Former Governor Jeb Bush has claimed that his endorsement of Mitt Romney is not on any particular issue. Unfortunately for him, this endorsement cannot be seen in any other way but as an endorsement of Romney's cruel "self-deportation" immigration policy. For a while, Jeb Bush has been a prudent voice of common sense and compassion in the Republican party, which has since been highjacked by the extreme right-wing Tea Party. But with Jeb's endorsement of Romney, it appears that we have yet another Florida Republican who has chosen his party over common sense.
Mitt Romney has come out against supporting undocumented youth, promising to veto the DREAM Act if passed, while Jeb Bush has called the DREAM Act a "fair policy." Jeb Bush has consistently warned Republicans to tone down their harsh rhetoric on immigration amidst mud-slinging in the GOP debates. Yet he has given up the fight and decided to be swallowed into the same black hole as the presidential candidates and the rest of the Republican party.
And Romney's support for the ARMS Act should not be received with praise by Jeb Bush. The ARMS Act is a poor attempt to provide relief to undocumented youth. It simply says: you are not good enough to serve your country as a teacher, lawyer, engineer, entrepreneur or artist.
What's worse, the bill is full of provisions that have the potential to deport a veteran if he were to become injured in, say, an IED or car crash that wasn't his fault and became a public burden. This demonstrates a lack of understanding of the complexity of immigration policy by Rep. Rivera and Mitt Romney, or at least a lack of interest in those being most drastically affected.
It should come at no surprise that Jeb Bush has been careful to distance himself from Romney's stances, claiming in an interview that "I don't agree with Mitt's views on immigration in their totality, but that's OK." But considering how Mitt Romney has touted the concept of "self-deportation," essentially denying water, shelter, food or the basic necessities of life until an undocumented immigrant leaves of their own will, it is appalling to hear Jeb Bush simply brushing off this type of extreme rhetoric as simply "OK."
For Latino families of mixed-status, Jeb Bush's endorsement of Romney shows a dangerous path, and a lack of understanding and caring for our communities. He has decided to ignore the fact that 91 percent of Latinos support the DREAM Act, including Latinos in Florida. He has decided to follow his party into the void rather than lead his party to the future. Jeb Bush waited a long time to endorse Mitt Romney, and now that he finally has, he has accepted Romney's views as those which should be placed into the highest office of our government -- Arizona SB 1070 & "self-deportation" being the law of the land. There have been more immigration-friendly alternatives to Romney in the Republican party vying for nomination. Today, however, they don't have Jeb Bush's endorsement.