With the November elections now history, one senses an effort by many Republicans to soften the rhetoric when it comes to illegal immigration.
Late last week, it was Newt Gingrich. “We are not going to deport 11 million people,” he said.
Over the weekend, it was one of the two Bush brothers. From the Denver Post:
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said if his children walked the streets of Phoenix they might look awfully suspicious to police. His wife, Columba, is from Mexico.
Harvard professor Robert Putnam told the same crowd of city officials from across the country at the Denver Convention Center on Saturday that his grandchildren might likewise draw suspicions. His daughter married a Latino man, he said.
“I think it’s not right that they could be picked up just because of the way they look,” Putnam said.
Bush and Putnam spoke and then fielded questions at a National League of Cities convention about immigration issues, including the controversial Arizona immigration law….
Bush, the brother and son of former Republican presidents, quipped that it was obvious he was not running for office, noting that his views differed from those of most of his Republican colleagues.
While he is sympathetic to the plight of Arizona officials forced to deal with all the problems linked to a porous frontier, he believes there are solutions other than a law criminalizing illegal immigrants, he said.
“It’s the wrong approach,” he said. “The net result is not much has been done.”
He said if the U.S. deported 12 million illegal immigrants from across the country, it would cost billions and not be very effective.
Instead he recommended tightening the border and improving programs to more smoothly integrate immigrants into American society.
Both Putnam and Bush agreed that teaching English to immigrants is one way to improve integration and ensure success for new generations of immigrants.
– By Jim Galloway, Political Insider