The Huffington Post obtained a copy of Gov. Jeb Bush's new book on immigration -- and it indicates the former Florida governor has reversed himself when it comes to granting a pathway to citizenship for those illegally in the country.
The revelations angered top advisors to Mitt Romney, who felt that Bush went out of his way to make statements during the campaign that undermined the former Republican presidential candidate's campaign by seeming to urge a softer approach to immigration.
"Where the hell was this Jeb Bush during the campaign?" said one advisor."He spent all this time criticizing Romney and it turns out he has basically the same position. So he wants people to go back to their country and apply for citizenship? Well, that's self deportation. We got creamed for talking about that. And now Jeb is saying the same thing."
Asked to respond, Bush said by email: "i am not advocating self deportation. read the book."
The book isn't out yet. So it's unclear what specifically Bush was advocating for and against.
From a marketing perspective, it's a good move for Bush. It gets people talking about his book. It also gets people wondering if he's covering his right flank and is therefore more-serious about running for president in four years.
Excerpts from HuffPo:
WASHINGTON -- In a new book, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) makes a notable reversal on immigration reform, arguing that creating a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants would only encourage future unauthorized immigration.
"It is absolutely vital to the integrity of our immigration system that actions have consequences -- in this case, that those who violated the law can remain but cannot obtain the cherished fruits of citizenship," Bush and lawyer Clint Bolick argue in a new book, Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution. "To do otherwise would signal once again that people who circumvent the system can still obtain the full benefits of American citizenship."....
They don't fully rule out citizenship, however, despite what that sentence implies. Although Bush and Bolick state there should be no special pathway, they say undocumented immigrants should be allowed to go through normal channels to naturalize by going to their native country to apply. That process currently requires three- or 10-year bars and no guarantee of return, making it untenable to many undocumented immigrants.