Did I hear a Bush talk about Chain Migration?

Jeb Bush faced a question about immigration at the Red State Gathering on Saturday. His response was less than predictable.

Jeb_Bush_2013_CPAC_by_Gage_Skidmore3“Legal immigration needs to be reformed as well. Most of our legal immigrants come through a quota system by country and by family petitioning. Most people don’t know this, but it was done in the 1960s and we have what’s called chain migration. We have the broadest definition of family in the world: spouse and minor children, like every country, right? And then adult siblings and adult parents. If we narrowed that to what every other country has, it would be half a million people less. Imagine having half a million people that you picked to come in.

Mr. Bush touched on a core problem with our immigration system that few others want to talk about: it is based on who you are related to. Americans will be better served if elected officials thoughtfully determine which skills we need (working for less is not a skill) and how many people we can absorb without impacting job prospects of Americans.

To be sure, Mr. Bush did not advocate for a reduction from the nearly one million people we allow to immigrate here legally every year, nor did he suggest altogether replacing the outdated quota system with a merit-based one—but addressing chain migration is a start.

The rest of his immigration platform—including guest workers and amnesty—have a long way to go in terms of serving a broad public interest. He is still a Bush.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    Don’t let Jeb fool you, Americans. He’s playing every angle on this subject to get you confused about what he’s Really thinking. He’s plain and simply for massive immigration without background checks. Case closed!

  2. avatar

    As a Florida Republican, we don’t want either Florida boy to be the nominee, Bush or Rubio (unless you want more illegal immigration).

  3. avatar
    Not Politically Correct on

    We also need to get rid of birthright citizenship. No anchor babies to give them a foothold and a door to benefits.

  4. avatar

    So, that means he doesn’t want the low-skilled bunch all of a sudden, right ? ASSuming we believe this, then that leaves the highly skilled to be brought in. So, let’s displace more Americqn college grads with Chinese and Indian, right ? Let’s make it so that they will never be employed, or employed up to their earning potential.
    Let’s face it: in these pols’ minds, there is NO job an American is qualified to do.

  5. avatar

    Illegal is merely as symptom of an ill-conceived, disastrous LEGAL immigration “system.” It needed to be fixed over 30 years ago.

    When are the many clueless posters on this site going to realize the problem is much bigger than just illegal immigration?!!

    • avatar

      When George W. Bush was president Houston got a new Mexican Consular General. The Houston UN gave him a welcoming party. He gave a power point presentation of the Texas Mexican border and talked about how soon the border would be open and how wonderful it would be. I don’t believe he would have done this had he not had approval from the Mexican government working closely with Bush for the North American Union. I suggested during the Q and A that perhaps had Mexico not printed 1.5 million comic type books telling their people what to take, how to cross the border and what to do if you get caught there would be such serious problems. The Bushes were in collusion with Mexico to move toward a North American Union and then the New World Order. Beware of Bushes and their elitist agendas. You cannot step into Mexico without being stopped. Bush also sent two Border Patrol agents to prison to demoralize that group. They had been shot at by a drug dealer. One of these men while in prison was seriously wounded in an attack by other prisoners. Everyone knows that law enforcement prisoners are vulnerable to serious attacks from other prisoners. Beware of Bushes and their behind the scenes agendas. And then we have Huckaby, who went to Mexico and brought back a consulate. He allowed them to use AR state facilities until their offices were opened. Little Rock got stuck with a bill but the illegals could then get a matricular card to go next door to the bank to send money back to Mexico. Don’t you think Tyson Foods and Walmart backed Huckaby for governor?

    • avatar

      The system isn’t broken – Congress and the POTUS are. They, including “the gang of 8” are moving in a direction that would break it. This goes back to Ted Kennedy days when they increase legal immigration and eliminated the quota (by country) system. The problem is that they are doing nothing to enforce current law, and nothing to stop immigration from radical Islamist countries.

  6. avatar

    Secure the border but even more importantly we need to cut the free benefits supposedly only to those with a green card but I doubt the US even demands green card status for welfare. If we go to Mexico or South America or to any other country in the world, we just can march in and demand to be taken care of by that country’s citizens. But here in the US the citizens have no say about who gets the freebies, since the politicians seem to be giving them out to all foreign entries into the US. Otherwise, people would be leaving back to their homeland or somewhere else.

    • avatar

      “Secure the border” is worthless unless we secure the workplace i.e. resume raids, deport illegal workers and send their employers (if they knowingly hired them) to prison. I’m betting that watching these employers doing the “perp walk” on the 10 p.m. news would send a pretty convincing message that this country has finally become serious about enforcing its immigration laws.

      • avatar
        Richard Harris on

        This is exactly what prosecutors are reluctant to do. It takes a lot of time and resources for a prosecutor to build a case and go through all the courtroom delaying tactics that defense attorneys put in their paths. To bring one employer to trial could exhaust all of the resources of a small DA’s office. It’s a nice theory, but in practice it just doesn’t work.

        The only realistic approach is to build a wall and beef up Boarder guards. Rommel’s theory on stopping the D-Day Invasion at the water’s edge holds for stopping this invasion of illegal Mexicans. Stop them at the boarder. Once they get in they are much harder to deal with.

      • avatar

        You should see the “Hell” that Joe Arpio (Arizona Sheriff) goes through on a daily basis trying to do his job. He is sued constantly by the ACLU etc. There is a dozen of these organizations and they ALL have it in for Joe…
        When he raids these businesses for hiring illegals, he gets sued for racial profiling or stopping a car, you can’t tell who is behind that wheel when you turn you siren/lights on. But he will get sued….Illegals are running rampant in our country and law enforcement has been told to “STAND DOWN” and let it happen!!!

  7. avatar

    When are we all going to realize that virtual fences, drones or walls will never stop illegal migration. Drones and walls will never stop tunneling and virtual fences only stop virtual migration. The only sensible answer will be expensive but will definitely pay off in the long run. Picture the Suez Canal, the Panama Canal and other trade routes throughout the world. That is what we require to protect our southern border. Unlike Panama, it must be at a level depth , below sea level to allow transit of ships from the Pacific coast to the Gulf of Mexico without the use of locks. Let it follow the current southern border and let it be not less than five miles wide and a depth of three to five hundred feet. Work from west to east in one mile segments opening each segment as it is completed. During construction have it patrolled and monitored by our military and border patrol with completed segment patrolled by the Coast Guard and Navy. Once complete it would provide a secure border which could not be bridged without sea traffic. A regular patrol by Coast Guard 24/7 using visual, sonar and radar would minimize illegal traffic and the likelihood of tunneling below the canal bed would be far too costly and would require sophisticated engineering. Why start at the west? That is where the greatest illegal threat is coming from.
    Would it be expensive? You bet but just look at the revenues generated by the Panama Canal.

    The 2014 Annual report published 326.8 million net tons of cargo which generated revenues of $ 1.910 biliion. That and the fact that they are currently undergoing an expansion indicates that there is more to come.
    The immediate benefit to this country would be massive employment during the construction project, the ability to construct logistics centers from east to west on both sides of the canal which would drive long term employment both for Mexico and the United States and once completed would give us a secure border once and for all and a water passage for cargo and people from coast to coast.

    We have played at securing the borders using conventional and virtual means for decades without any results. It’s now time for a real change. This would secure our borders once and for all.

    • avatar

      Easy to solve. Eliminate the job magnet with mandatory e-verify with stiff penalties and also make it a crime to rent to an illegal, undocumented or whatever else you want to call it. No job, No money, No reason to stay. Gone. US taxpayers were never billed to “import” and there is no reason to pay to “export”.

    • avatar
      Richard Harris on

      Well you have a very nice idea but it’s goal is to accomplish a lot more than just stopping the Mexican invasion. As an engineer I really do like your idea with the job opportunities it will provide for types like me.

      However you have dismissed a wall out of hand without giving it the proper consideration it deserves. The fact is that no-one has ever really tried to stop the invasion by building a wall. The Israelis built a 40 foot high wall on their eastern border and it totally stopped all of the infiltration by terrorists. My proposal is to build a double 40 foot high wall with paved driving surfaces between the two walls for the use of boarder patrol agents. Beef up boarder patrol agents to man observation points at strategic locations. Plant listening devices along the route to detect tunneling. Buy up land along the boarder in city areas to establish listening and observation posts.

      Some of your design details are excessive to the point of being fantastic. It won’t matter if people succeed in building a tunnel. The only places that a tunnel has a chance of being successively constructed are in urban areas where there are enough structures to prevent surveillance. Any successful tunnel would usually be found in less than 30 days. The presence of large numbers of people or unusual vehicular activity in any particular vicinity would be a tip-off to look for a tunnel. Tunneling is not a simple task. It requires skill and engineering know-how. It also requires a lot of hand labor and a lot of time per tunnel. Tunneling is really a minor concern. The numbers of people that will get through by tunneling is less than 1/100th of one per cent of the numbers that are getting through now.

      The major problem with your idea is acquiring the land in the urban areas. To build a 5 mile wide ditch at San Diego would require the moving of the entire city. Can you imagine what the cost of the real estate would be. It seems to me that there is a massive mountain range in the way too. The cost of cutting a 5 mile wide ditch through that mountain range would also be enormous.

      These are great engineering and construction problems to solve but their cost is astronomical compared to just erecting my double 40 foot wall and accessories. I read a book about 30 years ago called “Engineer’s Dreams” by Willy Lea. It dealt with about 6 or 7 projects on a massive scale similar to what you have proposed. You might enjoy reading it. Try to get it on inter-library loan. It’s probably 40 years out of print by now.

  8. avatar

    AMERICA IS AT A CROSSROADS right now and which way we turn will determine whether America as we know it will cease to exist or whether America will once again begin to shine that light on the hill that everyone sees and want to be a part of. Political Correctness has helped to destroy the very fabric this nation was built on.
    We can TURN LEFT again and watch as America is destroyed from within by the socialist liberal left PC group made up of radicals that are left over from the 60s and the 3 generations of Americans that have been indoctrinated in our schools (not educated) to believe that America is the problem in this world and only by destroying our Constitutional Republic and replacing it with Socialism (a system that has failed all over the world) will America be saved from itself. They will pit brother against brother, race against race, rich against poor, christians against non believers until America withers away in social decline and chaos, even Anarchy.
    We can GO STRAIGHT ahead with the current policies, partys and system that has brought us 18 Trillion dollars of debt, millions of Americans out of work, declining social values, loss of the middle class, millions living in poverty, great cities destroyed by social unrest and violence and death of the American Dream. This will lead us to a 2nd American Revolution as people are getting fed up with the ruling class in America (Politicians) that lie to get elected. ignore the needs and wants of those that elected them just so they can fill their pockets with money from big business, lobbyist and just plain theft. They will continue to gut our military (once the greatest and strongest) and by projecting that strength our enemies feared us and our allies trusted us. A strong American Military prevents wars. Our men and women were proud to serve but are tired of being ignored once their service is through. The revolution will be bloody but may be necessary to restore America to greatness.
    Or we can TURN RIGHT and if I have to explain to you how this will make AMERICA GREAT AGAIN then you are part of the problem and not part of the solution. You are happy with the world because you are getting free stuff from hard working Americans, given to you by a government that wants only to keep you dependent on them so they will have your vote. You are slaves to the system and don’t want the American Dream. Or you are just so darn pleased with yourself because you feel good speaking out for the disenfranchised, the down trodden, the poor animals that feed us. Life is all Rainbows and Unicorns and if we just love each other and sing Kumbaya in a circle there will be no wars or poverty and gee wizz all will be right in the world.
    WAKE UP PEOPLE… We need to TURN RIGH NOW. We need to restore our economy and the security of America. We need to start anew with a leader that for all his bombast and ego is a great businessman. America is the worlds largest business and I want a business man in charge of it. I want someone that can sit across the table from Wall Street Bankers, Heads of State and power brokers around the world and make deals that are good for American workers not greedy politicians. I want a President that is not afraid to call a spade a spade. No more PC in the White House. No more social experiments with our military. No more foreign policy that leads from behind. No more divisive speech that tears the heart out of Americans of every color and class.
    We need Donald Trump to speak for us now and with Ted Cruz at his back we can get America Great Again. Trump will get our economy back on track and that alone will solve so many social ills in America because the American Dream will once again be sought by everybody. Cruz will be the strength that Trump needs to get his agenda through the congress and Cruz will provide the guidance that will once and for all solve the Illegal immigration issue and secure our border.
    TRUMP/CRUZ 2016 will give us the White House for 16 years and our grandchildren will thank us for it. They called the warriors of WW2 the greatest generation. I think if we act now and restore America so that our friends love us, our enemies fear us and our people are proud to be called Americans then we will be considered the greatest generation because we took that RIGHT TURN at this moment in history and changed the world for the better.

  9. avatar

    Bush recently dismissed Trump’s call for a wall at the border by saying that the Mexican drug lord escaped by a tunnel under his prison. Anyone with a brain knows a lot of the prison staff had to have known. So I guess Bush thinks that we shouldn’t bother with the fence around the White House because every once in awhile someone breaches it? No one says a fence will stop every single person but it slows them down and would give the Border Patrol a chance to get to that location while the person is climbing over.

    And this is from an Associated Press article by Elliott Spaget: “In San Diego, an 18 foot mesh fence extending 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean was completed in 2009, with razor wire topping about half of it.” “On balance, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s portrait of a border out of control doesn’t square with what people see every day in San Diego, and on the Mexican side, Tijuana.”

    Hello? Sounds like the writer is saying Trump’s concerns are over stated, but what the writer wrote actually proves Trump right. Because most of the border is not fenced to that degree. If it works for that 14 miles in San Diego, then why wouldn’t it work along the whole border? Hello?

    • avatar

      I love when someone turns something around and aims it at the person who said it. Good point about the White House fence. It’s as bad as the Pope (I forget which one) berating us for having a fence. Huh? The Vatican is walled in.

      • avatar

        Not only that, it’s their birth control policies that are producing so much hunger and poverty. The Catholic country of the Philippines had about 10 million people at the turn of the 20th century. Now they are over 100 million and that country simply cannot support that number. The land area is relatively small.

    • avatar

      It seems as though no matter what Trump says the RNC and GOP leadership
      are against it until you actually read their definition. But then no matter what they mean they never carry through on their promises so it really doesn’t matter. They just don’t like Trump because he is outdoing everyone and speaking for the American people. And the American people believe he can and will do undo obama’s mess although it will take several years, maybe decades, to get everything untangled.