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Jeb Bush: I Wouldn't Immediately Repeal Obama's Immigration Action

By    |   Monday, 11 May 2015 10:22 PM

Jeb Bush told Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly that he would not attempt to immediately reverse President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration should he succeed him in the Oval Office.

The former Florida governor said he would instead wait for Congress to pass a law to make changes in immigration policy.

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That sets Bush apart from many of his Republican counterparts who have said they would take immediate action. Obama in November issued an executive action to prevent millions of illegal immigrants from being deported.

Bush suggested that GOP voters "can be persuaded" to his way of thinking on the issue.

The action is currently being held up by a Texas federal judge as he considers a multistate lawsuit against Obama. Bush said he thinks the states will prevail in the lawsuit.

Asked about the political minefield of using an executive action to reverse the policy, Bush replied, "Pass meaningful reform of immigration and make it part of it."

He also defended his belief that illegal immigrants should be given driver's licenses and their children given in-state tuition.

"If you've been here for an extended period of time, you have no nexus to the country of your parents," he said, adding, "What are we supposed to do? Marginalize these people forever?"

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While he supported legal status, he said that doesn't mean citizenship.

"I think illegal immigration ought to be punished by coming out from the shadows, earning legal status over an extended period of time where you pay a fine, where you work, where you don't receive government assistance, where you learn English … where you're deported if you commit a crime, as is the law."

Self-deportation isn't practical, he said, nor is "rounding people up door-to-door."

Bush acknowledged that many in the party disagree with his immigration views, but he argued, "If I go beyond the consideration of running to be an actual candidate, do you want people to just bend with the wind, to mirror people's sentiment? … Oh, yes, I used to be for that, but now I'm for this. Is that the way we elect a president?"

Bush was interviewed on Saturday in Lynchburg, Virginia, after making a commencement speech at Liberty University about faith. Fox's Kelly asked him about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's recent assertion that people with deep-seated religious beliefs must change them to allow reproductive freedom for women.

"Look, it's OK, I guess, in secular work to be someone who is religious — but you can't act on your faith? You can't have a conscience and act on it?" Bush said.

"That was the basic purpose of this speech was to say that in this incredible country of ours, we need enough space for people to be able to act on their faith. And by the way, when they do, they do good. They feed the hungry, they take care of the homeless, they protect people, they love people.

"I was deeply troubled by Hillary's statement that somehow you just have to put your faith and your convictions in some lock box, I guess, and not be able to act on them."

If only people without religious convictions are allowed to act on their beliefs, then the First Amendment will soon apply only to those who don't have faith, he said.

Bush also defended his support of the controversial Common Core, saying he does understand that many people have problems with the school standards and he respects their views.

"But the simple fact is we need higher standards," he said, that are state, rather than federally, driven.

Bush was asked whether, "knowing what we know now," he would have authorized the Iraq War.

"I would have, and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody, and so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got."

Fox News' Brit Hume, appearing on "The O'Reilly Factor" ahead of the interview, said Bush likely didn't notice that Kelly said "knowing what we know now," and answered the question as if he had had the same bad intelligence on weapons of mass destruction.

Bush said America's prestige has diminished in the world under President Barack Obama except in two countries: Cuba and Iran.

Bush said he would try to undo Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, but it isn't yet completed, making it hard to give details.

Bush, though not yet an official candidate, has been leading the GOP field, but recently slipped from first place. He didn't sound worried.

"I think everybody needs to take a chill pill on the polls until it gets closer," he said.

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Jeb Bush told Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly that he would not attempt to immediately reverse President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration should he succeed him in the Oval Office.
Jeb Bush, repeal, Obama, immigration, executive, order, Republicans, president, 2016
Monday, 11 May 2015 10:22 PM
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