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Politics / Issues

PolitiFact Fl Asks: Is Jeb as Conservative as The Donald on Immigration?

Fox News
Donald Trump answers a question about Jeb Bush and immigration at the recent Republican debate

Much of the buzz around Donald Trump has circulated around his outspoken views on immigration, particularly of the illegal sort from Mexico. Jeb Bush, on the other hand, has had a much softer tone on the issue. But has he swung to the right in the face of Trump's surprisingly strong campaign?

"If it weren't for me, you wouldn't even be talking about illegal immigration. You woudn't even be talking about it."

That was Donald Trump talking to Chris Wallace at the first of what will likely be many Republican debates:

So just how far to the right is The Donald?  Well, if you ask Hillary Clinton, The Jeb is just as conservative when it comes to immigration:

Hillary Clinton's tweet

Here's PolitiFact Florida's ruling:


Where Bush and Trump are similar Let’s look at the areas Clinton cited in her video as evidence that Bush and Trump overlap. Obama’s executive action: "I will immediately terminate President Obama’s illegal executive order on immigration," Trump said in his June 16 announcement. In his speech ,Trump didn’t make it clear if he was referring to Obama’s 2012 program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, or the 2014 program aimed at parents, called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, or DAPA. In an interview on Meet the Press in August, Trump said he would rescind DACA but he wasn’t asked point blank about DAPA. Then, the video shows Fox News’ Sean Hannity asking Bush, "Would you repeal Obama’s executive amnesty?" and Bush replies "yes." Bush has said he would get rid of both DACA and DAPA, but a spokesman said he’d do that after after comprehensive immigration reform passed. Legal status: Trump told CNN’s Dana Bash that if elected his plan for illegal immigrants would be to "get the bad ones out." But he also called for having immigrants leave and then come back legally: "I would get people out, and I would have an expedited way of getting them back into the country, so they can be legal. Let them be legal. .... I love the idea of immigration, but it's got to be legal immigration." Here is the back-and-forth that followed about legal status: Bash: "When you say legal, do you mean legal status, or can they be eligible for citizenship?" Trump: "Legal status." Bash: "No citizenship?" Trump: "No citizenship. We will see. Later down the line, who knows what is going to happen, but legal status." Clinton’s video then shows Hannity summarizing Bush's position as "legal status, but not citizenship" and Bush replies "exactly." Bush told Hannity that his plan as outlined in his book calls for earned legal status and "over an extended period of time, you earn legal status." If we compare recent statements, Trump and Bush agree on providing legal status to certain immigrants and not citizenship, but that was not always the case with Bush, because at times in the past he expressed support for path to citizenship. Anchor babies: "I’ll use the word anchor baby," Trump said Aug. 20. Then Clinton’s video cuts to an interview in which Bush on Aug. 19 called for "better enforcement so that you don't have these, you know, 'anchor babies,' as they're described, coming into the country." In another clip Bush defends his use of the term "anchor babies" -- a term some immigration activists find offensive. Asked by a reporter about using the term Bush said, "No, I don’t regret it. Do you have a better term?" So both have used the term "anchor babies." The Clinton campaign told us the tweet on Trump and Bush agreeing referred only to these areas. But we found many other specifics where Trump and Bush didn't agree that were not mentioned in the video, and that makes the tweet misleading. Where Bush and Trump are different We asked spokespersons for the Bush and Trump campaign to cite areas where they differ on immigration policy but did not get a reply from Trump’s campaign. Here’s a few key examples of where they differ: Mass deportations: Trump has called for mass deportations. He said on The O’Reilly Factor on Aug. 24: " If I’m elected, they’re going to be out of here day one. We’re going to get them the hell out of our country. They’re going to be out so fast your head will spin." Bush has repeatedly said that mass deportation is an unrealistic solution. On his campaign website Bush said it would cost as much as $600 billion, would step on civil liberties and is "a border plan that could be best described as a fantasy." A wall between Mexico and the United States: Trump wants to make Mexico pay for a wall between the two countries and impound remittances which Bush says is unrealistic. "So who is going to decide who is legally remitting money back to their families in other countries? Are we going to go door-by-door and just do this? It’s just not practical at all," Bush said at a town hall in Englewood, Colo., on Aug. 25. Birthright citizenship: Trump calls for ending birthright citizenship and argues that it could be done despite the 14th amendment. Bush defended birthright citizenship. "That’s a constitutional right. Mr. Trump can say that he’s for this because people are frustrated that it’s abused. But we ought to fix the problem rather than take away rights that are constitutionally in doubt," Bush told CBS’ Major Garrett on Aug. 18. Rhetoric: Trump has made some statements about immigration that Bush has criticized, including Trump’s comments about Mexicans: "They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people" Trump said. Bush has said such rhetoric is "way out of the mainstream and "To make these extraordinarily ugly kind of comments is not reflective of the Republican Party. Trump is wrong on this." Our ruling Clinton said, "How do Jeb Bush and Donald Trump differ on immigration? Spoiler alert: They don't." Bush and Trump agree in some areas, including getting rid of Obama’s executive action. Both also call for a pathway to legal status and not citizenship, although Bush in the past has spoken in favor of citizenship. But in many other areas they disagree. Trump calls for mass deportation, ending birthright citizenship and building a wall between Mexico and the United States, all major policy changes that Bush has denounced. Clinton’s overall message here that there is no daylight between Bush and Trump is misleading, although there is a kernel of truth here in that they overlap a few immigration policies. We rate this claim Mostly False.

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