The following is from DREAM Iowa:
Yesterday, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush announced that he has decided to explore a presidential run and plans to establish a future Leadership PAC that will bankroll “conversations with citizens across America to discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation…[and] to support leaders, ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.”
With immigration set to play a key role in the 2016 cycle, Iowa immigration advocates and DREAMers want to formally invite the Governor to come out and speak with Iowans about this pressing issue and clarify his policy positions as the primary season gets underway.
“Our Iowa Neighbors is working to meet with every presidential candidate that comes to Iowa and we want to use our unique access as Iowans to support our immigrant neighbors. Governor Jeb Bush has been a strong ally to immigrant families in the past and we would love to meet with him on his next stop through our state to have a respectful, productive conversation about how our shared faith impacts our actions on immigration,” said Harold Heie, Founder of Our Iowa Neighbors.
Added Monica Reyes, Director and Co-Founder of DREAM Iowa:
In the past, Governor Jeb Bush has been an ally on immigration and a strong leader in the Republican Party for immigration reform. Now that he’s looking to run, it is important that he stands firm on his principles. On January 24, Iowa Rep. Steve King, one of the leading anti-immigrant members of Congress, is hosting potential 2016 presidential candidates at an event in Des Moines. Rather than attending this event, we hope Jeb Bush will meet with immigrant families, DREAMers, and allies here in Iowa to talk about how the president’s immigration policies impact all Iowans.
One of the most critical challenges facing Iowa immigrants, businesses, and families alike is our country’s broken immigration system. President Obama’s recent executive action provides crucial, short term relief for many immigrant families, but permanent, legislative reform is the only long-term solution.
In the past, Governor Jeb Bush has supported immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship, and described the choice by many immigrants to come to the United States without documents as an “act of love for their families.” Governor Bush’s statements are in line with the majority of Iowans: according to 2013 Des Moines Register polling, 77% of Iowans support immigration reform, and Iowans agree lack of immigration reform at the federal level is a roadblock to expanded opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.
By extending this invitation, Our Iowa Neighbors and DREAM Iowa hope to offer Jeb Bush the opportunity to present a new model for the Republican Party on this pressing issue.