to have the border agents' bases operate "much like a fire station." Bush's border security plan includes the interception of drugs and people at the border through more resources for border patrol.
The second plan to further involve technology at the border. The former governor wants more surveillance monitoring the border while developing intelligence. Bush's methods of technology include advanced radar and sensors and drones.
The third immigration plan focuses on improved infrastructure. With road construction and maintenance, border patrol agents will have better access to areas that have been unpatrolled. In addition to roads, Bush proposed boat ramps for agents' vessels.
Bush's fourth plan is require electronic verification of employment eligibility. According to the Republican presidential candidate, "Many illegal immigrants come to the United States for jobs and, despite the prohibition on hiring illegal immigrants, they are hired in large numbers." Bush claimed that if employment verification is implemented, then the likelihood for more undocumented immigrants entering the U.S. will decrease. Bush does note that employers who have used E-Verify "in good faith" yet employed an immigrant based on incorrect eligibility information should not be penalized. Bush does want the government to enforce penalties for employers who violate E-Verify.
His penultimate plan focuses on undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. The proposal includes the "need to find a practical solution to the status of people who are here illegally today," but future undocumented immigrants who enter the U.S. must be identified and returned to their native country, including those who overstay their visas or violated their U.S. entry terms.
The penultimate plan also calls for an intergovernmental task force "to locate and apprehend overstays," especially immigrants who pose as public safety risks.
The final immigration plan is on "sanctuary cities." Similar to legislation in House of Representatives, Bush wants the federal government to withhold law enforcement funds for cities that refuse to work with federal immigration laws. He also wants an expanded partnership to train state and local police on enforcing immigration laws.
His sanctuary city plan could encounter opposition from dozens of Latino organizations. The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of 39 Latino groups, have opposed legislation that would have state and local jurisdictions ineligible of federal funding because of their refusal to comply on reporting detained immigrants.
"These six proposals, when combined with a rigorous path to earned legal status, would realistically and honestly address the status of the 11 million people here illegally today and protect against future illegal immigration. While passions run high on this issue, there is no rational plan to deport millions of people that the American people would support," Bush stated, noting such action would "disrupt" families and communities while costing taxpayers billions of dollars.
Bush said his proposals could receive bipartisan support from Congress and then become law. He noted President Barack Obama had more than six years to fix the broken immigration system and claimed he divided the country on the topic instead of forming a compromise. Bush said he wants to fix the immigration system in a "comprehension fashion," as it will provide economic benefits.
"Jeb Bush continues to trot toward the Republican obsession with building a fence, and has advocated for border control first before dealing with anything else, as if that is a legitimate immigration policy," said Democratic National Committee Hispanic Media Director Pablo Manriquez, adding that the Republican candidate's plan to locate overstays "has the huge potential to foster racial profiling against Hispanics in this country."
"Bush has spent his entire career as governor focusing on people like himself, and instead of presenting reasonable solutions to fix our broken immigration system, he continues to copy and paste the same Republicans playbook that divides families and hurts our economy," added Manriquez.
For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Politics Editor Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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