Sergio Bustos, US News, August 24, 2015
On his own visit to the Mexican border Monday, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush denounced Donald Trump’s immigration plan as unrealistic and expensive. And he did it mostly in Spanish.
The former Florida governor told reporters Trump should read his book, “Immigration Wars,” if he wants to learn how to deal with illegal immigration. Earlier, he met privately with local, state and federal officials in this city along the Rio Grande across from Reynosa, Mexico.
Trump has proposed building a massive border fence and kicking out the estimated 11 million people who are in the U.S. illegally before allowing the “good ones” and “talented” ones back in.
That plan is “not based in reality,” Bush said, arguing it will require a “much better strategy than building a fence” to deal with the complexity of America’s broken immigration system.
Bush told reporters at the Palenque Grill restaurant that Trump’s immigration plan would cost billions of dollars, violate civil liberties and “create friction” with Mexico, America’s third-largest trading partner.
Trump reacted to those claims in an interview later Monday on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor.” ”You tell me about civil liberties,” he said. “We have to get them out and some of these people are causing tremendous problems. All you have to do is look at the crime wave.”
He added: “As far as Mexico being our third largest partner, they are making a fortune, we’re not making anything. Mexico is making a fortune because their leaders are smarter, they know what they’re doing, our people are grossly incompetent.”
Reporters peppered Bush with questions about his use of the term “anchor babies” to describe children born in the United States to parents who are in the country illegally. Some find the term offensive.
Bush said he was referring to alleged fraud by families seeking to have their children born in the U.S. to guarantee citizenship. He said stricter enforcement of immigration laws would help resolve the problem and repeated his opposition to any move to deny U.S. citizenship to those born in America.
He said it was “ludicrous” to think he was being derogatory toward immigrants given his own family’s Hispanic heritage.
“I’m proud to be married to a Mexican-American woman and I have children who are Hispanic,” he said in Spanish as the restaurant crowd applauded.