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Immigrant Families Rebuke Jeb Bush: Call for Path to Citizenship

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For English language Media: Donna De La Cruz, ddelacruz@communitychange.org, 202-339-9331, 202-441-3798 (cell)

For Spanish language Media: Ricardo Ramirez, rramirez@communitychange.org (202) 905-1738

Immigrant Families Rebuke Jeb Bush: Call for Path to Citizenship

Bush’s Flip-flop on Citizenship Puts Politics Before People

(WASHINGTON)—Immigrant families fueling a national bus tour with their stories of hardship dealing with the current broken immigration system rebuked former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for flip-flopping on his support for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants as he looks down the road to the 2016 election.

“He’s putting politics over people, the same people he has supported for all these years,” said Janet Alvarez Magallanes, who was part of the California leg of the bus tour. “I am American, my children were born here but my husband could be deported any day. For me and for my kids, we’ll be very devastated if he gets taken away.”

In an interview Monday on the “Today” show, Bush said that he does not think that most Latinos wanted to become citizens. But public opinion surveys indicate that Latino immigrants do want to naturalize. The Pew Hispanic Center recently released a study that shows that “more than nine-in-ten (93 percent) who have not yet naturalized say they would if they could.”

“Jeb Bush has decided that rather than forge a new path for the Republican Party and be a leader on immigration reform, he will kowtow to conservatives and embrace their brand of exclusionary politics,” said Kica Matos, spokesperson for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), a coalition of immigrant rights organizations putting on the bus tour. “If he thinks taking this severe right turn in his thinking on immigration reform will win him the Latino vote, he is sorely, sorely mistaken.”

“We renew our call for the Senate to meet the March 21 deadline to introduce a bill. The voices of families on this national tour will be heard by all lawmakers and we will not accept a system which creates a permanent underclass of people who have no pathway to citizenship and full equality.  The very notion is un-American,” Matos added.

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