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Bush Defends His Plan to Give Immigrants Legal Status

Jeb Bush said Saturday that he will continue to support a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants, a position that clashes with most of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, The New York Times reported.

The former Florida governor told conservatives attending the RedState Gathering that he is “going to stand on that,” a reference to his previous statements supporting immigration reform. He is at odds with many members of his party, who want to deport the 11 million foreign-born people who are living illegally in the United States.

Bush pointed out that a conservative think tank estimated such mass deportations would take 20 years and cost between $400 billion and $600 billion. “I, for one, think the plan I just laid out is a better plan than a $400-to-$600 billion cost plan,” he said.

The Times noted that while the crowd applauded Bush for reaffirming his position on the controversial issue, a high percentage of those in attendance are backing more conservative candidates like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. The newspaper called the RedState event a “lion’s den” for politicians that hardliners consider too moderate.

“(Bush) impressed me more than I had anticipated,” a Rand Paul supporter who attended the gathering told the TImes. “He did a much better job of explaining what he did in Florida than what I’ve previously heard.”

Photo: City Fig

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