Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he opposes the new Arizona immigration law, making him the first top national Republican figure to do so.
The new rules make policemen check the status of any immigrants they reasonably suspect to be here illegally and arrest them if they can't prove they are here legally.
"I think it creates unintended consequences," Bush told Politico. "It's difficult for me to imagine how you're going to enforce this law. It places a significant burden on local law enforcement and you have civil liberties issues that are significant as well."
Bush explains that after giving a speech Monday night, a Hispanic man expressed his concern that the law will foster racial discrimination and unfair targeting of Hispanics.
"He said, 'My parents live here, my grandparents live here — I'm Mexican-American. I could be picked up.'"
The uproar that sparked the Arizona bill is understandable, Bush says. But he maintains that immigration should remain a federal issue.
"I don't think this is the proper approach," he said.
Bush and his brother believe comprehensive immigration reform is the way to go. Jeb Bush favors tougher border security and permitting more immigrants to become citizens.
He sees a bright spot in the Arizona law, calling it "an opportunity, not a problem." That’s because it makes clear the need for a new federal immigration law.
Today Bush will be part of a conference call sponsored by Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform to push for such a law, The Washington Post reports.
Carlos Gutierrez, who served as Commerce Secretary under George W. Bush, will also be on the call.
Bush said it represents a "nationwide strategy call with key business and Evangelical leaders to share convictions around the need for immigration reform this year."
Bush's comments Tuesday coincided with former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio’s announcement that he too opposes the Arizona law. Rubio is running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate from Florida.
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.