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Jeb Bush’s Rapid Flip-Flop on Pathway to Citizenship

jeb bush caricature

Jeb Bush – Caricature

In what is probably one of the fastest flip-flops in political history, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) now says he is actually open to creating a pathway to citizenship as part of comprehensive immigration reform, even though he literally just published a book that called only for creating a pathway to legal residency. From MSNBC:

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush took a new position on immigration Tuesday by saying he would support legislation that had a path of citizenship for people entering the country illegally.

“I would support it,” Bush said on Morning Joe, “if it didn’t create an incentive for people to come illegally at the expense of coming legally.” […]

He said his current position on the issue was influenced by the developing consensus from Democrats and Republicans: “If there is a difference, if you can craft that in law, where you can have a path to citizenship where there isn’t an incentive for people to come illegally, I’m for it.”

What seems to have happened is that it takes several months to get a book published and Jeb basically admitted in the interview that was the problem.

Jeb want to take a position that would put him in the pro-immigration wing of the Republican Party, but before the book was published the center on the issue had already shifted significantly. Many Republicans’ positions on immigration changed rapidly after Obama did so well with Hispanics in the last election. Now, Jeb is scrambling to stay relevant.

While this rapid flip-flop makes Bush seem dishonest, it is good news for the prospect of immigration reform. It means members of Congress who are thinking about running for President in 2016 shouldn’t worry about Bush attacking them from the right on immigration if they back a reform package.

Photo by DonkeyHotey released under Creative Commons License

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at