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Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes

Updated Mar 4, 2013 - 8:13 pm

Realistic approach to immigration? It’ll never work

Jeb Bush sure is sounding like a guy who might run for president in 2016. The younger brother of George W. Bush and former governor of Florida has been mentioned in the past as a possible Republican candidate, but this week he is sounding a bit more serious … by talking about illegal immigration.

In a bit of a change for Mr. Bush, he threw out the idea that as part of any comprehensive immigration reform, we do NOT need to include a path to citizenship. The argument is that not everyone currently in this country illegally even wants to be a U.S. citizen or would apply given the chance.

He cites the immigration reform of 1986 in which half of the people eligible didn’t even bother to apply for citizenship. Granted, there are a variety of reasons for this but it’s safe to assume that many of these illegal immigrants are here to work and earn a living not available in their home country.

They do not wish to learn the national anthem, forgo soccer for baseball and renounce their home citizenship to become an American. They just want to work and feed their families and while I’m sure they would prefer to not be forcibly deported, neither do they want (nor need) a “path to citizenship.”

Is there something in the middle that respects human rights and defends American ideals while acknowledging the need for low-skilled labor and the rule of law?

Jeb Bush makes a pretty solid point when he said, “If we want to create an immigration policy that’s going to work, we can’t continue to make illegal immigration an easier path than legal immigration.”

Let the games begin!

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