Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) on Monday agreed with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush that illegal immigration can be considered an "act of love."
Flake, in a Facebook post, praised Bush for speaking "so humanely and unapologetically about the motivations" of undocumented immigrants in a Fox News appearance that aired earlier this month.
"Truth is, I agree with Jeb, and I applaud him for having the guts to say it," Flake wrote in the post on Monday. "Growing up here in Arizona, I’ve seen what motivates those who come here illegally. Sure, some come with the intent to do harm or simply to take advantage of our generosity. But many come to find work to feed their families. To lump everyone who crosses the border illegally into the same class is unfair and unproductive."
Flake asserted his support for a more secure border and called for immigration reform that takes into account U.S. economic needs and a "rational" solution for those already here without documentation.
Flake's Facebook post is rare support for Bush's remarks. Other Republicans have accused Bush of "pandering," saying the country's primary concern should be to enforce the "rule of law."
"We appreciate the compassion in the statement, but the best compassion you can show a people is to uphold justice," said Tamara Scott, an RNC committeewoman.
View the Facebook post here.