Former Governor Jeb Bush (R., Fla.) told an illegal immigration activist that he would not end the deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) program that President Obama created in 2012, emphasizing that he thought it needed to be ratified by Congress rather than by executive order.
Bush compared Obama to a “Latin American dictator” for creating the program unilaterally. “[T]he program for the DREAMers,” he told an activist, per Bloomberg, who would have qualified for the DREAM Act benefits if the bill had passed into law. “No. Let’s give them priority to be citizens. But by the law, not by decree, because that’s like a Latin American dictator.”
Bush made the comment after being asked if he would “take away all our opportunities” by the activist. He explained that he wants to “pass a law so there’s permanence. What DACA does is it’s only for two years, no more. The problem continues after that.”
When Bush summarized his immigration plan during an Iowa Agriculture Summit earlier today, he referred only to “legalized status” for people in the country illegally.
“Immigrants that are here need to have a path to legalized status,” Bush said when asked about what immigration policies he would support as president. “What we need to do is to make sure people pay fines, that they learn English, that they work, that they don’t receive government assistance, that they earn legalized status over the long haul, that they come out from the shadows so that they can be productive with a provisional work permit. This is the only serious, thoughtful way, I think, to deal with this.”