Jeb Bush in Atlanta: Mass deportation of illegal immigrants 'isn't feasible, isn't practical'

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush was in Atlanta on Tuesday, mostly to raise cash. But he made a quick pass-through of the Varsity, chomping down a hot dog and slurping, as best he could, a frosted orange.

With the FO wiped from his lips, Bush faced a scrum of reporters who wanted to talk about Donald Trump. And his immigration policy, which includes an end to birthright citizenship – as outlined by the 14th Amendment. And his advocacy of deporting 11.2 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has joined Trump in calling for an end to the right for those born on American soil to claim citizenship. Here’s what Bush said:

“I’m opposed to changing something that’s already embedded in the Constitution.”

On the heels of this, Bush was asked about Trump’s endorsement of mass deportation of the undocumented. Said Bush:

“I’ve written a book about it. I have a plan on how you secure the border. We need to create a path to earned legal status. That’s the thoughtful way of dealing with this. What Mr. Trump has proposed will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. It will disrupt communities. Isn’t feasible, isn’t practical.

“It appeals to people’s legitimate anger. They feel that Barack Obama hasn’t been fulfilling his duties of enforcing the law. But we now need plans and solutions to fix these things. This immigration issue has been part of the political landscape for years and years. It’s time to fix it, and I know how to do it.”

Beyond that, the former Florida governor endorsed Gov. Nathan Deal’s effort – which will be on the ballot next year – to give the governor the right to seize control of Georgia’s failing schools. Said Bush:

“I respect Governor Deal’s position on this. I think it’s the right thing. We should have very little tolerance for failure. Because we know what the result will be. Instead of going to college or instead of being able to get a job, kids are going to be drifting. They’re not going to be able to get a job.

“We should have no tolerance for the abject failure that occasionally takes place. The soft bigotry of low expectations is one of the great dangers in America today. [That’s a phrase made popular by his brother, obviously.]

“We just keep lowering expectations now, where kids languish with horrific learning results. Look at Ferguson. Look at Baltimore. Look at the places where there is such despair. What you’ll find is that education outcomes are far, far below neighborhoods where kids are living in intact families and they’re doing fine.”

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About the Author

Jim Galloway
Jim Galloway
Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.