The former Florida governor said today he has "sympathy" to the plight of immigrant school children facing deportation orders, but believes that border enforcement must be the priority.
"I have sympathy for the high school class president from Coral Gables High School -- it could be any high school in Miami -- that, through no fault of their own, may be here their entire life -- are put in this dilemma," Bush told reporters. "Shame on the federal government for allowing that to happen."
The stance appears a slight shift for the Republican governor, who has generally embraced immigration reform efforts. But Bush, in town for an education summitt, called the situation of illegal students "one of the vestiges of a dysfunctional immigration system.
"If our country could get its act together, this kind of thing wouldn't happen, you'd have a way to orderly deal with it," he said. Democrats want to bring the Dream Act legislation up for a vote in the Senate and Bush said he didn't expect opposition to the Dream Act from Republicans -- including Florida Sen. George LeMieux -- to hurt the party's efforts to court Hispanic voters. He noted incoming Florida Sen.-Marco Rubio was elected despite opposing the Dream Act.
"It is so clear that the first element of comprehensive reform must be to control the border," he said.
Meanwhile, in an interview with West Pam Beach-based Newsmax.com posted Monday, Bush opined on everything from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, saying she has "incredible skills"' politically, to Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, predicting "He'll get crushed'' if he ever tries to run again as a Republican.
He also says President Barack Obama can win reelection -- and that he won't be a candidate in 2012.