Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is standing with Republicans on the border crisis, just months after breaking with his party on illegal immigration.
Bush, who made headlines earlier this year for saying illegal immigration was often an “act of love,” published an op-ed in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal that came out in strong support for sending the minors flooding the Texas border back to their countries of origin and changing the laws that let them enter the country.
After first slamming President Obama for his response to the crisis, Bush celebrated GOP proposals to revise a 2008 anti-trafficking law that gives additional protection to unaccompanied children who may be the victims of trafficking. That law, which Republicans say makes it difficult to expedite deportations, remains at the center of the congressional debate on the border crisis.
“He has failed to call for a change in the law, to engage across party lines or to take sufficient steps to keep more children from coming,” Bush said of the president, while promoting the “pragmatic” ideas proposed by various Republicans.
At the end of the day, however, he agrees with his party that the children should be sent home, despite the often dangerous conditions they have fled.
“Except for those deserving few who may demonstrate true cause for asylum or protection from sex trafficking, these children must be returned to their homes in Central America,” Bush wrote.
Many believe Bush will make a bid for the presidency in 2016, although the Republican hasn’t said whether or not he’ll run. If he does, however, it’s clear that immigration will be a key issue for him – just last year, the potential candidate released a book on how he’d fix the immigration system.
Bush did take it a step further than most in his party, though, advocating comprehensive immigration reform so fewer people would seek out illegal ways of entering the country.
“Finally, preventing similar crises in the future begins with making our immigration system fair and effective now. A chief reason so many people are entering through the back door, so to speak, is that the front door is shut,” he wrote.