With the first Republican presidential debate just three days away, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush unveiled a six-point plan to secure the U.S. border with Mexico.
Bush describes it as "a robust strategy to improve border security."
There is nothing particularly new in the plan. Much of it has been said by Bush in earlier musing on how to secure the border. Perhaps more importantly, Bush does not back away from his central belief that the 11 million undocumented immigrants deserve a chance to become U.S. citizens.
"I believe that for those already in the country, we need to put in place a rigorous path that requires individuals to pass a thorough criminal background check, pay fines, pay taxes, learn English, obtain a provisional work permit and work, not receive federal government assistance, and over an extended period of time earn legal status," said Bush.
"But any plan to address the status of illegal immigrants must be accompanied by a robust strategy to improve border security."
Bush also said he would stop federal funding to "sanctuary cities" that do not enforce immigration laws. It is a position that suggests that while Bush is opposed to Washington "dictating' to the states, he is willing to make exceptions as he deems necessary.
Bringing up immigration now, seems to be a calculated effort to frame the coming debate that will feature the 10 top GOP contenders in the prime time while the remaining candidate appear in an earlier forum on Fox News.
Donald Trump, who tops recent polls, has been a boisterous critic of border security. His often harsh comments have drawn approval from a significant chunk of Republican conservatives.
From Bush's statement:
Securing the border is possible, but it will require Washington to move beyond divisive rhetoric. The following six proposals offer concrete steps that the federal government should take to help secure the border and enforce our immigration laws. We must transform immigration from a broken system into one that benefits every American.
1. A forward-leaning Border Patrol with the flexibility to deploy resources to meet threats.
2. Use new technologies to achieve continuous surveillance of the border.
3. Bolster border infrastructure and improve access to federal lands.