Jeb Bush, whose immigration stance has been a sticking point for conservatives, issued a policy paper on Monday, endorsing legal status for undocumented immigrants and a crackdown on “sanctuary cities.”
Bush’s six-point plan unveiled on his website and Medium, comes as he and the rest of the Republican presidential field prepare for the first Republican debate of the campaign on Thursday.
Bush’s plan for those in the country illegally calls for a “rigorous path” to legal status, including for them to undergo a criminal background check, pay fines and taxes, learn English and earn a provisional work permit.
He also calls for new technology to achieve continuous surveillance of the border and improving border infrastructure and access to federal lands.
He also calls for a crackdown on the so-called sanctuary cities that not honor requests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold inmates suspected of immigration violations.
“We should withhold federal law enforcement funds for cities that undermine federal immigration laws and make sure we detain and deport illegal immigrants who are serious criminals,” Bush wrote.
Fellow Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has seized on the fatal and apparently random shooting of a woman in San Francisco to criticize sanctuary cities.
“Absolutely, I would hold them as an accomplice. Make them criminally culpable,” the Republican presidential candidate said when asked if he’d arrest mayors of sanctuary cities.