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February 26, 2015

Jeb Bush Doesn't Seem To Think Much Of Americans

Everyone knows Jeb Bush is a big proponent of immigration and amnesty for illegal aliens (Well, not all of them. More on that in a bit). What's beginning to emerge though is a picture of a guy who not only thinks coming here illegally is "an act of love" but a necessary corrective for a failing society that needs to be remade in fundamental ways. Sound familiar?

That's not my spin, that's from noted Rightwing Nut Job, David Frum.

Both Jeb Bush and Barack Obama are men who have openly and publicly struggled with their ambivalence about their family inheritance. Both responded by leaving the place of their youth to create new identities for themselves: Barack Obama, as an organizer in the poor African-American neighborhoods of Chicago; Jeb Bush in Mexico, Venezuela, and at last in Cuban-influenced Miami. Both are men who have talked a great deal about the feeling of being “between two worlds”: Obama, in his famous autobiography; Bush, in his speeches. Both chose wives who would more deeply connect them to their new chosen identity. Both derived from their new identity a sharp critique of their nation as it is. Both have built their campaign for president upon a deep commitment to fundamental transformation of their nation into what they believe it should be.


"They’re more entrepreneurial, they set up more business, they buy more homes, they’re more family-oriented, they work in jobs that in many cases are jobs that have gone unfilled" (at 39:40)

"I think Detroit would do real well if we started repopulating it with young, aspirational people." (45:20)

"We have people that mope around thinking 'my life is bad, my children will not have the same opportunities that I had.' What a horrible notion in America, the most optimistic of places, and I think an economically driven immigration plan . . . would lift our spirits up dramatically." (19:25)

"The one way that we can rebuild the demographic pyramid is to fix a broken immigration system. . . . If we do this, we will rebuild our country in a way that will allow us to grow. If we don’t do it, we will be in decline, because the productivity of this country is dependent on young people that are equipped to be able to work hard... Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans over the last 20 years. Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families and they have more intact families." (12:25)

The link goes to an NRO Corner piece quoting Frum's which I missed when it came out a few weeks ago. You can see the original here.

I'm sure if this line is pursued in the primaries it will be greeted with defensive shrieks of RACISM! and NATIVISM! from the usual suspects. But if it's fair game to go after Obama for his non-traditional American values, surely it's fair to question a Republican who seems to hold his fellow countrymen in lower esteem than he does others coming here illegally.

As for Bush's desire to give amnesty to illegals, it certainly extends to border jumpers who tend to come from Mexico and Central America. it does not however extend to all illegals.

This is a WaPo story on a speech by Jeb from January.

Here's Bush: "We need to find a way, a path to legalized status for those that have come here and have languished in the shadows. There's no way that they're going to be deported -- no one's suggesting an organized effort to do that. The cost of that would be extraordinary."

And here's Bush: "The 40 percent of the people that have come illegally came with a legal visa and overstayed their bounds. We ought to be able to find where they are and politely ask them to leave."


But, it is striking that within two minutes of saying the "politely" line, Bush is, seemingly, contradicting himself by insisting that there is no way all of the people in the country illegally are going to be deported. (He starts the "politely" line at around 23:50 and the we're-not-going-to-round-them-up riff at 25:40.)

The only possible explanation -- at least that I can think of -- is that Bush is differentiating between people who came to the country on legal visas, and then violated the law by staying once the visas ran out, vs. those who simply came to the country entirely illegally. Okay. But that's a very nuanced argument to make with what has become, politically, an absolutely black and white issue.

How can you possibly account for differences between border jumpers and visa overstays? Look at who they are.

Those working to create a path to citizenship for people here illegally often make the distinction to highlight the diverse immigration issues the U.S. faces. Little is known about the demographics of the so-called overstayer population, but some studies suggest they tend to be better educated and more fluent in English than those who crossed the border illegally. They also are more likely to hail from European, Asian and African countries. And in many cases, they used tourist visas to enter the U.S.


Madeleine Sumption, a senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, said that "visa overstayers would benefit more from a legalization program. They have higher levels of skills but are being held back by their legal status." They may have difficulty landing high-skilled jobs because of their illegal status and instead settle for low-skilled positions, she said.

Jeb's not a stupid man. He surely knows the difference between the people he wants to let stay here and the ones he want's to "politely ask to leave".

I've written before that I support immigration reform but not amnesty for anyone regardless of where they are from or how they came to be here illegally. As part of that support I've also been upfront that I favor higher skilled immigrants over lower skilled ones no matter where they come from and I've laid out my reasons why. Jeb is running for President and he should have to explain his apparent bias in favor of low skilled immigrants.

I generally think the notion that there aren't any differences between the two parties to be a silly one. I do however think that what differences there are are insufficient to the health of the nation. Unless Bush has a satisfactory explanation for his demographic engineering choices, a Jeb-Hillary match-up will be a major step forward in blurring what differences there are and advancing Obama's project to fundamentally change America.

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posted by DrewM. at 09:46 AM

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