THE BLOG

Jeb Bush Falling Behind on Immigration

02/24/2015 05:18 pm ET | Updated Apr 26, 2015
Bill Pugliano via Getty Images

It isn't bathsalt zombies or Lazarus cats on your newspaper's front page: political speculation of a potential Jeb Bush presidential campaign is at an all time high in the Sunshine State and has taken over the headlines.

Yes, it would appear that former Gov. Bush is positioning himself to run for President in 2016, and while many are optimistic about his chances for a successful bid for the White House, others are monitoring his political stance on critical issues, including undocumented immigrants.

Bush's own party gasped in horror last year, when the former governor stated that undocumented immigrants came to the United States as an "act of love."

While not a clear sign of what Bush's policies might look like were he to become the next Head of State, the public was provided the impression that the not-yet Presidential Candidate was willing to tackle the issue in a sensible and compassionate manner.

After all, the Republican Party had acknowledged that it had to improve its outreach to minorities after its humiliating 2012 defeat.

One year has certainly brought about what can only be called a certified flipflop. Last week, on the heels of President Obama's delayed immigration initiatives, Bush took to Facebook praising the Republican judge for delaying the deportation relief to millions of American families, including thousands here in Florida.

Perhaps a change of heart has taken place in the Bush camp -- ironic, considering that his brother, President George W. Bush, was an advocate for immigration reform.

Let's hope this is nothing more than political maneuvering from a politician who is trying to prove to his conservative base that he can be tough on immigration. Why else would Mr. Bush accuse the President of overstepping his executive authority when it came to the new 2014 immigration initiatives and not the ones enacted in 2012?

Is it because our parents and families are not as important as the "Dreamers"? Or perhaps its the fact that the President is acting because Congress refuses to do so?

Whatever the reason may be, one thing is clear: Mr. Bush has no platform to call out President Obama for poisoning the well on immigration reform.

Where was the Republican Party in 2012, or in 2013, or for that matter in 2014? Nowhere but obstructing the passage of any meaningful legislation that could have fixed our broken immigration system.

Moreover, Mr. Bush's support of what only be defined as judicial activism shows that he is willing to let millions of families fall through the cracks of deportation, all while politics continue to take the front seat in the arduous debate that surrounds this issue.

My hopes are that Bush will be clear about what he really plans to do with beneficiaries of Deferred Action, with the parents of said beneficiaries, and with the millions of undocumented immigrants that continue to contribute to this great nation.

Self-deportation is a non-starter, we know that, but finger pointing and assigning blame for inaction on immigration is also a failed strategy. Both political parties are at fault for creating the immigration mess in which we are currently mired.

The Republicans failed to pass a comprehensive reform bill, certain Democrats helped defeat the Dream Act in 2010, and now we find ourselves in 2015 with stalled executive policies and a countdown clock until the Department of Homeland Security runs out of funding -- resulting in another shutdown prompted by an impossible choice created by the GOP.

Mr. Bush, the immigrant community is looking for a leader who will stand up and face the issues with a clear plan, not one that will throw stones inside a glass house in hopes of scoring political points. You say our families deserve better: what are your proposals? You state that the President ought to work with Congress on this issue, well, how much longer should the current President wait for your party to pass a bill?

We'll be waiting to see your platform points once you announce your candidacy Mr. Bush, and will carefully read every detail to see if they are consistent with your previous "act of love" statement.