Jeb Bush Says Illegal Immigration Is 'Act of Love'

April 7, 2014 - 6:11 AM

Jeb Bush

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at an event in Hollywood, Fla., on Jan. 29, 2014. (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says American citizens shouldn't be so upset about people who come to this country illegally.

"Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love. It’s an act of commitment to your family. I honestly think that that is a different kind of crime that there should be a price paid, but it shouldn’t rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families."

Bush, a Republican, made the comments Sunday at an event marking the 25th anniversary of his father's presidency at the George H. W. Bush at the library and museum.

A Fox News reporter moderated the event, which was closed to the press, and Fox aired the following clip:

"But the way I look at this -- and I'm going to say this, and it'll be on tape and so be it," Jeb Bush said.

"The way I look at this is, someone who comes to our country because they couldn’t come legally, they come to our country because their families -- you know, the dad who loved their children -- was worried that their children didn’t have food on the table.

"And they wanted to make sure their family was intact, and they crossed the border because they had no other means to work to be able to provide for their family. Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love. It’s an act of commitment to your family.

"I honestly think that that is a different kind of crime that there should be a price paid, but it shouldn’t rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families."

Bush also said the border could be controlled better than it has been. And he agreed there should be "penalties for breaking the law."

Bush has been mentioned as a possible presidential contender in 2016, but his liberal views on immigration set him apart from conservatives who oppose amnesty for the millions of illegal aliens who already are here.

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Chuck Schumer: Jeb Bush 'A Lot Better Than Some of Them'